Just a quick hello

It’s pouring rain outside just now.  I’m returned from a yoga class I managed to find about a ten minute walk from the gallery here in town.  I didn’t have to walk either way as I was offered kind lifts, the first from Olive, owner of the gallery, and the return trip from my new yoga friend Mary who, with all this rain, didn’t want me walking home and getting soaked to the bone.  I accepted.  

Kindness abounds here in Ireland.  Yesterday (was it just yesterday?) my long time friends the O’Connells rang us up saying the weather was fine, and rain was coming for the foreseeable future and sure why don’t we go to Ballybunion for the day.  

And so we did.

It was indeed a fine day.  But blustery!  So we wandered around a bit and visited.  It had been since before the pandemic that we had been together.  I thank my long time musical buddy Lillie Morris for the introduction to this wonderful family in Listowel.  They have a lovely way of adopting folks when they come to town and soon, one finds oneself being treated like family over a tune and a cup of tea.  It’s lovely.

While the O’Connells wandered, Julie and I took a few minutes to gather some imagery for our work.  I with my sketching supplies (currently working on post cards for a few of you guys actually, dear patrons!) and Julie with her camera and trusty sidekick Claudia.  

Eventually the wind did get the best of us and we headed back toward town for a bite to eat and a view of the river Feale.

The light was outstanding.

We ate lunch and celebrated Michael’s upcoming 79th birthday (which is today now!)

He was delighted.  

Click here for a sweet clip.  I plan to make him a watercolor picture card of some kind in the next day or two.  

The O’Connell clan aren’t the only ones rolling out the red carpet for us here.  Another musical friend Neil let us know that there would be a horse market on Thursday in town so I’ll be sure to report on that.  On Sunday nights there is an open singing situation just up the street at Flanagans and we went to check that out.  There was lovely singing and brilliant sense of community.  

Also, a dog called Roger whom everyone seemed to hold in high regard.  

I was given a heads up about tonight’s yoga class and have now paid ahead for three more classes in the next few weeks.  My pipes maker Mickey Dunne took custody of my pipes and has given them a tune up.  I pick them up from him in Limerick on Friday.  Nuala Kennedy, whom I normally see only in summer time at music camp as invited me up next week to see if we can’t put our heads together on some art (more on that soon!) and Conal and Juliet have invited me back to Cork for a quick visit so I can have a much needed flute lesson, and we can work on ideas for the next Ireland based workshop.  Oh, and a session too!!

Suffice it to say, I have sunk my teeth back into Ireland and the bites of it just seem to get bigger each time I visit.  

I’ve been thinking today that as much as I romanticize the idea of a little cottage by the sea, it’s really not so much about the cottage itself, but rather the community that comes with it.  And I am fortunate enough to have a pretty decent community of my own back home (minus the cottage, with the addition of American hustle and bustle).  To find a balance is what I am after.  

The people and the pace here are what are making this time special.  No one is in a hurry.  I arrived to yoga class 15 minutes early.  At home that would mean I’d be lucky to get my favorite space.  Here I was the first to arrive and it hadn’t even opened yet.  And still the class started and ended on time.  No fuss, no muss.  I like it.  

The big work effort of the day came in the form of a little “reel” (alas, not the musical kind) on Instagram.  I am trying my darndest to get the word out about my workshops which are coming around soon!  Especially Antigua.  And I am keen to get them sold.  Amidst all the noise in the world, it is difficult for my quiet work to find its footing.  So if you know of anyone looking to travel and travel quite differently, send them my way.  Here is a link to the reel which acts like a small filmed advertisement.  

Now, after a busy day learning the ropes in the gallery, finding our studio based rhythms and home life figured out, I am going to go listen to the rain and read a bit.  Did you know that anywhere in Ireland is no more than 70 miles from the sea?  I learned this last night in a new book I received as a gift.  

Sweet dreams to you.

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