Monday, February 15, 2010

Mixed Bag, Valentine's Day. 14th February 2010

Jim and Buster admiring the view across Lough Graney.

Where do I start? OK, only yesterday, but it seems like a long time ago now. Jim started the day by removing the other kitchen cupboards from the wall. Oh, it was a lovely mess behind them!!

Today he has spent re-building them and putting them in the opposite corner of the room. They're not quite finished yet, but look good already.

We knew we were going out Saturday evening so thought we'd better take Buster for a good long walk through the woods and past Lough Graney - and you all know what that means. Photos. And we both had our cameras! I'll be as economical as I can with the photos:

Jim's photo showing Flagmount with half a reflection and the rocks, now almost totally uncovered as the water in the lake is quite low.

The sky was super and the sun even shone occasionally.

A rather dramatic sky reflected in Lough Graney.

As we walked through the wood, it was heartening to see the new mosses and ferns starting to grow. Do click on this photo to enlarge it and see all the lovely details.

The sun shone up on the hill and lit up the wind machines.

The bull rushes are looking very sad now. I wonder how many will grow this year?

Another great sky, hills in the distance, taken through the remaining grasses by the rocks.

Jim took this shot of ivy, moss, a gnarled tree trunk with holly behind. I love all the different greens.

This fabulous lichen caught my eye on the path.

On the walk back, we spotted a fox, but it was too fast and far away for our cameras. Then we realised what it had been after. There was a small flock of Greylag Geese in the field. We have never seen any around here before:

They were quite a distance away from us, so the photo isn't the best quality. The fox would have made a good meal of one of these.

Jim took this photo of me taking photos for my blog!

And this one of Buster, which he called 'give us a kiss'!!

So back home we went, showered and got ready to go into Ennis. Before our trip to The Glor theatre, we were picking up an ebay purchase Jim had made for me. A chap was selling a huge load of curtain samples as he ran a shop and these were now surplus to requirements. We had to be there for 5pm and after a bit of difficulty, we found the place. I can't tell you how wonderful some of the pieces are - and how expensive! I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them yet, but I might make bags and one piece will certainly hang in the Sun Room as a tapestry on the wall - it's wonderful. Photos for another day.

We then parked at The Glor and went to our favourite Hotel to eat. They do wonderful, hearty meals there and it's one of the first places we ate when we visited Ennis several years ago. It was packed as the Ireland v France rugby game was on - Ireland were hopeless and lost by a margin! I had quiche with cos lettuce, pine nuts and a wonderful dressing with chips and Jim had home made burger. The plates would hardly fit on our table for two. I even had a dessert of fresh fruit with meringue and honeycomb ice cream.

Inside Out

Then it was off to the theatre. The foyer was brim full of people and there were sandwiches and all manner of biscuits, plus tea and coffee! Of course we were full. There were some people we recognised, including our neighbours Sandra and Pete. Inside the auditorium it was packed. I've never seen it as full. They had invited everyone from the Parish of Killanena and Flagmount. I hadn't realised these two places made up one parish before.

The film is called 'Inside Out' A Portrait of a Parish. There were various little speeches before it started including one from Hilary Dully, our neighbour. It turns out she was the main force behind the film and received many accolades as the evening progressed. The back cover of the film says:

'In early 2009 a group of young people from Lough Graney Youth Club began working with film artist in residence, Hilary Dully, on a film project about their community. They decided to explore their home place, the small parish of Killanena/Flagmount in East Clare. They young film crew conducted numerous interviews with their neighbours and fellow parishioners, and filmed the comings and goings of their rural community, over the summer months of 2009.'

'The result is the documentary Inside Out, a timely meander through a small rural parish on the cusp of change. The sense of place in the film is particular, yet the memories and stories could emerge from any number of similar communities, whose traditional way of life is under pressure. Inside Out is a gentle and poignant testament to the joys, hardships and passions of rural life in the mid-west of Ireland, as seen by the inhabitants, old, young and newly arrived.'

I have to say we thoroughly enjoyed the film, although the sound was far too loud and distorted some of the speech. Our farmer neighbour Kevin, he who lives by the lake, was featured and made us laugh talking about the island in Lough Graney which he said 'should be his'. Apparently it was given away by one of his ancestors as part of a dowry! He said 'I'll get it back though', with a wry smile.

The older residents who were interviewed talked of walking to school in bare feet, and how marriages were arranged. A suitable girl from a village outside their own, would be invited to meet the eligible lad, they would be sent into the back room of the pub and left together to get to know each other. That was about it!

Of course there were quite a few references to the catholic church with interviews with the Killanena parish priest, a larger than life chap in all respects, who is a very good speaker and quite amusing.

We did wonder whether Buster might appear in any of the shots, but somehow they managed to avoid him!

