My name is Una Feely and I am working currently on the IndieCork Film Festival.
Everything has changed! So right now according to Level 3 it’s pretty much at home, with at most one other visitor from one other household and no projectile chat allowed! This time of the year, with IndieCork still in full flow online until Sunday October 18, some of Friday night involves tuning in to our IndieCork Online player and watching some of the great documentaries or features, that I don’t programme myself, and get to enjoy as a film goer. Going online this year was a big task for us, but it’s worked out brilliantly.
I can’t tell a lie as my husband Tony will read this. So I would love to be the ‘up with the lark’ person. Strong inclinations and fantasies of bread baking at 5am, jogging by 6am and a few journal entries done before yoga at 7am, but the truth is I’m having a cup of tea at 8am listening to the radio and that’s before I finally could be classified as an up and fully functioning member of society.
Work is a definite part of my weekends from July to November, as that is the busiest period of time for IndieCork. From a few thousand film entries pouring in up to mid-July to developing the programme over those months, to the full festival production and presentation, it couldn’t really be done by our small team unless we all put the hours in at weekends.
Well if money and pandemic were no objects, I’d probably be away on Brittany Ferries to Roscoff and beyond. That’s something to look forward to eventually. In this year of staycationing though, I’d be quite happy to spend time in another Irish city and wouldn’t be choosy, wherever would have me.
This summer we staycationed in the Beara Peninsula, and it’s a beautiful place, full of secret spots, and stunning views. It doesn’t have the beaches, which makes it a bit quieter than some other places in West Cork. So for walking, exploring, quiet pints (when you can order them) and a genuine sense of what matters, the Beara can’t be beat. For shorter journeys, we’re often at Fountainstown, rambling around Ringabella kicking old boats and wondering if they’re abandoned and would they be missed if we took one.
It’s more important than ever in these strange times to check in with people, family and friends. We can all become a bit insular with the way we are living now, so just to check in that people are feeling alright, is a good thing. Where I live, we share a communal garden in the city centre. This has been a great saviour as this little bit of space has held very modest get-togethers, throughout the various restrictions of the past months. At the height of things back in April, my husband had a big birthday, and all our neighbours came to their doorsteps to raise a glass to him in the pouring rain. People have been very kind.
Hang on, let me just google hobby a second there…I think I’m probably someone whose work life spills over into hobby territory. I’m not sure anything I do could be classified as ‘sport’ or if I ‘spectate’ except for watching Liverpool play.
One thing I have learned from my husband who is a really good cook, is to keep it simple. Good ingredients and away you go. I can hear him laughing as he reads this. I don’t really have a signature dish, but is there anything better than pasta? Fresh pasta, cooked by an Italian, not me.
In current times, the places that stand out, are the ones that have kept certain streets alive and kicking. Huge kudos to all business owners who have done this, it’s no doubt very difficult to keep that commitment going. We all have a different map in our heads now in the Covid era. I couldn’t imagine North Main Street without the bright light that is Bradleys. Throughout the pandemic it has kept going, with all the things a good grocery shop does but with a real foodie flair. Sure where else would you buy your Delirium or your Hadji Beys?
Over on Sullivans Quay, The Quay Co-Op has stood tall staying open throughout and giving a real sense of stability as well as offering lovely vegetarian food and supplies.
On The Coal Quay, we need to see the twin lights of The Bodega and The Rising Sons, they give us hope, good pizza and craft beer. We all have a newly found appreciation of the local bars and the in-between places, that have kept us going.
Finally on a high note on Western Road, Paradiso is always a real joy and special every time I get to go there. All the important occasions have been celebrated there if I’m lucky.
This coming Sunday night is a special one, because at midnight the IndieCork Online festival will evaporate into thin air! So our team will spend a bit of time watching the final moments of that and we’ll have a mini-awards ceremony online there. It’ll be tinged with a bit of sadness, but we’re hugely proud of it because it was a big endeavour, and became the home of the festival, after our great venue The Gate Cinema, had to shut down mid-festival due to Level 3. Thanks to IndieCork Online and our supporter Blacknight, and the very hard work of two amazing colleagues Mick Hannigan and Peter Zemek, it’s a great success and a real positive out of all this.
The canine alarm clock, a ten year old lurcher called Sami, doesn’t go off til quite late in the morning. He’s mostly found with his legs in a Madonna style vogue so we can’t rely on him for telling us to get up. So the real alarm goes off about 7.30am.