It was the beginning of the June bank
holiday weekend and Mister Husband declared, “I really love this town; there’s
great community spirit.”
Once upon a time I would have needed
a lamp post to hold onto for support as I laughed and laughed over a statement
like that. But I’m older now and see my
home town for what it is and what it has on offer.
We had just enjoyed breakfast in The Bay Tree with Smallest Boy.
Not only is the food lovely, I really
enjoy the banter with the staff and there is always someone in there having a
coffee before work to put a smile on my face.
That day I treated myself to a freshly squeezed orange juice. Converted!
Now I buy bags of oranges in Lidl and juice them at home.
The butcher was our next stop. My family hold a BBQ on the first Sunday in
June and I offered to get the BBQ special.
Hugh Hyland on the main street in
Athy will fetch you 20 chicken pieces, 5 pork chops marinated or
plain, 5 BBQ pork or lamb skewers and 5 burgers all for €20. Bargain.
He will also throw in a great chat about the Film Club
Then we headed off to our local
health shop, Healthy Living Athy for Oldest Boy’s current hay fever
cure, Herbetom. I also picked up Salcura
cream for dermatitis and eczema.
Lovely Liam suffers on occasion and as the
spray was a little more expensive than expected, Sue put some samples on order
She also gave me some nettle teabags
to try out for my own rashy feet courtesy of the gorgeous weather we were
having. (So you noticed I said were too)
The boys got a bag of yogurt topped
banana chips to try out.
It didn’t matter other customers were
spilling into the shop, not for one minute did I feel rushed and our final
purchase on the way out was local honey.
We weren’t finished yet. That bank holiday weekend, Athy was the
location for TriAthy, Irelands fastest Triathlon. Athletes of every level gathered to complete
the course that includes a swim, a cycle and a run.
This event has gone from strength to
strength and attracts thousands of competitors from all over the country. Last
year saw the British Formula One Driver Jenson Button take part. Ireland’s Minister for Transport, Tourism and
Sport, Leo Varadkar, put in a good appearance this year.
And sure it wouldn’t be a proper
weekend without a drop to wash down the BBQ food so one final stop saw me picking
up a couple of bottles of wine which were on offer. One for me and one for the BBQ on Sunday.
I absolutely have to mention two
local premises I had the pleasure of being in this weekend.
I walked into Sew & Sew on
William Street with a very ill Clarke’s Doodle sandal. The lovely lady within,
immediately removed her work from the sewing machine and in less than five
minutes she handed me back Lovely Liam’s as good as new mauled shoe for the
princely sum of €3.
Delighted with myself, I popped it
back into my mambag and collected a cappuccino before my hair appointment.
I spent three glorious, that’s worth
repeating, glorious hours in the
luxurious care of Becky and Philomena in Hair by Audrey. Absolutely pampered and very pleased with my
And then, last night I attended a
book launch in the local library.
I was thrilled for Niamh Boyce, the
local author, who scooped the Hennessy XO New Irish Writer of The Year 2012 prize
for her poem Kitty, and this year,
published her first book The Herbalist.
Niamh reading an extract from The Herbalist
To see the crowds gathered; family,
friends, contemporaries and well-wishers, just proved to me that community
spirit is alive and well in Athy.
Some might say there is a lot wrong
with the town. But there is a lot right
with it too.