Friday, 31 July 2015

Fiddlers Green Festival 2015

Photo by Pete Heywood, Living Tradition Magazine
We've come to the end of a wonderful Fiddlers Green Festival here in Rostrevor - the 29th festival.  Tom and I had our main performance on Friday night and it was really nice gig - we did the first part of the main concert where Seamus Begley received an award for services to traditional music.  The photo above is from it - we didn't get a good one of the two of us unfortunately but I love this one.  Guest performances at festivals are always a bit more nerve inducing than going out and playing our regular full night gigs in folk clubs... But they're also very rewarding and I love being a part of the bigger picture.  We had a really enjoyable set and it was great to see lots of friends in the audience - our folk family from Germany, Scotland, England and Luxembourg.   With that out of the way and all my other gigs sorted from earlier in the week, the rest of the weekend was for playing and catching up with friends and visitors - in fact the last of them only left yesterday morning.

A few personal favourites from the week 

For me as an audient the highlight has been seeing a young Dublin songwriter called Declan O'Rourke.  I'm not sure that his recordings really capture what he's about - this is a video from the Transatlantic Sessions back in 2011.  I love this song "Time Machine" ..  we can never have enough friends.
His voice is superb - you can easily imagine it on a film sound track and he has a wonderful stage presence.  His most well known song is Galileo which has been covered by quite a few singers already.

On Wednesday night Kila were top of the bill - they have recently performed the soundtrack for the new children's animated movie - Song of the Sea - which everyone here is raving about …  Here's the trailer for the US launch of it.

Kila are essentially a folk rock band - mixing African, Indian and Celtic rhythms and tunes.  They're utterly brilliant in my opinion but they were far too loud for our small hall - my ears were still ringing two days later.
Here they are live at Dublin venue several years ago - this is one of their quieter numbers :)  But I'd love to see them at a big outdoor event - I think they show up regularly at Glastonbury.

Fiddlers Green is a wonderful mixture of outdoor ceilidhs, pub sessions, events up the mountain and on the water, a Duck Derby of course :), lots of childrens' events, art exhibitions - this year featuring Kingerlee and the photographer Minihan as well as many amateur art events, pop up cafes, 3 concerts a day, poetry readings and barely time to sit down and have a chat with all the visitors that come in - old friends from around the world and new friends waiting to be made... It's a wonderful event - I thoroughly enjoyed it and now it's time for a rest :)

Friday, 10 July 2015

In the garden

Look what showed up in our garden yesterday morning.  Pass no remarks on the fact that the grass isn't cut - I'm so glad it wasn't.  Since our cats passed on the wildlife has gradually been steadily increasing here and this was a delight although I'm quite sure that our neighbour across the field won't be best pleased to see such a visitor in the vicinity of his chickens.

I've never seen a fox up this close - but this one was very young.   Tom had just put out some stale bread for the birds and he helped himself and just wandered around for about 15 minutes.  

This top photo is a bit blurry - shooting through the kitchen window - but I love it :)  

Things continue to be very busy here and we're both getting fed up that admin work and other commitments leave us no time for our creative pursuits.   But it's a holiday weekend here so all the offices are closed until Wednesday and then we're into the festival next weekend, so at last there'll be some end to all of this.

I've never worked in a regular workplace for very long - I think 10 months was the longest.   As a result, time management or how to prioritise things are not among my skill set.   So I have this really incapacitating tendency to carry everything in my head - jobs that don't need doing for another 6 months are lumped in with things that needed to be done first thing this morning.  Once I start working on booking a tour there are immediate responses needed and it would be so good to learn how to park all the other stuff and get a good night's rest and have some clear headedness for writing and creating!  Any good tips would be most welcome.

Have a great weekend. 


Sunday, 5 July 2015

Walking around Bundoran

I made 3 attempts to capture the sunset tonight and my silly husband kept photo bombing me so I've left him in!!! 😀

It's been ages since I've been here to write a post - but thankfully all the busyness has calmed down for now and we're getting a chance to step back a bit.

We've been down at my homeplace for the weekend and the car broke down.  This, only two days after we decided to change it.  It must have heard us and taken offence.  Anyway we've had to stay another night to get it repaired, hopefully tomorrow, or else borrow my mum's car to get us back.  But it was a lovely gift of extra time - not having to do that 100 mile return journey.  So instead we went for a stroll around Bundoran, ate ice-cream and watched a couple strolling on the beach.  

Bundoran used to be the height of holiday chic when I was young.  It was packed with amusement arcades, swing boats, dance halls, bars and chip shops. It is just across the border, in the very south of Co. Donegal, only a few miles from where I grew up, and traditionally this fortnight was its heyday.  People poured out of the North to get away from the 12th July mayhem.  
Now, it's cheaper to go abroad if you want to get out and besides there's very little trouble around the 12th any more.  The Orangemen get to Parade, there's a Bank Holiday and places like Bundoran have to work very hard to attract visitors. Tonight the place was very quiet - a few people like ourselves wandering around.   Perhaps next weekend will be busier.  

But all that aside it still has a magnificent beach and has lots of surfers around and in Winter the wild Atlantic can be seen in all its glory.   

Did you have a favourite childhood spot? Has it changed much?