Sunday, May 31, 2009

Unexpected Night Out, Gorgeous Garden Days 30.5.09

Gosh, the weather's been just lovely the past few days. Summer has come at last and we're loving it. Yesterday we gardened of course, mostly planting things that Jim has grown. I tackled the back of the sleeping shed. I had started it a little while ago and thought I'd finish it. It's also in the shade so more comfortable to work. It was all full of brambles and stinging nettles and buttercups, which I removed as much as I could. Some time ago we have used many of the stones holding up the bank for our road and the larger ones had just tumbled down and landed in a haphazard fashion, which is where they stayed. I thought I'd have a go at moving some stones to hold the bank up again and ended up creating a rough rockery with a flat section at the bottom, which Jim seeded. Now we'll be able to walk around the back of the shed (when the grass grows) instead of fighting through stinging nettles, etc. This is the end result:
I'm really pleased with it. The flat section is a bit hard to see but it's behind that little bush just to the right of the shed. I planted the rockery with wild flowers and garden annuals that Jim had grown from seed. It should look good then. Do click on the photo to enlarge it. I then tried to carry on weeding around the shed. We have a nesting box on this end and the 2 blue tits were going frantic with me there, so I gave up on that idea and moved round the other side of the shed, so that they couldn't see me!

An evening Out

We had to pop down to see Danny to arrange some cat feeding while we're away. Joe mentioned that there was a bit of a do on at Cannys Pub in the evening. The local councillor Pat Hayes was hosting an evening to raise his profile and his brother, Martin Hayes, was going to play the fiddle with a couple of other musicians, one on squeezebox and one on guitar. We made up our minds to go. Now Martin Hayes is an internationally renowned fiddle player and it was too good an opportunity to miss. The following is a little bit about him, so you can see the status of the man:

MARTIN HAYES is regarded as one of the most extraordinary talents to emerge in the world of Irish traditional music. His unique sound, his mastery of his chosen instrument – the violin – his acknowledgement of the past and his shaping of the future of the music, combine to create an astonishing and formidable artistic intelligence. He is the recipient of major national and international awards: most recently the prestigious Gradam Ceoil, Musician of the Year 2008 from the Irish language television station TG 4; previously Man of the Year from the American Irish Historical Society; Folk Instrumentalist of the Year from BBC Radio; a National Entertainment Award (the Irish ‘Grammy’); six All-Ireland fiddle championships - before the age of nineteen - and cited by the Irish Sunday Tribune as one of the hundred most influential Irish men and women in the fields of entertainment, politics and sports in the year 2000, as well as one of the most important musicians to come out of Ireland in the last fifty years. He has recorded two acclaimed solo albums, “Martin Hayes” (1993) and “Under the Moon” (1995) on the Green Linnet label. Martin Hayes is the Artistic Director of the Masters of Tradition Festival held in August each year at Bantry House in Bantry, West Cork, where Ireland’s most distinguished traditional musicians are invited to play in an exquisite chamber music setting. In January 2009, Martin Hayes will lead a group of Masters of Tradition musicians to the Sydney International Festival where they will perform at the Sydney Opera House for two nights.

A native of County Clare, to which he returns for extended periods several times a year, Martin Hayes has been based in the United States, now living in Connecticut, for the past twenty-three years. He has drawn musical inspiration from sources as diverse as the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt, the Spanish viola da gamba master, Jordi Savall, and the jazz genius, John Coltrane, but remains grounded in the music he grew up with in his own locality, Maghera, Feakle, East County Clare where the music which he learned from his late father, P. Joe Hayes, the legendary leader of the long-lived Tulla Ceili Band, profoundly influenced his musical accent and ideas forever after. In his younger days he played in an experimental electric band in Chicago; recently he has composed scores for film, theatre, and modern dance, and has collaborated with like-minded musicians from other genres, such as jazz guitarist, Bill Frisell and eclectic violinist Darol Anger. He views these explorations as a means of shedding light on his ongoing artistic journey, as well as a challenge to any rigidity of thought. The fundamental artistic quest is to go deeper and deeper within traditional Irish music and himself.

It seemed the evening wouldn't start until about 11pm, which is normal for Irish events. We donned our glad rags and off we went about 10.30pm. Mary Leonard was there, a local we know through the Gort Show, so we sat with her. Martin Hayes was there but not playing and Joe and Hilary turned up shortly after our arrival (our neighbours). Pat Hayes eventually arrived and it was gone midnight before anything happened! Martin played his fiddle and it was, without doubt, breathtaking. We have seen quite a bit of live Irish music but his playing was something else, as you can imagine. What a privilege to watch him - and for free! Pat seemed a good egg and bought everyone in the pub a drink! We also had some rather splendid sandwiches and a fair amount of Irish dancing went on too. It was a great night, we were thoroughly entertained and all so totally unexpected. Jim took a few photos but it was a bit dark. I'll post them anyway:

Martin Hayes is in the white shirt

Martin and some of the dancers

More dancing. Look at the size of that chap's belly on the left. He could hardly move.

Jim also took a little video with his camera. The light wasn't strong enough but you can hear the sound and get a taste of the terrific atmosphere that there was.

We left about 2.30am and it was still going although the musicians had stopped by then. What a crazy place. There was one man propped up against the wall and he was fast asleep. I kept worrying that he would fall off his chair!

