We went into Sligo this morning in spite of the heavy drizzle and found the upstairs of the farmers store was just as T. had described...stuffed to the ceiling with bolts of gorgeous fabrics...and jelly-rolls and charm packs and delicious fat quarters. I was in seventh heaven, though wishing my purse held a few more euros of course...it transpires that the woman who runs the shop used to be at the craft shop I usually go to...thought she looked familar so I asked her. It's an off-shoot of the craft shop dealing mostly with fabrics because Mary...who owns the other shop, wants to have more workshops and needs the room.

I bought a jelly-roll of purple fabrics and let the assistant choose the plain fabric to go with it 'cos she has a real eye for colour...

Meanwhile Himself was looking around downstairs and found some excellent parrot seed for Charlie...it has chunks of pineapple and walnuts and all manner of goodies which he loves. There is a proper pet shop you see...with rabbits and budgies and such-like. Also Spiny Mexican Mice...but they were asleep inside a little house so I couldn't see whether they really had spines or not. Another wire cage contained Assorted Rats...I didn't bother to look at them though I've heard it said they make good pets.

There didn't seem to be much in the way of actual farming stuff...it was more like a Homebase shop really with the prices to match.

We went home via Boyle just to make sure we bought our weekly treat of Danish pastries from the Farmers Market...luckily he had some left otherwise we'd have felt quite deprived. And the organic fruit man had some lovely black cherries so I bought some of those as well...and six apricots.

Because I'd not bothered with making up a picnic...as it was raining...and we were hungry by the time we reached Boyle...Himself bought two freshly filled rolls and a coffee for me and we stopped by the side of the lough to eat them. Millie ran about and explored...the rain stopped and the sun came out and it was hot.

This is an area beside the lough where there is plenty of room to park a car...launch a boat...there's a ramp for that...fish...look for wild flowers...or just sit and look. And there was one fisherman far away on the opposite side. The wild flowers there are incredible....masses of orchids and the little blue flowered plant called Self-Heal and later in the summer there will be the delicate flowers of the Grass of Parnisnus...I'm not too sure about the spelling. Today I found a variety of Sundew I'd not seen before....they are the plants with sticky edges to the leaves which close over insects and absorb them. They were in flower...tiny, bright blue and looking rather like an extremely small snapdragon.

I suppose families with children would be bored if they went there for an hour or so...they'd rather pay vast amounts of money to go to Lough Key theme park.

Someone found a Mediaeval human skull while walking round a similar lough not far from where we live...so I took extra care to walk among the stones on the edge to see if I could be so lucky...but all I found were masses of freshwater mussel shells and an interesting stone. The people who lived on the crannogs...the houses on man-made islands...virtually lived on mussels. Where they've been excavated, huge mounds of mussel shells have been found nearby.

It was too hot in my workroom to sort the new fabric out so that'll have to wait...

I had an hour on Ancestry instead and found one of Himself's people who had fought in Sudan in 1880...he survived to tell the tale though...unlike one of his fellows who was reported as 'drowned in the Nile'. I don't know anything about why the British were fighting in Sudan so I'll have to Google it.

Better think about supper I suppose but before I do I'm going to pick some of the roses...the old dark pink gallica roses are lovely this year...covered in blooms. They don't last long once cut but smell beautiful.