Kilcolgan Cottage

I’ve always thought of Ireland as it’s nickname implies, the ’emerald isle,’ and it is for the most part. In common with Scotland, Ireland gets more than it’s fair share of rain, so the grass is always pretty green, as are the hills. Having been to Ireland before, to the area around Connemara, some eleven or twelve years ago, I remembered it that way. Connemara had been gorgeous.
Like other places, there are some beautiful parts, the parts you would recommend to tourists, and there are some you are less proud of. To my surprise, as we headed towards Galway City from Belfast, the route we took through the middle of Ireland fell into the latter category, and I was disappointed. I felt I could have been just about anywhere and nowhere.

But not for long.

The sun came out and we took a trip down the West coast from Kilcolgan, in the South of Galway County, where we were staying, to the Cliffs of Mohrer in County Clare, and the route was beautiful, with plenty views to have me ‘Ooohing! and Aaahing!’
One of the things we noticed around this area, there are lots of thatched cottages, many of them delightfully picturesque. As it happens, the one we were renting for the week is an old farm cottage, so, while having its share of charm, was not designed to be picturesque but functional.

image

The walls are all of two feet thick so the windows have two foot deep sills and give the appearance of having been ingled in to nooks and crannies, looked at from inside. Although it has been modernised, it still retains a lot of its olde-worlde charm, including a true ingle-nooked fireplace.

We had a conversation the other evening about whether we wish we could go back to simpler times, live in a remote cottage like this without benefit of most modern conveniences and technology. I decided categorically I would not wish it. This surprised me, since I often bemoan the march of progress, how it has forced me into the uncomfortable position of being ‘like a fish out of water’ when it comes to coping with much of modern technology. But, having lived half a week without it, I miss it. I miss the convenience of being able to text or phone whomever I wish whenever I wish, I miss being able to check my emails, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter. All the things I feel so out of my depth with.
Being an author in this time, it would be almost impossible to live as though in another. Without the reach of the long arms of the Internet, it would be difficult to advertise and sell many books for someone independently published, to say nothing of the difficulty of becoming published at all.
No, as with the cottage, nice to visit for a while, but I’ll be happy to be home in the more modern age at the end of my holiday in past times.

What about you? Do you wish you lived in Jane Austen’s era? Would you have enjoyed working by candle-light of an evening, writing everything in your best handwriting that it may be easily read by the editor you post it to, waiting for weeks, maybe months to hear back by the same method? Could you happily live without your tablet? Your mobile phone? Your laptop or computer?
Please do share your thoughts in the comments. I’d love to know I am not alone in enjoying the frustrations and joys of our slot in the time-line.

16 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. KatYa
    Mar 14, 2015 @ 14:36:47

    Reblogged this on K IS SILENT.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  2. Yolanda Isabel Regueira Marin
    Mar 14, 2015 @ 21:06:57

    Whilst the romantic in my thinks that the Jane Austen era would have been exciting times to leave in, the practical in me enjoys the luxury of modem technology and the opportunities it offers 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  3. Michelle Stanley
    Mar 14, 2015 @ 23:19:47

    I also agree with Yolanda because the modern conveniences are things I can’t do without, even if Jane Austin’s era had their own “modern contraptions.”

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • cicampbell2013
      Mar 14, 2015 @ 23:31:06

      Know what you mean, Michelle. I suppose each age brought its own advancements, and they probably always needed time to get used to them, but things seem to have speeded up so much in the past twenty or so years, don’t they?

      Like

      Reply

  4. Jacqueline Hughes
    Mar 15, 2015 @ 00:59:57

    Hi, Christine! Just reposted your blog on my timeline for others to see and read. Yes, while staying in our little cottage in Oughtergard, we were in the boonies without modern technology, too. However, I relished the week. By that I mean, it felt good to leave everything behind for a short while and absorb the beauty of the natural surroundings. We talked together more. We climbed a mountain. We integrated into the local social life and had meaningful conversation with the people. This was well worth it to me, as a writer. Of course, I knew I would have all of my modern ‘goodies’ to utilize after our trip, so it was easy to forget about them for a week and become a local. I think we all need to do this from time to time just to clear our heads of the modern ‘noise’ that interrupts our pure lines of thinking. If I were living in the era of Jane Austen……I wouldn’t know that there was anything else. Because modern day living (with Internet) is our way of life now, it would be difficult to turn back the hands of time in this incredibly fast-paced world that we live in. I, for one, am looking for my next visit to the Wild Western Way and savor everything this amazing place has to offer…..

