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barbaraalee

Crossroads Cafe

BLee
7 years ago

An international meeting place where old friends and new come together for good conversation.

Comments (11K)

  • happyleg
    9 days ago

    Wow what a delightful Journey you're on badger keep safe

  • liasch
    9 days ago

    Nice to get an opportunity to visit your old stomping grounds… But if you moved back north wouldn’t distance to your grandchildren be considerably greater? Definitely something to consider as you get older. Yes I would find it very difficult to leave this place and then come back and see the changes to the garden. I really hope I never have to experience that. On the other hand a couple in their 80s just two doors down sold their house to a delightful young couple; she helps me out a lot here with wood stacking and other tasks. Sometimes it’s just that time of life when we need to move on.

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  • glschisler
    9 days ago

    Yes, going back can be hard. You may all recall my sister and BIL bought our patio home 3 yrs ago. In the master bath, over the garden tub, we had a lovely mural, painted by an art teacher who worked with my OH. Imagine sitting in your Greek villa overlooking the sea…My BIL painted over it at my sister’s request! Aaaaaahhhhh stab in my heart! I can’t go back. 😭

  • Alice Edwards
    9 days ago

    Lia, i hope you never have to leave, maybe it’s a blessing in disquisition that the young couple moved in and helps you!

  • badger10
    9 days ago

    As I get older the old saying "things happen for a reason" and "someone has your life mapped out for the benefit of each", becomes more and more believable

  • liasch
    9 days ago

    Agree, Badger...

  • liasch
    9 days ago

    Gls... And exactly how you feel. I'm sure when I leave this place somebody will probably paint over the staircase. Not to mention the other things I've done on the walls. I think the problem is no matter how good the work is, the new owner wants to make the house their own...and something as strong as artwork, even if it's very well done, makes the space less neutral. Like they're living in someone else's house.

    What's harder to understand is Gardens. My mother grew beautiful gardens around her house/cottage in Maine. The new owners cut everything down. I've heard of that happening in other places as well. It brings to mind the statement "you can't go home again"...

  • glschisler
    8 days ago

    So true badger and Lia. At least they kept the patio gardens. And every spring she sends me pictures so I can eat my heart out.🥰

  • liasch
    8 days ago

    Well that’s a bonus… They kept the garden! It actually feels like summer here. My climbing roses are blooming really well this year. And my hydrangea has started!

  • badger10
    8 days ago

    PART 3

    So, here we are, my firs day of a tour, I have got up and prepared breakfast for the girls while mum showers and gets ready for her new guests, we have some fun and games at the table and their laughing just pleases me so much,, after breakfast I send them off to get dressed, the older one, Lucy has Autism and has a teacher come in each morning and spends 2 hours with her, paid for by the state,,, I have learnt so much more about this condition while staying with the family.

    When everything has settled I leave and head off to my first destination, the weather is lovely, sunny and warm, about 22c so I'm heading for "old head beach" the nearest beach to where I am staying, its 18 miles and to get there I pass through "Westport" the only Planned town in Ireland, it sites off an inlet from the Atlantic,, but I am not stopping here today as I will come here again later to see friends,, I follow the coast road with all its twists and turns, losing sight of the water only to turn around another corner to a splendid view of the sea and hills on the other side, as I travel the inlet is getting wider and now about 2 miles wide, 25 Minuit's out of Westport, I take a turn off to the right, this leads to the beach along a narrow road and down to the car park,,, its a large carpark and it is full, it's 10.30am and the place is humming, the beach is full of people and children having a really good time.

    A walk along the beach looking out over the bay with a few small boats and kayak's and paddleboards are scattered over the surface, I look away and over the beach and my eyes nearly popped out of my head as 3 women in the skimpiest swimwear were playing with a large ball,,, moving swiftly on the crowed slowly thins out until I reach an area where there is no one, by now I have walked about 3 miles and found a nice rock to sit on, looking out to sea, I sat here in total peace listening to the sea rolling in to this area, it is much rougher then the cove, which is well protected, I sat here for an hour and then made my way back to the car, looking out for the girls,,,,, well I am a man,,,,,, but no sign.

    So I left the car park and retraced my steps half way back to Westport, and stopped at the car park for the memorial dedicated to all those who lost their lives to the famine in the 1840s,,, (photo's to follow),,, on the other side of the road was a mountain called Crough Patrick, this is 764m in height and is where St Patrick was supposed to have banned all snakes and serpents from Ireland and where he done his penance,, it's true that there are no snakes in Ireland,,,, yet,,,,, but the fact that the ice that covered this area in the last ice age hadn't receded before Ireland had separated from mainland Britain.

