Last week we paid a visit to Leitrim Design House in the pretty little town of Carrick-on-Shannon. It is a showcase for Irish designers and sells gorgeous products from local and national artists. I went in to buy a present for a friend and ended up with a wishlist the length of my arm. That, combined with a visit to my amazing friend in Connemara and to the Foxford Woollen Mills in Mayo, left me feeling that I have to fill my suitcases with Irish ceramics, wicker and crafts before heading home. Thank goodness for Lufthansa's great luggage allowance.
Here's a selection of the things I am hankering after.
A set of classic Stephen Pearce mugs
Family Tree (Irish Oak) Large Framed Kit, using fingerprints of all the family members.
Photo: Foxford Wollen Mills
Blankets from Foxford Wollen Mills. The problem is which to choose from their gorgeous range of colours and patterns.
Mohair throws from Avoca.
Of course I'd have to get something for the boys too and this is what I would choose, the Hurlog - a soft hurley stick to introduce children to hurling without the fear of them bashing each other's heads in. They spotted it themselves in the shop and have already put in their requests.
Watch out shops of Ireland, here we come!