"Queen Maeve" - mixed media on wood, 18" x 6". Inquiries
I'd forgotten how boisterous the pub crowds are on the weekends. As they pass underneath the windows of the flat, all kinds of unruly activities, conversations and occasional shouting matches take place. Free entertainment! And perhaps less sleep than I'd planned. Which means more time for painting.
So, right off the bat, the stack of wood provided by my favorite art enabler (Ann) is calling my name. This queen, named after one of Ireland's famous feisty royals, is the first finished piece. Maeve (also spelled Medb), is known for insisting on equal wealth with her husband, and for starting the Cattle Raid of Cooley after discovering her husband had one stud bull more than she.
Sunday is a late opening day in Listowel, so there was plenty of time to grab coffee with Mary O Flaherty (owner of Chic Boutique) at Lynch's Bakery in the morning. The view from our table (which I like to think of as Mary's annex office) was perfect, wouldn't you say?
The big festivities for day two included the lighting of the Christmas tree in the town square, hours of being a rain-sodden elf, and a little stint involving elves in a dark alley and a clandestine furniture acquisition...unfortunately for you, dear reader, elves are sworn to secrecy on clandestine activities.
The excitement began in the afternoon, where I was the assigned elf at Woulfe's, the local independent book store (read all about them in this article from Writer's Week). It made me think, "hey, this elf gig is pretty fun". So when Olive asked me to elfabetize myself again in the evening, I was delighted.
The crowds gathered in the town square at 5 pm, where a local hero and Dancing With the Stars celebrity was to officially light the tree. Five elves gathered with baskets of treats, happily entertaining the kiddos and posing for photos while everyone waited for the news crew to arrive.
As luck would have it, the crew was delayed, the rain began to fall, and temperatures dropped. But elves are made for frosty work (even in the jingly equivalent of bedroom slippers and layers of tulle) and so we made merry nonetheless.
Apparently, it is best to dance, mug for the cameras and act elfish only if you are NOT from Listowel. Elves, you see, don't get to be anonymous like Peppa Pig (also at the festivities).
The filming was hilarious, as one young kiddo giggled loudly every time they began to roll film. Eventually, he took his giggles to another part of the monorail museum so the crew could wrap up their work. But there is nothing quite like uncontrolled laughter to put everyone in the best of moods. :)
The elf costumes are now hanging up to dry until later this week, when the polar express will again delight and dazzle the young folks of Listowel and surrounding towns. If you're in the area, purchase your tickets here. Santa wants to see YOU!
As you follow along on this Irish adventure and find yourself smitten with Listowel, you might be wondering feverishly how on earth you'll stay connected here once December ends...have no fear! Follow the local happenings (including recent pics of all the fabulous holiday windows) by subscribing to the Listowel Connection.