Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Self Portrait

I don't believe that I have ever shared with you that my first love was painting and that at various times in my life I have been quite prolific. During the in-between times my mind was wholly taken up with poetry which filled and satisfied my being.

Creative poetry now seems to have left me high and dry once again ! So I have now returned to my first love once more and have set myself up in our spare room.

In the background are my glass paintings which provide a screen between two rooms.

Here is a replenished supply of my oil painting tools, the tin lid in the foreground is my palette.
I don't believe in wasting money on fancy equipment apart from 
my Peterson pipe and baccy of course - both very necessary to me!

Here is my painting, after twenty-five years of being in the doldrums. 
This is my first ever attempt at a self portrait (minus glasses and wrinkles of course - wink!) 
The background is Co. Clare where we recently holidayed.

Please let me know your opinions in the comments section.

Wednesday, 5 December 2018


I am not in my studio today. Waiting for the paint to dry is an excuse for feeling lazy, due perhaps to my nocturnal travels.

There is a portal in the bedroom that I enter that allows me to visit other realms of life. Last night's journey was to faery and I had some wonderful adventures with those special folk. We went to a hurling match which was quite violent at times, almost like a faery war but not. Did you know that outside of the arena they play their fiddles for the sole purpose of encouraging and enlivening the hurlers ? That was news to me.

After the match I made my way home via a coastal route that took me close to the sea where I saw an old chap fishing with his pole, dressed in colourful clothes and wearing a wooly cap. I think he felt a bit shy because as I watched the colours of his clothing started to fade until all that was left of him was a black outline that pulsated once or twice and then was gone for good.

The fisherman did appear again later and this time he was just an outline of himself sitting precariously (I thought) on a very thin, twiggy branch of a blackthorn tree. This time I avoided staring at him for any length of time in case he took fright again. 

My journey ceased near a mound not too far from where I live and very soon I was back in bed and sound asleep.

So What did you do before sleep
last night ?

Wednesday, 21 November 2018


This is my five-hundredth blog post and the last photos of our recent holiday
on the West coast of Co Clare.

It would be fair to title this photo 'Ancient and Modern'.
In the foreground is the traditional curach which has been in use for centuries 
by the inshore fishermen of Ireland.

Modern lobster and crab pots made of steel.
My eye was caught by the high trees, so close to the shore, an unusual sight
in this part of Clare for you can travel for miles without seeing any at all.

The glorious limestone of the Burren dominates all 
and provides an eye stopping backdrop.

The small harbour of Ballyvaghan and a large old anchor

The houses of Ballyvaghan seem to cling to the shore for survival, 
squashed as they are between the Burren hills and the sea.

Further along the coast is Fanore beach with its sand dunes. 
I imagine that it may be a good place to fish with a rod and line 
given the right conditions.

In the foreground are the feeding grounds of sea birds as well as herons and egrets.
The rocky isles are almost totally covered by the high tides each day.

Night falls slowly and the sea has a particular look about it 
that says winter is not far away.

The ever-present elements of wind powered waves crash upon coastal rocks
to shape the land that we call home.


My great appreciation and thanks to everyone who visits and reads this blog
and please leave me a comment for it is nice know who has visited.

Monday, 12 November 2018


This blog has returned to normal, well whatever normal is... This blog is a continuation of our holiday in Co. Clare and the photos are those that were taken in the early morning immediately after my first nights sleep in a strange bed. A single bed at that, which in itself felt strange, not having the comfortable companionship of a sleeping partner immediately next to me. 

The dawn light breaks lovingly through in the eastern sky.

On the horizon the low fog and the sea reflects the dawn lights.
And all is tranquil.

Looking to the northeast-ish.

Our holiday home and the replaced Bentley catches the early light.

Long shadows are cast upon the ground, typical for the time of the year.

The small harbour of Ballyvaghan with its fishing boats sit silently shrouded under 
Cappanwalla and Gleninagh Moutains of The Burren.

Later that day we visited an Arts and Crafts Exhibition where Jane met a local artist Helen Lowe.
 It turned out, unknown to me, that they are Facebook friends ! 

There are more photo's to share with you because I really do want to show case
this part of Ireland with you all.

Monday, 5 November 2018

The un-coffined ones.

I had a strange experience when we were taking a late summer holiday in Ballyvaghan in Co.Clare. One clear, sunny day I sat looking at the sea at high tide, the only movement was from the waves as they ended their journey and gently touched the shore.

I became aware that there were lines of greyish-white floating on the water. As I looked more carefully I saw it was script and could make out names, numbers and even the names of ships in some of the lines.

The majority of names were foreign ones, though mingled between them were the more recognisable Irish and British names. Nearly all of these names had numbers, such 23,16, 78 and 52 next to them which I presumed were ages. In some cases names of ships also followed. 

Hundreds and hundreds lines of names were floating towards the shoreline and disappearing in the slight foam as it touched the beach.
This vision went on without stopping for an hour and a half, until I just had to take a break and go indoors for a cup of coffee and biscuit where I shared my experience with my companion.

