dinsdag 30 december 2008

The Drive in December

Always romantic... Always the beginning of a new adventure...
Photo: Margreet and Yiri

zondag 28 december 2008

Fishing in Ireland; Getting Through Customs

I wonder how easy it will be to get this through customs...
- Hi hi, they're bound to think it's a rocket launcher or something!
By Pirate associate Margreet. Click to enlarge

vrijdag 26 december 2008

woensdag 24 december 2008


The first snow of the winter has already fallen. The days are short and it is time to snuggle up to stove with a good detective!
Photo by Pirate associates Margreet & Yiri

maandag 22 december 2008

Local Dogs: the Rockfleet Irish Setter

This Irish setter befriended us at Rockfleet, one of the watchtower forts belonging to Grace O'Malley, the 16th century pirate queen who defied the might of Elizabeth I of England.
Photos: Annie

zaterdag 20 december 2008

Local Dogs: Trudi

Trudi is a rescue dog, who belongs to our friends Jane and Al of Corraun House. I call her "Texaco Trudi" because she was handed over at a Texaco petrol station. Trudi is not only a stunning beauty but also one of the sweetest dogs around. Jane and Al still can't believe their luck.
Photo: Jane

donderdag 18 december 2008

Local Dogs: Spot

Spot - otherwise known as His Lordship - belongs to our friend and neighbour Mrs Masterson, to whom he is utterly devoted.
Photo: Annie

dinsdag 16 december 2008

The New Bridge

The new bridge to nearby Achill Island and the Sound has been the subject of constant gossip, rumour and controversy. Yet here it is, looking quite lovely, in a photo taken a few days ago by Pirate associate Margreet de Heer.

zondag 14 december 2008

Corraun Diary (7); the George gets a Facelift

Pirate friend Jane writes: "By clearing out and decorating during the day and clearing up replacing furniture for the evening, we were able to redecorate the bar without having to close once."

Photo: Jane

vrijdag 12 december 2008

Ireland in December...

... can be positively tropical!
Photo: Jane

woensdag 10 december 2008

Looking Sheepish...

Sheep: you see them everywhere but rarely with such magnificent horns as this impressive gentleman.
Photo: Bertje

maandag 8 december 2008

Driving in Ireland; Part 2

By Pirate associate Margreet. Click to enlarge.

zaterdag 6 december 2008

Driving in Ireland; Part 1

Keep to the left! Keep to the left!

- Driving in Ireland is dead easy!

By Pirate associate Margreet. Click to enlarge

donderdag 4 december 2008

dinsdag 2 december 2008

Corraun Diary (6); Paddy's Day

On March 17 2003, Pirate neighbour Jane wrote: "We decided to open at lunchtime today but the bar didn't get busy until the evening. The whole place has been cleaned down ready for redecoration. We plan to start next week."
Photo: Al

zondag 30 november 2008

From the Back Garden

The Folly and the house on a wintery day.
Photo: Peti

vrijdag 28 november 2008

Becoming at One With Nature

This abandonned Morris Oxford once belonged to Pirate neighbours Peggy and Hughie Cattigan. Here, it is slowly becoming a part of the landscape.

Another stretch of the same boglands
Drawings by Peti

woensdag 26 november 2008

Thunder Clouds

The weather in Ireland changes every 15 minutes, or so they say...
Photo: Annie

maandag 24 november 2008

Corraun Diary (5); Taking Over the George

On 15 January 2003, Pirate neighbour Jane wrote: "Our first large event in the bar. A 40th birthday party. It was a great night, lots of music and a great singsong."
Photo: Jane

zaterdag 22 november 2008

donderdag 20 november 2008

Corraun Diary (4); Taking Over The George

On January 6 2003, Pirate friend and neighbour Jane wrote: "Today is the celebration of Oíche Nollag na m'Ban (Women’s Christmas). We made sandwiches and bought our neighbours a drink. So many people came to wish us well with the bar and John Mhikie Gallagher, a respected member of the community and great musician, made a wonderful speech wishing us well and adding how pleased he was that the house and bar were finally back in the hands of a local.

Tonight we felt we had truly found our home, were accepted and surrounded by the wonderful people of our community. We have so much work ahead of us to get the place in order but we're really looking forward to it."
Photo: Jane of Al measuring up.

dinsdag 18 november 2008

Pirate Controversy

On 6 September we reported on the purchase of a stove, which would replace the open fire in the downstairs living room. This resulted in much controversy: the traditionalists argued that nothing beats the sight a hearth full of blazing bogwood; the revisionists value their creature comforts and supported the stove's installation by our good friends Ray and PJ. First reports are positive: the stove provides a great deal of heat and it looks cute too.
Photo: Peti

zondag 16 november 2008

Autumn Colours

The days are shortening; there's a nip in the air. But the trees in the garden are more beautiful than ever.
Photo: Peti. Click to enlarge

vrijdag 14 november 2008

Corraun Diary (3); Taking Over The George

On January 5 2003, Pirate friend and neighbour Jane wrote: "Yesterday was Derek Norton's (centre) last night at The George. Locals gathered together to thank Derek for his service to the community over the last 12 years. Bar staff Michael (left) and John Joe (right) have agreed to carry on working for us. Thank goodness - we'll need their help over the months to come."
Photo: Al

woensdag 12 november 2008

Bert's Rockery

Lovingly tended, located next to the Folly.
Photo: Annie

zaterdag 8 november 2008

A Typical Irish Holiday; Part 3

I've been sitting here for five minutes...

...without doing anything...
...without thinking of work...

