Your Personal Best

Grange, Co Sligo- Summer has arrived and knowing the weather here, it will quickly leave us. Enjoy it while it lasts! I see my friends in Maugherow doing just that.

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Experimentally, I leave my phone home when I go out in Dublin. I find it so freeing, until I panic because I can’t figure out how to get back over the canal and out of the city center. Solution, take a side street and follow a taxi. Alas, paradise and my destination found at Clontarf. The downside to this equation is that you cannot take photos, except with your mind.

Walking about, I lost the sunset behind the clouds of a pinky purply magic act, before the two stacks and across the wooden bridge onto Bull Island. To my surprise on the trot back, the sun rose. Everything is silent when your heart skips a beat, there is such a feeling.

Back home my we garden is a growin’ and I love it so. I like planting from seeds because it challenges doubt, doubt about everything, an endless battle, a will they, won’t they melodrama that works out. Eventually, I end up singing to them and well, they did, they do, grow. The borderline radishes are successional and I pick them with care, as needed so it never gets too crowdy. I’m not one for food photos or being super healthy in general but God do I enjoy homegrown veg. It’s like a superpower.

Who doesn’t greet a daisy? Nobody.

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In other news, I’m finished with the latest cardboard series. This little number was dealt with on a 2am manic spree of epic proportions a few weeks ago.  At first I thought I was the tallest flower, then I thought I was the bird but really they are one in the same.  These types of revelations are why I choose art over and over again.

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Pretty chuffed with the new Courtney Barnett album Tell Me How You Really Feel despite the intense cover art. Sad that I missed her in Utrecht, blame the taxman.

Kind of a hodgepodge post, such is life. Bisous!

The Laws of Attraction

Belfast, NI- I revved the engine and headed north for the weekend to the Titanic Slipways.  My rucksack prepared with a pile of oranges and pear, I set off with all the good intentions.  The BBC 6 hosted the Biggest Weekend Ever in an attempt to replace Glastonbury Music Festival that will not be on this year covering Belfast, Perth, Swansea and Coventry.  The weather was lovely, no mud.

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Originally drawn in by First Aid Kit and Young Fathers, I was surprised at the various performances.  It was a nice blend of old world with modern momentum but quaint along the docks.  I fell in love on the second stage with a local band called SOAK.  Exquisite pitch and a style without pretense, Bridie Monds-Watson charmed me straight away.  Here’s just a taste from my recordings.

Because they wanted a tener for a hard copy of the program and my mobile is one step up from a burner, I met some friendlies who let me in on a few secrets.

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Imarhan, a desert rock band from Algeria engaged everything that I believe to be at my center and I was happy about it even though I could not understand a word they were saying.  Well, except when he said thank you…in French.

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His contact, body language and demeanor complimented his tight band who were just having fun together.

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Mesmerized afterwards, I could not resist eating festival food and taking a pint to the face.  Listen, hear, here.

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The bartender almost fell over when I tried to pay with Euros, he should of been happy I didn’t make it rain with a million dollar bills y’all.  After my political faux pas I returned to the side stage to meet this bitch from Brighton.

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Their band of badass called Dream Wife had the moves of a hurricane with all the loyalty of your hometown squad.  A perfect mix, plus the guitarist was nothing short of a mastermind.  Looks, technique and clothing choices, completely unwrapped and you could feel it.  In truth, it scared me a little.  Young Fathers was overwhelming but I am grateful for their consistent energy and enthusiasm throughout their performance.

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My main event pulled on my heart strings a we bit.  Built up in my mind, the two Swedish sisters, were honest and abundant.  A juxtaposition of dress and motif, they played in perfect harmony.  The background visuals had their moments but always brought me back through time and space.

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With a day in Portrush to spare, I was delighted.

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Dunluce Castle

I didn’t see Super Organism, but they might be worth checking out…and as always, Ta!

 

Baby Don’t You Go and Cut Your Hair

Jax Beach, FL- Today we celebrate my niece’s second birthday! Luckily my sister has a good sense of humor and Facetimed me for the festivities. We sang the birthday song and the little babe got a taste of fire. Grandmas, grandpas, uncles and sisters that live in far away places came together to celebrate. Super delighted to be there in a pix- elated version of myself. I sang and although they couldn’t see, my feet were dancing away in this granny flat. I watched her open some gifts and laughed at my sister’s funny faces. I imagined eating cake and drinking a beer in the hot heat of Florida’s pre-summer. Usually technology frightens me only because it has far surpassed our understanding of it. Or mine at least. Anyways, happy birthday to my moon baby!

In other news, I have found my salty soul in Strandhill, continued painting on cardboard, sometimes on wood and writing blatant poetry.

 

Frances McDormand                                                                                    

Frog in my throat get out. Goway.

Smile first thing in the morning light as the birds volley,

let the air out. Mind yourself and listen to what they say.

Frog in my throat get out. Goway.

Scratch and burn, fags at the ballet,

frog in my throat get out. Goway.

Me and Megan, we’ve got the same bag. She won’t folly,

frog in my throat get out? Goway,

smile first thing in the morning. Light as the birds, volley.

 

A Pretty Lady Plans The Garden

Sligo-  Travel brings a sense of uncontrolled euphoria coupled with a sweet smile from the unknown.  It is an addiction that leaves you lost, as many do.  Fortunately, I don’t know of any serious health issues that come with a natural influx of dopamine, except coming down from it I suppose.   It is a good thing that The Sun Also Rises.

Home becomes just a feeling.  I find that growing a garden grounds me.  You start with the soil, rich and complete.  Well, it is a good idea to lay down some seaweed as the professionals have come to know.  Carney’s very own Bug Hotel reminds me of all the small creatures that gardeners need.

