Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Great Britain

James & Sarah in the Grassmarket-Edinburgh (iphone pic)

So my Dad has taken 5 or so trips over to Great Britain in the last two years. And my brothers have gone on every trip. Typical. Well my lucky card was pulled this time around and I was chosen, along with my husband James. James served a mission in England for 2 years and therefore was well versed with what a 'full english' meant at breakfast time and how to navigate the left side of the road while driving.

My Dad is a photographer. and an artist. and a history buff. Even though I am far from a photographer he got it into his mind that this would be a photography trip. Mostly Landscapes. Big heavy tripods. 2 digital cameras. 1 film camera. James and I each had a big Contax 645 (med format) with a lens by Zeiss and a PhaseOne digital back. We had a splendid time. I even tried Haggis. Got reunited with my sweet cousin Laura and her Fiance Craig McGann in Edinburgh. I left my guitar at home but had plenty of inspiration fill my heart. Here are a few images we left with:

Rape Field near Mull of Galloway
(these flowers are turned into Canola Oil, they
create a stunning contrast to the green pastures found
throughout Galloway)

James Climbing at the Langdale Boulders
(James and I both loved the Langdale Valley in the Lake District)

Lighthouse at the Mull of Galloway
Built by in 1830 by Robert Stevenson, grandfather to
Robert Louis Stevenson.

Cliff by the Mull of Galloway
Southern most tip of Scotland. You can see Ireland
across the water.

Galloway Forrest Park

Galloway (iphone)
This part of Scotland secured it place in my heart forever

The Edinburgh Family:
James, Me, Clark, Laura, Craig

James found a special connection with the St. Giles Cathedral
in Edinburgh. It has some of the most beautiful stained glass windows dated
back to the 19th century.

Laura took us on a walk up Arthur's Seat overlooking

We crossed two mountain passes to enter this valley
where we found the beautiful village of Boot.
We stopped in at the local pub and I had the
best local cheese and apple sandwich ever made.
on earth. ever.
If you are ever in the Lake District, go to Boot!

We had a lovely trip. Spent the last two days in London going to 4 different Museums. My favorite was the old Britain Tate Museum, specifically the J M W Turner paintings.
I had about 28 breakdown over missing juniper. only 4 involved crawling into the fetal position.
it is possible that trying to travel the 22 hour journey home with juniper could have caused the same amount of breakdowns in the fetal position.

working on songwriting. more on that to come.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Texas, Texas in the summertime

i was in texas last week playing a few shows. the weather was a dream. wildflowers following you everywhere you went. saw my good friends cary cooper and tom prasada-rao in dallas. played paul barker's house show in austin and was surprised by a few friends who had driven so far to be there. i even got to play a sunday fireside to 200 kids and have a chance to share my story. got to visit my lovely family who lives in austin. and did i tell you that i am making a short film about the making of this album and what my life looks like? well, i am. my amazingly talented friend jed wells flew to austin to take some awesome footage. if you want a copy of this dvd...just pre-order the album here!

being in texas makes me think of kerrville.
last year i was a finalist in the kerrville folk festival newfolk contest
i had dreamed of being part of that festival since i was in 8th grade.
my grandparents live near kerrville on the guadelupe family
spent part of our summers on that river. staying up late. falling in love.
going to rodeos. fishing. swimming. and singing. always singing and guitars.

my cousin fran and my sister kate and i would lead the family in singing cover songs late into the night. brown eyed girl. closer to fine. helplessly hoping. angel from montgomery. the nightly sing alongs fueled the fire in my heart. they made me feel a kind of joy you can't take too lightly in this life. the way i felt on the guadelupe river, singing good songs with the harmony of my family filling in the gaps, i remember that i wanted to feel that again. honestly, i feel more joy in singing good songs with people i care about, than i feel in most other areas of my life. i take that joy seriously. i want more of it. to me it feels like a confirmation of what i am supposed to be doing on this earth.

we are entering the summer months again. we are entering the season where on the guadelupe river a 12 year old can feel a hint of a really big dream and believe that someday it will come true.
so did i tell you that i am going to england and scotland? yep, it's true, i leave tomorrow.
not a music trip, but i plan to be inspired while visiting the lake district where many writers have been inspired...
including william wordsworth who wrote 'i wondered lonely as a cloud...'
and beatrix potter had the her charming books take place in the lake district...