After the film, we bought the DVD and Jim has been watching it this evening on his computer. He says it's much better with the sound at a lower volume, and easier to understand. I shall have to watch it on mine. What a wonderful achievement for the youth of the parish. They were, of course, lucky to have the input of Hilary and husband Joe. Their son Danny was the 2nd Director and I think their other two children, Cassie and Tom were both involved at some stage. A big well done to the Comerfords and the youth of our Parish.

14th February

Today's date is memorable to me in several ways. Of course it is Valentine's Day and Jim gave me an unusual card, which I had to 'do' myself:

It's a jigsaw puzzle! We didn't do chocolates this year as I am trying to lose some weight!

14th February is also my niece's birthday (my brother's daughter), Rachel and today she is 30. It seems hard to believe. She has grown into a super adult and I am very fond of her:

This is Rachel with her long term chap Chris. I have yet to meet him. Time they took a trip to Ireland I think. Happy 30th Birthday Rachel.

On a sadder note, 14th February 1980 is the day my mother died. She was in Australia at the time, on holiday with my sister. She was diagnosed with lung cancer in the previous October and went out to visit Trudi (my sister) and see the children and where Trudi lived, as she hadn't been out there before. She was meant to come home, but in the end, was too ill to make the trip. My sister nursed her at her home until she died. One day I will do a blog about her. She was a real character and lived a full life - she used to tell us some great tales of her days as a dancer.

Artist Trading Cards/ABC

I made my 'F' ATC in the early hours of this morning, as I couldn't sleep and got up before it was light. Here is my 'F' for Flowers:

I cut the motif from an old t-shirt then sewed it to some soft packaging paper. I stuffed the centre to give a quilted effect and hand sewed around the flowers and ribbons. Finally I glued the whole thing to a blank ATC for stiffness. Oh, I also used my sewing machine to go around the edges and to make the little pink 'F' in the left hand bottom corner. It reminded me of Spring.

I hope everyone has had a good weekend.


DK Leather said...

Smashing blog. I love the ATC, the tale of the film (what a smashing achievement), the lichen (of course!) and the mini blog about Gran... I'll look forward to that one in particular :D


DJ Kirkby said...

Wow, as usual I loved all your photos. That meal sounded fab though I thinkI would have preferred Jim's burger. Chopper went to take donw the shelves in our downstairs toilet and most of the plaster came off so I can relate to Jim's experience in the kitchen.

Leatherdykeuk said...

What a busy weekend you had. I love the photos.

Jason said...

Oh that sounds a very interesting film, I bet it was great for the kids to make. School in bare feet, eh, we used to dream of feet. :-)

Great valentines card!


BT said...

Hi DK, I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

Hello DJ, it was a lovely meal and made a change. Poor Chopper, I understand entirely!

Thanks Rachel, it was busy busy indeed.

It was a super film J, quite 'arty' too, as one would expect with Hilary and Joe involved! lol re the feet!

Anonymous said...

Hello, I will look forward to reading more about your dear mother. Jim's puzzle to you was quite sweet! Lovely photo of Buster giving you a smooch too! Lovely to hear about the film and I also enjoyed your photos from your walk. Hope you have a lovely week dear friend.

Heather said...

Gorgeous view of Flagmount and I filled my screen with the tiny ferns, lichen and mosses. The Youth club film sound very interesting - a real piece of social history. Love your Valentine card and the pretty ATC.

PAK ART said...

That local film sounds so interesting - what a great youth group to recognize the value in their own little piece of the world. I've said it before, but I'll say it again, you live in an awesome place.

Bea said...

You packed in a week's worth of stuff! I love your walks. How wonderful to see GREEN things growing. Love those ducks. Can't wait to see the pictures of the fabric. Cute Valentine. hmmmm oh and very nice ATC. :)Bea

soulbrush said...

every post is a book. love the pic of you and buster smooching. and may your dear mom rip.and i love that atc!

The Weaver of Grass said...

What a lot you two cram into every day Gina - love the photos, especially that mysterious one of mosses and ferns - I think that is the kind of place where the little people live.

BT said...

Thank you so much Mildred and I'm glad you enjoyed my post and the photos. I took Jim to the airport at tea time as he's off to the UK for 3 days.

Thank you Heather, I'm glad you liked my atc, I was pleased with it. And Buster's attentions!! He is a funny dog.

Indeed we do PakArt. The youth club did a great job, didn't they? Who says teenagers are always trouble.

I did, didn't I Bea? lol. It all happened at once! Glad you enjoyed the photos and the green, I loved the mosses and bits and pieces. The material is to drool over!!

Aw thank you soul. I should think my Mum has a choir going up there by now! Or a Townswomens' Guild! She was a real organiser and 'doer'!

Weaver, that is just what I thought when I saw it enlarged! Lots of little fairies I think. Lush green. Lovely. I hope the weather's being kind to you. xxx