Saturday 21 April 2018

Eleanor McGrath: They may be thousands of miles apart, but the Blaskets and Newfoundland say the same things to me

MY children have a way of trying to pin me down on my favourite part of the world. And today I still do not know how to answer their question in the most politically correct manner: "Which do you like better, Ireland or Newfoundland?" They might as well be asking me, "Which of them do I love best?" With the Cork husband and links of many kinds to Ireland there might seem to be an easy answer, but, there is a strange, rural, rocky shore called the Irish Loop on the Island of Newfoundland where we are drawn each summer.

Some are starved for noise and over population and seek holidays in the sexy hubs of New York and Miami, but not us…we choose to drive two days and ferry for 19 hours to get to the last province on the Atlantic ocean. Buying five years ago on a whim, our salt-box home in Renews off the internet, sight unseen was the closest we could get ourselves to Ireland during the Celtic Tiger – we are now in the next parish over.

When the stock markets crashed in 2008 there was a moment written about chasing a desire to return to a simple life, a desire to consume less and review corruption that would caste out all banking sinners. But that moment to correct all our global wrongs just left; just as the children of Ireland left again seeking work in the Prairies of Canada and even further to Vancouver on the Pacific coast.

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