Ireland, Ring, South West Cork.

Ireland, Ring, South West Cork.

Ireland, and a quiet, quite delightful little Ring.

A treasure in South West Cork.

Ireland, wherever you go the terrible beauty of it. Scenic and picturesque, a quiet, quite delightful Ring in South west Cork.

When I consider all the trials that I and my family have been through.

Albert Einstein once said, ” In order to be an immaculate member of a flock of sheep, one must above all be a sheep oneself.”

Then again Friedrich Nietzsche said, ” Talking much about oneself can also be a means to conceal oneself.”

Now I am more confused than I ever have been before, but the moral of the story is between those two quotes somewhere. This is just going to be a short epistle of our time here in the Emerald Isle and where we ended up and is largely due, in my opinion, to having an ability ( however small ) to think for oneself and not follow the crowd. It lead us to;‘ A quiet, quite delightful little Ring.’

I cherish your opinion.

My family and I were a farming family who lost everything in Mugabe‘s infamous land grab. I’m not going to dwell on that except to say, that we had already done enough in our lives to be considered reasonably successful people. But now we had to start again from the bottom in a new country and culture which by and large was foreign to us and with next to no money. However because of my experiences, I considered myself to have some experience of how money works.

We had no option but to rent housing,( we lived in three different ones ) up until such time as we established ourselves despite the fact that I considered this throwing money against the wind. However through all this it was our quest to have something which was ours again. Another farm was just not economically possible. That left a house and we looked at thousands while ‘ working away ‘ as the Irish say. In my opinion the asking prices were ludicrous.

My argument was, ” look it costs so much per square foot to build a house,” and I refused to follow the argument of the boom at that time. Sure I understand that certain areas have a higher value but that doesn’t mean in those areas, it cost more per square foot to build the house. In other words a three bed 900 square foot terraced house ( in town ) is worth more than a 2500 square foot four bed detached house three miles out.That’s nonsense. No one would listen to me and my wife was going ” nuts ” not having her own place. Then one day she drove to Ring and chatted to a builder who was knocking up a couple of houses.

Everyone from lawyers to estate agents told us we were nuts to even contemplate that mess. However that was what I was relying on, it WAS a mess and that told me we might be able to drive a bargain and the longer it stayed a mess and put people off the happier I was. Moreover the mess as such, I knew that I could personally clean up in two days with a front end loader and we got the house. Everything is still a mess five years later but I still think I made a wise move. Unfortunately the recession has put a spoke in my wheel. I will leave it to you.

The Ring signpost

Coming from Cork

Wherever you are from and if perchance you happen to want to visit South West Cork, Ireland, there is no way around it. You have to take the N71 route out of Cork. Moreover it is a lovely drive with some spectacular scenery, lovely houses, rivers and fields and beautiful trees. Eventually, you will come to a town called Bandon, known as the gateway to South West Cork. You are about twenty minutes away from where we are. As you approach a lovely little town called Clonakilty, you will come across a roundabout ( circle ) and will see this sign. It is the first roundabout you come to and one cannot miss it.Follow that left for about three miles along a beautiful meandering drive and there one will find Ring. Then we can go for a walk.

You are now in Ring, Ireland.

At the Quay.

I’ll start on this walk with me at the quay at Ring, Ireland, and take you on a short stroll from there leading back to my house. Unfortunately the tide is out at the moment. Never fear it comes in as always. But so far only at night so I am waiting for the summer months where the sunlight is longer so I can get those pictures as well. The wheels of justice, turn exceeding slow. Just trying to give one an impression and I’ve walked to the end of the quay, turned around and taken another pic. It shows the channel of water still left at low tide which some smaller vessels can manipulate and if you follow the road on the right it will lead you back to Clonakilty.At low tide like this on the sands one can find a variety of birdlife, so make sure you bring your camera and a pair of binoculars. You might even bring a couple of fishing rods as there is plenty to catch here.Here is a great guide to fishing in South West CorkDon’t forget to come and join in the fun at the Ring fishing festival. Prizes galore, a superb setting, barbecues of the caught fish ( mackerel is so tasty ) dancing, singing, great pubs and a wonderful atmosphere. Coming soon.

