Readers’ postcards from 2020: Sundown proposals, Storm Denis in a sizzling tub and Fungie’s last fling

Readers' postcards from 2020: Sundown proposals, Storm Denis in a sizzling tub and Fungie's last fling

Life. That’s what jumps out at me from this story, gallery and video.

n a yr of chaos, nervousness and exhaustion, right here’s slightly carry. We have been unable to run our Reader Journey Awards in 2020, so we requested you to share your favorite staycation reminiscences as a substitute — stolen moments squeezed between lockdowns. You replied in feedback, emails, poems, letters, Limericks and tweets.

There was hurling on the seashore, Tayto scoffed on mountainsides, barbecues within the rain. There was pier-jumping, jellyfish-poking and Fungie’s last fling. “Like hens out of deep litter we have been,” mentioned Miriam O’Sullivan of a post-lockdown launch to Galway.

We heard of proposals, weddings, births, reunions… and sure, deaths.

A faculty principal wrote of some treasured days off between readying her college and re-opening it; one group of mates opted for a ‘Covid Kindle’ as a substitute of a Kris Kindle; others shared pictures of reunions in spa robes.

A way of “easy pleasures”surfaced repeatedly, as did the sheer intoxication of togetherness. Grandparents noticed grandkids. Childhood vacation haunts have been revisited. Package deal holidays in Portugal have been cancelled for Wexford; a visit to Montecasino changed by the Rock of Dunamaise.

I known as Jill De Azevedo, who’s been conducting shopper analysis by means of the pandemic for Fáilte Eire, to see what developments 2020 has been turning up. This was a yr we rediscovered Eire, she mentioned — and have been “actually stunned” at what we discovered.

Regardless of the general gloom, transient staycations uncorked a way of pleasure (“that’s a lovely emotion”), we reconnected with nature and the outside, and an incapability to plan forward prompted a brand new spontaneity. Nothing is for certain, after all, however many people have resolved to combine extra dwelling holidays with abroad journeys in future.

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I do miss travelling overseas. These pages are a thanks to the tourism and hospitality heroes who labored so laborious to reboot and maintain us protected on holidays, however I’d love to have the ability to have fun the airways, journey brokers and overseas locations that normally color our awards, too. Quickly, I hope.

Slipping away on staycation this yr was an opportunity to “overlook the dreaded Covid”, you mentioned. In that spirit, right here’s an opportunity to show off the information, escape for some time, and look ahead to the times and weeks away we’ll share in future.

One reader, John Hannon, wrote of a easy stroll down the Bowers in Ballinrobe, adopted by a roast beef dinner. His parting line hit me. “We’re what we bear in mind. I used to be completely happy, so very completely happy.”

‘Sorrento, eat your coronary heart out!’

Connemara – Helen Sherlock

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A visit to Connemara: ‘Therapeutic and pleasure might be present in probably the most surprising of locations’. Photograph: Helen Sherlock

“I idly scrolled by means of the summer season staycation choices… Connemara? Hadn’t been there since I used to be a baby! The climate on the journey out, matched the mood-misty haze, with wispy clouds gently caressing the rocks — so many rocks! We hung left at Leahy’s and trundled our method down the quaint bohareen to achieve the pier… Sorrento eat your coronary heart out!

“What adopted was an surprising and magical week of scampering throughout rocks to find hidden lagoons, leaps of whole abandonment into clear, turquoise water, scaling towering rocks whereas navigating our method from one gorgeous seashore to a different and lengthy, leisurely walks (below the watchful eye of the conscientious, neighbourhood watchman… the donkey!).

“Our days largely ended with finger-licking fish and chips, whereas watching the summer season solar slowly sink behind the rocky hills. Therapeutic and pleasure might be present in probably the most surprising of locations. Ardmore Pier, Kilkieran, you gently lulled us again to life. Thanks.”

