I spent Saturday evening at the fantastic Laurel Villa Townhouse in Magherafelt for a poetry reading from three poets, two from Australia and one from America. Jeffrey Thompson is from Maine and is currently spending some time in Belfast as a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar in The Heaney Centre. Petra White and Paul Hetherington are Australian poets representing Australia on a tour of Ireland. There was a packed house for the reading and I really enjoyed hearing some new(to me) poets, all three with very different styles and subject matter; and all extremely talented.
Afterwards we had supper, including some luscious pavlova and several glasses of wine. I had a great time sitting out on the patio in the lovely warm evening, chatting and hearing about the Australian poetry scene from Paul who also tried to convince me me that really, red backed spiders were not a reason for me to stay away from Australia. I wasn't entirely convinced.
Sunday morning involved more food, all home made and delicious.
It's a wonderful place to stay, and Eugene and Gerardine are great hosts. To round off an excellent 24 hours, Eugene gave me a piece of bog oak to take home with me, thus fulfilling a long held wish of mine to possess a piece of this black wood.