Jane Wilson-Howarth

Blog

 
 

    Pontifications
    Travel
    Wildlife
    Writing
#righttobreathe / 100 word story / 100-word story / 50 Camels / 50 Camels and She's Yours / A Glimpse of Eternal Snows / A Wide Woman on a Narrow Boat / Aberdeen / Active Fairness System / age concern / air pollution / air quality / alcoholism / ANM / Annapurna / anthology / author / Author from Hull / author interview / Auxiliary Nurse Midwife / Baglung / Bagmati / Bajaj / Bajaj Pulsar / Bajura / banknotes / BBC Radio Cambridgeshire / bear precautions / Bertrand Russell / Bhotang / bike trip / birdlife / birds / black bear / black kites / Blue sheep / book launch / Bradt / Bradt Travel Guides / Brahmin / breakfast / bridge / buckwheat / buckwheat bird / buffalo cart / bulbul / camaraderie / Cambridge / Cambridge writers / camping hazards / canals / carcinogens / caste / catastrophe / celtic / chaite-dhan / Chele / children's books / Chirang / Chisapaani / Chisapani / Chobhar / Chobhar Hill / Chough / climate change / clinics / cold desert / colourful hat / comfort / cows / cyclist / dal bhat / dangerous wildlife / demonstration / Department of Roads / desert / development / development work / Dhading / Dhading besi / Dhaulagiri / Dhee / dhulomandu / domestic violence / Dr. Katrina Butterworth / dragon / dragons / Drakmar / droppings / dust / early marriage / earthquake / earthquake alarm / earthquake damage / earthquake today / East Anglia / eco-resort / Edinburgh / embankments / emergency / English journey / English language / environmental crisis / eternal snows / evacuation / Ewell / exploitation / Fagu Purnima / Falgun / feelgood read / festival / festival of colour / festivals in March / fiction / fire-tailed sunbird / fishing / fishtail / flash fiction / flash literature / flash prose / flood protection / floods / footbridge / footpath / forest / Gai Tihar / Ganesh himal / Gangestic Plain / Gangetic Plain / Ghami / Ghemi / giant crab spider / giving birth / global warming / goodread / goral / gorge / Gorkha / GP writer / grey-headed canary-flycatcher / hangry / happiness / happyness / hare / health assistant / Heffers / Heffers bookshop / Hell's Grannies / himal / Himalaya / Himalayan Black Bear / Himalayan Goral / Himalayan griffon vulture / Himalayan Hostages / Himalayan Kidnap / Himalayan serow / Himalayan Sunrise / Himalayan woolly hare / Himalayas / Hindu festival / Hindu kingdom / Holi / Holi Purnima / home delivery / honey buzzard / hoopoe / Hotel Deep of Worldtop / Hotel Peace Palace / house crows / human kind / human spirit / idyllic childhood / Indra Jatra / Ireland / irrigation / jackal / Janajibika Hotel / Jane Wilson-Howarth / Jomosom / Jomsom / jungle / Kaag Beni / Kag Beni / Kali Gandaki / Kali Gandaki gorge / Kalopani / Kalunki / Karnali River / Kashigaon / Kashigoan / Kathmandu / Kathmandu Valley / Katrina Butterworth / khana / Khartoum / kickstart / kidnap / kindness / Kolkata / Krishna / Kumari / Kurentar / Kusma / labour / lama / Lamjung himal / lammergeier / lammergeyer / landscape / landslide / landslides / largest tribuary of the Ganges / Laxmi Puja / leave no one behind / leave no-one behind / life lessons / living goddess / LoMantang / London pigeon / loneliness / Lord Ganesh / Lord Krishna / loss and recovery / love / Lukhu river / Machhapuchare / Makwanpur / Manbu / mani wall / Mary Kingsley / masala tea / maskmandu / maternal mortality / Maya and the Dragon / medical emergency / medical evacuation / medical Students / Melamchi / Michael Rosenberg / microfiction / Middle Hills / mineral water bottles / morning mist / Moth Snowstorm / motorbike / motorbike trip / motorbikes / motorcycle / mountain medicine / mouse hare / Muktinath / Mukwanpur / mulberries / Mustang / nag puja / narrow boat / nature / Naubisi / neighbours / Nepal / Nepal Communitere / Nepal road trip / Nepal roadtrip / Nepal Valley / Nepal wildlife / Nepali / Nepali food / Nepali tea / Nepali topi / Nepali wildlife / Nigiri himal / Nilgiri / Nilgiri South / non-fiction / Nonsuch Palace / Nonsuch Park / Northumberland / novel / nuthatch / Nuwakot / obstetrics / ox-cart / parenting / Passer montanus / passing places / passive pleasure / Patan / Patan Durbar Square / payer / People in Need charity / percussion / PHASE / PHASE Nepal / PHASENepal / Phewa Tal / Philippines / phonetics / photoktm2016 / pigeons / pika / pilgrims / plastic waste / pleasure / Pokhara / Police My Friend / pollution / polytunnel / post earthquake recovery / powder / pregnancy / Pul Chowk / Pulsar / Purnima programme / Pyncnonotus cafer / rabies / Rajapur / Rajapur bazaar / Rajapur Island / Rajapur market / rat snake / Real Fairness for Real men / reconstructed dialogue / Red Dawn Rising / red-vented bulbul / relief work / Remover of obstacles / rhododendron / ricefields / Richard Mabey / risk takers / river crossing / river island / river-crossing / road trip / roadtrip / Rock Doves / rock shelters / Roe Deer / Royal Enfield Riders Club / Royle's pika / rubbish / Rufus-breasted Niltava / rupees / Sally Haiselden / samosa / Sarengkot / scorpion / Seeta Siriwardena / self-harm / serow / Shangri La / Shangri-la / Shivapuri / Shivapuri Nagajung National Park / Shivapuri National Park / Shivapuri Village / Shivapuri Village Resort / short story / shrikes / Simon Howarth / Sindhupalchowk / Sinhala / Sinhalese / skipper butterflies / skippers / snow leopard / Snowfed Waters / solid waste disposal / Soti / South Sudan / sparrows / Speaking Tiger / spider venom / Spiny babblers / spotted owlet / squirrel / Sri Lanka / Sri Lankan author / Stephanie Green / stink bug / street art / street dogs / Subsistence agriculture / Sudan / sunbird / sunrise / Surrey / suspended bridge / Sussex / Suttee / Tahr / tar tattoo / Tatopani / tea / tea shop / teacher / teashop / Teku / Teku infectious diseases hospital / terai / Thamel / Thankot / Tharu / Tharu people / The Lonely Cat / time / traffic jam / traffic rules / traffic uncles / transHimalaya / transHimalayan / travel anthology / travel writing / travelling with children / tree sparrows / trekking / trust / Tsirang / Twin Otter / Uganda / unplanned pregnancy / Upper Mustang / urban life / urban pollution / urban water supply / velvet-fronted nuthatch / Village dogs / village life / vulture / Wai / Wanderlust / water supplies / water tankers / West Sussex / western Nepal / widower / wild places / wildlife / winter Wheat / Women Travellers / wordsmith / World Environment Day / world's deepest gorge / writers group / writing / writing about writing / writing for children / writing group / year fives / young mother / young motherhood / Your Child Abroad

