Reading My Way Around the World

Friday 1 February 2019

St Brigid's Day

In keeping with the traditions of Brigid's Eve, after dinner last night a crowd of us went out to hang pieces of cloth on a bush to be blessed by the fairies - an old tradition called Bratog Bhride (Brigid's Cloak).   Then in the morning you take your piece back and keep it in the house to bring you good luck, or some people believe it is a cure for headaches because it has been blessed by Brigid, the goddess of fertility and creativity. (In these parts, in Co. Monaghan, you're supposed to hang the cloth on a fairy tree, and there is a fairy fort here, but the snow, and an extra couple of glasses of wine meant we only got as far as the bush outside the door!)

We're back at Tyrone Guthrie House in Annaghmakerrig, an artist's retreat - I wrote about it here on a previous visit.   And I'll come back to it at the end of this stay.  We're both still trying to recover from that awful bug so we're not being as productive as we'd like, but nonetheless the ideas are starting to come.

For me a highlight of being here is the evening meal which everyone shares.   Around the table last night there was a ghost writer, a novelist, a poet, a theatre director and a drama writer working together on a new production, a composer of film music, a gallery owner/manager, another theatre director, a writer preparing performance pieces, a young actress working on pieces of video crossed with live performance, a traditional musician, a woman writing about cows and ourselves two, there to work on songs.   After dinner we had a round table concert of songs, poems, drama monologues, and stories, from the hilarious to the serious - the mixture of creatives of different disciplines is so nourishing.

If you'd like to read more about Brigid I wrote about her here and at the link for Bratog Bride above.

Bright blessings of the season to you and yours.


  1. Yours was the second blog I'd read about draping a piece of fabric out, off to follow your link ☺

  2. Hi Fil - fascinating post ... I know about cloutie wells ... but you've expanded their news here. The artist's retreat sounds absolutely fabulous ... no wonder you enjoy spending time there; Get better - cheers Hilary

  3. I hope the fairies have blessed you with a year filled with health and happiness

  4. Sounds very enchanting and fun... I don't know may adults that talk about faeries. I like it and your Brigid is very intriguing. The group sounds lovely. How I would love to find some kindred spirits in creativity. I hope you feel better soon.
    Tamara x


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