Monday, May 30, 2016

Return to Ireland - Feast of Corpus Christi

UPDATE June 4: Maureen my sister put together a video of the pics below.

Yesterday was the Feast of Corpus Christi, or the Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ.

After Mass the priest led a procession through the streets of Lahinch with the real presence  of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist.

The children who had recently made their First Holy Communion led the way, and the girls threw rose pedals for Our Lord.

What a lovely procession it was.

As a child I remember we used to have similar processions where I grew up in Hull Quebec. But it's been years and years since I've attended this wonderful testimony to our Catholic faith. I don't think most parishes do this much anymore in Canada, if at all. What a pity.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Return to Ireland - Fleadh Nua

Friday we attended the Fleadh Nua (Flaw Nu ah) in Ennis. This is a week of traditional Irish dance and music is celebrated.

All Irish children learn Irish and traditional music in school.

The venue we attended was at the Bia Agus Caife. First we had breakfast there, and the musicians started around 11:00. People just sit around and enjoy the music. No charge, just come and enjoy.

We actually found the place completely by accident or, by a miracle. Seems every time we try and figure out where some place is, we either get lost or can't find out where they hid the street names. Anyway, we were looking for a coffee shop (Fred was going through coffee withdrawal), we turned a corner and there was the place we were looking for the Bia Agus Caife. Go figure. 

So we went in for coffee. As we sat there, I looked across the street and I saw the Franciscan Friary. I said, Praise Jesus I think I have time to go to Mass before the concert. Then as I was getting ready to leave the coffees shop, I noticed a lovely little old man at the Friary entrance, who was combing his hair from the Holy Water font outside the door. I think he needed a spruce up before Mass.

Mass was wonderful, breakfast we had at the cafe upon my return was wonderful (blueberry pancakes and Canadian maple syrup no less, swine strips, and for Fred a lovely omelet), and the concert was outstanding.

When it was over we went to O'Connell's square where three children's primary schools were having their own concert.

What a brilliant day.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Return to Ireland - North Clare Happiness project

On Sunday night Fred and I attended a lovely concert put on here in Lahinch for the North Clare Happiness Project.
"The North Clare Happiness Project presents regular, free or low coast happiness-inspired events in the local area, including their annual Happiness Week."
The project was started three years ago, in support of mental health.

The cost was free but the organizers suggested a one euro donation, which we gladly accommodated.

The concert was delightful. It began with the children singing a series of songs. The kids were adorable. Before they actually sang they ran around the auditorium and generally had fun in complete pandemonium. Once they settled down and and began to sing, we were entertained with an adorable recital.

And the choir master was definitely enjoying herself.

Then the adults of the local choir got up and proceeded to sing some more lovely songs, including one from David Bowie (Major Tom), by Cold Play (Viva La Vida, one of my all time favourite songs). And last but not least the Beatles (I get a little help from my friends).

And I love that it is all in aid of mental health. Brilliant initiative.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Return to Ireland - Fairy trees

I've been watching for fairy trees and know them now. They are frequently seen on the side of the road or in the middle of a farmer's field. Legend has it that it is bad luck to cut them down.

Apparently the construction of an Irish highway had to be rerouted so to save a fairy tree.

The Hawthorn tree is currently blooming.

On Sunday the priest at Mass adorned the altar with some branches. Though he told us the branches were from the Hawthorn tree which is the usual type of fairy tree.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Return to Ireland - scenic walk between Lahinch and Ennistymon

Today Fred and I went to Ennistymon again. He didn't come last time when I went with Maureen and Jimmy. We walked using the back roads instead of the highway this time Such a beautiful walk. We were high over the area, as you can see from the pictures.

The walk took us over an hour and this can be a problem for me, as I always need a bathroom break. So at one point we came across a really old abandoned house. I went down the lane to it and was going to go for a pee near it (then take a picture of the house) when I saw a car parked and I did a quick u-turn. Fred said well go along the road anyway and I'll be on lookout. So I did. (Sorry God for putting my toilet paper in the bushes but I didn't know what else to do with it.)

I saw a lot more fairy trees (will blog about this later) and I have done my research now and am sure now about which trees they are.

We had coffee and scones at Ginger Lou's (where the scones are LARGE, we split one and brought the other one home with us) in Ennistymon, then walked behind where the falls are. We discovered a salmon run there, that was built to allow the salmon to swim upstream to spawn.

We then went back for lunch at Ginger Lou's. The food was excellent. In fact we have been very happy with pretty much all our food choices in Ireland. And the coffee is always lovely. One thing we learned about the coffee is that they always make it to order, they grind each cup as well. Everywhere. I love that. I drink decaf and usually that means I get a cup of coffee that's cold and tastes burnt. Not in Ireland. It is ALWAYS hot and good. And if I order tea, it is always BOILING hot. Often in Canada you get tepid dishwater for tea. Yeck. The Irish know their tea and coffee. Along with their fences which I didn't blog about this time because I did on our last trip in 2013.

Narrow road we were on between Lahinch and Ennistymon. When a car passed us we had to stand on the non-existent shoulder.

Falls and Man made salmon run

Close up of man made salmon run

We actually found some big trees in Ennistymon at the Falls Hotel. Thought they didn't exist in Ireland. They were some kind of fir tree maybe cedar.

Also went here with Maureen and Jimmy