Old Head

This post is a long time coming (see other later posts for an explanation), but I did want to write something briefly, before I forget.
Not last Sunday, but the Sunday before, I went with some of the local au pairs on a bit of a road trip around the Kinsale area. It was my first trip out with the Kinsale au pairs, and I found another nice kix of girls, two French, one German and one Swedish. Most were quite young, but they were all lovely, and the Swedish girl was a bit older, has been here for a few years and has decided to move here.
We had planned to go to Old Head, which is out on the edge of Kinsale and has an old lighthouse at the end of it. You may remember, however, from previous posts, hat Old Head also hosts an exceedingly exclusive golf club. I kind of remembered the uncle from my previous family telling me in March that there were many protests over the fact that said exclusive golf club did not allow the ‘right of way’ over their golf club, which is upheld in most other places in Ireland. The right of way is basically where, if there is no other path to get to your destination except over private property, then the private property owners are supposed to let you through. The right of way would definitely be in force to get to the lighthouse, as its at the end of a peninsula, and the golf club completely cuts access to it (unless you want to scale rocky cliffs). However, said exclusive golf club does not allow the right of way. Which we discovered once we drove there. It even had a little wooden cabin at the entrance, with a serious looking guard checking club cards/entrance fees that kind of made me think of Camp David or West Point. Not helped by the giant American flag flying next to the Irish one above said wooden cabin. We met some lovely Canadians outside of the course who had also wanted to go in, but couldn’t, and they were (quite rightly) confused as to why the American flag was being flown. I said I presumed it was to do with money. The Canadians nodded sagely. Of course. The rich American tourists. There are a lot of them about in Kinsale. Though, apparently not as many as there used to be. Good ol’ GFC.
So, anyway, instead we went on a bit of a road trip. We drove down past all the beaches between Kinsale and Timoleague, watched the absolutely insane Irish people encasing themselves in wetsuit materials and then attempting to go surfing on the non-existent, freezing cold waves and chatted. We got to Timoleague and went exploring the old friary that I had admired from a distance many times, but never went inside of. It was incredible. Higgledy-piggledy gravestones from 300 years ago right up to the present day. The ruins of the church were amazing, you could stand in the old aisle and look towards the nave, and where the altar would have been, but instead of seeing glass, or a cross or anything like that, you looked out the windows to see beautiful blue sky. And then a flock of pigeons suddenly flew up into the air and out into the sky.
As we were leaving, a huge process of vintage cars drove into Timoleague, which has been a biarrely common occurrence for me across the Irish countryside. I’ve seen similar processes on at least 5 separate occasions. They’re always for some vintage car show, but I’m surprised by just how many vintage car shows one county seems to be able to support. I’m sure I’ve seen some of the cars before, so maybe its just the same people driving round to different towns every weekend and showing off their cars. Fair enough, the cars are pretty gorgeous. But, it does seem odd behaviour. And not like something that the general populace would be particularly interested in. Ah, but who am I to talk? I make theatre. And no-one in the general populace is really interested in that, no matter what I try to tell myself.
We drove back to one of the beaches, where there was a lovely little pub on the cliff, ordered some tea and coffee, and drank it outside in the gorgeous sun, admiring the perfectly blue sky and flat sea. The lady gave us a special price (5 drinks for 5 Euro – BARGAIN), because the local sporting team had won some sort of event the night before. You can tell I’m very up to date and care deeply about what it was and who had won. But, I did care greatly for my bargain basement pot of tea.

Old Head, Kinsale

So, anyway, it was a lovely day. And it was nice to meet some more au pairs, though also odd. I felt some strange loyalty to my Bandon au pairs, almost as if I was betraying them. And it did feel strange to be ‘starting again’ so to speak, with new au pair friends. But, its nice to know some more people in the area.


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