Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Making the Harp on Tara

That's John Quigley whose vision we were following. He's either American or Canadian, judging by his accent. I couldn't find his nationality online. (Anyone know?) A lovely gentle man who somehow managed to get thousands of people to follow his instructions despite the fact he had a quiet voice and a faulty megaphone. The crowd included dogs, babies, children, and people of many nationalities. When we were all lying down, John said "sing something" and somehow everyone began to sing or hum the Irish national anthem in Irish and English. Very moving. My sister Rosemary had just arrived from Toronto the day before and she was there, representing the Irish-Canadian diaspora despite her jet-lag!

More Tara Pics

Meant to include a photo credit for the fabulous pic of the giant human harp below: Paula Geraghty. Feel free to use it but please acknowledge the photographer. Yes, that's me grinning away beside Stuart Townsend (couldn't resist). Once upon a time I dreamed that he would be Finvarra in the film version of The Hunter's Moon - anyone who has seen Queen of the Damned will understand. And there's me doing my bit as a piece of the harp.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Human Harp on Tara

Here it is. A work of pure art! The human harp formed on Tara under the guidance of aerial artist and environmentalist visionary, John Quigley. Estimates of how many people showed up vary between 1,500-3,000. Try clicking on the image to make it bigger so you can see the details. There are Celtic designs on the top and the side and there are red jewels along the curve - people in red jackets and sweaters which he organised at the last minute! It was so much fun. We had picnics, hung around the hill for ages, it drizzled, then the sun came out, and Stuart Townsend (photo to follow) and Jonathan Rhys Meyers showed up to add their gorgeous bodies to the count.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Call of the Harpers

In ancient days the harpers of Eire had great power and influence. Will they be heard in modern Ireland as they protest the motorway that is ploughing through the Tara Valley? It was a very moving day. Of course they played "The Harp That Once in Tara's Hall" by Thomas Moore and also many of O Carolan's tunes. Exquisite music. Look closely and you'll see the Green Man who attended the rally. The Irish government buildings are in the background, behind the wrought iron fence. And that's the gorgeous Stuart Townsend in the foreground, the Irish actor known from Queen of the Damned and All About Adam. He has been supporting this cause for three years now. I'll be posting pics of the human harp we formed on Tara Hill today - over 2,000 people! - so stay tuned.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Save Tara - USA

I've noted the two creative protests in the Save Tara campaign taking place here in Ireland this weekend but there are also events taking place in America at the same time - in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles - so check it out all you heritage-supporters across the pond! As always with things Irish, there will be music and uproar.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Harpers for Tara

I've written before about the heritage crisis we are suffering here in sell-your-Mother Ireland. The Irish government - including its Green Party partners - is insisting on running a motorway through the sacred valley of Tara. The World Monument Fund has put Tara on its 100 most endangered sites list. On Saturday, September 22, at 3:00 pm, the harpers of Ireland will gather at Dáil Eireann in Dublin to drown out the sound of cars and cash registers with the sound of music. Have a look at their site on myspace: And pass on the word! Shame, shame on the Fianna Fail government and the sell-out Green Party!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Bruce and Me

In a final twist of the tale, it turns out that I was fostering Bruce until his real family came along. Amazing, though, how I went from talking to him over the fence for years, then jelly legs of fear when I first tried to walk him, then taking him for walks with others, then just him and me, then having him trot around after me like a big lamb. I ended up absolutely adoring him, but worrying about the fact I had to leave him for hours in the yard while I worked. Also I will be travelling all through October! Truth is, boxers need a lot of love and attention and I was beginning to wonder how I could manage him. Then I got a call from my Buddhist Centre telling me that the gardener - with a big house, huge garden, and six kids - wanted a dog and, in particular, a boxer! I took it as a sign from the gods and drove my dear lad up to County Cavan. Have to say, I cried all the way back and there have been a few blubberings since. But I rang to check how he was the first night I left him and he was watching television with the kids and being petted continually. I'll be up at the Centre in two weeks and will get all the details from the gardener, but I won't visit this soon in case I upset him. Once he's well settled, I'll drop in like a favourite auntie.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Baby Man

It's a cross between having a new love and a new baby, really. I think about him all the time and I'm exhausted looking after him. Last night was his first night in the house. He definitely caught my anxiety and was restless and making the weirdest coughing noises. But once I turned out the lights and settled down for the night, so did he. I could hear him snoring away in the kitchen. So far I have kept Bruce and Emma separate. I'm waiting for Finn to come home (surfing in Sligo before school starts next week) before we do a formal introduction in the same room at the same time. But they are both aware of each other, sniffing around places where the other has been and also through doors. This is all very new and exciting. Thank God I finished the book yesterday so I can concentrate on the living changes!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

New Man in My Life

In a strange twist of fate, the family I had for Bruce pulled out at the last minute. Devastated, I thrust aside my fear of large dogs and took him for a walk with his former owner's granddaughter. Then I walked him the next day with Finn. And the day after that with my brother-in-law. And last night and this morning, alone. Guess what. Yes, you can see it coming, can't you. From being afraid of big dogs I am suddenly the proud owner of a fine big boxer. The Lonely Dog will be lonely no more. Lordy, I must be mad. But I have quite fallen in love with him and he follows me around like a puppy. (A giant puppy.) Being a cat-woman, I don't know anything about dogs, let alone big ones, so I have been reading up on boxers on the Internet. I was right to be distressed that he was alone so often. Boxers are extremely sociable and hate being left alone. I will have to ease him in slowly and get him and Emma to bond. Will also be counting on the advice of a good friend who has a big dog. (You know who you are.) What have I got myself into???!!!