erynn: Gaelic merman image (Inis Man)
I sorted out the photos I need for the pilgrimage presentation today. I had initially thought it would be easier just to slap the whole bunch onto the SD card and sort through them live, but this was me on crack. Today I spent a few hours sorting through and choosing photos that gave a feel for some of my experience, put them into folders sorted by locations, and then slapped them into one über-folder, which I did load onto the SD card and which I can turn into a slideshow with [livejournal.com profile] lwood's help when I get down there on Wednesday.

I sorted out my motel reservation in Fresno for visiting with [livejournal.com profile] random_nexus after the con. Books, visual aids, and other things are packed into my rolly bag. The laundry is in the drier and will be all nice and clean to be packed in my carry bag tomorrow. I also sewed my Isle of Man triskele onto the bag today. Cords and batteries are mostly sorted, and stuff in progress is sitting on the dining table awaiting completion. Tomorrow I should have everything packed up except my meds and stuff that I need on Tuesday morning before I hit the road.

Had a lovely chat with the #writechat peeps over on twitter early this afternoon. I hadn't talked to them in several weeks, as I'd either been busy or asleep until too late to really participate. It was really nice to catch up with a few of the regulars.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Book of Dreams)
After contemplating it for several months, I finally went to Lulu and spent all of last night and most of today putting together a 20-page hardbound photo book of my pilgrimage through Ireland and the Isle of Man. It's available by link only, not as an open search item on Lulu.com, so if you're interested, you can have a peek at the book by clicking here. It's $35, because it's hardbound and full color. I've got my proof copy on order but everything looked fine online. Once I get my copy (when I get back from PCon, as there's no way it would get here before I leave), I'll add a permanent link and information for it on my publications page over on Searching for Imbas.

There are a couple of pages of narration, and some material identifying where the photos are from and what they are, but beyond that, it's just some pictures of places I went and things I experienced. There are a couple of other people in some of the photos, but not usually faces, or the faces are far enough away to not be clear. This was primarily necessitated by the fact that I often simply couldn't get photos without people in them at some of the places. Two photos (of me) were taken by others, and the photographers credited. There's no ISBN, so it can't be got through Amazon or other online outlets. It's only available through the link. Anyways, please pass the word along to anyone you think might be interested.

I did most of the work on Firefox, but the browser wouldn't actually process the file to publish, so I had to switch over to Safari for the final work. It eventually got done. It was annoying, though.

This evening I went over to Lake Stevens hang out with the steampunks, and we plotted and planned stuff for the coming several months. March 17th we'll be having a tea & whisky tasting at my place. Other things are planned as well, but mine will just be a small, quiet affair starting about 2pm. If you're interested in coming and having tea and booz0rz with steampunks, let me know.

[livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor is going to be starting up Irish classes in Everett soon. I'll post information as soon as I have it.

Tomorrow will be spent doing more PCon prep.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (all your books!)
I got email from my editor, Taylor, asking if I would be on the Immanion authors panel this year. I agreed to participate. I also got an offer from the folks running the ADF Hospitality Suite to host an informal chat about the pilgrimage and my trip to Europe, so I will most likely be bringing photos from the trip and spending time with folks there, talking about my adventures. It won't be on the official schedule, but I'll see if we can get the information out on the bulletin boards or in the daily newsletter at the con.

This evening I went to Seattle with [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor and we attended the Medieval Women's Choir holiday concert. This year it was English carols (meaning from England, not necessarily all in English). While I enjoyed it, I don't think it was among their better showings. The group seemed somewhat smaller this performance, and the only instruments were Margreit's vielle and some bells. I missed the harpist and their usual soloists, and I'm hoping we will see them again in the March and May concerts.

I did run into Brandy and Ted there, briefly. We weren't sitting anywhere near one another. They aren't season ticket holders this year, and Brandy's not in the choir, as she's taking a break from it for at least this season. We talked about Prague and a little about the other places I visited, but we didn't have a lot of time before the concert started. At the end, we went to look for them, but I suspect Brandy had dashed off to talk to the other choir members, because we didn't see them.

Tomorrow [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor and I might be going to visit a friend of ours who is in hospital at the moment, but we're not sure of the visiting hours and whatnot. We'll figure it out when we're both awake and mobile tomorrow sometime.

I had ordered some tea from Floating Leaves online this week, as I've not been able to get down to Ballard when they were open, and it arrived today with a lovely note from Shiuwen, who inquired about my trip to Europe -- I'd stopped in not long before I left this summer. I'm going to try to get down there when [livejournal.com profile] ogam is in town, if that's doable, so that we can all have some tea and catch up a bit. I need to get more than I had actually ordered, as I hadn't been entirely clear on how much one unit was - the tea is being sold by the ounce, and I hadn't ordered enough of what I wanted. It will certainly last for a little bit, but I would like more.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Airmed)
Last night I finally finished up putting together the table and chairs. It took me until almost 9am this morning. I'm going to try to get some sleep much much earlier tonight because I have group tomorrow at the VA and don't want to miss it. It's our chaplaincy intern's last group before she leaves.

