At this time of year, the winter seems to have been dragging on forever. But every so often we get a little glimpse of springtime: a milder day, the sight of spring bulbs sprouting above ground in the garden. There is also something about the light that changes very subtly around now. It seems to get softer and the Earth seems to whisper very gently to think about coming outdoors and back into your garden.

It is about now that I also dream of holidays; of travel, of visiting new places, of a change of scenery and routine. I don’t know where we will get to holiday this year. Maybe, if we are lucky we will revisit Italy or Spain or France. But in the meantime I will continue to day dream.

And dreaming of changes of scenery and routine always leads me to one of my favourite day dreams – my dream of a ‘run away to regularly’ cottage. If a Fairy Godmother were to appear and grant me three wishes, one of them would probably be for a rural idle, a hideaway cottage within a few hours drive of Dublin. Somewhere I could spend a lot of the summers and other holidays throughout the year.

I know my cottage well. I dream of her often. She is on the West Coast, within earshot of the sea. She has a tidy level garden with some grass and an old orchard of gnarly, lichen covered apple trees. She is very old with thick stone walls which keep me cosy in winter and cool in summer. Old comfy armchairs and sofas are positioned around a huge old fashioned open fire place at one end of the living room. In winter this room is full of the fragrant smell of burning turf – pure bliss.

At the other end of the room is a dining table beside the window to the back garden which is filled with old fashioned cottage garden flowers in summer. The kitchen is fully equipped with all I need and includes dishwasher and washing machine and dryer. There are 2 bedrooms on the ground floor and one bathroom with a large bath. Upstairs the attic space which is lit from roof windows contains one sofa, a TV and lots of floor space for camp beds etc for when the kids bring friends down. There is also another bathroom here.

To the rear of the house I have a view of farmland distant hills and to the front I can see the sea. Within a ten minute walk is a small sandy cove and my cottage is surrounded with tracks through farmland which are good for walking with the dog. The nearest village is a fifteen minute walk away and has a supermarket, a pub which does fine food, a church and a post office.

In the summer months I often sit outside the front door and watch the sunset over the ocean. The air is full of birdsong, gentle lapping of the sea, and cows occasional moos. In the winter, I revel in the experience of Mother Nature whipping up the Atlantic on stormy night.

It is a place of freedom, of peace, of relaxation and of creativity. It is my refuge on days when the weather is grey and miserable, and life seems full of boring repetitive tasks and lacking in colour. It keeps me sane, even if I can only visit it in my mind!

Where do you go in your day dreams?

Photo by irishfireside on

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Writing and Talking.... on the radio, on the telly and in the papers. Debut book out in Spring 2022

12 thoughts on “MY DREAMY RURAL RETREAT”

  1. Thanks Brigid and Mo. Where would we be without dreams and imaginings. And Maureen – no wine cellar but surely even you could bring enuff to keep you floating for a week???

  2. Have you a little summerhouse in the garden where you can write, complete with electricity and a little heater for chilly autumn days.

    With french doors that open onto the greenery of a secluded bit of the garden with lavender and butterflies and. . . OK I am getting carried away now on your behalf! 🙂

    I am quite happy in my little rural home surrounded by a picturesque village and beautiful countryside but would really love the sea to be a 10 minute walk away!. . . that would be wonderful!

  3. What a beautiful dream. Close your eyes, take a deep breath and you can be there. If you can dream it, you can escape to it, whenever you wish. Your description was so wonderful I was there myself and you're right it is all you say!

  4. Oh dear, Barbara, it's a beautiful dream, but you know me? Worst case scenario being my middle name but you have to be practical. Would you not substitute the east coast? Remember the floods. Remember that the rainfall in the west is much much more than here in the east. What about the Atlantic gales?

  5. Oh Barbara I cracked up laughing at your mother's comment above. Your dream cottage has suddenly taken on a Craggy Island feel to it. Ah well…as Susan Boyle says “I dreamed a dream!” 🙂 Jan

  6. Noirin Scully you are a terrible worrier. No want to be near an ocean with storms and big waves and lots of energy and to adopt your attitude, east coast with Irish sea which is most radioactive water in the world! Nah….

    Jan – craggy island? Mmm well it would be funny if we had a few nutty priests thrown in for good measure. But I dont have to go that far to find some of them!!!!

    Dorte – envy you your hols booked… and indeed all your 'normal' travel! In the real world that is!

    Hello Patty – glad you have a nice happy place too!

    Ann- yep, dreaming better than not dreaming.. but you must be within reach of dreamy places in Waterford when you come home!

    Susannah – summerhouse with french doors to a garden I WANT IT, I WANT IT NOW!

    Olive – u and me dreaming on…..

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