Saturday, June 08, 2013

We have been away. . . .

. . . .as you may have noticed.  Or maybe not.  When one is as lax a blogger as your servant perhaps  no one noticed.

But in any event we have been in Ireland for a fortnight or thereabouts.  We had great hospitality from Mary's sister and her husband who housed, fed, and chauffeured us from Dublin to the Shannon and parts in between.  Mary hadn't been home in five years and there were a lot of relatives to visit. . .who also showed us great kindness.

And you know what this means. Yes.  Holiday photos.  You aren't to be spared.  Should the urge for greater detail strike, you can click on any of pictures and fill the screen.

The first two pictures show something of the ruins of the 12th century Ballymacormack Church which lie in the grounds of Ballymacormack Cemetery.  A little bit more on the church, along with a couple of photographs, can be found here.

Mary hadn't seen her mother's grave yet so a visit to the old graveyard at Ballymacormack was on the agendum.

Old graves.

And a newer one.

Looking for ancestors in the graveyard next the old Church of Ireland (Anglican) parish of St John in Templemichael, Longford town.

St John Church from the front.

The old Presbyterian graveyard up the Battery Road in Longford.  The Finley and Forrest part of the family are buried here. . . .somewhere.   We never did find exactly where.  The old adjoining church is long gone and the graveyard is, as you can see, overgrown and neglected.

The old medieval - "founded 1265" it says on the plaque - Franciscan friary in Multyfarnam.  A beautiful building in a gorgeous setting.  Alas, the interior of the chapel has been thorougly novusordoized and is, um,  disappointing.  I'm told  the Blessed Sacrament is indeed reserved in the chapel but I never found Him.  On the plus side, the structure itself is intact and impressive.  Massive stonework and a very high ceiling; the urge to play pipes in it was overwhelming.  Fortunately for the Lord and the friars the pipes were not with  me on that outing.

And, yes, Multyfarnam has a graveyard.  (Yes, it was sort of a busman's  holiday wasn't it.)  No relatives in this one so far as we know.

Taken from the outdoor stations of the cross at the friary.

Further along on the stations of the cross.

The crucifixion.

The Cathedral in Mullingar.  Only very lightly novusordoized; still very beautiful.  No, I don't know why I took it at an angle.  I didn't mean to.

Mary's family home.  Well, her mother's actually.  But she spent summers here.

The drawing room.

The gong will sound for dinner. . . .

The dining room set for tea.

The drawing room . . . another view.  (A little surprised to have her picture taken; she's usually the photographer.)

This is a shot of the folly at Belvedere House, an 18th century country house near Mullingar.  I was  hoping for a lot more pictures but the camera battery died.  So two shots of the folly (the one above and the one below) are all I got.

There's a story behind the folly.  Robert Rochefort, the 1st Earl of Belvedere, took a warranted, if belated, dislike to his brother and built the folly so that it would block the view of the brother's house from his own.  (Even if my batteries died, the batteries belonging to the Belvedere estate didn't and the pictures taken with those came out quite nicely.  You can find them here.)

A walk by the banks of the Shannon.

 A shot of Athlone Cathedral in the distance.  I was trying to figure out how to use the zoom feature on the camea.  This wasn't it.

 This wasn't it either.  That white blob is actually a swan.

Now this is more like it.  Same distance, with the zoom feature working.

The weir on the Shannon at Athlone.  I'm told it isn't really visible from upriver and there were some fascinating boating accidents before they put in a, um,  well "fence" isn't the correct word but whatever it is, it keeps your boat from rocketing down the weir and dumping all and sundry into the Shannon.  There's a lock arrangement over on the other side that helps sailors avoid that bit of riparian excitement.

That swan again.  This time with the zoom lens.