Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Lady Bird

I had the pleasure of spending a week in London last month, little did I know the outcome would result in become completely besotted with a lovely British bird named Clare. We actually met 4 years ago in Utah, friend of friend, rarely kept in contact since. Before I went to London I thought it'd be nice to meet up with her and hang out for a day, so we did. We had an incredibly romantic 5 days together and needless to say we were more than friends by the time she dropped me off a the airport. We kissed eachother goodbye but both knew we'd be seeing eachother soon. As soon as I got back to the farm in Ireland I called her when I walked in the door, to my pleasant surprise she had already looked up flights to visit me in Ireland. 5 weeks later I met her at Cork Airport and was never so happy to see someone. We spent the next 5 days in the countryside walking through fields, over rolling green hills and cow pastures, along seaside cliffs, picking blackberries, pulling potatoes in the garden, painting the old farm house, hitch hiking to nearby villages, working on my old sailboat and riding a ferry boat out to a gaelic island. We also did lots of cooking and baking together, ate cheese and a massive amount of chocolate. It really was the most ideal 5 days together we could ask for. I was absolutely gutted to see her go but she'll be back for my birthday next month so I think I'll survive.
This has all come so unexpected to me. Here I am on my travels, just living day by day, making the most of the world at my disposal. I definitely wasn't expecting to find the love of my life just yet. Couldn't be happier.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mountain Song

As of late, the warm sun, wood smoke, and smell of the chill in the evening air has made me undeniably nostalgic for the end of last summer in the woods and mountains of the Carolinas. Last summer was by far one of the best summer of my life. It's was The Endless Summer with four of my best friends Barb, Adam, Ben, and our dog Tank. Doing what we love most, being in the mountains. Running through the woods barefoot, sliding down a rock face and plunging into the fresh river water, roaring camp fires, cooking feasts for breakfast lunch and dinner, climbing to the highest point and looking out over the rolling Blue Ridge Mountains, lying in my hammock between tall pine trees as the wind rocks me to sleep. It had been many years since I played in the mountains of North and South Carolina, returning to them made me fall in love all over again. Listening to Fleet Foxes always brings me back to that summer, driving through the mountains listening to Ragged Wood in our Volvo stationwagon, windows down, Tank's face in the wind as our packs in the back shift from side to side as we sway up the shady wooded mountains roads. The voices of Swedish duet First Aid Kit covering Fleet Foxes Tiger Mountain Peasant Song also really brings me back to the mountains and woods I love dearly.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Many Thanks!

Thank you so much for the few yet generous donations! Your contributions have aided me in getting more Polariod film and a few bus tickets, neither of which are cheap. If any of you have not yet had the chance to give alms to your vagabond friend, please just check out the colomn to the right. Seriously anything helps.
Much Love!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I'm now living and working on a 100 year old wooden sailboat named the Atlantis. We're tucked away in a wooded cove on the other side of Baltimore Bay. Baltimore is a gorgeous semiposh seaside sailing village at the very southwest tip of Ireland's coast. The Atlantis set sail 18 years ago on a voyage from a commune in Donegal Ireland to a commune in Columbia South America but was caught in a horrific storm off Fastnet Rock and was saved and brought to the quiet cove of Church Strand, Baltimore, where she's laid ever since. We're in the process of restoring the massive 50ft wooden boat and having it seaworthy within a year. Lots to be done but all is going well. If any of you remember from my blog about 2 months ago I was actually planning on joining the boat back then. I just wasn't ready to leave the farm yet.
Living on the boat is good life. We have an old iron wood-oven in the main cabin with a chimney out the top, I go out everyday and collect wood along the beach for the cold evenings. I wake up in the morning, climb out of my bunk, put more wood in the furnace, climb up on deck and have a cup of tea while the salty sea breeze and wood smoke blows through me and throughout the cove.
The field down to the cove


I've spent my days hammering the rust off a massive old anchor then scraping it down with a wire brush, polishing it and painting it with iron paint. Grease all the gears of the anchor winch, helm, steering mechanism, clean and pump the bilges down in the belly, scrubbing the deck, and oiling down the wood planks. Sometimes after a long day of work in the sun we go swimming at Loch Hyne. It's a fresh water lake that connects to the sea so it's nice and cold and salty. Its absolutely freezing but numbingly refreshing.

