A Weekend of Joy in Carlingford

People from around 13 different countries converged upon the little village of Carlingford in the Cooley Mountains.....

View of Carlingford


The weather had been good all week yet with customary Irish fatalism we weren't expecting it to last. However, upon arrival we were greeted by beautiful blue skies which really showed the mountain of Sliabh Foy behind the village in its best light. Carlingford was a medieval settlement and from the amount of old buildings around I'd say there was a fair bit of keeping up with the Joneses in the Middle Ages, with people trying to outdo their neighbours in building bigger castles...

A great dinner supervised by the able Ciara on Saturday evening put everyone in fine fettle for the evening. We had meditation singing and an Irish boys play with hordes of extras, stuntmen, and multimillion dollar special effects (well, er, some car headlights and some bicycle lights strapped onto a samurai sword actually). Usually people's heads are nodding towards the end of the night because they've travelled such a long distance, but in this case everyone arose from meditation full of beans and before long there were games of basketball afoot and frisbees being thrown in the warm night air...

Hiyamallar shoots

And they didn't leave their energy there. Sunday morning's 2-mile race through the narrow streets of Carlingford saw at least three personal bests set - the most impressive being Colm who (probably as a result of his six week stint on the European leg of the World Harmony Run) was able to break the 13-minute barrier AND the 12-minute barrier on his way to a time of 11:51 !

A full brekkie and then time for games - two boys teams and two girls teams were picked and proceeded to scramble their way around a variety of activities - getting through through a menu of horseshoe throwing, egg and spoon, the poc fada (striking a ball the furthest distance with an Irish hurling stick), tracing the outline of the mythical Brown Bull of Cooley on the ground with a rope while blindfolded, 3 legged race, hitting cans off a perch with tennis balls, raising a brick by winding an arrached rope around a broom handle, tug of war and throwing basketballs from the free throw line in the space of less than 2 hours.

3 legged race
Brick winding

Even a brief intrusion by two fractious local chieftains intent on doing no good failed to deter them...

Charge of the Light Brigade
Horseshoes

Afterwards came noon meditation and a packed lunch - some had to leave early, others split into groups to go walking around the mountains or swimming by the sea, or settle for a nice cappucino somewhere. Tarit invited me for a run up the mountains (I was told to prepare for my funeral by certain knowledgeable fellow Edinburgh centre members) which, sorry to disappoint them, I enjoyed immensely. I'm told there was a particularly hard fought game of football between the boys.

Thanks all who came for making it a great weekend and I hope we can have you all over here in the not too distant future....

King Johns Castle