It was 12noon, the mother-in-law had been here for a full day and a half so nobody could blame me for hitting the whiskey.
Thankfully I’ve got a brand new distillery down the road in one of my favourite spots here in Co. Wicklow, Powercourt Estate.
I’d heard all about what they were planning when I stayed over a year last Spring and am delighted to say that it is a fantastic addition to the hotel, the gardens, the centre… heck, everything,
There’s a tour for €20 which will let you in on the whole distilling process and I dare say that there will be whiskey at the end of it.
There’s also a fantastic and well-priced cafe too and a shop where you can buy the water of life and various whiskey-related products.
And the uisce bertha… well, I tried the Fercullen 14-year-old single malt (€92.95) which Niall told me was smoky. I’d say its not as peaty as Connemara or my own favourites the Islay whiskies and had a slight sweetness but it was certainly what the medical man ordered.
Before I developed my palate and got a few bob in my pocket I was wont to drink a Scotch blend Bell’s which was in every supermarket and off that you’d go into.
So I couldn’t pass up this opportunity to pull an imaginary rope on a very real 18th century outside the old Mill which is now the distillery.
A customer tries on a pair of shoes and tells the assistant they’re too tight. ‘Try them with the tongue out,’ suggests the assistant. ‘Thhhhey’re thtill thoo thight,’ rasps back the customer. Today’s the day for Holidays and Don’ts from your Travel Editor of the Year.
Some things were never meant to be finished… take The Scary One (please). She is always finding things that still need to be done to the house.
Word reaches me that Antoni Gaudi’s magnus opus, the Sagrada Família, first begun in 1882 but only a quarter completed by the time of his death in 1926, has hit another snag.
And just when they looked like getting over the line after Barcelona’s city authority granted La Sagrada Familia’s first building permit. I’m not even asking under what terms they built what’s already up.
Seventy per cent is done (so they had chipped away at it at some point since the Great Man died).
Eight of its proposed 18 spires have been completed and the plan is to have it all finished by 2026, the centenary of Gaudi’s death.
But I guess nobody counted on the 3,000 residents living in the nearby apartments and their objections.
Watching the cranes above the psychedelic spires while draining a jug of sangria recently I couldn’t help wondering whether Antoni had been on something.
And whether they shouldn’t just tear it down and start all over again.
I hope you’re having a good one. I won’t wish you Joyeux Quatorze Juillet, or Bonne Bastille, as the French don’t really do that in the way the Americans wish you Happy Fourth of July.
If you want to find out more French nuances then pop by the French Corner in Dublin where Alliance Francaise Dublin and the French Library with the French Embassy will be putting on free workshops and games and face painting for l’enfants.
From 11-5pm today. City Spectacular, Merrion Square, Dublin.
As I revealed in one of my random Did You Knows yesterday, the Battle of the Boyne was on July 1 and when converted to the Gregorian Calendar became the 12th of July when it should have been the 11th of July.
Of course we were more interested in commemorating another royal victory this week on the 11th.
The final piece of the Game of Thrones tapestry has been woven in at the Ulster Museum in Belfast to mark the end of the saga.
Before it gets taken to Bayeux where it will be exhibited from September to December.
The Ulster Museum is one of the best cultural and historical museums on this island. And it’s free. Visit it. http://www.nmni.com.
I’m heading up to Royal Portrush on Sunday for the final day of The Open Golf Championship.
The 12th of July… the day King William III’s triumphs are celebrated in Northern Ireland and among all peoples for whom his victory at the Battle of Boyne protected their values and traditions.
But how much do we really know about King Billy?
Well, Malahide Castle can reveal all.
Firstly that iconic image of King Billy on his white charger may be misleading.
He was really rather small, and asthmatic. Though probably not as small as this image is shown here… it’s bigger in the Museum of Orange Heritage in Belfast.
Our guide on our visit to the Castle pointed out that the painting in the dining room shows that the heroic figure on the horse is probably a general and not William as he is not wearing the royal garter.
Fourteen members of the Talbot family, who built the castle, died at the battle fighting for the Jacobites.
William would also have probably been further back from the battle.
And not on that horse. His was more likely to be brown as white would have made him more of an easy target. And he would more than likely have walked across the Boyne rather than ride across it.
And ouch, worst of all, we’ve missed the real date. That was July 1, 1690. Somebody made a mistake when they changed to the Gregorian Calendar in 1752 and with the new dates it is July 11.