Guest Post: Jane of Ill Seen, Ill Said

We’ve asked a few friends and fellow-bloggers to drop-in and share while we take some time to get to know this amazing little person, Hudson, whom we’ve just welcomed to the world. We’ll no doubt be dropping in here and on from time to time, but we’re so grateful for these wonderful guest posts and hope you enjoy them as well. 

Jane was one of the first bloggers we “met” when we went online and discovered her lovely site–Ill Seen, Ill Said–a great blend of reflection and style. Although Jane now lives in Toronto, she grew up in Ireland; as we fell in love with Ireland when we visited one lucky summer, we weren’t surprised that Jane’s favorite memories of childhood holidays take her back to the Isle of Green…

Hi there! Jane from Ill Seen, Ill Said here. I’m delighted to contribute a post while Ashley takes a well-deserved break from blogging. I hope she’s enjoying every moment. Ashley suggested I blog about a favourite family holiday and as I am looking forward to one of my very infrequent trips home, I was happy to oblige…

My parents were eager for me to travel when I grew up. But they really believed world travel should be built on a foundation of knowing your own country, its history and geography. So, most of our family holidays were spent around Ireland.

Even though it’s a tiny island, Irish geography is surprisingly diverse, especially to a child’s limited sense of place. Still, it must be said that there were times when I didn’t much appreciate their philosophy and felt deprived of the European sun holidays of my schoolmates, and especially their returning tans.

My favourite trips were always to the west coast. Daddy would teach us to swim in the Atlantic and we’d eat dillisk seaweed and periwinkles. On my first trip to the Aran Islands, the whole family rented bicycles and cycled around Inishmore, stopping to traipse around the ruins of Dún Aonghasa or to pet donkeys.

I’m always struck now by how foundational those holidays were; more than my parents could ever have fathomed. When I think of summer now, the sense-memories of those trips are what spring to mind; rock pools and the Atlantic boom, saltiness on my lips.

And now I live far away from home in a landlocked place and when I go home it’s to relive those moments, to dip my toes in the Atlantic and breathe in the mustiness of those ancient rocks and ruins.

All photos by Jane Flanagan

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