Celebrating the best bits and bobs to be found while exploring Britain, Ireland and beyond. Much is inspired by real outings, whether they were walking, cycling or photographic in nature, while virtual blundering in the name of planning them has turned up some gems too. Regardless of how they were found, I hope that they keep coming so I can continue to share new things with you.
This is where I am collecting a few bits and pieces that have come my way over the years. They do not fit within any nice neat category but they do tell you more about Éire, which is why I am sharing them at all. The list may yet form the basis of something wider and split into different pieces but, for now, I have left it at matters political and historical while also including larger web directories that specialise in subjects that are relevant to the Irish Republic. The beginnings may be small but who's to know what can grow from these. Hopefully, you will find them to be of some use. Please think of it as a miscellany within a miscellany. After all, it's a reminder to me that not everything fits into neat categories so it might be worth adding to what's here.
They may have commissioned a few essays introducing you to the country and added a few photos to persuade you that scenery abounds but the main raison d'être for the site isn't really hidden away very well at all. With the onset of public service austerity, I could see a good number of folk heading for the site and those associated with it to find out what various curtailments mean for them. The advent of "An Bord Snip Nua" and their proposed €5b of cuts can only make that vested interest all the keener.
The telling of tales has been endemic in Ireland since time immemorial. Those stories have managed to reach us through history and so we hear of Finn Mac Cumhail, Cú Chulainn, the Children of Lir and many more. What never ceases to surprise me is those stories more than occasional predilection with sorrow. Surely, happy or funny legends were related but it seems that they haven't made it through to the present day. Weepies weren't a Hollywood innovation but have been related for thousands of years if I am not mistaken and the same may be true of horror stories too. Those old stories travelled with the Gael and so Manannan Mac Lir turns up in the Isle of Man while Fingal (Finn Mac Cumhail) together with Diarmuid and Gráinne find their way to Argyll (derived from "Eastern Gael" in Gaelic) in Scotland.
Characters like those whom I have already mentioned are featured on this website alongside with antiquities and what is known about the Celtic culture from the same time. Make what you will of what you encounter on the site but it is part of Irish and Celtic culture nonetheless.
For those wanting to learn even more about Ireland, here is a diverse collection of web directories allowing you to do just that. The information ranges from that geared towards prospective visitors to that directed predominantly the people living in the country. Go on, you never know what you might find.