I couldn't leave it without mentioning the other side of the week in Ireland. The 'Craic' I suppose we tourists call it. In this little bar which opened at 9pm each night, I learnt to enjoy Irish Whiskey poured by the amazing Margaret, who by day works at a college miles away and by night serves drinks in the family Whiskey bar, behind which is the family farm where there are a number of cows and a very large bull . When we asked her husband how many, he said 'Four more than last year'.
In the picture below are (left) Noel Hill and (right) Seamus Begley, two very revered and skilled exponents of traditional music. I know you can't see them but I promise they were there. Its a tiny bar like someone's front room. On the first night we went in and it was almost empty; on the next night it was shoulder to shoulder with all ages of people; musicians from the concertina course who had come from Russia, Japan, Denmark, Portugal , UK and USA; students from the Burren Art College and some locals.
Later in the week, on two separate occasions, we travelled 15 miles across the Burren to Corofin Festival Concert.
Again it was like someone's front room but with a big extension on the back, and in this little community centre where the health and safety and fire escape instructions were rounded off with ' Anyways, best of luck', we heard some amazing playing.
On the Saturday night after the concert we thought we'd go to the pub to hear more but every bar was so packed we could hardly get in.
The wonderful thing was that it encapsulated the whole of society, young and old musicians as well.
So with that and all the natural beauty , no wonder I felt refreshed.
I leave Ireland with these few pictures.
Two 14 week old jack Russell puppies walking on 'The Flaggy Shore'.
Wild swans on the lake by The Flaggy Shore'
'And some time make the time to drive out west Into County Clare, along the Flaggy Shore, In September or October, when the wind And the light are working off each other So that the ocean on one side is wild With foam and glitter, and inland among stones The surface of a slate-grey lake is lit By the earthed lightening of flock of swans, Their feathers roughed and ruffling, white on white, Their fully-grown headstrong-looking heads Tucked or cresting or busy underwater. Useless to think you'll park or capture it More thoroughly. You are neither here nor there, A hurry through which known and strange things pass As big soft buffetings come at the car sideways And catch the heart off guard and blow it open' Seamus Heaney
Some amazing lichen in the same area...I zoomed in to view the structure.
Thank you for reading along with me.