Thursday, 15 August 2019

A Present from an admirer!




Does this look new to you. It is my desk top all shiny clean with none of its usual clutter and garbage that I am generally ashamed to show - yes I can be a messy beast at times.

What else is on the desk is a wonderful new iMAC  21.5 inch screen and 4K Retina with lots of bits and pieces already installed, fortunately I am very conversant with most of them; having been a Mac person since 2004 so I have seen them grow in efficiency.
Am not merely saying this because I have a very dear friend who is employed by Apple in Cupertino and is a senior manager on their design team. For as lovely as Ms X is ! Apple produce wonderful pieces of equipment from computers to iPhones and beyond.
This week Mrs H decided that the time was right to treat her loyal and ever loving partner to a new iMAC and after discussing my needs with Apple Sales the selection was made.
Contact was established with a sales person on Tuesday night and the payment made. We had previously been told that delivery was only on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So imagine our surprise when a message was received from DSL on Wednesday morning for our Eir Code number and that delivery would take place no later than 6pm.


I said oh it will probably be around 4 pm and at 4.15 the van drew up outside of our house with my magic box of tricks - Yippee we said to him after we had stopped cheering loudly!


Wednesday, 31 July 2019

A Point of View !

Damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t. The Taoiseach, that is. 
An increasing number of the voices you hear on the radio and read in the newspapers are saying the same thing. 
Brexit? It’s all Leo’s fault. And if it’s not his, it’s Simon’s.
I have to be honest and tell you I didn’t notice the moment when the Tánaiste upended the Taoiseach on live television.
Mind you, I hadn’t realised, until I read Eoghan Harris, that the backstop was designed by our Department of Foreign Affairs and implemented on instructions from Dublin by the entire European Union, bent to our will.
According to the front page of the same newspaper, a new opinion poll reveals that “Varadkar’s tactics fuel Brexit fears”. That’s surely proof, if proof you needed, that Brexit must be Leo’s fault.
Mind you, the figures in the poll don’t quite tell the story that we all think Leo is to blame. When people we asked how satisfied they were with the Taoiseach’s approach to Brexit, 43% of us said we were. 
Some 27% of us aren’t, 22% of us are neutral, and 8% of us have no opinion. In any man’s language, that means a significant majority of people who have an opinion on the matter support the Taoiseach’s approach.
That doesn’t mean he’s always going to be right, or that his view will prevail in the end. 
A moment may well come in the next few months when a new settlement becomes necessary to prevent the United Kingdom from leaving the European Union without agreement. 
Most people, I reckon, understand that’s the most catastrophic outcome possible.
And it may well be the case that as part of any new settlement, Ireland will have to offer some form of compromise.
But — and here I must respectfully disagree with the views expressed by my colleague Daniel McConnell in this paper last Saturday — until a compromise is visible, there must be no compromise. 
The Irish Government has not been guilty of gloating or triumphalism. It has not sought to rub Britain’s nose in the dirt, nor to manipulate European sentiment against the British. 
It has done what any Irish Government has to do in a crisis. It has sought to defend our interests, and in this case the interests of Northern Ireland.
Apart from anything else, one of the things the Taoiseach and Government have to bear in mind is that many of the same commentators who continually press for compromise will not applaud them, if and when they actually compromise. 
Some will say it should have happened much earlier, some will simply accuse the Government of selling out a vital national interest. That’s why this is one of those damned if you do, damned if you don’t moments.
And its not the first. Garret FitzGerald endured months of dog’s abuse after Margaret Thatcher’s “out, out, out” speech at a crucial moment in Anglo-Irish relations. 
Albert Reynolds went bald-headed at John Major when, at the last moment, the British made fundamental changes to the text of what was to become the Downing Street Declaration.
John Bruton had to summon all his nerve to cancel a summit with Major over changes they made in the text of the Joint Framework Documents, the forerunner to the Good Friday Agreement. 
The Irish delegation at the Stormont talks on the Good Friday Agreement had to hold its nerve when the deputy leader of Unionism at the time, John Taylor, said he wouldn’t touch the agreement with a 40-foot pole.
When you’re negotiating with the British government, the first rule is that you hold your nerve. Smile politely, roll out the tea and biscuits, and keep saying no. 
Sooner or later, a new idea emerges, and things that were impossible — unthinkable — yesterday become commonplace tomorrow.
It is of course possible that things may be different now. The UK has elected a new prime minister who is going to govern by the Trump playbook. Which is to say, he’s going to play to his base — the hard line Brexiteer base — for as long as he can.
And his real game, in all probability, is not Europe, but a general election. There will be months of bluster, leading to no new agreement. 
That will be followed by a proposal to the House of Commons that Britain leave without a deal — because Europe and the bloody-minded Irish have forced our hands. 
If the House of Commons disagrees, and all the precedents say they will — parliament will be dissolved and a general election will be under way.
In that election, the British people will be offered a pretty binary choice. Leave on our own terms. Stand up to Europe. Put the Irish back in their box. 
They’re the lines that will be crafted into campaign messages by the man Harris describes as Europe’s best spin doctor, Dominic Cummings. (Cummings was the alleged mastermind behind the Brexit campaign. He’s a man who uses illegally gotten data to manipulate fear and distrust into what he wants.) 
On the other side of that choice, as things stand, is a pretty simple message right now. Yes, we’re going to leave. But on negotiated terms. 
Protecting the things that need to be protected, like the rights of people, like decent standards in food and the environment, like the Good Friday Agreement.
The big issue right now is who is going to carry that message to the people with passion and conviction? Who can match Boris’s bluster and debating skill, assuming Boris debates? 
Sadly, the answer to that question right now is Jeremy Corbyn.
It's not an awe-inspiring prospect. I have no doubt whatever that one of the reasons Boris believes he can win an election is the incoherence of the opposition on this one central question.
But at the end of the day, Boris has proved that the only thing he’s really interested in is in winning. 
And he may win. Nobody can predict right now the outcome of a British general election, or even how a campaign might unfold. 
Boris is so unpredictable that we have no idea what aspect of his private or public life might emerge to do him in. 
We do know that behind the façade of political party unity, there are more than a few Tories who hate him with a passion.
So we have to watch and wait. The last thing we should do is roll over to have our tummy tickled. 
The history of Anglo-Irish relations tells us very clearly that if you’re playing cards with the British government, even while we’re the best friends in the world, you have to make sure that you supply the deck. 
That has always been the case — but never more so that now, when there is a complete chancer and life-long bluffer on the other side of the card table.

