It feels a bit dull to say that, yet again, the last few weeks have been very hectic… but they have. I had six end of BA or MA degree recitals in NUIM (Maynooth university) to practice for, rehearse and get through. I also had my own FLCM exam. The London College of Music (LCM) is one of the main examining boards in the British Isles. They provide a number of different standard performance diplomas. The Fellowship diploma (the F bit) is the highest standard of diploma you can do and is the equivalent of a postgraduate diploma. I did mine in piano accompaniment because it will make me eligible to apply for more third-level work next year, without having to wait to graduate from my masters. Happily, all of my students did very well in their exams – some were truly exceptional – and I passed my own exam, too. So you know what that means: summer holidays!
Alb had Friday off so on Thursday, we took off for Cork. We found a cheap hotel on Lidl breaks. It’s been really fantastic – big, comfortable room; broad, varied breakfast and superb service (if you’re interested, it’s the Carrigaline Court Hotel. It’s not near anything but it’s only about a ten minute drive from the city if that’s where you want to go. It’s also beside the bus stop if you want to go that way, too). Anyway, Friday wasn’t so good weather-wise so I hit up the shops and while I was at it, picked up some 4-ply wool in a lovely blue-grey for an Austin hoodie. The afternoon brightened up considerably and we headed out for Kinsale. I’d been a few years ago with my mum and I’m happy to say that it exceeded my memories upon return.
Kinsale is a small, colourful, vibrant town with a busy harbour. We had a great time walking around in the sun and taking photos. It was a perfect day.
Today, we headed in the other direction to Youghal. Like Kinsale, it too has a busy harbour. However, the town is more spread out and is built into the steep moutain beside the sea. It is a very old town that built up in medieval times thanks to rich trade from the continent and much of the town still reflects its origin. This is the clock tower.
…and the lighthouse at the other end of the town.
We walked up to the old town walls and St. Coleman’s church. It was built in the 13th century and can boast its continuous use since. It was impressive but next to impossible to photograph, unfortunately.
An ice-cream in the sun and onwards then to Cobh, another harbour village. Cobh was the last port of call for the Titanic and is still a busy port for ferries to France and fishermen. It is unusual, though, for the truly gigantic cathedral looming down above the village. This is a tiny portion of it.
Like Youghal, much of the town is cut into the mountain with very steep streets. It is definitely worth the climb up to the cathedral for the wonderful views across the bay. The sun was strong today and the sky was quite grey and hazy so my photos aren’t very interesting-looking. I am sure Alb will come up with something a bit better soon enough!
Tomorrow we hope to strike out for St. Finbar’s hut before heading home. I have a few things lined up for the summer but mostly I plan to stay at home in my sweatpants and catch up with you guys. You know the Tour de Fleece (ravelry link) is starting soon? And I don’t know about you, but I am knitting away to the World Cup. Let’s catch up again soon!