Thursday Doors – Cavan

In between tiling the bathroom and hand washing clothes (no electrical supply for the washing machine, yet) I managed to get into Cavan town and snap a few Thursday Doors.


Actually, Mr. R. had an appointment with his dentist, in this lovely old building with the red door, so I walked around town while he was in there. Close by the dental practice is another property with a red door.


There are some many well preserved old buildings in this town, I’ll be taking shots of doors for the next year and still not run out of new finds. Right next to this one stands an old church or presbytery that I think has been converted to a family home.


However, the main attraction in this week’s post has to be this building:


It’s the old Town Hall, which was home to Cavan’s Urban District Council from around 1908 to 2014 and is now a contemporary arts center. *

It’s lovely from every aspect but look at that door, it certainly screams art.


As for the windows . . .


. . . somebody likes blue.

‘This sandstone hall was built from 1907 to 1910 and was erected by William Ballinagh and Sons. The cost was £2,688.  The Architect was William Scott and the site was donated by Lord Farnham.  It was officially opened on 19th January 1910. The Town Hall housed offices of Cavan Town Council and was also used over the years as a Dancehall, Theatre, Cinema, Meeting Venue and Bingo Hall’ ** 

I hope you enjoyed these lovely old buildings this week. Thanks for stopping by and for more Thursday Doors, why not hop on over to Norm’s blog to see an international selection.



Source *

Source **



Posted in Art, Historical buildings, Ireland, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , , | 40 Comments

The Latest Book

Front_cover_book7 -JPG

At last, the seventh book in the series is finally ready to be unleashed on the public. I had some help designing the cover and finding props to use as a setting – thank you Rob and Megan. These were the images we came up with:

I decided to go with the least cluttered one. I used a lock of my late father’s hair, as it is very relevant to the story line and I’ve also dedicated the book to him. The digital version is now up on Amazon as a pre-order and the print one will be available along with the ebook by early June. To those who have been waiting patiently for this one, please accept my apologies for such a long gap between books.

Posted in authors, book publishing., books, History | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

Thursday Doors


I just couldn’t resist taking some photos of this wee cottage for Thursday Doors. It’s near where we parked our car on our last visit to Killykeen Forest Park in Cavan (featured in last week’s post).


Nature is slowly reclaiming the space, as you can see from the image. I wonder where the descendants are now, of the people who originally lived there. I peeked inside the door but it was too dark to see anything clearly and I wasn’t adventurous enough to brave the creepy crawlies I knew would be lurking within, ready to pounce on me, at any moment. I could feel their eyes staring at me through the darkness – okay, so I’m exaggerating slightly, it’s the writer in me coming out.


The house we are living in now, and still renovating, wasn’t quite as bad as this one but it was getting there. You might have seen my previous images of it, with a curtain of ivy covering the back door and growing into the house through the window frames.

Eventually, our wee house would have ended up looking like this one:


It’s a shame, because it would make a lovely home, in such a beautiful setting. On second thoughts, it’s possible a herd of cattle might frequently pass by the front door. That would be a bit too close for comfort – for me anyway.


Thanks so much for taking the time to visit. If you would like to see a plethora of international Thursday Doors, carry on over to Norm’s blog, where you’ll find a blue link to them at the end of his post.

Posted in castles and ruins, Ireland, nature, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel, wild plants | Tagged , , , | 47 Comments

Thursday Doors


I know, it’s Friday and I’m posting Thursday Doors. It might even be Saturday in your part of the world, by now. I blame the clock going forward, we should stop doing that, even the dog finds it annoying. The building you can see in the distance seems to be a public facility of some sort but you have to agree it’s in a beautiful setting. There are some lovely walking trails here in Killykeen Forest Park, about a ten minute drive from our house.


At this time of year, there are lots of these little beauties all over the place, and wild garlic everywhere, too. The smell is wonderful but it makes me hungry.


The windows are fake but the doors are real. At first, I assumed this was an old toilet block, as it’s close to a picnic area, but there are a lot of fireplaces inside, judging by the amount of chimneys (I couldn’t get in, as the doors were locked). Then I thought it might be a disused schoolhouse but it’s in the middle of the forest, well away from any houses. Maybe it’s an old building converted to a toilet block but it’s only open after Easter, when there should be a lot of picnickers about. No doubt my curiosity will be satisfied at some point in time.

The whole building is decorated with large pebbles and around the fake windows you can see an attempt at some sort of design. The pillars are interesting, they’re made of tree trunks. I’ve tried to find out more about it but with no luck.


It would make a lovely holiday home as the view is amazing. Such a fabulous place to have a picnic. I can’t wait till the summer arrives, I hope it comes on a weekend, as we say here in Ireland – that tells you a lot about the length of our ‘warmest’ season, doesn’t it? Joking aside, after such a cold, snowy, winter, we are all hoping for a long, hot summer. Thanks for stopping by and for more Thursday Doors from all over the world, have a look at Norm’s blog, then click the blue ‘frog’ link at the end of his post.

