Monday, 30 May 2011

A Task Completed

I have at last completed the task and 90% of my poems are up on my new blog.

Behind in a cupboard are a few who wished to remain in the dark by their own choice of course. I decide not cajole them out into the sunshine but to leave them in a safe place… one day, one or two might wish to join their family on the blog and only time will tell.

If you have the time please make a visit and leave a comment, for I do so enjoy your words.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Busy Bee

I just happened to be passing the flower bed when I noticed this greedy fellow having his tea,
so I rushed indoors and grabbed the camera.

After resizing the photo I recalled that Arthur Askey had a silly little song about a Bee that actually made him famous.

Friday, 27 May 2011

My Poetry

On Thursday I created a new blog called Words of a Rambling Mind which will eventually host 99% of my poetry representing thirty years of inspired writing.

Last year I made an audio disc on my mac which only partially satisfied my desire to share with about twenty people my work.

Recently I made the decision to share the majority of them with the world of blog readers, as I saw no advantage in them lying in my desk and gathering dust.

Over the years most have been published in various magazines and others in an anthology that was published in the mid eighties called Vision of Words.

This morning I received a surprise mail from a lady in America saying how uplifted & revitalized she felt after reading one of them. I was humbled by her words and it supported my idea of sharing. For if only one person gets pleasure, then all of this will be worthwhile.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Safari & - in conflict

My great appreciation to the techies at for sorting out yesterday's difficulties and
changing my mind about setting up a new blog elsewhere.

A big cheer from me to the techies !


We have a friend who has spent 37 years of his life as a local forester. An interesting man, whose heart and soul is immersed in the wildlife of our local mountains and in the artifacts that remain from ancient people that once inhabited the Slieve Blooms.

During the winter of last year, while he was surveying an area of forest that was to be felled, he discovered a large stone which he later described to me as having a pattern on it that looked as if it had been carved using baked bean cans. I recognized from his description that this might be 'cup & ring marks' and asked him to preserve the area.

Now as eager as we were to visit the site the weather in November was not on our side and so we waited until springtime with it's drier and warmer conditions. Our walk across the clear felled area was tough going and we were very glad to be wearing waterproof boots and wind proof clothing. We were absolutely delighted with the find and such a rarity too. In fact we made another trip to the boulder with some interested friends and with their help we managed to tip it up on its side and photograph the other face.

The boulder is sandstone and judging by its rounded edges it was once shaped by the action of water though that is quite common for the majority of loose stone found in this area. The geology of the Slieve Blooms includes Old Red Sandstone, laid down 370 millions years ago, which underlies much of the mountains. Under the sandstone lies the blue-grey rocks of the Silurian period.

The top surface with fascinating markings.

A detail similar to that found on other stones.

Markings on the underside.

My personal feelings are that it may have been a rear stone from a Bronze Age burial chamber, as the landscape of this country once contained thousands of such buildings; some of which were destroyed by agriculture and the forestry industry. The carvings are not like any of the cup and ring marks depicted on other stones; although there is a stone at Tara which has one similar pattern, that of three linked circles. There is no way of knowing what the carver had in mind. Both faces of the stone are carved and there are slight markings on the sides too.

The carved boulder 's position has been logged & named on the GPS and its discovery reported to the geologist Dr. John Feehan for further investigation, when his findings are known I will report back.

Friday, 13 May 2011

The Trip to Scotland

Our journey to Scotland started at 7a.m. We avoided motorways as far as possible making our journey northwards to Belfast swift and uneventful and so fast that we were able to catch an earlier ferry to Stranraer than the one we had booked to travel on. The Stena Voyager is a catamaran in design with four powerful pumps that push it through the water at a superb pace. The interior to my mind is plush to say the least and we always find ourselves some seating in the quiet area away from the noise of piped entertainment. Up for'ard you get good visibility of the sea, plus a small coffee bar with sticky buns and sandwiches as there is nothing like a snack to pass the time away. Except this time because I wasn't driving, only being the navigator, I took myself to the bar on the mezzanine for a couple of pints of Bass ale and they slid down like nectar.

The Stena Voyager

Disembarking was smooth and we were soon on the A75 heading towards the village, a short journey which took 1 hour 10 minutes and into the welcoming arms of our hostess.

The next day we hit the shops in Castle Gregory, The Gatehouse of Fleet and Kirkcudbright all of us picking up some great bargains; mine were a leather coat and trousers plus a denim cap. Refreshments were needed after shopping & a hotel provided me with a pint of McEwans Export ale revitalizing my tired parts.

The Grey Mare's Tail

The following day saw us heading into the Craigdews of the Galloway Hills, to a place special for our hostess. Our first stop was at "The Grey Mares Tail", a waterfall where three of our members were visited by a familiar in the shape of an Tawny Owl. From there we made our way to a place of high energy where we celebrated Bealtaine in a forest glade close to a fast flowing river and we arrived back to our holiday home with sufficient time to visit The Cream O Galloway; My first visit was two years ago and the taste of their wonderful ice cream cannot be beaten and I have sampled lots of different brands over the years. We are now planning a return visit sometime next year.

During the rest of of our stay we visited beaches and bays along the shoreline, explored, relaxed and sampled the haggis.

St Andrew's Kirk at Kirk

The pebbled porch floor of the kirk

An island off the beach entices the mind to create dreams !

Silver wavelets come ashore at Brighouse Bay.
(Brig refers to the goddess Brigit, she is everywhere)

Ross Bay
(In the far distance the hills of northern England are visible as smoky smudges)

A Heron with Attitude
(I could not resist taking this pic !)

Stena's MV Caledonian

Our ferry to Belfast on the MV Caledonian the journey was 3 hours long this time as opposed to 2 hours on the outward voyage. We returned to our home in the Irish midlands both tired exhilarated.

Monday, 2 May 2011


A small group of us will soon be traveling to Scotland to link up with like minded people and united, we will celebrate Bealtaine on 6th of May, at a place not terribly far from The Gatehouse of Fleet in Dumfries and Galloway.

This fire festival is a time of fertility and conception, a time of play in the warm summer sun, a time when cattle were driven between two fires as a cleansing and to increase their regenerative potency. At this time the energy of the life – force is at its peak, the fires are blazing; The sun's energising heat is felt by all thus sexuality and union are honoured.

This is the time of the Lovers: Where the young God Aengus Óg, the poet son of the god Daghda has words to woo the young Goddess Caer!

Samhain Sunrise at Tara in the Mound of the Hostages

photo by Martin Dier courtesy of

Why the change of date?

It is generally accepted that the fire festivals fall on the 31st or 1st of specific months.

Many people have been studying the alignments of standing stones, stone circles and bronze age burial mounds in depth here in Ireland and they have have calculated that many are aligned to the solar midpoints which lie directly between an equinox and a solstice or a solstice and an equinox.

It is at this time when the sun illuminates the carvings on back walls of chambers or a specific stone in a similar way to the occurrence at Newgrange on Winter Solstice.

Due to changes in the calendar this happens around 5 days later than generally accepted.

So the revised dates are :-

Samhain ... 6/7th November

Imbolc ........Feb 4/5th

Bealtaine .....May 5/6th

Lughnasadh ... 6/7th September

Samhain 6/7th November

To use those other dates makes no sense at all to me as they have no alignment to the sun's course and seem to deny the validity of the ancient sites; plus they are at least a week away from the midpoint.

On our return I hope to share with you the experiences of the trip along with some photos.