    At the bottom of the mountain was a café right beside the car park, so it was time for a bite to eat. After a relaxing snack I walked back to the car and looked up at the mountain,,, now why did I do that, I had already climbed it 5 times when friends came to stay when I was living in Ireland,, and they all wanted to go up, so looking up I could hear a voice in my head saying " yer got to do it" and another saying " na yer too old now" who do you think won? ,,,,,, I love a challenge.

    By the time I came back down the time was pushing on, so decided to head back to my friends, only to be met by the 3 Girls excitedly jumping up and down at my arrival,, this bought a tear to my eye, we all went inside and Christelle said that she had not cooked a meal as Joe had suggested we went for a meal in Castlebar, so of course I said o.k,,, this was the evening dinner I mentioned earlier,,, so an excellent day, and I'm a happy bunny.

    Castlebar is the county town of Mayo.


    MORE TO COME

  • badger10
    8 days ago



  • badger10
    8 days ago





  • liasch
    8 days ago

    Travelling vicariously here…thank you Badger! Is that boat the famine memorial? Or something else…

  • badger10
    7 days ago

    I'm having trouble uploading photos so please be patient

    Yes that boat is the momorial, it's. made of bronze and if you look closer what looks like tattered sails is actually skeletons,,, when you are in front of it, it is very emotional

  • happyleg
    7 days ago

    Yes that could have been dangerous climbing that mountain at your age but glad you're okay but I would stop after this do something else on the ground LOL I'm glad you're having a good trip

  • liasch
    7 days ago

    Badger, I can see that now when I enlarge the photo on my iPhone. That’s a profound sculpture/memorial piece. It’s moving even just as a photograph. History is always humbling isn’t it? We think we’re going through bad times and then… We remember the past.

  • glschisler
    7 days ago

    What a lovely day! And the sculpture is profound! My relatives from Ireland came to America in the 1860s or a little later. The Casey s and the Fords. (Not the Henry Ford family 😆)

  • btydrvn
    7 days ago

    As a native American i have a slightly different slant on those historical observations…but all of our ancestors struggled in some way to adjust and join together… being in such a big country is so different than other parts of the world…where you can pass thru several countries in a day ,even…it is amazing to me that those tiny countries developed such diverse populations

  • liasch
    6 days ago

    Btydrvn one’s origins and ancestral history make a big difference in the way we experience the world. For some more than others.

  • badger10
    5 days ago

    I can never understand how a country can create such a mindset that they fight each other, and of course we are all subject to lies, manipulation, propaganda and poor media coverage,,, but the civil war within America,, the conflict with the native Americans,, the Irish conflict and of course now Russia and Ukraine,,, and I think we all know it's not necessarily the man on the ground or general public, it is the greed of powerful men who have influence to control the masses.

  • badger10
    5 days ago

    PART 4


    So it's up with the lark's this morning as I have a beautiful day ahead, but just as I am about to leave the little one wants a cuddle,,, how can I refuse,,, then the eldest,,, but the middle one is still asleep, so I escape to begin my journey, most of which is driving through the mountains and stopping to admire the views which the photos do no justice,,, for some reason it is a struggle to upload as the phone is playing up, but I will do what I can to give you a flavor of what I see.

    I have a particular route I want to follow on the other side of the mountains, but when I get there the road is closed for repairs,, not surprised really as it is very narrow at the end where it climbs up over another mountain, this end of the road is called "the rock road" as is carved out of the mountainside back in the famine, as if the men who built it volunteered their work they would be fed,, 16 men died before this part of the road was finished, mainly because of not enough food for the effort in their work,,, as you drive up it is unnerving as the rocks overhang the road like half a tunnel, I have been on this route many time and have had to remove rocks from the road to be able to continue.

    So now I have to choose another route but I know where I am going, but no where where I wanted to go, so change of planes, as I drive another 20 odd miles I hit the road I was on previously, between Westport and Louisburg, in fact quite close to the beach at old head again,, so this time I head to Louisburg and stopped at a nice Hotel for lunch.

    Onward I go along the coast with the Atlantic on my right, as you would expect not up mountains, but undulating hills, I feel free, with the window down and the sea breeze coming in and the smell is wonderful, now 23 miles from Louisburg in a remote part of Connemara, this is a one way road, one way in, the same way out,,, and now it is getting quit narrow, with a couple of feet each side of the car ,, and a few drives leading up to some remote farms and houses,, I have done this route in the past,,, I only met the postman all the way,,, and eventually I get to the end, a cove with a huge expanse of beach, there is a car park, but no one in it,,, the place is deserted, not a soul anywhere, it's now 4.30pm and a walk is in order, I had to walk for 25 minuets across the sand to get to the waters edge and sat on some rocks taking in the sea air and watching the waves roll in,,,, and looking out to the bay and the waves crashing on the rocks on the other side of the bay, this cove is well protected on my side, but the smell and the wind is intoxicating.