‘He actually struggled with college closure’

Dunquin Pier, Co Kerry – Elaine McManus

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Elaine McManus’s 10-year-old son, Tommy, at Dunquin Pier, Co Kerry. Tommy has autism and actually struggled with the college closure and lack of routine however extra importantly, he missed the water…. We sat right here for hours simply listening to the wind and watching the waves…. He had a smile from ear to ear all day.”

“That is my stunning 10-year-old son Tommy. Tommy has autism and actually struggled with the college closure and lack of routine however extra importantly, he missed the water. He missed his swimming classes, he missed his weekend day journeys to the seashores in Louth.

“Tommy discovered it very obscure why issues had modified a lot. When restrictions have been lifted, we instantly travelled to Dingle. This image was taken at Dunquin Pier.

“We sat right here for hours simply listening to the wind and watching the waves. Extra importantly, it was the happiest I’d seen my youngster since restrictions got here in on March 12. He had a smile from ear to ear all day.”

‘He’s 80, I’m 62 and life is sweet’

Mount Falcon, Ballina, Co Mayo – Sarah Tumicki

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Sarah Tumicki, at Mount Falcon, Ballina, Co Mayo along with her boyfriend

“On September 23, my boyfriend and I celebrated 15 years collectively on the magical tent at Mount Falcon Lodge in Ballina, Co Mayo. We met at a Rotary convention in Dublin 2005; I used to be from Killarney Rotary and he was from Ballina Rotary. We hit it off from the second we shared our first pints of Guinness. We dated lengthy distance for 9 years between Killarney and Ballina, then I moved to the US and we dated longer distance for the following 4 years. Lastly, in 2018 I moved to Ballina to be with him eternally and at all times. He’s 80, I’m 62 and life is sweet.”

‘We may have been anyplace on this planet, but we have been dwelling’

The Coombe, Dublin – Gabby McGrath

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Gabby McGrath, her companion and her daughter Teagan

“After every week within the Coombe with out my companion allowed to go to, my favorite staycation reminiscence of 2020 was hitting the street dwelling to our residence from the hospital with our child lady Teagan. It felt like a vacation of a life time! The street dwelling had an indescribable pleasure, and at last arriving by means of the doorways, it felt like a spot we had by no means visited earlier than. All so new.

“The three of us hibernated with room service breakfast (courtesy of my companion) and takeaway dinners, eating within the sitting room in entrance of the electrical fireplace (for impact — no warmth wanted contemplating it was early June!), adopted by countless chocolate caramel freddos for dessert. We went exploring with walks to the tip of the property and again (post-emergency C-section, I used to be fairly impressed with myself). The recent air hitting your face after the week in hospital was bliss. We lived in a bubble. To carry one another and our new child after the week aside was like a drug. We may have been anyplace on this planet, but we have been dwelling.”

‘We visited the Knockvicar alpacas, simply beside our dwelling…’

Knockvicar, Co Roscommon – Annette Conroy

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Annette Conroy’s household visited the Knockvicar alpacas, simply beside their dwelling in Co Roscommon

‘No information. No Covid-19 updates’

Navan Fort, Co Armagh – Gillian Daly

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Having fun with the enjoyable at Navan Fort, Co Armagh. Photograph: Gillian Daly

“A sunny staycation in Armagh in July delivered a number of the greatest reminiscences of the summer season for our household. Mother and father, youngsters and grandchildren have been reunited after what had appeared like eternally, as we had endured lockdown No.1 on reverse sides of the border.

“Impressed by a few of my very own happiest childhood reminiscences, we headed out to Emain Macha or Navan Fort as it’s higher recognized, together with my mum, my two youngsters and my lifelong good friend, Aifric. As soon as the stomping floor of Cú Chulainn and the Crimson Department Knights, Navan Fort supplied the right location for the little ones to expertise the liberty of rolling down the well-known mound and skipping by means of the lengthy grass, after greater than three months of being locked down within the capital.

