“It’s my dream to own a kettle like that!” says Mary-Jane, her tiny frame tilted back to take in the beauty of our family-size kettle which hangs from the pod’s rear hatch. Its brown enamel surface is hand-painted with bright bargee swirls and flowers and it’s slightly scuffed.
We are bursting to say “here you are, Mary –Jane please take it as a gift from us; for hasn’t she just given us an envelope with money in it, to repay our visit just as if we are her own children or grandchildren? But we don’t and the kettle stays in our care, ‘cos without it who knows how can we boil water for our visitors’ tea?
Back on the road we decide we will gift the kettle, but later on when we don’t need it so badly. So when we get back to England it is carefully wrapped and sent over to its new owner, Mary-Jane of Tawny McKelly. So that if you pass by her cottage today or tomorrow asking for “a little water from the tap” just as we did, to quench your cyclers’ thirst, Mary -Jane will say, “You can, Aye, so you can surely, surely.” And then she’ll say, “Are you needin’ a cuppa tea o’ anything?” And when you say, “Yes that would be grand!” She’ll invite you in through the front door and you’ll l sit on the sofa by her dresser, decked with birthday cards and the radio still playing.
“It’s a long way you’ve come isn’t it?” she’ll say and “D’you want a chicken sandwich d’you?”
Check out our 100% linen silk-screen printed tea towels! We had 100 printed for backers’ rewards for our successful Kickstarter campaign as well as to sell during our recent Radio Dreaming Pod tour and here online.
A DREAMING PLACE online store is in the works, but in the meantime, if you are interested in purchasing tea towels, contact us and we will email you the details.
Today Monday April 29th we are visiting the Organic Centre at Rossinver to get a tour and speak with the staff about their take on off-gridding. No promises… but we should be around.
On Sunday we turned up at the Organic Centre a day early and invited, Lynne who was cooking lunch for participants on the centre’s”Reed-Bed” course to chat with us in our wee recording booth pod. In the 80’s Lynne and her partner who knew nothing about horses or life on the road, built a gypsy caravan, bought a horse and off they went, to travel the byways of Ireland. We were interested to hear her story and her reflections about her previous life style, particularly because one of our missions on this trip is to record conversations and sounds for our final Radio Dreaming episode on off-grid dreams and self sufficiency. She regales her kids with stories from that hard but rewarding period of her life when many lessons were learnt and the importance of warmth water and shelter were all important.
This week we started off the Radio Dreaming Pod Tour in Cavan town outside the Courthouse, town centre carpark and Bullock Art Centre.
Many of you stopped by on the way out of court to work or the library to admire the pod, climb aboard the pod for a listen or to respond to some of our Place-dreamer props. We heard some wonderful and inspiring stories about boglands,wild food, and hair rinses. And some of you stopped by for tea with us. Up on the hill traveler children came out to look at our wee caravan and ask for CDs of our episodes for their grannys and grandads. After an interview with local Cavan TV, we were invited on to a boat rally. Tea and sandwiches and many stories later later we finished up at Sally’s house to rescue a drowned boat from the lake!
Creative ideas can be illusive. If you approach them too quickly or too directly, they may turn tail and be lost. But like wild creatures they can be lured from their hideouts if conditions are favorable, perhaps at a particular time of day by a special treat. A ritual pot of tea, a piece of music, the sound of a waterfall or a beautiful pattern.
It may be enough to go outdoors and sit on a tree stump to allow the ideas to flow. It’s exciting to consider some of the forms and patterns we observe outdoors have companion patterns inside our bodies;, the swirl on our finger tips, the filigree of veins and in the very patterns of our lives and relationships.
So enjoy your shower or walk the edge of the lough and let the bubbles rise.
These Dreaming Place audio footprints were recorded at the watery edge of Lough McNean, Marble Arch Caves Geopark.
I saw EELS in my minds eye while dreaming on the shores of our first campsite on the shores of Lough MacNean. I actually saw EELS and I saw TURTLES and I recorded what I had seen on our Dreaming Place Dream cloud data sheets.
That day I decided we should fish for EELS. I am vegetarian, but I’d like to fish for eels, just to trap’em, look at ’em, say hello and put ’em back. Id’ like to try Humane eel fishing. Claire was very enthusiastic when I told her, for she has fished for eels in New Zealand and it was fun. New Zealand eels she told me are absolutely enormous. They’re ” As fat as your arm” over there, she said.
