Wednesday, March 24, 2010

2010 USA Tour : March 21st, Austin TX

AustinTo Austin

Part of me wishes we had committed to another day at Sherwood Forest Faire as this morning the sun rise is glowing without a cloud in the sky. It is a cool morning but I suspect will warm up very quickly. There is no wi-fi service where I write at the moment so I cannot check on weather forecasts.

It will be a special day at Sherwood Forest Faire, especially in their stone circle, as it is their spring equinox events today.

However we have three commitments today and I am sure it will become another special day for us.

We have a brunch with friends at 11:00 am, Things Celtic store 2 pm until 5 pm and then onto a Haiti Medical Supplies benefit concert. Here’s what happened ….

At Green Muse Cafe

We have heard Austin has a reputation of good intimate coffee bars with good coffee. It was at one of these, the Green Muse Cafe, where we met Heather Ash Amara, a shaman teacher who was with a group who guided in Ireland but spends much of her time in Mexico and Peru these days. It was wonderful to meet her and exchange tales, ideas, and use of online resources.

After an early lunch here it was time to drive on to Things Celtic.

At Things Celtic

Things Celtic is a remarkable Irish and Scottish gift shop and, like several around the USA, are far better than gift shops found in Ireland and Scotland. Lenora, like similar owners of these wonderful shops, is passionate about touring Ireland and Scotland, meeting the best crafts people and stocking their wares.

Thngs Celtic also has a lovely small stage and performance area outside. Though we thought it was a warm sunny day, Lenora advised us that this was not a warm day for Texans and she arranged a performance space within her large store along with lovely drinks and snacks.

About 12 ladies from Sun City, a large retirement community small town, came along plus folks who came into the shop joined in. Audience seemed to hover around 18 to 25 people much of the time between 2:00 pm and 4:30 pm, our time there.

My theory was largely right. As it was a lovely sunny day, several folks who may have come along to Things Celtic went to Sherwood Forest Faire instead to make up for not going during the awful weather of the day before. I know some of the folks we knew who were planning to come to Things Celtic went to Sherwood instead. Of course, I was asked by email if we would go back to Sherwood Faire for an hour after Things Celtic, but Claire and I were very happy to be at Things Celtic and enjoy the small wonderful audience we had there.

The Sun City people asked if we would perform at Sun City next year, and that will be considered.

At the evening house concert

Beautiful house, beautiful location and so wonderfully hosted by Nuala and Jim.

What a location, high up looking over the rural part of Austin suburbs and the setting sun beaming into the performance room was magic.

This event was a fund raiser for Haiti Medical Supplies. Three student doctors gave us stories of their accounts of their work in Haiti up to, during and after the earthquake. It was sad to hear of the amazing fast progress of infrastructure, education and health that had instantly been wiped out by the earthquake. We also learned that most of those slain by the earthquake were of a single poor district living in small fragile huts of cast concrete.

We also learned of the incredible generosity of spirit and sharing of the Haiti people despite what has happened to them and, sadly, how their Government is absolutely no support for them.

I believe 24 people were present, many being successful business leaders and they did give generously.

Claire performed well and the hospitality was tops. Nuala had prepared incredible buffet food of her stew and smoked salmon bake from unique and very tasty recipes. Ad to that a selection of traditional home made desserts.

Again, it was a visit too short, as we had to drive an hour from Austin to Georgetown, to our overnight campsite, to help ease the distance of our long drive to Tulsa the next day. This had been a delightful and very varied day.


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