Before I start on about the concert, Jim's youngest daughter Jenny had a baby boy today (7th August) at 5.30pm. Sonny Deen Gordine weighed in at 7lb 1oz, so he's a good size. Mother and baby are fine, although they are keeping Jenny in as her blood pressure was very high just before the birth. Hopefully it will settle down. So Jim now has one girl and one boy from each of his daughters. I can't wait to see a photo of Sonny.
The Midnight Court by Brian Merriman
We set off for Caher house, quite excited at the prospect of both seeing the venue and the production of The Midnight Court. We cannot see Caher House from our area, although it's really just a stone's throw across the lake. We turned into the drive and the road went through quite dense woodland. Apparently several of the trees are protected. We came out into a clearing and there was the house, a huge stone edifice. We parked by the old stables, now converted to accommodation. This rather interesting sign was on part of the outhouses where we put our car:
It looks as though it's come from Paris, if you click on it you can see.
I can't believe that I didn't take a photo of the house itself! But apart from being large and square, it's not a particularly attractive building. Everyone around here has always called it 'The Manor'. It was sold a few years ago and bought by a syndicate of solicitors. They ran hunting parties there and the helicopters would fly over us when it was one of their weekends. It seems that the 'rich' can no longer afford to come, as now they are advertising it as a 'guest house'. Lucky pheasants, I say.
We just had time to walk to the edge of Lough Graney and the views from there are stunning:
Jim with bull rushes behind him and Flagmount in the distance. It was a beautiful evening although the midges were about in numbers.
Here is a photo of one of the fantastic trees:
It seemed to be about six trees in one.
The performance started about 8.15 and the ladies and gentlemen had to sit on separate sides of the room! The poem is all about men v women you see. It's all based on a dream with the ladies dragging the poet off to the 'Midnight Court' to be tried for failing to live up to his manly duties. In fact, all the men are supposed to be tarred with the same brush. The men retort that the ladies are no better, etc, etc. Just 2 gentlemen sang and read the poem with great gusto and much amusement. It's quite bawdy but very funny. A few lines had been updated, but apart from that, it was true to the poem. There was a small set with a gentleman lazing about on a settee on one side and a 'lady' standing on the other, cigarette in mouth! Here they are:
Isn't she a darling?
He clearly wasn't interested in me!!
The whole thing lasted about an hour, then there was a break for wine and chat and a look around some of the rooms in the house. There were animal's heads everywhere, presumably trophies from old and lots of stuffed animals of the smaller variety. All a bit gruesome I thought. The fireplaces were magnificent and the mirrors above them.
Some of the hapless victims of hunters
The white animal appears to be a hare - with horns. How bizarre is that. That duck looks obscene! I did like the colour of the walls though.
I did rather like this bronze horse and jockey from the 19th Century.
The second half of the entertainment was a concert given by two well known musicians. One, Steve Cooney, played the guitar and the other, Tony MacMahon, played the squeezebox. If you put this address in your bar, it tells you about the two performers, plus there is a photo of Caher House:
The concert was part of the Feakle Music Festival, an event that happens every year. People travel from all over the world to attend the festival.
Back to the concert. It was a strange affair. Steve Cooney on guitar was excellent. He played some solo numbers, mostly slow ballad type music, and they were beautiful. Tony MacMahon, on the other hand, didn't seem at all prepared. He said he'd just had his instrument back after four months as it had been for a tuning! He also kept asking the audience what he should play. Well, it's no good asking me. Some of the tunes he played were ok but on the whole I was not at all impressed. If I was engaged to perform at a concert I'd make jolly sure I knew what I was doing. It wasn't as though it was a 'jam' session at a pub. We all sat in a room in rows, it was quite squashed so there was no getting up and walking off to a bar! Plus it wasn't cheap! We did enjoy the whole experience but the concert was a bit of a letdown.
Here are two photos of the room and the audience, with the players at the front. You can see how full it was:(The large head on the wall was the 'judge' in The Midnight Court!)
I spoke to Martin, our builder, today. He is an excellent flute player and he said he wouldn't bother to go and see the squeezebox player! We noticed Martin Hayes in the audience and I wondered what he thought of it. He's a fantastic fiddle player. When I mentioned that he was there to Martin, he said he'd have a word with him and find out what he thought. Then he remembered Martin Hayes is actually related to Tony MacMahon!! Enough said.
When we came out, the sky was clear and it was a full moon. Quite beautiful.
Joe finished off the last of the plastering today. The rooms have been swept and cleared for the arrival of the plumber on Monday. Now that is exciting.
A Bit of A Disaster
I trotted down our drive to finish cutting back the overgrown hedge this afternoon. After a while, Jim came to fetch me as he'd had a bit of a disaster. He'd managed to drop the television on top of the Sky box - neither of them work now!! Hey ho! We do seem to be having some bad luck lately. Poor Jim's right knee is all swollen too, so he can't do much in the garden. He was trying to clean the snug and move things around as a surprise for me! Ah well, it does look much better in there. We are using an old tv that was in the house when we moved in. It receives the Irish channels, which aren't bad sometimes. We hardly watch it much at the moment so we can manage for now.
I took Buster for a walk to the lake before I started the hedge clearing and took loads of photos, but I think I'll save those for tomorrow as it's rather late.
I hope everyone has a good weekend.