Looking East

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I have not concentrated on the boats here at the moment as they are grounded in the sand. Just trying to get a shot of that reddish looking house. You might not believe it, but it’s a bar ( blesses himself quickly ) which has been revamped since I first moved here. It is now also a restaurant which is fast making a name for itself for being a dab hand at fish recipes. Wonderful location in the peace and quiet. God bless the Irish but it is one of three pubs in this small setting. I’m trying to show you but it takes a bit of time. Please bear with.
Tides is in and a photo gallery showing the scene in Ireland around Ring.

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Deasys bar and restaurant

Well here we are at the the restaurant come bar. The small wooden deck outside is a kind provision by management for smokers who are no longer allowed to smoke in public places, ‘God save us.’ Not only will governments go bust without the smokers but so will publicans. The irony of all this is that when it is a grand day in summer and all, non smokers like to sit here as well. Quite happily apparently.
Hard by Deasys bar is a very sharp corner turning left or right whichever direction you might be heading. I am turning left heading home and it is the scene of many a car crash. The Irish consider it their fundamental right to use a solid white line as a navigational guide, usually aligned with the middle of the bonnet ( for steering purposes ) and despite having the highest accident rate in Europe, see no reason to change this. Exercise extreme caution when approaching any bend. Hug your side of the road and look out for anyone on a bike. Oh silly me, I forget they also like to pedal in the middle of the road. Also watch out for pedestrians, usually Mammies taking babies or doggies for walkies.

Old Irish architecture in Ireland.

Swans  in Ring by the old ruin, tides in.

Swans in Ring by the old ruin, tides in.

No one I have spoken to in my time here has been able to fill me in on the origins of this great building. It appears that it is lost in antiquity. Personally I love old things like this and believe it adds a lovely quaint touch to the area where I live. It also brings back forcibly why the Irish are known as such great builders. It is in their bloodstream as far as I am concerned. In today’s world I have seen first hand evidence of this and they are the greatest plasterers I have ever come across. I always love watching people who are good at what they are doing, however menial.

A publicans dream, the old ruin.

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As seen from the other side. If you notice the boat in summer it will be full of flowers as the villagers prepare for the tidy towns competition. Two years ago we won our category in all Ireland. Which reminds me, in these photo’s there is no evidence of litter and we have haven’t even started yet to tidy up. It’s another small thing to be proud of.Once again I apologize because the tide is out and at this time of the year it only comes in late at night. These are my pictures and I am just starting and my idea is actually to show everybody the two different scenes, between high tide and low tide and the difference that can make to the beauty of the place.

The next two pubs Kitty Mac’s and Barry’s bar.

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Between the ruin and the first bar here known as Kitty Macs is about 50 meters Then between that and Barry’s bar is about ten metres. They are both quite delightful pubs with very different atmospheres. In the former, the younger generation hang out and there is television and a pool table and music is on hand from the CD players and a jukebox.In the later is more an old Irish bar, with a more elderly clientele and no TV and other accouterments. Talk is considered what you do. Sometimes a young lass might appear and sing some old rebel songs and creates a lovely atmosphere. Cork is not known as the rebel county for nothing you know. Oh Ireland and its terrible history.

Barry’s Bar, in Ring, Ireland.

Barry's Bar.

Barry’s Bar.

This is the bar that I mostly frequent now. There are a couple of reasons for this. The first most important part, is that I always used to go to the pub next door but nobody ever talked to me there. It is a recurring theme with me here and if by chance somebody does talk to me, then I do not have a clue what they are talking about. I just cannot lip read or understand the Irish in rural areas bar one or two. Furthermore, with my implant it has a tendency to pick up whatever is loudest and drown out anything else. So once a crowd builds up or a CD or jukebox is turned on that’s all I can hear and have to revert back to lipreading. Unfortunately, subconsciously one hears more than one realizes with the implant and subsequently my lipreading has taken a real dive. I am nowhere near as good as I was prior to the implant.The other part is that it’s best to get to know me before going into a pub situation. It then makes it easier to cope in such a situation. However in my time here, I went to work in the dark and came home in the dark and nary a person did I see. The Irish life in general revolves around the pub and that’s where they meet, rather than at home.Then one day my next door neighbour took me into this bar and I was hooked. Depending on what time, it is generally quiet and subsequently it is easier for me to talk. However the owner is a lovely lady and I can follow her so often go down for a pint and a talk before more people come in. Her name is Kitty believe it or not and she has been in the pub for a long time. On the surrounding grounds they used to have a small dairy farm but the husband gave it up years ago. One couldn’t find two nicer people and sadly the rural pub is declining because of stringent drink and drive laws. Luckily many people are in walking distance of this bar. I have not been down there for months lately due to economic times but if ever one is near Ring it is a must visit. Just good old fashioned country charm.
Kitty Barry serving in her Barry’s Bar.

