Another Country Ticked Off

A first, very brief, visit to Ireland for me over the weekend. Gorgeous place. Was in the Burren, on the west coast, which is a place so fantastically landscaped it looks like it belongs in fiction.

Huge expanses of exposed limestone, all corrugated and cracked. Basically looks like a moonscape, only with less dust and a bit more grass (though in some places not much more – the photo above is really a positive oasis of grassiness compared to the really cool bits, but of course I didn’t get a photo of them). And for extra cool points, the whole place is dotted with relics of Stone Age humanity. Like this tomb, which looked precariously balanced to me, but presumably will last a bit longer since it’s made it through from BC times this far:

Away from the limestone, it’s all rolling countryside, verdant fields and wide open shores.

Very nice. Well done, Ireland. Good effort.

Despite the fact I wasn’t paying attention, the world saw fit to continue to happen over the weekend, and indeed happen in ways that manage to be very modern but would also be entirely familiar to our ancestors from a few hundred years ago: the hyper-modern (and rather fine looking) sailing ship Ponant got seized by pirates and last I heard is holed up in a Somali port hiding from the French navy who are in pursuit … Terrible business, I’m sure, but since nobody seems to have got hurt so far, I feel able to admit that my first reaction was something along the lines of: ‘Ha. Cool. Them’s some pirates with taste.’

And in other, marginally less noteworthy news, the US mass market paperback of Winterbirth turned up in the post. It’s published next month, and is a lovely little thing that I am entirely charmed by. Small, but perfectly formed.

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