Today I also reformatted the hard drive on the MacBook and will be seeing what I can get for it from the Mac recycle. They'll be shipping me a box to send it off to them in.

The other thing I did today (finished just a little while ago) was writing up a post about Heapstown Cairn, Airmed, and the ritual we did there. It's got a few photos in it, though they're fairly small format for the most part. I'll be posting a couple of photos of it here in a day or so.

[livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor came by for a few to take some measurements of the old table to see if it will fit in her new place. She'll check her space and let me know. If she doesn't want it, I'll probably get rid of the chairs and put the table on craigslist or something, given that it's reasonably sturdy and aside from some damage to the finish, it's not in bad shape. It's perfectly useable still. Right at the moment, though, it's taking up a huge amount of space in my living room and I need to clear it out so I can get other things done.

At the moment, I've got a lamb and barley soup cooking on the stove. Gotta wait for that to finish up before I can go to bed.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (GIR likes FOOD!)
[livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor and I went over to the park today to pick salal berries, but they were really substandard there. Most of them were dried out and a lot of others were moldy, which was really pretty nasty. We ended up picking from along the sidewalk by the lake. It was closer to the road than I liked, but at least they don't use lead in gas anymore, so I wouldn't be too worried about lead poisoning or anything. They washed off just fine and we got three bags full, which got cleaned down to two big mixing bowls full of berries that are now sitting on the counter on paper towels drying off a bit. I'll put them in the food dryer tomorrow, as I don't want to leave them in overnight. Last time I did that, they got crispy, which really doesn't do much for their flavor.

I spent part of today updating some of my software for the new computer and messing with the email so that it works again. Last night being able to send was sporadic but I think I've got it together again now, and it's been sending consistently again. Bills got paid, though the charge for the new computer hasn't showed up on the credit card yet. I'm sure that'll happen soon.

My Dead Can Dance hoodie showed up from [livejournal.com profile] miss_adventure today, which has delighted me to no end. I wore it out when I went grocery shopping tonight. I hadn't been out for more than just a day or so's worth of stuff since I got home from Europe, so I had rather a lot to pick up, but there were some nice Washington peaches that felt and smelled ripe -- it's hard to get peaches in a store that are actually ripe enough. They're often either grainy or crunchy. I think these might turn out okay because they're fairly local and they claim they were "tree-ripened," though what that means these days is anyone's guess. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow when I have one for breakfast.

As noted in my other posts today, I did a blog page on finding the Wayside Well in Kildare, and Hiraeth Press posted one of my poems to their website, which made me quite happy. I sent off the link to the publicity person at Immanion. I also sent off a copy of the manuscript to [livejournal.com profile] finnchuill for a poet friend of his to look over. I hope he'll like it.

Tomorrow I'll probably do #writechat for a while and then work on some more material for the EBC presentation. I have photos that need to be taken and things that need to be scanned for further slides. Fortunately, Word and PowerPoint both still work on this version of Mac OSX. I'm definitely liking the new larger monitor. It's at a better height and I have a lot more space to deal with things.

Today's mail, along with the hoodie, also brought a fairly lengthy health practices survey from the VA. A lot of the questions are not particularly answerable (for me at least) in the format they've laid it out. So much of their stuff can really only be answered as "it depends on how I feel that day," which they really don't have allowances for. I'm going to have to give some serious thought to my answers. Also with the VA, Wendy called on Friday and left me a message that the spirituality group starts again on the 6th, for a four-week session. Things are shifting yet again, so they're needing to figure out how to handle it. But it'll be nice to see everyone again.

Carrying the huge box with the computer in it yesterday really messed up my arms. They're very sore today, as they were last night. Hauling four heavy bags of groceries tonight didn't help much, sadly. Monday is the CR schmooze. Tuesday is the steampunk social at AFK. Wednesday I have a meeting with a couple who want someone to do a handfasting for them. Thursday Jeff's back to help with finishing up (I hope) the EBC presentation. In the midst of all that, I have to deal with scanning things, photographing things, writing up text slides, and expanding on some of the material I've got for the presentation outline.

