This new blog is now officially open! And the reason I didn’t open it earlier (since really, this was the opening post) is a silly one – I need three posts for the front page layout to look good. But that’s it!
The summer of 2022 was INTENSE. Very busy and active – and although I feel near exhausted at the moment and can’t wait to get back into the autumn routines, I can look back at a very good summer filled with mostly happy and positive activities and events. Without further ado, here’s some of it in pictures.
Fun local events
We visited some local agricultural events, such as the Barryroe show, with horse & dog shows, various exhibitions, and cow contests (or whatever they call it!) where farms enter to win a prize for the best cow, in terms of behaviour, looks, health and so on. It was the first time I visited on of these shows and I really enjoyed it!
The other one was the vintage show, which is an exhibition of tractors and other farming equipment, and a show of plowing and harvesting with vintage machinery. It was fun to see but probably not good for environmental reasons. Still I really enjoyed it since I’m a big fan of country life, history, and vintage stuff in general, and it was a lovely relaxing activity the Sunday after our pub gig.
What about the garden?
The garden was a fail this year. I simply didn’t have time for it! The worst failure was the tomato plants that I spent tons of energy on, but they appeared to get fungus and all tomatoes matured but seemed to rot. However, I did some reading and understood it could also be caused by inconsistent watering, which happens when you live in an unstable climate and you don’t have a greenhouse or polytunnel. I read that one way to solve it is to add mulch because it keeps the soil moist longer. Now it seems like it could have helped! The tomatoes maturing out there now look good! Fingers crossed….
So here’s some of the garden happenings:
This summer we’ve played music all over the place, several days a week, and we’ve had our first paid gigs, in a small pub in town. You lead a session there and people can join in, and the tradition there is that people in the audience are invited to sing a few songs too. It’s been lovely and a learning experience to say the least! We have one gig left in a few weeks. My dear camera club friend took this photo of us at our first gig.
The trip to Donegal
One of my best experiences this summer was a long weekend trip to Ardara in county Donegal. We went for the bluegrass festival and honestly it’s one of the loveliest music experiences of my life! I’ll write more about that on my music blog, but it was life-changing in a way and there will always be a before and after Ardara. However, we also did a small roadtrip and here are the photos from the weekend:
On a roadtrip around the southern peninsula:
The Zoom session meet-up
To end the summer, we had the most enjoyable two weeks of August! In the summer of 2020, a good friend of ours in Sweden invited us to come and join an online music session she had started with some other friends we didn’t know back then. They met on Skype but we soon suggested we moved it to Zoom since it’s more functional for a real chat (it handles sound, and switching between different people’s audio better), and we had a business account. So off we went… and have been going since. It’s been a fantastic way to keep motivation to learn new songs and tunes while real life music sessions couldn’t happen, meet up and have some good chat, and make new friends – those two other ladies are now good friends of ours too. We’ve also celebrated Burns night and St Patrick’s day on Zoom together.
And all of them came to Ireland recently!
We’ve been talking a long time about meeting up here when it was safe to do so. Now it finally happened and we all had a great, great time. We’ve played music almost every night, in pubs or in my neighbour’s house, we’ve had good food, good drinks, inspired each other, enjoyed the good weather and the lovely views, the visitors have done some tourist stuff and a few of them also enjoyed the local beaches for a swim.
Recently there was a big commemoration festival to celebrate Michael Collins, since it was 100 years since he was killed. If you don’t know about him, you need to go and do some reading. He’s Ireland’s national hero, who led the movement that eventually made Ireland a free country, but was killed in an ambush not far from here in 1922. His birthplace was here in Clonakilty, West Cork.
Sadly all of us missed the festival, we were too busy to go, and it was just before our visitors came. But they enjoyed visiting the Michael Collins memorial places and the museum, and last Friday we all met up at the Four Alls pub, which is the local pub where Michael Collins used to go.
We’ve had some very intense weeks, but oh so enjoyable! I took quite a few pictures but won’t post so many because people may not be happy about being published online. However, here are a few.
I started the summer with absolutely zero inspiration for photography – but now as we go into September I can’t wait to get out with the camera. Not having the time for it gave me a well-needed break and now my hands are itching to do some proper photography geekery.
This post is quite long for being the start of a more simplified blog format… but posts like this WILL happen.. when I’m up to it!