Friday, February 12, 2010

Taken Over the Waterfall's Brink

Tracks of our 2006 Ireland journey -- please click to see larger and legibly.

It's real now.

Today we went down to our local bank branch and had a "foreign bank draft" made out in euros for our summer's stay in the Bothy.

We sent it off to Lady Rosse from the little post office here in Boulder Creek, Santa Cruz Mountains, rural USA, to Birr, County Offaly, rural Ireland.

Right now, that check is probably waiting to be put in the belly of an airplane. Our gleeful anticipations, defying our six-decades' ages, hover around it wherever it is.

We're gonna go, we really, actually, honestly, unbelievably, are gonna go again, really. We never thought we would, but here we go. It's half a year away, but now it would cost more to cancel the journey than it would to complete it. We have now paid for our travel, our boarding, our home's caretaking (God bless you, Adam, from here to purgatory and back again for that last one.) We have also reserved our car.

This trip will be very, very different from the last: I will spend far more time in the archives, for example, and we will sortie around Northern Ireland (especially Armagh), but our home will be, as it would inevitably be, Birr Castle Demesne. This time, unlike 2006, we know what to expect from the Demesne, and we have a history of others' experiences to bolster us, especially those whose creativity has been bolstered as well, as superbly exemplified by Margaret Ryall.

And we have, we hope, an old friend of four feet to greet us.

This blog's readership is so small that I can comfortably offer the following: if there is anywere on the island of Ireland that you want a photo from, please let me know right away, so I can fold that in to our itinerary. Mike and Ronnie Peterson, I think I remember that some of your roots are in County Clare -- Lahinch? That would be an easy half-day drive from Birr.

Bothy in the gloaming, August, 2006


Nostalgic for the Pleistocene said...

Here's wishin' that cheque a safe flight! Wow, i remember a long-ago post in which you said you were planning another trip in 2010, and i thought 2010 sounded incredibly far off.

Brian Fies said...

The anticipation should be exquisitely unbearable. I'm already looking forward to your reports.

ronnie said...

I'm so happy for you, Sherwood! The planning and anticipation is truly half the fun.

JC Dill said...

Not a where, but a what. I'd love to see a great photo with horses in it. :-)

Sherwood Harrington said...

JC, you're the one who takes great photos (other visitors should click here to see what I mean); I take snapshots.

But you can bet there will be lots of equine snapshots coming back with us -- one of our stops this time (as it was last time) will be the Clifden Connemara Pony Show. Here are a few from '06.

Margaret Ryall said...

My jealousy knows no bounds! I want to go too. This year we have decided to explore western Canada. While my husband lived in British Columbia for awhile, I have never been beyond Saskatchewan.

As I was reviewing my work completed to date based on my stay, I was thinking how different it would be to go back to the Demesne with the knowledge of the first visit behind me. There are so many things I would investigate as a result of my first trip, so many more photos I would take after creating 18 pieces from my stay.

Thanks for the offer of photos, but they have to be my own if I'm to use them in my work. But... I would like you to take at least one photo while you're there that you will think of as a "Margaret" photo. You'll know it when you see it. Also send me an email from the Library in Birr. I will imagine you sitting there typing away.

I'm very much looking forward to what you write and photo on the trip and I will live vicariously.

Ps Thanks for the blog mention.

Sherwood Harrington said...

The problem will be, Margaret, that there will be too many "Margaret" photos! But you can be sure I'll pass some along: your works have added a dimension to my eyesight that I didn't have the first time around.

Funny thing about the internet and Birr: you used the library, I used the Bord Failte office down by the river at a euro per hour for occasional internet access. I really can't figure out whether or not I want Birr to be more internet accessible than it was before -- but, by that, I mean internet accessible in a way I'm familiar with. I'm positive that if I had a "smart phone," internet connectivity wouldn't be an issue at all -- even when we were there, cell phone towers were all over the place, and I'm sure 3G access is there.

As is so often the case with "developing" economies, internet in Ireland has simply leapfrogged cables and landlines and even wi-fi and gone straight to what we quaintly call "phones."

Whatever. I'm tempted to put my fingers in my figurative ears, and not use any electronic communications at all until we get back.

It works for the current Lord Rosse, after all, so I should be able to adapt.

Sherwood Harrington said...

Oh, and Margaret, while you're in western Canada, will you be visiting Victoria? If so, you -- especially you, with your Birr background and intimate relationship with gardens -- will be enriched by a visit to the Butchart Gardens!

Mike Peterson said...

I think the places I'd send you would be places I know about because you went there last time. And, if you did happen to be in Donegal and ran into the hotel manager who used to come to my Irish gigs in Colorado, he'd have been in his job for some 30 years and by now would know better than to hand out free oysters and porter. (But his name's Paddy Grace, if you want to give it a try.)

Ronnie said...

I'll give you a list one of these days when I dig out the book with the details - now it's just general, like Ennistymon (and you were almost there before when you were on the Burren) and MacCroom (sp?) and Rosstrevor - family from all over the place. I've been thru both the former on tour buses but that's all.