About an hour later I returned to the car for a pipe of tobacco. 
Surprisingly my earlier ‘vision’ was still there, the script was identical in style although the names were different.

The next day when I looked at the sea at high tide the vision was still there only this time, 
I was unable to decipher the language for it was written in an oriental language similar to Chinese Hanzi.
My conclusion is that my vision showed the names of people who had been drowned at sea and whose bodies were never recovered. 

Water has memory, an idea first propounded by Samuel Hahnemann, a 18th-century German doctor and then debunked by scientists of the day and sadly by some today.
However, in the 1980’s Dr. Jacques Benveniste proved that water does indeed have memory. Unfortunately Dr. Benveniste died before any awards could be made but Prof. Luc Montagnier, Nobel Prize Laureate, has taken on the formidable task of following the pioneering work of Beneviste.  Once again it has been proven that water has the ability to reproduce the properties of any substance it once contained.  In other words - water has memory.

Back to my vision - what then caused me to see this?
I have no answer, nor do I know if others have had the same experience.
This experience did lead me to construct a poem from my vision 

The Un-coffined Ones

I watched in awe a million names drift ashore
grey white words floating on waves
To become absorbed gently on the foreshore
and beached at last for evermore.

Written in old unused script
names foreign unknown
from long ago and yesterday
The lost un-coffined ones.

Pedro, Sebastian, Antonio
Jon- Marie, Roberta, Siobhan
To name but a few
Names of the lost dead

Mourned and perhaps still loved
beneath the waves they lie deep
In the oceans depths untouched
No flowers for their graves.

© MRL November 2018

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Different Views

I really had to take a photo of the Heron hunting for food !

The poor quality of the photo above is because I was too lazy to use the tripod... 
and perhaps over fed.

LINANNE'S BAR at New Quay, Co. Clare.

This is my favourite Bar and Seafood Restaurant and so popular that the best time to visit to be sure of getting a table is in the winter on a weekday lunchtime.

Sea fresh lobsters stuffed with prawns are my favourite and if unavailable then I can recommend their seafood pie which is also delicious. 
Washed down fifteen minutes afterwards with a pint of Guinness!

The Russell Gallery - http://www.russellgallery.net

A truly amazing place to wander around and see a great variety of arts & crafts.

There a great many very attractive and skilful paintings there, a few of which I would have brought home had we the wall space. 

One in particular, entitled 'Not all who wander are lost' by Roland Byrne 
really caught my eye - follow this link and see for yourselves.

I love this old building which is so full of character and as well as the gallery it also has a small bistro that sells a wide range of organic wines with delicious dishes. 
Mine choice was their Antipasto which I did great justice to, not a crumb was left.
 I can also recommend their great coffee.

Reflecting on reflections.

Mrs H took this amazing photo of me looking out of the widow of our holiday home.

Here she is again beachcombing.

My good self with the amiable Toby.

I took dozens of photo's during our holiday and have lots tales about
our fun times too; so as they say watch this space for there is more to come !

Monday, 15 October 2018


I am off on my holidays and thus I shall not be blogging for awhile and may not even return as I am losing interest. Perhaps I will return and perhaps not.

Just so's you don't forget me

I have just had my beard re-sculpted by a Turkish Barber !

Saturday, 29 September 2018


What does an only child do to find friends when he lives in one town in which he was not born and attends school in another town which is six miles away? 
He joins the Wolf Cubs at the age of nine in 1952 to improve his social life and gain a few playmates.

By joining I was following in my father's footsteps. There were no cubs in his day so at the age of eleven he joined a Midlands Scout Troop in 1914, becoming a Patrol Leader and an adept First Aider, Woodsman, Tracker and Cook.

4th Newton Abbot Wolf Cub Pack
I am standing in the back row on the end right.

I progressed through the Wolf Cubs completing the training and earning badges for all of the tests, the first being 'how to thread a needle and sew on a badge'.     
My memory is a little hazy but I do know that we had to learn to march and to keep in step, otherwise a loud voice would shout out "Lloyd, do you have two left feet?" 
Oh the ignominy I felt when that was said. 
Eventually it was no trouble at all to keep in step with the others.

Life progressed and eventually I passed on to become a Boy Scout (or sprout) in the 4th Newton Abbot Scout Group and in 1954 the troop attended The Devon Jamboree which was an international gathering from about ten different countries. 
There were two amusing incidents that lightened up my boring stay there. One was when The Chief Scout's jeep knocked down the entrance of a local troops gateway and the second when a Scandinavian Scout fell into the latrine and was taken to hospital.

However I was very glad that I attended the jamboree and experienced all of the dumbing down by the seniors, for that gave me the impetus to join the local the 1st Newton Abbot Sea Scouts.
In those days they met in a room above the Seven Stars Public House and on my second meeting I was initiated into the fine art of imbibing beer!

