Donegal

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:

Music

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.

Photo by Anne Coveney
Photo by Anne Coveney

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:

The black building on the other side of the bridge is the new distillery where they make the An Dùlaman gin, and have whiskey in the making. These are the people behind the Legendary Silkie whiskeys, if you’ve happened to come across them. Fabulous people and they even let us in for a tour although they weren’t officially open yet!

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.

My neighbour’s fantastic Irish coffee
Music – the one thing that got us together
Enjoying the beach with Molly
Lovely sunset seen from my neighbour’s garden

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!


I’m finally back at Natalie’s Weekend Coffee Share! And I’m also linking up with the lovely Denyse Whelan’s new Wednesday words & pics.


20 responses to “The summer of 2022 in photos”

  1. Natalie avatar

    Susanne, Thank you for your weekend coffee share with gorgeous pictures. Your summer sounds fantastic and fun-filled. Your new blog looks great. I love Ireland’s landscape/ seascape and you captured it beautifully. I look forward to your next post whenever you feel like blogging. Have a wonderful week!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Natalie, it’s good to have you here! And it’s good to be back blogging. I hope your week will be a good one too.

  2. Janet Alcorn avatar

    Wow, wow, wow–your photos are incredible. Love the garden pics and the vintage farm equipment (I grew up in farm country in California and think old John Deere tractors are the bomb–yes, I’m weird). And your landscape photos are amazing. I’ve never been to Ireland, and now I really, really want to go. Thanks for sharing your talent and the beauty of your part of the world!

    1. Susanne avatar

      Hi Janet and thank you so much for your lovely comment!
      There’s something special about tractors and farm stuff… to me I think it represents simple life (although I know farm life is not so simple), living near nature and more genuinely, as opposed to life in the city, or something like that.
      And do come to visit Ireland! It’s fantastic here and so much to see!

  3. Trent avatar
    Trent

    Great photos! Very cool that you are playing out with your music. Looks like a good summer. I hope you are havign a good weekend and have a wonderful week ahead. Also hope you have a great autumn.
    I have been away from blogging for a while. I know you have multiple blogs. Is this a new name or just a blog I am not used to? Thinking of that, I may have to visit your whisky blog…

    1. Susanne avatar

      Hi Trent! Yes, this is a new blog that replaces my old one. I left blogging for a while because I had lost all my enjoyment with it and when I wanted to come back I preferred to create something new and make it simpler (will be shorter posts than this one, normally, but still photo-focused and some reflections). My music stuff will still be on my old URL but I haven’t exactly decided how to use it. It will likely be a blog in some form, where I’ll share my videos and some reflections regarding learning guitar and concertina. The whisky blog is very inactive because I’ve been so busy lately but I’ll get back to it very soon so feel free to visit. I mostly write about Irish whiskey because that’s what I most easily have access too.

  4. Deborah Cook avatar

    Hi Susanne
    This is my first visit, so lovely to (virtually) meet you. I love your pictures and such a beautiful landscape and surrounds. And congratulations on the re-opening of the new blog.
    Deb

    1. Susanne avatar

      Hi Deborah, and welcome to my new blog! I’m sure you recognise me from my previous blog (although I’ve changed my Gravatar picture!) and from Instagram though! Thanks for visiting and I’m glad you liked the photos. This is a lovely place to live in!

  5. Denyse Whelan avatar

    Ah I loved reading and viewing this post Susanne…welcome BACK. The country you have made home is oh so beautiful. We have lots of agricultural based ‘show’ events here in Australia. Some are country town based, others are huge and held in the capital cities. In Sydney, the one I remember from childhood to then sharing with my own kids, and then their kids is held around Easter for 10 days and its called “when the country meets the city”, I LOVE them

    Thank you so much for joining in the first week of Wednesday’s Words & Pics Link Up!

    I am glad to have reconnected a lovely blogging community here and look forward to more sharing as we move forward.

    See you next week, on Wednesday 14 September 2022 if you have a post to link up!

    Warmest wishes and appreciation from

    Denyse.