Posted in environment, Ireland, nature, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel, wild plants | Tagged , , , | 34 Comments

Running Out of Space is Free Today!

For all you SF lovers……………..


No… you don’t have to go on a bread and water diet to afford the princely sum of 99 cents or 99p – you can keep your hard-earned cash AND acquire a bit of space opera goodness in your life, as Running Out of Space, Book 1 of the Sunblinded trilogy is free today.

The blurb…

Lizzy Wright has yearned to serve on the space merchant ship Shooting Star for as long as she can remember – until one rash act changes everything…

Lizzy and her friends weren’t looking for trouble – all they’d wanted was to prove that fertile English girls could handle themselves when on shore leave without being accompanied by a sour-faced chaperone and armed guard. Looking back, maybe taking a jaunt off-limits on Space Station Hawking wasn’t the best idea – but no one could have foreseen the outcome. Or that the consequences of that…

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Thursday Doors

I’ve been a bit hit and miss with my posts lately and with getting out of the house to capture some new Thursday Doors but I still have a few beauties from my last trip to Blackrock that I’d like to share with you.


Danny Hughes & Son on Main Street in Blackrock is where my daughter bought her electric guitar. The shop is home to Beat It Music and sells vintage, second-hand and new musical instruments and equipment. It even has a music school on the first floor. In the past, it was a seaside shop, selling buckets and spades, tourist souvenirs, religious items and ice cream. My grandparents had a similar shop a few doors up, so it would have been sacrilege to buy an ice cream from him but I do remember buying a black plaited wig that I even wore to bed for a while, I loved it that much.

Danny Hughes was born in Armagh, Northern Ireland, in 1920, the eldest of seven children. His parents ran a fruit and veg shop but when his father died, Danny had to start work in his early teens to help support his younger siblings. When the family moved to another town, Danny followed in his father’s footsteps as a trader. He used to cross over the Cooley mountains to Dundalk with his horse and cart, selling his wares along the way. When the weather was too bad to return home, he slept alongside his horse in a stable in the town.

In time, the family moved close to Blackrock, where Danny opened his shop in 1949. He died in December 2014, at the ripe old age of 103, running the business with his son Conor up until a few years before he passed away. He was a man of many talents and was an accomplished musician, playing the accordion and fiddle. Along with being involved with showbands and céilí bands over the years he wrote a number of books and was well known as a story teller.

As you can see from the first image, the premises has two doors, one for the music store and the other leading to a treasure trove for lovers of anything vintage. The shop is as interesting on the outside as it is on the inside, with a fun piece of sculpture to attract your attention as you pass by. It’s always well worth crossing the street to see what’s on display in the window and I wasn’t disappointed this time, either.

Danny’s son Conor is very much like his father. His band, The Willin’ Fools, are fun loving and, judging by the video on their website, very entertaining. Conor’s charity, Crosscause, has done amazing work, from sending trucks of humanitarian aid to refugees in Calais in France to supporting orphanages in Eastern Europe. Not too far up the street from his father’s store, Conor has opened a shop to support Crosscause and I love spending time in there whenever I’m in Blackrock. Note the elephant’s head sculpture above the doorway.

At present, Crosscause is focusing on five projects in Ghana, including the setting up of an eye surgery clinic. Conor and his group of volunteers are always coming up with interesting ways to raise money for the charity and December 26th 2017 was no exception. He sat on top of a tower of pianos on the beach in Blackrock for his annual Stephen’s Day fundraiser.


Source 1: Visit Blackrock Village

Thanks so much for taking the time to visit my blog. If you would like to explore a worldwide selection of Thursday Doors, head on over to Norm’s blog and click the blue ‘frog’ at the bottom of his post.

Source 1: Visit Blackrock Village




Posted in entertainment, Ireland, Music, social issues, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Thursday Doors


Before the big snow arrived and smothered Ireland to a standstill, I managed to capture some Thursday Doors shots of a lovely, characterful business premises in my native town of Blackrock. Belles Tea Rooms has two floors where you can sit and have a nice cup of coffee or tea, while looking out over the beach across the road. They have an unusual front door, with a mermaid on it and I love the colour they chose.


A few years ago, I launched the first book of my historical fiction series in the upstairs room of Belles and it was such a fitting location. Many of the events in the saga take place by the beach in Blackrock.


Here’s a photo of the main street taken from the top end of the village, with the sea lapping up against the wall.


The tide always goes out a great distance from the shore, which is a pain in the summer if you’ve come to have a nice swim. It’s a long trek out to find water deep enough to paddle in, let alone do the back stroke. Of course, if you live there, you’ll see the tide coming in twice a day, like any other coastal area. There is a large sandbank that can catch the unwary by surprise when the sea comes in around them. This has caused quite a few rescues and unfortunately some drownings over the years.


