Elf at Newgrange

So this is our first driving holiday with me as the driver…dum dum duuuummm!  So we hire a car from Dublin airport which is relatively inexpensive and easy to arrange.  We drive out to Co. Meath from Dublin which is an easy hour drive and we arrive in Slane which has a fabulous farm food shop, Hugo’s Farm Food Shop…very yum. There is a big castle in Slane which we do not visit, but instead we continue on a bit further to Newgrange.

The only access to Newgrange and the other Neolithic sites is through the visitor centre.  When you arrive your option you have several options, we choose just to visit Newgrange.  The ticket cost includes the visitor centre and the bus to the site as well as the admission to the site.  Newgrange admission is 7 euros which I think is great value.

Newgrange itself is pretty spectacular.  Its imposing and gets even more impressive the closer you get to it.  No one knows what the site was used for, perhaps a temple, perhaps burial site…What we do know is that the site is older that the pyramids and and made up of materials from all across Ireland.

Part of the site visit is the inclusion of a guide who is well informed and this makes all the difference, especially when we get the opportunity to go into the internal passage. Once you squeeze your way in (not great if you suffer from claustrophobia) and reach the chamber at the end, you really get a sense of the magic of the place.  The inside is carefully constructed and watertight.  the most magical moment comes when the guide demonstrates what the passage of light at the winter solstice would look like.  The the lightbox from the front entrance travels all the way through and touches our feet before plunging us back into darkness.


….just magical.

Next stop we continue our drive to lush countryside and arrive in Termonfeckin in Co. Louth.  Termonfeckin is a little and pretty village, conveniently located as a base for our next couple of days.  There is not much in the way of food options in Termonfeckin its self, except the Triple House Restaurant which was recommended several times during our stay…alas it books out well in advance and we were not able to try it.  Do book a head and let us know what you think.



Come away

“The host is rushing ‘twixt day and night,
And where is there hope or deed as fair?
Caoilte tossing his burning hair,
And Niamh calling Away, come away.”

– W. B. Yeats

Elf’s afternoon in Dublin

It has already been a week since our adventure to Ireland began. I cannot begin to describe what a wonderful place Ireland is. So friendly and so lush.

We start in Dublin with our solitary half a day to explore before we head off to the country side. So where to start? With a free walking tour of course. Everyone that knows us, knows we love a free walking tour. Just to explain a little about the idea…it’s not free. You can find this idea all of the world, sometimes run by independent companies or individuals and sometimes a company charges a marketing fee to the freelance tour guide. In all cases it is a pay what you think situation. If you think the tour is great, you pay up more, if it’s okay, maybe a bit less if you hate it…perhaps you slide off half way though.

So we joined up with a free walking tour and explored the city. We head through the streets, stopping to listen to lots of history and stories. The TempleIMAG3551 Bar area is interesting in that it is named after a sand bar that used to run through the area and the Temple family who helped to develop the area. It is now a theatrical and nightlife centre of Dublin.

Another highlight is the Dublin Castle where there has been a building since 1200s! The Record Tower is the only surviving part of the medieval castle and is at the heart of the story of Red Hugh which is well worth looking into if you don’t know it already.

The Gardens behind the Castle are a beautiful kept secret and I recommend having a look. It is peaceful and surprising to find.

Next we head to Trinity College where apparently you can sit your exams with your sword by your side.

We finish up in the early evening and wander back towards our hotel, stopping of course for a Guinness on the way. For dinner we find a pub close to us that is very popular and we share a table so that we can eat some of the best stew I have ever had!

And that’s all the time we have for Dublin this trip as the next morning we are up early and in the car to head off to Co. Meath.


Dublin we’re coming

So here is a bit of James Joyce in anticipation.


“I am tomorrow, or some future day, what I establish today.

I am today what I established yesterday or some previous day.”


– James Joyce



“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.”

John Donne

New Elfdom

There are many different adventures in life. Some of them are exciting, some are inspirational, some we embark upon because something is missing from our lives, some because there is too much of something in our lives.

Our newest adventures has been moving home.  Having been in our Clapham flat for 4 years (possibly one of my longest addresses) we have decided to move on.  Not far, but on to a new area of London (I know! Weird right!) and a new house.  We’ve a garden and everything now!  It has been a big change and a bigger move than we had anticipated.

For one thing, our box labeling game, it turns out was very poor. “Kitchen” is not sufficient.  Also our packing skills…whilst very good in terms of space saving was fabulous it was creative in the combinations of items we deemed sensible to pack together at the time.

In any case, we are in.  We’ve not enough storage outside the now huge number of cardboard boxes that we are surreptitiously trying to sneak out with the recycling.




Mowgli’s moving must haves:

  1. Blanket in full access at all times.
  2. Food at normal times.
  3. Lots of cuddles and love on demand.
  4. Explore all the new walks together.

Berlin Love

“Berlin was charismatic in the roguish way of a love… It was a lover who was a little dangerous in ways that didn’t always show, keeping you a bit on edge, a bit in love and endlessly forgiving because he made her feel that she was exactly where she was meant to be… ”

– Whitney Otto, Eight Girls Taking Pictures.