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Scotland and Northampton UK May 2017 

  

Scotland is Gorgeous!!   What else can we say!  We had a great gig at the Vampos festival in Perth.  In between soundcheck and the gig we took a tour of the Scone Palace.  The artwork was insane!  After the gig we stayed in a gorgeous B&B right on Loch Lintrell. 

 

But first Coffee...

We stayed at The Lodge at Lochside, where Gareth, treated us to an amazing stay, full breakfast and let Anya make a few cups of coffee. We plan on going back next year and hopefully, playing a house concert while were making our trek back to Kirriemuir/Angus.  

 

We then made our pilgrimage to Kirriemiur, a gorgeous little village, home of the author J.M. Barrie, writer of Peter Pan, and original lead singer of AC/DC, Bon Scott.  It's also the village where Lorrie's great grandfather, William Wilkie, emigrated from.  So Lorrie and Anya took a pic in front of the house he used to live in.  Also, a pic of Lorrie's great-grand and family before he emigrated to America.  

Afterwards, we visited Glamis Castle.  Originally, the home of Elizabeth, Queen of England and Queen Mum to the current Queen, the was also the castle Where the Shakespearean Macbeth murder took place.  The castle is just breathtaking, worth a visit.  After the tour, our daughter Anya asked us to do an impromptu photo shoot in front of the castle.  You don't get backdrops like this every day! 

 

 

 


When we got back to Northampton (7 hour drive!) we got the privilege of being on the Bernie Keith Show on the BBC Radio 2, Northampton.  What a hoot he is!  I'm told he's a part time comedian as well, I can believe that!  We laughed, met his 'studio dog' Riley, and gave him some Goo Goo Clusters that we brought from Nashville. Fun times!  

 

 

 

 

Saturday Night up North 

Saturday we had an invite to be on The Saturday Connection radio show with Charlie McGettigan from 10-12.  Due to unfortunate circumstances with us, got a little lost and missed most of the show.  We finally found the radio station.  Made it for the last 15 minutes of the show.  Thankful to Charlie for being so gracious with the Americans!  WE LOVED this show, loved hanging with Charlie.  He really loved our music!  That makes my heart smile!!  We were on the radio show with a lovely poet, Bernadette McCarrick. 'A Swan in Flight'.  It was extraordinary to listen to her poems and then we would explain one of our songs and perform it.  The short time FLEW!  We loved every second.  Can't wait for a 2nd chance to go back and know where the heck we are going, since we will be experienced Ireland travelers and make the entire hour show with Charlie!  
Once our time was us, we chatted with Charlie and Berandette for a few minutes.  Taylor did not join us on this outing, instead he went to the flea market happening right across the street!  So we joined him when we were finished.  We did manage to pick up a Cookie Jar, out of all things for ME!  I collect them.  I can say it made the trip back to the United States and is beautifully displayed in our kitchen!  We paid 2 Euro for it, but it is priceless to me.
Headed up north after to do a gig in Castleblaney.  We made our long drive to Caslteblaney.  On the way up, our good friend and amazing photographer, Bret Pemelton had texted me.  A Instagram friend of his, actually lives outside of Caslteblaney and she wanted to come to our show.  So we were able to meet her and hang with her during our show.  This one was interesting.  It was a Saturday night show with Matt Leavy.  The crowd was ready for Saturday night dancing!  We are NOT that kind of music.  We still had a good time.  After we finished we went back to our rooms.  About 3:00 am we were awakened with 2 very drunk people trying for a 1/2 hour to get in our room.  They were determined that it was their room.  Their key did not work, but they didn't care...Ahhh the fun.  

Friday Night FUN: Ireland 

After Ramsbottoms, we got up and headed to Grange, Sliago.  Set our Sat Nav and headed out to Barry's Public House.  A very cool listening room venue.  We got there and had some time to spare while they were setting up at the venue.  We met  Tommy Rosney, from Highland Radio and he took us to the church (above) where William Butler Yeats 
is buried.  Here is a little info: The famous Irish playwright and poet was born in Dublin in 1865. His father and brother were both painters, and the young W.B. began his artistic career at the Dublin School of Art, but by his early 20s he realized his passion was not for painting but for words. During his early literary career, he was inspired by Irish folklore; later, he became influenced by (and concerned about) politics and government in Ireland. He died in France in 1939 and was originally buried there, but in 1948 his body was exhumed and his remains were buried in the Drumcliff Churchyard in Sligo, where his grandfather had been rector in the 1800s. Yeats had requested that he be buried within sight of Ben Bulben. The inscription on his headstone was written by Yeats himself, and reads: “Cast a cold Eye/On Life, on Death./Horseman, pass by.”
Then we headed back to the venue and did our sound check, went across the street and had a lovely meal.  Back to the venue.  Where we met the lovely Beverley Springer, from Highland Radio.  
People came.  It wasn't a large crowd as the next morning was the 'Darkness into Light' Race.  It is a very cool race for suicide prevention.  Starting at 4.15 am, and crossing the line just as dawn is breaking.  It is an annual 5km walk/run.  Celebrated it's 7th year at 80 venues across Ireland and beyond.  So, many people went to bed early, because they were signed up for the race.
Though it wasn't a huge crowd, it was one of the best crowds!  Check out these pics I "borrowed from Tommy Rosney...    
A very cool story, there was a couple there, and the woman, a nurse, went to nursing school with Beverley.  They hadn't seen each other in like 20 years, until this night.  It was a fun reunion to watch!!!  I was so glad that we were the reason that they both were there.  We and a blast getting to know them after the show.  Speaking of show.  This one was magical!  Oh my gosh, we had an amazing time!  It was one of our favorite shows!  The sad thing is, is that in looking at Facebook, I see that Barry's Public House is permanently closed.  So very sad.  Please someone fill me in on this.  I hope that it will open up again.  

