Of Friends & Passions…

Of Friends & Passions…

My home is Leitrim and I love it but my heart? My heart belongs to Dublin.

I lived in Dublin for eight years from 1992 to 2000 before returning to the wilds of Leitrim in Ireland’s north west with my five year old daughter Shaylyn.

I lived in Dublin at that time in your life when your’re old enough to be free but still young enough to feel invincible and left before I learned otherwise.

The sense of history, the closeness of the past and how you could see and feel it everywhere was intoxicating.  If I believed in reincarnation I would say I must have lived here before, in a past life…I often say it anyway. The notion appeals to me.

I appreciated the diversity, anonymity, the colour and choices that city life provide but also the warmth, the humour of the people that makes it unique among cities.

I loved the actual physicality too, the buildings & skylines, footpaths, railings, parks and bridges, the very streets were beautiful to me.  I loved and love all of this and haven’t even touched on the friends I made or the memories I have.


On Saturday last I took the eight o’clock train to Dublin, two hours of uninterrupted reading on a train, sheer bliss.

On this occasion I was going to shop.  I successfully avoided the children’s sections (no mean feat for mothers) but couldn’t resist some new wellies on sale in Office!

I was meeting an old friend for lunch at one of my favourite Dublin restaurants, La Maison, on one of my favourite streets, Castlemarket St…

100 - Castle market dublin
Painting by Chris McMorrow. Click the image to visit his website

Nguyen (sounds like Gwen) and I have been friends for twenty years since our modelling days. She is married to the talented and successful photographer Kip Carroll and divides her time between working with Kip, working as a translator and rearing their two boys.

Nguyen & Jane
Nguyen and I in our modelling days, New York 1992…

It’s one of those friendships where years can go by as if days.  It’s easy and natural as it always was and we can just be ourselves (I’m counting you in this too Sheena!).  We were talking so much it took ages to order, eat, pay or leave!

Great conversation with someone you love is one the best things in life don’t you think?

PicMonkey Collage

As if this wasn’t enough another great love the food was absolutely out of this world and I couldn’t recommend La Maison highly enough.

Nguyen, an expert on food and cooking ordered the Carlingford Oysters with a Red Wine & Shallot Dressing to start and proclaimed them perfect, beautifully fresh and delicious.  I ordered the Oven Roasted Scallops on the Shell so divine, so melt in the mouth I think I may have stopped talking for a moment!

We both had the Skillet of Fresh Fish & Mussels in a White Wine Veloute for main and well it’s no exaggeration to say I could have lifted the pan towards the end it was so beautiful.

Coming home to a happy home where everyone is so pleased to see you is the icing on the cake of a perfect day filled with old friends, fond memories and deeply held passions.

What’s your favourite place and what would your perfect day look like?


For more information on La Maison, 15 Castlemarket St, Dublin 2 and to view their menus click HERE

Share my love of Dublin or want to see more?  Check out this blog I love Built Dublin ‘a love letter to architecture and public space in Dublin‘ by clicking HERE

Read more about photographer Kip Carroll and see some of his brilliant work, click HERE




12 thoughts on “Of Friends & Passions…”

  • Cautiously choosing my high heeled steps in one of Rome’s cobbled, historic centres with tons of cats underfoot and old men nodding to eachother ‘bella’ as you go by 🙂

  • What a wonderful day! I don’t know Dublin at all, I’ve only been there once I’m ashamed to say. It was for a photo shoot in which I had to wear a Vivienne Westwood dress, which was made out of chainmail, nuff said! It was there that I first ate Japanese, will never forget it.

    My heart will always be in my hometown of Belfast. Such a different place now to the Belfast that my age group grew up in! Though lately it’s been looking more familiar! 🙂

    My perfect day would be wandering around Florence on a crisp winter day. Going around the Uffizi, looking in the antique shops, pop over the Ponte Vecchio and a stroll around Boboli Gardens, there are never any flowers but it never seems to matter! 🙂

    • Sounds wonderful Kerry, I love Florence too. I didn’t realise you were from Belfast! If your’re going to Dublin any time and want recommendations for places to stay or eat just say the word : )

  • Beautifully written Jane, you brought me right back to my late teens and early twenties.As you say…. old enough to be free but still young enough to feel invincible . Meeting up with a diverse bunch of girls on Grafton Street,going for coffees in Bewleys. Making new friends and discovering the world around us.
    Looking back we’ve gone through quite a few experiences together.Now that we’re a little older and wiser with a few life experiences under our belts, it’s feels good to know I have a friend whom I can connect with no matter how much time has passed.

  • Thanks Jane, will do, it’s a disgrace that I don’t know Dublin. We always seem to drive around it!

    I adore Florence, but only in the winter. I find Florence in the summer is ghastly! 🙂
    It’s like a completely different place!

    • I’ve been there in winter and summer and you’re right though the most romantic day I spent there was during our honeymoon which was in early summer. We were on a cruise and that particular day I had that thing, can’t think what you call it but my legs wouldn’t work properly and we had to spend the whole day with our arms around each other in case I’d fall! It was weird and romantic both, very appropriate for newlyweds : )

  • I love Dublin!
    If I ever changed countries again I would live in Ireland and Dublin would be the spot.
    Your photo of the H’Penny Bridge mades me miss it, plus with one of my best friends having moved back to Ireland, it really would be like going home.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Swit swoo! You look great! 🙂 I do love Diblin city but tbh I’m afraid as Ive been robbed twice in town, both times it was my ohone 🙁 It’ just gone so rough unfortunatley x

  • I just had a flash back of us on the top of a double decker bus in Dublin (hardly Carrick!), I think when we were going to Copenhagen. Anyway I pointed out a dodgy hotel on I think Talbot St? that my friends and I always stayed in when we came to Dublin-you begged me never to stay there again!!!!
    I was afraid of Dublin for years-Martha could not understand it! But now I love it, just to walk around the streets, in and out of shops and hardly a penny to my name, there is such a wonderful atmosphere!
    Other than that my dreams take me to Florence 🙂
    Or Keel Beach, Achill Island to keep it Irish!

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