“Navan Fort actually is a particular location and the climb to the highest presents peaceable views of close by Armagh Metropolis. The place of myths and legends provided us an amazing escape from ‘actual life’ on that sunny July day. No information, no Covid-19 updates, just a few enjoyable and laughter as we strolled again down the grassy path. Collectively.”

‘A sundown proposal’

Keash Caves, Sligo – Tomás O’Connor

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Tomás O’Connor proposed to his girlfriend at Keash Caves, Co Sligo.

“Giving my Mexican girlfriend a tour aroundSligo and Fermanagh, bringing her to Tubbercurry (the setting for Regular Folks, which she’s obsessive about) after which proposing to her at sundown in Keash Caves.”

A small boss within the Burren

New Quay, Co Clare – Eva Lynch

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‘Small boss within the Burren’ – Eva Lynch along with her son throughout a keep at New Quay, Co Clare

“It was early September 2020, and our first day trip of our personal county in six months. Staying in a Seaview cottage at New Quay, Co Clare, we had our first expertise of the wild great thing about the Burren.

“Within the Nationwide Park we carried our wide-eyed toddler by means of inexperienced hazels dripping from an autumn bathe, throughout a vibrant wildflower meadow and gazed over at unbelievable layer cake mountains. The flask of tea and Tayto crisps with Hazel Mountain chocolate went down a deal with as we studied the wiggled limestone pavement below our ft.

“There was the compulsory swing previous Craggy Island parochial home, and a step again in time to marvel at Poulnabrone portal tomb. Lobster and chips from a dinky wee van have been loved by a harbour. As sundown grew close to, the kid determined the day wasn’t performed… we would have liked to go to our cattle neighbours, skim stones at Flaggy Shore, say good day to the swans, and oh, to not overlook the chickens close to the ice cream parlour. As soon as the small boss was in mattress, some wine was consumed, our jigsaw and memorable day accomplished.”

‘A farewell to Fungie’

Dingle, Co Kerry – Suzanne McCreddin

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Suzanne McCreddin was a type of to see Fungie’s last fling…

“A visit to Dingle to see Fungie for the primary time, however hopefully not the final! It was such an pleasurable expertise to exit on a ship chasing him across the bay on a beautiful summer season’s night and take heed to everybody calling his identify to catch a glimpse!”

‘We haven’t hugged but’

Gorey, Co Wexford – Barbara Murray

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“We have not hugged but.” When Barbara Murray heard her grandchildren have been shifting again to Eire from Australia, she and her husband set about renovating their home. “We discuss to them from a distance. The kids can’t come into our home, however they’re right here and I’ve hope in my coronary heart,” she says.

“I heard the information I had been eager for. After eight years dwelling in Australia, my son, his spouse and their three youngsters have been coming dwelling to reside in Eire. My goals had come true.

“They purchased a home in Wexford that badly wanted renovation. Our grandchildren aged 4, three and one, couldn’t reside in these situations. So my husband and I labored all summer season portray, washing, fixing, clearing and gardening. No job too massive or small. We labored for weeks to alter the outdated home into a house.

“Lastly, the beds have been made, the pyjamas, dressing robes and slippers have been laid out. They arrived on October 16. They have been right here, safer, dwelling eventually. We haven’t hugged but. We discuss to them from a distance. The kids can’t come into our home, however they’re right here and I’ve hope in my coronary heart.

“This lockdown will move and we are going to get to hug our son and his household. To see them enjoying, splashing by means of rivers and working on the seashore is pure pleasure. We now have a lot to be grateful for.”

