Georgie’s death taught us many things about life, about ourselves, about each other.
One thing we are adamant about now is making each moment count. Seeing Georgie getting so ill, so quickly and passing away a short two and a half months after diagnosis made us understand that life needs lived to the maximum each day, as there are no guarantees for the future.
As I wrote in my previous post, the Children’s Hospice has been instrumental in us wrapping our minds around the reality of now.
We have been adamant and intent in our determination to enjoy our lives and the country we live in and have made it into a goal to visit new places every time we can afford it financially and emotionally.
So far this year, we have travelled to Bray, county Wicklow, we have driven to France and seen a bit of Normandy, Brittany and Provence, and we have enjoyed Armagh and Lisburn (more on its beautiful eateries and local crafted beer soon, in a different post).
This weekend, Alex, our self-appointed but very able travel guide, decided it was high time we enjoyed a spot of county Fermanagh, known as the Irish Lake District.
We started our adventure with a wonderfully presented brunch in a star-studded, award-winning eatery in Enniskillen.
The Jolly Sandwich Bar is highly rated on TripAdvisor and known to be popular with celebrities finding themselves in the area. And, most importantly, it makes some gorgeous sandwiches and scones too!
While Emma and I stayed behind and
spied for important characters enjoyed our gorgeous grub, Alex stepped next door and had a pampering haircut in one of the most unusual barber shops around, carefully redecorated to resemble a vintage train station!
At the Headhunters Barber Shop & Railway Museum, we found two jovial barbers, only too happy to pose for pictures and indulge our questions about their beloved place of work and souvenir collection!
We were only getting started on our adventures, little did I know, and our afternoon was filled to the brim with rain, intriguing discoveries and exciting exploits of the local area.
First, we visited the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark.
We learned that limestone, water and time can make, when mixed together, in right amounts, beautiful things, like stalactites and stalagmites. Made me think that our lives, as well, when mixed with tragedy and given time, have the potential to produce beautiful results. Even in the dark. Or maybe, thanks to the dark….
Our next stop was Florence Court House, one of the National Trust gems in Northern Ireland.
Emma was impressed with the size of the house and the opulence of the furnishings but most importantly, with details about the house fire in 1955 and how the lady of the house had to run downstairs to wake the servants and raise the alarm. She was also extremely well-behaved and totally taken by the Oscar Wilde inspired play which followed , so whoever believes a five year old cannot enjoy a National Trust visit is gravely mistaken.
We ended our day in Lusty Beg, a tiny little island which can be accessed by ferry only and which features a restaurant/bar and accommodation in the form of luxurious lakeside cabins.
Another change this year has brought has been the personalization of our travelling experiences. We used to like staying in big, impersonal but fancy hotels but we have started enjoying smaller, more intimate accommodation recently.The Tudor Farm suited our needs perfectly and we really enjoyed our home cooked breakfast and interesting conversations in the morning.
We couldn’t leave county Fermanagh without having visited the Belleek Pottery Centre. I had known about the fine china produced in Belleek since having moved here, almost eight years ago so I insisted on a visit. We weren’t disappointed as, again, we managed to view a presentation on the history and handmade process that characterises Belleek pottery that made us appreciate even more the delicate skill of producing it.
We loved county Fermanagh, despite the constant rain and we have already made plans of visiting again before the summer holidays as there is soooo much more to discover and enjoy!
How have you spent your long bank holiday weekend?