Ireland Athy & the UK
October-November 2015

LAUNCHED: November 17, 2015.       LAST UPDATED:

Accessed at least many times since November 17, 2015.

Tuesday 20 October 2015. Around noon headed for the bus terminal west of Nashua. Boston Express to Logan. Checked in and then went to Legal Seafoods for an expensive but relaxing dinner of tasty scallops, shrimp and crab cake plus a bottle of Vouvray. Same choice as a year ago and perhaps the year before that.

Dinner at Logan

Wednesday 21 October 2015. Uneventful flight. Ever faithful Joe O'Farrell was there to fetch me and we headed for Enniskerry. Had the usual fry-up upon arrival and then a snooze until just after 2pm. Went into Bray with Joe to do some errands. Drove south a bit to Greystones, along the sea front. Back to Enniskerry and a nice meal of pork steak, carrots & parsnips, cabbage, roast potatoes, apple sauce, followed by apple, blackberry and raspberry pie.

A big Irish dinner with Joe and Barbara, and here they are behind their house on the newly refurbished patio.

Thursday 22 October 2015. Into Bray to ReadÕs where Joe dealt with the certificates for Athy. Drove to Leopardstown Racecourse and had a look at the setup. Very nice.

Joe at Leopardstown.

And to a shopping mall to pick up some things and a drive through the recycling centre.

Ballyogan: The best organized and neatest dump I've ever seen.

For dinner we went off to Ouzos in Dalkey. Excellent fish and chips. The town, between Dublin and Bray, is attractive with a good collection of shops, restaurants and architecture.

Dinner at Ouzos in Dalkey.

Friday 23 October 2015. After breakfast Joe and I worked on the Athy certificates. Into Bray to pick up chocolates, then on to Athy arriving in the afternoon. Checked into the Clanard Court hotel. Went to the Council chambers for a reception, then off to Seamus and MiriamÕs for dinner. Followed by the opening reception at the Heritage Centre. Packed as usual. To O'Brien's afterwards where we stayed until about 2am.

Friday afternoon reception in Athy: Rob, Bryan Lintott, Frank Taaffe, Bob Headland.

Geraldine and Miriam overseeing Friday's dinner at the Taaffe's. Irish stew.

Friday night's opening at the Heritage Centre. Geraldine McAdam and Ann Strathie

Frank O'Brien and daughter Judith 2015 and 2013. Nothing much changes.

Judith and her dog.

Irish conversation at O'Brien's.

Saturday 24 October 2015. All day at Athy. A pretty good array of presentations.

Saturday morning start of the Autumn School.

Pint at OÕBriens at lunchtime. To the TaaffeÕs as usual for drinks before the banquet, then to the hotel for the festivities. Food disappointing. Sat next to Kevin and Gail McKenna. They lived in Newton for awhile when Kevin was at Harvard Medical School.

Enjoying things at the Taaffe's Saturday night party.
Zaz Shackleton and Jonathan Shackleton.

Sunday 25 October 2015. The last day for Jonathan and me at Athy.

Jonathan Shackleton at the Open Forum on Sunday.

Lunch at OÕBriens then at the end of the day off to Arthur and CarolÕs. Nice dinner of steak with Ion and Monica in attendance.

Sunday night dinner at Fruitlawn: Ion, Carol, Arthur and Monica.

Monday 26 October 2015. Had our usual fry-up at Arthur and CarolÕs, then off with Jonathan to Mullagh. Stopped near Naas for Jonathan to pick up a photo album. On to Mullagh arriving at one or so. Did up a lunch and relaxed the rest of the day, catching up with e-mail, etc. Daphne and Jane were off buying sheep and got back at the end of the day. Had a lovely lamb dinner with mash, carrots, etc. Read in the lounge and then to bed. Burma does a mess on the bathroom floor. Bad dog!

Tuesday 27 October 2015. Rainy and dreary morning. After breakfast did some e-mail. Stayed around the house much of the day. That evening went out to dinner in Mullagh at the Kilians Lodge, with a drink beforehand at McNamees

Rob, Jonathan and Daphne at McNamee's in Mullagh.

We had dinner at the Kilian's Lodge.

Wednesday 28 October 2015. A much better day. About mid-morning Jonathan and I set out to Ashfield to find the grave of Clements MarkhamÕs mother. We did find it—stopping off to see the recently spiffed-up Kilian's Well on the way—in a lovely churchyard in a very rural area near Cootehill.