‘Three of my loves’

Kilmacurragh, Co Wicklow – Clare Salley

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“Extra working and climbing, even Granny will get a go.” Clare Salley shared a poem from her journey to Kilmacurragh, Co Wicklow

Dreary days, lockdown looming, when will it finish.
Bing… textual content from Teresa…
Meet us in Killmacurragh.
Nice, one thing to do.
AND THE DAY GOT BETTER.
I see them first, watching and ready.
They rush to fulfill me, however no hugging or kissing.
AND THE DAY GOT BETTER.
Operating and enjoying, and exhibiting me vegetation.
Tall bushes result in heaven, tiny flowers smile and shine.
Then hidden within the woods, we discover the maze.
AND THE DAY GOT BETTER.
Extra working and climbing, even Granny will get a go.
Now drained and completely happy, it’s time for a break.
AND THE DAY GOT BETTER.
I emerge from the store, two cones in my hand.
The masks on my face, and the grins lightening theirs.
AND THE DAY GOT BETTER.
The glee of their eyes.
The love in my coronary heart.
THE DAY IS PERFECT.
The solar shining down.
Nessa; shining above.
There’s love in our hearts.
AND THE DAY IS PERFECT.

‘This was definitely worth the wait’

Ballinskelligs, Co Kerry – Claire Coughlan

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‘This was definitely worth the wait…’ Claire Coughlan wrote of a visit to Ballinskelligs. “Tik Tok’s forgotten for now.”

“It’s previous 5 now on Ballinskelligs. The tip of one other July scorcher. Mendacity again, stretched out on the sand. Drifting out and in of that smooth, fuzzy, not fairly asleep, area.

There’s a beautiful bit of warmth nonetheless left in that solar. Below the towel from toes to chin, ready for the rays to seep by means of the salt and damp from that final dip of the day.

Swimmers’ shrieks rush out and in with the waves. Golden-haired ladies giggle and squeal, seaweed lassos flying.

Tik Tok’s forgotten for now.

Your little man squats digging, scrumptious and oblivious in simply his sandy nappy, all chat to the shells. Mam’s freckly fingers flip the pages on her Marian Keyes’, then sidle over for a rummage within the Pringles, misplaced to the sheer bliss of it.

‘Is it 99 o’clock, Rooster?’ asks Dad. ‘You understand what? I’ll go away it. I wouldn’t need to spoil my Guinness’.

You’ll be able to hear the smile on his face.

Himself is dozing, although he’ll deny it later: his deserted crossword rising up and down with every sigh.

In the meantime the sky’s nonetheless dancing daylight over your face. Lastly collectively. In your completely happy place.

This… this was definitely worth the wait.”

‘Social distancing by the ocean’

Bray, Co Wicklow – Sandra Kiernan

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Sandra Kiernan spent her whole summer season in her household dwelling in Bray, ‘tenting most nights and every day journeys to the seashore… ’

‘”My whole summer season was spent in my household dwelling in Bray, tenting most nights and every day journeys to the seashore… No lodge journeys in 2020 for me.”

A home made from seashells

Ballymaloe, Co Cork – Vanessa McAndrew

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Vanessa McAndrew contained in the shell home at Ballymaloe, Co Cork

“My new husband and I have been fortunate sufficient to remain at Ballymaloe Home simply earlier than lockdown. Whereas it was orange climate warnings for the remainder of the nation; it was good blue skies in Ballymaloe!

“After a tremendous breakfast, we went to the cookery college and requested if we may discover the backyard. The cashier smiled, telling us to hold on till she received the important thing to the ‘shell home’. We had no thought what this was, and he or she emerged with a large key on a sieve that appeared worse for put on (sure, a baking sieve!). Strolling across the gardens was a dream; no information updates, no every day numbers; full escape! Lastly we got here throughout a tiny constructing, and figured this have to be the ‘shell home’.

“We unlocked the door and I’ll always remember it. We stood there, mouths open, wanting round, after which laughed in sheer amazement. Speak about underselling it! It WAS a home made from seashells! We stayed there for over an hour — each time we appeared, we noticed extra patterns and delightful shells; it was positively the cherry on prime of a scrumptious weekend — the image doesn’t do it justice!”

‘We put Slieve Blooms into the Satnav, and set off…’

Monicknew, Co Laois – Kyra Fingleton

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Kyra Fingleton introduced her household to Monicknew, Co Laois and made inukshuks – talismans of excellent luck for travellers.