Jason, Jack and Kitty

In the Green household, Jason has put some photos on Facebook and I snaffled 2 of them! They are just wonderful:

Jason feeding Kitty. I don't know why it's so small

Jack and Kitty. Look at Jack's little face... aaah.

The Garden

With the sun out, the tortoiseshell butterflies were out today, feeding like crazy. I took a few photos:

I also took a lot of flower photos but maybe I'll keep them until tomorrow!

It was the final of Britain's Got Talent tonight and the much feted Susan Boyle came second and the thoroughly deserving winners were Diversity, a dance group of friends and relations. They were utterly brilliant throughout.


Buster was far too hot today. Here he is cooling by the bench on top of the Fairy Hill

Then he decided to walk off with a hedgehog ornament under the bench!

Wind Farm

We can see a vast wind farm on top of the hills from our gate. It's not always clear but today it was, so I made a panorama:

I'm sorry it's small, please click on it to see the wind machines properly!

I also took a photo of the Tipperary hills from the meadow:

It's a bit of a poor join I'm afraid. The sky was wonderful.

Finally, this is Martin the farmer's field, bursting with buttercups.

Flowers tomorrow then!


deepazartz said...

Isn't that a beautiful place to live in!! What cute n tiny baby!

Loved the butterfly shots very much.

Your atcs are great!Have a nice day!

Leatherdykeuk said...

Fabulous butterfly pics, and I love the landscapes.

Twisted willow said...

A great night out indeed. I'm still suffering the effects of one or two too many of the black stuff!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful post. The photos of your surrounding beauty make my spirits soar! I love the butterfly pictures and Jack, Kitty and Buster are looking sweet as usual! What a great evening out you must have had. I enjoyed listening to the video very much. What a thrill to see such talent in person!

Jason said...

Wow looks lovely. All well this end.

Looks a great night out. Nice to see you out and enjoying it.


The Weaver of Grass said...

I do like the phrase bursting with buttercups! How marvellous to be near to an Irish pub with Irish music - there's nothing like it.

Feedsack Fantasy said...

Exquisite shots! I so enjoy your countryside pics. The kid-lings are adorable together. The greatest fun we had in Ireland was in a bar where the beer flowed & the Irish dances were enjoyed ... a lively bunch they were that night.

I still hear G'ma Maggie singing her Irish songs of yore ...
TTFN ~ Marydon

Bea said...

Love Buttercups!
Love Martin, John has some of his music on his Ipod.
Love the Butterfly
Love Buster.
Love the fantastic view of the windfarm. I love those things.
I'm in a LOVEly mood today, can you tell?
I adore Jack and Poppy.
sigh.........see my smile

Heather said...

Lovely post - great photos. I couldn't stay awake long enough for an Irish night out! Jack looks very much the big brother there with his baby sister. Love the butterflies.

DK Leather said...

how exciting re Martin Hayes night out!

Beautiful pics of Buster, Kitty and landscapes :-)

Lovely post. Miss you momma xxx

BT said...

Thanks Deepaz. Glad you enjoyed it all.
Thanks Rachel
Hello Mildred. So glad you liked the post. It was indeed a thrill to see Martin Hayes in person. He was on at the Sydney Opera House when we were in Sydney! Bit different from Cannys.
Glad you're surviving Jason! It was a good night.
Hello Weaver, it is good indeed to have the music close by.
Hello Marydon, you obviously had a good time that night! A good 'Irish' night takes some beating.
Bea, you are funny - full of love for everyone and everything!!
Hello Heather, I'm so glad you enjoyed it all. Jack does look the 'big brother' doesn't he?
It was exciting indeed! Lucky us. Glad you enjoyed the post.

Mary @ Annie's Goat Hill said...

Your blog is aways a treat for me. I sometimes look at it at night on my phone, which does not allow me to leave comments on some blogs. Today I am at the computer, saying hello to you...letting you know I have been reading and enjoying. Today's extra special treat was the beautiful Irish music! Your place is absolutely gorgeous. I need to work harder around here!

Maureen said...

Ooohhh you lucky people. That's the bit I love about Ireland the unpredictable craziness and the late hours they keep, I certainly inherited that gene from my family,I am definitely an owl and I know many would say I also inherited the crazy gene too !!! (not true of course)
Your grand-children look adorable and congrats on the new arrival.
My youngest grandchild is just 12 weeks of age- Florence Rose, she is still tiny as she only weighed
5lbs 13ozs at birth. At least Jack is old enough to enjoy little Kitty, (he looks so proud holding her) Florence's big brother Bertie is only 19 months so he doesn't appreciate her yet.

Stampmaiden said...

OH BT, A belated congratulations on becoming a grandma once again! What a beautiful addtion to your handsome family. Big brother is so sweet and proud. Ah.
What fun you had! Loved the little video. Great music.
Beautiful butterfly photos.

BT said...

Hello Mary, how good to see you and I'm so glad you enjoy my blog. The flowers are a treat at the moment. You have your goats to look after and that takes time.

Hello Maureen, good to see you. Jack seems to have taken to being 'big brother' well. It's a good age I think, to accept another. But your 2 should be close later on. I love the name Florence Rose. So pretty.

Hiya Linda, thanks for your congrats. Jack looks so content, doesn't he? I love the butterflies, they are so pretty and delicate.