Adding to the Sketchbook

How dark the heather is in County Donegal. As a county I don’t know it well at all - having been schooled in Co Derry and grown up in Co Down. I sang a song in praise of Donegal in the Féis Ceol in Newcastle Co Down when I was 10 and won third prize. I still have the small medal. I was singing that song again as I drove around to the Atlantic shore early this Spring, to the pub, to the Museum in Letterkenny where the exhibition was about the emigration of women from Donegal to the Americas.

Visually the place is littered with ugly white houses, newly built without a plan at all, on every conceivable hilltop and scattered over every vista. How come we cannot keep sight of any good things in Ireland, and treasure them? We are a nation deprived in the past of instant gratification and hungry, still hungry for it. It squeezes my heart to be here, and I cannot really tell why that is. Maybe I just want to have a chance to start again, and….. with the potential of all the same good ingredients…. play it all so much better.