“Our household stayed in Co Laois because the first lockdown in March. And since then, we’ve found extra stunning locations on this usually underrated county than we ever thought attainable. My favorite Irish Staycation Reminiscence is a visit to Monicknew within the gorgeous Slieve Bloom Mountains.

“Having exhausted all our standard favorite locations, throughout Stage three lockdown, my little daughter requested to go ‘someplace I’ve by no means been earlier than’. Understanding we couldn’t go away the county meant this was a tall order, however we put ‘Slieve Blooms’ into the Satnav, and set off.

“Discovering ourselves in probably the most beautiful, magical woodland grove, we walked below a stone bridge, and the youngsters’ in-car bickering ebbed away as we adopted the crystal clear stream. Quickly, we reached an enchanted place the place the stream ran below the bushes, and there have been many curious, teetering piles of stones that earlier guests had implausibly balanced upon one another. The youngsters’ first intuition was to knock them down, however I defined they have been ‘inukshuks’ — talismans of excellent luck to travellers — so we left them undisturbed, and constructed one ourselves. We got here dwelling as completely happy as if we had been miles away. I hope our inukshuk brings others good luck too.”

‘We would get to Dubai for our honeymoon’

Tipperary – Kelly Hodgins

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‘We would get to Dubai for our honeymoon…’ After cancelling the journey of a lifetime, Kelly Hodgins climbed the Knockmealdown Mountains and had a shock marriage proposal at Bay Lough.

“After the onset of Covid, our dream vacation to Dubai, Australia and Bali was cancelled. Desires of sizzling sandy seashores and sightseeing light… Plan B was a staycation in Eire. Kerry, Mayo, Cork, Donegal, right here we come!

“However Covid once more introduced extra restrictions — now we have been restricted to our county, Tipperary. We knew the native space, so mentioned we’d discover South Tipperary. Lodge booked, off we went. We climbed the Knockmealdown Mountains, and there I had probably the most magical shock marriage proposal at Bay Lough. This was solely topped by the particular keep at Lodge Minella — we have been the one friends. They went above and past with their welcome and repair. A lot so, we’ve determined to have our marriage ceremony there.

“So Covid restrictions led us to seek out one of the best of Tipperary on our doorstep. A most particular and unforgettable reminiscence. No matter our future holds, I’m actually completely happy to know my fiancé couldn’t have deliberate a extra particular proposal or lodge in our Premier gem of a county. You by no means know we would get to Dubai for our honeymoon!”

‘We are going to get by means of this’

Croagh Patrick, Co Mayo – Ger Warren

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Yearly, Ger Warren and his spouse make an annual journey to Croagh Patrick. “This was our 40th yr, however climbing was a lot totally different… no crowds and the same old crushing of stones and shuffling of individuals to the highest was gapingly absent. The peace and tranquillity of the mountain was one thing to behold”.

“Yearly we make our annual journey to Mayo to climb Croagh Patrick. This was our 40th yr, however climbing was a lot totally different… no crowds and the same old crushing of stones and shuffling of individuals to the highest was gapingly absent. The peace and tranquillity of the mountain was one thing to behold, to not point out the breathtaking view throughout Clew Bay.”

“This yr is particular as we expect our first grandchild and security is paramount. We stayed within the stunning Breaffy Home Lodge in Castlebar. The peace and tranquillity of each the lodge and its restful gardens and walkways have been like a heat cosy blanket surrounding and defending us and reassuring us that every one can be nicely. Whereas the area and greenery was very refreshing, the fantastic thing about watching younger households seize a much-needed break and reprise from the stresses of the yr made it even further particular.

“The enjoyment of listening to youngsters snort and play in security introduced immense glee and happiness to our hearts and perception that sure, we are going to get by means of this, and future generations will take pleasure in life as we knew it.

