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

donderdag 16 oktober 2008

Being in Ireland is Thirsty Work

Pirate friend Astrid sampling the cider at Daley's, Mulranny.

woensdag 15 oktober 2008


Pirate friend Chance acquired his name when his future owners found him looking extremely forlorn at the Animal Rescue. It was his 'last chance'. Although he doesn't really like cameras, he very kindly agreed to pose for this portrait.
Photo: Annie

dinsdag 14 oktober 2008

Wonderful Creatures

Mythical beasties spotted at Glenveagh Castle in County Donegal.
Photo: Annie

maandag 13 oktober 2008

The Strawboys

Forgot to ask the neighbours to your party? Worried that you've committed a social faux pas? In Currane those uninvited will simply show up anyway while hiding their identities beneath hats made of straw. These 'Strawboys' are a rowdy lot, and they won't leave until you dance with them, an energetic process that involves plenty of alcohol refreshments.
Photo: Sonia Hunt

zondag 12 oktober 2008


No sooner had we arrived in Ireland, than we noticed the posters for Pirate friend Noel Scanlon's bestselling 'The Gulf', a thriller set in the Middle East.

Here is the author himself, ably supported by his adorable assistant Lady.
Photos: Annie

zaterdag 11 oktober 2008

An Alfred Stieglitz Moment

The great photographer Alfred Stieglitz said that to make a good photograph, all you need to do is to point your camera up to the heavens or down towards the ground beneath your feet. This Zen-like moment was spotted after a torrential downpour on the peat bogland behind the house.
Photo: Annie, click to enlarge.

vrijdag 10 oktober 2008

In the Picture

A Sligo landscape, looking out towards Donegal.
Photo: Annie

donderdag 9 oktober 2008


Today's trophy, conveniently washed up by the tide.
Photo: Annie

woensdag 8 oktober 2008

Lunatic Asylum

This building in Sligo was once a 19th century lunatic asylum, complete with its own Protestant and Catholic chapels. Now it has been transformed into the rather plush Clarion Hotel. Its bars and restaurants are still the scene of periodic madness and excess.
Photo: Annie

dinsdag 7 oktober 2008

More Midges

Nothing - not even swarms of midges - can deter Pirate friend Jane Steger-Lewis from angling for a big catch.
Photo: Al

maandag 6 oktober 2008

Pirate Mascot

Alfie the Traveling Teddy. Has visited Egypt, Australia, Paris and - of course - Ireland. Always guaranteed to behave badly.
Photo: Annie

zondag 5 oktober 2008

Slievemore Mountain

Pirate Annie atop the Slievemore, cowering in abject terror amidst the swarms of homicidal midges!
Photo: Bertje

zaterdag 4 oktober 2008


Make sure that you always pack enough food for an excursion. You don't want to risk being halfway up a mountain and feeling faint for lack of sustenance!
Photo: Annie

vrijdag 3 oktober 2008

Sweeney's Supermarket

Behind this row of trolleys is the Achill Sound Supervalu, better known by its original name: Sweeney's. There is also Sweeney's Hardware that supplies most of the building materials used in the Folly and a general store with souvenirs, outsize knickers and a plentiful selection of books about the IRA.
Photo: Annie

donderdag 2 oktober 2008

The Other View from the Opperpuist

The house of the Pirates' neighbour and friend, Mrs. Masterson. She looks for our lights at night, we watch the smoke wafting from her chimney early in the morning.
Photo: Annie

woensdag 1 oktober 2008

I Spy With My Little Eye...

... something beginning with 'O' for the 'Opperpuist', an extension located above the porch. It is the perfect place to think great thoughts and to spy on the local wildlife, human and otherwise.
Photo: Annie