Benbulben Sunset Hike

Sometimes a very special event takes place. One that is so much more than you thought it would be. The Benbulben Mountain Hike was one of those experiences. I’m writing this at 3am, as you do, because the enormity of the night is still sinking in.

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Life is good

Blue but not feeling blue

It’s a while since I’ve done a catch-up blog post so here goes. I posted a couple of weeks ago about Gilbert (my green Getz) going for his NCT – I was apprehensive – he is 11 years old and not the prettiest car in the world. He’s green and has peeling paint but he’s mine. The NCT for those not from Ireland is the National Car Test. The car goes into this big warehouse full of machines and gets hooked up to all kinds of computers. It also goes up on a ramped and gets shaken about a lot – I’m sure there is a technical term! The poor owners get to look through the windows at their cars and panic. I feel like an expectant father pacing up and down the waiting room. In fact I’d rather go through childbirth than watch my poor car being subjected to the NCT – and don’t I ramble on a lot! Anyway Gilbert passed! So happy days!

Tubbercurry

The Wild Atlantic Wayfarer exhibition is now in its new home in Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo. It’s in Teach Laighne, which is also the home of the library and various offices and agencies. It’ll be there until the end of the month so if you get a chance do pop along and see it.

Clutching at Straws

On to other things, I’ve had cogs whirring about a few different ideas for a series of photos. There is something in the pipeline and a few other ideas in the background taking shape – so watch this space. 🙂

The Wild Atlantic Wayfarer Exhibition

Great crowd - photo by Eilish McGowan

The Wild Atlantic Wayfarer exhibition was opened last night at the Hawk’s Well Theatre, Sligo and will run until September 27th. I have mixed emotions about it all. Firstly I hardly ever print any of my images so to see 36 of them hanging on the walls of such a well-known building was very exciting. I don’t have a clue about hanging but the wonderful Catherine with the help of Sarah did a wonderful job. Secondly the whole experience to get the images was like an epic journey; I met so many wonderful people, tried so many new adventures, saw so many places I’d never been to before and I laughed!! More than I’ve ever laughed in my life, it was an amazing time so I’m very sad to say goodbye to that. I also discovered that I’m quite a tough cookie and that I’ll certainly give anything a go. After all how do you know what you will enjoy if you don’t try it. Sadly I’ve realised I’m not going to be out there with the tow-in surfers but I’m pretty good at leaping off a cliff into the sea!

Ian from LookWest, me and Peter Wilcock

I was over-whelmed by the amount of people who turned up to the opening last night. I’m also over-whelmed by the team I’ve had behind me, they have been such a support and I couldn’t have done any of this without them. Firstly the Hawk’s Well who invited me to have this exhibition and Lookwest for coming on board and supporting me. My good friend Heidi who came up with the whole idea. The many activity providers who put up with me, some of them will never be able to hear properly after I screamed so loudly during some of the adventures! Catherine who was there every step of the way. Core Concepts – poor old Frank must have had a hernia every time he saw me walk through the door – but shop local folks, I’d never had got the kind of service from anywhere else.

Food

Berenice Cooks who did the wonderful catering, Osta for the lovely quiche, Wine Buff Sligo for the wine, Hearts Desire for the coffee, Eithna’s by the Sea for the seaweed pesto, Eala Bhan for the pate and caramalised onion marmalade. Fiona and Brendan for picking everything up and being such stars, Abbie for the wonderful poster and invitations. Ian from Lookwest/WDC for a great speech, Peter Wilcock the famous photographer for opening the exhibition and a brilliant speech. Of course my wonderful family who have just been amazing throughout all of this and I’d be lost without them.

Andy and I - photo by Lucy

Thanks again to everyone who came along and to Life According to Lucy for taking pics on the night.

Rathcroghan Visitor Centre

Rathcroghan Visitor Centre

As part of my Wild Atlantic Wayfarer I paid a visit to the Rathcroghan Visitor Centre in County Roscommon. The centre is modern and welcoming with interpretive rooms, a gift shop and what looked like a great cafe. If you visit when Mike is there he will tell you all about the place and it’s clear that he is passionate and enthusiastic about the vast history in Rathcroghan.

Rathcroghan

Rathcroghan Visitor Centre has focused on interpreting human interaction in Roscommon and Ireland through all the phases of Irish Archaeology. Rathcroghan boasts evidence of Ireland’s first farmers (4000 B.C-2500 B.C) through to the early modern period, when it served as an inauguration site for O’Conor chieftains.

There are two films that are shown in the centre so not only will you find out all about the various monument types located at Rathcroghan, you will also find out about the Cattle Raid of Cooley (The Táin). What struck me most was the life story of Queen Maeve, now I knew a bit about her before but on watching one of the films I found out she was killed by a piece of cheese! Strange but possibly true!

Sheep

As is usually the case I picked  the only day of the week to visit when there are no tours of the sites around the centre taking place but it was fine because Mike told me where to go and I went off exploring by myself. Well I say by myself but there were a few onlookers.

Exploring the monuments

I would really have liked to go inside Oweynagat Cave or the ‘Cave of Cats’  which is located at Rathcroghan but this is only done with a tour guide. The cave is said to be the entrance to the ‘other world’ and the home of Halloween (as it originated from Ireland), where all the creatures and spirits used to come from. I really hope to see inside it one day.

Tulsk statue

So that was my day in Rathcroghan, a very interesting place and well worth a visit. Thanks to Mike for his help. You can find out more about the visitor centre here.

In the press

Woman's Way

Well it’s been an exciting week so far. Not only have I been jumping into the Atlantic again, which is now my favourite hobby – who’d have thought it! My Wild Atlantic Wayfarer project has been featured in the press. Firstly Woman’s Way did a big feature about it and on the same day I picked up the Sligo Champion and there I was again.

Sligo Champion

It’s not long now until the exhibition opens at the Hawk’s Well Theatre. Lovely Abbie from Iníon Veigh designed my poster, which I’m delighted with. I’m just doing the final bits in preparation for the big day. I really need to get my hair done and I’d love to get my nails done too now that I’m told I’m not allowed to wear a wet suit and flippers for the opening night!

exhibition poster

Hopefully I’ll see some of you on the night.