Thursday, 23 November 2017

A Watery Awakening!

Tuesday night was not one of my best for sleep was hard to find. I was wearing one of those blood pressure cuffs that inflated every hour during the night and every half an hour in the day time, It was damnably annoying for I was awoken each time. From my bed I could hear extremely heavy rain falling in torrents, making a drumming noise that only storms do.

So it was of no real surprise to find a pond in our road the following morning. The roadside drain had been supposedly cleared by a contractor who specialises in such things, though some only do the minimum of work and of cosmetic appearance only. The six-inch ceramic pipe which actually carries away the water to a lower level was still blocked and the reliance on seepage only, had created the pond.

A pond covering our southerly entrance.

I had an appointment with the doctor at 10.30am, just a few miles away, no more than a 5 km drive. We took our normal route and were flagged down by a man in a van so Mrs H slowed down to a crawl and just as well that she did for a round the corner a powerful muddy torrent several millimetres deep was crossing the road. Further along we could see a vehicle that had ben swept into the ditch.

Water from the river Barrow over flows fields and roads

The Barrow water flows on...

The impassable state left us no alternative than to return and try another route via the nearby village of Rosenallis. Our journey this time progressed quite well, although there was some ponding that had to be negotiated with care, it was safe enough, until we approached Tinnahinch bridge. There we were met by yet another raging, muddy flow from the river Barrow which had taken charge of the road, forcing us back to Rosenallis.

Tinnahinch Bridge

A hardy Donkey bathes its feet

Trees sucked from the riverbank block the flow 
of a normally tranquil river

On the other side of  Tinnahinch bridge

Our only alternative now was to drive to Killiegh in Co Offaly, along a road that borders the Clodiagh river whose banks are quite high. I felt this would be our only route to the Doctors even though it was miles out of our way. 
It was the right decision as we only met with one small over flow from the embankment and several small road pondings en route.
Finally the damn gadget was removed from my left bicep and the results were given to me. 

At Clonaslee

The Clodiagh River it too misbehaved
making a nuisance of it's self.
Unlike the River Barrow which joins the sea at
Waterford, the Clodiagh travels into Co. Ofally and eventually
flows into the River Shannon to join the sea south of Limerick.

The Clodiagh in full flow northwards to Ofally

Near me the flooded pasture of a neighbour.

Back at home. When a few hours later, a friend arrived in his jeep and we went off exploring to take photos of our earlier watery obstructions. Today, Thursday 80 percent of the floods have drained away.
Have you any experiences of being flooded or have a similar journey to ours ?

The waters flowed into Mountmellick a town of about 5,000 people

Saturday, 18 November 2017


I may very well be a bit quiet for a while for I have just bought myself my first iPhone and I shall need time to get used to it. So am a bit like a rabbit in the headlights at the moment !

Not the first smart phone I have ever had there was a samsung that drove me crazily over the hill and is now lying asleep somewhere in middle England as I gave it to my daughter for her too do whatever
herself wanted to do. 

This time I know in my heart that I shall be safe with an Apple product as am quite able with my iMac and even when occasionally I muck up there is an expert to talk me through a self made mire.

I will catch up with you all before too long!

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

In Celebration of Samhain

Yes it is Samhain today !

Cairn L at Loughcrew, Co. Meath where on one stone the
Samhain sun shines.

Samhain is the last of the Fire Festivals and the penultimate before Winter Solstice [Grianstad an Gheirnhridh] after which the first celebration is the Birth of the New Sun (New Year) [An bhlian úr agus breith an ghrian nua]

All that is written above is not old folk lore yarns. It is factual and can be proved by astronomical calculations/observations.

The druids of today such as me are as keenly aware what is going on in the sky above their heads as were the people of eight thousand years ago. It is to those wise people, men and women that we applaud for having constructed the mounds/cairns so very carefully that the light of the sun is able to shine in on set dates throughout the year to illuminate particular stones the backwalls.

I have two examples to share with you as proof of what I am saying,
both of the places are of equal importance, as are all of the mounds throughout Ireland and elsewhere.

The Mound of the Hostages at Tara and Cairn L at Loughcrew. 
Both of them situated in Co. Meath and several miles apart, there are as I have said many other mounds in Ireland most of which have never been opened or excavated and perhaps that is a good thing too.

The Mound of the Hostages at Tara in Co. Meath
at Samhain.

Well, now last night I set out a poem and thinking it finished I went to bed to sleep soundly. Then on arising glanced again at what had been written and added a a few lines more. So here it is for your perusal :


Thrown back in time
No fault of my own.

As watery light falls
Greenly through glass

While fumes flow lazily
Up black chimney stack

Smiling smoke turf flavoured
An ambrosian dessert for all

On this ancient day
Ruled by sullen sky

SAMHAIN has birthed
A new season

Winter is her name

born on
 7th November 2017

Heralded by a shaft of Light
in Tara’s Mound of the Hostages.

© MRL 7/11/17