St Kilian's Well on the edge of Lakeview Farm.

The church at Ashfield with Markham's mother's grave in enclosure.

Afterwards we had lunch at Errigal Country House Hotel on the outskirts of Cootehill. Headed back to Lakeview with a stop on the way at the County Caven Museum, in Ballyjamesduff, located in the former Convent of St Clare.

County Caven Museum.

Daphne went off to play cards. Jonathan and I survived nicely on a lamb stir-fry with veg. Crisis at JoeÕs old house where a chimney fire sends the French Woofers to Lakeview to sound the alarm. Jonathan went off and I eventually headed off to bed. Next morning I got a report: Chimney will probably have to be rebuilt; hasnÕt been cleaned in years.

Thursday 29 October 2015. Up early and Jonathan drove me up to Virginia where I got the bus to Dublin Airport in plenty of time. Into Paddington on the Heathrow Connect. Got my ticket, then to the First Class Lounge. Had coffee and shortbread. Then on the train to Worcester with several stops along the way.

Loud clothes on the train!

Took a cab from the station to Fownes Hotel, once a glove factory. Pretty good stay. Walked into the old section of Worcester a couple of blocks away. Had a beer and a burger. Back to the hotel and to bed.

Fownes Hotel in Worcester.

Friday 30 October 2015. Breakfast at the hotel then went to the Cathedral,

Worcester Cathedral.

then up the road to find a Boots to buy a electrical plug (left mine at Jonathan's). Back to the hotel to check out by 11am. Relaxed in the lobby for an hour then to the Enterprise office a block away to pick up my Renault rental car. Got on the road south and was soon in Tewkesbury. Went to the Abbey parking lot and walked up the road to the Tewkesbury Museum at just after 1pm.

The Tewkesbury Museum.

Met Maggie and had a look at the Raymond Priestley collection on the top floor, then looked at his copy of the Edition de luxe of The Heart of the Antartic. Lots of extra-illustrated stuff. Went back to the car and drove to Morrisons to buy food and supplies for my stay at the Abbey Gatehouse—a Landmark Trust—property where I went at about 4pm. Some trouble finding the key but finally did so and loaded my things in, up a winding stair case. Very nice. Took photographs before spreading things out.

The Abbey Gatehouse. SourceL Landmark Trust.

Abbey Gatehouse. The stairway up.

Abbey Gatehouse.

Abbey Gatehouse: Kitchen and Bathroom

Abbey Gatehouse: the Sleeping loft and ceiling.

Had a drink or two and got settled. Later went through the Abbey grounds to The Bell pub across the main street and had a good meal. Back to the Gatehouse and to bed.

The Bell in Tewkesbury.

Saturday 31 October 2015. After breakfast walked to the High Street and bought a map at WH Smith. Back to the gatehouse and planned my trip to the Hogans. Set out on the back roads via Ledbury, Bromyard and Tenbury Wells—one of my favorite market towns. Arrived at just after noon. Jane and Michael look great. Lunch for the shooters was being prepared. We drove down to the Newnham Bridge where we had a nice lunch at The Talbot Inn.

Jane and Michael. My lunch at The Talbot.

Back to Bickley and by tractor-drawn wagon headed out to the shoot. Interesting. DidnÕt last very long. For the day there was a total of 161 pheasant and partridge. (Just to be clear, I was only a spectator.)

Shooting at Bickley Farm.

The triumphant hunter…sort of.

Back to the farm and soon after I was on my way back to Tewkesbury, a bit hairy as it was dark most of the way. Went via Holt Fleet, Ombersely but took a wrong turn and ended up going through Worcester, but was eventually able to pick up the M5 to Tewkesbury. Once back in the Gatehouse, had a drink and later some scrambled eggs on toast with bacon.

Sunday 1 November 2015. Foggy out. Cooked up a hearty breakfast of bacon, eggs and toast. Worked on photos. At 10am the bells in the Abbey began change ringing. Later in the day gave the Abbey a closer look. It's the second largest parish church in England. (What's the largest? No one there knew but Google tells be it's Holy Trinity in Hull.)

Tewkesbury Abbey.

Tewkesbury Abbey and the Milton Organ.

Monday 2 November 2015. After breakfast and packing up, did up the guest book. Off by 10am. To BredonÕs Norton to see if I could find PriestleyÕs house. CouldnÕt. Nice village but no one on the streets to ask. From there to Chipping Camden. Park the car and walked up and down the main street. As lovely as ever although more touristry than my original visit years ago. Had sausages and mash at the Red Lion on the corner of Sheep street.

