Showing posts from July, 2008

Shockwave thoughts on fossil fuel

Phew! Just returned from the petrol/gas station after my first diesel fill up costing €90. Last month was my first fill costing over €80 after a few years of fill ups costing around €70. €20 jump, about 22.5% rise in fuel costs within two months is making me think about how to provide future tours with value without raising my prices. The fast thinking solution is to serve future tours more walking and cycling along with much more relaxing still quiet time and far less minibus travel. This will actually move Celtic Ways tours towards what I was intending anyway. The best way to experience Ireland is to focus on a small area and totally experience what surrounds us.  Fortunately, I live in a part of Ireland that is the most abundant with local ancient sacred sites, alive traditions and endless mythological and legendary tales, along with beautiful views. A challenge I have had so far is that visitors, especially from North America, are eager to capture as much of ireland as they ca

Are Web Sites now obsolete?

Last year I filled a lot of my Celtic Ways tours bookings through inquiries through my Celtic Ways web site. This year, I am finding that most inquiries to me start from my blog and social sites placements. Business for me this year is as good, maybe a little better, than last year, but visits to my web site are way, way down. At first, I thought it was my design, my coding for SEO skills or general text wording that was failing but from talking to others and looking at other stats I see there is a fast shift on how we use the internet today. Ex Google Employees in Ireland try something different Yes, some former Google employees in Ireland have set up a competing search engine called Cuil , which interestingly translates from Gaelic into Hazel or Wisdom. Though Irish based this is a world search engine with a mission to be far less discriminating than Google. Though Google may not admit it, these days they seem to be geared to provide search results that may favour the balance of

Share Tea at Father Ted's House

You are now invited to have tea and cake at Father Ted's House, Co. Clare. Phone Cheryl (Mrs Doyle quit!) 087 921 4694, afternoons only.

Travel to Ireland via Knock Airport

I am always encouraging our visitors to start and end their visit to Ireland via our local Knock Airport. No scuffling and delays with security and administration. Always a relaxed arrival and departure. Unfortunately, we still do not have the return of transatlantic flights but we do have a new schedule of excellent inexpensive late afternoon flights from London Gatwick by XL Airlines.  There are excellent budget priced direct flights from all over the world to London Gatwick, a much easier airport to get around than Heathrow, and now you will find most flights connect wonderfully with XL Airlines Gatwick to Knock route, 95 minutes flight. After your restoring vacation here in North and West Ireland you could depart from Knock to Gatwick, if you would like some time in London Bristol, if you would like to go to places like Bath, Avebury and Stonehenge Glasgow, if you would like some time in Scotland Liverpool, a city of culture, Beatles etc. Crete, Bulgaria, and Croatia if you

Sea Shanties Dublin

Just found this out. Unique line up for a concert of sea shanties at Hal Willner's Rogue's Gallery, Dublin tomorrow, Friday 18th Martin Carthy, Lou Reed, Tim Robbins, Shane McGowan and others. I think its a spin off from the Bill Frissell recording from Seattle. Darn, cannot get to it as I am booked on other things.  

The Quest We Seek

Someone forwarded me a link to a Robin Williamson interview in Bath, England, a couple of days ago. He and his wife Bina are performing for a festival there. This reminded me why he is also an inspiration for what I and even what Claire and I do together Quotes ...... "It relates so well to our music which is all about getting away from the mass marketed X Factor of the 21st century and re-engaging with a deeply spiritual lifestyle. Getting to the real essence of being human. It's a celebration of being alive - spiritual but without being sectarian. "We try to work together using the genuine connection of our own marriage to relate to the things we have in common, a poly-cultural thing. It reminds people what they share rather than their differences," I wondered whether these songs and stories were from their own imagination, or all based in myth and legend? "It's a mixture of several things - the mystery and fascination of being here at all. The th

