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Sunday, 22 June 2014

Solstice at FaceFest? Yes It Was!!!


Yes, that's what this was all about?  :-)

Here's a video of what happened, before I commence the blog and photos ...


Arriving at the front gate, yes, this is the place :-)


Ah the great Charleville Oak is here ...


and some other pretty and bold oaks too.


Getting closer to Charleville Castle and there is a gate with Lions. There's got to be lions!


Ahhhh .., here it is, Charleville Castle, my home for the weekend :-)


and here is the tower I slept in


and the bed I slept in, in the tower


Here is the main stage, nobody performing there yet ... Well it is a day too early for that.


This is the lounge area for the disco area, or Kontact Stage as they called it.


and here is an empty Kontact Stage before the DJs got here


Interesting symbolism from this Cats Art here


The white horses at the entrance of the Tir na Nog children's cinema area ... magnificent, aren't they :-)


and this is the cinema area


Entrance to the Grove Of Tranquility area


In the Grove Of Tranquility are the interesting Tipi Adventures tents. People were mediating in these.


Claire getting a selfie done


This beautiful fairy was here all of the time.


Entrance to the Medieval area which was very interactive, where people could make their own bows and arrows and have a lesson in shooting them, a blacksmith showing people how to forge spirals and other keepsakes ...


And my favourite was Alison at the Foraging Stand who took people off for quick searches for food and useful plants in the woods there


Here is where Claire Roche and I performed, set remains from the filming of Mary Queen Of Scots.


After a tour around of what was there, very welcome food was waiting to be shared and chowder down. Wonderful hospitality right through this weekend.


Friday was also Ally O'Flynn's birthday ... With two delicious cakes to share ... and one or two who could barely wait to get a slice ... or two.


Invisible man, would you like some too?


"Hey! Save some for me" - said Ian, Ally's husband ... Who needed constant superhuman sustinence.


Next day, Saturday, FaceFest Day.

"Hey everybody, don't miss a great show this afternoon!"


"Come on up! Read all about it!"


and here is Claire solo, with her folk harp accompanying, through our afternoon performance


but what on earth is this lad doing off of the stage?


After us, a bit of great entertainment from the Tullamore Rhymers ...


and here is Thomas Carty with words backed by Brian Boru's March.


then after, this lad came along and asked when our show is starting :-)


The sun was set, so to finish it all off, here is the essential midsummer fire :-)


and the castle lit up too :-)


Here come the goddesses of North, East and centre Spirit


but why is caller of the West sitting around and acting the maggot?


Ah, there we all are calling in the 'elementals' ... thanking them for the day, then closing ...

Followed by a bunch of people coming up to me, at least, asking what that was all about !!!


The following afternoon, the Sunday, and its Bards In The Woods time ... and its a no show!!!

Not to worry, opportunity to explore these mysterious Charleville Forests myself. A lot of local people here also making the most of having this fine forest here. So I took this trail ...


Rhododendrons getting a bit too thick and low to go under here, but I did.


At last I came to what has to be in these kinds of forests ... an old Yew :-)


and here's a second old Yew, quite close by.


and as is often discovered ... The old yews are growing outside fairy rings, and you can just see some of the henge of one in this pic.


Yes, I enjoyed my hour or two browsing this forest. No water features, but a fine collection of Native Trees and seemingly endless paths to walk and explore. Lots of ancient oaks here, as I featured at the start of this post.

As I mentioned, a well used forest by local people, quite a Neighbourwood, thanks to the generosity of access by the Charleville Castle Heritage Trust who also host and support a wonderful group of Native Tree Foresters around Ireland.

Here is one example of several families that I saw picnicking under the trees. I did not go close and spoil their privacy.


Lovely Forest Walk over and it was time to journey back to Carrowcrory. It was a little wrenching leaving here after a stunning event put together by the intense heart and passion of Ally and Ian O'Flynn and generous hospitality and guardians of Charleville Castle, Dudley, Bonnie and their wonderful energetic and supportive children.

Looking forward to 2015 when Ally and Ian want to do it all over again. Do come along yourselves.

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