Ballyjamesduff [Baile Shéamais Dhuibh] Co Cavan, Ireland

Here is a photo of BJD. H/t stjamesofoldcastle There are also a lot of very picturesque photos from where this one came from of neighbouring Co. Meath, as well as Co. Cavan. That is … if one likes to view churches, pasture fields and historical sites etc.
It was a shock when I first arrived in the small market town from London in 1985. I just couldn’t adapt to the slow pace of life. I found it so hard to understand why people would spend a half an hour and more in the one and only phone-box. They didn’t hurry up for no-one at all and couldn’t see why one would make a fuss if one spent too long talking on the phone. Mind you I did discover at one time that the phone was very often out of order and those who had relatives living in America and England used to anxiously queue up, or sneak out at the dead of night to make illicit phone-calls.
The older people in the town had to simply know where one came from. Telling them that you lived in London was not a good enough answer. It was very hard to be fully accepted by them if they did not know who your kith and kind were. I had a hard job explaining to them, as I was not a person who talked at all about my background. It was a legacy I’d carried from my childhood in Goldenbridge. I never ever divulged to anyone my institutional background. That was the most shameful thing of my past, just like a prisoner, I guess who would also not be too forthcoming about his/her incarceration.
Here is another one to whet the appetite. It’s from Oldcastle, which is only a stone’s throw from where my mother lived in Cormaddyduff, Virginia – when she came back to Ireland upon retirement from the Assay Office in Birmingham. I knew every by-road like the back of my hand, as I regularly cycled from Ballyjamesduff to Virginia to visit my mother. I also visited Sr. Grainne in Oldcastle where her parents had a shop. Sr. Grainne, yes… a Sister of Mercy was very kind to me and helped enormously with gargantuan familial difficulties She was a tower of strength and passed no judgement and was so much in my favour.
She was very independent and decided to rent out accommodation nearby the Sisters of Mercy in Kells. I stayed at the house on innumerable occasions as I chanced to pass through Kells en-route to Wexford. It was so cosy and snug. I was always made to feel so welcome. I was thoroughly surprised to see the quaint abode in one of the photos belonging to stjamesoldcastle See: yellow house on the right. The Kells Rd. leads directly downhill to Oldcastle and Trim the other way if cars were facing one.
This is Loughcrew Megalithic burial site in Oldcastle. I was lost in a world of by-gone days when looking at the brilliant photography by stjamesofoldcastle. They are indeed stunning. I do recommend one to view the photos.
I cycled this road on most Saturdays when en-route to Cavan town to go shopping. Cavan town is 14 miles from Ballyduff (as it’s known by locals). I enjoyed going to the former just for the day, though, as I overall was more attached to BJD.

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