...a glimpse into life on Vancouver Island, needle felting, photography, food, gardening, etcetera...etcetera
"Happiness always looks small when you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and at once you learn how big and precious it is." Maxim Gorky
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Growing up in an Canadian Irish family, you pay attention to stories from older relatives and that which is on the news to do with the so called “troubles”. During the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, being the more recent extremely bloody times in Northern Ireland, it is hard to imagine growing up in such violence. The Shankhill / Falls Road area of Belfast has known more than its fair share of turmoil and is still a fortified neighborhood in the city of Belfast. To learn more about this history, dad and I decided to take what is called a Black Cab tour…this is offered by the people who grew up and live in the said neighborhood and who obviously are well informed personally and politically about the past as well as present day goings-ons. Dads mother grew up on the Falls Road side which has become the ‘Catholic’ side. It was another intense day with the ghosts of his past…Protestants and Catholics used to live side by side, but of course because of deep rooted beliefs on both sides too much violence has since separated the two. There is a wall running between the neighborhood which runs for miles and is 25 feet tall in most places. They were originally built as temporary structures but have since become permanent. There are gates in and out of the areas that are locked at 10p.m and reopen for the working day the next morning. I was amazed and frankly a bit shocked to realize how fortified this urban, working class area is and how strange it felt to see the effort put into keeping the ‘peace’. In both areas are huge murals painted on the walls in tribute to fallen comrades and heroes of the causes. I was able to get a few pictures before my damn battery went dead(with no backup nearby) and only ones from the first part of our tour which was the Protestant area of Shankhill Road.
I am an artist trying to make a living doing what I love.Sometimes its photography, sometimes needle felting, sometimes painting. I live on a five acre hobby farm in a rural area 45 minutes from Victoria B.C. I was a letter carrier for Canada Post for 10 years and after too many commutes and a few successful craft fairs, I decided to take the plunge and quit to pursue a life in the "starving artist" category. The holistic success has been tremendous. Living and learning along the way about myself, the world, the business of selling your wares and how it all affects you. Its all good.To have the gift of living where I live, and being able to walk amongst the trees and moss is a joy in my life. You can view some of my creations through my etsy shop at www.farmlass.etsy.com