Going away without the kids. It makes me jittery to even think of it! It is nerve wracking and guilt inducing (all Mammies live with perennial guilt I feel) but sends a tentative shiver of excitement, a thrill down the spine too. Forbidden fruit and all that.
The potential. Eating dinner whilst staying in one spot. No jumping up and down to various needs. No food bolting. Just indulgent enjoyment. No nappies.
No worries about rude, sudden steps appearing to block stroller access or changing facility availability.
Looking after one set of clothes.
No missing dodo freak out.
No strict naptime to adhere to…Unless it is for you.
Which brings me to the magic words…lie in.
My husband has been trying desperately for weeks to plan a weekend away and in the end organised a VERY fancy pants weekend to Castle Leslie . It is where Paul McCartney married Heather Mills, don’t you know, thereby reinvigorating interest and popularity in the old pile and now tourists flock through the doors.
Including Mr Paper and myself!
He is spoiling me.
Betsy has had a hard time but a diagnosis of reflux (again!) and the introduction of Gaviscon (Groundhog Day) are actually appearing to have made a difference so I was not so panicked about leaving the little ladies. Mr Paper’s extremely efficient sister and her husband, alongside a (much loved by Gigi) daughter (aged eight) were coming en force to mind the Paper ladies.
We packed. I overcooked. I labelled anything not moving (much to sister in law’s amusement) and maybe even stuck lables on the children’s heads as precautions. I explained all to Gigi calling it a holiday so she would have the idea. Thankfully Peppa goes on holiday (to Italy!) So this was an acceptable, logical and rational amount of information for our eldest.
We were OK. No one cried. No one screamed. Everyone was happy.
The children were content too…!
We had coffees halfway there. Just us two. Outside a cafe on benches. Mr Paper relaxed. I furiously looked through my phone images showing pictures to him of our kids as if they were little people he had never seen before.
We got there. Two and half hours driving. Wrecked and hungry. I must say it was nice not to unpack a million bags. Just this once.
This beautiful getaway in Co.Monaghan is a luxurious, fairytalesque and a restorative place for a couple to reconnect. We did just that this weekend and right here in this glorious estate, surrounded by nature and simplicity.
It is attached to the quaint village of Glaslough.
We left the estate for one drive-in a type of poetry pilgrimage- to Inniskeen, the birthplace and burial site of poet Patrick Kavanagh. I have mentioned him before when I blogged Cupid shoots Poetry, focusing on a ballad I love called On Raglan Road, but arguing the fact that it is not a typical ‘love’ poem in topic. My favourite poem of all time is A Christmas Childhood Click here to read it by Kavanagh but I found myself thinking more of Inniskeen Road: July Evening whilst there. We visited his grave-a modest affair. I looked eagerly for the entrance to the Patrick Kavanagh Resource Centre. It is closed on Saturday and Sunday. The cafe that looked geared towards tourists conflictingly announced it was open …but it was actually closed. I can now see why Kavanagh got so wound up with Inniskeen! Kavanagh felt a paradoxical love/hate relationship with his home and I still have some belief it was partly a self imposed isolation he felt at times. As a teenager studying Kavanagh and reading Inniskeen Road: July Evening I casually judged his inability to socialise and wondered why he didn’t hop on his bicycle and join the gangs on the way to Billy Brennan’s dance! He was just uncomfortable. He is now buried in Inniskeen and as prettily rural and calm as it is, the tourist trail hasn’t enlivened it from what I can see! I wonder if he would liked better in modern times? Or headed for the bright lights of Dublin once again?
We stayed just twenty minutes. Lasting a lot less longer!
I am still very pleased to have visited the homeland of a much studied poet.
We went back to our oasis.
Food was key. We dined like kings.
Or former Beatles.
There was a six course extravaganza Saturday night consisting of much foam, steam, curlicues of this and that, gravalax guest appeared and truffle oil starred. Natch! Amuse bouche anyone? Dessert was amazing. A very Masterchef style focusing on the theme of lemon. I keep getting flashbacks. Mr Paper had a cheese board and what an impressive affair that was! I have no pictures. I abandoned the phone. Just this one time!
We had MUCH indigestion. I confess to having enjoyed that meal but preferring the food the night previous in the castle bar-Conor’s bar. A pork and chorizo burger on pretzel bread. Glass of Pinot Grigio. Fabulous!
A little wander around the stables was relaxing and fun. We watched some lessons and lived a different life for an hour.
Spa treatments occurred. Facials. One thing as a a Mam I have realised is that I have foregone proper skin care at night in favour of a quick wash and moisturiser rub. I know this will ultimately mean aging early (yikes) so the facial was great. The spa insight is called The Victorian Rooms and is designed using all the typical duck egg blues, off whites and sage greens of the period. So pretty! Lying on a chaise longue, peppermint tea and a small glass of fruit smoothie afterwards, I almost felt like myself again.
It was wonderful to relax. A few drinks. A few treats. Sleep.
It was good to get home to our babies too.
Getting away is essential if you can do it. This time was an especially wonderful treat.
I have brought home a little piece of Glaslough with me though…a reminder.