Posts from the ‘Ireland’ category

To make the perfect day out in Knock, Ireland:

1. Take 4 Aqua Brushes of holy water.2. Add one sketchbook and souvenir shop.3.Mix well with paint and prepare for an apparition.

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Here are some useful tips I picked up at Ireland’s National Museum of Country Life:

  1. Next Halloween I’m going to be putting on my Fiddle Face and bothering the neighbours with my Ghost Turnip.
  2. When I leave the baby to go to the well, I will put my tongs across the cradle to keep the fairies away.
  3. Next time someone doesn’t invite me to their wedding, I will disguise myself in straw, including a pointy ‘Strawboys’ hat and drink all the booze.
  4. If a Brideog knocks on my door on the 1st February, I’ll let her in and be nice.
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Some might say you must be particularly desperate to drive an hour and a half for a bath.

Usually I would agree, but what about if it also involved sitting in a massive steamy Edwardian box? …and the bath water was brown and slimy?Wash that down with an ice cold shower and your Kilcullen’s seaweed bath experience is complete.

I highly recommend it! Although sketching in the bath is definitely no walk in the park. Particularly when weighted down with seaweed.Again! Again!

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The top of Croagh Patrick has been covered in a tiny toupee of mist for most of the week, giving me a fantastic excuse not to walk up it.Today, although it was a grey day, the summit was surprisingly clear. So I had to find a new reason.

At the foot of the mountain, I consulted with Holy Mary through the medium of sketch. When she turned into Fanny Craddock on my page, I took it as a clear sign that heading to the summit spelled doom.I abandoned the disastrous sketch and opted to do the Murrisk loop. A lovely walk with plenty of sketching and no slippery scree.

After my run in with Mary, I went subtle on St Patrick’s face.The views of Clew Bay are excellent. Even the sheep agree. Here’s Clare Island and the beautiful spit of Betra Beach.Down in the village I finally got to see the Fisherman’s Memorial. Those cyclists took off pretty quickly. Must have been the way I looked at them! My personal pilgrimage could only end at the Sheebeen with a bottle of Westport, Mescan.

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The track to the deserted village on Achill Island is blinding white.

The sparkling Quartzite from the former stone quarry sits in stark contrast to the pitch black of the peat brick wigwams drying in the sun.The village itself is silent, save for the twitter of little brown bog birds and the odd ‘baa’ of the horny sheep.Around the bend, a little way on, we are faced with bus-loads of tourists in the not-so-deserted part of of the village.

I’m all sketched out so I make my way through the huffing puffing crowds.

If you are heading this way I definitely recommend setting off from the famous ‘lost beach‘, in Dooagh. Particularly since they’ve found it again now!

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Westport House was owned for centuries by the descendants of the pirate queen, Granuaile and is built on the site of her ancient castle.On the way down to Grace’s dungeon a young girl ran at me whispering in a loud hiss ‘this house is haunted!!’ I swear I saw the ghostly figure of the pirate queen in a swan pedalo.That was not as spooky as the fantastic ‘party waxwork room’ full of Irish artistic talent. Their eyes follow you everywhere to the sound of the fiddle… I wasn’t sticking around to add colour!I calmed down with coffee and cake in the tea room. Trying not to think about what those massive hooks on the ceiling were for. I’m sure that stag just winked at me!

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When you go to the Burren, there are three things you have to do.

1. See megalithic tombs

2. Go to Father Ted’s house for tea and cakes.

This is the window Ted stood at to wave at the women in the brown coat. ‘I hear your a racist now Father’.

I ran across the field in front of the house whilst finishing this one, but I think the wonkiness adds to it! The tour waits for no one!

3. Go to Vaughan’s in Kilfenora for a pint. Also featured in ‘Are you right there Father Ted’. After all that culture, I needed a bit of nature, so finished up at the Cliffs of Moher.

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