Monday, 23 April 2018

Hidden Creatures in Natural Forms

Sorry for not having posted up a blog for such a length of time, but I have been busy using my grey matter on the project below - well that's the excuse for my absence !

We were given some antlers a few weeks ago by a good friend and decided to do something with them, other than just hang them on a wall or above a doorway, as we had done previously.

So together we sat and studied their form, turning them this way and that, until our eyes and mind connected and we saw the hidden shapes.

This one Mrs H saw as a deer feeding or perhaps it is the fin of a whale?

This piece will be used as a pendant eventually.

Here is a branch of coral, a seal, a sea bird.

This tine became a necklace strung with moss agate, Connemara marble and aventurine.

Just one question. 

Do you see the shapes of other creatures hidden within natures' natural forms?

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Just Swanning Around

A short drive from home across a neighbouring county fetched us up into Co. Westmeath
and in particular to Lough Ennell

Where we were greeted by a whiteness of swans who were busily preening themselves.

The way in which this pair were acting towards each other strongly suggested that 
there would be some hanky-panky between them later !

Much the same with this pair too !

Later that night I just happened to be outside when I saw a red moon rising.
In the short time it took to reach my camera the redness had faded to a rich gold.

Then became banana coloured

and just before it disappeared behind some cloud the red began to return,

by which time I had become quite chilled so I returned to the fire that blazed in the stove.

Monday, 26 March 2018

A Dry Journey To Water

On a short journey when going nowhere in particular we turn a corner and meet with a traffic jam
consisting of a nosey dog, a tractor driver and a postman exchanging news and we after sharing laughter, we receive a letter.

A rural traffic jam

The gable end of the Augustinian Priory in Lorrha, Co. Tipperary

We have a tranquil place to park on the banks of the River Shannon that tourists rarely find
and we never share.

I am always fascinated by the rapidly changing light of how its reflection sparkles 
on the surface of the water and the cloud formations too, all of which keep my camera busy.

So do you always carry a camera ?

Saturday, 17 March 2018


I just had to breakout and celebrate and as you can see Hazel over did it ... !

The best of Irish Ale -

With this Lady backing us how could we lose...


These lads came on as Champions and left as IRISH GODS !

Members of the disappointed English team.

Sunday, 4 March 2018

Escape to The Hares Corner

After four days of being snowbound we finally managed to escape from the weather enforced confinement of our bijou home. Last night, the end of the fourth day, a mammoth tractor whose size very nearly filled the width of the road cleared away the mounds of accumulated snow drifts and our car was freed.

Our first call was to our nearest store, 6km away, to top up on essential supplies like fuel for the Bentley look-a-like, turf briquettes for the stove and an essential packet of MacVitie's digestive biscuits that most cuppa's need. We turned for home when a sudden idea came to me, 
"How's about we go for lunch in The Hare's Corner ?" 
Agreement from Mrs H came very swiftly and without hesitation.

No better place for good wholesome food !

In warm weather you can sit outside on the terrace and enjoy the warmth of the day.

The great man himself, Declan Furlong,
the Owner and Chef of Hare's Corner.

Hares abound at every turn. 
I have an idea that hares might be Declan's totem animal.

I believe that this building was once an Irish grain mill belonging to Odlum's Flour, 
hence the industrial steel columns, heavy beams and stone walls. 
As a restaurant it is a comfortable and an almost homely space to dine  
whether that be for a breakfast or lunch.

We do indeed need the 'Tonic of Wildness', especially after eating one 
of Declan's meals, then a good walk in the nearby Slieve Blooms provides 
the tonic of fresh air and exercise.

Alternatively you might do as I did and have a snooze in the chair alongside
a cosy turf fire and dream of walking in the wilds !

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Change of Scene

UPDATES at bottom of page.

I am very glad to have had the sunshine penetrate my body and mind last Sunday because it has prepared both myself and Mrs H for what we are now facing.