Columnist IRISH EXAMINER

Saturday, 13 July 2019

The Talented One



A Good Woman

The title of this blog post could quite easily have been 'In Praise of a Good Woman' or 'Mrs H at Work' or various other themes in praise of my life partner.

It is not easy working one these mini diggers but here she is with a smile on her face enjoying every moment with such apparent ease.

We needed to remove a low dry sandstone wall. Which I had built about twenty or so years ago with the idea of making a rockery and waterfall - oh the plans of mice and men! Completion was put on the long finger, I ought to have known better. So we have now used the stone on a far better project, namely as base for our recycling bins.

What special talents do your partners have ?










Sunday, 7 July 2019

HELLO ! I Think - i am back.


©PAUL FOREMAN /mindmapinspiration.com


Someone asked what is on my mind. I refused to answer because the inner dwelling had not yet formed into words or pictures. Only later am I able to say:-


My mind is full of beautiful positivity that continuously grows in four directions, until my whole being shall be totally filled. All in preparation for my journey. Which is mine alone, though sometimes it momentarily brushes against other minds and we share a connectivity before moving on.

©MRL 2019


Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Special Announcement

There is a lot going on in my life at the moment and changes have to be made in what activities suit me best. Therefore I am taking a long break from blogging.

Friday, 10 May 2019

Climate





Now here's a chilling fact. Every one hundred thousand years the planet had an ice age that lasted for about twelve thousand years, it has been delayed by global warming which we are being informed will be devastating on all life forms. 

My question is which would you prefer extreme cold or heat ?

ref https://www.livescience.com/28219-holocene- epoch.html

Sunday, 7 April 2019

WOODLAND SURPRISES !

When we went down to the woods yesterday we had a few big surprises!


The bluebells were out.



