Have you been to Bloom and picked up your copy of Irish Country Magazine? Yes? Then open it on the article Head Space. Do you see that man? He's my dad.
|Photo credit: Roisin Matthews|
On Saturday my sister texted me this photo (above) accompanied by the words "Did Dad tell you about this?". It is a photo of the double page spread about my dad's holiday home in rural Co. Meath, Ireland. The current issue of Irish Country Magazine has a feature on tiny houses and one of them happens to be in the garden of the house I grew up in.
|The exterior of Crow's Hermitage, the holiday home for two.|
I was thriled, immensely proud and quite homesick all at once. That's the thing about being an ex-pat. For all the advances that have been made in travel and communications over the years, I still can't just pop out to my local shop and buy the magazine or visit my dad to share the moment. Nor would it help to call excitedly over to my neighbour to share the news because it bears no relevance to them. They have never been to my family home. They never saw the crumbling old shed we used to keep the lawnmover in. They don't know about the years of saying "maybe someday we could make a house out of that shed". They don't know that the tiny village is not a place anyone ever thought to holiday in until my dad opened a holiday home there and made a success of it.
|Pinterest photos of the interior|
All I could do was show Number One and Number Two the photo (The Bavarian was out at the time). They recognised immediately what it was and were just as thrilled as I was. "Grandad is getting really famous, isn't he?" was the response I got.
It is funny how your prespective changes over the years. Growing up in the middle of nowhere, with no bus connection except the school bus in the mornings, life could be pretty dull to say the least. At the age of seventeen I moved to Dublin and never moved home again.
But now, with three small children, the idea of going to stay in a small, quiet village in the Irish countryside surrounded by farms and little winding roads with grass growing up the middle of them is incredibly appealing. We look forward to our holidays there for months. There is little to do but relax. The children can run and play in the garden, climbing trees and building dens. When we go for walks, we are sure of seeing dogs and cows and lots and lots of crows.
There are tons of things to do and places to visit within walking distance - beaches, walks, golf, the historic town of Drogheda, the ancient burial site at Newgrange, Dublin city, country houses, and much more. The beach is always a big hit with our children because we live a full day's drive from the nearest beach.
|The graveyard and ruins next door|
|Above and below:|
The views across the countryside from what is locally known as "the back road", one minute's walk from the holiday home.