This is my contribution to the GBE 2 weekly topic.
Almost everyone who knows me knows that Martin Sheen has been my favourite actor for more than 30 years. What many people probably don't know is that his ancestry is half-Spanish, half-Irish. Martin is very proud of his Irish ancestry and has visited Ireland many times. His mother was born in there and emigrated to America in 1923 during the 'troubles' - the Civil War in 1922-23 which followed the war of independence against the British.
My first 'real' visit to Ireland was about 4 years ago. Prior to that, I'd only been on a day visit to Dublin. Since 2007, I've been back there about nine times. Like Martin, I have fallen in love with this beautiful and fascinating island with its wealth of history, culture, music and stunning scenery.
So where does a 'bakery' come into this?
On one of my visits, we stopped at a small town in Tipperary which I knew had links with Martin's mother. She had been born there and I knew Martin had visited in 2003 when a memorial service was held at a church in a small village nearby to honor the 100th anniversary of her birth.
In the town's main street, we saw a bakery-cum-cafe (yes, we're finally getting to the bakery!). In the window there was a photo of Martin with his brothers and son Emilio. Intrigued by this, I went into the bakery. Lots of delicious cakes were on display - mouth-watering, home-baked cakes of every description. Fruit cakes, sponge cakes, lemon and cherry, coffee, ginger and chocolate, and gateaux. Mmm - which to choose?
However, more interesting, to me anyway, was the conversation with the lady who owned the shop, We bought coffee and cake (think I had some lemon cake), and sat down at one of the small tables, and I asked her about the photos in the window.
"Oh yes," she said, "he's my second cousin."
Oh wow, a personal link with Martin Sheen! She then proceeded to tell me all about his visits to the town and to her shop.
It was the best visit to a bakery I've ever had!