Thursday, September 29, 2011

Ireland - County Cork:- Youghal and Painting




Ballymaloe, Ballycotton, Co Cork
Youghal (pronounced Yawn)  and the Old Monastery is situated on the mouth of the Blackwater River which feeds into the Irish sea.  Each year, we have been  guests here.  The Old Monastery was, as the name implies, a former monastery which has been converted into condominiums.  Our particular unit is ground floor, overlooking the river and  the Irish Sea.  It is a beautifully appointed two bedroom apartment which has been carefully restored and appointed.  The medallion in the ceiling comes from France c 1600 and the chandelier is Waterford crystal. We have window seats which face the ocean and these are prime spots for reading.

One of the 3 window seats
Helen's favourite window seat


Comfortable couches and chairs and good reading lights
To reach the street above one must take these steps as a short cutThe town of Youghal was incorporated in 1209 and is seeped in history. It is a walled city and quite hilly, lots of steep hills and stairs.  The town has numerous restaurants, our most frequented being Aherne's, famous for seafood and our favourite the seafood chowder accompanied by their home made Irish soda bread.


View from our Condo
view from our condo

So many vistas to paint and so little time!



St Mary's Church dates back to 452 - and is oldest continuous Catholic church in Ireland
Our haven for one week allows us to be with family, cook, dine, take long walks along the beach and there are many interesting day trips within easy driving distance and these deserve a separate post.
In 1777, the town's Clock Gate was built on the site of Trinity Castle, part of the town's fortifications. The Clock Gate served the town as gaol and public gallows until 1837; prisoners were executed by being hanged from the windows. 
 Sir Walter Raleigh was Mayor of Cork in 1588 and 89. He lived in Youghal.

Miles and Miles of ocean and a beautiful beach welcomes swimmers


Moby Dick, was filmed in Youghal, starring Gregory Peck.

Do you have a favourite restaurant?
.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Ireland -The Light of Evening, Lissadell





Lissadell House - Music Room
THE LIGHT OF EVENING,
   LISSADELL

GREAT WINDOWS OPEN TO 
   THE SOUTH

TWO GIRLS IN SILK
    KIMONOS

BOTH BEAUTIFUL

ONE A GAZELLE


(words of WB Yeats, written at Lissadell House, Sligo Ireland  where he spent much time as a guest - a tribute to Constantine and Eva Gore Booth)It is believed that WB Yeats held a torch for Constance a.k.a "The Gazelle".

Lissadell House, built by architect Francis Goodwin and completed in 1833.  The House was build to take advantage of the views from within.  Each room affords spectacular views, of the ocean, Ben Bulben Mountain, Sligo Bay and the pastorial lands from the Drawing Room.


Ante Room window engraving by Constance Gore Booth and her sister Mabel in 1898 (graffiti even then!, engraved with their diamond rings)
  For you who have enjoyed Downton Abbey, you will find the Basement area of particular interest.  The Servants Hall, Butler's Pantry, Kitchen and pantries, the bakery, Wine Cellars, China Room, Butler's bedroom, Housekeeper's room and the maids' sleeping quarters.  Lissadell had more than 200 employees at one time. 

The Music Room has remarkable acoustics. Oval in shape, lit by  a clerestory and skylights and is 65 ft in length.  


Original paintings by Jack B Years (brother of WB Yeats), Sir John Lavery, AE, Walter Osborne and more adorn the walls.
Helen in Music Room at Lissadell House 2011


Lissadell House


The Garden at Lissadell is worth visiting and deserves an entire post.



Lissadell House


Both Mabel and Constance Gore Booth were artistic. Mabel pursued gardening and design.  Constance was sent to the Slade School in England, then onward to France where she studied art.  While there, fell in love with Count Casimir Markievicz, married and returned to Lissadell House, a child namely Maeve Alleys was born. Constance continued to paint and exhibit.  The Count Casimir tired of life at Lissadell and Dublin and returned to the Ukraine.
A life of painting and leisure was not enough for Constance.  In her journal as a young girl she wrote
"Nature should provide me with something to live for, something to die for"  She turned to politics. In 1908 Constance publicly spoke in favour of the nationalist cause from a Sinn Fein platform.  Constance was sentenced to death for her part in the  Dublin 1916 rising - the sentence got reduced to commuted life imprisonment (in England) She was released in a general amnesty in 1917 and the following year was elected a Sinn Fein member of the English House of Commons, the first woman ever elected to Westminister. Constance decined to take the seat and was appointed Minister for Labour in the Dail (Irish Parliment). Politics was her life and she died in 1927 - her coffin was carried by the President of Ireland, Eamon de Valera.  300,000 people attended her funeral.  (She was known as "Madame" to the poor of Dublin).
Constance with James Connelly 1916 Dublin
WHEN LONG AGO I SAW HER
RIDE
UNDER BENBULBEN TO THE
MEET
THE BEAUTY OF HER
COUNTRYSIDE
WITH ALL YOUTH'S LOVELY
WILDERNESS STIRRED
SHE SEEMED TO HAVE GROWN
CLEAN AND SWEET
LIKE ANY ROCK-BRED
SEA-BORNE BIRD

