I think May is my favorite month (or one of them at least!) probably because of the 2 Bank Holidays. Nobody ever tires of the feeling that they don’t have to get up for work because it’s a Bank Holiday – I think it’s the most useful thing the Bank has ever done!
May started and ended with a party!
Over the past couple of months I had been planning our first “Bride to Be” Sleepover. It was great to work with the girls as they planned a surprise weekend for the Bride to Be! The girls arrived and from start to finish they just wanted to chill out and catch up! Bringing together a group of 20 + who all knew the Bride to Be but not each other could have been difficult but not for this group. They were up for enjoying their night away. The sleepover included an Irish Dancing class, wood fired pizzas, candle making and a Pilates session. Perhaps a glass or two of Prosecco was consumed too. I was thrilled with the girls many lovely comments and reviews. It was also testament to all the new contacts that I have made over the past few months that I was able to invite other people to be involved. So a big thanks to Rachel for the dance class, the two Donna’s who put us in touch and Vicky who taught the Pilates class.
Our guests have been international and domestic as they say in the “trade”. Back when we started I talked to Myrtle at Kribben Cottages and she said about having repeat guests and how important that was. At that stage I was just thinking about people coming at all never mind twice! This month however we have had visitors who have returned for their third visit. A huge compliment not only to the holiday cottages but also to the local amenities and services our guests receive when they are out and about in Kilkeel and surrounding areas.
One of the highlights of this month was a visit from Mourne Local Studies Group. Mark was chief tour guide for the evening. The group had a tour of the houses and a walk along the Mill Race Path and the river (I think they may have even looked for our fairies!). Over the past few years we have had lots of information about the Walmsley family who set up the mill back in the 1740’s . Mark’s brother in law Ivor has been vital in finding out much of the history of The Green for us and we are gradually piecing this together. With the groups local knowledge we were able to find out a little more about the milling industry in Mourne.
May is officially the start of summer and the colour and noise along the river, in the Hazel banks and in the garden definitely are announcing her arrival. We’ve had beautiful bluebells for most of the month and now the fox gloves are starting to blossom all over the place. The smell of the hawthorn announces summer and walking under the falling blossom is magical.
Summer holiday season is fast approaching. We are excited to meet our guests over the next few months. I am involved in a couple of groups who are working hard to promote our area as a destination for people to come and visit. The networks are growing and there is great energy from many local businesses and groups working together to find ways to encourage people to choose Kilkeel as a destination.
The perfect end to the month was another party.
Again it involved a wedding and not us directly but it was important to the life of The Green at Aughnahoory.
Elaine who grew up on the farm next door to the mill got married to Melvin. They have become good friends of ours over the last few months and it was lovely to see them on their wedding day.
We wish them much happiness in the years ahead and they are going to be neighbours so we’ll probably see them every once in a while!