It was the Cuckoo weekend, The Fleadh na gCuach, music and arts festival. (

We caught a few sessions, Stillwater blues in Flatelys, some trad in the back room in Tullys and set dancing at the Pier head.

The new café was open and we got our first spin this year in the boat, a timber curach my husband finished restoring last year.

Out on the bay is the best place to soak in the atmosphere.

Chugging along on the calm water, passed the swans, out towards Dunguaire castle with the sun on your back is serene.

The castle, a 16th century square, stone tower surrounded by a high, hexagon defensive wall on a round island connected to the shore, defends the village from attack.

Traveling around the seaward side of the island you can see bunches of pink alpine flowers hanging from the crevices of the castle walls.

Turning back towards the quay the grey blue Burren hills are the backdrop to the candy coloured street that curves along the quay.

Tobermory on the isle of Mull is the famous location for the children’s program ‘Ballymory’ and its primary coloured houses lining the port are famous; blue, red and yellow.

Kinvara outshines it with lime green and purple, orange and cupcake pink. On the grassy quay the colourful stalls and tents draw a happy milling crowd; locals, children, tourists and festival groupies.

As you turn in along the quay wall people wave in recognition and as you tie up friendly faces peer down and greet you. Everybody likes boats.

The next time I saw the castle was at the end of the Cuckoo ‘fun run’, my first 10k. As we came down the final hill from the Adrahan road the castle rose into view signaling the final stretch along the sea to the finish line on the quay..

A cool beer in the Pier head, a window seat with another view of Dunguaire castle and big plate of roast duck was the perfect prize.

We are all glued to the blue tit web cam in the nesting box in Áras an Uachtaráin.

There was huge excitement as she laid an egg every day until there were 8. She has hatched 6 now and daddy blue tit is working hard on the worm shift.

Check it out on