On the woodland avenue to Kinnitty Castle Hotel stood these fellows and a special home



A friendly looking old chap with a welcoming smile



and his charming female companion.



A special house for the wee woodland folk with a stout front door



which surely is a home to be proud of.


Sculptures by Irelands's very own master wood carver John Hayes
please view link below



I considered myself very fortunate to get this photo of a group of Sika Deer at rest.
 Four of them were aware of my presence so I kept very still to ensure they would not bolt.



Notice this years new antlers of the stag have recently started to sprout.

You can read about a previous visit to Kinnitty here -


Monday, 25 March 2019

A Hotchpotch or Soliloquy

It has been awhile since I have written on here and it is not because my thoughts have dried up, rather too many thoughts plus the return to a past activity, namely that of using art as an act of expression.

A hotchpotch is not a stew, although there are perhaps some who might like it to be. No, a Soliloquy would be perhaps the correct expression. Well, you will have to bear with me as I lay down the varied the ramblings of my mind, a seventy-six year young one at that.

I have decided to change my hair style. Since the age of fifteen, when my hair always stood upwards, it naturally mimicked that of a crew cut. Now it is being trained to flow downwards to cover my ears because I see them as being rather ugly protuberances which might be better covered up.
There is another problem with my ears, which has nothing to do with my hair style. At night I have become aware of them folding over when my head is on the pillow so I have be very careful how I place my head as I really do not want them to develop creases !

Each morning and throughout the day Mrs H and myself peer out of the window to watch the antics of a small family who live under the rose bush in the front garden. These creatures, the field mice, have very attractive ears and I would not mind if mine could be restyled to be like theirs.
I am in some doubt as to wether I ought to bring my aural concerns to my doctor, for am not sure of what her reactions might be. It was bad enough when I mentioned drinking nettle tea to cure a small health problem, though I did suggest to her that her cold sore could be easily remedied by taking L-Lysine (one of the amino acids).
Strangely since doing so I now have visit the surgery nurse, or Dracula as I privately refer to her, she takes the bloods you see.

I cannot but wonder what is to become of Britain. Mrs H made an a simile yesterday which I agreed with in its entirety: that Britain could be equated with the old big house up the street that historically always had the money and the power over the people who lived in the cottages; whereas today the big house still stands but no longer has it any power. In fact the folk who now occupy the big house seem to have lost all direction of how to look after the property that they have inherited and the fact that is that their ancestral home is a crumbling ruin and will soon be a pile of dust.

Well that's about it and all for today, except to wish you well.












Monday, 11 March 2019

A NATION DIVIDED

To my mind no truer words on the political situation in the Britain have been stated quite so clearly and in my opinion the current situation is a very sad state of affairs.

"Dear Mrs May
I am in France having a break having come here on the train all the way from Settle. I just read your letter to me and the rest of Britain wanting us all to unite behind the damp squib you call a deal. Unite? I laughed so much the mouthful of frogs legs I was eating ended up dancing all over the bald head of the bloke on the opposite table.
Your party’s little civil war has divided this country irreparably. The last time this happened Cromwell discontinued the custom of kings wearing their heads on their shoulders
I had a mother who was of Irish descent, an English father who lies in a Dutch graveyard in the village where his Lancaster bomber fell in flames. I had a Polish stepfather who drove a tank for us in WW2 and I have two half Polish sisters and a half Polish brother who is married to a girl from Donegal.
My two uncles of Irish descent fought for Britain in N Africa and in Burma. 
So far you have called us Citizens Of Nowhere and Queue Jumpers. You have now taken away our children and grandchildren’s freedom to travel, settle, live and work in mainland Europe. 
You have made this country a vicious and much diminished place. You as Home Sec sent a van round telling foreigners to go home. You said “ illegal” but that was bollocks as the legally here people of the Windrush generation soon discovered. 
Your party has sold off our railways, water, electricity, gas, telecoms, Royal Mail etc until all we have left is the NHS and that is lined up for the US to have as soon as Hannon and Hunt can arrange it
You have lied to the people of this country. You voted Remain yet changed your tune when the chance to grab the job of PM came. You should have sacked those lying bastards Gove and Bojo but daren’t because you haven’t the actual power. 
You have no answer to the British border on the island of Ireland nor do you know how the Gib border with Spain will work once we are out
Mrs May you have helped to divide this country to such an extent that families and friends are now no longer talking to each other, you have managed to negotiate a deal far worse than the one we had and all to keep together a party of millionaires, Eton Bullingdon boys, spivs and WI harridans. Your party conserves nothing. It has sold everything off in the name of the free market.
You could have kept our industries going with investment and development - Germany managed it. But no - The Free Market won so Sunderland, Barnsley, Hamilton etc could all go to the devil
So Mrs May my answer to your plea for unity is firstly that it is ridiculous. 48% of us will never forgive you for Brexit and secondly, of the 52% that voted for it many will not forgive you for not giving them what your lying comrades like Rees Mogg and Fox promised them. There are no unicorns, there is no £350 million extra for the NHS. The economy will tank and there will be less taxes to help out the poor. We have 350,000 homeless (not rough sleepers - homeless) in one of the richest countries on Earth and you are about to increase that number with your damn fool Brexit. 
The bald man has wiped the frogs legs of his head, I’ve bought him a glass of wine to say sorry; I’m typing this with one finger on my phone in France and I’m tired now and want to stop before my finger gets too tired to join the other one in a sailors salute to you and your squalid Brexit, your shabby xenophobia and Little Englander
mentality. Two fingers to you and your unity from this proud citizen of nowhere. I and roughly half the country will never forgive you or your party.
Mike Harding. "
The 
comic, presenter and veteran folk singer.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

