Tuesday, 29 December 2009

MURDER

AKMAL SHAIKH



This mornings' news of the execution of Akmal Shaikh by the Chinese Authorities was barbaric, unwarranted and a breach of human rights. It was an act of Murder as is the killing of any human being by another, whether that be via a judicial authority or an act of war or in whatever manner.


There is no excuse for Murder.


No country, no matter how small or large, poor or rich, can claim exoneration for Murder. There are no excuses regardless of reasons for the taking of life.


Thus it is that I offer my poor condolences to those families throughout the world who mourn the loss of their loved ones.

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Hoorah - The Day of the Reborn Sun

Feathered friends
















A variety of feathered visitors feed here every day throughout winter and early spring. It is also their social centre for some seemingly just come to chatter and never bother to feed. So the 25th D brought no exception and no difference to the small birds' routine unlike Big Bird and myself who were busily preparing oodles of vegetables within close proximity of the fireside. Dissimilar to previous years we had a new delight this day, heralding the success of the my attempt to make clotted cream, for a full 1/2lb sat in the bottom of the fridge, to be enjoyed later with a slice of rich fruit cake.


This was not my only culinary skill of the day, for a large nut roast had been prepared the previous night, to a recipe which I concocted when living a solitary life. In similar vein I was once noted for my exceptional soda bread gained by merely adjusting the recipe and adding a handful of sesame seeds.


Unfortunately due to our having given up wheat and having preference to oat, rye or rice cakes, visitors can no longer enjoy slices of my fresh bread.


The morning of the 25th was by anyone's standards a hardy one as the photos will show. I shivered further, when my eye fell on a tent pitched outside of a neighbours cabin, left there from the summer. 'Lord bless and save us' went through my mind as I hurried home for a glass of warming port.


Mrs Heron (aka BB above) made a wonderful lunch of roasted veg, we had parsnips, delicate slivers of carrot, whole segments of garlic, sprouts, spuds, two lots of stuffing, the nut roast and a red wine sauce all washed down with copious amounts of Chateauneuf de Pape . As you can imagine it was a several hours later before we tucked into our delicious dessert.


The night ended with a glass of Port, followed by another glass of Port and so we floated off to bed and into dreamland.


RECIPE :

Nut Roast Loaf


500g Large onions

500g Unsalted peanuts

50g Unsalted cashew cuts (halved)

50g Crushed walnuts

2 Large eggs

5 Cloves of fresh garlic

1 Large can of organic baked beans

1 can of chopped tomato

1Teaspoon of ground Black Pepper

4 Tablespoonfuls of virgin olive oil

10g herbs de provence

1 Teaspoon of fenugreek seed

12 pitted black olives

Butter for greasing baking tin

20 cm diameter x 9 cm Baking Tin

Large iron frying pan.

Large mixing bowl .

Wooden spoon.

Spatula.

& Index finger for tasting the uncooked mix :)


Peel and slice the onions and place in frying pan, add about 4 tablespoons of olive oil - needs to be about 1 cm deep. Sauté the onions on a medium heat till nice and soft.

Whilst the onions are cooking grind the peanuts to a coarse grit, I use a coffee bean grinder,

a few whole ones won’t hurt either.

Tip the ground peanuts into mixing bowl along with a few cashew halves, stir around and mix in the chopped or sliced garlic, add fenugreek, black pepper and the herbs; then make a well in the middle and add the sautéed onions and any oil left in frying pan.

To the mix add a can of chopped tomatoes or baked beans, then add the olives and mix thoroughly. Finally stir in two beaten eggs.


What I do then is to taste the mix before cooking, if it’s okay on your palate, carry on with the process, if not then add additional spices or ingredients until you are satisfied with the flavor.


Grease the sides and bottom of the baking tin with plenty of butter and on the bottom of the tin place a good coverage of cashew nuts. The idea is that when baked and tipped upside down before serving, the nut roast loaf will look pleasing to the eye!

So having put the cashews on bottom of tin, now spoon in the mixture and level the top with either back of spoon or a spatula.

Place in a preheated oven at gas mark 5 for about 45 minute to 60 minutes.


