Thursday, July 29, 2010

Caught between a rock and a hard place!

From Westport, Mayo we made it to the outskirts of Galway, Oh lord the fields of Athenry. We had a fantastic time staying with friends who have a lovely stud farm...hang on, Susi’s just lost the use of her good arm re-opening a bottle of wine. Only one tooth missing though, so where were we. We were staying in the Gatehouse. Sounds cosy but in around Michael Collins’ time the Gatehouse was occupied by the steward who collected the taxes. He was highly disliked, shot and killed. The whole area has been beset by tragedies, which I spent two exhausting nights clearing. It was a very active time, energetically, endless presences making themselves known. Even throwing our vast tupperware container off the table. Don’t believe the hype, by the way, tupperware does break! I went quietly, if rather urgently, back to saying 'this is neither good nor bad this is just happening'. We thought we might get a break the second night, as we’d had a great supper, chats and watched Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe. Infact, new, even more disturbing, information arose. It took literally hours to bring everything back into a sufficient state of stillness for me to nod off without being rudely awoken, moments later!

The highlight was an amazing ride. Many many miles. We suspect that our hosts hadn’t done that hack since the motorway was built so we found ourselves having to take on an aerial view and cross it. Rosie lost half her body weight in fear. Her racing name is Grainne Whale - please excuse spelling - and she was bred at this stud!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 7,500 ish: County Mayo!

Set off for Mayo - the foot of Croagh Patrick to be exact, in readiness for the pilgrimage weekend. Left the horses there and went to Oughty, near Killary Harbour to stay with Sophia half way up a mountain. We climbed at nightfall and fell down many ditches and into streams and wondered if we’d bonded sufficiently with the local inhabitants, mainly cows. Had an amazing supper which got even better with a courgette and cumin pancake experiment. We went back to the mountain to try a little collecting the next morning. We got a few pennies towards the cause. Literally a few pennies, most of which I’d put in myself to show people where it could go! It rained solidly and very few people got the hang of it. I think because they were heaven-bound.

Sophia had made a great sign but we thought afterwards this might have been better...
“When you get to the top of the mountain, to those pearly gates, God won’t ask you what you saved. All he’ll want to know is what you gave!!”

Some classic characters there doing a penance in bare feet to the top. We actually heard there was 40 injuries so I probably should have been doing some space clearing instead. I have been more on the case with the Galway Races, hoping to clear any chance of accidents and incidents.

I tried to go for a ride from Croag Patrick stables but hadn’t bargained on Windy's separation anxiety. He whinnied and snorted and stamped his feet the whole way past the pilgrims and I slightly wished I hadn’t got Please Support Animal Welfare written on my back as my trusty steed was so obviously upset and felt it was blatantly my fault! I did make it to the beach eventually but by then I felt ready to go home again. The silver strand I had in mind manifested perfectly into a nice contained sand arena where we did some exemplary maneuvers.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sligo riders were tentatively happy to be reminded that the personality of one's horse is a direct reflection of oneself!

Before we left the north, Susi had to take a horse to Antrim to have an xray to confirm tendon damage. Antrim is on the way to Derry, Londonderry as its officially known, and it has the Giant’s Causeway and other beautiful scenery there. As with the rest of the North...and possibly the whole world!.. its mad busy with people being busy!

Eventually, we left Caledon in Tyrone. Just on our way Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, we encountered 3 road blocks. Think there was someone they were looking for but luckily not us. We were waved through by very smiley policemen which was possibly even more unnerving!

Fermanagh is the home of the lakes. The lorry part was a grim trip with me in the back trying to hold a space for the horses and Susi with white knuckles on the steering wheel concentrating and negotiating the roads.We'd made more room for the horses in the back but, for that leg, they had too much room and were falling about the place. I seriously recommend anyone with horses travel in the back with them for a stretch as its actually a bit of a nightmare to witness and motivates whole new considerations!

In Sligo, Windy and Rosie were looked after by Markree Castle, home of the great Cooper family, who have several very loved animals. We ourselves moved on to Mary Lang’s who bred Hedge Hunter. His brother, little Monty almost came for a hack with us the next day but suddenly there were other jobs. Mary is a nurse and lives with her brilliant parents. Another highlight was the pizza and the full bed and breakfast treatment...wonderful.

