Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Of the search for fairy queens, magic, and golden treasure...

Among the mysteries of my early childhood there was a picture book which could have been some version of MOPSA THE FAIRY BY JEAN INGELOW. In it a brother and sister wander in the fairy kingdom after finding a rock with a key hole and the key to enter. One of my life quests has been to find that rock (or at least that book about the rock.)

So imagine my surprise when in scrambling around in some chambered tombs of Carrowkeel I find two rocks with key holes (sort of). Because of the arduous hands and knees scrambling and the amazing airiness inside these tombs, the sense of history, story, of real people having built these amazing places, or maybe just the sense of unease about the fairy people absorbed from Mrs. O'Byrn's handyman (see previous blog) we enter and leave with respect and no desire what-so-ever to be taken into the fairy realm.

I'll keep my interests in fairy folk and their magic and treasure at a metaphoric level from now on.

Mrs. O'Byrn's handyman and the fairy folk.

Mrs. O'Byrn's handyman.

We visited a Mrs. O'Byrn in Sligo, near Drumcliff. She owned the house where Edward's mother had grown up, (where W. B. Yeats had also played a few years earlier) and her handy man, a wonderful fellow, showed us a fairy fort up behind the house. This was a very mysterious and muddy place. "Tread lightly" he said (echoing Yeats), and then you won't sink in the mud, and the fairy folk won't take you.

Being taken by the fairy folk is not a good thing. They don't always give you back and sometimes when they do give you back, they keep your best parts. No fun.

He taught us that fairy folk like circles and if you have an "O" in front of your family name, like Mrs. O'Byrn, then you should leave off the "O" so the fairies won't covet it. Having something that fairies covet is also not a good thing.

We talked about banshees, how he'd actually seen one once, a little old lady with long white hair. (They generally appear in one of three guises: a young woman, a stately matron or a little old hag, representing the triple aspects of the Celtic goddess of war and death. She is usually seen wearing either a grey, hooded cloak or some form of grave clothing. She may also appear as a washer-woman, and is seen apparently washing the blood stained clothes of those who are about to die.) He told there was one outside his lodgings the night before. He had not heard it he was quick to point out (because it foretells death and in our culture we tend to try to avoid this event), but a neighbor woman had heard it. (I wonder if she's alright.)

Home Again

There's nothing quite like coming home, especially when everything is blooming and the Bergamasco Boys are delighted to see you and wanting to go for a walk right away... "Why aren't you hurrying faster, we have so many scents to investigate, so many friends to catch up with..."

Hurry Lani, says Bruzzi.

This morning we went for our walk (and hurried to catch up with every smell, color, texture, breeze, sparkling wave... all of it) and Prospero came upon some rock art. Can you tell what is dog and what is art? Hmmmm, maybe it's all art.

Ferns are uncurling...
and violets are in bloom...

Life can feel like poetry when the sun shines in Prospect, Nova Scotia!!!
I'll do separate posts for aspects of the trip, what we saw, learned, ate, the magic and treasure...
Stay tuned.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Pebbles and Queen Victoria

On the pebbley beach in Portsmouth I found one of Pete Codling's "One Million Pebbles" a city wide art project, which you can read more about here:

Back to the Isle of Wight to see the queen, Victoria, that is. At the Osborne House, a favorite little rustic hide-a-way of Queen Victoria.

Friday, May 05, 2006

The Isle of Wight, Oh My Goodness

Alternative title : Have you been on a hover craft lately?

This thing really goes! I could ride it all day.

Old postcard map of the Isle of Wight

We hiked along the coast.

Explored nooks and crannies.

Beautiful day, blue skies, cream teas, good walking, and the fugitive scent of foxes...
Ah, life can be very, very good.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

We have arrived...

Here's my everyday art project from the flight, doesn't inspire hunger does it?

Here's where we are...

Now I need a nap.
More soon.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Do you know Inspire-me-thursday?

Every week, there's a new challenge for instance this week: slow your pace and notice common, everyday objects found around you. Look for ordinary things that can make extrordinary art! Look for things you can use in your art. Or items that can be used as a tool to create art. Or perhaps an object that simply inspires you to create. The challenge is to find the art in the everyday.

They encourage you to participate on the website which is wonderful, all that inspiration, and of course it's also a good resource even if you don't participate with your own blog.

Will this work on an airplane?
Can I draw the ordinary things around me while hurtling through the clouds?

Monday, May 01, 2006

Have you heard of Bog Snorkeling?

Seems to be a Welsh activity.
Bog Snorkelling Game

Every Bank Holiday August, the town of Llanwrtyd Wells hosts one of the country's strangest contests - the Bog Snorkelling Championship. If you don't fancy all that thrashing around in the mud, take our online Bog Snorkelling challenge...

The game's not as easy as you think - you're not allowed to use normal swimming strokes! Instead you have to keep wiggling, splashing and flaying around (by alternately hitting the keys on the keyboard that randomly appear on the screen) until you start moving. Oh and don't forget to keep breathing (using the mouse to drag the bubbles onto your snorkel).

Hmmmm. Think Edward will want to play? Too bad we can't take Bergamasco's bog snorkeling. Now that would be a picture!