I emigrated from Australia to Ireland in 1998.
I know. Common, eh?
The Celtic Tiger was booming and I had a particularly fine time, given I ended up as the brand manager for Jameson Whiskey and had to travel the countryside meeting people in pubs. My antidote to time on the town was my home in the Boyne Valley, not far from the village of Slane. (Famous for its rock concerts as well as the legend that St Patrick lit the first paschal fire from its hilltop.) This was a countryside haven: very basic in amenities but outstanding in terms of location and character.
The Boyne Valley is arguably one of the most mythic-centric locales in Ireland. Tara is there, Kells not too far down the road, and Newgrange – along with the rest of the Brú na Boínne site – was just down the lane.
It’s a terrifically inspiring landscape and, because I miss it terribly, I’m recreating it in my writing.