I did a talk at the riding club after watching a lesson at McGarry's and we received donations for the cause. Really friendly, interested people and made me feel like joining the Riding Club at Nuenna, Freshford, again as soon as I get home. Their venue in Sligo though was literally chockablock with Dolmens, more than anywhere else in Ireland. The Riding Club is the oldest one in the country too. We were given a pretty magical guided tour at dusk to see Queen Maeve’s tomb on top of her own mountain. She’s buried standing up, I gather, ready to do battle again if necessary. This is also how Susi, Windy and Rosie sleep for the same reason! We were also shown amazing beaches where people are washed away every 10 minutes because the tide rises so fast. I cleared all the riding club horses and the mares and foals and the cob who also had the demise of a young girl on his conscience. Plenty of geopathic stress there and illness but balanced well will love and friendship.

Next morning we went for a ride around the estate and woods, ancient trails and trees and good for the spirits. Windy dealt with gates and was a model example as usual. . . although I am a bit biased.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Day 18 - Gratitude and perseverance

There are so many people to thank already for their generosity, welcome and support.

Firstly sponsorhip to get going!
Thanks to Ivan Powell and Sinead Keaskin at the Kilkenny Academy of Dance for getting us on the road.

Emotional Support
Maximum love and appreciation to Michael Rice and Mags Denmeade for ringing in at crucial moments when I was losing the will to go on and making me see the funny and sunny side of things, respectively!

No foot no horse
Thanks to James Carroll, fantastic farrier, for getting Windy's hooves back to symmetry over the last couple of years. Also for pre-shaping a 2nd set of shoes for the trip and pins for slippery terrain - a very generous donation. Don't even get me started on Ivan for helping me keep Windy in one piece, James and Kate Powell for the lovely grazing and slopes for practicing our cross country canter on. Much appreciation to Lady Jane Alexander for casting her expert iridology eye over Rosie and Windy yesterday. There was not a stress line in sight. It was unheard of, she said, to find an eye so clear! All their organs are in perfect order. On her advice, we've got cortaflex for them both now to boost the joints in their hind quarters. We have had some gorgeous rides around these village roads.

Home away from home
Lots of love and gratitude to everyone who has invited us to stay. Its been amazing. We're also looking forward to meeting everyone at the Sligo Riding Club tomorrow. In the hope of donations and also because I always do, we will be clearing all the horses we meet. I hear there will also be a beloved great dane. The next day we'll hopefully get to brilliant Sophia in Westport. She has got us official authorization to fundraise all day Saturday in the carpark at the foot of Crogh Patrick...this might seem like a remote spot but there are to be 20,000 people there this weekend for a pilgrimage. We just might do well...or find God..or both!

Thanks to Redmills for 4 bags of Simply Natural, thanks to Thoroughbred Remedies for the little treats for the next quiz, fly fringes, pens etc. Thanks for the great books as well. The Book Thief is turning out to be interesting. But there better be a happy ending! Thanks to KSPCA's Anton too for the lend of the video camera. I must look up the generous camera shop who provided it too.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Paypal Arrangements for Donations on line

At last the charity account has been attached to a paypal button so people don't have to go in to a permanent tsb bank to make a donation. It can be done with any credit card now through the website. So, on the website there is an 'Animal Welfare' Page. The Charity Account 'The Susi Allen Roadtrip for Animal Welfare' Paypal Button and info is there. We have a target of a thousand euro a week! Please ask any animal lovers you know to put a couple of euro in. We've had a great response all round including other countries. Off to Fermanagh, Leitrim, or Donegal tomorrow or all of them! we've rearranged the partitions for the horses and have only a major leak in the drawing room to contend with now...I use the term loosely!

Day 17: Poetry and planning our next move

When we did the quiz in Wicklow, some people waited outside for an extra ten minutes because they listened at the door and thought I was reciting poetry!!

I took that as a bit of a compliment so I'll just put a bit of my all time favourite poem here. Its from Derek Walcott's 'Omeros' which is a re-write of Homer's 'The Odyssey' but set in Jamaica with Hector and Achilles as fishermen and Helen of Troy as a village girl. What a classic! And he shows he's also in to stillness underlying every journey which is pretty relevant too!

You aint been nowhere, Seven Seas said,
You have seen nothing no matter how far
you may have travelled. Cities with
shadowy spires stitched on a screen -

which the beak of a swift has ravelled and unravelled;
You have learnt no more than
if you stood on that beach watching
the unthreading foam you watched as a youth,

except your skill with one oar; You hear the
salt speech that your father once heard; One
island, and one truth. Your wanderer is a
phantom from the boy's shore.

