Just the expression on the face coming around the corner of the room I was working. I think I will not easily forget …
After many days of pure sunshine the day started off as being a cloudy one. From scratch on there was a light haze hanging over the island. Actually from down at Caladh Mór it looked as if Inis Meáin as a whole was loosely wrapped up in a sort of cover out of cellophane. It was not much later though that the sky darkened when more and more clouds were coming in. It brought a tense atmosphere with it. What the day would bring towards us became more and more a tightening question.
More and more clouds on the way
However a few hours later tension broke, heavens opened themselves and granted a lovely shower. For one instant rain came down in buckets without any hesitation. Just at this very moment he came in.
I will not easily forget of what I saw. The face I was looking at showed happiness pur sang. The eyes radiated like twinkling stars but not only the eyes showed joy. No, not at all, even the ears seemed to gloat and so did his whole face.
I was intrigued about the openness shown upon his face and I was eager to get a deeper insight in what would be on his mind. Well, putting this question on him there wasn’t a need at all for he exploded straight away. As in trance he showed me precisely in his gesturing how one works at the big wheel.
As a young boy probably he himself had absorbed all the movements his mother did at the wheel at the time.
By hearing the buzzing of my wheel, his world of far way back came to him. In one split second he was in there again and testified of a happy youth.
Spinning one’s life thread
Slán go fóill,
Elisabeth from Inis Meáin.
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Every year I wash and iron me best knickers from Guineys, and head West over on the ferry to do the Matchmakin’ at The Father Ted Festival – better known as Tedfest. The festival is a once-a-year gathering of people who are fans of the telly show ‘Father Ted’ and rightly so. It is a brilliant piece of telly so it is. The festival is held on the beautiful Aran Island of Inis Mór, but just for the weekend, it becomes ‘Craggy Island’ I come meself, apart from the matchmakin’, to have the best craic a lady can have outside of Dublin. For a lovelier bunch of priests and nuns you would not find on any island anywhere! The Matchmakin’ takes place on the Friday of Tedfest over a couple of hours. I draw on my various skills: Fishmonger, Erotic Poetess, and Bingo Caller, to help me find good matches, or at least ‘craic matches’. Last year I was lucky enough to meet a farmer meself, we have been corresponding since, but that is another story for a later time. I also get to discuss ecumenical matters (as I am doing in the photo with Father J from Chicago – he didn’t want his full name mentioned for some reason?). I would recommend the festival to anyone who loves a bit of craic, or recently has had a bang on the head and needs a few like minded people about. Hope I see ye there. God Bless. Mrs. Nellie Murphy.
Photo by: Brenda Fitzsimons of the Irish Times
Visit Mrs. Nellie Murphys website
I have always thought that the Aran Islands can often avoid the clouds that sweep in from the Atlantic towards the Connemara mountains in Galway or the hills of Clare on either side of Galway Bay. With this combination of sunshine here and rainfall there we should be able to enjoy quite a lot of rainbows and so here is one over the Bay taken from Inishmore.
Photo by Sean Tomkins
What you also see here is a memorial monument, there are 27 of these “leachta cuimhne” on the island asking for prayers for souls of various islanders with dates ranging between 1811 and 1892. This is one of the 4 by the roadside between Kilronan and Kilmurvy.
Note from Admin: See more of Sean’s great work HERE.