A Valentine's Day Message !


‘For all the ladies that I have loved 
and all the others that I never met..’

IF I WAS ….

If I was wind
My gentle breath
Would linger caress
Shoulders to finger tips.

If I was rain, droplets
Would cascade gleaming
Diamonds brighter than light
That shines from your eyes.

If I was snow, flakes
As Rose petals, perfumed
By dawns early dew
Would cling tenderly on you.

If I was Sun, on you
No shadows would play
Only joy fun lights
and
Smiling beams all day.

©MRL 07. 01. 2000



Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Life Emerging



As I walked through our warm and sunny garden
I just had to take a photo of this little chap.



New life emerging or is he awakening from hibernation, the choice is really yours. To me I see him awakening from a satisfying sleep because I know that's the wary look that I give to the world on before emerging from my slumbers.

The one thing I am certain of is that himself and his friends will soon be working hard rejuvenating
the woodlands and all that is dear to them. For they are fantastic fellows who enjoy in equal measures happy frolics and hard work.

Has anyone else yet spotted one slumbering in their garden, do please let me know ?

It has just occurred to me that we can probably get a grant from the UK Gov. Witnessing as how Mrs May has lots of spare cash to splash about on lost causes.

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

LOOKING UP

I have been reading the on-line newspapers and watching the news reels nothing but negative stuff to be seen on any of them... so I decided to show myself in a quaint if not nutty mode and hoping to cheer you all up!




Thursday, 17 January 2019

A Personalised Card

I had a birthday the other week and have now attained the age of almost sensibility. I say: 'almost sensibility' because I doubt that I shall ever be entirely sensible and 76 is such a good time of life 
to have fun.


In fact I rather believe that our Toby (above) is far more sensible than I shall ever be and even he has not lost his sense of humour. 

We did though celebrate the day to our very best ability and a few friends came around in the evening bringing gifts and giving us surprises. One of which was to perfume the room by washing the floor in a unique way, by using a full bottle of Prosecco !

Oh the sadness that followed, the wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth was almost too much to bear. When all had died down and equilibrium restored I quietly went to the fridge and replaced the fallen one with a golden bottle of the same - I do think that we have give people time to wallow. 
Mrs H said that we ought to see it as the birthing of a new birthday tradition - rather like the launching of a new ship by breaking a bottle of champers on the bow.

I enjoyed all of the day, it was really good fun and intend to have many more. 
Though few will ever compare to my seventieth birthday celebration which went on for three long days, of twelve hour sessions with different friends arriving each day to do their best with laughter, music, singing and dancing. Might do something a similar next year... Mrs H please take note !


Well, onwards, onwards I must get back to the easel where a young mermaid is getting cold.

Have fun all of you and have a great new year !