Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Harvest and Autumn

I've been having some fantastic walks and blackberry foraging expeditions with my friend Patricia.
We discovered a lovely little patch, very close to where both of us live, and it has been so much fun to pick the berries, chat, then go home and make jam and crumbles!

Even a handful of berries livens up an apple crumble! I use eating apples, then it needs very little sugar.

The same friend invited me to a Hallowe'en "Samhain" (Irish word for Hallowe'en) party. I wasn't sure if it would be my kind of thing, all I knew was that there would be a bonfire and that it was alcohol-free. I decided to give it a go, as everyone else had plans, so a party was definitely better than sitting home alone!

It was about 40 minutes drive from Dublin, down winding country roads, but we got there just fine.
A beautiful sweeping driveway led to a huge, well-lit house, and as we parked, people were assembling and greeting each other. We registered and paid, then went and had a cuppa.

We were invited to write out something we'd like to let go of, wrap it around a twig and offer it up to the fire. That's my twig in the picture above!
About 8.30, everyone was invited outside for the bonfire ceremony, and my word, what a bonfire! I've never seen one so big, or so well built. It lit first go, and flames licked the sides and in seconds it was a well established and warm fire.

 We all put our little twigs on the fire, stood and chatted for a while, and listened to some drumming.

Then there was dancing in a huge room in the house, and a lovely looking butternut squash curry with jasmin rice. Oh, and chocolate brownies! And more tea!

The dancing was electric! It was hard to believe that it was an alcohol free scene, and there were people of all ages. We really enjoyed dancing to the rock beat, and when we got tired there were some bean bags to relax on. I took the above photo from my bean bag! The muslin with autumn leaves was a very effective decoration.
We explored the house a little too: it's used as a Shamanic healing centre, and they had massages and other things on offer in the beautiful rooms.

Just like Cinderella, we had to leave the ball at 12.00, as Patricia had to collect her daughter and friends from a disco.
We certainly enjoyed the night; I was so glad I had accepted the invitation!