Kinvara was traditionally a market town. On the borders of Clare and Galway and accessible from the sea it was a natural meeting point. Cattle and sheep were traded and vegetables and eggs brought from local farms to sell. Turf was brought in by sail boat from Connemara in the famous Galway hookers and much Guinness was drunk in the ten pubs. 

The market now opens on Fridays between 10 and 2 behind Johnston’s hall on the main street. A covered area for coffee and teas, live traditional music and a walled garden contribute to the family atmosphere. There was great excitement last week as amongst the hens for sale were ‘giant bunny babies.’ The babies were the size of a fully grown rabbit! Although under great pressure we managed to leave without a giant bunny baby but with a pot of Catriona’s delicious tabouleh, some of Annie’s freshly pulled carrots and some excellent value fresh hake and sea bass fillets. You can also buy delicious lobster and Dublin bay prawns, a great selection of breads and baked goods, and every sort of fresh fruit and vegetable.

This week a new sweet shop opened in the village. It sells old fashioned sweets like lemon bon bons and home made chocolates. The traditional shop front is painted a pretty duck egg green and inside the owner has built a lovely wooden display dresser and hung old fashioned wall paper. It is an asset to the village and its reputation is spreading like wildfire through the playgrounds and summer camps, drawing much needed footfall to the village. Geraldine Blackwell, another local organic farmer, moved from there to a larger premises with her shop, ‘Ger’s Place’ The shop front design of buttons might give away what she sells and she also runs the popular and expanding ‘stitch and bitch’ knitting mornings. Another new venture this year is ‘DIY pursuits’ which is doing a good trade selling and renting bicycles. Cycling has become another recession hobby with a recent 60 and 120 k organised cycle drawing over 1000 participants up the Corker hill and around the Burren. Other shops on the main street have had a fresh coat of paint and this seems to be generating a slight spread of optimism.

I wont be posting for the next two weeks as we are going on holiday. We will know on our return if planning permission for the nature centre has been granted.