Friday, September 27, 2013

Yarn bombing in Portumna

So do you like the moody photo of Portumna Bridge? And what's that coloured stuff clinging to it? Can you see it. Because it's only now I've uploaded it to this blog that it's appeared. The light was all wrong so I thought I'd only captured a dark bridge. Mmm. What's the next one going to be like? Here we go.

Oh now not bad at all. This is the upriver section of the bridge where we were lurking on Winter Solstice waiting for the 5.30 opening. We'd put her in Connacht Harbour the Sunday before after I launched what you can see on the bridge. So hang on. One more pic after we went through.

And there we are. This is the result of a yarn bombing art project by textile artist Kate O'Brien, who worked with local people - net workers - to make all the separate squares of knitting and crochet that became these nets that you can just see reflected in the water. Kate's aim was to reproduce Monet's painting of pond and water lilies with all these wonderful vibrant colours. It was the beginning of the local Shorelines Arts Festival.

So I, in my new role as author, was asked to launch this exhibition. There was also to be a flotilla of boats going through the bridge as it opened at 3 pm on the Sunday, plus an aerial photo of the whole thing. Joe and I had arrived in Portumna in the camper van on Saturday after a tour of the country (it seemed) on Skipper & Her Mate business. It was warm, sunny and calm. I had a text from Margaret, one of the organisers. The forecast was atrocious for Sunday.

We went over to Terryglass where much of the flotilla was gathered. The forecast was not only for rain but for high winds. Oh no! They were to arrive in the early hours. It was still balmy and summer-like at midnight. I woke at 2. No wind or rain. Perhaps the forecast was wrong again.

Sadly not. We woke to storm. Waves raged in from the west. Not the weather for barges or other big boats. Didn't look like we'd be bringing Winter Solstice round from Castle Harbour to the bridge as planned either. And definitely no aerial photography. The venue was on the verge of being changed to indoors. What a shame.

But the weather gods were partly good to us. The sky cleared, it was mild enough, but the wind still stormed away. However, it was on the other side of the bay. We made a last-minute decision to bring the boat around the corner and tied her up below the bridge. A crowd gathered. There were musicians. Speeches - me among them. I'm getting the hang of this. It's more fun than I thought it would be. Just as well as I'm doing it again on Sunday - not opening an exhibition, but doing a reading and introduction of Skipper in Mountshannon at 12 noon in The Snug on the Main Street. It's part of the Mountshannon Trad Festival. We'll be playing a few tunes there too on Friday and Saturday.

When I went to put my coffee on the table before writing this blog there was something not quite right.

Yes yes of course you can see it straight away, but from above it wasn't so obvious. Books under the legs means Joe's been busy at the paté again. Or it might be a terrine if you're being particular. The tins of whatever-it-is have fitted timber shapes placed on top before they go under the table legs. Heavy objects on the table weigh everything down. I've written about this before, but I'm always so impressed by it that I have to tell you about it again. 

Here's the result.

Mmm yum. Nice one Joe.

And finally.

It's not only cats who have to sit on things you put down to air or dry.

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