|James Hobbs, Twelve Bens, Connemara, Ireland|
We're back from a week in Ireland – last visited by us in the 1980s before the onset of daughters. We headed to the west coast, stayed a few days in Connemara and another few days on the Aran Islands. As part of my research into a new book (full details in time), I took a few bottles of ink (just black, blue and green) and a few brushes, but for all of Ireland's greenness, it was the greys that got me. And the skies, too: always heavy with clouds, always threatening, but rarely delivering.
|James Hobbs, Gurteen Beach, County Galway|
In Galway we met for tea with urban sketcher Róisín Curé, who lives down the coast and has a fantastic plot to cover. Galway is a livelier place than when we were last there – it is bidding to become European Capital of Culture in 2020. Perhaps that exposure would widen its appeal to UK visitors. If you heard a tourist's voice it would mostly likely have a French, Italian or American accent.
|James Hobbs, Connemara coast|
What remains entirely unchanged, though, is the friendliness of Ireland. There's a welcome everywhere you go. We won't wait 30 years before we go again.
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