The sign at the T junction heading towards South Ring.

Well, well, well, here we are at the junction between the two pubs. I live just up the road heading North, however this is a walk with me and I just want to head South until we arrive at the cul de sac which heads into the sea.It’s just to show you the different angles around the bay and because I wish it so. I’m leading up to something but that remains a secret for the time being. Come on and walk it’s not that far and it’s fun trying to show you this.There are some holiday homes further down and another quay ( private ) for some shrimp fishermen and then back home at long last.

Heading towards South Ring.

Tides out

Tides out

I trust this gives you an idea of where we are standing at the moment. If you look between the two bars, at the back in the distance. That’s my house and that is the secret. It is time to move on now as I have shot my bolt in Ireland and not being able to find any work and relying on my wife to bear the brunt of keeping up with the mortgage and all our needs is just more than any man can bear.We are nearly done with our kids now, Dagny has her degree, Michael writes his finals in June which just leaves Siobhan to go onto College.I mentioned earlier in the introduction that the recession has put a spoke in my wheel because just as it is time to move on house prices have bombed. Never mind, I have been through a lot of worse things in my life and no doubt I will get through this as well.I digress come on and walk although I do like to chat a bit if I get the chance. Those walking with me let out a long relieved sigh and mentally say, ” I never knew the deaf were so hard to keep quiet.” Essentially then, I first penned this piece on Ireland and Ring as we were trying to sell our house and move to Australia. Unfortunately my wife’s job fell through there and the boom went bust and we couldn’t get the price we wanted. Such is life, so we are here forever then, and it’s not the end

The tide is out in Ring, Ireland.

My what a difference it makes in the change of the scenery?

Walking South and the hills of Inchydoney.

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Over in the distance one can just see a couple of houses on the hill. We rented one from a vet I met on the farm and became friendly with. Actually the very first house we rented in Clonakilty was one of his as well. The problem came in, in that we managed to get our household furnishings out of Zimbabwe. However little did we realise that most households here come furnished as it is a holiday town. The storage in Dublin was costing a bomb and the vet told me that he had a big house in Inchydoney and perhaps there was enough room there to store our furniture. That’s what happened and we are forever grateful to him

Almost there

A long walk

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Almost there and it has been a long walk. We have returned from the cul de sac, reached the T junction again between the two pubs, turned right and are heading North. These are a few council houses about a 80 metre walk from Kitty Barry’s and my house is just around the corner

The sign at the fourway cross

Irish signposts

Believe it or not this sign was like this during the boom years and it is like this during the bust years. My house is about 20 metres left of this.None of the signs point in the right direction even the one lying on the ground doesn’t. However in rural Ireland this is a time honoured ploy. I believe to confuse the British. Moreover since then it has confused most tourists as well. Never fear that is the plan as it can get lonely out here or was so in the past. So this is a quaint old Irish ploy to get people to stop and talk with them, sometimes known as great ‘ craic ‘ (Irish for talk ).Moreover, the funniest thing of all, after exhausting the ‘ craic ‘ is to then send them ( tourists ) in the wrong direction. What a gas hey!Don’t be concerned, it will not harm you, it’s just their way of making sure you see more of the countryside. Eventually you will come across another signpost and history will repeat itself. You might have done a couple of miles more, but that’s all and you will reach your destination ( blesses himself ) eventually.

Drumrolls

The house

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No doubt when everybody sees this they will say so what is all the fuss about. However when one has lost eveything and has to start all over again at age 45. Perhaps then one can understand that as a family we were so proud of this house. We have done a lot to it since we first got it.

The mess

Now houses

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The original mess of boulders, bricks, dried cement etc. is now these new houses which are still being worked upon. You see the builder concentrates on farm structures which are his core business and this is just an agreeable sideline.When we first came here there were just three houses, then one was build next door and these are the one’s left and then that is it.

A pot-pourri of scenes in and around Ring, Ireland.

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About spookmoor

I'm a 61 year old happily married man with three grown up children. I lost all my hearing as an eighteen year old whilst doing National Service and then had a Cochlear Ear Implant twenty years later. I love trying to explain these things to people and bits about my life. I never thought so at the time, but it was the best thing that ever happened to me. Thus one gets Random ramblings from a man who has seen a lot with a touch of humour underlying all.
This entry was posted in Culture & Society, Family and Relationships, Gardening and home, Relationships & Family, Travel, Travel & Places, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Ireland, Ring, South West Cork.

