Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Green Door Leitrim Weekend – the end ;o(

September 12, 2011

Bit of a storm last night, hope your houses are still standing and the roofs withheld the weather, back to lighting the fire in the evenings I guess…

The Green Door Weekend is over, but I bet a lot of thoughts linger on and a little mini avalanche might have started rolling in a few people’s heads! I for one can’t shake off the idea of knocking all the damp sand-and cement plaster off the thick stonewalls of my cottage. Lime render is the way to go if you want it cosy and dry in those old places, I kind of had it coming for a long time now, but visiting Mike’s and Jo’s place yesterday confirmed this big time! I was lucky my kids didn’t want to move in with them, the kids’ bedroom was something out of a sustainable fairy tale, and I had a hard time getting everybody out there at the end! What a great and brave idea to let the masses trudge through your home, so everybody involved I am paying my respect (!), poor old Mike was dizzy from talking at the end of the day but I could still see the buzz he got out of sharing his knowledge and experience. The bit of feedback I heard so far is that people just LOVED the whole thing, the difference of all the individual houses, the like-mindedness in the crowd, and the chats with strangers along the way! May we not remain strangers to each other, may we keep this exchange and sharing going and let this weekend become an annual event in the area! Anybody who didn’t get the compost toilet question answered yet, there is this Humanure Handbook by a person called Jenkins, I didn’t get a chance to skip through it yet (as it was in Mike’s and Jo’s bathroom shelf and I couldn’t block the room for too long), but it seems like THE highly regarded way of getting one cycle of nature going once again…

If there is improvement to be had for next year, I’ll be getting a better map than the little ones in the brochure, by all means I was not able to find Charlie Easterfields’ place, a bit of a loss for me, so anybody who got there please tell me a bit about it!

So yeah, will Jo the organizer and project manager ever read my blog? Probably not, but on the off-chance that she may, Jo, it was a fantastic weekend, too short for me and I am sorry I didn’t get to see more houses this year… and I heard from about six people so far: we all would like more of this! Great job you did there, and all involved, may some of us get inspired and steer the boat towards a healthier house and home, and may we share more in a years’ time! Thank you all and for all!

PS: if any of you took a great picture during the weekend and wants to share it on the Dock Blog please let me know, I’ll be very happy to put them all up! Have a good week, chat you soon,

Your Dock Blogger


Green Door Leitrim Weekend – half time!

September 10, 2011

It was a great opening night at The Dock, a dignified atmosphere for the first Green Door Weekend, a big turnout of like-minded souls, and I have to rave a tiny bit about the gorgeous AND wholesome-y finger food prepared by the organizer Jo Lewis herself, yummy! Hustle bustle everywhere, James Kinsella with his project of building a cottage sculpture and making you think of what house and home post celtic tiger really means to everyone of us, and upstairs the opening of the two exhibitions in the galleries (I find Tracy Hanna’s coal dust sculpture mesmerizing to watch!)… I might be able to get hold of some photographs of the night, I saw a couple of people ‘snap-shotting’ away all evening, I will try to upload some of their pics for you if I can get my hands on them!

The public debate certainly got my mind focusing more clearly once again as we got back to the old question of what to do with all those ghost estates in Leitrim, about the missing infrastructure for making rural living sustainable and what sustainability really  may have meant in the first place … What set this debate apart from  countless others was that there seemed to be a stronger and new glimmer of community, of hope and determination, and a new humbleness that put us all into the same boat and time and climate, and even though one went away with more questions than answers I still felt enlightened by it! Nobody seemed to want to leave at the end at all, the foyer was like a bee hive filled with busy chatting and debating, and more than one person wanted to go into the nitty-gritty detail of compost toilets as the solution to rocky Leitrim soil…

Whoever wants that question answered still might go out to the organizers’ home and check it out, Mike and Jo’s place (page 40 in the brochure) is open to the public from 11 till 5pm tomorrow (Sunday the 11th), and I am sure its well worth the journey…

Kevin’s Mud Workshop this morning turned out brilliant as well; the kids got up to their elbows into buckets of runny muddy wood-shavings and plastered a pretend wall with energetic ‘throwing’ movements, what more fun can you have at that age? Every child made a small mud piece to bring home as well, a house out of cubes and pyramids, happy faces throughout, lots of washing loads tonight for the busy parent I’m afraid though…

 Great weekend so far, but only halfway through yet, so keep checking the programme for all the open places to visit tomorrow… and maybe somebody can give all of us feedback on how the Mud Tour or any other one for that matter went? If you are one of the lucky ones who got a place on those tours, please feel free to comment here, we’d love to know! Same goes for visiting individual houses, tell us how you got on,  all the details we’ve missed!

