It's a Long, Long Way From Clare to Here

A good traveller has no fixed plans, and is not intent on arriving.
— Lao Tzu

Mullaghmore Beach, Co. Sligo

It has been a while since I last posted a blog on here but tomorrow I go on my holidays, for what has become, in effect, an annual "pilgrimage" to Ireland, a chance to meet up with old friends, play lots of music and go exploring somewhere new with the camera. Sitting here and writing this post seemed to be a useful diversion from the last of my packing that I still need to do.

Willie Clancy

I must admit that my travel plans are perhaps not quite as loose as Lao Tzu recommends. I have a destination in mind, two in fact, with a week in Miltown Malbay, Co. Clare at the Willie Clancy Summer School/Festival and then the following week in Tubbercurry, Co. Sligo for the South Sligo Summer School.

As the names suggest, both of these weeks were set up for the purpose of teaching traditional Irish music, song and dance. They are an opportunity for people from all over the World, of all ages, to come and learn Irish music at its source and from some of the best traditional musicians and teachers that you will find anywhere. It is also an opportunity for friends to get together and to play music, whether they are attending classes or not. In the past I have attended classes in both of these festivals. This year however I am going for the social aspects only. There will be some long days and late nights ahead, often turning into early mornings, I don't doubt. There is also the opportunity to get out with the camera and explore new landscapes and revisit old ones too to try to capture something new, something fresh.

You can see some of my photos from past years at the bottom of this blog post and I will be adding new photos to my Facebook page over the course of the holidays. If you have not already done so then please do like my page for all the latest updates.

I would also really like to hear of some of your favourite spots in Ireland to visit and photograph. If you had a car and a camera and free reign for a fortnight where would you go and visit?

Kincasslagh, Co. Donegal