Though their histories are intertwined, not always happily it has to be said, the horror of the clearances still haunts the landscape in rural Ireland, there are some fundamental differences between the Irish and the English. The Irish currency is Euro’s (the death of the Irish punt still mourned by my other half), distance and speed are measured in kilometres and Km per hour. The Irish are incredibly house proud, post offices are green, schoolgirls wear plaid skirts, women rule the roost and an idle man is rarely seen. The menfolk are as often as not seen tending the kids, keeping the outside house clean and tidy and never happier than when digging a hole or builidng something.

Arriving off the boat from the UK it’s not always an easy task to adapt to the Irish metric measures. It’s way too easy to read an 80km speed limit as 80 mph and hurtle too fast around the winding rural minor roads. Many of the rural roads are single track and pedestrian walkways are a rarity posing a real danger of inadvertently mowing down an unsuspecting local or dog. During our stay we came across a good half a dozen dogs out for a happily unaccompanied stroll down the main road and more than a few dutiful husbands returning from doing the grocery shopping.