Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Connemara - by Abby Green

Thanks Leena for inviting me to blog! I thought that I’d like to share with you all, a very special place. I live in Dublin, which is the capital city of Ireland. It’s a tiny island, especially in comparison with the UK and the US. Special as Dublin is though, it’s not the place I’m talking about.

This April, myself and the lovely Kate Walker drove from Dublin to the west of Ireland to a place called Connemara. It’s right on the west coast and stunningly beautiful. I’ve been lucky enough to have worked down there a couple of times last year and it was so nice to be away from the hustle and bustle of Dublin for a few weeks.

Anyway, we set off on our little road trip. I had decided to go to a place called Delphi Lodge for a week to, ahem, write. In fact what I needed was a break so when Kate said she’d come too, it was the perfect excuse to make it into a holiday. I will state for the record here that Kate did encourage me to write, I just seemed to find it easier to read some of her early Mills and Boon books instead. For inspiration of course.

Delphi Lodge is a very well known fishing lodge (Prince Charles stayed there!), situated in a gloriously beautiful valley, on a lake. (It’s about a ten minute drive from Leenane where ‘The Field’ was filmed).

It is quiet and peaceful. The house is run as if it’s your own home; there are no locks on the doors, dogs come and go, and the kitchen is open for you to have tea, coffee, whatever you want, when you want. There is a small library, stacked with books and comfy chairs.

In the evening everyone who is there for dinner, meets in the lounge for aperitifs. There is an ‘honesty’ bar, where you can help yourself and write down what you have in a little book – a very dangerous state of affairs for two lady romance novelists. Having said that, I’d recommend the gin and tonics.

Then at approximately eight pm, you are called into the dining room and everyone sits down to eat at the same huge table. The lodge is renowned for its menu. In the week that we were there we had dinner with: A doctor, a barrister, a writer, a twice Oscar nominated actress (!), a Hollywood producer, a luxury car mechanic whose gorgeous girlfriend was a fan of Mills and Boon (clearly a girl with great taste ;-))…and that’s just to name drop a few!

There were lots of obsessed fly fishermen too, so we now know more about fly-fishing than we ever did. I don’t know about Kate but I haven’t quite decided how to marry fly-fishing with an Alpha male just yet…!

The place is truly magical, and I’m lucky that I got to share it with a good friend and mentor. It is absolutely perfect for a writing retreat. However, we were too busy nattering and socializing and walking and getting massages to write. (There is a place called the Delphi Mountain Resort – not linked to Delphi Lodge at all, just ten minutes walk down the road where they have a spa…say no more.)

So if anyone has a yen to get away from it all and to sit and write, in a room of one’s own, in peace and tranquility, Delphi Lodge is worth thinking, and dreaming about. Perhaps one day I’ll go back and actually write…or perhaps just go back with a friend again and relish the peace. And have more gorgeous massages…and gin and tonics.

Delphi Lodge is like the best treat you could ever give yourself…so go on, don’t you deserve it?! Check it out:


ps - I have a Harlequin Presents Extra out this June – The Spaniard’s Marriage Bargain, and in September, Mistress to the Merciless Millionaire is released as a Harlequin Presents.I have a Harlequin Presents Extra out this June – The Spaniard’s Marriage Bargain, and in September, Mistress to the Merciless Millionaire is released as a Harlequin Presents.


Kate Walker said...

Oh now you're bringing back memories. I want to go again! BUt if you tell too many people then our personal 'writers' retreat' might get too popular. I know there's a certain Anne McAllister who's longing to visit.

Fly-fishing heroes? Not if some of the guys we met are typical - a fly-fishing heroine perhaps??

And yes those G&Ts - and the massages . . .

Must do it again some time. Maybe we'll even write next time ;o)


daisy said...

Hmmm, what a novel idea, a writing retreat..! There was just too much temptation for us I think. Knowing that that spa was just down the road, with that jacuzzi calling our names...and looking out onto the gorgeous mountains. Sigh. I want to go back already.
x Abby

Dorthy said...

Your writing retreat sounds absoultly wonderful.

A fly-fishing hero? I could see that, especially since I live on a river where people fly fish all the time. :)

Anne McAllister said...

You're making me yearn for another trip to Ireland, Abby. I don't think it would be that hard to create a fly-fishing alpha. He just has to be quick, steady and patient -- all very alpha qualities in the right man.

I'm sure you could do one. You could even name him Eamon.

Marilyn Shoemaker said...

Oh, Daisy, Connemara is absolutely beautiful. I can imagine you and Kate had a wonderful time. Thanks for sharing.


Anna Campbell said...

Oh, Abby, that sounds absolutely amazing. What a gorgeous place to go for some R&R. I believe you were recharging your batteries, girl, not skyving off ;-) I went to Connemara in the depths of winter many years ago and even the bleak weather couldn't hide how stunningly beautiful it was. Sigh. Now I want to jump in a plane! And congratulations on the new releases!

Annie West said...

Abby, you know after seeing your pictures I'm yearning to visit too. Maybe we could make a trip together some time. It looks so lush and lovely. Just the place for long invigorating walks before relaxing with a book!

And can I just mention that your Spaniard's Marriage Bargain is a ripper! Hope lots of other readers discover it.


daisy said...

Dorthy, I am going to put some serious research time into fly-fishing heroes, it may involve looking for gorgeous men casting their lines (?!), or pulling fish out of the water. Purely for research of course. Ahem.!
Anne, as if you need an excuse to come back to Ireland, you're practically a native after your last visit. Marilyn, Annie and Anna, it would be so good to see ALL of you here.
Oh and Anne - there's an Eamon, or a few of them on their way to you very soon, so watch out for incoming Eamons! xx Abby

India said...

It looks absolutely beautiful. Count me in for the next trip, but it had better not be too close to deadline time because I'm quite sure I wouldn't want to write while I was there! (Not with the temptation of G&Ts and a spa...)

So, will there be a book to come out of it, with or without a fly fishing hero? (Think the hollywood actress in the wilds of Ireland has potential...)

Estella said...

Sounds like an awesome place!