As with a baking a fruit cake, you can test after 45 minutes by inserting the blade of a knife all the way to bottom of tin at the centre, if it comes out clean the baking is done, if not give a few more minutes and test again.

Once cooked, remove from oven and allow to cool.

Whilst cooling I run a sharp thin bladed knife around the tin to prevent sides from sticking.


When cool tip upside down on to a serving plate and enjoy!






































Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Dark v Light

You are welcome !



It is perhaps the growing dark, the cold chilling gloom, the quickening fall of night and those pretty illuminations that sit in windows and on eaves, gable ends, the cold electric guttering lights of my unseen neighbours, that cause Mrs Heron to talk of sympathetic magic and of trying to bring the Sun back ?

Are they, the good Christians around us, aware of what their hidden Pagan soul has led them into ?




The Solstice Tree, the evergreen a display of continuing life is being decorated, as I write.

Mrs H is well able for that, her skilful hands and artistic bent do it well.

She has just asked me 'What do we have at the top?' 'A Frog !' I said, pausing then to say 'Well how about the Witch instead?' I am of course totally wrong. It is the returning reborn Sun

The Frog goes over the door attached to the Deer tine and The Witch is hidden in the tree somewhere and The Owl perches wherever he can find a prominent place, among the lights which have been neatly spun around.

Don't look too close though, for there is naughty gnome in a state of undress sitting beneath the tree.





Some echoes of Winter sit below



A WINTER OFFERING.


Winter’s sharp passion sings


Thro’ black brittle thorn limbs


Over old Áine’s fertile plains


Where summer ferns once grew


Lush: in valleys - hidden places


Deep where springs weep.


Eriu’s blood flows fresh, new


birthing stone frosted icicles


to glint in watery sunlight,


as a rapier

sword of


youth.


© MRL 26. 12. 2001





SOLITUDE DISTURBED



The Sparrow Hawk on patrol

soundless swift sweep of wing

Prey in sight divides light

To kill disappear beyond bright.



Creeps child of forest's edge

stop, listen, one white scream.

A rapid rapier's beak struck

twilight to red dark death.



A spiral hidden from sunlight

tunnels through black earth

Family cavern warm mourn

their summers first born.


©MRL NOV 2007





Spatial Battle



Unhindered swirling waves

born of an untamed power

rotated by Sun Moon energy

Whose long seas seek

scream a wild throaty roar


To smash the fortress cliffs

asunder; wet wearing winds

In unceasing hunger battle

Plunder an ancient guard

of old Devonian stone.

To reclaim space, land

on which to expand.

Pulverised rock - small sand

floods wide the old boundary

In pride of new sea-room !


© MRL NOV 2007



























Friday, 11 December 2009

A GIFT OF A DAY

A winter wet field

The gift of a sunny winter's day gave me the opportunity of resuming my task of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, so I went for a brisk 3 mile walk with camera in hand.


This all started in March when my BP was 190 over 120, with a cholesterol level of 7.5 and a weight of 15 st. - 9 lb (219 lb). I am not given to the taking of Pharmacy drugs, unless absolutely necessary, so I was given 3 months by the nurse to show an improvement in health by walking and losing weight.


Perseverance is the byword to success and I am now a healthy shadow of my former self ! My weight is now 12st. 8lb (176lb), my BP normal and cholesterol level under 5. The waist line is now 34 inches and I can walk up hillsides without needing to rest, my legs no longer ache. Sure even Mrs H has is pleased that my snoring has decreased in decibels to almost non existent ! She tells folk that she has a new husband!


So yesterday was a real gift. I hate walking in rain as my glasses don't have wipers (inventors please note !). Our normal walk is as far as the bridge over the River Barrow a distance of 1.1 miles, yesterday I went further to take photos of some sheep and of course they were gone.


Still, a few bullocks kindly stepped in line for me as soon as they saw the camera.

I do like the way in which the cattle that winter out in the fields have coats which take on extra hairiness and appear to the eye to be healthier than those who are penned up in sheds.




A field of reeds and rushes caught my eye and I wondered how many Brígíds'Crosses would they make, thousands if they all were pulled I imagine. By tradition the man of house pulls or cuts them in silence and hides them in a safe place to bring them indoors in late January for the women to make crosses.

