In the shadow of a giant

Quite a few weeks ago I was up at some daft hour due to insomnia and decided to go off walking. It was a beautiful morning, the sun was beginning to rise and I drove to the Isle of Innisfree.

From there I walked from Innisfree to Slish Wood and back again. This is part of the Sligo Way Walk which runs from Lough Talt just outside Tubbercurry and finishes in Dromahair, Co. Leitrim.  The whole walk is 80km and I don’t think I’d ever consider attempting it but I like the fact that you can break it up into sections.

At Innisfree you follow the signs with the little yellow walking men/women. I had to cross a couple of styles and walk through some farm land at the start, I had a welcoming committee!

Just a short way into the walk there are the boardwalks and I always wondered why they were there and why people couldn’t just walk on the land. After stepping off the wood I quickly realised why they are there as my foot went sinking into the marsh! I lost my shoe for a while and ended up knee deep in mud! I did get my shoe back after some tugging!

The scenery up there is just stunning. The purple rhododendrons and the blue of Lough Gill with the Sleeping Giant providing a backdrop. It’s so easy to see why the poet WB Yeats was so inspired by this beautiful landscape. The photo above was featured by Discover Ireland on Twitter 🙂

The dew was sparkling in the morning sun and when the camera caught the light and the water droplets I was treated to a display of rainbows. It was just so peaceful and breathtaking.

On the way back to Innisfree I wandered through the forest and thought I’d be clever and take a short cut. Big mistake when I came up against a barbed wire fence but I was more or less back so I paddled through Lough Gill – it got rid of most of the mud anyway – although I was squelching when I reached dry land. I took a moment to look at the lake and dry off a bit and I saw what I thought was a lump of wood until I saw it jump into the water. It was an otter! The first one I’ve seen one in the wild, it moved too quickly for me to get a photo of it.

If you get a chance and are looking for a beautiful walk, I’d really recommend this one. Just stick to the path though.

 

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At The Model

I was thrilled to have one of my photos chosen to be in the Cairde Visual Exhibition at The Model Art Gallery, Sligo. The opening night was last night and I was in two minds all the way along as to if I should go or not.

A friend of mine said she would go with me which I was very grateful for because one of my biggest issues is walking into a crowded room on my own. I also got a call from another friend to say she was there too. This made such a difference to me and I was grand going in.

The exhibition is wonderful, so many different pieces to look at including dinosaurs! It was a really busy evening there so I’m going back when it’s quieter to have a proper look.

I’m glad I went to the opening because otherwise I’d have been at home wondering how it was going but I don’t think I’d go again. I can’t get over this ‘not worthy’ feeling. Like I shouldn’t be there with all those talented artists and I don’t know if there’s any way that I can change that. To me it’s ‘just a photo’ and then I see all these amazing pieces of art. Anyway that’s just me.

On a positive note I met a few lovely people and I went with my friends for dinner afterwards which was just lovely. We sat in the sunshine along by the river and I can’t remember the last time I’ve been out to dinner with friends, hopefully I’ll meet up with them again soon.

If you get a chance do call in to see the exhibition, it’s on until August 19th at The Model, Sligo.

 

Sunny Sunday in Sligo

Yesterday was a brilliant day, I love taking photos at festivals and to be asked by Cairde Arts Festival to take photos at Park Fest was a dream come true.

The sun shone, there were smiles all round, great food, fantastic entertainment and wonderful music. Visually it was a sight to be hold; the vibrant colours set against the backdrop of Sligo Cathedral.

I was only meant to be there for a couple of hours but time flies when you are having fun and I was almost there for the whole event. I got to cuddle a puppy – one of the highlights of the day for me.

My arms are now a lovely shade of lobster and I was beginning to shrivel up with dehydration when my new guardian angel rescued me. I call her that because when I put up the post about how nervous I was about the exhibition opening she sent me an email and is now going with me. So I won’t have to walk into The Model on my own and I know she’ll be there. Panic over – thank you C x

Park Fest reminded me so much of the Fleadh Cheoil with the fantastic atmosphere, not so much of the diddley iddley music and no yapping dogs but happy people and something for all the family to enjoy. Better still having it all in one location is brilliant. The festival continues all week so do check it out. https://cairdefestival.com/

A Blizzard in July

I am so thrilled and honoured to have the photo above accepted into the Cairde Visual Exhibition. I wasn’t sure if I should enter into the Open Submission which invited entries from Irish and International artists but I decided if I didn’t give it a shot I’d never know.

The email came through to say I’d been successful and out of over 500 entries to get in to the final 70ish this is some achievement for me. I never thought I’d ever see any of my work displayed in The Model, Sligo but in a few days I will!

Now comes the scary part. I’d love to go to the opening….but…I’m very nervous about it. It’s daft really. I can stand in a busy airport departure lounge with no bother at all but the thought of going to an exhibition opening has me scared  rigid. I know if I don’t go I’ll be beating myself up about it and as this is the biggest exhibition I’ve been a part of I think I should go…..but…..anyway I’ll see how I feel nearer the time. I wish I had some people to come along and support me but I don’t.

If any of you out there are free to come along it’s on Wednesday July 11th at 6pm in The Model, Sligo. I’d love to see you.

Firsts and Failures

A mixed bag of a day. Firstly the car failed the NCT (National Car Test), I knew it was going to but I didn’t know it was going to fail on so many things. At the moment I don’t think it’s economical to repair (and no I’m not getting an Audi or anything on PCP finance 😉 ). A Honda 50 seems quite tempting at the moment!

Secondly I went to my first SWIBN meeting today, well it was a lunch rather than a meeting. SWIBN is Sligo Women in Business Network and now that I have Sligo Hub I decided it’s time I joined. It was a really lovely event, we had a guided tour of The Model – I enjoyed looking at the art, especially now that’s my new interest. After the tour we had lunch which was also lovely. If you are a Sligo woman in business I’d really recommend joining, they are all very nice and all very knowledgeable. I’m looking forward to going to the next meet up and who knows maybe I’ll see some of you there.

A Dawn Paddle in South Sligo

Today I was up and about with the dawn chorus at 4am. I love exploring and when I heard that Wild Wet Adventures were doing a dawn kayak at Temple House Lake in South Sligo I booked my place.

The rain was gently falling when I arrived but this is Ireland so you expect rain at some stage. The best thing is that the weather can change in a few minutes and put a whole new perspective on things.

It was an amazing morning, just us and the swans on the lake, the sheep watching us from their neighbouring fields, fish jumping and the sounds of bird song and the gentle lapping of the water. If ever you want some time to just relax this is the perfect way to do it.

Heading into the blue, alone in my thoughts, just enjoying the moment. What a fantastic way to spend a Saturday morning – or in fact any morning.

Under Temple House bridge which I have driven over hundreds of times but seeing it from a completely new angle. John from Wild Wet Adventures told us some of the history of the place and pointed out places of interest along the way.

When we arrived back at base I was surprised to see a gorgeous breakfast laid out for us including croissants, fruit, biscuits and tea and coffee.

Thanks so much to Celine for such a lovely, unexpected touch.

Wild Wet Adventures have a Summer Solstice kayak planned for Thursday, June 21st. You’ll be finished in time for work and I can’t think of a nicer way to spend a morning.