Sunday, February 23, 2014


Nearly Always Irish . . .

(A series of posts leading up to/including The Nocturnes Photo Tour in the West of Ireland, July 15-25, 2013; with a personal Genealogical Research Extension, in and around Ballina, July 25-29 - with follow-up posts continuing here!)
 

If you've been following along on Facebook - www.facebook.com/tim.baskerville - you've seen weekly mentions of our "Nearly Always Irish Movie Night" Saturday Night series of posts, and of course, viewings.

So far, our Saturday nights have included:
In 2013
Once
Waking Ned Devine
Michael Collins


In 2014
Local Hero (1983)
Ryan's Daughter (1970)
The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006)
In the Name of the Father (1994)
The Secret of Roan Inish (1994)
and last night's offering,
The Quiet Man (1952)


Scheduled films, moving forward:
The Commitments (1991)
The Field (2001)
Bloody Sunday (2002)
Hunger (2009)



From The [not so] Daily Nocturne

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Ireland 2013

(A series of posts leading up to/including The Nocturnes Photo Tour in the West of Ireland, July 15-25, 2013; with a personal Genealogical Research Extension, in and around Ballina, July 25-29 - with follow-up posts continuing here!)


Here we have a YouTube video made by David Fullagar, a participant in one of our friend Ron Rosenstock's Ireland Tours last year.


It reads like an itinerary (with some not-noted surprises!) of our upcoming October trip, and an aide-mémoire, stirring strong remembrances of earlier journeys . . .

Including:
Westport and Newport towns

Hillcrest House
Achill Island
A number of traditional Irish music sessions
Burrishoole Friary
Ross Errily Abbey
The Burren
Cong Abbey
Rossinrubble and Clew Bay
Ballintubber (Irish: Baile an Tobair) Abbey
Moore Hall
Doo Lough
Carraigahowley Castle (Irish: Carraig an Chabhlaigh)
Abandoned Slievemore (Irish: Sliabh Mór) Village
- and many more!

Here's hoping you can join us in October - details on the Strabo site.

From The [not so] Daily Nocturne

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Obvious choice . . .

(A series of posts leading up to/including The Nocturnes Photo Tour in the West of Ireland, July 15-25, 2013; with a personal Genealogical Research Extension, in and around Ballina, July 25-29 - with follow-up posts continuing here!)

U2 ♪ NEW YEAR'S DAY from Juampe Martinez S. on Vimeo.

From The [not so] Daily Nocturne
(On New Year's Day)

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Fairytale of 1987 . . .

(A series of posts leading up to/including The Nocturnes Photo Tour in the West of Ireland, July 15-25, 2013; with a personal Genealogical Research Extension, in and around Ballina, July 25-29 - with follow-up posts continuing here!)


Even tho' it's one of my favorite songs (of the season or no), I try to limit postings of the song or video to one occurrence a year (around this time). Having posted recently to my Facebook timeline for 2013 - that should have been it - but wait, there's more!
 
I submit to you: this clip from from the Late Night with Jimmy Fallon show of December 11th, featuring Iron & Wine, Calexico, Kathleen Edwards, and Saint Glen Hansard covering the Pogues' "Fairytale of New York." No match for the original or the Official video for the song (released in Ireland, November 1987), this has got to be one of the best subsequent cover performances of "the best Christmas song ever recorded!" Iron and Wine (Samuel Beam) brought a certain warmth to the male vocal, but it was Kathleen Edwards (playing to Beam's female counterpart), and the Calexico signature horn (trumpets) section that stole the show, IMHO!


Now, I just figured out why this song resonates so much with me: 1987 was the year I spent a month (December, at that!) in Ireland, travelling alone, and meeting up with Irish Ex-pats (house painters/part of the video production crew from San Francisco), home for the Holidays. That trip, I spent little time in the Westport area (my usual home base), instead dividing my time between Dublin and Cork - Ireland's two largest cities. With the urban experience (and driving!), came the constant exposure to radio broadcasts and pop music - and this song by The Pogues was everywhere, it filled the air.


