Wednesday, 3 November 2010

The world is the size of a pea


Crikey - it has been two weeks since I wrote here. That's the problem with wandering. Over half-term we wandered across the sea: this time, to Northern Ireland to see family. Grannie & Gramps looked after the children for a couple of nights, so my husband and I were able to get away and talk about things - and not just the house/builders/disasters at home!


It is a long time since I have stayed in a B&B: a very British institution, focussing a lot on homely accommodation and a huge breakfast. The first morning we sat down with the only other guests, a couple our parents' age. They were talking about visiting their daughter; about how many times per year they come over to Ireland; about how difficult it is to fly from Norwich now there's no direct flight to Belfast; about the rain (of course: there is a lot of it!) ... then as soon as my husband mentioned his parents in Belfast she said, "Oh - you're the Withenays!"

It was a slightly spooky moment. It turns out they know my in-laws from church in Norwich.

As I said at the time, the world has shrunk to the size of a pea. We can't even get away to somewhere we've never been before without being known.


The Mountains of Mourne are truly stunningly beautiful. Even in the rain. Given the moans and groans I gave throughout my teenage years, I think my parents would be astounded that I chose to go for a walk despite the weather. Most of the walk was through drizzle. It only really began to rain when we reached the dam at the end of the valley and the end of the walk.

Well, the end of the way out. We had a (much quicker!) 3 mile hike back to the teashop and car into which we dripped. I had water squelching around in my hiking boots and was quietly praying for the survival of my mobile phone in my trouser pocket. The tea was essential to warm us through again, but we left pools of water everywhere. Back at the B&B we left our clothes in front of the Rayburn and they were only just dry when we left the following morning.

Ireland isn't the Emerald Isle without reason: year-round rain means year-round green.


*****


I've changed my design background (in case you hadn't noticed!). Do you like it? Is it too brown? I liked the map image - it seemed to go well with my Wandering theme ... although I do now seem to be far more settled. It may all change again as I seek to find the design that suits me and the blog best. All comments and advice are welcome!

Photo of Silent Valley, copyright Awesome Stories

3 comments:

Hearth-mother said...

The world really is the size of a pea. I met one of my best friends on holiday in Spain before discovering she lived in my village.

I was just admiring the brown as I read, very smart.

Catharine Withenay said...

Thanks, H-M. Your Spanish story is much better!

Glad you like the brown. It still surprises me whenever I open up the page!

Muddling Along Mummy said...

I like the new look - very nice

Agree that the world is far too small - keep bumping into people in a simliar way and its most disconcerting

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