Some there are who use green Willow instead and many different designs can be found, from the intricate to a the well known, four legged 'sun wheel' type.

In this house we prefer the more unusual three legged type, a design which seems to have come originally from Co. Donegal.







Tuesday, 8 December 2009

I have been tagged


I have been tagged by a Lizzie of my generic medium to whom I am most grateful. Being tagged is a bit of fun and an award that has been doing the rounds since the year (?) Under the rules I could have ducked out and ignored it however, what fun would there have been in doing that I asked myself. Ha'h another confession I talk to myself - don't you ?

Firstly, here are the rules:




1. Copy and paste the pretty picture which you see above onto your own blog. [TICK]

2. Thank the person who gave you the award and post a link to their blog. [TICK]

3. Write 7 things about yourself we do not know. [See below]

4. Choose 7 other bloggers to award. [Again, see below but do not feel obliged bloggers!]

5. Link to those 7 other bloggers. [Will do]

6. Notify your 7 bloggers. [again, will do]


Ready steady here we go.





Seven things about me which blog readers don't know (gulp)


1. I spent my formative years happily in Devon and Somerset and apart from the coastal places, my favourite areas were Exmoor and Dartmoor, which drew me deeply into their wild combes and allowed me to listen to the wee folk who inhabited the banks of moorland rivers.


2. My first paid employment was at the age of 6 months old as a photographers' model. Is it then any wonder that my early retirement started when I was at 48?


3. Assisting in the design of Concorde paid my mortgage for five years. I also worked in a Nuclear Power Station for 3 months and vowed never to return! My most satisfying jobs were :-


i, The design and conversion of a standard double decker bus into a Playbus for disabled children owned by the Children's World Charity run by the late Arabella Churchill.


ii, An in-between job of working as a Stone Mason's Labourer for Richard (Dick) Dunn of Frome in Somerset, who believed in doing everything the hard traditional way. With him I learned much about stone and lots about myself.


4. I have conducted three funerals and several handfastings.


5. Neither myself nor my Father, my paternal Grandfather nor paternal Great Grandfather ever fought for their country or served in the armed forces.


6. Am the 15th cousin removed of the writer Wm. M. Thackery


7. The sea has played are large part in my life, I have nearly drowned 3 times, the first at the age of three near Milford Haven, the memory of which stays with me; as do the third at the age of 16 in the upper reaches of the River Teign. My first official paid employment : I completed 5 yrs. apprenticeship as a Ship's Draughtsman in a shipyard at Teignmouth, Devon & stayed on 1 year before seeking pastures new, of which over 15 years were connected to the sea.


7a, I am twice married and my wife Mrs Heron is a well known artist and illustrator.


7b, I take numerical liberties.


The next part of the tag after posting the picture, listing seven things, thanking the person who tagged you and putting a link to them, is to nominate seven other bloggers, notify them and put links to them in the post. I shall do this because I like doing it but I know it may not appeal to the people I have chosen. That's okay, to not do it I mean. It's a pleasant thing to do occasionally though as a way of introducing other bloggers and what they're at.


Lady North of Here Be Dreams we have a long connection and I enjoy her humour, ideas and sensitivity.


Hen at Heart and Soil because of her ethos and connectivity to nature plus her crafts of basketry, music and song.


Wildernesschic of The Path To A New Me tucked away in Wales. To change ones self is

never easy and to be encouraged is often half the battle.


Julia from East of the sun West of the moon I like her art and Cornwall with its pagan heart holds such wonderful memories for me.


Eddie at Clouds and Silvery Linings is another mischievous master (a friend of grumpy old ken) I cannot possibly leave him out.


Aíne at Whispers from The sperrins 'Aine MacAodha' an Irish poet of distinction.


Samantha A day in the life of Sam I Am A sailor in the USN with grit & sensitivity.



Saturday, 5 December 2009

Sensing clouds !




I am late in updating this blog due to prevailing conditions and unrelenting precipitation.


