An interesting week

The last week has been busy with lots of different things happening. Last weekend Darragh and Emma came to visit, and it was lovely to finally have them up, show them Buncrana and show them my house. Darragh even
wrote about it
when he came back, so I’m glad they enjoyed it too.
Harry was three on Monday, so i convinced Nicky to stay an extra day so we could enjoy being in the park with the boys and going to their house for dinner and birthday cake. Harry is so intelligent and funny for his age, and he makes me laugh every time i see him. I am totally crazy about the three boys!
The rest of the week involved the usual joys of work and a couple of walks with O J and Dougal in this really hot weather we’re having. But I did two things this week that i specifically wanted to write about.

On Wednesday morning i went to an art class run for people with disabilities, giving them an opportunity to try out new things that they may not otherwise get a chance to experience. We were taking some people from work and there was a spare place, so the manager asked if I’d go. Sure why Not!
The class took place in a studio in the artist’s house, which was located in a place called Glendoan, which I’d never even heard of before. Its about 20 minutes from Letterkenny, but in the complete middle of nowhere, surrounded by trees and wildlife, with a river nearby. Its the perfect place to create art, and it was a perfect sunny day too.
We explored different smells, plants and herbs, and then learned how to make perfume and lip balm. I made a lemon flavoured lip balm, which was easy, and I’ll hopefully make more at home. While we were working, we could hear the sound of sheep, and children in the distance who were out on a nature walk. At one point we heard a cuckoo, and O.J barked at it for a minute or two. There are two more classes left, when we will have the opportunity to make dream catchers and things from willow and tree bark, and pottery using clay, which i always enjoyed when i was small.

The second interesting and new thing i did happened today. My aunt is a yoga teacher, and she teaches in the
yoga centre
in a fort in one of the nicest areas of Inishowen. She had invited
Jack Harrison
to do a day of yoga with local people. I went with my mum and two aunts and had no idea what to expect, but it was the most relaxing lovely thing i have experienced in a long time.

Jack Harrison is a yoga teacher, singer and folklorist, and has studied in these three areas for the last 30 years. His workshops blend yoga and music with Irish mythology. Born in Dublin and now living in Galway, Jack has worked in many countries, spending a lot of time in Thailand. My aunt first came across him at Electric Picnic of all places!

It was easy to pay attention and enjoy what Jack was teaching us to do because of his relaxed gentle nature. He was down to earth and funny, and great at noticing if i needed help when he was explaining something. He helped everyone at different times, so the fact that i was the only person who doesn’t regularly do yoga as well as being blind didn’t make me feel awkward.
The thing that sold the idea of this yoga day to be instantly was the importance of music. Jack has an amazing strong voice, and when his co-worker Mallaki sang with him, i wasn’t expecting it at all and was completely blown away by how beautiful and perfect their voices sounded together. She has one of the nicest female singing voices I think I’ve ever heard, and they work brilliantly together. They performed music for almost an hour for us when the yoga was finished, and I think i speak for everyone when i say that the time flew and nobody wanted to go home.

I bought one of Jack’s CDs before i left. I would have liked to have talked to him more, particularly about his career and his work in Thailand, but as always during days like this, there’s a lot of people who want to talk, so everybody gets a short chance.

Today was good for me for a couple of reasons. I think there’s absolutely no point in doing the same thing all the time, and its good to try new things, even though the thought of them beforehand can make you unsure. Also, one of the things you are encouraged to do in yoga and that we were reminded of many times today is to be with yourself. Try to let go and not be thinking of other things, like what you’re going to do tomorrow, all the things you need to do next week etc. Just keep your mind focused on yourself at that exact moment, and nothing else. And believe it or not, that’s a really hard thing to do. I found that it took me a long time to switch off and completely relax, but the music definitely helped. It was nice to get the chance to do that. I’m always very busy which is great, and i wouldn’t have it any other way, but I’m constantly thinking of what I’m doing for the week ahead, what days I’m working, what’s happening at the weekend, and all sorts of things. For instance, i know I’m doing something practically every weekend until the middle of September. These might only be small things like babysitting or meeting friends i haven’t seen in a while, but they still take planning and thought, and I’m constantly thinking of dates. My minds like a calendar, and sometimes all that thinking can get exhausting. So what i learned today made a lot of sense.
And right now, I couldn’t be more relaxed if i tried.

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