Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Athy in June

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 for free!

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 for me. 

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 new do!

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.


  1. Now I want to "go home"!! Lovely, lovely post. Athy really has something very special about it; it just needs everyone to realise it (it becomes clear as you get older or leave I think!) xx

  2. Great Post. I have lived in Athy for 53 years, only left it for a short while in the 80's, someone had to stay, someone had to keep the flame alive, i stayed.On a day when the sun shines it is glorious and equally on a January evening when the frost freezes the riverbank and that smell rises off the Barrow, a smell only Athy people recognise, there is no greater place on earth,