Monday 4 July 2011

Gathering in Kinvara

Saturday dawned fair so we packed a picnic and headed a few miles west to Traught beach. After a look at the horses in the field next to the car park and a kickabout with Sean and Rowan while Sharon took Finn and Angus for a walk along the beach (Finn counted 86 jellyfish), the boys changed into their trunks and bravely went in for a paddle in the bracing Atlantic. Rowan, as ever, was soon wailing and moaning about the cold and wet. We retired to the boot of the car for a picnic.

We drove up to Oranmore and, after some searching, located Rinville Park. Curiously, for a land with many children, Ireland is notoriously short on play parks and the few they are can be difficult to locate. Even the one at Rinville Park was a good walk from the car park, secreted inside an old walled garden. Once there, Sean drew blood for the second time of the day, skinning his knee. He'd already skidded and fallen, cutting his lip, while doing a lap around the house in the morning.

From Oranmore we headed to Claregalway to Pat and Margaret's house. We were last there two years ago when Angus was only six weeks old. Now he was stomping about the place like it was his own. His brothers had a good run about then we settled down to a fine dinner of bacon, cabbage and colcannon. Olivia arrived and needless to say the boys were delighted to see her. It was a glorious evening sitting out the back. Eventually we headed back down to Kinvara for another late finish for the boys.

On Sunday morning Edel arrived with Barry then we all headed south along the coast road, into the Burren and down to Ballyvaghan. "Look at the lovely view!" exclaimed Sharon as we drove south-west along the narrow road bounded by the grey stone of the Burren on one side and the ragged coastline on the other. "What's a view?" asked Rowan, innocently enough.

At Ballyvagahan we visited a craft fair then the Wallaces walked down to the quay for lunch in a pleasantly eclectic tearoom, the boys seated around a round table in a selection of easy chairs. Apparently Stephen Spielberg had dropped in the day before, having taken a deliberate detour from Shannon en route to Monaco. From there we stopped at Bishops Quarter beach where Olivia and Adrian joined us. The weather wasn't promising but the rain held off and we had a good time making sandcastles and funny faces decorated with shells and seaweed hair in the grey sand.

Back at the holiday house, Michael and Marie arrived and we sat down to a big family dinner, all four Coen children, all five grandchildren and me. Joan and Robert arrived later too, so once more the boys were able to swing the lead and have a late night although Angus was despatched to his double bed early in the piece. It was just as well because he had a fairly unsettled night's sleep, no doubt unimpressed that Adrian was sharing the bed with him.

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