Thursday, 29 January 2015

Domestic Bliss

Midnight - Cats asleep © Llwyd 2015
The ginger female cat called Squeaky is 9yrs old and our black cat, Magic,
 is twelve years of age. The photo is slightly out of focus because 
I wasn’t wearing my spectacles.

I think it is time for a change of topic, as you all must be getting fairly bored with the ever tiresome politics of our world.

Snow is falling fast, to melt as soon as it touches the ground, small birds are at the feeders pecking at peanuts and a dozen others including robins, are on the path all stoking up on cous- cous.
Ms H was telling me this morning that in the back garden we now have
an almost resident hen pheasant who feeds there regularly along with a friendly thrush and jovial blackbirds.

In the field opposite, the ever wise yearlings/store cattle have taken temporary shelter under hedge and as soon as the storm abates they will return to strip grazing the pasture.

Inside: our forty year old Stanley cooker fuelled by Bord na Mona brickettes is giving out lots of heat and the Caframo fan is spinning madly away sending waves of hot air all around the room. 
Nevertheless I have on my old Malin-Head fleece sitting on top of an equally old denim shirt. I do appreciate the gentle warmth of 20C in the centuries old kitchen which is now our sitting room. 

Time now to put the kettle on for a pot of tea for two, why not step inside and join us? Don’t forget to bring biscuits.

Monday, 26 January 2015


Originator unknown.

“The Greeks taught us democracy and now they have taught how to take it back”  said a recent tweet. 

It would have been more accurate to write that the ancient Greeks birthed an ancient form of democracy. For during the course of time the concept of democracy has changed considerably, depending on which country believes it’s self to be  a democratic country.

The term originates from the Greek δημοκρατία (dēmokratía) "rule of the people", which was found from δῆμος (dêmos) "people" and κράτος (krátos) "power" or "rule" in the 5th century BC to denote the political systems then existing in Greek city-states, notably Athens; the term is an antonym to ἀριστοκρατία (aristokratía) "rule of an elite". While theoretically these definitions are in opposition, in practice the distinction has been blurred historically.[3] The political system of Classical Athens, for example, granted democratic citizenship to an elite class of free men and excluded slaves and women from political participation. 
In virtually all democratic governments throughout ancient and modern history, democratic citizenship consisted of an elite class until full enfranchisement was won for all adult citizens in most modern democracies through the suffrage movements of the 19th and 20th centuries.

The citizens choose and replace the government through free and fair elections;
There is active participation of the citizens in politics and civic life;
There is protection of the human rights of all citizens.
There is rule of law, in which the laws and procedures apply equally to all citizens. 
Eligible citizens are able to: 1) vote for the passing/rejecting of laws or run for office during elections, 2) join political parties, sit on boards or committees, and criticise or protest, 3) feel that some of their rights are protected, and 4) receive a fair trial if accused of breaking the country's laws. Politicians represent their constituents in the proposal, development and establishment of the laws by which their society is run.

It remains to be seen whether Tsipras will be able to carry out his election promises!

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Plain Crazy

It never ceases to amaze me of how some peoples ridiculous actions can cause so much hurt in the community. Such as the destruction and removal of  a mythological statue of Mannanán Mac Lír over looking  Lough Foyle

It is probable that fundamental christians are to blame for the removal, given that a cross with the words of the first commandment on it was left behind. Shame on their ignorance for there is I believe another commandment about 'stealing'

Sunday, 18 January 2015

My birthday Jan 9th

A birthday cake

January 9th is my birthday. I was going to write up something about me and then, well we all know what occurred in Paris on that day. 
So I gave over my day and published something quite different to what I had planned. A reasonable amount of time has now passed and so I shall rekindle my thoughts.

On this birthday I became 72 years of age, although to be quite honest I am not convinced, of whether I am 27 or 72 because I actually feel like 35 and sometimes a bit younger. 

When I look in the mirror, which is not very often as I gave up shaving long ago, I wonder to which of my ancestors do I resemble. There is no answer and no photographs of either my father or his father at seventy-two for both died in their mid fifties. 
Their age of passing influenced me greatly, leading me to decide  in my early forties, to plan a life style change which would remove stress and give me the experience of total freedom. I chose this path in case I too had an early demise and so I retired early, in my forty-eighth year.