With weather such as we have been receiving of late, torrents of rainy nights and days interlaced with frost. The sensation of having cold feet seems to be the norm it reaches beyond the cold toes and into the mind, as a sense of glumness, although fortunate and dry in our ancient hilltop home, for the extreme wetness soaks through the gravelled earth, to drain into our local river.


Still a large glass of Port at night somewhat alleviates the gloom, warming the cockles of the heart and bringing to mind memories of past summers.

The photo above, is of one of those summers where a good friend of ours cleverly stuck out her paw and seemingly sensed the clouds. Well actually she was sensing the earth energy on a mound to be truthful however it does make a novel photo.



My Summer


I like to see Rabbits

in the field scampering

And going about their habits.


I like to see the Barn Owl

swooping through the air

A low, slow cream soul.


I like to see the cricket

being played on the green

All in white and all alike.


I like to see the swifts winging

on summer days at dusk

And hear Blackbirds singing


I like to see the mists

rise up from the rheen

To gently surround the trees


I like to see a sunset flood

blue heavens tinted pink

Atop a hill and silhouette a wood.


I like to sit and dream

on dark winter nights

of summers gone

and of those yet to come.


ML 1984


Friday, 27 November 2009

Murals



This posting is in response to a request from Tex who asked to see the murals,on my cottage walls. Alas the numbers have been reduced to just two, both of them by the muralist Kit Wray and a few cartoons that I produced.


You might ask why I painted them in the first place: it was an indulgence that I gave to my inner child, the one who remembers being told off for drawing on his mother's wall paper! The other reason is that they represented the freedom to do whatever I wished in regard to decorating my new home by quietly saying fiddle sticks to convention !


For a few years I gave others the freedom to freely express themselves on the walls of my home, one young fraulien painted a pink elephant and a fire breathing dragon on the entrance walls to one of the driveways. Tex did a painting of a buxom wench spinning wool, a former partner did a nude self portrait and lots of folk expressed themselves their own style.


Wear, tear and redecorating accidents succeeded in reducing the numbers down to those displayed here. Enjoy !


Psss'st you will have to scroll down to the bottom to see them all as gremlins are at work and I was unable to place them exactly !




The faces I found in the relief of the walls





















































































Saturday, 21 November 2009

Atmosphere and Character



To say that this cottage is haunted, is too strong a word, better to say that it has a presence or to be more accurate presences, atmosphere and character. The latter words would be from a House Agent perhaps.



The previous owner recommended, once the legal papers were signed, that it would be "In your own interest to get a Mass said in the cottage". I didn't of course, that sort of thing is not in my nature and in any case I was already installed along with my bits and bobs by then.



I knew about the bedroom door that juddered at 2.30 in the morning telling me that it was time to go to bed and of the sounds that came from the furniture when I was in bed. The 'flump' sound of the seat cushion as a heavy person sat down and then the creak of the chair back as they leant backwards. The only puzzle to me was that the furniture didn't make those noises when I or another sat down; I should explain the easy chairs of those days were left here by the previous owner.



For most of my life previous to moving here, I had lived in houses with unseen visitors. In fact my Mother moved into brand new bungalow with one particular noise. It was the sound that a hard covered book makes when it falls flat onto carpet and this noise was always heard during the day time in her hall. When I first heard it and moved to see what had arrived, thinking that it was a package delivered by the postman, my Mother said 'Take no notice'.

Unfortunately she wasn't the sort of person that you could question on that subject. I often thought that by taking notice of something odd, that perhaps she thought it would give it energy, I don't know.



The unseen visitors come and go, I take no notice. Other than when they come really close and I feel the chill of them as they pass over me. Mostly it is when we have company and the yarns are going back and forth, that this type of visitor arrives, perhaps to enjoy the craic - who knows?

The only visitors that have been removed from the cottage were two horses and that was because of their smell. A psychic from England came over and gave me a hand to do that.



Another, the pipe smoking gentleman, hasn't been around for a long time and I think he may have moved on of his own accord.

That still leaves three females: an old granny, a mother and her young daughter. They seem to be the resident guardians of this place.



Other happenings are the sound of the front door opening and closing, the rattle of latches on the internal doors, the noise of a picture falling off the wall, a sudden bolt of white light passing across the front room,

and the fuzzy apparition of a slim woman standing by the front door.