Bringing Celtic Ways to you

How can we be more eco friendly with Celtic Ways? A dilemma I have with our Celtic Ways services is the amount of air travel we encourage as most people who share our tours are from North America and Australia.  I was wondering if it would be more eco friendly to create more shows and bring some Ireland and Celtic Wisdom to the USA and Australia which would mean 2 of us using aeroplanes rather than 100s that come to Ireland to share what we do. Unfortunately, should that become a pattern that spread and caused thousands to stop using aeroplanes there would be an incredible domino effect of mass unemployment not only from reduced airline services but also on the construction side that is forever expanding runways and airport facilities. I often wonder if we could bring back passenger boats as they may be more eco friendly than aircraft and create substantial employment opportunities again in shipbuilding, building new seaports etc.  It would be much easier to build solar panelled bo

Eco Links in Ireland

Just signed up for the Blog It utility on Facebook that is said to distribute a blog to some of my blogging accounts with one click. Here goes. Want to build an eco home with under €20,000 check out this course in November by Cultivate Ireland Amazing people in East Clare teaching ancient skills for today's eco needs. We'll add them to our tour itineraries Aug 8th, 9th, 10th, eco, sustainability, healing woods, great music, family fun, Co. Wexford Learn to build a wind turbine with Hugh Piggott. This year course is near Gort, Co. Clare. €700 for 6 day course, Nomad shelters. We might do this for future events, yurts, tipis, bell tents its all here.

Yeats & Boyle Festivals 2008

Almost time for Yeats Festival Sligo 2008 26 th July until 8 th August this year Wonderful lineup including Dordan, a wonderful all ladies group who have performed a soothing and entrancing fusion of irish and classical music for over 15 years Seamus Heaney, perhaps Ireland’s most famous living poet No Crows, one of our favourite local bands with their stunning fusion of Irish and traditions from around Europe. There’s a lot, lot more to provide a wonderful week for being in Sligo, You can discover more here Claire Roche is not performing a concert in this festival this year, but is providing a performance for the performers and students at their reception gathering on 25 th July. Also you can check out the new No Crows CD here And the Boyle Festival is on too! 25 th July until 2 nd August Phil Coulter and John Carty will be there along with an array of performing arts, including a puppet theatre. No Crows also here at King House on Sunday 27 th of July You can dis

Going On A Social Site Crawl

For years, even before graphical browsers so I’m going back into the 80s, it was forums and newsgroups and then we had MySpace and quickly followed on by Facebook and Bebo, Yahoo grouped services to become Yahoo 360, Google linked all of its services into a singular log on, YouTube for videos, Flickr and Picasa turned photo albums into social sites and dormant sites like Plaxo re-wrote its code to compete with the best including networking us with our other social sites. Regular web sites like Trip Advisor and Info Hub transformed into active Social sites, and many newspaper and television web sites have taken on the social sites formula. Suddenly we were out of the pubs and at home chatting and exchanging with people and even making very important business deals with each other. Now the most successful pubs are those that are part of the virtual social site circuit, as there is still nothing like meeting our “virtual” friends in person. Even successful festivals are emerging from ou

Twittering Twitter

I am enjoying using Twitter . For those of you unfamiliar with Twitter its a quick blogging service where each blog article has a limit of 140 characters, including spaces.  Its a novel idea for us to be able to check out what our pals and network are doing and using it with the discipline of saying what we want to say in a short byte. In recent years short byte communication has become the shangri-la of communication for many. I have concerned opinions about this trend as I already see damage, but I will leave that discussion for another blog another day. Twitter seems to be a service more designed for interactive and volume text messaging. It is certainly a wonderful tool for mobiles/cell phones and has gained wonderful publicity from its use that has saved lives. As a PC/Laptop utility it has some wonderful cross-social-network utilities too. My own Tweets, which is what Twitter short blogs are called, instantly appear on this blog page, and instantly on on other social sites s

Frescos of Clare Island Abbey

One of the most delightful “finds” during our tour visit to Clare Island last Sunday was a remarkable set of ancient 13th or 14th century frescos within the Cistercian Abbey. The abbey is locked up and there are no signs of how to get the key. Asking around I was led to a cottage and the keeper of the key who calls himself Bernie Winters. This is one of the most remarkable ancient collections I have yet seen in Ireland and it is well worth visiting Clare Island just for these.