After a few weeks of learning the skills of drinking we relocated ourselves to Hackney, near Kingsteignton on the upper estuary of the River Teign and handily enough only a stones throw from The Passage House Inn.
Now this fine hostel stocked not just beer and ales but that grandest of West Country Liquor - Rough Cider/Scrumpy, as well as delicious platefuls of crab sandwiches. 
Jack Hayward was the landlord, a most amenable man, who was always ready to have a laugh and not ask any silly questions regarding age.

The 1st Newton Abbot Sea Scout Group.
This time I am in the back row and the fourth from the left, 
my sailors hat was too small and made me look as if I had a high forehead.

Myself with my back to the camera being ferryman to the photographer 
and his son sitting in the stern.

Tuesday evenings were our regular Scouts' night of tuition, learning various knots and what they were used for, first aid, tracking, identification of birds found in the estuary and at sea, their calls and coastal navigation. 
We were taught to estimate the height of a tree by its shadow and to find north using a wrist or pocket watch - point the hour hand to the sun and the numeral six on the face is north. 
The Sea Scouts were able to do all that the Land Scouts could do and lots more besides, including unarmed combat.

A four man racing gig where I am the bow oar, my position, 
regardless of the type of craft that we were rowing. 
Whether it was a naval cutter or whaler, Mel was the bow oar.

Our boat crew did well at the regattas. One year we came first in the West of England Whaler Championship at Dartmouth and we also won the Ships in Harbour race.
Dartmouth College, or to use it's full name Brittania Royal Naval College, was our second home during the summer for two weeks, where we held our Summer Camp in a variety of tents.
Lots of fun was had by all and sundry. 

I can honestly say that joining the Sea Scouts gave me great pleasure for several years of my life.
Messing about in boats, whether rowing or sailing, is a very healthy life with lots of exercise that keeps a person fit and mentally alert. 
I could write a book about all the goings on however, I'm sure your imagination and a few earlier hints can fill in the dots - if only our parents had known !

Sunday, 23 September 2018


On Saturday we took a road that is now very familiar.
We were visiting a friend's art exhibition, titled 'Ancestral Breath', at the Loughcrew Megalithic Centre. This is Lar's second exhibition at the centre and it opened earlier this week, in time for Autumn Equinox.

Lar Dooley a with Mrs H

Lar is a Primitive Artist who has developed his own unique style of painting
which is very textured and almost tempts the onlooker to touch the surfaces.

He is inspired by Ireland's ancient monuments and carvings.

I am very attracted by his depiction of the Poulnabrone Dolmen, Co Clare

The artist himself - Lar Dooley September 2018

Monday, 17 September 2018

Snippets !

Our grandson's artwork and an explanation.

The rabbits are playing hide n seek in the garden with the hedgehog, it's the last game of the day as the sun is setting & they must go into animal castle for the night to be safe... The lights are on in the castle to welcome them in & the drawbridge is down ready!

Mrs H's new shoes and Toby's hairy paws. 
I wonder if she should now be called Twinkly Toes ?

I have often noticed that this particular roof is always covered in pigeons,
surely they don't nest there other wise their eggs would roll off ?

The roadside welcome to Kinvarra when arriving from Galway - City of the Tribes.

The Tribes were the fourteen merchant families who prospered from trade with continental Europe. They dominated Galway's municipal government during the medieval and early modern eras.

My new pipe arrived in the post today a gift from  Mrs H who has been encouraging me 
to replace my old one for a couple of years now.

Sunday, 9 September 2018

R and R

You may have noticed that I have been absent from the world of blogging for a considerable time and my excuse is that I accompanied Mrs H  who was exhibiting her artwork, for a little over 9 weeks, at The Loughcrew Megalithic Centre near Oldcastle in Co. Meath. It was very successful and we met a lot of interesting people from all over the world, as well as making lots of new friends and reconnecting with old ones.

Physically we both felt weary after the exhibition closed so we decided to treat ourselves to a bit of R and R to recharge our batteries.

We have a favourite place in which to do this, a world away from our habitat, a place that I can best describe as being an area of old wildness that is skirted by the sea, a place that has always revitalised us with it's gentleness.

Please enjoy the photos.
Tell me do you too have a favourite place where you recharge your inner battery ?

A refurbished Norman Towerhouse

A ladies bike with no sign of the owner and just to make sure that she had not
jumped into the sea I did take a look.

Seeing this oarsmen reminded me of a favourite piece of music, The Lonesome Boatman.

This old timer always catches my eye.

I'm not sure whether the yacht on the quay side has recently been removed from the water or if she has been there all summer. 

As for this green hulled boat I assume that it is a workboat of some kind or other.  
One thing is for sure it is the first craft I have ever seen to have exhaust pipes on 
either side of the wheelhouse.

A bird on the loose ?
Long ago, in a former occupation of mine, seagulls were known as being
re-incarnated Fleet Chief Petty Officers, others knew them as shite hawks.

Now here is a really tidy, neat and clean looking sloop to be proud of.

What about this elderly lady, isn't she in good shape for her age ?

I bet her owner is very proud of her !