Some more high notes in the life of an Irish singer
IT’S a tough job being the singer in an Irish band, and after another round of gigs in the English Lake District I wonder how I cope at all, especially as one of the concerts was in a brewery.
But you know the old saying: someone has to do it.
Glossop’s own, the Curragh Sons, have been performing in Cumbria for nearly 30 years, playing countless weddings, festivals and fundraisers.
This happy accident, pure serendipity, has also provided me with a multitude of amazing wildlife encounters, from red squirrels at dawn, to roaring stags at dusk, and from peregrines at noon to badgers at midnight.
Last weekend was no different, and as we headed for the Kirkstone Pass at noon, after our first gig at the King’s Arms in Hawkshead, you would not have wanted to be anywhere else in the world; glorious blue skies, clear heads and the hills highlighted with a dusting of snow, accentuating the gullies and crags in the most amazing way.
The picture (right) is un-retouched, no messing, no Photoshop, and was taken with my phone. What you see is what you got, stunning.
As for my encounters, they happened as follows, proving, as always, that whether you get up early or go out late, be sure to do it, leave the television behind, and the wildlife will reward your efforts.
Red squirrels have crossed my path many times. However, being face-to-face halfway up a tree was a one-off and I’m not sure who was more surprised but, I laughed, the squirrel did a double-take, and shot off before I could say Beatrix Potter.
The red deer stag, as Landseer painted the beast, was definitely a monarch, and the sighting, or should I say ‘sounding’, occurred on a narrow road in the Grizedale Forest.
There was a loud roar to my right, and a stag hurtled down the slope, bashing through the bracken, and bouncing over the road before disappearing into the fading light.
Truth is, the badger encounter happened in similar circumstances, but in slow motion as Old Brock meandered across the moonlit woodland floor, chunnering to himself without a care in the world. ‘Go on lad’, I remember thinking.
Not so sedate the peregrine, which I watched homing in on a pigeon at over 100mph on the Wrynose Pass. It was like an explosion in a mattress factory as the sky was filled with down feathers.
If readers would like to sample the delights of the Curragh Sons in the Lakes, we are playing Hawkshead Brewery, Staveley, on July 8, from 8.30pm.
The Laughing Badger Gallery, 99 Platt Street, Padfield, Glossop
●● The Kirkstone Pass between Windermere and Ullswater in the Lake District