Chipping Camden.

Bangers & Mash at the Red Lion.

Drove to Broad Camden where I stayed many years ago. Off to Hidcot but found it was closed on Mondays beginning yesterday. On to Upper and Lower Slaughter, then to Bibury. Went into The Swan for a coffee but too crowded so went on my way to Northleach arriving at JuliaÕs at about 4pm. She's as cheery as ever. Admired her new dog named Augusta, Gussie, a small long-haired dachshund. We had a drink or two then a lovely supper of pheasant. Very good. Eventually to bed after lots of conversation and reiminisicing.

Tuesday 3 November 2015. Julia did up a nice cooked breakfast. On my way at about 10am.

Saying farewell to Julia and Gussie in Northleach.

Pretty much drove straight through to Bedford where I photographed Aeneas MackintoshÕs house (and had a Big Mac for lunch).

Aeneas Mackintosh's house in Bedford.

Then to Cambridge stopping at the American Cemetery which I have passed numerous times without having a look. Beatifully kept and inspirational.

The American Cemetery in Cambridge.

Dropped car off at Enterprise, and then they drove me to Warkwork House Hotel. Mrs Collins met me with a nice glass for my gin! Stayed in the hotel and got organized, skipped dinner, and to bed before 10pm.

Wednesday 4 November 2015. Gray and rainy. Shower. Breakfast. Cathy is still the waitress. Into the Archives at Scott Polar Research Institute at 9:30. At lunch to the Royal Bank of Scotland branch then soup at The Alma. At the end of the day, back to Warkworth House, a drink, to Vodafone to get a sim card, and then prawns and chips at The Prince Regent.

Thursday 5 November 2015. At the Archives at 9:30. At lunch went to get a bus ticket to Heathrow. Now sold at the Post Office. Back to the Archives to the end of the day. To Warkworth House. Relaxed and caught up. Picked up by Pete Cavanagh at 7pm then to their house via the railroad station where I bought a ticket for London. Donna had done up a very nice paella dish. Some good conversation. Back to Warkworth House by cab.

Donna Cavanagh about to serve a terrific dinner.

Friday 6 November 2015. After breakfast off by foot to the railroad station to get the 9:21 into Kings Cross. Took the Piccadilly line to South Ken and walked to Onslow Gardens and had a very interesting meeting with Simon Murray, his wife Jennifer, and his PA, Jane. Talked about and inspected his Aurora. Walked down to the Kings Road and had a burger lunch at Byron, then to Chelsea Town Hall where I went to the antiquarian book fair that opened at 2pm. Saw Stuart Leggatt and John Bonham there. Cab to the Royal Geographical Society where I briefly relaxed in the Fellows Room, then bus to Green Park. Walked to the Naval Club and got information about doing a function next November with Ann Shirley. Then to bank to get some money. Then Green Park to Victoria, then train to West Dulwich, then walked to Dulwich College for the James Caird Society dinner. Attended the AGM, then the reception following, then a talk by Jan Piggott and others, then a nice dinner. Sat with Ann Shirley and Calista Lucy.

Shackleton's James Caird at Dulwich College. Ann Shirley and Calista Lucy at my table.

Left for the station and because of delays went by Uber car (arrived in 1 minute) to Victoria with the Bonhams and Richard Fattorini of SothebyÕs. Victoria line to Kings Cross, train to Cambridge, then cab to Warkworth house. Quite steamy all day, sweated like a pig.

King's Cross station.

Saturday 7 November 2015. Yet another dreary and wet day. Spent much of the morning getting re-organized and up-to-date. Settled up my bill with Mrs Collins. At about 2pm went over to SPRI and then to the program in the Chemistry building. Excellent: 1) Darren Rees (artist in residence program); then 2) wildlife photographer Andy Rouse Wild About Animals .

Sunday 8 November 2015. Got up at 6:30 and after some cereal and juice headed for Parkside. Took bus to Heathrow. Checked in at Terminal 2. Remembrance Sunday 11am 2 minute silence. Uneventful flight to Boston. Had $27 pre-ordered dinner. Not bad. Waited about an hour at Logan for Boston Express bus. To Nashua then drove home with a stop at McDonalds.

All my trip photos—the good and the bad— are at