Saturday last saw Andy and I at Carrowcrory, near Ballinifad, Co. Sligo at the home of John Willmott and Claire Roche. The occasion was the fifth Bards and Harps Day to be held here. Regular readers will remember John from the Poetree Walks postings. He is a fab poet, tour guide, folklorist, story teller and labyrinth maker. Check out his blog at www.celticways.com .
Claire is a harpist and singer, but not just any singer, a singer with the voice of an Angel. I saw tears being wiped from eyes as Claire gave her wonderful performance. In this pic, which is a crap pic because of the light, Claire is getting ready to play 2 harps at once. Quite an accomplishment! The cottage itself is wonderful. Decorated in the traditional style it is a warm welcoming home. But then a home can only reflect what the people who inhabit it are like. John and Claire welcomed each and every person with gusto. One immediately felt at home and so welcome. Throughout the day food was available. Delicious food prepared in the cottage. Between each performance everyone visited the big table in the kitchen which was laden with food all day. Breads, salads, frittata, chowder, dips, tarts, cakes. Each offering more delicious than the last.
Everyone who came seemed to be imbued with the same happy, jovial spirits this place seems to generate. I love this pic of the lovely Tina Rock with flowers in her hair. Everytime she caught my eye the Sandi Thom song, I wish I was a Punkrocker with Flowers in my Hair, came into my mind. That’s Andy with the big grin.
That’s John heading round the corner. The pic was taken from the Tree Labyrinth which has been planted in front of the cottage. There’s not too many thatched cottages left now so it’s lovely to actually know the people who have brought this one back to life…and what a life!
So I will finish with a little more about the day’s entertainment. In the evening we were treated to a performance from another harpist. It was after all Bards and Harps Day! Fionnoula Gill, of Riverdance fame, gave an amazing performance in the little theatre space behind the cottage. You could hear a pin drop in the room. Each and every person was spellbound. I wonder do all harpists have angelic voices? Seems that way to me! She finished her set with Molly Malone which everyone sung along to. So floating on that cloud of joy and enchantment we headed off at about 9 in the evening. John however had one last edible treat for everyone. He had made his own chocolate and peanut butter cups, just like Reese’s! I won’t say how many I had…but they were yummy! A wonderful end to an amazing day.