Tired Erynn is really, really tired. Probably should cork this yummy apricot cider, pop it back into the fridge, and head for bed.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Brigid Healer)
I've posted a new page on my Searching for Imbas blog with a map and photos describing in detail how to find Brigid's Wayside Well in Kildare, Ireland. Given the trouble I initially had finding the place, I thought it would be a service to other pilgrims. You can find the page here.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Ganesha)
As you can probably tell from my posting, I was busy doing things today. The most important thing finished was my first real post about the pilgrimage, with photos and some thoughts about my experiences at Kildare. That was a couple of hours worth of work. I dealt with email and messed around with photos, trying to figure out which ones would go best with the post.

Several things got posted to the LJ today with links for folks who might be interested in them. I posted links to a few things to FB as well -- the blog post and the Brigid & Sarasvati zip file. Got email back from [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm and [livejournal.com profile] druid_medb about joint PCon proposals for panels and such. I still haven't figured out what, if anything, I want to propose for a second solo session.

Graphics arrived from John-Paul Patton of some of his material for the ogam presentation at the EBC. The quality is immensely better than what got printed in his book. I can actually see the layout of the elemental tablet, which is going to make a huge difference for the presentation. I was pleased to receive the material.

My sinuses are all itchy and nasty on me today and I was kind of drowning in them last night in a very sticky and unpleasant way. I suspect that it's mostly just the weather turning toward fall. It's one thing I really hate. I've taken a little extra antihistamine tonight in hopes that I can head some of that off and not have the same problem, or at least not to the same degree, when I'm trying to sleep tonight.

Tomorrow will primarily be dealing with the EBC presentation's graphics. I'm hoping we can either get all or most of it done tomorrow, then I can finish up the preparation over the next few days. If I have some time, I'll try to get the blog page together on how to locate the older Brigid's Well in Kildare town so that other folks won't have to go through the frustrations I did in trying to find it via online searches.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Brighid's cross)
I've started what will probably be a several-weeks-long process of posting about the pilgrimage and trip to Europe over on Searching for Imbas. There are photos on the blog. Mom, you might be able to get them from there, as I know you can't really get them off here for some reason.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Illya "Missed it by this much")
Another thing I did yesterday was update the Searching for Imbas blog with a post with some preliminary thoughts on my pilgrimage. If you don't follow the blog (I don't update it as often as I ought), please drop by and have a look.

Thanks!
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Breakin' Ur Geasa)
Four photos of the mural depicting Cú Chulainn in the Táin Bó Cualigne from Setanta Center in Dublin.

Dublin: Táin mural 1, From Setanta Center, Dublin

Dublin: Táin mural 2, From Setanta Center, Dublin

Dublin: Táin mural 3, From Setanta Center, Dublin

Dublin: Táin mural 4, Mural from Setanta Center, Dublin
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Breakin' Ur Geasa)
Four photos of the mural depicting Cú Chulainn in the Táin Bó Cualigne from Setanta Center in Dublin.

Dublin: Táin mural 1, From Setanta Center, Dublin

Dublin: Táin mural 2, From Setanta Center, Dublin

Dublin: Táin mural 3, From Setanta Center, Dublin

Dublin: Táin mural 4, Mural from Setanta Center, Dublin
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Whitman: not all who wander)
Yesterday was another very full day, involving a trip to Ardagh (the site of Bri Leith, where the tale of Midir and Etáin took place), where I sat out the trip to the well and to any of the churches or other bits in the two but had a quiet hour or so at the Midir and Etain tea shop in the Ardagh heritage center. I really needed the down time, considering everything I've been doing of late.

After that, we visited the Hill of Uisneach. It's been closed to the public for some time, apparently, but it's open now. The farmer who owns the property is apparently fixing it up with some wicker fencing around parts of the hill, gates at both ends in line with the ancient approach marked by stones, and also setting up a yurt (presumably for an information station) and a labyrinth made with live willow saplings that will probably be very lovely when it's done. The top of the hill remains undeveloped, and the view, even on a cloudy day, was spectacular. [livejournal.com profile] ogam poured out a whiskey offering and those of us who climbed the hill spent some silent time. I wandered over after that to a standing stone surrounded by a small ring of much smaller stones and took a few photos; a frog leapt from near my feet, which I considered a pretty good omen.

Once we were finished at Uisneach, we went back into the little town of Mullingar (not much more than a crossroads and a pub) and walked down to the Brigid's Well maybe a quarter of a mile away. The well was quite lovely and in good repair. This well is, essentially, heart-shaped, and it was there that we held our closing ritual for the pilgrimage. I have photos from most of these places and will be posting some when I'm able.

