Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Secret Village Festival.

Today saw the first Secret Village Festival for Ballaghaderreen,  a small town very close to us. The land that it was held on had been deserted waste land at the back of small shops, very over grown, but with many lovely mature trees.
 Some enterprising bodies saw it's potential as a place in which to hold festivals and set about clearing it of debris.
 The end result is enchanting, and the first two day event is being held there with music and an array of craft workers.
 A few of our friends had stalls there, one of them demonstrating felting and peg weaving, another one with her beautiful home made organic jams.
 The whole atmosphere was superb and the place was beautifully set out, there are plans for another festival at Halloween.
Reduce Reuse Recycle, seating from old pallets.
 It is just the sort of place that would lend itself to a R.A.T's festival.
 The R.A.T's festival used to be held annually in Tipperary in the grounds of an old castle owned by Gillies McBain who himself was a real rat's person, sadly he no longer holds them. It was always a weekend of craic, lots of music and good food, everything was bought and sold on a type of barter system, disks were used instead of money, no money changed hands. Oh, they were the days!
 Younger people at todays festival had heard of this festival but were too young to attend, several of the older people, like ourselves  remember them well. It would be great if this venue did end up hosted R.A.T's reborn, I'm sure it would be a great success judging by the number of young people giving demonstrations who are all Real Alternative Types.
Meanwhile back at home we seem to have been taken over by our Rhubarb, which is trying to emulate Gunnera.

 I pulled a couple of sticks today, one measured 44 inches over all with the stem at 28 inches, I will have to get round to bottling some of this, I can't let it go to waste.
Sexual Equality. 
Many years ago we used to have a quail and snail farm, we still have quail, and we have a soft spot for snails, neither of us could ever bring ourselves to harm one, ( slugs however are a different matter)  This week  Simon spotted a pair of snails mating on our pathway, he couldn't resist taking a photo.
There is now a feeling of Autumn approaching, blackberries are beginning to ripen, it looks as though there will be a bumper crop of them, and the Rowan Trees are laden with berries.
 Finally the art of relaxation, Sparky has become a master of this art.
Also some cattle that we spotted today, gently grazing at  the edge of the  Lough Gara.


  1. I think they're really onto something there in Ballagh with that festival. Really lovely vibe in a lovely spot. Fair play to them for getting up off their butts and doing something. That Rhubarb is monstrous. Love that pic of the cattle by the water.

  2. What a wonderful day, spinning is on my bucket list. our newly planted Rowans are doing well too

    The cattle look so serene...what a life!

  3. I agree Bridget, lovely vibes. The rhubarb is Timperley Early, we dress around the crowns with lots of compost when all the foliage has died back then in Jan we protect the crowns with lots of straw.
    What was so nice were the number of younger people demonstrating interesting crafts, felting, weaving, blacksmithing, cob building and wood turning, the knitting and crochet seems to be the older people and was a bit boring. The one thing that we have never seen here is Ireland is lacemaking, Spain Italy and France all seem to demonstrate it, and when I lived in the UK it was easy to find lace making courses but not here. I'm looking forward to having a go at peg weaving come the winter months.

  4. We got to the Secret Village Sunday and we agree - fantastic use of what was a waste ground and still is privately owned. Covered all over with snowberry between the trees, so quite a machette job clearing it. The chipped wood for the paths came free from Barna Waste, so fair play to them, though the volunteers had to sort quite a lot of rubbish out of it. Took them about 3 weeks, by all accounts , chased along by one particularly driven lad who we saw but didn't get a chance to talk to. Everyone was particularly pleased with the way some of the older volunteers discovered that the 'youths' they had seen hanging about and been a bit wary of turned out to be good, hard-working, 'nice lads' once they got to know them. Good community-building.