Hold on, you didn’t think I was through with my Irish Week just because Armitage has finally turned up on the Emerald Isle, as confirmed in his tweet last week? Oh no, I am going to continue banging on about Ireland. Especially since I got inspiration last weekend.
Let me show you what Mr A is seeing right now. Connemara.
Connemara is not a county, it is a part of Ireland whose boundaries are not exactly defined. It stretches along North Co. Galway’s Atlantic coastline in the North West and Lough Corrib in the East. The name “Connemara” already hints at the location of Connemara by the sea. In fact, its name is a corruption of the Irish “Conmhaícne Mara” which means “the descendents of Con Mhac of the Sea”, a clan of the Irish who settled this part of the country.
Both sea and land battle for attention in this part of Ireland. The coastline is craggy and rocky, interspersed with both sandy and stony beaches. The land is overshadowed by the sparsely vegetated Twelve Bens, a mountain range that towers over the landscape.
The landscape itself is harsh, isolated and rock-strewn. The land is not much good, except for grazing sheep. It’s battered by the Atlantic weather-fronts, the rain coming in quickly from the sea, lashing down. But this is Ireland, and the weather changes constantly
so no worries for Mr A getting wet, and after every heavy shower (we were pelted with sleet, btw), there is bright sunshine.
It’s a beautiful part of the country, sparsely populated and in many areas with hardly any sign of civilization at all. So, perfect for a medieval road movie slash thriller.
Hello KellyDS, I wonder whether you will pick this one up… I am leaving it in just for you. Mind you, my favourite image from my blitz-visit last weekend is one that references modern civilization.
If you care to see some more of Connemara, have a look at the little slide show below. The images are minimally enhanced (adjusting the exposure, cropped).
I am annoyed that Movie Maker insisted on keeping the black bars in the slide show, but I just couldn’t get them out despite trying. (Not sure whether Vimeo has gotten the HD version there – might look fuzzy when enlarged to full screen.)
This is Connemara, *now*. I am thinking of putting them into a photo book which will sit beside my New Zealand book. Cos, boy, Connemara easily reaches up there. How could I ever have forgotten that???
I would love to know what Mr A has to say about his current environment. How it compares to his beloved NZ, whether he feels the vibe of this ancient land, perceives the misery and hardship that has seeped into the land from the poverty-stricken inhabitants of centuries past. I find it deeply melancholic, the wind a wail, not a whistle, and the mountains imposing, threatening, rarely happily protecting. And yet it lifts your heart to be outside in such magnificent surroundings, at the intersection of sky, water and land. I hope it inspires him, makes him feel alive, and human.