The above photo looks at my nearest neighbours house which can just be seen above and to the right of the yellow post.

The snowy road outside of our cottage with five inches of beautiful icing.

The boreen or lane opposite our front door.

What is expected from 4 pm tomorrow. 
It is then that Storm Emma, from The Bay of Biscay, mingles with the Beast from the East 
producing blizzard conditions of heavy snow and gale force winds in excess 100 kph. 
Goodness knows what the chill force factor will be.

The people like us who live in the Province of Leinster and those who live in Munster have been told
to be in their homes by 4pm and remain there until there is a cessation of the conditions.

Minister for Transport Shane Ross said this evening that it is predicted there will be 25cm of snow tomorrow and 40cm by lunchtime on Friday, which is an “unprecedented situation”.

 Further update

BREAKING: Met Éireann have extended the Status Red snow and ice warning to all counties from 11pm tonight until 3pm on Friday.

Monday, 26 February 2018


We had ourselves a day out to Kinvara once again on Sunday. Because of the impending snowy weather, which I am not looking forward too and if it were in my power it would not be happening anywhere near me, we escaped to make the most of the good weather while it lasted.

The day was absolutely gorgeous with wall to wall sunshine
and not too cold either, just a little over 8 deg C.

A day of hardly any sea breezes, lots of parked cars and hardly any people.

This mosaic was adhered to one of the harbour buildings and she caught my eye,
this red haired woman playing a fiddle.

A motherly swan feeding on pinkeens (small fish) in the company of seagulls.

This was just a lucky shot - catching her with her head down in range of the camera!

There was something about this sloop, it kept catching my eye,
perhaps it was the reflection on the water or its snug berth?

I found out later that the occupants of most of the cars were tucked away in a local
restaurant listening to a jazz band, I was not tempted... for such sunny 
weather in February is a rarity not to be missed.

Take care all of you and keep warm !

Monday, 5 February 2018

Ireland Is

What does Ireland mean to me ? 
To answer this question I must use an analogy, it is if I was an orphaned child seeking its Mother before I came here.

Prior to my first arrival in the Belfast area, in 1986, and then later that year after travelling down to Cork in July, there occurred what I can only describe as a mystical experience. She, who I call Mother Ireland, stepped silently into my inner core, where she still resides and continues to nurture my very essence for which I am very grateful.

I can tell you that there have been a few times since living here when I have been very ashamed of my birth country England because of its inhumane actions and deeds towards Ireland and the Irish people.

Such have been my experiences that I no longer have any desire to visit England and nor do I have any pride of place towards it. 
For Ireland is my home. I do acknowledge that England is the country of my birth and I was educated there from childhood to be discerning.

So today this migrant looks back at England and the changes that have taken place over the years. That I see a nation skewered by authoritarianism and indignation that knows not how to care for all of its citizens. There appears to be no love or tolerance. These gifts seem to be so rare and generally misunderstood, instead there is a dichotomy of fear and punishment pervading the land of my birth. Perhaps it has always been present and I failed to recognise the fact?

If you are a migrant do you feel truly at home in the country of your choice ?

Monday, 15 January 2018

Gremlin On My Shoulder


An unseen gremlin at work

There is a glitch, an anomaly, occurring on-line when I try to leave a comment on some peoples’ blogs. 

This is something which is most annoying and beyond my capabilities to fix. No matter which way I send in the comment, even though my words appear on the blog, they disappear as soon as I log out !

Now, for some reason this problem is not affecting all of the blogs that I correspond with on a regular basis, only some of them.
And I am not alone in this for several of my friends have the same problem when trying to leave a comment on my blog.

Personally it is like having a gremlin on my shoulder who is making decisions for me without making any consultation!

I have tried to contact Google about this problem but all to no avail and my guess is that they are far to busy to make a reply.

So if you my blogging friends have not seen a comment from me in a while it is not that I am ignoring you, it is that my comment has been stopped by the Google Gremlin :)