To trap EELS like this we’d need a horses head like in ” The Tin Drum” or at least some tuna and a sock. But oh I don’t think that would be fun and a sock with a dead mouse in it is about as far as we’d like to take this… so we went for a cycle ride hoping to find a dead mouse that had died ” a natural death”!
Anyway, the eel fishing stayed as a vision like the one I made in our dream cloud.
I also drew the TURTLES I’d dreamed on another dreaming place data sheet. Claire has a special relationship with turtles, so I showed her my dreaming place postcard straight away. When we were at college Claire brought a small stone turtle with her to give her inspiration. Claire moves very fast and does a lot, so her turtle inspires her to take life at a slower pace. In her home state of New Mexico there has been a tradition of eating the turtles as they gather in the wetlands.
” TURTLE TIME / TEA TIME”
Turtles would have been “tea” over many thousands of years for the “original peoples” of the MAC Geopark home waters and the other myriad loughs of counties Cavan and Fermanagh. Turtles might also have provided a tasty treat for otters, lynx, seals, golden eagles,bears, wolves, fox, fish and badgers.
Making and sharing tea is an important tradition in many parts of the world. And Tea culture is very much alive both at Marble Arch Caves Geopark and in our own arts practice. Tea has even taken protagonism in our Exchange project. And hey wasn’t Asterix’s magic potion TEA?
Teapots are still ubiquitous inhabitants of cottages, palaces, boats and other homes around the world. Tea is an offering of hospitality and good cheer. It is fit for the gods.
Tea leaves are also used as an oracle; to tell the future. On the Crom estate in Marble Arch Caves Geopark there lives an old lady who practices the art of reading tea leaves.
Listen here about this 90 year old fortune teller.
In own projects tea is always drunk a lot (redbush mostly). Likewise in the territories of Marble Arch Caves Geopark tea is drunk heartily on both sides of the now invisible border. What stories does our lovely second hand shop Teapot have to tell?
And the potency of Tea? We think some of the potency resides in the water used to make tea. This golden water from a spring already looks like tea. Water straight from the earth is called “Slap Water” in Northern Ireland, used to wash dirt-covered potatoes just harvested on the way in to the house (described to us in a conversation with a local farmer).
And of course TEA is a strongly uniting factor. Many activities in Eire and Northern Ireland happen around mugs of steaming tea. Forget Irish Whisky and Guinness! Tea gives rise to good chat and hell, it gives rise to some proper good craic.
This magic frog prince tea cup came from Germany. It changed raspberries into tea when ordinary tea was accidentally left behind on our Exchange project field visit.
Out in the wild kettles can always be filled from waterfalls, so long as the water is boiled for 3 minutes.
Being an artist is thirsty work sand there is nothing like a cuppa to turn a new campsite into home. We usually fill our thermos with hotwater for later a comforting cuppa in the day. Our essential tea kit as illustrated below consists of:- bikes for fetching water, table for brewing, kettle, soya milk, insulated cup, camping stove. How much regalia. And a bowl for washing teacups.
We were invited into this narrow boat for tea at Derryvore jetty near Belturbet, Eire. Find out more about this craft, its people and animals via The puzzler blog.
Oh and this is the kettle that lives in MacGrath’s Cottage, at Killykeegan nature reserve, on Marlbank Scenic loop close to Marble Arch Caves. It is a small visitor centre with a hearth and a turf fire. Bit dusty but sure it will still make a good cuppa And in the rain there is nothing so good as a cuppa tea.
DREAMING PLACE is an experimental project by Anna Keleher (Devon) and Claire Coté (New Mexico), investigating dúlra – ecosystem; dúchas– heritage; aisling – dream. Based on an ancient Celtic tradition in which the land remembers everything, the project explores “dreams of place” and how lands speak through dreamers.
I believe the work you do really helps people to value what is important about their place in space – keep it up.
-Dave Scott, Gortatole Activity Centre Facilitator, N. Ireland
I'm loving the sounds, smells, textures, and virtual visuals of Radio Dreaming! It's a 'mini-vacation'!!
-Gale Picard Dorion, NM
A wonderful project, reconnecting to and listening to inner/outer Nature is crucial in this time of ecological and ethical crisis.
-Colin Donoghue, NY
I just listened to Radio Dreaming and I enjoyed it so much. It was really beautiful and soothing to listen to because I could sense how "in the moment" you guys were through your voices. I need more stuff like that in my life; Inspiring and interesting and a bit higher up on the cultural ladder that my usual forms of entertainment.
-Jessica Scott, OR