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • cicampbell2013
      Mar 15, 2015 @ 03:08:50

      You did better than I did, Jacqueline, because I couldn’t quite ‘leave everything behind’ without missing it. You’re right, we did other things, but I think we would have anyway. We have friends in the area and we socialised a lot, we went out and about every day, but I missed being able to catch up with my kids online.
      I enjoyed our week in the cottage, don’t get me wrong, just wished I could have had the old and the new together. Basically, I want it all!
      Oh, and thank you for reblogging. That was kind 😀

      Like

      Reply

  5. Tanya Miranda
    Mar 18, 2015 @ 14:00:21

    I am one to search for the look and feel of older ways whenever I travel. When I go to Spain, I take photos of the oldest churches, the oldest buildings, even the Roman ruins. There is a park in Valencia where the trees are hundreds of years old. The trunks are so thick at first glance they look fake – but they are real! I take loads of photos of “old” Spain. Of course, I take the photos with my phone, which I carry in my back pocket. 🙂 It’s a double edged sword, this fast-moving technology. You love it’s conveniences, but you hate the simpleness it took away from your life. And now, you can’t live without it.

    I love Jane Austin, her books, that era, and all things about her stories. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched Pride & Prejudice, Emma, Mansfield Park, Sense and Sensibility, and even Becoming Jane. I feel I would have been a Jane Austin type woman in those times, fighting the standard, stretching the idea of “women of family”.

    Would I chose to live then or now? Hmmm…. I choose now. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • cicampbell2013
      Mar 18, 2015 @ 16:40:21

      Like you, Tanya, I love old buildings, old places, that sense of history and timelessness they give, but, like you, on balance, I’d rather live now with all its frustrations and irritations, but often long for simpler times.
      Thank you for reading and commenting 😊

      Like

      Reply

  6. Claire Fullerton
    Mar 18, 2015 @ 15:49:13

    I spent the year of 1997 living in Inverin, Ireland while working in Galway City. I used the phone booth “down the road” and didn’t have a computer or texting device! When people wanted to see me, they simply “called out” and when I went into town, I took Bus Eirean ( I’m an American and didn’t have a car.) I kept a spiral composition book as a journal and wrote everything down. I look back now and realize I spent a lot of time roaming the bog or the fields down to the sea. I felt connected to the land and its people, and was in heaven for a solid year! Now I live in Southern California and, oh, what a different scene! I returned to the west of Ireland last October, and it only took a day for me to relax back into the familiar, unfettered rhythm. Would that I could live in both worlds! I’m not denigrating technology, only the feast or famine prevalence of it in my daily life.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • cicampbell2013
      Mar 18, 2015 @ 16:45:21

      Ah Clare, I remember when that was how my life was here in Scotland. As a ‘baby boomer’ I’ve seen so many things develop and change, so fast it sometimes leaves me birling. The old ways had their charm, but they had so much hardship too that I couldn’t go back to them now. Not permanently anyway, but lovely to visit.
      Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  7. Marylin Warner
    Apr 07, 2015 @ 03:47:42

    Lovely post, Christine, and I am so tempted by the picture. Only once did we stay in a cottage without electricity, and it was a charing cottage in France. It was a wonderful experience for two nights. But we were glad to go on to the next stop at an inn.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    • cicampbell2013
      Apr 07, 2015 @ 20:28:27

      We stayed in a cottage in France once, about thirty years ago. It was semi-detached…to a pigsty! There were seventy pigs in the other half of our cottage. They were being battery raised, so never got outside in the daylight. The stench was unbelievable. We had to go out and about all day, every day, to try to cope with being there.
      Thank you for reading, Marylin. Glad you enjoyed the post.

      Like

      Reply

  8. Marylin Warner
    Apr 08, 2015 @ 04:16:30

    Wow! Now this makes our electricity-less two nights seem like a 5-Star Hotel, Christine. 😉 The stench of seventy pigs? I hope you’ve written about this…maybe an article about worst place to stay?

    Like

    Reply

    • cicampbell2013
      Apr 08, 2015 @ 08:54:49

      D’you know, I haven’t! It was such a long time ago, long, long before blogs and things. At that time, I didnt write so much. I was too busy bringing up my four children (this was years before I had my fifth) and coping with chronic ill health.
      Perhaps I should write about it now 😏 Now that the stench is only a bad memory. It really was awful….and it was recommended to us!! A friend of my husband’s from work loved it there!

      Like

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow cicampbellblog on WordPress.com
%d bloggers like this: