Saturday, July 31, 2010

More Journal Pages

 I’m actually really busy today and shouldn’t be on here right now but as soon as I realised this was the last day in July I had to make sure I got this post up. I couldn’t let the month pass by having posted just one journal page! So here’s another couple. I finished them a while back but never got round to sharing and I’ve a few more to finish off, but they’ll have to wait till another day. (Journaling in August may not be as alliterative but I'm sure it'll be just as fun!) Again these are quite child-like and not really very good at all, but I’m sure you’ll excuse me as I’m only a beginner. The photos make them look even messier and I’m sure if I’d time I could get better shots, but I don’t so these will do. Anyway, here’s the first:

The quote in this one says: “The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” Said Yeats, who himself claimed to have met and conversed with a fairy on a West coast beach one stormy eve. I can’t remember the exact details of the tale but I know said fairy was supposedly a beautiful, life-sized woman and not a little fluttery Tinkerbell-type. How he knew she was actually a fairy I also fail to remember. I’m really going to have to look that story up again… Anyway, you know what Yeats was like. He was all into that carry on in his old age.

I think I over did it again in that last one so I tried to keep it simple here. I actually quite like this one, but it doesn’t look that good on camera. After I painted the leaves green I gave them a coat of silver paint so they shine, plus they're not stuck down to the actual page, but you can't really see that here. Oh well.

Pencil Art

So strange, I was just reading about this guy in the paper today (now technically yesterday) and about half an hour later I checked my emails and my sister had sent me a link to him. Spooky, eh? Not really; I think there must have been something sent out on the wire about him today because his work was in a few newspapers. Which means any of you in the UK area may have already seen him today too. For those of you who missed him though, his name is Dalton Ghetti and he carves these lovely little pencil-top graphite creations using only a sewing needle, a razor blade and a knife. Amazing, aren’t they? (Oh, and by the way, I couldn’t find an actual website for Mr Ghetti that I could link to but I got the images here.)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Urban Philosophy

I came across this quote a while back and instantly fell in love with it. It just sums up my attitude to life in a sentence. Maybe it’s not the healthiest outlook to have but, hey, it works for me. The guy who took the photo had spotted it on the back of a truck and one of the comments on his Flickr page described it as ‘urban philosophy’.  Lorry and van drivers of the world, more of this please!

Anyway, I’m ashamed to say but I had no idea who this oh-so-wise Itzah C. Kret was so I had to go Google him. I’m so glad I did because reading about him brightened my day! He’s a children’s writer and illustrator who also has a penchant for guerrilla flower planting. He goes around the world sneaking in places and covering them with thousands of pretty blooms. Just last year he made the Washington Post after breaching security at the Israeli embassy to plant caladium bulbs. On his website it says “he may have an obsessive compulsive floral disorder”. Mr Kret, you are my new hero!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Fire and Sizzle

Right, some photos of fireworks today and then that’s the end of all this festival chat. I did promise pictures and I feel like I cheated with yesterday’s post so these are my own. (That should be obvious from their crapness.) Anyway, they're of a beach-side display on Sunday evening followed by an impromptu fire show later on outside my local pub. Ah, twas a good night.  

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Bricriu's Feast

Well it’s all over now folks and, the odd embarrassing blog post and sore head aside, I have to say- what a bloody great weekend! Right, so I know I promised photos of the festivities. I’m not going to disappoint, it’s just that nobody said anything about them having to be my photos. You see I wanted to start off with lasts night’s closing event- a retelling of Bricriu’s Feast, an old Celtic myth from the Ulster Cycle- and unfortunately my own images wouldn’t do it justice. 

I’ll get back to telling you about the feast in a minute but first I want to point you in the direction of Robert O’Dowd, the guy responsible for the pictures you see here. This boy really is a photographic genius now in my eyes; if you’d seen how horrible a night it was and just how dull my own and everyone else’s images came out you’d appreciate these shots all the more. I must have taken a hundred and hardly one was usable. (Please, check out his Flickr for more great photos of the event- and of our lovely town!)

So anyway. Sadly the weather was awful; the sky was so heavy with rain you could almost touch it. But we’re used to that kinda thing round here and, apart from a lot of really dreary photographs, it had little effect on the feast itself. Which was AMAZING, by the way. Fairy dancers, giants, warriors, druids, dragons, fire eaters, chariot racing, huge big scary crows, a whole army of bohran players, and some of the most amazing costume design ever. And that was just the opening parade, which marched through the main street of the town where it gathered up us common folk who followed it in procession down to the beach. 

There on the shore greens  they had erected dolmens, turrets, a stage with huge flags emblazoned with Celtic designs that flapped furiously in the wind, and a 14 foot replica of An Grianan of Aileach (which actually was supposed to be Emain Macha for the purposes of the story, but sure isn’t one iron age fort the same as the next). All with the backdrop of beautiful Lough Swilly. It was in this setting that they proceeded to re-enact the entire tale of Bricriu’s Feast.  Accompanied by The Henry Girls (a local traditional group) every one of the actors playing the heroes and heroines of Irish legend did such an excellent job. So lively and fun! I think my favourite bit had to be when all the kids in the audience got into it and started cheering along Cuchulain and booing the baddies.  It was just the best way to end the festival.

If anyone wants to know the story of Bricriu’s Feast you can read a summary of it here, though that could never be near as fun as seeing the whole thing acted out so enthusiastically. You know sometimes I think the Donegal Tourist Board should be paying me because I do like to wax on a bit about its greatness. Well, more festival photos to follow tomorrow. Have a nice evening!