When I returned to the B&B, I found that Michael had decided the piece of wood he'd chosen for the Suibhne Geilt wasn't the right one, so he had to decide on another. This meant that my piece wasn't actually started, but the lovely folks at the Ballaghboy Lodge Farm where we were staying offered to pick it up and ship it to me. I left them with cash for the piece itself and an additional 40 euro for shipping. If it costs more, I told them to email me and let me know and I would Paypal them the rest. They found this agreeable and all was arranged to my satisfaction. Michael refuses to ship and only deals in cash on delivery, so it necessitates someone nearby to actually pick the thing up if you can't do it personally.

This morning we did our final talk about our experiences then hopped on the bus for Dublin. We were able to check in pretty much as soon as we got here, though [livejournal.com profile] ogam had neglected to book a room when we were actually here last week, so almost ended up with nowhere to stay because, apparently, Bruce Springsteen is in town and the place is booked solid. [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm and I did a little room rearrangement and she's now staying with another one of the group tonight while [livejournal.com profile] ogam is staying in the second bed in this room.

After checking in and dropping the luggage, our chartered bus dropped us downtown in Dublin and we said our goodbyes to the driver, who has been a real champ the whole way through. He joined us at Mullingar well and up on the Hill of Uisneach, as well as asking us to take a stone up to Maeve's Cairn for him. He participated in quite a few of the things, including our closing ritual at the well.

Four of us (the CR contingent) wandered off to have lunch at a place [livejournal.com profile] ogam dined at last week called The Farm, which has locally sourced and/or organic ingredients. It was reasonably priced and the food was quite good, with generous portions. I had a very good wild mushroom risotto with goat cheese and shavings of parmesan cheese. Very tasty.

After lunch, we parted ways and [livejournal.com profile] ogam and I went to see the Book of Kells exhibit. They had not only the Book of Kells but also the Book of Durrow and a couple of other medieval illuminated manuscripts on display. After reading through the introductory material, I went in to look at the books. No photography was allowed in the exhibit or in the Long Room at the Trinity College library upstairs from the Book of Kells exhibit. The Long Room itself was well worth the visit, though I paid 9 euro for admission to the whole thing. Photos just can't do justice to the intricacy and beauty of these illuminated manuscripts. The gold lettering was raised off the page, glistening, even after all these centuries. Some of the colors were still quite vibrant.

We then headed for the National Library, where we viewed the Yeats exhibition, including a lot of his personal papers and manuscripts, photos and, for the occultists in the room, his magical tools and notebooks. I got photos of a number of things that I think folks will enjoy when I have the ability to post them. Photos were in fact allowed in the exhibit. This is the one that you can find a link to online, with a virtual tour, though it didn't work that well on a Mac when I tried it a year or so ago. Being there in the presence of all these things was really a moving experience. When you see a brilliant writer's notebooks and realize that they're just as messy as your own, I think it helps one feel a bit better about one's own processes.

I sat out on a bench in front of the library for a while to wait for my three companions, whereupon we went down to one of the local pubs for a pint. The first place we went was wall to wall people and I just wasn't up to coping. My cope with other people bucket is damned near empty at the moment, so I'll be glad to have some space to myself soon. We left the pub and walked a bit. Eventually we wound up at the Elephant & Castle for a light dinner. I had the spicy lentil soup, which was quite good.

Upon arriving back at the Travelodge, rooms and other things were sorted and some goodbyes said. [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm is heading back to Seattle early tomorrow morning and [livejournal.com profile] ogam is heading for England tomorrow afternoon. My room here is paid for tonight and tomorrow night, but I had been mistaken about my departure date for Douglas. My itinerary and ticket both say 1am on July 22nd, but I had it in my head that it was happening at 1am on the 21st. This means that I get an extra day in Dublin to explore this really lovely city, but it also meant I needed to get myself a place to stay for the night of the 21st. I turned up a hostel in the heart of downtown for under 20 euro for the night. They allow luggage storage even after you check out, so I can leave my bags on the 22nd and continue my explorations of Dublin, then pick up the bags a couple of hours before I have to leave for the ferry terminal - they open the baggage locker once an hour, or I can just rent a locker that I can get into anytime for I think 1 euro a day. Well worth it. I'll be taking a bed in a 12-person dorm room (mixed gender, but that doesn't bother me -- the place is rated with an 81% satisfaction rating on one of the big travel sites, and its safety rating is something in the 90% range). They have free wireless (it's 5 euro a day here at the Travelodge and that's for only onee wirelss device), as well as an on-site cafe and offering free walking tours of the city.

Tomorrow one of my tasks will be to head out to the tourist information office and figure out the best and safest way to get to the Isle of Man ferry terminal around midnight in the safest manner that I can. I'm sure they'll have at least a little advice. If it turns out I need to take a cab then that's what I'll do, considering I'll have two bags with me.

I'm also hoping to meet up tomorrow (or possibly the next day) with a newer fandom friend who's in Ireland from England for a family wedding later this weekend.

[livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm left me with her little Lonely Planet guide to Dublin, so I'll have a little better idea of what to do and what's where than with a pocket tourist map of the city.

And now, a quick shower to rinse the green out of my hair, and some sleep. I'm putting the Do Not Disturb sign on the door and will try to sleep in tomorrow as best I can. No alarm for this Erynn! I've been getting up at 6:45 all week and am really absolutely DONE with that.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Whitman: not all who wander)
Yesterday was another very full day, involving a trip to Ardagh (the site of Bri Leith, where the tale of Midir and Etáin took place), where I sat out the trip to the well and to any of the churches or other bits in the two but had a quiet hour or so at the Midir and Etain tea shop in the Ardagh heritage center. I really needed the down time, considering everything I've been doing of late.

After that, we visited the Hill of Uisneach. It's been closed to the public for some time, apparently, but it's open now. The farmer who owns the property is apparently fixing it up with some wicker fencing around parts of the hill, gates at both ends in line with the ancient approach marked by stones, and also setting up a yurt (presumably for an information station) and a labyrinth made with live willow saplings that will probably be very lovely when it's done. The top of the hill remains undeveloped, and the view, even on a cloudy day, was spectacular. [livejournal.com profile] ogam poured out a whiskey offering and those of us who climbed the hill spent some silent time. I wandered over after that to a standing stone surrounded by a small ring of much smaller stones and took a few photos; a frog leapt from near my feet, which I considered a pretty good omen.

Once we were finished at Uisneach, we went back into the little town of Mullingar (not much more than a crossroads and a pub) and walked down to the Brigid's Well maybe a quarter of a mile away. The well was quite lovely and in good repair. This well is, essentially, heart-shaped, and it was there that we held our closing ritual for the pilgrimage. I have photos from most of these places and will be posting some when I'm able.

When I returned to the B&B, I found that Michael had decided the piece of wood he'd chosen for the Suibhne Geilt wasn't the right one, so he had to decide on another. This meant that my piece wasn't actually started, but the lovely folks at the Ballaghboy Lodge Farm where we were staying offered to pick it up and ship it to me. I left them with cash for the piece itself and an additional 40 euro for shipping. If it costs more, I told them to email me and let me know and I would Paypal them the rest. They found this agreeable and all was arranged to my satisfaction. Michael refuses to ship and only deals in cash on delivery, so it necessitates someone nearby to actually pick the thing up if you can't do it personally.

This morning we did our final talk about our experiences then hopped on the bus for Dublin. We were able to check in pretty much as soon as we got here, though [livejournal.com profile] ogam had neglected to book a room when we were actually here last week, so almost ended up with nowhere to stay because, apparently, Bruce Springsteen is in town and the place is booked solid. [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm and I did a little room rearrangement and she's now staying with another one of the group tonight while [livejournal.com profile] ogam is staying in the second bed in this room.

After checking in and dropping the luggage, our chartered bus dropped us downtown in Dublin and we said our goodbyes to the driver, who has been a real champ the whole way through. He joined us at Mullingar well and up on the Hill of Uisneach, as well as asking us to take a stone up to Maeve's Cairn for him. He participated in quite a few of the things, including our closing ritual at the well.

Four of us (the CR contingent) wandered off to have lunch at a place [livejournal.com profile] ogam dined at last week called The Farm, which has locally sourced and/or organic ingredients. It was reasonably priced and the food was quite good, with generous portions. I had a very good wild mushroom risotto with goat cheese and shavings of parmesan cheese. Very tasty.

After lunch, we parted ways and [livejournal.com profile] ogam and I went to see the Book of Kells exhibit. They had not only the Book of Kells but also the Book of Durrow and a couple of other medieval illuminated manuscripts on display. After reading through the introductory material, I went in to look at the books. No photography was allowed in the exhibit or in the Long Room at the Trinity College library upstairs from the Book of Kells exhibit. The Long Room itself was well worth the visit, though I paid 9 euro for admission to the whole thing. Photos just can't do justice to the intricacy and beauty of these illuminated manuscripts. The gold lettering was raised off the page, glistening, even after all these centuries. Some of the colors were still quite vibrant.

We then headed for the National Library, where we viewed the Yeats exhibition, including a lot of his personal papers and manuscripts, photos and, for the occultists in the room, his magical tools and notebooks. I got photos of a number of things that I think folks will enjoy when I have the ability to post them. Photos were in fact allowed in the exhibit. This is the one that you can find a link to online, with a virtual tour, though it didn't work that well on a Mac when I tried it a year or so ago. Being there in the presence of all these things was really a moving experience. When you see a brilliant writer's notebooks and realize that they're just as messy as your own, I think it helps one feel a bit better about one's own processes.