...I should really try to make
a comic strip about it..
By Pirate associate Margreet de Heer. CLICK TO ENLARGE.

vrijdag 7 november 2008

A Typical Irish Holiday; Part 2

By Pirate associate Margreet de Heer. CLICK TO ENLARGE. To be continued...

donderdag 6 november 2008

A Typical Irish Holiday; Part 1

By Pirate associate Margreet de Heer. CLICK TO ENLARGE.

woensdag 5 november 2008

Oodles of Mussels

Shells still caught in fishing nets near Ballycroy bay.
Photo: Annie. Click to enlarge.

dinsdag 4 november 2008

Mayo Magic

Some people take their Gaelic football very seriously...
Photo: Annie

maandag 3 november 2008

The Trip to Polranny; From Castlebar to the House

That must be the car.

It's only an hour's drive.


By Pirate associate Margreet de Heer CLICK TO ENLARGE

zondag 2 november 2008

zaterdag 1 november 2008

vrijdag 31 oktober 2008

Corraun Diary (2)

Pirate friend and neighbour Jane writes: "I've been coming to Currane all of my life; I'm lucky enough to have a mother born here and even luckier to have married a man, Alistair (I'll be calling him Al), who loves it here as much as me. Today it all changes though: we have a home and a pub (bar) to run.

There are two bars in Currane. The Compass Bar and what is known locally as "The George", which is actually located in the eastern wing of Corraun House.

The George" is a small bar, only open in the evenings; it's old fashioned, rather like sitting in someone’s sitting room but it's a great place for a singsong. It's off the beaten track, many people do not even know it exists and that's what makes it special. When people find it, they feel they have made a real discovery."
Photo: Jane

donderdag 30 oktober 2008

The Summer We Had Goats in the Garden...

The goats were gorgeous but they ate the shrubs. So they moved to the neighbouring village of Tonragee where they now cohabit with a family of pigs.
Photo: Annie

woensdag 29 oktober 2008

Polranny Sunset

Each evening we look for hallucinogenic sunsets out of the windows at the back of the house.
Photo: Annie

dinsdag 28 oktober 2008

The View from the Kitchen Window

Plants waiting for a place in the garden.
Photo: Annie

maandag 27 oktober 2008

The Kitchen

Where pirates gather for feasts and early morning intravenous caffeine...
Photo: Annie

zondag 26 oktober 2008

Moody Weather

An inlet of Clew Bay.
Photo: Annie. Click to enlarge.

zaterdag 25 oktober 2008

Corraun Diary (1)

Pirate friend and neighbour Jane writes: 'I've admired Corraun House for a long time; the place has always had a magical quality. The beautiful old house and the amazing gardens were once spectacular but both are now in a state of disrepair. The fantastic situation on Clew Bay, overlooking Clare Island and Achill Beg with ever changing views across the Bay and into Connemara; it's the stuff of dreams to me. Today it becomes ours. I can't believe that I even have the chance to live in this house and look at these views for the rest of my life.'
The photo of Corraun House was taken in the 1930s

vrijdag 24 oktober 2008

The Deserted Village

The Deserted Village on the side of the Slievemore Mountain is traditionally thought to be a remnant dating from An Gorta Mór (The Great Hunger) of 1845 to 1849.
Photo: Jane

donderdag 23 oktober 2008

Yeats' Final Resting Places

The poet W.B. Yeats died at the Hôtel Idéal Séjour, in Menton, France on 28 January, 1939. He was buried at Roquebrune-Cap-Martin in accordance with his apparent wish to be buried quickly in France with a minimum of fuss. Here, the plot thickens. It turned out that his actual words were 'If I die bury me up there [at Roquebrune] and then in a year's time when the newspapers have forgotten me, dig me up and plant me in Sligo". So eventually in September 1948, Yeats' body was shipped off to Drumcliffein, County Sligo. His epitaph is taken from the last lines of "Under Ben Bulben", one of his final poems:
Cast a cold Eye
On Life, on Death.
Horseman, pass by.
Photo: Annie

woensdag 22 oktober 2008

On the Road to Carrowkeel

A Happy Pirate Annie snapped by Pirate Bertje.

dinsdag 21 oktober 2008

Tomb Raider?

Pirate Bertje inspecting Cairn G at Carrowkeel Megalithic Cemetery in County Sligo. She has now left for the relative modernity of Ancient Egypt, the Pyramids being some five to eight hundred years younger than the tombs at Carrowkeel.
Photo: Annie

maandag 20 oktober 2008

The Robot of Achill Sound

This robot drug dispenser tirelessly works for the chemist in Achill Sound. As Pirate correspondent Jane writes: "Years ago, Damien Hirst was part owner of a London restaurant called the Pharmacy, and there were artworks there that in a way were very similar to this robot. To me, visiting the chemist at the Sound has started to feel a little like a visit to a modern art gallery. It's a great addition to the area in my opinion, a thing of beauty.
Photo: Jane

zondag 19 oktober 2008

Where's the Bull?

Apparently there's a savage bull somewhere in this field. Is it the black speck located in the upper right-hand corner of the picture? Or is that just a placid cow, peacefully chewing the cud?
Photo: Annie

zaterdag 18 oktober 2008

Welcome to Ireland

When Jane and Al moved to Ireland, Jane's mum Bridget welcomed them with a 'typically Irish' meal consisting of the Holy Trinity of spuds, cabbage and bacon. Bridget grew the veggies herself. However, though succulent and tasty, the pig was not a local resident.
Photo: Jane

vrijdag 17 oktober 2008

The Blessing of the Boats

Visit any graveyard around the coastal areas of County Mayo and you will be struck by the number of men who died by drowning. Hence these priests, who are preparing for the 'Blessing of the Boats' ceremony at Cloughmore Pier. Achillbeg is in the background.
Photo: Jane