2020 – A POTTED PERSONAL REVIEW IN PHOTOS

2020 for me started in the beautiful state of Mizoram, in North East India, where I spent Christmas and New Year. Here is the city of Aizawl, built on mountain peaks, and with wonderful sunsets.

Back home to the Dingle Penninsula, in the South West of Ireland, to enjoy, endure, survive the winter storms and the powerful, magnetic and awe inspiring Atlantic Ocean.

And experience the beautiful beach walks!

But….who could have thought…the dreadful Covid-19 came along and threw us all sideways – or worse, in some cases.

I had planned a trip to Italy in March, but had to cancel. Social life was on hold for most people.

Luckily, I was still able to walk and capture the beautiful coastal images – for a while longer, before restrictions became stricter.

More time to study the birds in my garden, through the window.

As a little experiment I recorded myself playing flute with the bird song in the garden. If the image looks upside down to you, it will correct itself when you click it.

Local sunset, below.

Lockdown to a greater or lesser extend affected all of us, world over. Our individual experience of the world became very small, as we were obliged to reduce our social contacts and curtail travel. Many shops and pubs were closed. My regular trad Irish music sessions in local pubs, where I joined in with my flute were cancelled, indefinitely!

For a time my photography focused on my immediate area, and the garden. These sunsets from around the house and very local area take on a caged appearance, as indeed we were caged, all of us, in some measure.

I am very lucky that the local area has many beautiful places for walking. beaches were closed for some weeks, but cliff walks were possible.

My birthday celebration was a cliff walk, with friends. It was lovely.

Much garden navel gazing was undertaken. I never took so many photos of flowers and garden creatures before.

I never before appreciated how beautiful apple blossom can be.

Wildflowers became objects of scrutiny and much enjoyment too.

So many bees in the garden!

– And I discovered just how photogenic the humble daisies can be.

Thistles too!

I am so thankful for my good luck in being able to take many coastal walks.

Seaside and flowers together here. Lovely sea pinks make a wonderful show in early summer.

Beaches finally opened again, in June, I think. It’s all a bit blurred in my memory now, as Covid-19 figures rose and fell and lockdowns went in and out of different levels of severity.

Tourists returned in full force to the Dingle area in the summer, much to the relief of those whose livlihoods depend on tourism.

Sunsets around my area continue to fascinate, less cage-like with the summer foliage.

Lovely coastal and mountain walks. These photos were from different sides of Mount Brandon.

I updated my photos of Dingle Harbour, and took several shots around the town of Dingle.

The swallows raised two families in my shed. These first day out fledgling swallows only had a couple of weeks to grow strong before their long flight to South Africa. I wonder if they made it.

Some apple trees did bear fruit, though hundreds of babies were blown off the trees in summer storms before they were ready to eat. This is the entire harvest from several young trees.

Exploring beyond my own area, as easing of Covid restrictions permitted, I visited Killarney, South Kerry, West Cork and more.

The Gap of Dunloe, near Killarney.

On Cape Clear Island, above, off the coast of West Cork.

The small mainland harbour, Baltimore, County Cork, below.

Back on local Ventry Beach, below.

In October, a cruel hand was served on Dingle. After a several months of Covid-19 related hardships, Fungie, the globally famous Dingle Dolphin disappeared, without trace. Fungie, a wild dolphin has lived in Dingle Harbour of his own free will for 37 years. He was probably about 45 years old. Missed by many, whether they made a fortune running Fungie tourist trips, or whether they were just people who loved to see and play with the dolphin. For sure, Dingle will be a different place without him. This was a major event here. It’s not easy to explain how this wild, free dolphin touched the hearts of Dingle people and many visitors from around the world.

I have no photos of Fungie, preferring to leave that to the Fungiephiles who had developed considerable expertise. Here is a video from Jeannine Masset and Rudi Schamhardt.

More local captures below.

Fungie is gone, but the Dingle Peninsula remains the same beautiful place.

An autumn forest walk, above, in Glanteenassig Wood, on the Dingle Peninsula.

December shots from Mount Eagle, below.

The Blasket Islands, above.


Snow on Mount Brandon, shot from the garden, heralding the coming of Christmas 2020

On Christmas Day on a local Ballyferriter beach, Béal Bán, some brave swimmers rushed into the cold water, with an air temperature of about 8 degrees C. I did not partake, I prefer to stick to the heated pool these days. But it was fun to be there and support them.

