What’s captured my Dad’s attention has been lost in the mists of time as has he and Dinky the Donegal dog.
But Shovlin’s Guest House is still there on the Portnoo beach.
And my Mum, my Auntie and myself were back there a few years ago. And, yes, I needed my drink that night.
Donegal www.govisitdonegal.com, my Mum’s heartland, was where my Dad looked most relaxed, away from the phone and his work.
Donegal for ever
So, it’s good to know that he chose to spend eternity up near Ballybofey… with my Mum’s family.
Being a late child and having formed a bond with my Irish cousins my parents farmed me over there for summer holidays when I was 12.
So my holiday memories consisted mainly of playing on the beach while they sunbathed.
But there were vacations abroad, usually alternating years with going to see my grandparents in Donegal.
One year the family split with my brother staying home with my Dad and me, my Mum and my other brother going to Ibiza http://ibiza.travel/en/.
My mum must have sold it to my Dad because we went back as a full family where waiter Pepe made a fuss of me.
And where I got to have a half of glass of red wine with my dinner.
I obviously took to the taste.
The Balearic Islands were the go-to package holiday destination for Seventies families.
And we broadened our horizons to take in the Balearics’ second biggest island, Menorca http://www.menorca.es/portal.aspx?IDIOMA=3.
Where I got to have wine poured into my mouth from a porron out on a boat trip… a bit of a theme going here.
My early Bakearic Adventures has instilled a love of those islands in me, and I never pass up the opportunity to visit.
The last occasion being Majorca, with work on a stop-off from a cruise ship https://www.google.ie/amp/s/jimmurtytraveltraveltravel.com/2020/01/21/smooth-sailing-around-the-western-med/amp/ and on a family holiday.
It wasn’t always plain sailing though and our trip to Portugal almost didn’t happen.
When we got to the airport and we found out that Dad’s passport had expired.
Gentler days then, and I don’t know how, but he managed to get it renewed and we got on the flight.
I’m not judging you Dad over our passport with my details in it. I’ve had more than my fair share of scrapes in airports myself.
I guess the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, JAMES G.