For the start of 2012, I was awarded a residency at the Cill Rialaig Project in a remote part of Co. Kerry called Ballinskelligs. I came down with the intention of spending a few weeks in seclusion writing trying to bring together the concerto into a more final version.
Finding the place is no walk in the park! Even with maps, arriving in Ballinskelligs at 5pm
when its dark is just a bad idea. I must have spent an hour or two going up various little bóithrín’s and constantly wondering if the deep dark on the left or right was the abyss of the edge of the cliff. I had visited the artist village over the summer while I was attending the Charlie Chaplin Film Festival in nearby Waterville, but my “turn right before the pier and take the left after that” memory of the directions from last time really were not working in the poring rain and pitch black.
I then had a crazy Kerryman in welly’s take advantage of the lost dublin car, by jumping out in front of me and muttering something in indistinguishable English, that I fairly clearly interpreted as asking for a lift to the pub. Even after I told him that the car was so full I wasn’t sure if I could hold him, he opened the passenger door and I had to shout at him to try and stop him from sitting in on top of food, electronics, pillows and clothes!
After making space, I took his directions and figured I’d ask if he new where I was going to, and surprisingly he answered and I wished him well at the pub and headed of waiting to see what his guidance brought. It brought me to the Cill Rialaig Project shop….Again……ugh….
One final try, and I was left with only one turn that I hadn’t tried yet in combination, and low and behold it turned out to be the correct one! Now the next issue after driving up to the cottage was finding the key, supposedly left hanging for me….of course I never figured it might be hanging on the OTHER side of the house by the OTHER door when I spent another tiring hour looking for it outside….
Anyway, a long tiring journey over, I got myself in, unpacked and ready to go. Except, I had not figured on the cold, and boy, was that first night cold. I should have taken the hint when I saw the hot water bottle beside the kettle in the kitchen! I used it every night since!
After getting settled in, I decided to order some turf for the fire so that I would escape another freezing night at the cottage! Joe said it would be there at 6pm or so, and that made me very happy indeed! More to follow….