The owner has been out of town alot so it's just been me and the boat, we've gotten to know eachother pretty well. I love the seclusion, the sea breeze, sounds of the seagulls and sparrows, fish splashing in the water beside the boat. It's a peaceful place to live and half the time it doesn't even seem like work.
Made a friend on the way home the other night. I was walking back from the village and was about half way when I heard small quick footsteps behind me. I stopped and turned around to see a big golden Lab following behind me. She's wagging her tail and comes right up to me. It had been raining all evening and she was soaked. I said hello, scratched her head and went on my way down the trail, over the electric fences and through the field down to the boat. I was just about to the boat when I hear some excited barking at the top of the hill but think nothing of it. It's a really dark night so I carefully slip onto the boat and down the hatch. I put down my sack of firewood and start preparing for bed when I hear panting and thumping against an oil drum outside. I pop my head out of the hatch to see my friend the golden Lab with her two paws perched on the starboard side, smiling and waiting for permission to come aboard. I immediately wondered how the hell she found her way down here, then realized that barking I heard was her verses the electric fence. Poor girl. She came aboard, I pet her and we hung out for a bit while I brushed my teeth on deck. I said goodnight and jump into my bunk in the aftcabin. She sat down just outside the hatch looking down at me and wined. I could hear her walk around on deck for a while then sit down and howl like a coyote. It was a long soft howl that faded into the late night fog of the cove. I fell fast asleep.
Woke up the next morning to see her looking down the hatch smiling at me. I snapped this shot of her.

She stayed and kept me company all day. There she is in the top photo hanging out with me on deck.

Sometimes I gather my breakfast, toss it in the dingy and row out into the cove and drift around the shipwrecked boats while I lounge in the sun and sea breeze. My lovely host Anne is an all organic vegetarian with a great taste in food. Loads of fresh fruit, hard cheeses, heavy homemade brown breads, an array of fruit and veg juices and homemade herbal teas. I've been eating incredibly well, it's funny how something so simple can make you so satisfied with life. That, and there's nothing like going to sleep with the sounds of the cove and waking up to a sea breeze coming down the hatch.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


Spent the last 6 days in foggy Londontown and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I..
Played with old friends.
Got in a fight with a cabby.
Went on a hunt for Banksy art in the wee hours of the morning.
Took a 200 question personality test for what turned out to be for Scientologists.
Ate delicious Indian curry, Thai, Moroccan, Pizza Express (awesome), beef bagel with the hottest English mustard known to man, Camden grease doughnuts, loads of ice lollies, and Snogs yogurt.
Went shopping with Devandra Banhart at American Apparel, seriously.
Was an assistant on a photo shoot.
Went to Tate Modern and took photos of people.
Went to the London singles ward which I loved. There's just something about having your lesson taught by hip black British blokes that makes it that much more enjoyable. It was my first time to church in 2 months, aren't many in Ireland. It was a great to be there.
Went swing dancing and threw all the lindy hoppers off with my eastcoast strut.
Became a pro with the Tube/London Underground.
Spent hours perusing the streets of Brick Lane and Camden Market.
Had a lovely sunday drive through London in Monty, a beautiful 1950's styled convertible, listening to Django Rienhart all the while.

London cost me more money in 6 days than the entire 2 months I've lived in Ireland. Slightly absurd. Worth it though.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Spent the last 3 days on a trip to Northern Ireland. Barbara, my farm host, has built 3 holiday cottages attached to the 150 year old family farm house that we're just finishing and about to let out. Here's a page I put together for the cottages and for potential guests to check out.
We needed to completely furnish the houses before our bookings in just 2 weeks. Ikea was the place to do it but the Dublin store doesn't open till late July. So we hired a massive moving van and drove 7 hours to Belfast.
Stayed with a friend in Magherafelt that night then got up early the next morn and got to Ikea before they opened at 9am. Went over our gargantuan list while we downed some breakfast and coffee then spent the next 2 days meticulously raiding Ikea from open until close, a total of about 16 hours. We'd gone mad by the end of it and were dragging eachother out of there.
Northern Ireland was pretty interesting, having been in the south of the Republic of Ireland for the past 2 months there were many very noticable differences. For one there were Union Jacks flying everywhere, which I thought was fairly smug. The currency was sterling, which was a pain because we had to get our money changed over from euro. We didnt really have time to drive through Belfast city center but you could see a feel the torment that has hung over the city for ages. The people were really quite lovely though and I adore the accent. It's a queer blend of ancient Irish and Scottish. Very warm, light and melodic. Everyone sounds like there from The Secret of Roan Inish which I love. Overall I really liked the North and will be back sooner than later.

Our lovely Ikea associate that helped us with our mattresses.

Job well done.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bicycle ride to Union Hall

Finally got my camera back from being repaired in the States, I now feel complete.
Went for a ride today, this is what I found.

Met the loveliest little girl at Keelbeg Pier.

Down the low road to Reen Pier

Up the high road to Ceim Hill

On to Castletownshend Cove