Reading My Way Around the World

Friday 1 March 2019

February in Photos

February has been a very busy month and I didn't even realise it until going back through photos to join in with Kate for the February Photo Scavenger Hunt.

The words this month are all to do with the senses so I'm going to try to connect them somehow to where we were through the month, not in the order Kate listed them.


We started the month at Annaghmakerrig, the artist's retreat in Co. Monaghan and despite both of us having a stinking cold we managed to make progress with several new songs and I had a fantastic break through with some problems I'd been working through.  
One of the highlights of staying there for me is joining together with the other people for dinner - it's the only rule of the house.   This particular night there were 14 for Sunday dinner - a poet, a film music composer, a sculptor, someone working with prints, a writer of memoirs, a playwright, an actress working on a new production, two novelists, a painter and ourselves .... I can't remember all the others, but it was such a fabulous melting pot of ideas to share and be inspired by.   The food is fabulous always, but it is the company that makes the difference. 


We have been doing lots of shows this month, so sound has been the predominant sense.    In the middle of the month we had a concert near home in Burren in an old converted primary school which is now a heritage centre .... Foolishly, or maybe not, we chose a Thursday, not paying attention to the fact that it was 14th February!!   And when it was pointed out that it was Valentine's Day, we thought, sure, no-one of our age worries about that nowadays!  Hah!  Wrong - I get more calls of apology saying I have to baby sit the grandchildren so my son and his wife can go out to celebrate!  Pfff..... In spite of that we had a lovely night and sang lots of love songs in our set.   The acoustics are simply beautiful in the room and while we weren't packed to capacity we had a splendid audience who were willing to sing along with all our choruses.

Ready for the gig in Burren
Full house concert in Denmark

My own choice

We have been in Denmark for the past week, doing a run of house concerts.   I've been finding the long days very tiring, but exhilarating at the same time.  People come for a meal interspersed with music so we're dong lots of chatting, socialising, discovering people, trying to find solutions for the world problems and Brexit!, partying, eating as well as playing a concert and joining in with the house band.  The level of understanding of English is almost totally fluent here so we don't have to rearrange things quite so much in order for people to follow our stories and what the songs are about.   The Danes are a lovely gentle people, quick to laugh at a joke and so welcoming into their homes and our friends Kanne and Jørn that we're staying with have spoilt us rotten.


The folks here are part of a family that own a horse riding school for training riders and coaches - so 4 horses and a coach etc.   We got a ride around for 20 minutes in the back of one while they were putting the horses through their paces - of course I didn't get a proper photo, but I will try to before we go home.   Later I got to ride a horse, for only the second time in my life.   Beautiful animals although terrifying when they made it run - not funny!   But I'm going back out for another ride today.   
it's a lovely feeling moving with an animal.   The house and farm and that of the neighbours and friends has dogs, cats and chickens running around as well a the horses so it's a very touchy feely place to be.


I just had to include this photo for sight - when we were walking through the stables to get to my horse, this one kept poking its head out under the bars to get a sniff - it was having a laugh at us, of that I"m certain - it was the mad eye that started me laughing. 


As I write this there are wonderful smells coming from the kitchen downstairs as our hosts get ready for this weekend's house concerts - they will provide food for 48 on Friday night including ourselves and 45 on Saturday - there are cakes coming in and out of the oven and everything smells yummy.  

Yesterday we drove north to a different house for another house concert and we travelled up by the coast.  
Denmark has miles and miles of beautiful white sandy beaches - in fact you can ride a horse from the border of Germany right up to the northern tip of Jutland (the western of the Danish islands).  Apart from the thousands of bunkers that have been left over after the war, it is an unspoiled clean white sandy beach.   Even though we're only away for a few days I just love getting back to the smell and sound of the ocean, or in this case the North Sea. 

So that's it from me for another while - I'm going for a bit of armchair travelling now to have a look around everyone else's photos.   Thanks as always to Kate for coming up with the words to get the grey matter going and to give a bit of an account of our month.   


  1. What a wonderful selection, your time in Denmarks sounds fantastic.

  2. Beautiful pictures that convey sharing and living close to nature. Have a nice weekend! Sandrine

  3. What lovely photographs. Horses, empty beaches and tables laid for an evening with friends and your singing, fantastic. Denmark looks fascinating. No wonder you love being there.

  4. What a lovely set of stories. My mother was a Dane but I've never been there. I don't know any Danish either! The white beaches sound wonderful but the horse with its eye is my favourite! Keep travelling and sharing your stories!

  5. Wonderful photos and stories about your music and travels, I've enjoyed reading them. Denmark always sounds like a wonderful country to visit:)

  6. Ooh - such beautiful photos - I love the googly mad eye horse :D The room for the gig in Burren looks so wonderfully inviting - thank you for joining in x

  7. What a wonderful set of photos from an amazing month. Love the horses & I can smell that beach/sea air. Take care.

  8. A great set of photos, I love the beach one and the horse with the mad eye just made me laugh :)

  9. Hi Fil - you have been busy ... the retreat does sound quite uplifting - and glad you got a few things sorted out, as well as written - food - now I need to get a cup of tea - to stop the hunger pangs!

    Have you ever seen Babette's Feast ... I loved it ... but that was 30+ years ago!! Wonderful scenery and food!

    Wonderful carriage and horses ... looks quite delightful ... I too don't ride - I have had a few ... and been thrown - so now I'm happy on my own pins ... but love your 'I'm eyeing you' equine chap!

    Cheers and have a lovely March - Hilary

  10. Ha ha ha .... the sight one made me giggle. What a great selection for February you captured during your month of travels.

  11. This was fascinating to read, Fil! Your concerts and time spent in Denmark sound amazing. You are brave going on a horse. I have only done that twice too. I'm not doing it a third time! The beach looks stunning!


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