Mary Sheehan Coming Home To Cook

July 8, 2008

Mayo

Filed under: on the road — admin @ 5:24 am

Passing the magnificent Kylemore Abbey, traveling over the bog roads out of “Connie” I thought of my trip last September with my friend Judy B from NJ. We were working our way up to Donegal and traveled this route.  We spent a wonderful few hours at the Abbey and were impressed by the walled garden which was recently uncovered -literally – it was completely overgrown and is now being restored  with original Victorian plants.  Definetly worth a visit if you’re in this part of the world.  I passed the Fjord in Leenane where the landscape opens up to gentle meadows full of grazing sheep. It seems that around every corner in Ireland there’s different scenery. From the wild landscape of Connemara the road took me  to the majestic mountains of Mayo and the very civilized “tidy town” of Westport. I visited here last year on my way to the National Museum of Rural Life in Castlebar which is the only national museum outside of Dublin. Another must see as it covers every aspect of the harsh Irish rural life from 1850-1950 housed in a  mansion overlooking the beautiful Turlough Lake.                                                                              Westport is a pretty town on Clew Bay with a canal running through the streets, lots of flowers in the town square and a busy feel to it.  I stopped in at the Harvest Moon Health Store on Bridge St.   As I was speaking with the owner, Angela, a customer from Listowel, Kerry asked to look at the book and then asked if she could buy it. Michelle O’Donnell and her family are on vacation in Mayo and we had a nice chat about Kerry (I directed her to my Grandparents love story, which I included in the book, and which started in Dingle,Kerry) and I let her know that the book is for sale in Listowel at Horan’s Health Foods and Wolfe’s Bookshop. Harvest Moon is a well stocked shop and Angela took a supply of Coming Home To Cook. Ylang Ylang www.ylangylanghealthstore.com  where you can shop online, is on James St. and Anne Marie O’Malley was happy to take a supply of books and once again I heard, “what a beautiful book.”  Over to Seamus Duffy’s Bookshop on Bridge St. This is a big shop with a friendly staff and Seamus bought a supply of books outright. Dymphna at McLoughlin’s Bookshop on Shop St. took the books and directed me to their other store in Castlebar. So, off I went.    The sun was still shining as I arrived in Castlebar. Suddenly it felt like summer. Hot and sunny with a light breeze. Perfect! McLoughlin’s on Hopkin’s Road is a huge bookstore that was packed with parents and kids buying next year’s school books and summer reading. I met Blatnaid McLoughlin, who owns the shops with her husband who’s family is from Clare. We had a nice chat about the Burren and she happily took the books. Katherine Brennan at Castle Bookshop on Castle St. took 10 books and congratulated me for “a beautiful book and a job well done.” Thank you, Katherine.  As it was getting late I decided Ballina would be the last stop before heading to Sligo.  Ballina is a small village and I knew from my directory of health food stores that Harvest Thyme at Molloys was my destination. In Ireland, there are many pharmacies that also have a health food section. I was greeted by Sue and Nikki who were gracious and efficient in their blue uniforms. They loved the book, suggested it be sold rom the front counter (!) and directed me to their other stores in Mayo and Roscommon. I strolled down the street to Keohane’s and met Kathleen Keohane who directed me to their other store in Sligo where her husband, Michael would buy the book. She was curious as to my traveling around with the book, we talked for a while and she was apologetic that she couldn’t put me up for the night but she was going to be out playing bridge. Now, that’s Irish hospitality!  Up Mayo!

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