‘The return of my teenage self’

Dunmore East, Co Waterford – Michelle Brennan

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Michelle Brennan met The Coronas in Dunmore East: ‘It was simply the discharge we would have liked to carry the gloom of this ‘new regular’… an unforgettable second of pleasure and a free ice-cream.’

“Captivated by the view earlier than us (and mouthfuls of scrumptious fish & chips from Kathleen @ East Pier), we sat in Dunmore East Harbour. Seagulls gathered — ignoring Mam’s efforts to shoo them away — as a heat breeze introduced with it a way of anticipation. What would usually be an not noticeable blue and white ice-cream van approached. It was Mam who introduced it to our consideration. Certainly she was mistaken? How possible was it that three Dubs amongst throngs of na Deise would find yourself at its exact stop-off level?

“We have been throughout the street earlier than poor Dad realised we have been gone. He sat bewildered and deserted by all however the squawking seagulls. The Coronas had landed in Dunmore East and with them the return of my teenage self. A shameless, giddy ball of nervous vitality.

“Twenty years in the past it was Westlife — six hours exterior a thronged HMV on Grafton St — excessive on infatuation. Now, right here I used to be — 20 years later, within the tranquillity and great thing about the Sunny South East — amid a rising sea of face masks and PPE. We have been first in line to fulfill the band as they promoted their new album from a pimped out ice-cream van and the irony of it wasn’t misplaced on us. Right here we have been actively searching for ‘The Coronas’, having spent months hiding from the killer virus… you couldn’t make it up!

“Laughter and a possibility for giddy silliness. It was simply the discharge we would have liked to carry the gloom of this ‘new regular’ we discovered ourselves in. An unforgettable second of pleasure and a free ice-cream. Danny O’Reilly — Is laoch thú!”

‘The drive dwelling was stuffed with banter’

Keem Bay, Co Mayo – Anne Marie Coleman

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Making a splash at Keem Bay, Co Mayo. Photograph: Anne Marie Coleman

“On a heat day in July, we handed the relaxed sheep sauntering alongside the clifftop drive and descended in the direction of the white, blue flag seashore. The ladies couldn’t watch for a cool swim. The contrasting colors of the blue sky, inexperienced cliffs and white sand was so picturesque! The chilly, crystal clear waters so inviting.

“We had a beautiful old school day on the seashore. A rug, a picnic of rolls, fruit and a few chocolate adopted by extra squeals of pleasure as we tried to swim once more — forgetting how chilly the water was the primary time!

“Emily (pictured right here) doesn’t appear to really feel the chilly; in contrast to me wishing I had a wetsuit! By late afternoon we packed up and left the gorgeous bay. We stopped off at Nevin’s in Mulranny to benefit from the scrumptious seafood chowder, crispy mushrooms and naturally a pint of the black stuff for himself! The drive dwelling to Foxford was stuffed with banter about how stunning Eire actually is.”

‘We treasured the heat and the load of him’

Fetherd-on-Sea, Co Wexford – Joni Conlan

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Joni Conlan remembered “that sunny week collectively” in Wexford, “and people reminiscences are rays of sunshine we so wanted this yr.” Right here, her three-year-old, Aurora, takes a stroll.

“For my three-year-old, Aurora, and me, the brightest reminiscences of this darkish yr have been made in July. With my dad and mom, my brother, his spouse and two boys, we headed to Fethard-on-Sea in Wexford. We have been welcomed by Kate and her canine Boo to her dwelling, the place each nook contained a portray or handmade paintings to catch the attention and the thoughts.

Kate’s backyard had one thing for everyone: hammocks hidden in a grove of bushes; chickens and geese; a maze reduce into lengthy grass for the amusement of the toddlers. Recent eggs and greens made their approach to our desk and Kate dropped by with mussels. Seán and Úna served these utilizing Úna’s Belmullet household recipe. We ate them below the celebrities, whereas Seán and Dad performed guitar and sang.

