I have been to Gneeveguilla only once. Entering the village as the light was fading on a lazy Sunday evening, I never expected that it would inspire a streak of inquisitiveness that has led to very many dots of historical information that are now connected in my web of a brain. Neither did I expect that a year later, the visit would prompt a visit to the theatre for a very enjoyable performance.
Leaving my family behind on the Dingle Peninsula to enjoy a warm summer week, I returned to Cork to continue the struggle for the legal tender. I diverted to Gneeveguilla, a detour promted by a previous blog when I learned of a ‘Gneeve’.
The detour was profitable in feeding my hunt for grottos and postboxes before I arrived at the village where I was brought back to many evenings watching television in my youth. I grew up within 15 minute walk of Patrick St yet the stories of The Seanchaí were always watched and enjoyed.
A month later, visiting friends, I spotted The Apprentice on their bookshelf and it went on to my ‘To Find & Buy’ list – within months it was taken off that list, as were two other Éamon Kelly books.
Within the last couple of months, the three books have been read and appreciated. There were not enough flysheets to accommodate the very many notes that I scrawled to remind me as to possible future (or past) connections to add to the web of knowledge. I prefer the flysheets to notes in the margin – time spent finding the page with the margin note has taught me that lesson.
There was quite a number of nuggets about people and places that I had blogged previously – Jerome Connor’s statue that he spotted in Washington; acting in the plays of T.C. Murray and adapted from Seumus O’Kelly; and, the tradition of telling the bees of family news to which Mikel Murfi first introduced me.
My interest in matters relating to Seamus Murphy was also stirred in that I learned that there was a one-man play adapted from his book Stone Mad and that Seamus Murphy believed that the lettering on Nelson’s Column was the best example in Ireland – I sense Donal Fallon’s book moving onto that list.
To Find Out More List
I have enjoyed a pint in The Blue Bull in Sneem. It was Éamon Kelly who educated that The Blue Bull was a Synge Play.
I will need to return to Gneeveguilla to photograph the plaque to Mick Sullivan who was shot by Black & Tans while Éamon Kelly was in the adjacent school – the list of Civil War and War of Independence memorials ever growing.
There are many traditions that intrigued, sounded lovely or just demanded further exploring – families joined in butter; overnight fasting prior to receiving Holy Communion; family owning a church pew so those standing at back did not have funds to purchase and pay rent on pew; stopping the clock upon a death, as seen in Jean deFlorette; and the giving of a disease to another similar to leaving cloth on a rag tree at a Holy Well.
It also introduced words to me, many appear derived for Irish. These will keep me going for some time. The list is below but any education as to ‘gripe’; ‘hoult’; ‘fakah’;or, ‘roiseters’ would be welcome.
A Visit To The Theatre
Yesterday lunchtime was a magnificent hour spent listening, smiling, laughing and remembering.
More than halfway through the show, I was reminded as to one of my flysheet notes in The Journeyman. There had been quite a few different stories. Éamon Kelly in The Journeyman was writing of ‘In My Father’s Time’ – ‘We found that a number of stories told one after the other could sound episodic. There had to be a changing relationship between the pieces, and the links had to be carefully thought out to make seamless the fabric, which we hoped would be colourful and entertaining’.
My flysheet note was that the book, unlike The Apprentice which I found much more interesting, was failing to flow. Fair play to Jack Healy. With the benefit of reflection on my hour or so in the auditorium, the different aspects and stories flowed; and, the knitting of the stories was brilliant and of a manner that brought the occasion up to date.
I had heard or read of a few of the stories but the delivery, verbally and with actions, made them a new experience – I laughed even when I knew the punchline.
It is in the Cork Arts Theatre only until tomorrow night but is intended to travel later in the year.
I do recommend.
Words New To Me
‘The Daniels, the same day, were picking stones in the high field and when the horse butt was full they heeled it into a gripe’ – The Apprentice, p22
‘”Take your shawl and go with him; it will keep the two of ye warm in a gripe”’ – The Apprentice, p134
‘I was seven years old and helping the Daniels with the hay in the leaca field’ – The Apprentice, p23
‘There was more than a tint for all the men of the older generation’ – The Apprentice, p98
‘In no time the dukes were up and fists flew’ – The Apprentice, p114
‘He sat on a mossy bank and thinking it was a bed he took of all his clothes. He folded his uniform and put it as he thought under the bed. Where did he put it but into a gullet that was there.’ – The Apprentice, p132
‘… and she, struggling to free herself said, ‘Bad luck to you! Isn’t it hard up you are for your hoult and the priest coming in the front door!’ – The Apprentice, p188
‘Some of these men were so old and crotchety that it was tightening them to direct the guns into the air.’ – According to Custom, p17
‘When it was dry it was cut with a fakah called a whipsaw into boards and planks…’ – According To Custom, p31
‘As soon ever as the chickens hear the alarm they disappear or freeze under a leaf or a chaney..’ – According To Custom, p 30
‘”Have your manners”, she told him. “Make sure everything is up to the knocker’”’ – According To Custom,p36
‘…with her little keeler of butter on her head.’ – According To Custom, p57
‘And he was right, partly right anyway, for you had fellows there half-plastered and couples mouzing up along the stairs, in the room and in the linny!’ – According To Custom, p67 (guessing that linny is a lean-to)
‘.., a legacy of the high season when the Irish sea restorts were packed with roiseters.’ – The Journeyman, p34
‘Tomorrow I would board the Aer Lingus skyship – St Brendan or St Bridget – and hyse home to Ireland.’ – The Journeyman, p170
‘He was a little in his cups and meant to be provocative.’ – The Journeyman, p199