Friends forever: the Donegal connection
In the final part of our Green & Black’s series, we send three lifelong Dublin friends to a cottage in Donegal for the weekend with a hamper of the ethically- produced chocolate
Faye Joyce and her sister Laura live in Mount Merrion in Dublin, and they both consider Faye’s best friend, Lydia Caslin, like another sister. The sisters grew up near Lydia, and Faye and Lydia’s friendship meant their mothers subsequently became best friends, too.
Faye is in the graduate programme in The Irish Times, Laura is a newly- qualified accountant and Lydia is a final- year nursing student and also works in a nursing home. Although the friends see each other regularly, they all realised the value of getting away for some quality time together after a weekend in Bumblebee cottage in Fintra, near Killybegs in Co Donegal.
They visited the spectacular Slieve League during their stay, and a rainy, but stunningly beautiful, Fintra beach, all the while enjoying Green & Black’s chocolate on their girlie getaway.
When did you become friends?
Faye: Lydia grew up just around the corner from me so we have been friends since primary school. We also went to secondary school together and we both went to the same college. Lydia is my best friend and I am very close to Laura, but Laura is really close to Lydia as well because our families grew up together. Our mums are best friends as well.
Laura: We are all really close. Lydia’s been friends with Faye since they were four so I grew up with Lydia as well and she was always in the house so we are all very comfortable with each other. I would consider Lydia to be one of my friends, as well, not just Faye’s friend.
How important are these friendships to you?
Faye: It’s so important. I consider Lydia another sister. I’m very close to her and I can tell her anything and she doesn’t pass any judgement, ever. She’s so empathetic and kind and just such a good friend, al-
Bumblebee Cottage in Fintra, a small village just beyond the fishing town of Killybegs in Co Donegal.
Photographs: Declan Devlin ways. Laura is older than me, we get on really well but we know exactly how to push each other’s buttons but we do have a really good relationship.
Laura: I think it’s important to have someone to talk to and to be able to say anything and not feel judged on what you are saying, or that you have to tailor it. We can literally say anything to each other. You’re not going to get the response you necessarily want, but they’ll give you their honest opinion.
That trust is a huge thing, and I think that’s developed over time because we have all grown up together.
Lydia: We are very trusting of one another, we tell each other everything. If I have a problem, I’d be over in Faye’s house and vice versa. We have fun as well, we are always out together. I’d be very close to her family and she would be very close to mine, my mum sees her as a third daughter. I would see Laura as an older sister. There is great comfort in knowing that they are around the corner.
Do you think the three of you get enough quality time together?
Faye: Definitely. It’s easier with Laura, obviously, because we live together so we are always doing things. Lydia lives just around the corner so it would be a matter of one of us texting each other asking did we want a cup of tea and pop over to the other one’s house. Even if one of us is having not a great day, you can ring the other one’s doorbell and pop in.
Lydia: We talk every day. We might not see each other throughout the week [ with work], but we will still be in contact and see each other at the weekend.
Describe your weekend in Donegal?
Faye: Laura and I left work early on the Friday and we collected Lydia and drove up. We got there at about 6.30pm and it was absolutely lashing rain. I think there was a storm warning that evening so it was i ntense winds and rain. It was pitch- black outside, we didn’t know where we were going but then we did find the cottage. None of us had been to Donegal before. Oh my God, it was stunning. We all absolutely loved it, especially when it stopped raining. We had so much fun.
On the Friday evening we watched three movies, New Year’s Eve, The Holiday and Valentine’s Day. All the typical girlie films. We had some wine, a cheese board and t he chocolate, and j ust wrapped up in our pyjamas and watched the movies in front of the fire.
Declan, the photographer, was coming at 11.30am [ on the Saturday] so we got up and made breakfast and got ready. After Declan took the photos, he recommended we go the Slieve League cliffs so we drove up there and after that we went for a drive around a few little villages, then on to Killybegs for a look around.
Lydia: When we arrived, it was so dark and wet, we didn’t actually know where