There have been times when people have asked me to clear their unwanted, unseen visitors from their homes or work places. This I will do particularly if the owners or their children feel frightened or that the presence is causing a disturbance that is effecting their health.



Within in my own home it is fine, I accept the validity of their presence; this was their home and still is. The only difference is that they are now just energy forms without a fleshly body.




Sunday, 15 November 2009

The Journey Within

A Samhain Garden




There have been times in the past when life seemed to be disordered, chaotic even and yes, this past year had moments like that. I felt myself facing what seemed to be an inevitable situation, far beyond my control and over which I had no responsibility, there being nothing which I could do to bring about change, other than to accept the consequences. The great challenge is to Let Go and from doing so we learn that from in-action, a positive change is made and that is Magic. Not the magic of spells or from fiction, but a happening for which there is no logical reason or explanation.



So I find myself at this time of the year between Samhain and Winter Solstice, when daylight shortens, travelling inwards, to go into deep reflection, a process that comes naturally to me. I look over my shoulder so to speak, at the past year and of that other years remembering those who have touched my life, in unmeasurable ways, enriched me as person deeply and profoundly. Not all of them have left this life, some have and yet even they are accessible, if only as memories or as mental pictures held within.



I have no religious belief, nor do I hold fast to a set of doctrines. In fact I find myself at odds with those who use the word 'belief' as it is entirely different from the word Know of knowledge.

The path I chose for myself is an interior one of silence and meditation, a path that transcends the mundane, beyond active thought. It is in the rich stillness of the mind that I becomes i and finally disappears.



A further explanation is below.





THE MOUNTAIN.


I climbed, but not on foot

and wearied an ancient path.

Steadfast through brambled grass

Belaboured by rambling thoughts

Mindful of a high peak.


Mindful of a high peak

Beyond the verbiage, where

Silence enfolds its own memory

Peace in blue-still air

Cascaded as rain

On the foot of my mind.


On the foot of my mind

I trod it’s tranquil waters

To a fountain of new wine

Transmuted by Love’s seed and fruit

Triumphant over mortal mass

In spirit cleansed by incense pure.


In spirit cleansed by incense pure

I bathed refreshed, relaxed

At the spring of new awakening

To glimpse the foothills of Nirvana

A oneness, in perfection of duality




©1984 MRL


Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Food of the Heron




Once or twice a week this Heron eats fish, sometimes even more frequently according to his luck. Regularly though fresh Tuna steaks are purchased to satisfy not just my taste buds, but for its nutritious and oily content which canned tuna does not have.

The cooking of and buying of fish regardless of type, is mine alone. My normal method is a medium fry using a dash of olive to which half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper is added. This to my mind brings out the full flavour of the fish, including white fish such as cod or even scallops.

Another preference is to eat the cooked fish without the accompaniment of vegetables, preferring it on its own or with fruit or on a bed of parsley. Tonight I peeled and sliced a sweet apple, dropping the slices into the pan when the tuna was three-quarters cooked.

The end result was simply delicious, I was yumming away so loudly that even Mrs Heron swiped a slice off my plate, fortunately I managed to consume the remainder of the apple before she had the chance to rob me again!

I rarely use recipe books preferring to experiment rightly or wrongly (and isn't that how the recipes were got ?) . Am a firm believer that if you start off with good quality produce and use a spoonful of common sense then you will not go wrong.

Chestnut mushrooms are a firm favourite: I chop them roughly into quarters or halves, leave on the stalks. Toss them into a small pan under a low heat, add a knob of butter, thinly slice a clove of garlic. Let them heat slowly giving a bit of a stir, then add a tablespoon of olive oil by dribbling it over the 'shrooms and another gentle stir before adding a glass of red rich Merlot. All is ready when the 'shrooms have shrunk by 25% or more; remove from heat and serve on to previously heated plates. They can be consumed as a single dish or added to some grilled Linda McCartney's veggie sausages and do dribble any excess sauce from the 'shrooms over all.