Lost Hollow in Ireland! Day off...Guinness Storehouse.  


Morning started with an Irish breakfast. Took a stroll around town and snapped a few pics and had a blast! 
                           

Then we met Carmel and Cian at the train station for our short ride to Dublin. 
It was our day off and, of course, being in Ireland, for Tommy, we HAD to visit the Guinness Storehouse
Carmel is AMAZING!!!  She is always thinking ahead,  found the best, quickest way for us to get where we need to go. Totally took care of us!
The Guinness Storehouse, what a fascinating place.  We loved learning about the history of Guinness, how they are economically and environmentally conscious and how at one point were the largest employer in Ireland.  Taylor and Tom and I took a course on how to ‘properly pour’ a guinness.  Passed with flying colors and even earned a certificate, and our own pint!  We snapped 
a few pics and had a blast! 









Thanks to Carmel, we had an interview with Lawrence John from the Lawrence John Show. Click here to watch.  It was a awesome interview!  Loved Lawrence!

 Cian, Carmel's son,  was a trooper!  He was fantastic!  No way would ‘The Rowan Factor’ have been so patient on this journey! 
We spent hours at the Guinness Storehouse. 
From there we wanted to check out St James Cathedrial, because after a Guinness of course you want to go to church! 
Seriously, we had been told how beautiful it was and had to go. 
Carmel, again, got a fun ride for all of us to get there.  We took a carriage ride!  Even got Cian on the horse for a photo op!  All Cian wanted was a burger from McDonalds.  

Unfortunately, it was half seven, and the church was closed.  We had a nice walk back to the train station.  
Finally found a McDonalds for Cian, he was starving!!  Ate our food and headed back to the station and back to Malahide.
Day 2...Success!












  

Flight and 1st day in Ireland. 

Sunday Morning, May 3,  we boarded the plane for NYC, connecting to our flight to Dublin.  Tom and Taylor and I were finally on our way to Ireland! Months of planning, coming to fruition!    We had our plan.  Once on the plane in NYC, sleep on the flight.  Tommy was out, no problem sleeping.  I, watched the first of 3 movies, then made myself try to sleep, you know, as well as one can on a plane.  Taylor slept as much has he could.  He is not a good sleeper.  We arrived in Dublin at 6:50 AM.  Rented our car.  (Yes, Tommy drove all over Ireland.)  We included a Sat Nav (GPS).  (On our first trip to England,  years ago, we didn’t rent a Sat Nav. Didn't want to pay the extra money...We went “Old School” and used an actual map!  Yea, we learned from that.  When driving in foreign country…rent a “Sat Nav”!!)  
 
   
Our first day itinerary, drive up North to Shane’s Castle, Antrim,to do a few songs with “Uncle” Hugo Duncan, on his radio show on BBC Ulster. 
We left the airport,  first drove to Malahide, to meet Carmel Manion,  Jump the Moon PR, the amazing woman that put this entire Ireland trip together. 
We met at a quaint little restaurant and had our first full Irish Breakfast., met Carmel and her very cool son Cian.  He is the same age as our son Rowan.We chatted up a storm, she filled us in on our trip details, gave us our paperwork and after breakfast we were on our way!
The drive was a little stressful. 
First of all, Tom had to get used to driving on the opposite side of the road!  That was stressful for Taylor and I!!   I attempted, for over 30 minutes, to put the 'Shanes Castle' address in our Sat Nav.  It would not accept it.  It would immediately recalculate and ONLY want to take us back to the Dublin Airport.  What???  Fortuantely, we had an actual road map of Ireland from the Rental company.  So, once again, we went “Old School” to get to our first gig.
We made it in time, met our friend and fantastic country artist, Justin McGurk
He and Tommy have been ‘cyber’ musician friends.  How amazing is it to meet our cyber friends in person!! I love it!  We had a blast singing for “Uncle” Hugo"s radio show    
He is fantastic.  Quite a character. 
Then we strolled around the festival for a while, walked around the ruins of Shane’s Castle,had a little lunch, then had an interview with Sean Green.  Got back in our car and with our road map, drove back to Malahide. 

It was an awesome, long first day!!!