Saturday 7th may
This day last week I drove to Dunlaoire to get the ferry. I arrived there at 7.30 am and was very surprised at how little traffic there was. When I drove up to the Stena line gates everything was locked and there was not a soul in sight. I knew something had to be wrong. Surely I was not the only person in Ireland getting the 8.20 ferry to Holyhead? I drove around the port a bit but couldn’t find anyone to ask. Eventually a man and a dog appeared and I found out that Dunlaoire hasn’t been used for about two years and I should have been in Dublin port at the other side of the bay….
For someone with my lack of sense of direction getting around to the other side of the bay seemed like a worse nightmare than the one where I had stupidly turned up at the wrong port.
Actually there was so little traffic that it wasn’t too bad but by the time I got there it was 8.10 and the gates had already closed. When I complained to the blank faced young man at the desk that it was Dunlaoire I googled etc he pointed to my printed off ticket which clearly said Dublin Port.. There isn’t much you can say to that. But he did transfer my ticket to the next sailing – at 3.10 in the afternoon. At least he didn’t charge me the full fee again..for which I was very grateful.
So seven hours to wait- when I drove back to the ferry again at lunchtime I had got my hair cut and visited my cousins in Sandymount and had a walk on the beach there- the first two long overdue.
It was 9 o clock at night when I finally arrived in Corris. I am doing a residency in Stiwdio Maelor in Corris for the month of May. Corris is a lovely old quarry village, just at the bottom of the Welsh National park, set in a valley between the mountains, houses close together up and down the hill.
Veronica Calarco, an artist who I’d met previously when I was involved in a collaborative Welsh- Irish print project, bought an old shop and house and set it up as an artist’s residency. There is space for two artists and one writer and Veronica herself and a local artist also have studios in the house. I have a bedroom and large studio /writing room and it’s such a joy to be here with nothing to think of only writing and walking and maybe doing the odd sketch when time allows.
I’ve been doing short walks around the village and along one of the riverbeds in between writing times. It’s so lovely and quiet, just the sound of the birds and the water from the river flowing down the slopes, lots of lambs in the field by the river, the mountains rising up behind and in front, the mist over the pine trees, changing colours on the hills- a lot of rain but also two lovely days of sun.
There’s the pub next door with lots of friendly locals and tourists and they don’t mind you sitting there for an hour or two using the wifi. On the other side there’s Andy and Adams café which has the best scones ever and is also a small shop and they don’t mind you using the WiFi and sitting around for ages either.
It’s not that I want to be on the internet all day- but there is quite a bit of research to do for the novel I’m writing, which has slowed my progress considerably up to now. I’ve written over 8000 words this week as well as revising and planning so I’m really happy with that. I hope to be at 50, 000 words by the end of tomorrow- much less progress that I hoped when I started off in January but that is the nature of the beast.
Now I am going to head to the café and upload this and some images and hopefully will make more regular updates when time allows. I’ve never been away for so much dedicated writing time before but I can certainly recommend it..
Now its Sunday because for some reason the website wouldn’t open yesterday- Today was a day of sunshine and work and a lot of reading by the river in the afternoon. Bliss..