So 2023 is halfway over, its longest day has come and gone, and we’re into the second half – but I always think July is the show-off month of the year, with gardens in glorious bloom (pic shows my astilbe at peak fluffiness), mornings still breaking ridiculously early and daylight extending long after dinnertimes, and a wonderful softening in the air, even if the sun seems to have (hopefully temporarily) gone on its holidays. Here in Miltown Malbay, the 51st Willie Clancy summer School has just kicked off, with traditional music fans congregating from all over Ireland and beyond, enjoying daily music classes and workshops, lectures, singsongs, concerts, céilithe and more. It’s lovely to see the buzz around town, so many making the annual pilgrimage to the festival. It’s my first year to be here for it, as I let the house for this week every year since I bought it in 2017, so it’s a novelty to be in residence now and to witness the activity.
On the writing front I’m waiting for the winter/Christmas publication to come back from the copy-editor, when I’ll have two weeks to review and approve or reject the changes she’s made. After that it’s on to the proofreader for the final check. Publication date is October 12, which was Mam and Dad’s wedding day many years ago. Has to be a good omen! The other writing event in July is a workshop I’m attending in another part of West Clare, given by one of my favourite writers, Niall Williams. I’m really looking forward to it, and hoping it’ll give my writing a bit of a new boost.
Hope everyone’s enjoying the summer, and getting out in that softer gentler air.
Look after yourselves,