I consider myself to be a semi-vegetarian because I eat fish regularly and very, very occasionally Mr Pig in his various forms, mainly as a rasher or a slice of ham. In listening to my body and its needs as it ages, I remain relatively fit and have not lost any feathers, functions or mobility. Am a great believer in regularly taking Lecithin with my organic, oat based, sugar less morning muesli, softened with unsweetened soya milk. In addition I take supplements of Vitamin E 200 iu, Zinc, Omega 3-6-9, garlic and other vitamins come to me via fresh fruit such as pears, plums and bananas on a daily basis. Plus 1 square per day of 60% dark chocolate.
A good guide for your supplements and herbs is BRIGHID'S HEALING by Gina MacGarry ISBN 0 9547 23302 3 published by GREEN MAGIC www.greenmagicpublishing.com

The foods that I avoid like the plague, are wheat, sugar, salt, dairy products (butter is used for cooking now and then so 1/2 lb. lasts for 3 weeks) and all food additives, especially artificial sweeteners and preservatives, such as Aspartame E951 (and its cousin Neotame) & Sodium Benzoate. They are I believe the majority cause of obesity in society and the silent killers!

The clue to the products that contain these silent killers is the prefix words DIET or SUGAR FREE read the small print before you purchase, if necessary take a magnifying glass with you for it is printed in very small print.
Because the manufacturer really doesn't want you to know how bad for you their product is !
These poisons, the silent killers can also be found medicines too again check the labels! Because you are responsible for what you put in your mouth.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Sensory Deprivation





Where are today's children and why are they not outside playing in nature getting cold, wet, muddy and enjoying every minute of the day.

I recall as a child of playing in the water filled tracks that stood in unmettled lanes. As on the photo above: the grass strip in my imagination, would have been an island or even possibly two; For as I might have dug a channel across connecting up the muddy pools.

I often wonder how people, who live in centrally heated and doubled glazed homes , know or even realise on a winter's night that there is frost in the air, when they are without a glowing fire, that is tinged in its heart with a blue flame, indicating a drop in temperature .

Neither do they get a waft of winters of cold air leaping out between the heavy curtains and the wall. Nor the thrill of an unheated bedroom and the clean fresh air, a boon to a good nights sleep.

What awareness do they have of a light or heavy shower of rain, or even the soft skitter of snow and the gentle airs that suddenly gust as an express train to die away then rise again. When their one-eyed monster is blaring out the latest commercial jingle.

It truly amazes me that folks actually cut themselves off from Mother Nature and voluntarily pay thousands to live in Sensory Deprivation from all that is to me the seasonal gifts of the good life.

I was absolutely gobsmacked during the summer when I visited a beach on a bright and warm sunny day. To see the majority of parents and their children dressed in one piece neoprene suits, that completely isolated their bodies from the elements and all they did was to stand in the water up to their knees and talk to similarly dressed idiots.

There was totally no need for these suits, for both the sandy beach and that part of the shoreline is noted for it's cleanliness. Had it been a November or December day, then yes I would have seen the sense in wearing them.

We often don't appreciate the benefits of suffering for a week to ten days from a common cold. Nor do we realize that by doing so, it is actually strengthening our auto immune system to fight off the more serious influenza. Instead many folk go running off to their Doctor looking for an antibiotic, which reduces the cold and kills off the bodies good bacteria along with the bad; thus leaving them wide open to catch something worse!

Which is why The World Health Organisation being aware of the over prescribing of Antibiotics, was able to declare H1N1 as becoming a (probable) pandemic. This in turn scared the living daylights out of some people and caused panic buying of pharmaceutical products.
Being scared is a negative reaction that opens us up on many levels, to the acceptance that something bad can occur and because of that it generally does.

There are other people who remain positive and knowingly or even unconsciously
have the characteristic of Mind over Matter and will remain healthy.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Warts and All


The Well Tree




Damage by coins




Access to the Well



About two miles from here and a short way up a leafy lane stands, a frequently visited tree. It is known affectionately around here as The Well Tree.

It is a very tall Ash with two trunks and branches that appear to scrape the sky, or at the very least, touch the clouds.

The trunks grow upwards, dividing out of a six foot high single trunk and where they separate a 'v' shaped hollow was formed; very like a reservoir, here it is known as a well, for it fills with rain water and in hot summers dries out.

