To start off the New Year, I had the pleasure of photographing a wonderful wedding for a beautiful couple.
It was a few days after the floods and there was talk of more rain that Saturday. With that in mind, I apprehensively made my way to the Church, expecting the worst of all the bad weather we’d been experiencing. Surprisingly, I was greeted by the most glorious winter sun blossoming over West Cork, and my heart swelled for the Couple.
Rays of light poured in through every window, bathing the entire building in gold. But the air was still cold and my fingers protested with stiffness. *note to self – wear gloves!
The events of the day unfolded perfectly. The ceremony swirled passed and before long I found myself at the final destination, The Fernhill Hotel in Clonakilty.
What a spectacular venue, still adorned in its Christmas finery. Fairy lights twinkled around the Christmas tree as guests were greeted by a beautifully laid out drinks reception.
There was a wonderful atmosphere and I feel so grateful to have been asked to document such a beautiful celebration of the lovely couple, Ann & Teddy.
A few weeks ago, we visited the annual Christmas Market in Galway. It was actually my first time there and Let me tell you, it was Great. The atmosphere was mesmerising.
Where: The Spanish Arch, Galway City | When: 20th November – 22nd December
After almost three weeks away, my amazing husband ‘surprised me’ with ‘we’re going to Galway for the weekend’ (not because I have been pestering him constantly, of course). We decided to stay a few nights in Galway after Elvis’s gig in Limerick so that we could visit the Market and do a little exploring.
Being away for any length of time often makes you think of home. And, do you know what one of the best things about living in Ireland is – The People. A friendly smile or a kind ‘Hello’ from a stranger, is never uncommon. And I find that travelling abroad is always great but, and it must be that I’ve now lived here too long, coming home to the atmosphere here is just magic.
And so our story begins…
The air was laden with heady Christmas smells as we tramped our way through bustling crowds. The last remnants of crumpled soggy leaves clung to drains and footpaths. Throngs of people draped in woolly hats, gloves and scarves trailed from stalls. Queues of chatter and Christmas songs filled the air. It was cold with not a hint of rain in the clear sky, surprising for the the middle of November. Irish weather is so unpredictable, as the next day brought with it a damp, muggy drizzle that lasted a week.
Anyhow as the day went on, smoke rose in tendrils from chimney’s all along the square, puffing away contently to the sound of Christmas. I can close my eyes and be transported right back to that moment. There was magic in my air.
We ate freshly cooked hot dogs, ketchup dripping onto our cold fingers and drank steaming cups of mulled wine. We soaked in every ounce of the Christmas Spirit.
And that was the moment Christmas kicked in…
So, as the cold began to creep into our boots, gnawing slowly at our toes, we decided to go on a little adventure to find a tea house that I had read about on tripadvisor. It’s a quaint little place that is terribly difficult to find when your phone has died. But worth it in the end.
The Secret Garden is a pretty tea room with an expansive range of teacups and pots that even I was jealous of.
As the door opened in, a warm wave of aromatic smells washed over me. Bathed in an ambiance of fruity herbal teas and candle light, I had met my heaven (If you know me, you know how much I LOVE TEA). It was the perfect end our Market Adventure.
Ok, it wasn’t exactly the end, we still had to walk 20 minutes back to the Hotel, which really is the best way to get acquainted with a place, I think.
We had an amazing panfried salmon dressed in a beautifully tangy basil pesto. Resting, oh so precariously, on a bed of baby potatoes, rocket leaves and garden peas. Ok, I’ll stop, I’m making myself hungry just writing about it…
We really do live in a treasure trove of brilliance, that overflows with calm, serene energy. A place so coloured in a million different shades of green that I need to blink a few times to make sure my eyes see clearly. Paradise is right here.
We have been here 12 years now (Elvis – 15 years) and with each year I find something new to love about the countryside. We try to photograph as much of this glorious place as possible and no matter where we go, home is always West Cork.
Here’s a little peak into our collection of landscapes…
Wherever you are, make the best of what’s around you.
Being out in nature is the best cure for the busy lives we lead. Everyone needs a reminder of how beautiful life really is. I hope you make the best of the things we all take for granted sometimes, like fresh air or grazing cows.
So first of all, I hope my silence on here wasn’t too obvious. Yes yes, I am that weirdo that starts a blog And a Facebook Page and disappears 😦 Sorry…
But, in my defense I really do have such a good excuse. Read on, you’ll see…
Our friends Mary Kate and Kevin got married this weekend and they had asked us to do the Videography for the wedding. I’ve dedicated this post to them.
So when Saturday morning arrived with big bursts of icy showers and strong gusts of wind I couldn’t help but think, ‘this is so typical, the weather is pulling a tantrum, bellowing for attention. Not selfish at ALL!’. Now, If you’re Irish you just know how common, not to mention annoying this is. (We obviously need to have a word with the rain god)
We packed half our house into a van and trundled off, both ticking off mental lists of things we’d hopefully not forgotten. The cat, unfortunately, hadn’t made the list. (One surely would have assumed we were going for 3 weeks and not just a day).
As we made our trek toward Bantry, shards of beautiful sunlight pierced through dark clouds. I took it as a sign, our every living day will bring with it ups and downs, but there’s always a silver lining, we’ve just to look.
We arrived at the church before any of the guests to set up the cameras and test the light.
I stood in the nearly empty Church, a florist buzzing madly while he arranged and rearranged flowers that were already beautiful. His buzzing was contagious, it was in the pit of my belly and as I glanced over at my husband I realised it must have caught on to him too as he zipped around the pews with the go-pros and no-pros (these cameras that are like go-pros but not) he was a man on a mission but he would never admit to it. The tension in that Church was almost tangible, thick like molasses, we wanted it to be perfect.
I looked down the aisle towards the entrance and I thought of my own wedding and how nervous I was. Soon it would be my friend gliding down that narrow strip towards the love of her life. Yes, ok fine you got me, I was also thinking, ‘don’t mess up, Don’t Mess Up!!!’
We waited with bated breath for her to arrive. And of course she did glide down that aisle after her beautiful bridesmaids all dressed in blue. She never looked more relaxed than that moment she laid eyes on him.
I watched the day unfold through the lens of my camera and felt like I was on a cloud high above everyone. Time slipped away from me and before I knew what was happening, they kissed, the crowed cheered and it was done. It was surreal to film.
It is a perfect feeling to see people happy.
Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity. – Henry Van Dyke
Today the sun shone so strongly I felt as if it would burn away all the cobwebs of winter.
Ok, so maybe not the literal ones, they’re still there unfortunately but that’s a story for another day. What it did do is send us adventuring.
My younger brother rang me, much to early in the morning, and decided that we’d be going for a walk up Lough Hyne. He’s annoyingly persistent and I am notoriously lazy. So in the end he persuaded me, and Casper – the poor dog who got dragged up a hill, to soak in the Glorious morning heat. And this is our little morning adventure….
Lough Hyne is one of the most important marine habitats in Europe and was made Ireland’s first Marine Nature Conservation Reserve. http://www.discoveringireland.com/vacations/lough-hyne/. Such a lot of history and interesting facts about a place that you’d visit so often.
We were just saying how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful place and sometimes, in the depths of winter, we forget just that. But today definitely reminded me to eat well, smile a lot and photograph everyday because life is too short.