“Sunny days on Baginbun seashore; Aurora and her cousin Seán Óg splashing and making sandcastles. Leafy nation lanes the place she walked purposefully along with her stick. And the way my mom and I doted on February child Macdara, who we had missed so in the course of the lockdown. We treasured the heat and weight of him. That sunny week collectively and people reminiscences are rays of sunshine we so wanted this yr.”

‘Storm Dennis in a sizzling tub’

Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon – Kieran Farrell

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Kieran Farrell’s household ready out Storm Dennis in Co Roscommon. “I’d seen Storm Dennis brewing within the forecast however thought, in for a penny…” he says.

“My spouse is at all times reluctant to come back tenting or glamping however to me it’s the right vacation with our two youngsters, aged 11 and 6. It was my 40th again in February, so I performed my hand and mentioned we have been going to a ‘non-public cabin with our personal sizzling tub’. I’d seen Storm Dennis brewing within the forecast however thought, in for a penny…

“Her face was priceless on arrival at a tenting and glamping website in the midst of Roscommon. We have been pelted out of it by Storm Dennis, however regardless of herself she (and the remainder of us) had our greatest household vacation in donkeys. Wes, Tuesday and Ziggy made us really feel so welcome and we shared just a few drinks with them one night.

“We practically had the entire place to ourselves with an excellent farm cottage because the campers’ kitchen, rambling walks in regards to the land and all the way down to the river and the wood-burning sizzling tub made it further particular. Close by Rathcroghan Customer Centre, neolithic tombs, ring forts and tales of Queen Medb stored me busy.

“Cave portals to the underworld, jellies and bribes stored the youngsters shifting and my spouse humoured me for my birthday and made the a lot of the sizzling tub each night. We’d extremely suggest Willowbrook Caravan and Tenting Park in Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon. If it was that pleasurable throughout Storm Dennis, we cant wait to see what it is like in the summertime!”

‘The summer season of ’64’

Gortahork, Co Donegal – Eileen Cosgrove

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Evelyn Cosgrove and her sisters determined in opposition to a summer season vacation and opted as a substitute to feast on vacation pictures from the summer season of ‘64 — ‘our first-ever household vacation’ in Gortahork, Co Donegal

“With Covid on the unfastened, my sisters and I made a decision in opposition to a summer season vacation and opted as a substitute to journey again in time and feast on vacation pictures from the summer season of ‘64, our first ever household vacation.

“Our vacation spot was Gortahork, our mom’s birthplace. That was the yr father purchased his first motorcar, a Ford Anglia. The vacation for us started the day our mom buried her head in a single tea chest after one other looking for shorts, t-shirts and our greatest frocks. Father’s job was to squeeze youngsters and instances into his new motor, however when it got here to dismantling the heavy pram, he was flummoxed and threw it up because it was, on the roof rack; Flintstones, right here we come!!

“After quite a few bathroom stops on lonesome bathroom roads, we reached Granny’s. A mix of turf smoke and seaweed crammed our nostrils as quickly as we jumped out of the automobile. The odor of snuff and Eskimo mints from grandma’s cardigan when she hugged us, and the lengthy sweeping beam of the lighthouse shining nightly in our bed room, nonetheless haunts us.

“The previous is a overseas nation; we do issues in another way now throughout Covid.”

‘Gallivanting on the greenway…’

Waterford – Emer Russell

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Emer Russell and household escaped on the Waterford Greenway…

W – Wicklow to Waterford, there in a jiffy!

A – Away but additionally at dwelling

T – Trekking the greenway

E – Train and recent air

R – Revisiting scenic Dunmore East

F – Household reminiscences made

O – Out of doors adventures

R – Rested, recharged and revitalised

D – Dreaming of subsequent yr already

‘This second shifted my mindset’

Lough Muckno, Co Monaghan – Vera Gorman

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“The nation had closed down and every part was very unsure,” says Vera Gorman. “I used to be out of labor, I couldn’t go to household, couldn’t see mates. Fortunately this stunning stroll down at Lough Muckno in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan was in my 5km.”

