WHAT: I started noticing them over the summer months – when people decorated their doors with seasonal wreaths, perhaps a way to cheer up the residents within. Now that more restrictions are on the way, it seems appropriate to brighten homes with an autumnal design. For a fresh maximalist approach, Joenna Caffrey’s Fall Fruits Wreath, €85, is available from Joeanna Caffrey Flowers pop-up at Dundrum Town Centre and also at Avoca Ballsbridge.
Or if you prefer a dried wreath, The Crate are delivering nationwide and offer a rust and terracotta palette of beach leaves, bougainvillea, chamomile and rodanthe flowers woven on a rope base priced at €60; www.thecrate.ie.
WHY: This year’s Shine a Light Night will take place tomorrow, Friday October 16, and members of the public are encouraged to sleep out in their gardens or homes to raise vital funds to help alleviate homelessness. It will be chilly, so start prepping! Pictured is the Fox family at their home in Kilternan, Co Dublin who are getting ready for this charity initiative, spearheaded by Focus Ireland and Bord Gáis Energy. The aim is to raise €1.3 to support those experiencing homelessness across Ireland. For further information and to sign up to participate visit shinealight.focusireland.ie.
WHO: How right is Laureate for Irish Fiction, Sebastian Barry, who believes, “Our bookshops are the lighthouses for every writerly boat on the ocean. Without them we cannot set sail. They are the little churches and heroic temples of our endeavours.” Barry is one of the ambassadors supporting Irish Book Week which starts on Saturday until October 24. Fellow authors Cecelia Ahern and Sarah Webb are also encouraging people to choose Irish books, and to shop in their local bookshop, either in-person, over the phone or online. As for Book Week, there are a host of virtual events happening around the country, as well as signed books and limited edition T-shirts available from individual shops. Join in #IrishBookADay daily chat on Twitter.
WHERE: One of my favourite cafes is Coffeewerk + Press on Quay Street in Galway city centre, where its collaboration with local artists is all part of the ambiance. I can’t get there right now but am pleased to hear its new Homebound Collection is available for ordering online. It’s a collaboration with the Copenhagen-based sustainable April Coffee Roasters and Irish artist Enda Burke. Burke explains more about his first series of images called “Homebound with my Parents”: “When the strict Covid-19 measures were introduced in Ireland in March, I decided to take portraits of my parents during lockdown. These images are taken using nostalgia, humour and catholic iconography as a form of escapism from the stress of lockdown.” Burke’s colourful images will be available as part of the “The Homebound Box” which features three filter coffees and a brew guide, now available to purchase online and in store. www.coffeewerkandpress.com
WHEN: Ballina Fringe Festival, in association with Ice House Hotel, is taking place at the moment and finishes on Sunday October 18. As part of the festival, art lovers can enjoy a short documentary film exploring the art collection of the hotel from the comfort of their own homes on Saturday 17 October at 3pm. The half-hour documentary tells the history of the building, (formerly called Iceland Cottage, the home of Moy Fishery managers) which houses works by many of Ireland’s leading artists, including Hughie O’Donoghue, Mick O’Dea, Martin Gale, Charles Tyrell, Michael Farrell and John Devlin among others. Tune in live on the Ballina Fringe Festival Facebook; www.ballinafringefestival.ie.
AND… Now that we’re moving outdoors for socialising, if you want to finesse your barbecue skills, why not sign up for Weber’s Festive Barbecue course? This promises to provide recipes for warming winter dishes as well as demonstrate how to cook the Sunday roast and even the Christmas turkey! During the four-hour course, participants will prepare different dishes as well as mastering “lid-on” barbecue techniques for grilling, roasting, smoking and baking. Using a combination of charcoal and gas barbecues, skills taught include lighting techniques to control temperature and knowing when your food is perfectly cooked. The course is €125, and there are still places left on the November course; www.weber.com.
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