Thursday 29 February 2024

A Day in Gort

 A trip to Gort. 

Every year when we come to Ballyvaughan I meet up with two textile friends. Ester who lives near Galway always finds us a nice cafe and usually a shop or exhibition to look at, and Breda drives over from Dublin and we talk…and talk. Not as much about textiles as we used to. We’re firm friends now after 10 years!

So yesterday Ester found us  The Gallery Cafe. and a lovely shop in Gort, a busy little town about 25 miles away. 

It was pouring down all the way, and as I arrived in the square and parked I set off looking for the machine to pay. It didn’t say anywhere how much it was and I saw a man with his car window down and said ‘ I don’t know how much to put in!’.

‘Don’t put anything in, he won’t be out today. ‘

He was adamant. I said I’d meet my two friends in the cafe and see what they said, and he said it was a shame I was meeting two friends! I asked him where the cafe was and he said he was just after coming out of it and pointed me in the right direction  

I asked the cafe owner about paying for the car park, and she said ‘oh he won’t be coming out today, don’t worry’  

We had a great lunch and talked for more than 3 hours. (No parking ticket) 

I had to be restrained and order small because we were out for a meal that evening. Beautiful bruschetta and salad followed by a very small cake. 

There was a surprise when I visited the toilets! Rather an unusual water feature  in the waiting area  

Hard to photograph. A deep well with goldfish. 

Then we went to the loveliest shop,  full of colour and pattern  Nine and Fifty Swans

In the shop I heard the owner chatting noticed she didn’t have an Irish Accent, I also heard her say she used to be a feltmaker. 

When it was my turn to be served I asked where she was from, Liverpool,  and that’s where she did her textile degree. 

I suddenly had an image of her in my head from over 20 years ago. I asked her name but I already knew it! Suzanne McCullough  who had a residency at the Platform Gallery in Clitheroe, who made amazing sculptural Felt pieces. I met her a number of times that year, as I had work in the Christmas exhibition! In fact I think she even bought a handbag I’d made. 

Isn’t that just amazing? In a little town in Co Galway, there was someone I’d met in Lancashire 23 years ago! 

As it was still raining hard Breda, and Ester and I couldn’t stand about much longer so we parted,  sadly until next year. 

Back at the car I was just about to dive in out of the rain, when a rather unsteady gentleman lurched over to me and asked me to help him back his car out. ‘Bang on the window if a car comes’ which I duly did. By then I was drenched! 

Got lost on the way back to Ballyvaughan, turned on the satnav and it righted me by way of a tiny road with grass in the middle. I came upon a huge black goat with immense horns in the middle of the road, a satanic looking individual who had a load of chums all trying to decide which field to return to. 

I do love Ireland. 
Tonight we’re going to a concert at Corofin, to listen to Noel Hill, who was the reason we first came to Ballyvaughan, and other musicians.
 We got a programme for the festival and we’re in it!

st of my pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them.

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