I sat out on a bench in front of the library for a while to wait for my three companions, whereupon we went down to one of the local pubs for a pint. The first place we went was wall to wall people and I just wasn't up to coping. My cope with other people bucket is damned near empty at the moment, so I'll be glad to have some space to myself soon. We left the pub and walked a bit. Eventually we wound up at the Elephant & Castle for a light dinner. I had the spicy lentil soup, which was quite good.

Upon arriving back at the Travelodge, rooms and other things were sorted and some goodbyes said. [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm is heading back to Seattle early tomorrow morning and [livejournal.com profile] ogam is heading for England tomorrow afternoon. My room here is paid for tonight and tomorrow night, but I had been mistaken about my departure date for Douglas. My itinerary and ticket both say 1am on July 22nd, but I had it in my head that it was happening at 1am on the 21st. This means that I get an extra day in Dublin to explore this really lovely city, but it also meant I needed to get myself a place to stay for the night of the 21st. I turned up a hostel in the heart of downtown for under 20 euro for the night. They allow luggage storage even after you check out, so I can leave my bags on the 22nd and continue my explorations of Dublin, then pick up the bags a couple of hours before I have to leave for the ferry terminal - they open the baggage locker once an hour, or I can just rent a locker that I can get into anytime for I think 1 euro a day. Well worth it. I'll be taking a bed in a 12-person dorm room (mixed gender, but that doesn't bother me -- the place is rated with an 81% satisfaction rating on one of the big travel sites, and its safety rating is something in the 90% range). They have free wireless (it's 5 euro a day here at the Travelodge and that's for only onee wirelss device), as well as an on-site cafe and offering free walking tours of the city.

Tomorrow one of my tasks will be to head out to the tourist information office and figure out the best and safest way to get to the Isle of Man ferry terminal around midnight in the safest manner that I can. I'm sure they'll have at least a little advice. If it turns out I need to take a cab then that's what I'll do, considering I'll have two bags with me.

I'm also hoping to meet up tomorrow (or possibly the next day) with a newer fandom friend who's in Ireland from England for a family wedding later this weekend.

[livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm left me with her little Lonely Planet guide to Dublin, so I'll have a little better idea of what to do and what's where than with a pocket tourist map of the city.

And now, a quick shower to rinse the green out of my hair, and some sleep. I'm putting the Do Not Disturb sign on the door and will try to sleep in tomorrow as best I can. No alarm for this Erynn! I've been getting up at 6:45 all week and am really absolutely DONE with that.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Whitman: not all who wander)
Yesterday was really busy and very full, so I didn't have a chance to write. This morning after breakfast we're off to Dublin, so I don't have time to really report here but I should be able to post tonight about yesterday's activities. I'm still having a wonderful time and am getting ready to head off on the next leg of my journey.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Whitman: not all who wander)
Yesterday was really busy and very full, so I didn't have a chance to write. This morning after breakfast we're off to Dublin, so I don't have time to really report here but I should be able to post tonight about yesterday's activities. I'm still having a wonderful time and am getting ready to head off on the next leg of my journey.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (crane)
Today we visited the Cruachan Ai cent in Tulsk, Roscommon. The center was small but well done, and the archaeologist and the volunteers were really well informed and just wonderful to us. We were given some history and archaeology, then we took a short tour around some of the sites. One thing I discovered there that I hadn't known about was a Manannán site called Cashelmanannain. The archaeologist said it was a "druidic site" with the implication that it was a ritual site, and he speculation, at least locally, is that the site was a druidic school. I wasn't able to get out to the site, but I was able to get a glimpse of it across the field at a distance from Owenygat, the Cave of the Cats.

A few of our number, including [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm, went into the cave, but I was so exhausted and shaky today that I almost didn't go on the trip at all. She carried a ritual item into the cave for me, and I spent some time meditating and reaching out to the Manannán site, then talked for a while with one of the local women who was a volunteer at the center. We had a fantastic conversation, and I was able to offer a little more information on Manannán than they previously had. I've made some notes about a few things that were said and will have some things to think about when ye olde braine is functioning again.

Tomorrow is the final day of our formal pilgrimage, and we'll be visiting Mullingar and the Hill of Usneach, where we'll be doing our closing ritual. Tonight most of the group went down to Sligo town for a pub night. I was able to talk to Michael and he said he might have my piece done by late tomorrow. The vey kind folks here at the B&B will pick it up for me, and if it's not ready then, they'll get it Wednesday and ship it home to me. I'll give them the money for it if it's needed.

