I took a trip to Garnish Island yesterday in Glengarriff Harbour West Cork. I have visited every few years over the past decade or so. During this time though I was reading The Drowned World which is a 1962 science fiction novel by the British writer J. G. Ballard. The novel depicts a post-apocalyptic future where global warming has caused the majority of the earth to become uninhabitable.
The Martello Tower
I walked to the top of the tower to get a better view of the island and surroundings. Fear of an invasion by Napoleon Bonaparte reached panic proportions among the authorities in Ireland and England in 1804 and was the reason Martello Towers were built, first in Ireland and then in England. Their purpose was to provide what were, in those days, ‘bombproof’ towers from which fire could be directed at ships of the hourly expected French invasion fleet. The James Joyce Tower and Museum is a Martello tower in Sandycove, Dublin, where James Joyce spent six nights in 1904. The opening scenes of his novel Ulysses take place here.
Climate change– the planet has entered a new geologic epoch -called the Anthropocene. The rate of change of the Earth’s system is accelerating as a result of humans’ impact on the planet’s biology, chemistry, and physics.
The temperate climate in Glengarrif harbour gives it an otherworldly feel. This is influenced by its proximity to the Atlantic and the Gulf stream. The warm ocean currents means that rare plants flourish, frost is rare and snow almost unheard of. The Archipelago of tiny, clumpy, mossy Islands scattered about on the boat trip remind me of stepping stones. See Situations proposal.
Kate Bush didn’t have the rights to use James Joyce words straight from Ulysses in her lyrics for Sensual World at the time, so she wrote her own version: