Report and photography by Heike O’SullivanMy sister and her family are visiting me later this month, for the first time since her children were born. Her eldest will be ten in October. She and her husband prefer to holiday in places where they are guaranteed sunshine and, well, we all know that Kerry is not one of them despite the exceptional run of hot weather we’ve had this year. My nephews are now at an age though, when they are wondering what it is like where their far-away aunt lives. So, Ryanair strikes permitting, they’ll be paying a visit to our freshly cleaned house at the end of August.
Having booked their flights early this year, my sister noticed that there is not a whole lot of information about Bonane on the Internet. She is right: Bonane Community Council’s website has been offline for many months now, although Bonane Heritage Park’s and Molly Gallivan’s websites carry some limited information about the area.
I must admit to never having taken a course at Kenmare’s fabulous Adult Education Centre before spring of this year. In fact, I hadn’t attended any classes or lectures since 1989, when I completed my job training. This spring though, I took the plunge and signed up for a 12 week QQI (FETAC) Level 4 course in Web Design and WordPress. It’s not that I have any particular interest in IT, but I’ve browsed a website or ten in my life and often marvel at how excellent (or how awful) particular websites are from a visual and user friendliness point of view.
Much did I know that us fourteen or so students of Paula Tiller’s spring course started their web design ‘careers’ by learning hand coding (HTML and CSS). It was a far cry from the excitement over screens full of noughts and ones, like back in school in the 1980s, but to me, it was like learning a foreign language – and a peculiar one at that. I found it all rather daunting. Some of us came close to despair in the early weeks of our course, but Múinteoir Paula always found a way to motivate us. Eventually, we were quite amazed at what we were starting to create on screen by typing different sorts of squiggles and brackets. Then came the point when Paula switched us over to WordPress, the online website creation tool that does all the hard work for you.
When it transpired that each of us students had to learn WordPress by actually building a real-life website, I thought I might as well choose Bonane as my subject. I had quite a lot of fun travelling our parish like I did as a tourist more than twenty years ago, taking photos, then researching various Bonane must-sees on the Web. It brought back to me how much there is to discover in a place that tourists often merely drive through, rather than stop and spend time in.
Having put so much work into the creation of my website, and the official Bonane one still being offline, I decided in early August to switch my website live. It is still a work in progress. In months to come, I hope to add some more ‘Places of Interest’ and other bits I might think of, and keep my Blog going as long as I can think of topics to write about. I would be delighted if you, dear Readers, go and have a look at www.bonaneblogger.ie. Perhaps you will enjoy reading about Bonane’s places and people as much as I’ve enjoyed writing about them.
If you like what you see and you think, huh, I could do that, too, then check out the Kenmare Adult Education Centre’s upcoming Autumn Courses on www.kenmareaec.ie, or drop in to their office for the new programme. Paula Tiller will run a ‘WordPress’ course (5 sessions) in autumn, followed by an ‘Online Shopping’ course in January 2019. Paula is also offering a 3-morning weekend workshop ‘Promote Your Business on a Shoestring’ on 6th, 13th and 20th October.