Saturday, 1 November 2008

A busman’s Holiday in Ireland

I suddenly realised I hadn’t had any time off this year. Certainly nothing more than the odd day here and there; this is one of the disadvantages associated with having a job that I enjoy doing, I really look forward to Monday mornings. So I decided to take a few days off and visit my sister who lives in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. And what was I doing most of the time? Taking photographs.

A short drive from Birmingham up the M42 to East Midlands, a short cheap Ryanair flight to Derry and within no time I was drinking Guinness. It rained every day but what do you expect, never the less there was some periods of sunshine too. Although I spent most of the time on my holiday taking photos I missed a great shot during the flight, it was a very cloudy day and I thought it was pointless getting my camera out of the bag and left it on the hand luggage rack. Sure enough passing over Liverpool there wasn’t a gap in the white carpet but then during the descent into Derry the plane banked to approach the runway and at this precise moment the clouds parted and the autumn sun low in the sky lit up the landscape below, it lasted no more than 30 seconds. There was the incredible view from above of a farmer ploughing a field with a flock of white birds (I presume seagulls) following the tractor, this of course contrasted vividly with the dark brown soil. The one that got away!

I spent time in Enniskillen photographing and popped into the Buttermarket where local artists have their studios and galleries, 

I remembered the work of Frances Morris from the last time I was there about 4 years ago she paints and displays beautiful photography too. Francis assures me she doesn’t use any digital manipulation software such as Photoshop; all her work is “as taken” her photographs from Venice use the brilliant sunlight to enhance the colours giving the image a strong vibrancy. Frances doesn’t have a website at the moment (she should) but when she does I will link to it.

With my camera I walked around the town exploring places that are off the beaten track, during the 30 years my sister has lived in the area I have visited Enniskillen many times but because I’m no fisherman and not interested in boats I have never seen much of either the river or Loch Erne. 

While I didn’t find any Irish burnt out cars I managed to keep within the theme of cars with these two odd speed limit road sign pictures, I forgot that I was after all in Ireland.

Enniskillen is close to the border with the Republic of Ireland both to the south into Cavan and Sligo or strangely north east to Donegal and handy for day trips. We headed down to Mullaghmore, County Sligo. I really enjoy working with my camera here because within a mile you have the contrast of the rocks, cliffs and crashing waves of the Atlantic coast, a sleepy fishing village and a deserted beach not forgetting the mountains in the background.

 See more photos of my trip to Ireland at my Flickr site

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