Mark you, he does not go; he sends his narrator.
He plays tricks with time because there are two
journeys in every odyssey, one on worried water,

the other crouched and motionless, without noise.
For both, the 'I' is a mast; A desk is a raft for one,
foaming with paper, and dipping the beak -

of a pen in its foam, while an actual craft
carries the other to cities where people speak a
different language, or look at him differently,

while the sun rises from the other direction with
its unsettling shadows. But the right journey
is motionless; As the sea moves around an island

that appears to be moving, love moves around the
heart - with encircling salt, and the slow travelling
hand knows it returns to the port from which it must start.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Lots of old ruins that were beautiful and could be again

It is a balancing act coming to clear the energy of a place. I have to hope a moment arises when a person can reconnect with their sense of humour and self awareness. Then it can be totally great and funny and much appreciated. I love that part...brief though it is initially! We always go into some deep subjects about the inhabitants, flora and fauna and animals. They all bring up a serious social commentary, such as history of abuse or environmental deterioration or something. This can be a bit tiring because people want to pour over the details one more time. I don't! I want to acknowledge things and move on. It can also take its toll on one's nervous system, spending so much time in amongst chaos and trying to suggest an underlying moment of calm. Luckily going riding returns one instantaneously to full capacity!

We're really acknowledging broad social problems as much as personal ones. Its all one and the same I reckon. For example, I have witnessed recently how trapped people feel. Trapped in to their housing arrangements and limited in their financial ability to make any changes for themselves or the bigger picture. Caring for animals is the one issue we're obviously noticing most...and it doesn't really seem to go smoothly for anyone! There seems to be a shortage of one or other aspect, be it knowledge, having time, strength, routine, money, veterinary care, farriers, dentists, healing, interest, love, grooming, exercise, training, turn out, nutrition, water, supplements. If we can pay attention to all these things, then humanity'll get on a roll, I'm sure of it. I'm also learning how to bring up difficult topics honestly, without emotional charge and without judgement. So this trip has already shifted a fear of causing argy bargy (that's a technical term!) and we're still on speaking terms with everyone. Susi pointed out though that we have caused a whirlwind wherever we go. We seem to be literally blown in to places and out of them again. She has turned into a ninja since i last wrote. You never hear her cross the floor and she's the only one with enough spring to get up to the mezzanine level in the lorry. Past life training no doubt.

In the clearings, embedded memories are being relieved of the families, animals, houses, fields and surrounding areas. All sorts of amazing things fall into place and take shape ... over the next few lifetimes ... I mean, hopefully sooner like over the next few weeks and months! Some animals may pass on naturally, some will get better. People seem to have lots of wonderful open communication with each other at last and adventures abound. I'm trying to wait for my body and mind to process all the information I pick up, before writing the days’ account, but I am trying to write something every day so there is a continuity to the trip. So I apologize when I'm off on an incomprehensible tangent! Wishing you all much love and clarity x

Friday, July 16, 2010

3rd Day Across The Border

So the order of events is:
Stay present

We have connected with some very brilliant and decent people already. They have really shown me the spectrum of experience people live with. Some in great hardship and some millionaires. Some millionaires in fact who fear great hardship and some hard up people with large-scale dreams fit for a king! There’s been some with great influence and some with great commitment. Lots with skills and qualities! Every last one was fraught though. Unexpectedly, our fresh perspective seems to be literally brand new to most. So it was worth coming on the trip just to let people know how to breathe again, move on, make changes and resonate ok with this crazy ride we call life.

I am trying to emphasize that there is literally nothing outside ourselves to blame. No danger outside ourselves to fear. There is also nothing to hate or even judge as bad. It is all just residual bad feeling. It is surfacing, nothing more. As the queen of positive thinking, I am also able to confirm that this bad feeling is in fact a blessing. It is not supposed to be overwhelming and lead to crisis. We are supposed to recognize these moments as wonderful opportunities for healing!!

