Thursday, 19 September 2013

Rock balancing at Murlough Bay

After going our trip to Fair Head, Dan and I drove down the VERY steep hill to Murlough Bay, a really magical piece of secluded coastline. We wandered around in the sunshine, got eaten alive by bugs and Dan worked on his rock-balancing skills.
I got down to the serious business of trying to find the prettiest stones on the beach to take home for my collection.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

A 1000 year old crannog

Last weekend we went on another adventure through ancient Ireland. This time to Fair Head which is the most North-Easterly point of Northern Ireland. On top of the cliff are a couple of little lakes and one of those has a thousand year old crannog on it which I had been desperate to visit for ages (and scope out as a possible camping spot).
Crannogs are artificial (or partially artifical) islands used as dwellings in Scotland and Ireland in the Neolithic Period and sometimes inhabited as late as the 17th and 18th Centuries. This one on Fair Head has had some excavation and shown to be inhabited about 1000 years ago. There are about 1,200 of these structures in Ireland and they were often home to kings, lords, prosperous farmers and sometimes isolated monastic groups.
This one is pretty small and you can see in the picture above how the island has been strengthened with a circular stone wall. There were a few boats lying around the deserted lough but no oars so we weren't brave enough to venture out to the crannog.
Just beyond the lake is Fair Head itself, a sheer cliff which is popular with serious climbers. Lying down and looking over the cliff edge was as daring as we got.
So that's one more ancient Irish structure investigated, only about 50,000 more to go!

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Handfasting number 5

For those of you new to Lost & Found, Danny and I have a small ceremony every year called a handfasting. It's a very ancient pagan marriage ceremony that binds a couple together for a year and a day. This was our fifth and the first time my parents were there to witness it.
It also happened to be during our holidays in Spain and the same day as our friends Macarena and Victor's wedding, so there was a lot of love around that day.
Our first handfasting was a year and a day before our 'official' wedding day and they've carried on each year and a day since. It is a short ceremony and usually only a few friends or family are present but I'm already planning a huge party for our tenth handfasting in an ancient Stone Circle at Ballynoe.
Married yet again!

love on a sunny day

My brother Colm married his gorgeous wife Dinali back in June, so here finally are a few more pictures from the day, which was the first of two weddings. The second will be next August and in SRI LANKA!!!!  Could I BE any more excited?
This wedding was a civil ceremony in Portrush town hall on the North Coast of Ireland and then we went to the famous Barry's Amusements, followed by the beach and the Giant's Causeway (a UNESCO World Heritage site) for some photos.
Di wore a delicate blue scarf round her wrist, the same one that us all O'Hara women have worn as our something old, borrowed and blue on our wedding days.
One wedding down, one to go.
Bring on Sri Lanka.

Small adventures - Ards Peninsula

Can you believe it's September already? It has been a fun filled and unusually warm summer here but I felt the blues come over me last night as I realised that the evenings are beginning to get shorter now.
Danny and I jumped in the car when he got home from work yesterday so as to make the most of the few long evenings left to us. We drove ten miles out of Belfast to the Ards Peninsula, where I've spent a lot of time this summer as a tour guide.
Speaking of which, working as a Northern Ireland tour guide has been so much fun but has kept me busy which is why I took a bit of a break from blogging, but I'm back now with lots of photos to show you from all the weddings and adventures I've been on.
We caught the last rays of the setting sun before heading back to the big smoke of Belfast.