    The tide is coming in and is beginning to surround me, so its time to return to the car,,, it now 8.00pm and the sky is starting to change colour, still nobody around,,, so I get some gear out of the car and make a cup of tea and heated some soup for dinner, I had told my hosts that I would not be back that night, but they insisted I phoned when I was able,, of course where I was there was no reception.

    Just as the light was fading and the sky was a brilliant pink as the sun was setting I gathered my blow up bed and sleeping bag and went into the sand dunes and found a sheltered spot, leveled out the sand and lay down looking at the bay,,,, the tide is well in now.

    I woke at around 6.00 am refreshed and listening to the waves, packed up and went back to the car and made some more tea and a bit of toast, and then went for a walk in the opposite direction to yesterday,,,, returned to the car packed up everything and making sure there was no evidence of me being there continued my journey back along the same road to Louisburg,

    I'm half way back and in the middle of nowhere is a horse trailer, this had been converted to a tea hut by a very charming young women,, I had seen it on the way to the beach but it was closed,,,, of course I stopped and wishing to support such an endeavor, I had a coffee and some cake she had made,,, and we chatted for 30 minuets or so until a young family on bikes stopped that was on a biking holiday,,,,, it's 11,30am,,, so time to move on.


    MORE TO COME.

  • liasch
    5 days ago

    Good morning Badger...wonderful to wake up to your adventures! It heals the soul to think of those empty beaches, the waves rolling in. Sleeping safely on the sand, with the earth beneath you.

  • badger10
    5 days ago

    Yes, I had a great feeling of being connected to nature and the earth, very spiritual

  • badger10
    4 days ago







  • glschisler
    4 days ago

    Beautiful viewsBadger! And such a relaxing road trip of new adventures! 🥰

  • jayapple21
    4 days ago

    I've enjoyed reading your travel log, Badger. Now I have some questions:

    1. Only one photo shows a sunny day with billowing clouds - the rest all look overcast, like rain is threatening. Are overcast days the usual weather for that part of the country? Do folks get excited when they have a sunny day -- or did you just choose a time for your travels when rain has settled in and they actually have a lot of sunny days?

    2. How do you heat water for tea when you're on the road? Do you have a little can of 'Sterno' (that might be a U.S. product that let's you take a match and light the product in the can for cooking while camping)?

    3. How do you make toast, also? Perhaps you have a camper van and I missed that part of the description of your travels. Thanks for sharing with us.


  • BLee
    Original Author
    4 days ago

    I feel as though I am there with you Badger. It sounds like my kind of trip back in the days when I was still gadding about in my Landrover. There is something special about waking at dawn all alone in the outdoors.

  • badger10
    4 days ago

    JAYAPPLE21

    Thank you for your kind words,,, I'm not sure how long you have been on here but there have been a few blogs I have written,, I'm an open kind of guy and I find it a very comforting platform to spill out my thoughts, as many ladies on here will testify, so I welcome your thoughts at any time.

    Now to answer your questions:-

    In short, the west coast of Ireland is wetter then most other areas, as there are mountains in this area and a lot of water, i.e. rivers lakes and the sea, there is a lot of evaporation from the surface which as it rolls off the sea and hits land, pressures change and clouds develop, so yes the photo show a good day in Ireland as most of the clouds are offshore, the weather I had was a bit exceptional, it was in the area of 25c and this is higher that normal, usually it is between 12 and 18c but obviously the place buzzes on a day like this. You can't "choose" perfect weather in Ireland, you just have to go with the flow, like us here in England the weather and temperatures are up and down all the time,, to get the conditions I had in Ireland is quite rare.

    Saying all that Ireland is a mild climate, if it gets snow it is not much and doesn't last long, but they did have a bad winter in 2007/8 minus 16,, I remember that as at Christmas I was cooking my Christmas dinner with a thick coat and a hat in minus 8 degrees in the kitchen, the reason being is that I was building my house and had no heating at the time.


    when we camp here in the U.K. we like our creature comforts so we make life a easy as possible but still enjoying outdoors, in this instance I think it is wrong to build a camp fire on a beach so I had a small gas camping stove which has 2 burners and a grill, so I could boil a kettle and make my toast or grill sausage and bacon etc,,, I'll send a photo later.


