Where do I begin? It seems too long since I last wrote you about my amazing and magical adventures in lovely Listowel, Co Kerry, Ireland. Since then I was on a mad dash to pull everything together for the photography exhibition at Olive Stack Gallery, hold part 3 of the photography workshop, actually have the photography exhibit, welcome the new artist, pack-in all I could with Tour A Lura Irish Tours director Damian Stack in my last weekend , play with new friend Caroline Rigney of Rigney's Farm and celebrate with more new girlfriends from the John B Keane pub's 6 - 9 Club thanks to the generosity of Caroline Stricks. And, then of course, it was time to pack and take the bus to Dublin to catch the flight home on the other side of the pond with an unexpected extra day there to visit Book of Kells at Trinity College. Much to my surprise, I returned rather tired. Perhaps a case of a combination of jet lag, legitimately tired (I have no idea why :) ), returning to a house that still has to have renovations from a major water leak and mold, and back to the thankfully already active art season here.
In fact, as I write this post, I'm minutes away from leaving for final meeting on arrangements for Endanger Exhibit to be held at end of this month as part of Art Basel in South Florida and pick-up my works for the Fort Lauderdale Home Show this weekend. More on this in another post.
And, about "Mind Your Self". This is one of those unique sayings (well for me anyways) that I heard repeatedly throughout my visit in Ireland. At first I wasn't sure if this was a positive phrase or an admonishment. Friends and strangers alike said it as they parted. I came to feel it was a term of endearment, kind of like "look out for yourself" because we care for you.
As I write this I see there is much to catch up with and I promise you more in-depth on each of these subset experiences. Although, I didn't seem to have the energy to write blog posts I did get almost completely caught-up on editing my favorite images from more than 5,500 photographs from the trip. Creating that new photography gallery on this website is on my "to do list".
In the meantime, please enjoy Day 31. It started with Caroline Rigney picking me up at the gallery and driving to her farm, Rigney's Farm. Rigney's Farmhouse is a handsome Irish country B&B, totally hand build by Caroline and her husband Joe (who was one of my photography students) in West County Limerick. Along the drive we passed the mighty Shannon River and some amazing views. Hospitality is surely Caroline's middle name. Once at her home we enjoyed a couple of cups of coffee and sweet lemon cake, a gift from one of Ireland's top bakers. Then it was off to feed the pigs and other animals on her real working Irish farm. For me that meant a new kind of photography adventure. Rigney's neighbor is Curraghchase Forest Park, 700 acres of pristine nature and woods. Caroline knew I would love walking and photographing this special place. Curraghchase House was the home of Sir Aubrey de Vere, parliamentarian and poet (1788-1846) and friend to William Wordsworth and Alfred Lord Tennyson. Here I along with many others had opportunity to sit in his mediation chair looking out on this nature treasure. Dusk seemed to come too early. Back at the farm, I was the honored guest for a delicious meal made from farm raised meat and greens. I'm not sure I've ever tasted a more flavor rich salad.
I was double blessed this day. Carol Stricks held a little dinner gathering at her house. It was intimate with nine women around the dining room table. Stories and laughs filled the air.
Until next time...Mind Your Self!
With Love, From My Heart!