Friday, 10 July 2020

Daily photos no. 71: King Puck returns

Yesterday's trip to then Sceiligs came before the 2013 Puck Fair in Killorglin - I'd been several times by this point and knew what photographic opportunities presented themselves. This time I tried a little street photography, helped by a little behind-the-scenes access and constrained by my no-flash preference. It worked: the burger van photo won the Guardian's monthly photo prize, went on display for a year at Guardian Towers and was runner-up in the annual competition. The printed version has pride of place on my kitchen wall - the only one of mine I have on display.

Thursday, 9 July 2020

Daily photos no. 70: adrift

Before it became famous as a location for Star Wars, Sceilig Mhichíl and Sceilig Bheag were simply inhospitable rocks 10km off the Irish coast, one populated by seabirds and seals, the other somehow sustaining generations of Irish monks in beehive cells that have withstood the Irish weather for a thousand years. It must have been a grim existence, between hunger, rain, Viking raids and the sheer drop that awaited.

I went out there from the lovely Port Magee on a wet, stormy day - even the skipper muttered that perhaps we shouldn't have set out, but it was one of the most magical experiences of my life. How the monks got out there in rowing boats is a wonder - even by fishing smack it was a rocky, long, scary experience. I'd love to go back on a sunny day. It must be a hugely different experience, especially now the prices have doubled and everyone else is wearing a toga and toting a light-sabre.

Pretty much how the monks would have got there

The graveyard

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

Daily Photos no. 69: Angry Birds

For some reason I found myself at something that wasn't quite a zoo and wasn't quite a sanctuary - more a Borstal for Delinquent Animals. All the rejects from various zoos gathered together like the start of an Aardman film, ready to bust out or take on a suicidal mission in return for a full pardon. I don't know what they'd done - pecked out children's tender little eyes, monkeying around, looked at each others' birds - but here they were, in the animal slammer behind a garden centre, doing a life stretch.

'…with some fava beans and a nice Chianti'. 

'I've seen things, man, some real dark things'