An overdue family (celebration) Dinner in the fabulous Wineport Lodge, on the edge of beautiful Glasson village. It’s a number of years since we had the pleasure of visiting this luxury lakeside hotel, and what an enjoyable experience it was tonight.
From the moment you arrive at the carpark, you are drawn into the embrace of this venue, which nestles in woodland and overlooks Lough Ree.
Buzzing with post-lockdown atmosphere, the large and welcoming restaurant was close to being full. Naturally, we indulged in some people watching. The guests on the night varied between locals and holiday-makers who were staying over. On the veranda, people relaxed with cocktails, against a backdrop of the serene woodland and water.
We were greeted by extremely friendly and welcoming staff, who made our evening so enjoyable. The food was absolutely beautiful. All in all, a wonderful experience.
Driving home from Glasson last night, we had the sunroof open. That welcome experience at 11 pm was consistent with the weather forecast earlier on Thursday. It was a weather outlook of the type that excites us as a people…well, that is before we subject it to the time-honoured scrutiny/scepticism which we’ve perfected when it comes to matters concerning ‘the weather’.
The view all through Thursday was positive: Friday would be “25 degrees” or even “26 degrees”. I sought no further detail, just banked the sizzling soundbite: ‘Heatwave on Friday’!
“It’s going to break on Saturday or Sunday” a friend had said earlier on Thursday, effortlessly staying loyal to that great Irish tradition of talking down any optimistic talk of weather with a suitably pitched bout of misery about how it simply won’t last.
Still, the main thing is…today is going to be a scorcher. All over the country, people have presumably been planning short day trips, gardening, maybe a barbeque, while also lining up the sunglasses, sun cream and short-sleeved shirts. The classic cliches were on standby. In particular, ‘Sure everyone’s in good humour in this weather’ and ‘If we had weather like this all the time there’s no country like it’ were just waiting to be released.
8.30 am, ready for the morning leg of the school run, that glorious hot day to look forward to. Then, I open the door…
Raining…miserable, dull, dirty. Oh well, this is Ireland. Worse, when we sit into the car, the front seats are wet…I’d left the sunroof open overnight. I’m wary of switching on Morning Ireland for fear George Lee might be having a debate with Diarmaid Ferriter.
Such lost promise, this morning. Still, we live in hope. Maybe that elusive sunshine is on its way. Not that it will last when it comes…
I’m not the greatest fan of President Joe Biden, but any time one of his predecessors fell off a bike – as he did today – there wasn’t a posse of smartphone-wielding spectators present, with all the consequences for short-term worldwide judgement (and posterity).
Bill Murray, the popular American actor and comedian, was at the All-Ireland hurling quarter-finals in Thurles, in the company of the billionaire businessman, JP McManus. Bill watched Galway and Clare progress to the last four. They were pushed all the way by Cork and Wexford respectively, but I guess as far as the latter two counties’ slim All-Ireland prospects were concerned, it felt like Groundhog Day.
The then-stranger (who it turns out is from a few miles out the road) in the queue in a local shop is waiting for his ‘99’. Turning around, he recognised me from the paper and was ready for a bit of small talk.
The very first thing he said was that he had known my late father, maybe unaware of how nice it is to hear such words – not least on Father’s Day.
Later on Sunday
The golf provides compelling TV, with Rory McIllroy in and out of contention in the US Open, before England’s Matt Fitzpatrick won his duel with Will Zalatoris (Scottie Scheffler breathing down their necks) to claim his first major, amid very emotional scenes. This was a thrilling finale, Fitzpatrick hitting a sensational bunker shot to the middle of the green to secure victory.
Then came news of another brilliant performance by Cavan’s Leona Maguire, who finished second in the Meijer Classic after storming into a play-off with a superb 65. Leona will continue to rise up the ranks in the coming years.
Also on Sunday evening, news of a sensational performance by Roscommon cyclist Daire Feeley, who has won the Rás Tailteann. Even non-cycling fans will be aware of the famous road race (the Rás roll of honour includes Tour de France winner Stephen Roche). This is a magnificent achievement by Daire, coming so soon after Lisa O’Rourke’s world title success. Congratulations to the Mote Park maestro!
That elusive sunshine (see ‘Friday’) began to appear on Sunday, while today is by some distance the best day of summer so far. It’s a scorcher in the county town.
Already feeling nostalgic for yesterday’s sunshine, replaced now by decent temperatures but a general dullness on the weather front. Sort of jealous of all those sun-seeking people currently making small talk to strangers in crowded waiting areas at Dublin Airport!
Editing today’s edition, I must say there are a lot of positive things happening locally. The Roscommon Races has made a triumphant return. There’s another meeting next Tuesday, then on Monday, July 4th, it’s the always eagerly-anticipated SuperValu Ladies Day.
Reports on last Sunday’s ‘Day with the Stars’ at the same venue were very positive, and we have photos from that event in today’s edition.
On the arts front, there’s a welcome explosion of activity at venues around the county (details on our Culture/Arts pages and our online platforms).
In Ballintubber on Friday, the great people in the local Tidy Towns & Heritage committee launched this year’s ‘Castles in Communities’ events. Also last week, it was wonderful to see Strokestown Library reopening. Our best wishes to branch librarian Helen Kerins and all involved. Libraries are wonderful places, please support and enjoy them!
Meanwhile, following on from Daire Feeley’s fantastic cycling success (we have a special celebration feature today) our ladies’ footballers are in action on the double over the coming days. Best wishes to Roscommon in the All-Ireland IFC quarter-final v Louth in Kinnegad on Sunday, and also to our U-16s, who face Dublin in the All-Ireland semi-final on Wednesday.
Tweet Street…some personal news!
Eh, in the vernacular of Twitter, ‘some personal news’…the ‘Tweet Street’ column, in which I make ironic/tongue in cheek comments on some of the week’s top tweets, will be taking a break for the summer, and hopefully returning at some future point. I’ll still make occasional ironic/tongue in cheek comments on Twitter itself. My weekly column will continue. You can follow me on @paulrospeople and follow the Roscommon People on @RoscommonPeople