It was (and is, every time I hear it) . . . transcendent.

From The [not so] Daily Nocturne

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Light of Ireland - Night 3

(A series of posts leading up to/including The Nocturnes Photo Tour in the West of Ireland, July 15-25, 2013; with a personal Genealogical Research Extension, in and around Ballina, July 25-29 - with follow-up posts continuing here!)


Here is the continuation (as our days in Eire continued well into the nights!) of Day 3 - the Light of Night! - with another entry from Michele Houghton's journal from The Nocturnes' recent adventure on Irish soil.

Welcome back to the adventures of The Nocturnes while we explore County Mayo in Ireland.

After a short rest and a wonderful dinner (again) it was off for our nocturnal wanderings.

Dinner tonight was tomato and basil soup, beef bourguignon, colcanon (mashed potatoes and cabbage), cooked carrots, steamed snow peas, and rhubarb crumble for dessert.
Our guide/driver on this visit to Ireland is Olcan Masterson. He is a very interesting character. He is always happy and always has a story to tell.  Besides being a tour guide is also a well-travelled musician.  He has traveled the world playing the Irish flutes and tin whistles.  Tonight his band is playing in a pub in Westport. On our way to Westport, we traveled along the one lane back roads of Westport along the top of the drumlins to pick up Dave who also plays in the band. This was definitely an adventure.
The band and guest musicians played from 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM. At 10:30, some of the photographers went out to wander the streets of Westport. The sky was just transitioning from sunset to night. The European countries are on holiday this week, so there are a lot of tourists in town or passing through. We were able to get some interesting shots of the waterway and bridges. We had some pleasant and interesting conversations with some of the tourists and the drunks wandering the streets.

At midnight we had to return to the van much to our dismay. We were just getting warmed up. By the time we got back to the van, the shades were being pulled on the pub and the door was being locked.  Another Irish day was completed.

Hope you sleep well.
Michele


Michele
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From The [not so] Daily Nocturne
The Light of Ireland - Day 3

(A series of posts leading up to/including The Nocturnes Photo Tour in the West of Ireland, July 15-25, 2013; with a personal Genealogical Research Extension, in and around Ballina, July 25-29 - with follow-up posts continuing here!)

Here is another entry from Michele Houghton's journal from The Nocturnes' recent adventure on Irish soil - The Light of Ireland.

The day dawned overcast on Day 3 of The Light of Ireland adventure. We knew the marine layer would not last long as the temperature was forecast to be very warm.


Our hosts provided us with a wonderful Irish breakfast of fruit, yogurt, eggs, and Irish bacon. Then it was back in the coach to explore the mountains of County Mayo.


Our first stop was just outside of Westport at the beautiful Mohar Lough. This serene little lake is hidden just on the outskirts of the village.

We then started meandering down a country road. This road takes us to the backside of Crough Patrick. Along the way we saw the sheep being herded off of the mountain by the sheep dogs. Oh, and I found the house I am going to buy.  It is at the base of a mountain, at the back of a valley, and I would only have 2 other neighbors.

For lunch we had a picnic in the Sheffrey Mountains - just past my new home of Barnaderg (Irish: Bearna Dhearg, meaning "red gap"). We sat on the side of the mountain and watched the reflections of the clouds paint Tawnyard Lough wondrous colors. The scene was constantly changing. I could of sat there for days and watch the world roll by. We were occasionally greeted by hill walkers who were walking the Western Way. (The scene would have been perfect if we weren’t being harassed by biting black flies and midges.)

We stopped for a pint at Delphi Mountain Resort. This resort provides spa services and extreme sport opportunities.  It is also where you can pay up to $200 to fly fish.  Prince Charles is a frequent guest. The resort is also near Doo Lough, which is another lovely lake. 

