Uphilldowndale

Watching nature take its course, from the top of a hill in northern England


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Brandon Creek

Brandon Creek, on the Dingle peninsula, part of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. It was a benign little natural harbour the day we visited, but it obviously has history, the weather was such that we never saw the big Atlantic rollers that hit this coast line.

Danger Waves

If the waves don’t get you maybe the bracken will?

There is something very pleasing to the eye about the butterfly sticker on this warning sign, it’s the symmetry I think, but it doesn’t detract from the message.

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This was the home of St Brandon the Navigator, allegedly.

He is known as the “navigator” for the legendary journey he made by boat which some have claimed was an account of an early discovery of the North American continent. Unfortunately, like many Celtic “saints”, there is considerable doubt over his true identity, whether his life story is a merger of several lives and legends, or indeed if he existed at all

The clouds hugged the hills

Cottage for sale

The cottage in the photo was for sale, if you fancy a little project, I don’t imagine it has much in the way of services (or a damp proof course for that matter).

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If you take a closer look at the first photo of the cottage you can see, in the foreground, the muddy, bank? That’s a landslip, the harbour eating its way inland,  so I’m guessing insurance might be an issue, buyers may have to offer up a prayer to St Brandon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival 2018

We stumbled upon  the  Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival, during our road trip along the Wild Atlantic Way,  Mr Uphilldowndale was a happy chappy, a celebration of wood, glue and varnish, the kind of thing that floats his boat.

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There was a lot going on, on the water, racing of Currach, a traditional Irish craft, note the oars, or should they be poles?

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Historically the boats were made with animal skins, stretched across the timbers, these days canvas is used

Baltimore Wooden Boat Festival 2018 7There was much activity around the beautifully restored historic Falklands Islands trading ketch Ilen which was launched at Baltimore in 1926

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There’s a lyrical description of her restoration here

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There was an atmosphere of concentration and competition, to build a boat,

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and great to see so many young teams

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Looked like a lot of glue, screws

and refreshments were required.

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A grand day out.

In a welcoming and hospitable town

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Grave Matters

It’s no secret that on our travels, I’m often to be found in grave yards. I find them a fascinating social history, and wildlife refuges.

Whilst on our trip along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, we thought we’d look up some Mr Uphilldowndale’s ancestors

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Frustratingly, given that we’d already been in about 20 graveyards ,and some of them were very impressive, I have to say; this is Kilmacduagh dating back to the 7th century 

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we found the one we wanted in Edgesworthstown to be locked.

Edgeworths town church.jpg Ahh well, we’ll make an appointment next time.

 

The Irish, take dying very seriously, it’s not  a topic they shy away from. My holiday reading for this trip was ‘My Fathers Wake’ by Kevin Toolis, how the Irish teach us to live love and die  it helped me to read the graveyards in a different way.

You’d never see a sign like this in an English graveyard.

Grave Matters

In England the  neighbours of the bereaved might bring flowers, offer their condolences, but would they offer to dig the grave? No.

The artefacts left at graves, also told a story, and were very different from what you might see in most of the UK, apart perhaps from areas where there is  a large Irish Catholic populations.

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We were a bit worried about Mary, it was 25c, it must be very hot in there.

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And when the Irish talk about family graves, they can go back a few generations, with newer  memorial stones added.

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Makes you think, doesn’t it.

the greatest sin


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Sunday Special

It was the first Sunday in June when we were in Dingle Co Kerry, Ireland, a special Sunday it seems, there had been a confirmation service, that flooded out on to the streets, everyone dressed in their Sunday best.

Sunday Special

The majority of the shop windows had religious figures, pictures and flowers displayed, this is the pharmacy, it looks of it, this may not be the first Sunday in June he’s seen.

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I wanted to show you this  house window themed in red, which I imagine has a special significance*, Jesus wearing a road cone, wasn’t quite what I expected when I downloaded the images.

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*If someone could explain, I’d be grateful, I tried searching the Internet, but got lost in things I didn’t understand.


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Skibbereen

We touched on Ireland’s Great Famine in the last post,  It’s difficult to comprehend, it needen’t have happened. Greed, arrogance, indifference and even ‘fake news’, that monies sent to help the starving would be used to buy arms, now where have we heard that?

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There’s always a bit of a dilemma when you’re travelling, how long to stay in one place how far to push on, have we seen everything we want to see, is there something else just around the corner?  We’d decided with this trip along the Wild Atlantic Way, ‘we’d get as far as we get’ there was no final destination, we’d a ferry home booked from Dublin, we’d  travel around the  south west coast and get as far north as we wanted, then hack east across country to catch our ferry. I’m glad we did this because otherwise, we could have missed spending time in Skibbreen, and finding the Skibbreen Heritage Centre, diminutive in size, it packs a punch, it caught me a little of guard to be honest. Some of its material is harrowing. Time spent there, informed the rest of our journey.

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Here in this communal grave are  the remains 9,000 men women and children, many more died along the roads, or trying to fee to safety emigrating to America in the ‘coffin ships’.

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The grave is the two areas of mown grass, near the wall, next to the now busy road

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We paused to reflect on what we’d seen in Flanders earlier this year, and how the human race can think its self so clever; and yet it never learns, history repeats itself, and is in so much danger of doing so again

 

 

 

 

 


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Daily Bread

Continuing our journey along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way

Altar church

Altar Church, beside Toormore Bay on the Mizen Peninsula, near Ireland’s southernmost point, is also known as Teampol na mBocht, the Church of the Poor.

It was built in 1847, at the height of the Great Famine.

Before we set off on our journey, knew a little about Ireland’s Great Famine, we knew a little, but we didn’t comprehend its enormity nor its horror.

This church was built, to provide work for the starving.

During Black ’47, The Illustrated London News reported that in the village of Schull, five miles from Toormore, an average of 25 men, women and children were dying every day of starvation, dysentery or famine fever.  At nearby Cove, the population fell from 254 in 1841 to 53 in 1851.

 


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Moving On Slowly

 

We’ve been away, to Ireland, we’ve been driving the Wild Atlantic Way (well part of it, its a long route, and there is a lot to see). The first thing to do  in Ireland, is  to slow down, there is no need to go anywhere in a hurry.

As the farmer said ‘Cows only have one gear’. (Unless of course they are ‘knocked out of gear’, then anything is possible and usually unstoppable).

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Taking the cows back to the field after morning milking, County Clare.