We live beside them day in day out, but the helter-skelter pace of life means that often we don't notice the blue tit or the robin as they busy themselves in our gardens. The fox might stop us in our tracks but he's usually long gone by the time we get up and start our day.
On a recent trip to Cavan, I found myself watching carefully to see if people had their hands in their pockets more than the norm. But contrary to the belief that Cavan people have developed a skill for peeling an orange in their pocket for fear of having to share it, I found the locals to be warm, friendly and generous.
They close Carrick-a-Rede rope Bridge when the wind reaches 35 miles per hour. It's at a mere 20 miles per hour when we get to it so off we wobble, taking turns to pose for the obligatory photo. The rough seas around us make the already spectacular views all the more dramatic.
This year, Galway is a European Capital of Culture 2020, along with the Croatian city of Rijeka. The calendar is going to be jam-packed with cultural events not just around city and county, but from the bogs of Connemara to the Aran Islands. Most are free - think theatre, dance, street fairs, exhibitions, circus, and a hell of a lot of craic.
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