Happy New Year!
The blog has been a wee bit neglected over the past month or so but I was determined to bring you up to date before the year is out.
Christmas in Ireland was gloriously peaceful. The weather was calm. Suitably frosty but with a lovely clear, wintery light.
Of course, we had visits from the ducks
and swans (there are five in the family group. The others were feeling shy that morning)
The lake was like a millpond most days
We didn’t do very much. Laid out a few treasured Christmas decorations, like this John Ffrench Tree of Peace
Inspired by Peter Horne’s beautiful plaster casts (have a look at them at Pentreath & Hall), we made some plaster casts of oak, beech, birch and ivy leaves found around the cottage and hung them from a birch twig in lieu of a Christmas tree
We ate enough for a small army and worked off some of it with occasional excursions. Like to Fore Abbey
The site of seven wonders, in case you didn’t know. Water that flows uphill, a mill without a race, tree branches that won’t burn etc.
It’s a lovely atmospheric site, especially on a cold winter’s day with late afternoon sun
We also visited St Mel’s cathedral in Longford which was badly damaged in a fire on Christmas day 2009. It reopened this Christmas so we could admire the lovely handcrafted interior. I especially liked the Stations of the Cross carved from Bath stone by the sculptor Ken Thompson. The stylised scenes reference early Christian Irish art, as well as modernist design and each has a simple but vibrant colour palette
He has used allusive text on the panels rather than descriptive inscriptions. I love the unexpected elements, like this mouse who appears in a couple of the panels
Most of the time we took it easy and enjoyed our surroundings. 2014 has been a year of change for me. Here’s hoping that the coming year brings peace and prosperity to all of us.
Happy New Year!