For now, I'm too achy to focus very well, and it's time to go lie down.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (crane)
Today we visited the Cruachan Ai cent in Tulsk, Roscommon. The center was small but well done, and the archaeologist and the volunteers were really well informed and just wonderful to us. We were given some history and archaeology, then we took a short tour around some of the sites. One thing I discovered there that I hadn't known about was a Manannán site called Cashelmanannain. The archaeologist said it was a "druidic site" with the implication that it was a ritual site, and he speculation, at least locally, is that the site was a druidic school. I wasn't able to get out to the site, but I was able to get a glimpse of it across the field at a distance from Owenygat, the Cave of the Cats.

A few of our number, including [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm, went into the cave, but I was so exhausted and shaky today that I almost didn't go on the trip at all. She carried a ritual item into the cave for me, and I spent some time meditating and reaching out to the Manannán site, then talked for a while with one of the local women who was a volunteer at the center. We had a fantastic conversation, and I was able to offer a little more information on Manannán than they previously had. I've made some notes about a few things that were said and will have some things to think about when ye olde braine is functioning again.

Tomorrow is the final day of our formal pilgrimage, and we'll be visiting Mullingar and the Hill of Usneach, where we'll be doing our closing ritual. Tonight most of the group went down to Sligo town for a pub night. I was able to talk to Michael and he said he might have my piece done by late tomorrow. The vey kind folks here at the B&B will pick it up for me, and if it's not ready then, they'll get it Wednesday and ship it home to me. I'll give them the money for it if it's needed.

For now, I'm too achy to focus very well, and it's time to go lie down.

Carrowkeel

Jul. 15th, 2012 11:04 pm
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Brighid's cross)
We went out to Carrowkeel today. The climb was much gentler than either of the two previous days, though it was still fairly high up. The views from the cairns was amazing, at least until the rain started pouring down. It was coming down sideways for a while.

We had gone into the first of the cairns and listened to John from Celtic Ways talk about the site and the folklore surrounding the area. It was a smallish cairn and, while he said we would all have fit inside, it would have been a terribly tight one, so we went inside in two groups. I got some good photos. When we came out and the rest of the folks had gone inside, that was when the rain started. We'd seen it approaching, advancing over the landscape. In the distance, we could see the dim outline of Croagh Patrick (2507 feet high) in the far distance. When the rain started coming down it raised a mist in the landscape around the peaks, and the wind was blowing hard, driving the rain harshly. For a few minutes we took shelter in the lee of the cairn, and John came out with a couple of the others. He'd wanted to have us all go to the larger cairn to find shelter there as we would all fit in just fine, but some of the folks inside didn't want to leave the shelter they already had, so after we were pretty much soaked to the skin, we headed over to the larger cairn anyway.

Inside the cairn, John brought out a stack of Tibetan bells and we played them as singing bowls inside the cairn. We stayed in there until the rain passed, and it was really a lovely experience. There's a triangular stone inside the larger cairn that indicates the direction fo Croagh Patrick (entirely unsurprising, considering how distinct it is on the horizon).

Once the rain stopped, we headed back down the hill and went over to Celtic Ways, where we did a labyrinth walk and then had a very lovely harp and vocal performance by Claire Roache. She was a very sweet woman with a wonderful voice. She's done some original songs and has also set quite a few of Yeats's poems to music, as well as performing some trad tunes. What was really astonishing was her playing both of her harps at the same time, one hand on each. I'd never seen anyone play that way before, and it was quite an accomplishment. I got one of her CDs for [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor and had her sign it for her. She was very interested in the fact that [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor plays medieval wire-strung harp and wanted to have a photo sent along of her and the harp. I got her email address so that I could give it to [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor and let her email her.

Tomorrow we're going out to Tulsk. I don't really know much about this site, except that we'll be going to Cave ot the Cats at some point to crawl around in another cave. I'm hoping it's not another massive climb, as I'm starting to get pretty worn down. I tried to call Michael today but wasn't able to get him. I'm thinking perhaps he wasn't in today, but I'll try again tomorrow to see if I can contact him and let him know that one of the folks from the B&B said they would pick up the piece for me.

Carrowkeel

Jul. 15th, 2012 11:04 pm
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Brighid's cross)
We went out to Carrowkeel today. The climb was much gentler than either of the two previous days, though it was still fairly high up. The views from the cairns was amazing, at least until the rain started pouring down. It was coming down sideways for a while.