    1. Susanne avatar

      It’s so good to have you here, Denyse! I’m glad you liked this post and I’m happy to join your link-up. I can imagine you have lots of agricultural shows over in Australia! All the shows I’ve been to so far have been out in the countryside but I know there is one at the showgrounds in town too, earlier in the year.
      Hope to “see” you again soon!

  6. Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au avatar

    Hi Susanne – well that was a surprise! I clicked on this blog I hadn’t heard of and it was you! Congrats on the new site and can I just say that I’m not usually a huge fan of photography blogs…but….. your photos are gorgeous. I guess it’s your camera or your skills or whatever, but they’re so crisp and clear and vibrant – I even pinned a flower because I couldn’t resist. Lovely to read all your Summery news too.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Hi Leanne, it’s good to see you here! I can tell you right away that most of my posts won’t be as photo-heavy as this one. I’ll probably most of the time share some reflections with some photos. However, I’m happy you like my photos! It’s likely both about my camera, my skills, and also my perfectionism about sharpness. When I started my photography journey, I really struggled with sharpness and never seemed to get my photos sharp enough. Then I started exploring the reasons, learned more about how to set my camera and tried using manual focus etc… because after reading too many forums, in my head good photos were equivalent to sharp photos (which I know now isn’t always true, it simply depends), so I’ve been obsessed with getting sharp photos. Lately I’ve realised that most of my photos are usually sharp these days but instead my composition skills are crap because I spent all my energy on sharpness! Oh well… the learning journey never ends and perhaps that’s what makes it exciting.
      Thanks for pinning! I wouldn’t have a clue about how to do that unless there was a pin button!

  7. Debbie Harris avatar

    Such great photos of your summer Susanne, well done on the clarity. I particularly love the beach scenes for some reason 🙂

    1. Susanne avatar

      Thanks Debbie, I love the beaches too! That place in Donegal was amazing.

  8. Maria avatar

    I LOVE your new blog! The design is beautiful! Your photos are gorgeous as always. I am sure the thing you read about your tomatoes is correct, however they look gorgeous now! I always add eggshells to the soil, to avoid blossom end rot and fertilise. Your summer in photos makes me ache for a trip to your beautiful island. Well done! Looking forward to seeing more posts.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Hi Maria! Thank you, I’m glad you like it! And thanks for the tip about the egg shells, I’ll try that next year! If I try tomatoes again. But I probably will! It’s lovely to have your own tomatoes and those we’re getting now are very tasty. I hope you’ll take yourself over to Ireland sometime!

  9. Joanne avatar
    Joanne

    What a fun look back at the summer! I’ve mostly been using my phone for photos for the past several months but out hiking today I found myself itching to use my “real” camera and get back to playing with light and shadow and lenses and filters and such. I think taking a break is such a wonderful thing when it helps us find that desire again.

    1. Susanne avatar

      Oh, do get back to your camera! It’s so much fun to explore all the settings and everything you can do with it that you can’t with the phone. I’d love to see your real camera pictures!

  10. Anne avatar

    Susanne, I LOVE your new site. I have had this post open for DAYS because I wanted to save it to read until I had sufficient time to really enjoy it. That was seriously lacking this week but last night I finally managed it and oh, how wonderful to see you writing back here. To see your photos (thank you for at least the one photo-heavy post!) and your adventures this summer. I am so, so glad that you were able to enjoy yourselves – to spend time with each other, and new friends – and to explore even more. There is nothing I don’t love about this post. (That’s… a very awkward double-negative, sorry!). This post brought me out of a challenging day in a long string of them, and brought me so many smiles. I cannot wait to read more here – whenever you choose to write – and to explore your other blog(s) (? still not sure how many others there will be?) as they unveil themselves. Thank you so much for sharing with us again. <3

    1. Susanne avatar

      Hi Anne and welcome back! Honestly I have no idea how much else I will blog. I mean, except here. I’ve created a simple non-Wordpress site to share my music (and thoughts about it) but right now my head is too full to share anything else than what I do here. But I’ll settle down – if not earlier, when I’ve finished my graphic design studies in November. However, the only blogs I’ll ever have except this one are those linked to below. My days of endless blogging are gone, I think. That energy will go to music instead. But I’ll write when I want to, and when it comes to photo-heavy posts, they’ll probably happen again.

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