It seems that it doesn’t naturally occur to people to spot fear as it arises in oneself. They rush straight to focussing on what the perceived danger is. It becomes attached to a story line in one’s own life, like fear of rejection or not having enough money or getting ill and then its chewed over like a pitbull with a ragdoll. No one sees their ideas for what they are. Thoughts and fears and horrors and cruelty and differences are just persistent waves breaking on the shore. We just have to let them pull out again as they naturally do. People have to stop fighting. Its actually harder to stop fighting for good or righteous causes than just fighting to let off steam. The good causes and the great reasons and the deep feelings evoked are all relevant but our job as human beings is not to fight and hold things up but, instead, total surrender is called for and total forgiveness.

Spending this little bit of time listening to myself amongst these new people has shown me many things about my own shadowy parameters too. Frustration, claustrophobia, indecisiveness, fear of violence and defensiveness to name but a few. I am coming to love these energies in myself. Just like every one else, I’m a bit of a classic combination that’s all. As we go along, I have been daring people to acknowledge themselves in this way. A right old mix of frequencies, all perfectly ok and no longer giving one more air time in one’s mind than others.

One might have thought that people would want peace and to be able to support themselves emotionally and mentally but sadly not. For most, personal pain is embedded in so many layers of apparently valid tragic information that it has become the very fabric of their being. It has become essentially a true story or a self fulfilling prophecy. This hidden pain has been mirrored back so consistently in one’s experience that we fully believe the pain isn’t our own but someone else’s! The starving young and other creatures of the earth, the terrible abuse etc etc. We each have only to deal with ourselves and all this experience will change. We have been lucky on this trip to get a chance to spend two nights/three days ish in each place, clearing, sharing ideas and really holding a space for the penny to drop and clarity or optimism or calm to shine through. The idea being, blame no one. Not even yourself. Learn how to let things go. This is done most simply I find by affirming to oneself...This is not yours or mine this just stuff bandying around. Every turbulence whatever size is just a mere wrinkle in an otherwise perfect squiggle... That last one’s my favourite. It is the real beauty of an energetic universe, its completely fluid, silken and oceanic. Nothing is really stuck or damaged. So don’t fall for the illusion.

We are working in the North this week. With visits to each county, we have done already the three specific clearings - returning the structure of the land from chaos to clarity, from conflict to peace and from lack to abundance - for County Down and County Armagh. We are also keen to work with individuals and businesses on environmental and health concerns on the off chance we’ll earn either some diesel money or some donations for the cause. We have seen some amazing work but all of them need money and people to offer long term homes for the animals. Its also occurred to us that we are promoting a holistic way of life and are hoping that each family might sponsor or take on one animal. These are two things I’ve had on my vision board all year: ‘€10,000 trip for animal welfare’ and ‘someone to love every person and every animal.’ Make it so No.1...Well that’s what Captain Picard says to his computer on the starship enterprise so it might just work for us too!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Louth, Monaghan, Tyrone

We were on our way to Carlingford Lough but we are now in Caledon, Co. Tyrone. We passed through Slane, which is a beautiful place but it houses 'one of the most haunted houses in Ireland'. We cleared it, metaphysically and earth energy-wise but don't know the people who live there. We can only think of sticking a note through their door saying 'go ahead, enjoy your house, you can head upstairs now'

The horses are in acres of pasture with ancient trees and loads of grass but Windy seems cross and fragile so I'm glad we're here for a good few days recuperation. We're staying with an iridologist and equine masseur.

Mega clearing is booked for the Art Gallery, Castlewellan on Thursday at 2pm if anyone is near at hand x

Sunday, July 11, 2010

We've cleared all 60,000 from the Battle of the Boyne, are we still on target?

We are aligning ourselves with Newgrange, Co Meath. It was built 5000 years ago when the planet Nibiru was last in between us and the sun. The next time the planets will be in that order will be 2012. We can feel a fantastic pulse emanating from it. If people aren't resonating well though, what happens in the presence of power is fear, chaos and violence. That is what this wonderful sanctuary is up against.. There have been countless break-ins, threats, thefts, abuse and a sense of vulnerability for people and animals around the area (a mere 600 metres as the crow flies from the monument). Yesterday I was clearing solidly from 2pm to 1am. Many vortecies and stress. We've been hoping for fabulous donations so who knows what's in store.

At the Donard long distance race Susi did in preparation for the trip, someone gave her the dubious title of the galloping granny. I'm hoping we can come up with something more disinguished. She has taken to calling me the happy medium. Or asking when I'm whiter than usual, if we have got caught up in a re-make of The Others!