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Last year I took on a large plot to which I am forever grateful.  Potatoes, onions, garlic, kale, spinach and two raspberry bushes brought a sense of confidence to my we personality, riddled with guilt.  IMG_8550.JPG

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Now, I will start growing just what I like.  Not to say potatoes aren’t a joy in their floury, buttery, creamy goodness, they totally are! especially when shared between neighbors, but they require more space.  I have moved house and a quaint timber planter awaits.  I decided what to plant but we will see if my brown thumbs can make it green.

Finished Girl on A Train by Paula Hawkins and I must say it was crazier than I.  However, I do love Emily Blunt and I recommend watching A Quiet Place which did give me quite a thrill.

 

 

When God Says I Love You

Mullaghmore, An Mullach Mór– A spring day greets us with a full day of sunshine along the Wild Atlantic Way. There is a strand nearby that is a protected use area, a sharehold for farmers. I walk through the green pasture, up over the dunes and to my surprise a man walks up to me, completely nude. I never knew how to get here, but I’ve always wanted to go.

“Hello!”

“Hi,” I reply, wishing I too was naked.

I big smile.

A lovely day to see a middle aged man romping around the beach, like a dog playing in the surf. I admit, I had done research on this topic months ago but when it comes to my adventures, I’d rather stumble upon them versus forcing it, as this tactic always implodes (although I still do it sometimes). The beach, like many along the north west coast is isolated, underpopulated and serves as medicine for my soul.

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Continuing along, the nude dude seems to be away from his compatriots who keep to themselves down by the rocky bits.

A true wild man, away from his pack.

I once read that people with ADD or hyperactivity serve their tribe because they go beyond the boundaries, to explore the world and then report back what they see.

I worry that I will impinge on these free spirits by taking photos, so I try not to point. I won’t say that I didn’t get completely naked and go for a dip but I will say, I’m from Florida and it’s still March. I wander down the beach and back to climb the highest dune.

Yer man kept appearing like those arcade games where you have to hit the weasel. There he was lounging in the tall grass. He was so thrilled with himself, legs outstretched, hands tucked neatly behind his head, smiling into the sun.

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You missed my St.Patrick’s Day post because sharing is hard, it is still here. And if you want to see Mullaghmore on a normal day (the clothed beach) when it is dangerous/my writing was much worse, go here.

Listening to Gavin James “Bitter Pill” LOUD because it is the perfect segue for anyone trying to get over a piece of themselves and because he sounds like Hozier but with short hair.

Still alive and well in me Granny Flat.

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Churchill

 

Let me shock you in a million ways

my heart beats deep like a hole the dog digs.

Rose hips, hibiscus, I serve up passion in a cup

drink.it.up.

 

I lie here in my single bed staring,

my hands clenched, I am tied.

My knees bent up towards my chest,

I haven’t seen myself in years.  I am contracted.

 

I get distracted. Unable to eat,

I can’t speak. If only, for a moan or a blink when

the man comes in to me, dosing me up.

I am sleeping through this season.

 

My family brings photos of us, all around my room.

They pause from their pleasantries, for I cannot. Shovel food into my mouth.

The energy electric,

I shall burn out.

Connacht Gold

Sligo- When I was a schoolgirl, an Irishman stared into me and asked,

“Haley, can you tell someone you love them with your eyes?” I stared right back into him with a gentle reply,

“Yes, you can.”

It was unlikely that I had kept up with the readings he assigned but I knew something about the character of Hester Prynne.  It was my wild eyes and not my wit that got me through a vast amount of formal education.  I revel in my unlearning.

Photo on 2009-09-21 at 23.08

8 jaars ago

For St Patrick’s I decided to honour the Queen of Connacht with a we hill walk.

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Benbulben from Knocknarea

The north west of Ireland has a dense concentration of megaliths.  These can include dolmens, cairns or burial grounds. Bones, tools, white quartz and beads are often found during the excavations of these sacred sites.

I walk the 40 minutes up to see the Queen, who was said to be married many times.

These could be actual marriages or ritual weddings wherein kings would symbolically marry the “one who intoxicates and brings great joy,” Maev, Meadhbh, Méabh, medu, mead, St.Patrick’s Day, male dominated debauchery, nuns marrying Jesus- see where this is going?

Anywho, I am no historian.

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I make it to the top and around the cairn (this is one of three potential burial sites so it may just be a pile of lucky rocks, who.knows.) I find myself walking down the path into Maev’s Forest.  On a previous night walk up Benbulben a fella told me that the English cut down all the trees here.

So now, you will find these little pockets where the people have attempted regrowth and they are called forests.

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Once down the opposite side I continue into the village of Strandhill. When you use google maps here, hitchhiking time is estimated which I find hilarious and quite comforting now that I am far from my car.

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I arrive at Hangar 1 of the old airport, The Strandill Markt. There I meet my friend Sarah of the Black Sheep Bakery with Larry her mascot. We are friends at our day jobs wherein I go to her and complain, she laughs and then we drink tea.

I stop by the Sushi Sisters serving it up to the hipsters of Sligo.  I enjoy seeing the movement of a country, refining simplicity and up for anything.  With my father’s words buzzing in my brain I continue on my way.

He has always told me to follow my heart.  Recently he has added “and stay attractive.”

I will take a holistic approach to this advice as it serves me best.  He sends me a selfie from a ski lift in Taos.

Maev

Queen Maev by JC Leyendecker

Whatsapp has informed me that it will save all of my voice recordings to my Gmail account. Why? My data footprint will now consist of an 80/20 blend of appropriate and inappropriate images, epic anti-intellectual monologues and a blog about the possibility of being me.

As always thank you for your time, continue wasting it, and read this week’s poem.