“This photograph was taken on March 18th – every week into lockdown. The nation had closed down and every part was very unsure. I used to be out of labor, I couldn’t go to household, couldn’t see mates. Fortunately this stunning stroll down at Lough Muckno in Castleblayney, County Monaghan was in my 5km.

“Regardless of all of the negativity on the time, I finished to to understand and actually take on this view and delightful sundown. This second shifted my mindset. It made me realise that regardless of every part that was occurring, there can be an finish to all of the craziness. Days and nights would come and go and we might finally get again to some kind of ‘normality’. It made me respect the world round me and gave me the time to decelerate and deal with the positives.”

‘Staycation was gasoline for my soul’

Shelly Brennan

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“4 adults, two canines in a single home – we survived!” Photograph: Shelly Brennan

The enjoyment and delight on these furry faces,

Accompanied my staycation by means of varied locations.

From hill walks and swims within the Sunny SouthEast,

To playtime and cuddles at Donabate seashore.

Staycation for me meant time with my tribe,

4 adults, two canines in a single home – we survived!

The board video games got here out, as did the black baggage,

Energy-washers and lawnmowers, heaps of outdated gags.

Creativity this summer season reached complete new extremes,

Rock portray and makeovers for individuals who have been eager.

Six months to nourish, to bake and indulge.

To nurture, encourage, stimulate and nudge.

Weekends we splished and we splashed within the waves,

We walked and we talked and drank tea by the caves.

Our passions for writing, the backyard and video games,

Gave approach to Zooming by night time and by day.

It was time to mirror on what mattered most,

To construct on relationships with out enjoying host.

Time to attach; to take a seat and be nonetheless,

Time to atone for Netflix and chill.

2020 Staycations have been greatest,

For the time that they gave us to cease and mirror.

Sunshine and ice-creams, sunflowers and bees,

The kindness of strangers introduced some to their knees.

Exploring new landscapes, new seashores, new parks,

Reminiscences of which is able to stay in our hearts.

Eire your magnificence has come as no shock,

However this yr you actually have opened our eyes,

You’ve introduced us collectively, proper again to our houses,

Our fondness for easy and straightforward has grown.

We’ve slowed down and listened, reached out and let go,

Staycation for me was gasoline for my soul.

Competitors winners!

Everybody who submitted staycation reminiscences was entered right into a draw for one in every of eight prizes, for after we journey once more. And the winners are…

Magic at Monart

A two-night spa break, with B&B, one gourmand night meal and a 60-minute spa therapy for 2 at Monart, Co Wexford. monart.ie.

Winner: Pat Connor, Co Dublin

Layover on the Lodge

A romantic, two-night break for 2 adults with dinner on one night on the Lodge at Ashford Fortress. thelodgeac.com.

Winner: Olivia Wall, Cork

Sit back on the Ok Membership

A two-night stick with breakfast on each mornings and dinner on one night on the five-star resort in Co Kildare. kclub.ie.

Winner: Anne Marie Scarry, Co Galway

Fota alternative

A two-night break for 2 folks at five-star Fota Island Resort, Co Cork, with breakfast every day and dinner on one night. fotaisland.ie

Winner: Pio Carley, Co Dublin

Galgorm getaway

A deluxe night time away with breakfast, a personal bathing expertise and entry to the thermal village. galgorm.com

Winner: Karen Summerville, Co Mayo

Chill out on the River Lee

A two-night stick with dinner on one night within the Grill Room on the River Lee Lodge in Cork. doylecollection.com

Winner: Mags Dunne, Co Dublin

Blue Ebook magnificence

An in a single day keep for 2 with dinner in Ballymaloe Home, in stunning East Cork. irelands-blue-book.ie; ballymaloe.ie

Winner: Liam Greene, Dublin 11

Prize winners will likely be contacted with inside 20 days of the time limit. Full T&Cs are on impartial.ie/travelawards.

Weekend Journal

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