On the relationship front, we've encountered some resistance. One lady announced that even if she was approached by 'Jesus Christ, fresh off the cross, (she'd) run a mile with her arthritic leg in the opposite direction' So much for love springing eternal.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Day Six: Welfare Aware

Well the most amusing thing I've heard recently was a woman bemoaning her last boyfriend. "He just couldn't seem to take me out for a pint without trying to sell me to someone". Sort of heartwarming but I can see why she gave him the slip. We caught a photo of the most dashing man we've seen so far but I gather we're not to lash up photos on the computer without permission. So he'll be forever mine, if in a rather transient way.

Today was a great day even though it rained gently the whole time. I cleared every horse and pony I could find, all the staff too and the two alsations. By lunch time I was asleep in the back of the lorry but the yard was vibrant. Susi managed to keep going about five more minutes. They had a huge foal born there on Sunday who is the personification of vital energy and then there's some more fragile ones. Whenever I asked about one, they'd say in a low tone of horror, that's another 'Kilkenny' one. It was a bit like being English all over again. Wherever we come from, seems to have caused most of the problems and then we roll up to answer for them!

The IHWT has a new video that was made for them for free featuring lots of great riders who pause mid pirouette and say 'here, we're welfare aware' or something like that and it promotes a new ethical practice standard for yards. The project is called Welfare Aware which has a great ring to it I thought. They were delighted with the fundraising night we did yesterday and our lorry and pleased to have us there to do some healing. For each, I cleared entity attachments, spirits around them, traumatic memories, pain and alignment. Seemed like a coherent set to try if anyone reading this has friends or pets that are bogged down or freaked to high heaven. There's an empty house up there too that is no doubt the main drain on the property. Dereliction is always a bit of a vortex.

Over breakfast we helped celebrate the Woodenbridge Hotel's 400 years as an inn. We did it our way by helping the hundreds of guests that never really left move on! Susi is great at identifying and witnessing specific eras and illness. So I can confirm, most of the living dead had died of smallpox or in battle. No one dismembered, just parts that no longer worked. Gruesome! But they've all gone to the light now, thank goodness. This afternoon though we went for a ride along the tiny high roads looking out over this wooded valley. This is the best air we've ever breathed x

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day five: The first quiz

Thanks to good friend Alan Keiskin who did the questions. One table lost the will to live, they were so obscure! One complimented us and said they were frequent quiz goers and the questions were top notch and a third were pleasantly surprised and had inadvertently known all the answers and won the prize. We made €271.71 and handed it straight over to the IHWT - irish horse welfare trust. People were so generous, even with the raffle for which we had rather meagre prizes. It felt good to make some money for someone. We were expecting 3 people and got 6 teams!

At last we have beds and a hot shower and breakfast served in the morning. We can't wait. Susi's delirious from driving the lorry for 3 hours and then having to score the quiz. I keep wishing Ivan was here to double check Windy. He rubbed his back leg in the lorry. The horses are up in the yard with Moscow Flyer and some other distinguished retired race horses. We are down in the Woodenbridge Hotel. They gave us 4 bottles of wine to give the winning team and this lovely room for 2 nights.

The Trust have lent us their jeep to get up and down. I have a full day of clearing tomorrow and Susi has work all day there also, tidying up the foals and other rescued animals. I have already done some healing with two horses recovered from that guy who just got sentenced to two years. I felt pretty unwell afterwards but was bound to as that was a long bleak situation.

The last photos were of Michael Lecombre and their classic place in Laois. These ones are of Mag's yurt in beautiful Kildare.

Day Four: The Grand Canal, Naas, Edenderry, New York, Athens and the Camino Walk through the Pyrennes

We stayed with Mag McCormack of Kinelagh, Kildare / Offaly border who is an energy clearer too. We spent the day exploring places near and far. The worst scene she'd ever happened upon was lions in the centre of Athens in a tiny concrete pen. The best place to spend time was identified as New York - lucky we can astral travel as well as go in person!

We hit on the idea of going collecting in Naas but we found that lots of other people had had this idea as well - people hoping to sign you up for Concern (which I luckily already am) and the Lung Foundation too. We raised not a cent and after a little while we took a coffee break.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day Three: The move

It was a huge relief to get to Allenwood. We had paused to do a little fundraising at Kildare Village and found Windy really tired in the back of the lorry. We didn't bother getting out obviously then and I travelled in the horse's quarters for the rest of the journey.

