Our stay in an Irish backwater was hardly eventful, but still brought some interesting discoveries, like the Japanese Garden in Kildare which depicts a whole lifetime from the Cave of Birth to the Hill of Mourning – and very prettily too.
Our trip also confirmed my previous impression that outside the cities, Ireland is more reminiscent of my parents’ generation than my own. Shops nearly always have the names of the owners over the door (no globalisation in Glin, thank you!) and we found teenagers invariably polite, and children well-behaved. Without wishing to brand mine or anyone else’s children as troublemakers, it was particularly noticeable during an evening of traditional music that families went along together, and the younger members were happy to sit it out with a drink and a packet of crisps – not a Nintendo or Ipod in sight! Those were the days?
I also loved this glasswork wall in the Blasket Island Centre , a building which succeeds in capturing the light and sound of the outside world while telling the haunting story of the islands, uninhabited since the 1950s. The work by Róisín de Buitléar’s is called “The Journey”, and is the largest secular glass work in Ireland. If anyone knows more about this artist, please let me know.