It said it would rain, 100% claimed the neo-Fishes with their usual crash confidence- so we abandoned golf at Greenore in the Irish Republic and went to next door Carlingford instead. It is still surprising for one brought up in Norn Iron, UK to find oneself in the Republic without having apparently to cross the border. A Border which up to 10 years ago could be a real pain-with customs and military block houses and armed ambushes lurking in the ditches. Now suddenly the road signs are in Irish, the letter boxes green (ditto the wheelie bins) and the speed limit in kilometres per hour and there you are, in a foreign land.
Of course it didn't rain. But golf would have been difficult enough in the haar and County Louth version of Dreich (not a word used in the 26 counties) Carlingford-or what you could see of it in the murk is a pleasant little town around a castle visited by Good King John in 1210. A busy year for the monarch out of the country taking a rest from chasing Robin Hood as he was also in Dundrum, County Down visiting the castle there. The images above are an accurate depiction of how little you could see at noon on a warm October day.
As I half Norn Ironer I have to say how much friendlier the people south of the Border down Carlingford way come across as compared with their more dour cousins. There is a different atmosphere about the place-people will join in your conversation in the street uninvited and unresented. And only in the south could a waiter draw your attention to an 'ugly great chunk of chocolate pudding' on the menu making it immediately irrestible.
And subsequently regretted