Dallying in Dingle

Saturday, 11 January 2014

We turned a trip to the Dingle Peninsular into a treasure hunt for archaeological remains by checking out anything marked in red in Gaelic on the 1:50,000 map. Our guidebook told us that clochán means a ‘beehive’ hut – built in the manner of a dry stone wall without mortar, but cleverly shaped so that the stacked stones met at the apex of the roof to make a whether-proof home. We also worked out that a gallán is an undecorated standing stone, but the other unintelligible Gaelic descriptions made it challenging to find sites of significance, especially as we sometimes didn’t know what we were looking for. From a distance some sites looked like nothing more interesting than contemporary dry stone walls. Some turned out to be mere bumps in the landscape: ancient field systems or burial places. Others were superb early Christian carved obelisks or crosses. Bewilderingly the best of the crosses, which was decorated with intriguing Celtic spirals and starred on local post cards, was beyond several barbed wire fences and across a couple of squlechy fields.

In between our quest to find the best 1500-year-old carvings we ended up walking a spectacular craggy coastline whence, invigorated, we watched gannets dive-bombing fish and seals rolling with the swell. Grey smudges on cliff ledges turned out – on examination with binoculars – to be huge bags of fluff-covered blubber: fulmar chicks waiting patiently for their next regurgitated fish meal.

We enjoyed the local fish too and I indulged my bad habit of eavesdropping in pubs. I even heard old jokes making fun – not of Irish naïveté – but of the simplicity of the people of Kerry. And when I first saw a curragh rowed with oars with no blades I did wonder about local inventiveness. Yet even in a seething pub (one of the best was Antarctic explorer Tom Crean’s house in Annascaul) where it was hardly possible to reach the bar and the excellent music made communication difficult, good food arrived in no time and a niche was freed to sit and enjoy seafood chowder or steak sandwich.

After five days exploring the Peninsular we headed for a site at the summit of a hill overlooking Dingle harbour. Here the red Gaelic lettering on our map promised a whole collection of oghaim stones, representing the earliest form of written Irish. The gate into the field bore a notice, ‘Beware of the Bull: visitors enter at their own risk.’ Just as we were deliberating whether this was a real warning or to discourage tourists, a large ginger bull with a ring through his nose appeared and blew disapprovingly at us. We tried another approach. At a second gate a local asked, ‘Do ya know where you’re going?’

‘Yes but we weren’t sure about the bull.’ ‘Mmm well the wind is in our direction so you have the advantage. And maybe this will be the high point of your holiday – when you ran for your lives before a charging bull…’ We risked it. The hilltop was littered with rounded stones. Each was over a metre long and carved with series of parallel lines.

Interesting, but not exactly a sight to die for.

Posted: 11/01/2014 12:01:43 by Global Administrator | with 0 comments
Filed under: celtic, Ireland