Friday, September 28, 2012

From out waters to in waters

The harbour, Clifden
On Friday I drove out to Clifden at the tip of Connemara to read some poems at Clifden Arts Week. It's become an annual gig for my poetry group Skylight Poets. For the past three years we've read from our latest anthology, but this year there wasn't one. Instead we're starting up a new poetry journal. I'm one of the editors, madly learning a new desktop publishing package and designing the first issue, due out in January. We plan to produce another issue in July, then we'll see where things go from there.

 It was into the back of Foyle's Hotel on Friday night - the bit they call Mullarkey's - to listen to The Unwanted: Cathy Jordan, Rick Epping and Seamie O'Dowd were playing a mix of American and Irish music. There was a young fellow warming up the stage before them singing fantastic blues and playing steel guitar and harmonica. I'm fairly sure his name was Nicholas Timothy but it could have been Timothy Nicholas.

Saturday and there was A Plan. After a look around the exhibitions in Clifden, of which there were many, I drove to Dromaan via home to pick up the dogs and some clothes. Meanwhile Joe had taken the boat from Scarriff along with supplies for the night and morning. We met in Dromaan at four (great timing by both) and headed up the lake to Rossmore for a dinner date. Three boats, six people, five dogs.

We were the only ones there by boat but it was popular with fishing people. It's fairly isolated, reached along small lanes from the main Whitegate to Portumna road. And on the water it can be pretty rocky when the wind is coming from the south east - which it was that evening, but only blowing force three or four. It was a few years since we'd been there, so good to revisit. The dogs liked it too, especially the tasty snacks they found on the road out of the harbour, traversed twice daily by milking cows. Cow shit all the way, and back onto the boat both inside and outside Aoife.

The next morning was flat calm and beautiful.

We headed off mid-morning back to Dromaan. My garden was calling. So much rain, so much weeding not done because everything is waterlogged.

Not much better today. The sun is shining but the vegetable beds are sodden. Maybe tomorrow I'll get a bit more done. Ho hum. Tunes tonight anyway in Mountshannon - there's a trad festival on, a low key affair and all the better for it. We'll be playing in the hotel, our usual summer session with Cliodhna Donnellan and Seamus Bugler.

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