Here are a few photos from our trip to Great Blasket Island yesterday. Jean will be posting some of hers as well. A few explanations: black-faced sheep are used for meat, not wool. Their wool is too kinky and stiff for comfortable wear. These sheep are boated out to the island to graze for the summer. Blasket islanders’ diet was over half rabbit. These beasts are huge! At least three times the size of a normal north American cottontail. The ferry is really a converted fishing boat. The docks are just concrete slabs in the water to which the boats cannot come. Therefore, we had to jump/step from the dock into a zodiak, which took us to the boat, whereupon we climbed a ladder into the boat. The landing was the reverse. Jean will be posting some interesting pictures of the landings. As I said yesterday the Blasket Islanders were evacuated by the government in the late 50’s due to the cost of maintaining the village out there. The white houses you see in some of the pictures are cottages built by the government about 1910 in an effort to give them something to live in besides the stone cotagges. It is a somber place. The exodus generated a good deal of literature written by islanders. The snippets we’ve read are very poignant.
I finished this painting of the Gallarus Oratory today. Now I’m working on a watercolor of the same image.