I realized that Rosie still associated the lorry with going racing and all in all there was still some clearing to do for the lorry! I got on with that while hanging on to the partition.

We are staying on the Grand Canal, from cowboy country to the Siberian Steps - as we spent the evening in Mag's wonderful yurt. Lattice walls and arched doors and low seats, its an epic creation and no sign of a house for miles.

Susi reminded me Kildare is a particularly challenged county, environment-wise. Its got tin mines and quarries and the turf cutting. The earth is effectively left wide open here and there's a lot of ravagement. So that'll be our clearing for the day. A heal the earth day. Clearing Laois fully yesterday almost killed us off so we're trying to pace ourselves. We're getting better and better at letting things go.

Windy is back to full spirit now he's back on terra firma. . . not sure how that's spelt but not solid ground is the thing.

Sorry about last night's 'Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy' comment if you read it. It was a slightly amusing caption on a poster I thought, especially for a rescue centre.
Off fundraising in Naas and Newbridge today. I wonder how that'll go.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Day Two:

Windy and Rosie have settled in. They were like old friends dozing nose to nose outside the Tower Inn in Timahoe this evening. Over a bottle of Heineken, we were introduced to three beautiful dogs, rescued via Brenda Stone in Inistoige! One very small Jack Russel type, one very friendly, but distinguished looking, Mastiff meets Rotweiller and an old Collie. Everyone on the green loved the horses.

It was our second outing of the day, so we are totally wrecked . . . I had no sleep at all last night and Susi had maybe even less. We are not experienced campers, Susi was freezing in her wing of the lorry and I was so claustrophobic in my pen...I mean bed! that I had to break out at about 3am. Tonight's looking a lot more promising.

We cleared the whole family here in the end over various cups of coffee. The recession has even reached this wonderful place and stress had been catching up. What is really represented here is following your dreams and creating one's own little piece of heaven. We watched Michael training a youngster, using his quiet natural horsemanship method. He also came and tuned in to our two. Its so sunny and mellow and inspiring here, none of us want to leave and have almost already forgotten why we need to!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Day One:Do you remember the good old days before the ghost town?

We are in a stunning cowboy ghost town, complete with saloon, wigwams, jail and miles of horizon in every sort of red. All the horses are paint horses, pintos and apaloosas resting after a hundred gathered here yesterday for a trail day of western riding. I can't believe we've made it. Where else in the world would someone just make you a cup of tea and give you the keys to the whole village and go off?

County Kilkenny
To start as we mean to go on, we filmed a horse / owner combination to demonstrate how a horse should be kept. Rex and Ivan. If I can edit snippets as we go along, I will put them up. In short: groom them every day, if only to pay attention to changes in their condition and to notice their mood and if they have got any scratches. Make sure they have access to loads of clean water and that you start every ride with at least ten minutes in walk to let them stretch. It is really the message we want to spread about animals; If you have one, learn about them and closely observe them.

We are attempting to acknowledge every aspect of the scene as we go along. The first thing we saw after we left Susi's was a rabbit - at the Bright Eyes stage of its life. So our first clearing was animals killed on the road. It is important not to be traumatized by everything or we'll just create more of it. I got clearing while Susi drove. She asked if we could draw the line at clearing bugs on the windscreen or we'd never get a break. A compromise was reached that we'd only do a bit for them every day!

County Carlow
I cleared Carlow. Always the first thing is to clear our own relationship to a place. There was initial resistance but we got there. Then we did the 'clarity, peace, abundance and love' set. Carlow was a bit short of love, it turned out, but its the first county I've done in one go so we can only see what happens now. It could become the next San Francisco.

County Portlaoise
Huge thanks to Michael and Esther Lecombrey for this magical place they've created in Timahoe. Also Siobhan at Glasrai Goodies in Gowran, who provided the most supreme evening meal for us today. Thanks to everyone who came to the party on Friday. It was a brilliant, high energy send off and made me not want to leave such good friends and times. Thanks to JP for playing and Mags and Fintan and some classic french pianists - don't ask how they got there!

The clearings done here have been 4 people, one place, 12 horses, a Siberian Husky puppy, Scout, and Blackie a very old husky- 19 years old. We will cover some serious ground tomorrow so I must sleep now.

Recommended happinesses: Coming here, going to see Twilight Eclipse, Cappuccinos on Gowran Green, listening to songs that say what you mean to say but can't quite think of how, live!