The West

I love it in the West of anywhere - it's a homecoming for me.  Wales, California, Scotland, France, Ireland, or my native Lancashire, there's something very special about being on the shores of the ocean.  Being in Ireland takes me back to another life when I considered myself to be a serious folksinger.  Travelling around these shores brings back all the old songs I used to sing and looking at the map I can see that the place names are also the names of many of the songs - The Reason I Left Mullingar, Fare Thee Well Enniskillen, The Galway Shawl  etc etc.  At the moment they're providing the soundtrack to our trip, especially a song I first heard Davey Arthur sing - Over The Ocean, but also Andy Irvine's Thousands Are Sailing to Americae.
Our hotel hear is truly unbelievable, something lovely wherever you look, inside or out.  We managed to get a lot done again, despite the rain and mist, ranging from a hand-dyeing workshop with local plants to a demonstration of the sheep dogs doing their work up the mountain.  However inconvenient the rain might have been, it did give us the most beautiful rainbow.  Only lasing for a few seconds, I quickly grabbed my camera before it disappeared!
The gorgeous Kylemoor Abbey Gardens looked great in their autumn colour despite the weather and Clifden was very lively with the Arts Festival in full swing - traditional music spilling out of many of the bars and restaurants.
We even found some local sheep, which had been missing from our travels further south and Philip got very excited to see the piles of turf, cut ready to be taken away for the fires.

Our day was rounded off with a session of music in a local pub.  We got talking to Philomena, a lovely woman who told us her interesting story about her difficult life on a farm on the island of Inisboffin.  Despite having a very hard life, there she was, with all her relations having emigrated to the US, still enjoying the craic at 85!  My kind of woman!


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