Doo Lough is another location of a famine memorial. Each year there is a famine walk at this location to remember the hungry of Ireland and of Africa. Olcan played us a song at the memorial on his tin whistle that he played when Archbishop Desmond Tutu joined the Famine Walk. 
We got a news update from the radio as we were heading home. March was the wettest month on record.  But Ireland is now officially in a drought and water rationing has begun. Tomorrow the temperature is forecast to be 77 degrees F. Today in the sun it felt like high 80s.

We headed back to Hillcrest House for an early dinner. Olcan, our guide, is a flutist and his band is playing at a pub in Westport tonight.  So our plan is to go to the pub and then photograph Westport.

Michele
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From The [not so] Daily Nocturne

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Light of Ireland - Night One

(A series of posts leading up to/including The Nocturnes Photo Tour in the West of Ireland, July 15-25, 2013; with a personal Genealogical Research Extension, in and around Ballina, July 25-29 - with follow-up posts continuing here!)

Well, we awoke from our nap to a wonderful meal. We had home-made garden pea soup with mint, salad, carrot salad, potato salad, haddock tart, and berry crumble with cream and custard. Excellent!


Then we took a walk down to the bay to scope out some subjects for our first night of shooting. At 9:00 PM we gathered our night gear and headed down the road to the Mary of the Road statue.

Afterglow did not start until 10:30 PM. At 11:15 PM we walked back up to the house. Sunset still could be seen in the distance over the ocean. We then walked up the hill behind the house to play with some light and try-out our cameras. By 11:40 PM there still was too much light in the sky to see any stars. The stars may have been out by midnight, but by then the clouds had obscured the sky.

With this knowledge, night photography does not begin until midnight on a summer Ireland night. We will probably be doing some all-nighters in the week ahead.

Now we are off to bed. Breakfast is at 8:30 AM and then we hit the road!

Michele
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From The [not so] Daily Nocturne

Thursday, October 03, 2013


The Light of Ireland - Day One

(A series of posts leading up to/including The Nocturnes Photo Tour in the West of Ireland, July 15-25, 2013; with a personal Genealogical Research Extension, in and around Ballina, July 25-29 - with follow-up posts continuing here!)

Well now, here we go - with Michele Houghton's journal from The Nocturnes' recent adventure on Irish soil - The Light of Ireland.

As mentioned, we are excerpting portions of it, starting today, with her entry from our first full (VERY full!) day in Ireland - a night entry to follow! The full version of all entries should be available as a PDF Download in the near future; meanwhile, ENJOY!
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First Day in Ireland, Tuesday, July 16th

"Well, the gang has assembled. The Light of Ireland team is a bit worn out, but we were able to successfully shoot the ruins of a historic friary. We are operating on just an hour or two of sleep in the past 36 hours. We drove about 3-hours from the airport (with some stops along the way) to our bed and breakfast.

Our home for the next eight days is Hillcrest House outside of Westport. Hillcrest House is an old country farmhouse outside of the town of Westport in County Mayo. The house is only used for photography travel tours. We have the whole house to ourselves but we have a chef and maid service. The dinner menu for tonight sounds quite delectable. 
Since most of our batteries are on empty, we plan on doing a short photo shoot around the house tonight. There is a statue at the crossroads and a hill to climb for a view of the bay.

So far on our adventure we have:  seen a cattle drive down the highway; stopped at the Anglers Rest pub in Headford, County Galway, for tea and scones; visited the Ross Errilly Friary; visited Westport for lunch and a stop at the bank; watched the Ireland army close and guard the bank while money was transferred. While the money was transferred in little bags back and forth to the van, 5 army officers with automatic machine guns protected the bank.  And no one was allowed to leave or enter the bank until the transfer was complete. It was quite an interesting event.
Ross Errilly Friary is a medieval Franciscan friary, founded in 1351 A.D.  One of the unique features of the friary is that it has a tank used to hold live fish caught from the nearby Black River.

Well, I guess that had better be all for now. I am supposed to be taking a nap. I hope all is well at home.

Michele
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From The [not so] Daily Nocturne