MANY A TIME I THINK TO SEEK
ONE OR THE OTHER OUT AND SPEAK
OF THAT OLD GEORGIAN MANSION, MIX
PICTURES OF THE MIND, RECALL THAT
TABLE AND THE TALK OF YOUTH,
TWO GIRLS IN SILK KIMONOS, BOTH
BEAUTIFUL, ONE A GAZELLE
(WB YEAT POEM ON LISSADELL HOUSE0



What outstanding brave women or gazelles  do you admire?




Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Ireland- Cast a Cold Eye on Life, on Death, Horseman, pass by!





Departing Galway City
The simple grave of my favourite poet WB Yeats
Following our visit with  Mise we travelled north to Sligo town, where we visited the grave of WB Yeats, which is under the shadow of Ben Bulben Mountain in the cemetary of St. Columba's Parish Church at Drumcliffe.   WB Yeats was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1923.   Millions of people are attracted to Yeat's poetry and one wonders why, perhaps his ability to convey to others the feelings he has experienced, we empathize with these feelings. "Tread softly because you tread on my dreams" we whisper in our mind when an insensitive person threatens to crash upon our space.  "I will arise and go now and go to Innisfree" we silently resolve when the madness of life is overwhelming.
Rest in Peace Mr WB Yeats

Cast a Cold Eye on Life, on Death, Horseman, pass by  - One may interpret this to mean  that he is saying 'if you are looking for answers as to what lies beyond life and death, I can't help you you must look elsewhere Horseman, pass by'.


The grave is but yards from the open door of St. Columba's Parish Church, I enter.  It is a place of quiet intimacy and while sitting in the pew I am reminded that people have worshipped at this site since 574AD.  Noticing a copy of the Book of Common Prayer I am  also reminded that Yeats had a Church of Ireland burial service when his remains were finally laid to rest.   (Yeats remains were brought back to Ireland from Roquebrune, France by sea in a corvette of the Irish navy, the Macha in 1948)


Celtic Cross at Drumcliffe graveyard


I leave you with a reading of "The Lake Isle of Innisfree"

Are you familiar with the poetry of WB Yeats?  Who is your favourite poet?
















Saturday, September 3, 2011

Helen Tilston Painter meets Pretty Far West

Helen, Mise, Blue Girl and Pink Girl outside Builin Blasta
Craft Shop next door to restaurant
Ceardlann Centre where Builin Blasta is located
This post office is pretty far west
Greetings from Galway Ireland where I am presently.   Many of you know Mise from  www.prettyfarwest.com and this past Wednesday I had the delightful honour and pleasure to meet Mise and her daughters sometimes known as Blue Girl and Pink Girl.  We met at Builin Blasta Restaurant, in Spiddle, Co Galway and spent a memorable afternoon dining and chatting.   Mise is elegant, gracious, warm, has a winning smile and speaks softly.  She is fluent in Gaelic and communicates with her children in this language.  It brought lots of beautiful memories flooding back when she whispered to Blue Girl and the word "a stoirin" was used.  This is an endearing term to a child and it means much more than my little darling. Henceforth, I will be commenting and using Dr. Mise.   Mise has a doctorate in mathematics.  She also works as a translator  from English/Gaelic.
Castle in Kinvara
On road to Cluainin my birthplace
Roadway to where Mise was born
Roadway on route to Dr. Mise's birthplace.
We have much in common.  We were both born on islands linked to the mainland by bridges. Our homes were by the ocean in Co Galway Ireland.  A distance of about 15 miles by boat.  We share the same beautiful memories of a magical childhood.   The perfume of sea weed, the cry of the curlew, the barking of seals and the cuckoo who heralds summer.  The time went all too quickly and on leaving Mise, I was overcome with joy at having met one so special.  I shall treasure my beautiful memories of this day and will be looking forward to our next meeting.

Mise is the first blogger I have met in person.

Have you met a blogger, in person and if so who did you meet?