Friday 29 January 2016

'365' Project

Village web page advertising the 365 Project
From Monday (1st Feb) for the next 12 months, Liz has a 'new baby'. This baby is named Lisacul 365 (Lisacul is the name of our nearby village) and the mission is to promote the village and its environs. The plan is to get anyone who lives here or visits, to take photographs within the 18 townlands so that we can save one taken each day for all of the 365 (actually 366 as this is a Leap Year) days between 1st Feb 2016 and 31st Jan 2017.

The Twitter feed on the same website helps.
If only one gets submitted for any given day, then it is simple and I am the 'backstop' trying to ensure there are no blank days, but if there are many pics, then a selection committee sits to choose which one goes up to represent that day. You are not 'allowed' to sneak in an unselected one from the day before. It should be great fun and a lovely way of getting all the community to share in something - pictures can be of anything and anyone (with usual rules of permission and security allowing) within the 'patch', doing anything (or even NOT doing anything!). The collection of 366 pictures can then be used in exhibitions or promotions as well as being saved on file as part of the history of the village, a piece of heritage.

These are just old pics from this blog so would not be eligible
but they are the sort of thing that could well go in.
We first saw this done in Faversham in Kent where we used to live. There it was 'invented' by a good friend of ours, French lady pro-photographer and artist, Nathalie Banaigs. Faversham, having a more beefy budget than we do, were able to put on a big public exhibition of the winning pictures, all printed in glossy and framed, where they also had feedback sheets and a popular vote so that the public could pick their favourites. They also sold glossy colour books of all 365 photos. Lisacul is not in that market, but will make them all readily available on the internet and for digital 'slide-shows'. Faversham have continued to do these collections in some (all?) of the years since that first year and the project has also grown to include more towns and villages.

Liz had a quick consultation with Nathalie prior to this project and she immediately gave Lisacul permission and her blessing (Thanks, Nath') for Liz to launch Lisacul 365, the FIRST EVER 365 project in Ireland. Exciting times. For Liz, of course, a whole new lump of busy-busy getting it off the ground. There had to be a website and emails able to cope with it and the usual social media stuff (Facebook and Twitter). She needed a basic statement which could be read out at any event over the winter where people from the patch would gather.

There was a proper Press Release to go to all the local and regional papers and radio stations. There was a printed flyer to be displayed in all local shops, libraries, churches, tourist info offices etc. She has also lined up a number of visits to groups to present the project and garner some interest - the local School, the Ballaghaderreen Camera Club and (tonight, even as I type this) the village 'Foróige' Youth Club/Group.

Out of the Press Release came an invitation to be interviewed on Regional radio station "MidWest Radio" by morning presenter Tommy Marren - that had Liz out of bed super-early and dressed for work, seated at our table with all her paperwork and equipment spread around taking a call from an assistant first and then going 'live' for real. My part in that was a doddle. Get out of here with the dogs! Anyone who has been here will know the dogs' unpredictable triggers to start the game of chase-the-cat-up-the-stairs, which involves some very loud scrabbling for grip on the wooden treads. We couldn't risk that in the back ground of a live radio interview. Anyway, I wanted to hear the thing 'properly' through the radio, so that means the car-radio on this 'farm'. In the event it went really well. It was a lovely interview in which Liz came over loud and clear as chatty, friendly, enthusiastic and well informed, the project got a superb airing and even some 'plugs' for other village events were slid in. That is not just me saying that - the boss and work colleague(s) were all very impressed and all the feedback from many listeners to the programme has been positive.

This work will go on all around the year as the photographs start to flow in (we hope) - possibly encouraging the flow, possibly organising these 'selection' committees, but definitely answering all the emails and saving the pictures up to the ever-building gallery on the website. We are both very excited about this and I know Liz will definitely be having a few kittens on Monday 1st February, launch day. There are some nice daffs coming into flower in this garden which Liz has CLAIMED for her first photograph. Hands Off!

If that has been the main focus recently, then what else have 'we' been up to? We were involved in a rather sad duty on the Tuesday, that of 'helping' a friend to have a dog put down. This was an elderly Labrador which had been in the family for a decade so it was never going to be easy, but we were asked to be there at the end ('Mum' couldn't bear it) with vet Aoife, to discretely remove the body and to bury it in the garden of another friend where the dog's playmate of old was already interred. A size-able dog, obviously, so a biggish hole. Very sad.

On a happier (but in one case wetter) note I have been out helping with the buildering in Sligo. On the Thursday the weather was building up to our next named storm, Gertrude (bless her and all who drown in her) and we were outside finishing the fancy stonework around the front porch. It bucketed down, the sort of rain which doesn't take too long to find its way through even a good hi-viz coat and before that, is running off the coat and drenching the trousers, socks and so on. 3 hours in I was just miserable and called it a day. I needed to get home to a complete change of clothes, a hot shower and a commando raid on the contents of the fridge. Anyone for re-fried left over Burns Night neeps and tatties? Couple of fried eggs? Toast and ketch-up? TAY? Carb-loaded, I was beginning to feel human again and I slept comfortably through that night while Gertrude raged outside among the tree tops. Today, of course, not a cloud in the sky so, 100% dry, we carried on with the stonework and then transferred our attention to carpentry - fancy end rafters and architrave on the gable ends and the wooden valley 'trenches' on the roof which these days get fibreglass lining instead of tar-felt or lead flashing.

Also, of course, looking around the place for likely pictures to submit to Lisacul 365 this coming week, month and year. Good Luck Lisacul and Lizzie.

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