I am an Australian now living in Ireland. I have been here since May 2014 and have based myself in Clare in the country’s west as I set out on a musical journey. I am passionate about traditional music and in particular the fiddle. I am here to learn, listen and absorb. To immerse myself in the music scene and at the same time to better understand Irish culture. I don’t know how long this journey will take or even whether I will ever go home, only time will tell.
First a bit about me. I have spent a lifetime as a geologist working in the mining and exploration industries mainly in Australia but also in Africa. It has been a fulfilling career and with my former wife I have raised a family, two boys, now finding their way in the world. My world came crashing down in the middle of 2013 when I was made redundant at the same time as my marriage broke down. I fell into a deep funk as I struggled to accept the reality that at 61 I was not going to find another job in my field. After the wash-up of the financial settlement, I decided to make some changes. I had always had a dream – to live in Ireland and learn to play the fiddle properly. It was however always one of those dreams that you think couldn’t possibly come true. I had been playing since the mid-70s but never achieved anything like the standard I knew I was capable of and for many years the fiddle stayed under the bed as life intervened.
Losing my job and my marriage was a big change but once I thought about it it was also my big chance. I did the sums, I could access my retirement savings and if I lived modestly could make it work.
So here I am. This blog will chronicle my adventures. It will not be a diary but it is where I will drop my thoughts or my stories that will come from my adventures in this amazing place. It will have a strong musical focus as that is what I came here for but I will also be exploring my other interest, photography, in particular music and musicians and the land. But really there are no rules there – anything that takes my fancy. The blog started as simply a way to keep people informed back home as to what I am doing but in the process I have realised that what I have to say and show may be of interest to others and particularly here in Ireland. So if you are interested in traditional music, in travel, in Ireland, in photography or just in stories about people, please follow me and if you like what I am doing then share.