Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Midnight Court + Concert, 6th August 2009

Big News

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 Concert

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.


Nikki said...

Hiya. I love the photo of the tree, most impressive. I still have a photo of a tree you took and had framed for me as a surprise, do you remember?
We have just had the Bakewell show...and the sun shone!! It is now just a glorified market tho' and I wouldn't bother if I wasn't given free tickets :)
Don't worry about the lack of tv, nothing on you are missing!! Plus, it gives you more time to put on the wonderful blog, lol. Have a great weekend.

Anonymous said...

The stone work on Caher House is so interesting. I especially love the picture at Lough Graney. So sorry about Jim's knee. I know you both are really tired from all the work around the house but it will be so nice when it is finished. Wishing you both a nice, quiet weekend with no more disasters.

Jason said...

Oh I fancy the Bakewell

Wow good to see the house. Looks very weird, I like it. Those colours and animals! Get me that duck!

Sounds like the building is coming on well, look forward to seeing it.


Heather said...

Congrats on the new arrival to the family. The lake looks so peaceful and that tree is majestic. Midnight Court sounds great fun. Hope Jim's knee is better. If your programmes are anything like ours on TV you're not missing much.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

You have been quite busy. The Midnight Court and concert sounds interesting. A nice night out. What a pretty picture of the countryside where Jim was standing.

BT said...

Hiya Nikki. I was thinking about the Bakewell Show this week, knowing it was on. Glad you went. That tree was gorgeous, amazing. I do remember the tree I photographed for you. I even remember where it was!! I'd take a better shot of it now. Not really worried about the tv. We hardly watch it in the Summer, but I do like to watch a film or two in the Winter - and Holby City when I catch it.

Hi Mildred. Yes, the stonework is interesting, I agree. Finished? Now what's that? lol. thanks for your good wishes.

Me too Jason, it's been a long time. We can go and foist ourselves on Nikki next year!! lol. Just think of Caher house and then the houses, like ours, that the Irish lived in. Bit of a difference! That duck is ghastly!

Thank you Heather, nobody else has mentioned him!! lol. You can read Midnight Court online, if you have the stamina. It's quite long. A bit of a poetic marathon. Have a good weekend.

Hello Lisa. It was an interesting evening indeed. Good people watching too. The setting is unsurpassed around here. I have taken some good shots of the lake to put on tonight's blog.

The Weaver of Grass said...

I too love the colour of those walls Gina - not so keen on the stuffed animals though. I collect stuffed birds from Victorian times but the animals have always revolted me as they all have a triangle cut out of their heads where the brain was removed!
Love the sound of the concert and the venue. And that photo of Jim on the lakeside is beautiful - midges not withstanding! Congrats to him on the birth of his grandchild. Have a lovely, tv less weekend. (worse things happen at sea, as they say).

Bea said...

Welcome to the world little boy! Babies are arriving right and left aren't they?
Sorry to hear about Jim's knee I hope some ice and rest will get the swelling down and he doesn't need a scope or anything.
Dropping the TV......not good. I bet he felt terrible.
Loved hearing about the production. Yeah, you are right, if I'm going to be up on stage I jolly would know what I was going to play. Of course, not knowing sounds like one of those bad dreams we have......showing up naked for an exam, etc. :)Bea

DK Leather said...

~smiles~ yay re Sonny :-)

we were going to do the Bakewell Show this year, after many years absence, but of course I got ill instead :/ lol

Love the idea of the concert etc in the house... what fun!

BT said...

Hello Weaver. We have an old tv that gets the Irish channels, so not totally without. They do have a lot of films, but no subtitles so I can't follow much!

Oh yuk re brain removal from animals!
Glad you liked Jim's photo by the lake. It was a place to envy! And the trees - wow.

Bea, you are so astute, Jim did feel awful about the tv! Ah well, it's just an accident, I'm glad it wasn't me though. You are so right about those dreams. I'm always on stage in the wrong play or I don't know the words, etc. Awful. The worst is when my legs won't move.

It was indeed a good 'do' at Caher House. Silly you getting ill again, you might have bumped into Nikki!