There used to be an outdoor sea water 50 meter pool in the village. It’s where I learned to swim but it was replaced by an apartment block some time ago. I suppose the indoor pools a couple of miles away in Dundalk offered a bit more luxury. Who wouldn’t prefer a warm swim in a cold Irish summer?


This is an old photograph of the main street and beach. You can see that some of the roofs are still thatched. I wonder was that fishing boat carrying any of my relatives, as we have fishermen on my mother’s side of the family going back as far as the late 1600’s. In the upper right hand corner of the image there appears to be some wooden swing boats. I remember as a child my sisters and I would pile into a brightly painted swing boat whenever the funfair came to Blackrock. In recent years they have been back there again and we’re hoping to have another ride in one this summer, although I doubt the four of us will be allowed in the same boat this time.

Well, that was Blackrock, past and present. Thanks for stopping by and taking an interest. If you would like to see a few more Thursday Doors, swing by Norm’s blog.

Posted in boats, books, food, History, Ireland, photo challenges, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 47 Comments

Thursday Doors


Ballycastle is featured once again in my Thursday Doors post, there is such a great variety of old properties there. Of course that means a nice selection of doors, too. No, I didn’t photoshop the sunshine into these images – it was actually a very sunny day.

Forty shades of grey or green seem to be popular hues here, but I did find some nice colourful doors in the main street. The Indigo shop caught my eye not just because of its colour but because my nail salon was called Indigo Nails. I had really lovely clients who were more like friends, they had been coming to me for such a long time. I don’t miss the work but I do miss them.

This is one of my favourite properties in the town. There’s a nice walled garden at the back and it’s just a few minutes walk from the beach (and ice-cream parlours).


I’ll take some more photos of Ballycastle doors on my next visit there but in the meantime I captured some nice shots of Blackrock and it’s lovely shopfronts, which I’ll be featuring on next week’s Thursday Doors. Thanks for stopping by this week and don’t forget to check out what Norm (the founding father of Thursday Doors) has featured on his blog.



Posted in Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 30 Comments

Thursday Doors – Chillin’

It’s a snowy Thursday Doors post this week from Ballycastle in Northern Ireland, where I’m chillin’ (literally) with family. Here’s a few photos I captured from inside the house, where the temperature was much higher than outside.

We had a heavy snowfall overnight and next morning the sunrise was beautiful, I almost didn’t photograph it, I was so busy admiring the scene.


Even the sunshine later on didn’t melt the snow and it remained like this for the next few days.


I know all of you who live in colder climates will laugh at the few inches we call a snowfall, but as we’re not used to having the white stuff dress our landscape every winter, when it does so, it’s a big deal. Even The Gaffer thinks so, as you’ll see from his reaction in this video.

I was worried his poor old paws might not take to such a chilly surface (after all, he was born in Spain) so I didn’t let him spend too much time outdoors. Our walks lately have been infrequent and very short. There’s nothing like a nice warm bed beside a radiator on days like this, wouldn’t you agree?


I took some nice shots of Ballycastle town during my visit, so I’ll feature them on the next Thursday Doors post. It was great to have you chill out with me and The Gaffer this week and if you’d like to see a few more doors from around the globe, you’ll find them on the link at the end of Norm’s post. Enjoy.


Posted in Ireland, nature, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors | Tagged , , , , | 32 Comments

Thursday Doors


This green Thursday door belongs to the Ancient Order of Hibernia hall in the seaside village of Blackrock, where I was born. One of my mother’s relatives was contracted to build it in 1919 at a cost of £2,500. The hall, with its dance floor and gallery, was a favourite for local and visiting dancers, and a venue for theatrical performances. Today, it is no longer in use but there was talk of it being made into apartments some years back. I would like to see it being put to good use but I hope it keeps it’s original appearance.


Source 1


When the weather gets nicer I’ll spend a day capturing Blackrock’s lovely doors but in the meantime, this is a sample of some of my favourites. Although it’s on the east coast, the village gets some amazing sunsets.


But I took that photo a few weeks ago. The days have been quite grey and full of sleet lately.


This is a photo of the buildings on the main street looking out over the sea. It’s where I spent my childhood summers, staying with my grandparents in the white house on the left-hand side of the image. Even on a grey rainy day, this place appeals to me. As a child, I loved listening to the sea as I lay in bed at night (whenever the tide was in) and I still find that sound so relaxing. Now I bring my own grandchildren here to play on the same beach and they enjoy it at any time of year.


Here’s what the village looked like in the past when some of the roofs were still thatched.

Blackrock Hotel scaffolding


I hope you enjoyed our trip to Blackrock this week. For a great selection of interesting Thursday Doors, surf on over to Norm’s blog and click on the blue ‘frog’ at the end of his post.

Source 1 Blackrock Village Heritage


Posted in Historical buildings, Ireland, nature, The Good Things in Life, Thursday Doors, Travel | Tagged , , , , | 33 Comments