WEEKS 4 & 5: LONDON, DUBLIN, KERRY, & DUBLIN
phase 1 of the trip was over. i was back in london, bleary-eyed, navigating heathrow to one tube line to another, out to my friend beverly's house (an old classmate from the SVA photo program and former co-worker at NBC) where i would remain rather firmly planted for the next couple of days. i had made grand plans to visit the tate and kew gardens (at the very least), but realized that recouping from the previous 3 weeks of activity was just about all i could hope for. that, and dealing with the reality that my trip was not yet half way over and i was running out of film.
one would think that a city like london would stock fuji 220 film (i shoot medium format on the mamiya 7 II, in case you were wondering.) i started calling camera stores around the city, figuring it wouldn't take more than a call or two to track some down. i called at least 10 stores. then i started calling dublin. then ediburgh. the film i needed was no where to be found within a 200 mile radius, though they would be happy to special order it for me in a week's time and at twice the price. i was about to start pulling my hair out, but instead put in an order to B&H back home in new york, and had it sent to county kerry, ireland, where i would be the following week. it made it there in time, and i smiled to see that it was shipped from the brooklyn navy yards, where i had been regularly riding my bike before leaving for this trip. now if only i can get a VAT refund...
after london i headed for dublin. it was my first time there, and i was lucky enough to have a friend (the lovely and talented bren mcelroy) to stay with, and some friends of friends to meet at project arts centre. (check out the PLAY SAFE show if your in the neighborhood.) and then i was off to county kerry.
the green of countryside and the sudden outbursts of rain were a welcome change after the weeks of african desert. the aforementioned rachel holstead (RH) and her family graciously hosted my visit there. stay tuned for photos from the dingle agricultural festival, one of the highlights of my visit. i was also quite taken by the "film club," which takes place every tuesday night in town. tea and coffee are served, and everyone in the theater seems to know everyone else. each week an arty or otherwise interesting film is introduced by (not to mention selected by) the theater's elderly owner. this particular week he said a few quiet words at the front of the theater in honor of ingmar bergman (who had just passed away) and then pulled out a copy of the new yorker to read a review of the film he would show the following week. as a finishing touch he held up a poster for the film's theatrical release (first upside down, then backwards) before the lights went down.
the week flew by as i got in a combination of much-needed sleep and hiking. i grew used to the fact that there was still some light remaining in the sky at 11pm. then it was back to dublin on august 2nd, which included a repeat visit to project, a first visit to the irish museum of modern art (IMMA), and a stop at cultivate, a sustainable living center with a fantastic selection of books. i wanted at least 4, but restrained myself in light of the fact that i was already traveling over the legal ryan air limit and had already sent two packages home to myself to lighten the load. speaking of flying, please let me know if you're interesting in helping to offset my carbon emissions for this project. i'm taking 14 separate flights on this trip alone -- counterintuitive for environmentally sensitive work to say the least.
off to scotland for a visit to the fortingall yew, the oldest tree in europe.