 Your Dock Blogger

Green Door Leitrim Weekend, a quick reminder

September 8, 2011

While some of you are on their way to the Classic Film Club on this rainy Thursday morning, I am taking the time to remind all of you of tomorrow’s great opening night at The Dock. New reader, please skip back a few posts to The Green Door Leitrim Weekend and read all about the things going on this coming weekend. The Launch of the weekend will take place at 6pm at The Dock, but there is a lot going on this Friday night, and there is literally four exhibitions being opened and launched at almost the same time!

At 5.30 there is the opening for Tracy Hanna’s and Audrey Reynolds’ shows up in the galleries, James P Kinsella will start his building project with books and mortar already at 5pm and the Staircase Poem mentioned earlier is being exposed to daylight and the public once again too!

It’s promising to be a great evening out, get ready for the hustle bustle in the Dock tomorrow and start the weekend in delightful style!

See you there,

Your Dock Blogger

 Oh yeah, there is a PS: I just heard that Kevin Callaghan’s ‘Mud Slinging Workshop’ for the kids takes place on Saturday morning at 11 in the Dock, lets grab old clothes and let the munchkins get mucky, looks like great fun forever to remember…

!!!And  yes, there is another update to the PS: the workshop starts only at 12pm as it turns out!!! Hope you get to read this update too, sorry about that, if you’ve aimed for the earlier hour!!!

The Artist’s Way and other Workshops

September 5, 2011

Good morning guys,

I am just browsing through the Workshops and Classes section in the What’s on Guide, looking good, looking good! Most of it is straight forward, and I might pick up the oil painting for beginners or the good old song writing just yet…

The most puzzling and fascinating for me is the one on page 31, The Artist’s Way with Claire McAree and Sheran Dickenson, and I will have to investigate that one a bit further! I’ve never heard of the Morning Pages, but then again I have a fair idea (maybe!), and I am by no means an artist at all at all, but I’d like to think I have that creative streak in me already discovered and ready to go, so maybe a bit of guidance would go a long way… I am sure most of you out there feel similar enough, not daring to consider yourself art-y, only with a big BUT at the end of that thought…!

I can’t get hold of Claire right now, but if I’ll find out more about those 12-weeks-classes I’ll keep you posted, otherwise, page 31 in the booklet strikes me as pretty encouraging already!

What do you think?

Your Dock Blogger

Green Door Leitrim Weekend

September 3, 2011

If you look at the Green Door Leitrim Weekend (Page 48, What’s on in Leitrim) you can see that a good few things will be on between the 9th and the 11th of this month, all to do with building, architecture and sustainability, and it promises to be a weekend for discovering the unknown gems aka the “cool” houses in our county. But there is more, if you pick up the brochure from Inspirational Homes Leitrim (in the foyer of The Dock) or look at their website, only then you’ll realize the full extend of the activities offered!

Inspirational Homes Leitrim documents homes and buildings around Leitrim that are good example of sustainability and / or architecture, and it seems there are unusual and exciting buildings hidden everywhere all around us. Their website makes all of those homes accessible to us, partly with planning and development details, a rich source for inspiration and the beginning of a useful local network to develop for all of us.

So now, the first ever Green Door Leitrim Weekend is staged by them, and we can expect a festival of rural architecture and design, and hours packed with activities freely waiting for us!

James P Kinsella is going to challenge our views and perceptions with his exhibition ‘The Way That We Live’, constructing a sculpture of mortar and books that will represent a traditional cottage. His project will begin on Friday at 5pm in The Dock, continuing there all Saturday and he is finalizing the process in the Sculpture Centre in Manorhamilton on Sunday. Pull your sleeves up, bring a book or take one from his pile, and let’s help him build this dream home!

Personally I am delighted to see Alice Lyons’ Staircase poem once again on those stairs, the one about the Dock ‘Make Good all Existing’, just to mark the festival in all possible spaces!

The whole weekend will officially kick off with the Reception and Launch of the weekend at The Dock on Friday the 9th at 6pm and at 7pm starts the public debate on “How can architects help to make rural living sustainable?” with a highly experienced panel of speakers to shed some light into the darkened corners of this subject.