Monday, July 26, 2010


Friends Forever

Ok. So it’s not all over yet; the aforementioned festival that is- damn good one too. In fact, right now it’s very late my time (beer o‘clock) and I should’ve been in my bed tucked up with my teddy soooo long ago. But I’m not. Instead I’m typing a post that I know tomorrow I’m gonna feel so embarrassed about I’ll be tempted to delete, but I’m not allowed to. This guy says so. (The stuff of memories you say? How ironic is that?!) . Anyway, he’s a good friend and I hate friends’ disapproval. But that’s nothing to do with what I came on here to say. I came on here to be soppy! (Though I am in the mood to say that I LOVE my friends! All of you. Each and every one gets a virtual kiss right now.)

Anyway, back to the intended soppiness. As if my very public declaration of my love for my friends wasn’t enough. You know that you’re all my friends too? I hope so. I  love you guys! Though again, that’s not what I meant to ramble about.  Given half the chance I’d be here from now till tomorrow proclaiming all your loveliness. What an amazing, inspiring, talented bunch you all are. But, no, stop. Concentrate. What was I saying? Ah, that’s right- humble blogworld community, please excuse me if I am distracted slightly by this sexy beast:

Yes, I know you can’t seem him really here. That’s him gazing on the Pantheon’s mighty splendour. (A sexy beast in itself.) I do have some very lovely shots of him. Even from that very seat, the previous moment. But he wouldn’t want me posting them here. He’s allergic to the internet, seeing it as one mechanism in the machine that is this almost neo-Orwellian futurescape, where the Rapture is welcome and The Man is everyone. Only he’s smarter than that. My man is smarter than everyone. (I only say that sarcastically sometimes.)  “I’ll have no part of it!”, he declares regularly, shaking a fist.

Ok, maybe he’s not quite that dramatic. I will say this about him though, he sees the world through the most crystal clear glasses; and I love his glasses. He is my best friend and my partner for all the worlds that ever were. Or will be.

He’s my fiance and instead of a ring he gave me the tiniest, most beautiful little star you’ve ever seen. That’s the soppiness I came here to share, and there you have it. I love my man and he loves me.  In fact, he’s the only thing I love more than a cup of  tea!

Friday, July 23, 2010

I’ve Got Festival Fever! (Or is it just a hangover?)

Hello all. How are you doing this fine Friday evening?  I just thought I’d pop up a quick post now when I have a few spare moments. There’s a music and arts festival on here this week so this might be the last time I’ll be blogging till it’s all over. That’s if I survive, this thing could possibly be the death of me. I’ve only been out one night so far and already I’m feeling the after effects. How am I going to last another three nights?  I just don’t have the stamina for this carry on anymore. Ah, what happened to the days when sleep was for the weak?

Anyway, I’d hoped to have a few photos to post of all the fun and frolics so far but I’m ashamed to say I’ve been pretty lazy with my camera. I did go down to the shore greens yesterday to get some snaps of the fun fair that had just rolled in, but it hadn’t opened yet and the pull of the pub/street music kept me from returning when it had. So these half-hearted pics will have to suffice for now. Hopefully as the weekend progresses I’ll become a bit more snap-happy and I’ll have more lively shots to share. Something tells me it’s going to be a long few days!  Well, hope you all have a good one- I know I will!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Anyone who’s been following this blog for a while will know that I’m a big fan of Lost At E Minor. Ever since a friend introduced me to those wacky Aussies some time back I’ve been regularly checking in for my weekly dose of the weird and wonderful. They really do find the best stuff, from the bizarre to the down right amazing. I’m not sure which category I’d put this next find of their’s in, though. Candied bacon from The Sticky Pig. That’s right, bacon sweets.

I know it’s all the rage with some chefs to come up with the most unlikely foody combos, and that apparently they sometimes work. Anyone remember Heston Blumenthal’s bacon and egg ice-cream? That was supposedly lovely. Still, I don’t know. I love bacon. In fact it’s probably the only reason I’m not a veggie, which is weird because pigs are one of my favourite animals. Poor wee things, why do they have to taste so bloody good? I once went  the best part of a year without eating meat but the smell of a rasher crisping under the grill lured me back to the dark side.  But candied bacon? Who knows. I suppose bacon does taste good with maple syrup. And I did used to enjoy apple and salt sandwiches, which some people might think weirder than this “indulgent” delicacy.

Monday, July 19, 2010

French Fancy

I’m not the biggest fan of the shortcut texty-type acronyms that abound these days but right now I have to say- OMG! I think I’ve just come across the most beautiful website EVER! It’s called Le Jardin de Miss Clara and I urge you, check it out. Now. Those of you who haven’t already that is (apparently Miss Clara is well known in France). Anyway, if you’re like me and are only coming across the young mademoiselle now then you’re in for a treat. I promise, you’ll lose yourself in her wonder-filled world of whimsical art and paper clothing and sculpture. While the site itself is part of the experience, her work isn’t too shabby either. Here, have a wee look for yourself:

Friday, July 16, 2010

An Ode To Fungus

I read a lovely little post the other day over at ~serendipity~ which got me thinking (yes, I do do that every so often)- why is it that we humans love fungi so much? When I say ‘fungi’ I am referring specifically to mushrooms and toadstools, but a fungus is a fungus at the end of the day.

Ok, so there’s the obvious folklore and fairytale factor to be considered; every culture on earth has given some sort of legendary status to our little fungal friends. And lets not forget that some mushrooms actually are magical. Then there’s the even more blatant fact that they’re pretty darn wonderful to look at. But I think there’s more to it than that. Of all the wonders in nature, I think mushrooms come out top not just because they’re so pretty but because their beauty sprouts from death and decay. What could be more miraculous than that?

So today I thought about just posting some photos of their aforementioned beauty. Then I thought, seeing as we all know what they look like anyway, I’d instead post some mushroom/toadstool inspired design. After all, is it not their effect on the human psyche that differentiates them from the rest of fungi kind?

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