14 July 2011

Eolaí and his Painting Tour: Week Two

And so the Brother's Odyssey continues.

We left him a week ago on a Kilkenny hillside, surrounded by singing sheep. He rested after that, and painted in the rain and then last Saturday pedalled his way from Carlow through Wicklow into north Wexford, where on Sunday he painted at Tara Hill and greenfly menaced him, doing their best to go for a swim in his tea.

Monday saw him summarising how things had been going thus far, and then set off on his first day of cycling without a host, and him making his way from north of Gorey towards Wexford town. He stopped by the beach at Courttown, as you do, and at an old friend's house, forgetting he was away in Turkey, and again to have lunch by the memorial for those who died in the sinking of the emigrant ship Pomona in 1859. Using Twitter -- that being a big part of the trip, after all -- he spread the word that he was looking for somewhere to stay, and planning on funding the night by selling a painting.
'We've just one room left and it's very small,' said one lady.
'There's only one of me and I'm very small,' he said, drawing her gaze away from his still-ample bolg.

Utterly knackered on Tuesday after the previous day's exploits, he set himself up at Wexford's Crescent Quay to finish the painting he'd been too exhausted to finish the previous day.

Off he went then to Kilmore Quay, fifteen miles or so away to the south and a place I know all too well from studying Ordnance Survey maps and town plans in Leaving Cert geography classes. The brother knows it rather better now, having worked on a couple of paintings there, and done some sketching in his notebook, and admired the Vigil Statue in the Memorial Garden, and gone for a cycle along the south coast in the evening.

Yesterday, he said in the morning, was the nicest day in the history of the Universe. He pedalled on west from Kilmore Quay, stopping to look at the curlews and oystercatchers, before making his way through Wellingtonbridge and on to Arthurstown, taking a ferry from Ballyhack over the estuary of the Three Sisters, the Nore, the Suir, and the Barrow to Passage East.

Finally and into his seventh county -- Waterford -- with knees aflame he made it to Tramore, and on a couple of miles further.

Today's been a Waterford day, cycling through his second Kill village of the trip, and eventually getting him to Dungarvan far later than he'd have wished. I'm fond of Dungarvan, as I'd a lovely family holiday there when I was fourteen or so; I don't remember too much of it, alas, other than the grey house we stayed in, the apple tree in the garden, days out at the beach, looking for cheap books in Dungarvan's shops, watching Zulu in the living room, and a long walk with my Dad on country roads at night where on spotting a white line in the centre of the road I declared with relief that we'd obviously hit civilization at last.

The Brother's knees, as ever on this trip, are killing him. I'm thinking he should get himself some Glucosamine; Sister the Eldest got me on it years ago. My favourite version was Jointace, with cod liver oil being the carrier; I don't know whether it made a real difference in itself or whether it just had a hell of a placebo effect, but it did the job.

Anyway, two weeks down, and seven counties cycled through. Only twenty-five more to go. Keep following him on his blog and especially on Twitter, where his hashtag's #paintingtour. And again, as I've said before, if you think there's a chance he might be passing within twenty miles or so of where you live and you have a bed to offer and fancy a painting, you should let him know. Just send him a message. It's not called social networking for nothing...

No comments: