Monday, 18 September 2017

Pickled Christianity

A friend arrived a few days ago at our home and pulled out a bottle from under his coat and on seeing his action my mind leaped back into the past and I thought he had brought me a bottle of poitín [the home distilled white whiskey]. The magical drink of old Ireland and the famed base of rubs when mixed with olive oil as a treatment for greyhounds and arthritic joints.

I was of course totally wrong and found out that the liquid was white vinegar; hence the first word in the title 'pickled' the hand carved [inners] were made by his brother-in-law and depict the implements used in the crucifixion.The long legged cross, the nails, mallet (hammer), spear, an axe for cutting the tree, a saw for cutting  and a ladder - which I think represents ascension ?














To me personally not having any religious beliefs in any shape or fashion. I find this bottle and it's contents rather bizarre to say the least, although I do admire the craftsmanship...
I have never ever seen anything like this before and would be very interested in reading your thoughts.


Monday, 11 September 2017

An Almost Floating House.


We sat in the car after our rambles on the shore at Tracht, - see my previous post :https://aheronsview.blogspot.ie/2017/09/tracht-beach-flowers.html discussing all that our eyes had feasted on and the conversations we had been part of with people who were previously unknown to us - and still are because we never exchanged names.
An interlude of silence followed, broken by Mrs H who said she would like a cup of tea. I suggested that perhaps a delicious ice cream from Messrs. Linalla at Finavarra would soothe her, as it was only a few minutes drive away. 



Map of Finavarra

The area around Fhíonaigh Bheara, Finavarra is rather special to me for several reasons.
There is a Martello tower on the point jutting out into Galway Bay, a place that I frequently visited in the past when wanting time alone with the elements and the curlew. 



A view of the countryside from outside of Messrs. Linalla's.


Quite close to the village is the ancient site of The O’Dálaighs School of Lyricists and Poets in Finavarra. It is commonly known as a Bardic School however, as the Bards were seen as low class poets who were largely uneducated and whose functions were story telling and satire, I think ‘lyricists’ is a better description of the Schools’ function. 
The higher classes of Poets were the Fillidh who were trained in rhythm of both words, music and mastery of the lyre, later the harp. The Fillidh functioned as Poets, Historians and Panegyrists. The head of the school would have been an Ollamh, the highest grade of the Fillidh (master poet)  attached to the court of each of the provincial kings and sub-kings. There were periods when an Ard Ollamh (High Ollave) was appointed to exercise authority over the provincial Fillidh.



another view from the same place

Another similar establishment was Cahermacnaughten, near Ballyvaughan along the coast, where the once great Brehon Law School was held under the auspices of the O’Davorens. 
Originally these laws were handed down by word of mouth, passed from master to student, but from the seventh century onwards they were written down. One of the most important recorded sources of Brehon Law is the manuscript Egerton 88, now in the British library. This was copied in the 16th century from older documents at the law school of Cahermacnaghten.




 inland bay




The other end of the same bay



'The Almost Floating House'
and I always wonder if the occupiers ever fish out of there windows 
from the comfort of an armchair.

This whole maritime landscape is steeped in all that is precious to me, Irish culture, seats of ancient learning, wild nature and deep peace.










Monday, 4 September 2017

TRACHT - BEACH FLOWERS

TRACHT is the name of the strand or beach that I have taken you to before, perhaps this the third time and this might be our last visit, unless of course something spectacular occurs that needs telling.

The weather forecast wasn’t promising very much other than fine rain with a warm temperature - but then they do tend to exaggerate one way or another and are rarely accurate; for generalities is their game these meteorologists.

On our journey blue sky was appearing on our lefthand side enough to keep us living in hopes. Whilst directly ahead there were grey clouds  some looked ominous and yet they seemed to me not low enough to
weep on us.

All along the route we saw lots of county Galway flags flying high in the wind, on almost every house, though not all. I said to Mrs H 
“You know there must be a match on with all of those flags showing and those without are probably blow ins or those who don’t support the GAA”
[I should tell you that ‘blow ins’ is the phrase that is used to describe
people who come from another county or even a different country and that GAA stands for the Gaelic Athletic Association]

Kinavara, another favourite place was busy and the harbour car park was full, so we carried on to Tracht without stopping. I did though notice that the pubs seemed to be busy rather early, it not yet being much more than midday.

Tracht though was virtually empty with only half a dozen cars parked facing the sea and nobody was in swimming because the red flag was flying - a warning to swimmers and yet it was virtually calm - I heard later that there was a particularly virulent type of jelly fish about, although I can say that I saw no sign of any at all.


Mrs H inspecting some gem or other



One of the many piles of seaweed that came in with the tide,
one excellent thing that was fortunately missing from the
beach was plastic debris !




This gentle bouquet  caught my eye.



A miniature harbour amongst the rocks.



A line of flowers nicely litters fore shore.



Two other flowers stand chatting amongst their many sisters!



Are they Daisies ?



Yachts also catch my eye too and it has been many a year since I head the slap of water against the hull and the very buoyant sensation of being onboard in a wind driven yacht.



I was correct it was a Championship Hurling match
against Cork