Recent Storm Bella, seemed to last for about three days.

I completed a number of paintings this year, and failed to complete several more – so far. I’ve dicovered that I can be more motivated in that field when I have more activity in general in my life. The slower pace of things this year seemed to diminish my motivation in the more demanding creative side.

Now we are in a 3rd wave of the Corona Virus, with a new more transmissable variant of the virus in the country. In fact a case was discovered in Dingle recently. We have a high level lockdown again, going even stricter after today, but vaccines have arrived in the country; I for one will not hesitate to take advantage when it’s my turn.

So now 2021 approaches. May you all be lucky enough to only have contact with those people who are honest, compassionate and kind, who treat you as they would wish to be treated, and I wish the best of health and happiness to you all. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

DINGLE TOWN 2

 

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This is my second post showing photos of the colourful town of Dingle, on the Dingle Peninsula, in the South West of Ireland.

 

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As you can see, this is very much a tourist town, on the coast of the Dingle Peninsula, which is one of the most beautiful scenic places in Ireland, or even the world.  It’s a small town, heavily dependant on tourism for its economic health.  It was a very poor area before the first big movie was made here – Ryan’s Daughter, in 1970.  This not only brought temporary but lucrative jobs for many local people, but the attention of the world was brought to the magnificence of this area.  That was the beginning of tourism  here.  Several more movies followed and the Dingle Peninsula has continued to attract the attention of the world.

 

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Lots of seafood just opposite the harbour – as you might expect.

 

 

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All kind of adventures, climbing walls, sailing,  kayaking, rowing traditional currachs, surfing, kite surfing, swimming with the dolphin…… and everything else on land and sea.

 

 

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This dolphin sculpture has a particular significance in Dingle. it represents Fungie, the Dingle Dolphin, who has been residing in Dingle waters since 1983, when he was about eight years old. Fungie is a very popular and much loved dolphin, who has made millionaires out of a lot of people.  Hard to imagine how one wild dolphin living freely here can have had such an impact on the local economy.  But just do the sums –  all the boat trips packed with people every day to see the dolphin for several months a year.  Imagine how many people come here just to see the dolphin. Amazing that so many people experience such joy just to see Fungie, and there are many real Fungiephiles who just want to spend time with him, and compete with others for time and for that ‘special relationship’ with him.

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It’s the little backstreets that can be most interesting.

 

 

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I don’t know the name of the artist who did these murals, or I would gladly mention it. But if I find out I will include the name here.

 

 

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The place is saturated with artists, to be honest.

 

 

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The above paintings have been here near the harbour since 2010.  I’m a little surprised they are still here. The  artists are Carol Cronin (sorry it’s cropped) Deirdre McKenna, myself third from left and Martine Moriarty. There are others not seen here. These paintings were commisioned by the Kerry County Council.

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A closer view of my 8 ft x 4 ft painting of fishing paraphernalia, nets and chains etc., being just next to the fishing boat dock.

 

 

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Now this is a really creative use of colours! They would be even more vibrant if the sun had been shining on them, but they were on the shady side.  It must be noted that as Covid-19 restrictions are now just easing, most of these shops and businesses haven’t been operational for a number of months and some of them have not been painted up to their normal standard. But these two above are just stunning.

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Covid flexibility! Restaurants have been serving more take-away food and drink.

 

 

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Dingle Pottery. Some of the most colourful pottery you can find is here.  Obviously still closed on this day.

 

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The Díseart.  This was the old Presentation Convent School, now an adult arts and education centre, with links to a US university, (see below).

 

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The photos below are somewhat abstract. They are views in shop and pub windows, which show a kind of fusion of the actual images of the window displays with the reflections of the buildings opposite, and even myself, the photographer.

 

Dingle Town MacCarthy's Pub

 

 

 

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Dingle Town, Fadó Antique Shop

 

 

 

Dingle Town, Fadó Antique Shop

 

 

 

Dingle Town

 

 

 

Dingle Town

Thanks for visiting. I have some photos of the harbour and marina area to show next time.  Please come back.

There are several photos of Dingle and the surrounding area on my website. I hope you will take a look.

https://www.helene-brennan.com/c25–photos-of-dingle-peninsula