Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Craft Fair and The Camera

Drove up to Castlebar Saturday to take in the Craft Fair and look for
a new toilet seat. The Craft Fair was big by Western Ireland standards --
instead of the usual four or five booths there were forty, and a nice
assortment of jewelry, hand-turned wood, pottery, glass beads,
felting and stone carving. We happened upon the piece above --
it's a one-of-a-kind collaboration between the jeweler Martin
Fitzpatrick and a print-maker Anne McDonnell. The pendant
is acid-etched sterling, and they're priced as a single unit.
Score! (We did not score on the toilet-seat front, though.
My response to that is bummer!)

So, a little rant on the fragile nature of The Camera:
I've been known in my day to break more than one piece
of Waterford crystal (which, incidentally, is manufactured
in China these days -- it's designed in Ireland, and there
is a certain small amount made here to satisfy the heritage-
hungry eyes of tourists), and taking out one's persnickety digital
camera in order to capture a moment is not unlike
whipping out a Waterford Champagne glass from your
pocket. Delicate! Fragile! I'd even venture to say that
the crystal glass is possibly more durable than The Camera.
Of course, Waterford would shatter with more magnificence than
The Camera, all sparkly and such, but you can really get your
hand around its stem, wrap your fingers around its bowl --
it's probably not going to fly from you at this point!
(Especially if it's bubbling with Champagne. I mean,
who would risk losing a glassful of that lovely stuff?!)
The Camera, on the other hand, is a slippery and sleek
little-weasel-of-a-creature, all polished steel and teeny hinged
doors and doll-sized buttons and an honest-to-goodness
screen. Nearly a midget television, right here in the palm
of your hand. It's a hold-your-breath kind of toy,
a take-good-care-of-it-or-you'll-be-sorry gadget,
sorry to the tune of a couple of hundred euros, which
translates to a lot more dollars than it was a few years
back, the dollar being stuck in the toilet. Ah, the toilet.
Or rather, the toilet seat. A new camera is more easily
had here than a new toilet seat. And, well, Waterford
crystal, I just might have some in my pocket. I just
have to figure out how to get it to take a picture.

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