    No I do not have a campervan, although I would like one, but they are the price of a small house over here so not enough money in the bank,,, other thoughts are to by a large van and kit it out,,, but at the moment I have a caravan, again it would not have been practical to take it as the crossing on the ferry was £250 return,,, with my caravan it would of been nearly £600, plus some of the hills and mountains were too steep to tow and narrow too. But I have a Ford Kuga,, not sure if you have this model and I was more then comfortable with that.


    BLEE

    You are absolutely right, that feeling as you say of waking up in the morning just as the sun is rising with the birds singing out their dawn chorus, the silence, the atmosphere, being alone and being as one with nature is one of the most magical feelings that everyone should experience at least once on their life.

  • btydrvn
    3 days ago

    Thank you for a peek into your interesting life…solitude can really relax the body and soul…something we all can benefit from..tho’ i admit …this complete type of solitude is little scary to me..

  • btydrvn
    3 days ago

    Our life could be described as reclusive and private…but we are still within 15 minutes of the basic necessities…food …and …the golf course😎

  • nwduck
    3 days ago

    Thanks for sharing your trip back to Ireland, badger! Husband, son and I went years ago to see the west, and loved it. Both of us have fairly recent Irish roots and must have looked it. We were constantly asked for directions/information by other tourists. When we started talking, it gave things away LOL.


    We started in Cork and worked our way along the coast up to Westport. Husband's family is from Charlestown, and that had to be seen! We stopped in a pub and once again our accents gave us away. As we explained to the kind, inquiring folks around us, we were on a bit of a family pilgrimage. The woman behind the bar (who shared our last name) said "I'll bet we're cousins! I know just the person you need to meet. I'll call her right now." Sure enough, within 10 minutes a lovely lady (who was the pub owner) wheeled up in her purple car. You can imagine our amazement when she quickly ascertained which "branch" of the same-name family we belonged to. "Come along," she said, and took us out to her car for a tour!!! We stopped at the graveyard, then proceeded along to where the family property was. The original house remained which appeared to be used for storage, with a lovely home aside it. She said the owner would be wildly disappointed to not meet us, as he was out of town. It was a grand adventure for us, and one we could never have imagined.


    That evening we went out to dinner in Westport. Walking back to the hotel we came along a pub with the best Irish music pouring out the doors and windows. I very much wanted to go in, but my two companions were ready to relax in our room. Much later, and after we came home of course, I realized it was Malloy's, and the music was being played by The Chieftains.


    I love Ireland. It certainly speaks to me.

  • happyleg
    3 days ago

    That sounds so peaceful and relaxing your trip and I'm tired from getting up early to go to the dentist for my 6 months cleaning nothing major yet I hope your trip continues well for you and you keep safe that was such a interesting story I enjoyed reading it

  • glschisler
    3 days ago

    Thank you Badger!😊

  • badger10
    yesterday

    NWDUCK,,,,,, it's a small world,, meeting your family like that is a once in a lifetime experience,,, that must have been amazing for you

    Yes I know Charlestown well, I have been there many times and I also have to drive through it to go to the ferry,,,,

    Again Matt Malloy's pub,, well when I lived in Ireland I was virtually a resident there, always had good music and always packed, I have had many a drink with Matt and his son who works behind the bar.




    PART 5


    Well, I am back with the family and enjoying some games with the girls until it's their bedtime, then out in the garden to help Christelle to water the young plants and veg, she works so hard.

    Next morning I'm having a lay in, but not for long 3 little angles fly into my room and jump on me,, shouting "wake up it's breakfast time" O.K,, O.K.,, get out so I can get dressed, so off they went laughing and giggling closing the door. I get up and get dressed and went to the kitchen and had breakfast, the two younger girls are going to a friends house and then shopping with mum, whilst I set off on my trip,, Today I'm off to Cong, this is the village where they made the film "The quite man" with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara,, there is a statue of the pair in the village,,, I will post a photo,,, Just behind the village is a Castle which is a posh hotel called "Ashford Castle" this is where all the presidents stay when in Ireland,,, Rooms start at £2000 a night, there is security at the gates and you can't get in unless you have booked or if you are having "afternoon" tea,, at £55 a head,,,, well I not a front door visitor,,, but I am a backdoor burglar,,, there is a way into the grounds which if you know were to go,,, no problem,,, its a stunning place, large forest which I walked as you have to come in this way, and the grounds are large full of large ornaments, turrets, tennis court, falconry and fruit garden,, a few guests walking around who think I am one of the gardeners,,,, that's o.k. I'll take that.

