There’s not many people who would still be smiling at the end of a day cooped up in my old van, driving to a remote corner of South East Ireland in torrential rain, but luckily I was with three of those people yesterday. One was my lovely disabled daughter, plus a long time friend of mine and her daughter.
Why did we do this?
My friend lives in the UK, but recently discovered that her family’s ancestral home was a small townland in Co Wexford and she asked if I would like to visit it with her.
I would have to bring my disabled daughter with me, organise support at home for youngest, do the trip in a day, and check out toileting facilities in advance, but hey I like a challenge 😂.
Our visitors arrived on Friday afternoon, and we all enjoyed a really convivial evening with lots of food and wine before setting out early on Saturday morning and heading south under an ominous grey sky. Before long it began to rain, and then some. This week Ireland was hit by Storm Lorenzo, perhaps this was the tail end of the weather system?
But with relaxing company, the miles flew by until we pulled in at the Irish National Heritage Park for lunch. Lovely surroundings, tasty food, and most importantly, the only changing places toilet in the county.
B was thrilled when she saw it , and so was I: it was huge, clean and with everything we needed – a disabled toilet, hoist, changing bed, bins etc and it meant we could enjoy a whole day out without worry or damaging my back.
Next stop was a small village where we checked out the graveyard and beautiful church nearby for evidence of my friend’s family, but we found none. Then we spotted a much larger graveyard as we left, but decided to save that for another drier day!
I followed the twists and turns of the country lanes past farms, and cottages, through floods and potholes, until we drove round one last corner and came to a sudden stop in at the edge of a small cliff facing into a boiling sea, with brown sand and white foam, whipped up by the wild weather.
We stopped to breathe in the sea air, take a few photos of the townland, and then dived back into the van to get warm and dry.
Our last stop was Kilmore Quay for afternoon tea where we sat enjoying the hospitality of The Little Beach Cafe. And looked out at the rain lashed harbour as we fortified ourselves for the long drive home.
Saturday reminded me that you can always have good days no matter however difficult life seems.
Storm Lorenzo didn’t have the last laugh after all. We did.