Buying a broom. Not anything I’ve been concerned with in the twenty years I’ve been traveling to Ireland. But with the cottage, my concerns have changed.
Gort is a small village with a population well under 3,000. However I was able to find much of what was needed for the cottage. It was just a matter of knowing where to look. And a matter of knowing the difference between a hardware store and a builder supply store.
Hardware stores. Gort has two. Each about the size of your living room. This photo isn’t one of them, but it could be. Limited inventory facilitates quick and easy purchases. Unless, of course, you decide to have a pint.
Hardware stores with a bar are now rare. But Gort has one. Walking into Keane’s past the dust bins, pots and pans, dishes, lightbulbs, clocks, gardening trowels, and requisite Holy Mother wall fonts, the beer taps come into view above the bar. They are equally delighted to serve up a sip of whiskey.
There was a time when the pace was slower. There was a time when coming into town to purchase supplies warranted a bit of time to catch up on the news and gossip. There was a time when the bar was regularly full. Not so much anymore.
Paint and brushes, lumber, hooks for hanging clothes, a hammer and a tape measure were all to be found at the builder supply store. Just up the road, down a narrow lane, and next to the train station. A great place, to be sure. But no brooms. And no beer.
Judith – firstname.lastname@example.org