My old school buddy Fiona Egan from Sasta Fitness brought me back to my roots with a visit to my family’s old pub; The Cosy Inn, in Ballyfarnon, County Roscommon. That’s Fiona in the brown dress in the picture, and that’s me in the purple balero – we were at my 8th birthday party in the garden at the back of the pub. I had lived in London until shortly before that photo was taken, and I was getting used to a new town, a new country, and a whole new bunch of friends. It was a big adventure and for the most part, a very happy one.
The Cosy Inn is no longer a pub, but thanks to the current owners, and Fiona’s encouragement, I got a chance to revisit the old days. It felt lovely to look around and remember my early childhood. My bedroom with the deep window where I could shout down to my mates, and the gorgeous lake on the edge of the town; where I learned how to ride my bike. We even had a meal in Kilronan Castle, which was a ruin when I ran along the empty broken walls, through cow pats and nettles over 40 years ago!
I remember playing in the river, catching tiny fish with a net made from my mum’s curtains (oops) and keeping them in a jam-jar (sorry fish), my friend’s pony Merrylegs, and lying in the grass and yellow gorse under the Arigna Mountains with a pencil and a copybook; writing poems under blue skies and fluffy clouds. I can hear the insects buzzing in the warm sun and smell the flowers and the dampness in the ground beneath me. No wonder I still love the great outdoors 😀