  1. joanfrankham says:

    I enjoyed your guided tour, haven’t been to Ring, even though we often take a drive to west cork, as I live near the airport. I love all your Zim stories, as I lived in Harare around that time also, its a small world.

  2. Tess Bold says:

    I will await your next walk, when the tide is in, with anticipation..Spook the one subject I loved reading about, as a young girl, was about the Irish they have a history wrought with famine and conflict….yet what a beautiful place….

    • spookmoor says:

      It sure is beautiful Tess and steeped in History. Once again thank you for your visit and lovely comment. I’m beginning to appreciate it more and more with each passing day.

  3. John Gow says:

    What an enjoyable tour of Ring..Love your house..Well done you and your family..

  4. Maggi says:

    I have just put Ireland on my bucket list, thanks to you Spook. My dad ran a 12 000 acre cattle ranch years ago, right next door to Ngezi National Park, and the bastards set it alight on the perimeter. The Ngezi River was our saving grace in saving many head of cattle that year. It left him a broken man, and to this day even though retired now, I do not think he ever got over it. Sorry this is totally out of context with what you have in fact written except the first paragraph – now back to your writing and what you have shared with us, thank you it is beautiful and so true as written above, it has been a struggle, yet at the same time what an experience life is and has thrown at us.

  5. Terry says:

    This is wonderful I been to cork my mate lives there and I enjoyed getting the train from Dublin to Cork

    • spookmoor says:

      Grand, and next time come and visit us down here. We are only a fifty minute drive from Cork and lots of buses on the route if you cannot get anyone to pick you up. You will not regret it.

  6. msasa13 says:

    Well, Spook, I had a nice stroll around Ring, up to your house which is most impressive. Love the cars too! Then past the two bars and the ruin. Lovely village. You should be proud of what you have achieved. Ireland is a lovely place, but I am eternally grateful that Dad moved us to Rhodesia. Nothing wrong with my early childhood outside Dublin, quite privileged actually, but to grow up there would have seriously strangled my soul. However going back occasionally is fun!

    The struggle to get established will strike a chord with most folks who left. Six suitcases, two little girls and £360. Chattels to follow but no furniture. But we got there, and have just finished with the mortgage! Hard at times, but we now have all three children (son came later with his wife and kids) living nearby so it was really worth it. What memories you have stirred! Thanks for the tour and the ‘crack’ !

  7. frankiekay says:

    The Irish side of my family moved to India…like about 300 years ago. They sort of kept up with ‘back home’ and my grandfather went to Blackrock College, and later University College – he left India at 14 years of age, never went back and never saw his parents again…got mixed up in 1921 and departed for Scotland until things cooled down..met my gran…shooting with some friends at a shooting break nearby, what…her father had a fit…only daughter and all!! My dad went to visit Ireland, and a few of my siblings…I’ve never gone cos it’ll mean I have to go to Pomm…don’t want to do that…I’m too rude and abrupt…I love your pics of Ireland – I still feel a pull although maybe not as much as India…
    If you do choose to write a book, I can’t recommend yWriter enough…its free. If I hadn’t downloaded it, I would have stopped writing – esp with the way I write.

    • spookmoor says:

      Actually that is exactly what I am trying to do which is why I have a blog as it’s the only way I know how to get things down. Delighted with your visit and comment.

  8. sunsettree says:

    Spook, Nev & I take one day at a time here in Oz even though our hearts belong to Africa…however our adult kids have done well and for this we are grateful but the struggle can sometimes be overpowering and Nev will always mourn the loss of his farm 🙂 we both feel you should be writing books with such incredible talent xx

    • spookmoor says:

      Such a lovely thing to say again. In a way I’m trying but the stories have to be put down somewhere and being educated at the old ‘College of Knowledge’ this is the only way I know how? The other thing to remember is that I’m trying to find a new format so any book can be seen as above instead of the traditional format?

  9. sunsettree says:

    Thank you for sharing the walk with us and the talent you display in your writing is brilliant…..your life since leaving Zim reflects on so many of us and somehow Instills a little calm knowing we are not alone in the struggle to make it out there.

    • spookmoor says:

      That is a lovely thing to say sunsettree and thank you, and for your visit as well. I think it has been a struggle for all of us, the thing is to just try and do your best.

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