    While I am there a helicopter comes over and lands on the front Lawn,,, as you do when you stay in a place like this,,,, so I took some photos, but obviously not too close, but close enough to recognize who the people were,,, Rod Stuart and his wife.

    Walked out the front way past the security who tipped their forehead and said "goo afternoon sir" thinking I'm a guest,,, " I'm going to walk around the village, I'll be back in about an hour" said I,, "righto sir, enjoy",,, I can't stop laughing,, so off I go and get some lunch,,, came Back, went to walk through the gate and a different guy stopped me and asked if I was booked in to the hotel, before I could answer, the first guy who had walked up behind said, it's O.K. peter,, this gentleman is a guest, thanking him I walked in and tried my best to look like I had money,,,

    Another walk through the grounds and then back to the car and return to my friends.


    The next day was time to head back to the U.K after hugs all round. I'm happy to say there was no tears from the children,, that would make me feel quite emotional,, so off I went up the drive with 3 kid's chasing the car,,,

    I have left plenty of time for my journey back so That I can stop to see other places of interest,, the best one was to go down into caves which was originally an underground river, these caves had many routes making a total of 29 miles that is accessible, but we only walked about 5 miles, part of which was where you had to get in a small rowing boat to get to another section, the rock formations were beautiful, and the guide very knowledgeable.

    I continued to the ferry and traveled how with no issues.

    Next day, I went to get in the car to go shopping, tried to start the car,,,, nothing,,,, battery flat as a pancake,,, but it has to have a new one,,,, who's a lucky boy then,,, just imagine if it had gone flat when I was in the wilderness.

    So now home safe and well,,, looking forward to my next adventure,,,,,, off to Wales to see a friend and do a little bit of landscaping for her front garden, some of you may remember that I done her back garden last year

    THE END........ for the time being.

  • liasch
    yesterday

    Oooh! I love the thrilling little bit about getting back and then your battery goes dead. Your guardian angels were clearly looking after you. Thanks for all the details, me luvs a good story! I got a very good chuckle out of your incognito appearance in the fancy gardens at the swanky exclusive castle/resort.

  • glschisler
    yesterday

    What a wonderful adventure! And if you have to have a dead battery it’s best to have it at your own home.😊

  • samoken
    yesterday

    Please don’t stop sharing your adventures. I ‘tuned in’ every day just to find out what happened next.

  • happyleg
    yesterday

    Glad your battery didn't keep you too long that was a nice Adventure and how cool to run across Rod Stewart

  • Nora Lambert
    yesterday

    Thank you Badger for that wonderful journey. I felt as if I was right there with you.

  • badger10
    yesterday

    Thanks ladies,, sorry but I am having trouble uploading photos from my phone, I will go to the shop today to see what the problem is, and hopefully upload them as soon as I can

  • badger10
    yesterday



  • badger10
    yesterday



  • badger10
    yesterday

    My camping stove.

    Just found out that this site won't allow me to upload photos that was taken with the old phone, as I now have a new one

  • glschisler
    22 hours ago

    Can you send the photos from the old phone to the new phone? And then save them. And then maybe be able to post them? Just a thought.

  • glschisler
    22 hours ago

    Now that is what I call a very efficient camping stove!

  • badger10
    20 hours ago

    Gschisler. Yes,done that and all loaded successfully, but the problem is Houzz platform can't send any from those I downloaded from the old phone on to the new one, old phone only, those I have taken on the New phone, is no problem and of course all the photo's are on the old phone,

    I'll seek further advice to see if there is any other way, failing that I'll stick the chip back in the old phone

  • liasch
    12 hours ago

    Weird. Gotta love tech 🤪

  • liasch
    12 hours ago

    Great stove… what are you using for fuel?

  • glschisler
    9 hours ago

    I felt very techie yesterday when I figured out how to down load my music app on my phone to my Alexa assistance.🤪

  • badger10
    4 hours ago

    LIASCH,,,,, we have a variety of gas canisters and bottles and a regulator for each,,, so if you want to travel light there is a cylinder for that, although depending on the size you may run out of gas,,, then there are the larger sizes, but you would not want to lug some of them around,, these are made for caravans really,,,, trouble is that the supplier of the gas cylinders are refusing to supply any new cylinders as they say there too many out and not enough coming back when they are empty,,,, if you own one then they will re-fill it,,,, but anyone wanting to buy a new one can't do that at the moment,,,, so yes,,, its pressurized gas.