Life always throws up challenges and ironically within a few weeks of moving to my rural retreat, along came a entrepreneur who asked me to design an a piece of equipment for him - I stuck to my plan however and denied him, as did others and to my knowledge his idea never came to fruition. 

I did though make a return to employment - though not as a design engineer as I was previously, this time it was in Development Education as a Facilitator, a position that I greatly enjoyed and brought me into contact with some very interesting people. Folk who actually care and work towards improving the social and living conditions of people in our impoverished and mutilated world.

The above paragraph above brings me back as to why I published a comment from a former editor Philippe Val of Charlie Hebdo and why from time to time this blog highlights issues that disturb me greatly.

Please view

Friday, 9 January 2015


  • Ex-editor: 'Silence is the threat'

    Posted at 
    Charlie Hebdo's former editor Philippe Val: "Do you know what threatens democracy the most? Silence. To reduce ourselves to silence means that we will lose all we have gained of liberty, freedom for women, for homosexuals, the freedom to come and go as we please, moral freedom.
    "But we must not believe that the Muslims who are today outraged by what has happened cannot understand it. They can understand it. They can understand that today, their religion needs to reform. So that it does not in the heart of the democracy where they have chosen to live, create terrorists, terrorism, which is of course opposed by most Muslims, who are victims of it."

Monday, 5 January 2015


A gathering of the European Rainbow Family took place at Ballyhupahaun in the Slieve Bloom mountains. Approximately two thousand people from all around the world attended and although the core group was possibly only half that number, during their three week stay their was a continuos stream of people arriving and leaving on a daily basis.

I first heard of the event when I was on my annual visit to my mother who was living in Glastonbury, Somerset in early July 1993. 
I was in the town when I bumped into an old friend who was waiting at a bus stop and just as her bus arrived she said “I’m going to Ireland soon to a Rainbow Camp” and before I could ask whereabouts, she was gone.

Early the next day I too was on my way back to Ireland via Pembroke in Wales, to catch the ferry to Rosslare followed by a two and half hour drive to my then bachelor home.  A few days later I was having a cup of tea and a chat with my turf supplier, when his wife told me about the Rainbow people who were camping up in the mountains. I waited for a couple of days before making a visit to the camp and the very first person I met was my friend from Glastonbury!

Photo © Senator John Whelan 1993
European Rainbow Family Gathering at Ballyhupahaun, Slieve Blooms 1993
Further information in regard to the Rainbow Gathering can be read at

After that I was a frequent visitor and towards the end of the gathering she asked if she, her daughter and other friends could come and stay with me for a few days. I happily agreed and also offered to take them to Cork to catch the Swansea ferry if they supplied the petrol. 

So we eventually set off to take a slow meandering route to Cork, via counties Offaly, Galway, Clare, Limerick and Kerry. Our destination in Kerry was of course Dingle and a visit to see Fungi the dolphin. Once there I parked on the quay side and waited whilst they took the boat to see the popular marine mammal. 
Afterwards we drove around Dingle bay looking for a secluded spot to pitch two small tents. We found a small grassy promontory on the bank of a creek which seemed to be last resting place for old trawlers.

Dingle Bay and Harbour (see inset below)

A creek of Dingle bay.
We camped very close to the two smaller boats
Both maps: source Apple Maps

Myself and another man took one tent whilst the three women had the other with sufficient room between the two tents for a small cooking fire. Behind us was a rusting boundary fence belonging to the overgrown garden of a derelict cottage and front of us a wide creek. 

Sleep came easily for we had had a busy day. 
During the night I was awoken by a noise that could best be described as the sound of children playing in the school yard. It was coming from behind our tent and getting progressively closer. I finally heard an authoritative male voice say “Leave them alone! They are alright”.
I lay quietly in my sleeping bag wondering whether to awaken my companion but decided that it was pointless so started to drift back to sleep. Again I was disturbed by exactly the same noise of children playing and the male voice. Eventually I slept.

Next morning all five of us gathered by the fire where I began telling my companion what I had heard during the night.  At the same time Ms S started to relate to her companions exactly the same account. She too had heard the children playing and the male voice!

Later I looked in the over-grown garden to see if it had been disturbed at all. No grass had been flattened, no footprints were visible, there were no signs of a human presence having been there.
To this day I have no idea of the source of the nocturnal noises. 

Dingle Faeries perhaps ?

Has anyone an explanation or had a similar experience in Dingle or elsewhere ?