Saturday, 1 August 2015

July Favourites | Clare Island | Limerick | Birthday & More

The months are starting to well and truly fly off the calendar at this stage in the game. July has gone, and as the mammy says; "There still isn't any great drying in it". I empathise completely with households who still haven't brought home the turf yet, "We had just about saved it" many would say, "and now we have to start with the rig-a-moroe again".

July has been a busier month for me, thankfully. I had mentioned last month I was taking it easy and letting whatever happen, happen. So what did I get up to? Since I can't escape the island life, I had a night out in Clare Island - where Tommy Tiernan (Irish comedian) was doing a gig. This is the second year he has been doing a grand tour of the smaller islands off the coast of Ireland. Clare Island was hopping with tourists from all over, and being honest with you, it was so busy, you had a job to spot an Irish accent from the crowds of people. Myself and my sister ended up staying in the hostel on the island as all the B&Bs were booked out! I had stayed there before on a school trip, so there was no need for one to turn their nose up at it. We got the ferry from Roonagh, about a 30 minute drive from Westport. The men operating the ferry were very accommodating in making sure we (mainly yours truly) got on board smoothly.

As before, the hostel was clean, bright, and our room was quite spacious. It's definitely a "every man looks after himself" kind of thing, which is what you would get in any hostel. Although I have to say, I did manage to step on someone's toes only 10 minutes of arriving. My advice? Double check that teapot in the kitchen is definitely finished with, one guy nearly had a heart attack when he saw I was going to pour it down the sink. 

L-R:Yours truly, Tommy Tiernan, my sister, Fred Cooke

The gig itself in the community centre was quite enjoyable, Tiernan is known for his controversial ways - but he managed to knock a few laughs out of me. His support act Fred Cooke was brilliant, and very engaging with the audience. I wasn't planning on leaving without a picture, when you're out, you're out!

Couple of weeks later, I took a trip down to Limerick. "What's on in Limerick" I'd get asked, "Sure, just going down for a gawk" I'd say. We stayed in the Savoy Hotel, very swit-swoo for 2 nights. The hotel was lovely, it had a bath and a shower which is a win-win in my eyes. My friend, who knew I was staying in the hotel, kindly organised a bottle of Presecco to be brought to my room. It was there and then I had my first-ever-honest-to-God-proper drink. That's a story for another day. I felt like a very grand lady for my stay as it was all "Miss, madam, ma'am" kind of job, not something I'm used to!

For the 2 evenings we dined in the Chocolat restaurant. I'm no foodie expert but the food, and the hospitality we received was absolutely out of this world for the price. Upstairs, it passes for a day time restaurant/bar, on the second evening we were brought downstairs, and it honestly felt like a different premises altogether.  I highly recommend popping your nose in if you're near Limerick city. I also 

I met up with my cousins on our second day around Limerick - we took a look at the Hunt Museum, and floated around the shops, (I made my first ever MAC purchase, and felt like a complete new woman afterwards), saw Magic Mike XXL, where, some things can't be unseen. Absolutely no story-line whatsoever, but you don't argue with the face of Channing Tatum. Some ladies in the back of the cinema were obviously having a party of their own with a bottle of vino and supplied the entertainment in between the lulling parts of the movie. Before I left the city, after hearing rave recommendations, I went into O'Mahony's Bookshop on O'Connell Street, and that was an experience in itself. They offer a wide selection of books and I was in my element spending the 30 minutes I was there for. For book lovers everywhere, believe me when I say; you will not regret one moment spent there.

As a side note to all of that, Hook and Ladders is a lovely spot for breakfast, very tumblr-esque - but not over the top hipster vibes either. The staff are very friendly and the food is fresh. It was glorious, I could have spent the day there.

All in all, Limerick City is quite accessible to get around, once you have your car parking in order. Any coffee shop/restaurant we went to, the staff were very helpful, and so were the people we met. 

This 18th birthday of mine has come and gone. I didn't go hectic with celebrating, but I did have a "gathering" one evening and a few "quiet drinks" locally a couple of days later. I'm posting a longer in-depth on this next week, so keep the eyes peeled! Have a look at the bottom of this post to see the playlist I put together for the night.

Yesterday marked the end of a week long writing workshop I did with Scoil Acla. It was my fourth consecutive year taking part in the course, and as always it was a joyous and enjoyable week with Irish writer, Macdara Woods and the rest of the group. It was great to see familiar faces and to be completely thrown into an environment that motivates everyone within it. Last night we had our reading night to bring the week to a close. As I say every year, the week flew! You can read up on my experience last year here.

Other things I enjoyed? Knobcast is a brand-spanking-new podcast by three Irish gentleman that I highly recommend having a listen to. (I am not sponsored or affiliated, I just really like the things they come out with!) They post every week and you can find them on Soundcloud and iTunes - have a listen before bed or getting ready, you'll end up in stitches from laughing at some stage!

Finally, I've jumped on the bandwagon and started to Snapchat more regularly like, pretty much, every other blogger at the minute. You can give us an add sure: catherinegal.

I'm also thinking of starting a podcast series based on some of the blog posts I have written and will do in the future. If that's something you would like to see do let me know!

What have you been up to this month?


  1. Limerick kept coming up on my searches of 'where is the cheapest place to fly to next week?' that I used to do when I was bored at work! Glad you have a good time, the bit about the women on the back row of the cinema made me laugh! Happy 18th Birthday btw!

    Amy at Amy & More

    1. Oh really? I actually found the food around Limerick generally quite cheap so maybe there's something in it!! Oh yes the women were gas - nearly better than the film itself! And thank you very much, it's well and truly celebrated now haa :)