Time to go home. The weather hasn’t been great – but nobody goes to Donegal for the weather. The social pace has been frenetic and most of the books are unread. We finished with a preaching trip to Riverstown on the far side of Sligo where Arthur, one of my former colleagues, is the Rector – small congregations but lots of children. So there’s promise for the future. The journey there interweaves all sorts of strands of Irish history – the Spanish Armada, Yeats, Lissadell, the Gore-Boothes and Countess Markiewicz. Both Alison and I carry childhood memories of the lovely little village of Mullaghmore overlooked by Classiebawn Castle, home of Lord Mountbatten. It’s impossible to go there now without remembering the IRA attack which killed him in 1979 – a day with one of the highest losses of life in the Troubles both there and in Warrenpoint.
And then its time to clear up. It will be a while until we’re back for more than a fleeting visit. We knew somebody who was reputed to comb the shag pile carpet towards the door as he left – wooden floors make that unnecessary at Blogstead Na Mara. But a quick salvo of systemic weed killer on the paving and gravel may keep the growth at bay for a while.