It is to this hollow that people with warts or other ailments come. To dip their hands into the water on three separate occasions or fill a small bottle and take the water away.

Each time a sufferer visits the Well Tree they leave behind them a token, an offering, a gift. The majority of people hammer coins into the Bark, some healing trees are now known as Money Trees because of the quantity of coins in the bark.

It is in the long run very unfortunate for the tree, because the metal coins slowly poison the trees and rot sets in to bring about their early demise.

I do consider this coin offering an odd superstition, with a very back handed gratuity to the tree which has healed the sufferers !

Monday, 19 October 2009

October is Golden

I used to drink a white wine once called Golden Oktober and it was my favourite tipple. A refreshing, pleasant little wine to sip away at on Saturday afternoons, to tease away time. Taken with a few light sandwiches or may be fruit pie.

I think that it was the name that attracted me far more than its quality which was hardly superior!


October is Golden! It is the last month of ancient Summertime, until some fool introduced the term Autumn. Only three seasons in the year then, Winter, Spring & Summer and I think it would be far more practical to revert back to that. There are still crops in the fields and fruit on the trees, the produce therefore declares that it is still summer.




October is golden


How near to me


the blemished leaves


That cling dearly to the branch


soon to fade


crumble and die.


Will I like them


Like you


Run before the great wind


across the cosmic grass


To gather


in a place called Late Summer.



Taking advantage of the few remaining summery days, we arose early to skip breakfast, that is apart from a strong cup of coffee. Which one of my friends calls 'brain food' , bless her for her wit and understanding of what is an important morning ritual that kick starts the day for so many of us.


We set off driving through a light fog that thankfully, was being rapidly burnt off by the warm sun. To the West coast, crossing the River Shannon at Portumna to stop in the Forest Park and give the dog some necessary exercise. Before continuing onwards to our shoreside destination, a beach renown for holey stones and luminescent mother of pearl shells that now grace our bathroom.


It was dog's first siting of the sea, enjoying a romp on the beach, the gently lapping waters of Galway Bay held no attraction to him, he was only enticed into the sea to stand in water three inches deep. By a whistled command from herself, who stood ankle deep in the cool waters.


A boreen leads away up from the beach, at the end stands a beautiful ruin. An old stone farmhouse, the sight of which enticed me with camera in hand to record it's remaining features. For through a glass less window I saw: a cut stone, hand tooled fire place, this was surely then a home that was loved and built by proud people.

And as I stepped in through the door less doorway into the kitchen, hearing in my mind the strains of a jigs n' reels and of dancing feet tapping rhythmically on the floor.

Today alas its the combined music of Atlantic winds and bird song that graces this home, where humans live no more.





Thursday, 15 October 2009

Life The Stage

Photo is The Minack Theatre Cornwall




My Blog this week I have called Life the Stage, it is really about death and of how life's perceptions can change. The subject of death hardly ever gets an airing and is rarely discussed most likely because of our conscious fear, regardless of the fact that it is a journey that we all must undertake and from which there is no escape.


Earlier this week I was conversing with a friend about life, its mysterious intricacies, the paths that we have walked that have somehow led us to where we are now. To have the circle of friends that we have now, yet each of us started out in different places on the planet at different dates.


As individuals our lives contain experiences that shaped us and these continue, through some remarkable events or an event in our separateness that brought us all together. This does make me wonder is life accidental or are we living to a pre arranged script ?


Perhaps the poem below will clarify for you the words that I have left unsaid above, even though you may need to read the poem more than once.



Life the Stage


The living dreams of life

stay curious in minds that sleep

As we thespians play out

unwritten lines from a script.


A mystery in waxed footfalls

the rugged stage stumbles players

To shout aloud ‘accident’

unaware of the plot.

That pain creates character.


Babes whimper in hungry winds

starved of words that feed

The editors press with love

that which parents fumble to create.


A continuous dramatic comedy

ever changing scenes unheralded

Through time and space the acts

receive no applause or curtain calls.


For thespians are the critics unpaid

as unborn babes queue as audience

Impatient for a part on the stage.



© MRL 1983