We had gone into the first of the cairns and listened to John from Celtic Ways talk about the site and the folklore surrounding the area. It was a smallish cairn and, while he said we would all have fit inside, it would have been a terribly tight one, so we went inside in two groups. I got some good photos. When we came out and the rest of the folks had gone inside, that was when the rain started. We'd seen it approaching, advancing over the landscape. In the distance, we could see the dim outline of Croagh Patrick (2507 feet high) in the far distance. When the rain started coming down it raised a mist in the landscape around the peaks, and the wind was blowing hard, driving the rain harshly. For a few minutes we took shelter in the lee of the cairn, and John came out with a couple of the others. He'd wanted to have us all go to the larger cairn to find shelter there as we would all fit in just fine, but some of the folks inside didn't want to leave the shelter they already had, so after we were pretty much soaked to the skin, we headed over to the larger cairn anyway.

Inside the cairn, John brought out a stack of Tibetan bells and we played them as singing bowls inside the cairn. We stayed in there until the rain passed, and it was really a lovely experience. There's a triangular stone inside the larger cairn that indicates the direction fo Croagh Patrick (entirely unsurprising, considering how distinct it is on the horizon).

Once the rain stopped, we headed back down the hill and went over to Celtic Ways, where we did a labyrinth walk and then had a very lovely harp and vocal performance by Claire Roache. She was a very sweet woman with a wonderful voice. She's done some original songs and has also set quite a few of Yeats's poems to music, as well as performing some trad tunes. What was really astonishing was her playing both of her harps at the same time, one hand on each. I'd never seen anyone play that way before, and it was quite an accomplishment. I got one of her CDs for [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor and had her sign it for her. She was very interested in the fact that [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor plays medieval wire-strung harp and wanted to have a photo sent along of her and the harp. I got her email address so that I could give it to [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor and let her email her.

Tomorrow we're going out to Tulsk. I don't really know much about this site, except that we'll be going to Cave ot the Cats at some point to crawl around in another cave. I'm hoping it's not another massive climb, as I'm starting to get pretty worn down. I tried to call Michael today but wasn't able to get him. I'm thinking perhaps he wasn't in today, but I'll try again tomorrow to see if I can contact him and let him know that one of the folks from the B&B said they would pick up the piece for me.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Airmed)
We went out to Heapstown Cairn today to do the Airmed ritual. The site is near houses, but very secluded from view by a ring of trees and a thick shrubbery of rhododendrons. We found a little clearing on the back side of the cairn where we did our ritual, and I dedicated my moss agate ogam feda as I had wished.

Later that afternoon, most of us climbed Knocknarea and did a ritual up at Maeve's Cairn there at the top. Our bus driver asked if we'd take a stone up for him to leave at her cairn, with his regards, which I did very happily. He's apparently been quite enjoying our company and has been hanging out with us and sharing dinner with us. While we were off at Heapstown, he got invited in by one of the local ladies for a cuppa tea and a scone, and asked her about the local folklore, as he likes to be able to share that kind of thing with his passengers if they are interested. Heapstown Cairn is apparently a central cairn with at least three, possibly more, other smaller satellite cairns around it, according to the woman he talked to. He said that the locals claim there is an actual entrance into the cairn, and that they tell their kids not to go into it or they will drown in the well that's hidden beneath, which confirms the local folklore about the Well of Sláine being hidden beneath it.

We were finally able to find Michael Quirke today in his shop, just after we got into Sligo from Knocknarea. He was charming and did small wood engravings for those of us who were there. I commissioned a Suibhne Geilt from him, not quite certain how I was going to pick it up (it's supposed to be ready on Tuesday), but the very kind folks here at the B&B offered to pick it up for me. I'm really excited. He's going to do a plaque with a narrative sort of illustration on it rather than a sculpture in the round, and I think that will be amazing for the incubation chamber when I get home. I'll have to ship it from here before I head over to the Isle of Man (or ship it from Mann when I get there if I haven't the time beforehand). I certainly can't carry it on the plane from Manchester with me unless I dump a bunch of stuff, because it will weigh a couple of pounds. He showed me a photo of Seamus Heaney with a sculpture of Suibhne that he'd done for him, which did my heart all kinds of good.

Tomorrow we'll be going out to Carrowkeel, with a local gent as our guide. He runs a little company called Celtic Ways and apparently lives in a thatched house that is heated with peat, in the traditional way. We'll be making Brigid's crosses and hearing some harp music. The name of the woman escapes me but she's pretty well known.

It's 10:55pm here, and the light is finally dying away over Lough Arrow, almost into darkness. Most of the group has gone down for a pub night to take in a traditional seissun, but I was too exhausted to go. [livejournal.com profile] ogam is still here was well, along with a couple of the other folks. I just don't have it in me right now to stay out until after 1am in a noisy crowd. I need some quiet time and personal space for a bit. I hope everyone is having a fantastic time. The music wasn't even supposed to start until 10pm.

And now I'm going to go tuck myself into my cabin and curl up in bed with my notebook to record the events of the day.

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