What some of you might not realize is that part of the parcel is Paul O’Connor’s exhibition Leitrim Architecture in The Dock, photographic work focusing on domestic architecture … and its up and running as of  TODAY, a full week before the actual weekend. I had a look earlier, brilliant photographs, some beautiful details; I tend to like the spaces that closely connect the domestic with the landscape the best, and there are some great examples of that in Paul’s photos! Thing is that I missed some of the good artwork in the past, only for I hadn’t realized the exhibition wall space more to the left-hand-side back of the building, kind of at the backdoor of the Café and opposite the toilets, if you know what I mean …  So even if you don’t visit the ladies or gents, make sure to pop your head round that corner anyway (and one right-hand corner further too!), definitely this coming week, and have a look at some impressive photos of outstanding buildings, some you may even recognize…

Saturday and Sunday are packed with events, make sure to check ALL the details, homes and buildings in south Leitrim are open to the public, free buses departing from the Dock, one on the “Mud tour” one on the “Dominic Stevens Tour”. Curious yet?

Cinema North West is also part of the deal, a selection of films is shown throughout the day in the Cinemobile in Dromahair, interesting choice of movies (At home in the movies, Garbage Warrior), and the kids also are being catered for with Mister Frederickson in the heart warming “UP”. Very groovy choice I have to say, even the children’s movie features a house and all that comes and goes with it…

And there is so much more, cycling tours between the homes on show, the ‘Mud Slinging’ workshop for children with builder Kevin Callaghan, guided tours of public buildings to name but a few.

Now I think you really are ready to pick up that brochure at The Dock or log on to:

 I’ll be around most of the weekend, I am sure I will spot some of you in the crowd!

 Your Dock Blogger

The Dock Blogger

August 15, 2011

In the beginning, there was Carrick, quietly huddled onto the majestic river Shannon, which was the olden day when it was almost impossible to get a decent cuppa in town. Then, there was The Dock, a magnificent centre for the arts emerging within the shell of the town’s former courthouse. And there am I, never a local, but never a stranger, my father has not worked the Irish land, but here it is where my daughter will get her first kiss and my sons play hide and seek in the field as if it always has been their own. Remember those summers 1995, ’96, with a full blazing sun for weeks on end? That was when this country became my home, it seems a lifetime away, and today I endure the rain like all of us…

And now, there is this idea, a blog for The Dock, a different way of letting you know what’s up, what on, what’s coming next, an inside view of what is hot or who is the face behind some intriguing piece of art…

So there is me, applying to the blogger wanted–ad last month, and suddenly and (I have to admit) very gracefully I find myself in the position of being the chosen one; so once I master the initial hurdles of setting up blogger-camp, I’ll be the one writing about The Dock, about the art, about activities and ideas, about our town’s cultural life. It is all about connecting, about reaching out and feeding back, about discovering, learning and sharing, and sometimes – for me – to reach for the stars, to sail away from the safe harbour and dare a new thing. So what I need most is YOU, my readers – the new readers of a new blog, the local art lovers and supporters, the families and kids, the aspiring artists, the busy or preoccupied professionals, the enthusiastic students and youngsters, the tired parents, the interested YOU…

The Dock is a place to hang out, to wander about in the galleries, to like and dislike the exhibitions, to experience amazing performances, shows and music, to learn something maybe completely new in one of the countless daytime workshops, to see a new face in the crowd, or just to meet your friends and grab a coffee and a new programme…

A couple more words on introducing myself: as your new Dock blogger I personally love theatre, modern dance performances, poetry, and music and lyrics that reach into the hidden corners of the soul, I love paintings and visual arts in all kinds of shapes and form, and I always wonder and ponder around the story behind the scene and what the artist might be like. Yet I’ll be also happily blogging about stuff that wouldn’t have caught my eye before, no harm in checking out new things and keep the grey matter going before the grey hair starts growing! This is going to be my first blog, and I am not as computer nerdy as I wish to be, so be patient and keep checking in till things run smoothly and happily.

 If you want to know more about what’s going on in the Dock (and in my head) please log on!

 The site will be officially running from September onwards (but I’ll have some unofficial trial runs before that) and I am looking forward to meeting you here, to hear your comments and suggestions, or your hopes and wishes for and from The Dock.

Your Dock Blogger