Sunday, January 31, 2010

BABY... ITS COLD OUTSIDE!



I love this version of the old standard from Tom Jones and Cerys Matthews of band, Catalonia. Yes it is cold outside and we live in a cold, draughty house. I like that... somehow its more cosy. There is an enormous fireplace in the living room that would take half a tree and a wheelbarrow of coal. The cleaning of the ashes is a chore at times, and the piano always has a half inch of dust on it, but hey Scout, our beloved cat and ruler of the roost, loves the heat... so are we going to deprive her? No double-glazing, so plenty of fresh air and no electric blankets, except for guests. Diving naked into a bed of crisp cold white cotton sheets... Geronimo!








This is my second draft of 'Is it Cold Outside?' It didn't really say what I meant it to say, so here goes again. Two images startled me yesterday morning. They were small but significant, and trying to capture them with words, the way a camera does is tricky... very tricky!

IS IT COLD OUTSIDE?
'I'm OK',
He convinces from the kitchen...
N... n... not!
Wrapping... softly... fawn scarf
Around strong, dependable neck,
I spot the worm of panic and disillusionment,
Rising from behind frog-mouthed helmet...
S... s... stop!
Fleshy lips kissed,
Misplaced gauntlet retrieved.

Past stooping snowdrops,
And attacked by hope,
Odin strides with shaky purpose,
Not feigned... at least.
Intention inspired,
Aurora's encore becomes duet...
'Promise of Spring' in the key of G.

No minor keys today.


Maureen Walsh 2010 ©
I don't know about this either. Perhaps leaving alone and re-visiting might be a good idea.



Unfortunately, fox-hunting today all around us. I am an animal lover and therefore dead against hunting. Whilst the 'sportsmen' all look rather splendid in their jodphurs, jackets and splashes of red, tearing an animal to pieces is not my idea of fun. However I do understand that fox-hunting plays a huge part in the rural culture of Ireland, and I respect that. I did have a 'run in' a few years ago though, with a spectator of this so-called sport, who wanted to park his four-wheel drive outside my house. I asked him, kindly, to remove his vehicle. He proceeded to get quite heated, telling me it wasn't my land! Having poured blood, sweat and tears into a home, through years that saw a mortgage interest rate of around 19%... let's just say I was not pleased! Eventually, and without having to recourse to four-letter expletives, amazingly, he left, defeated, with his 'mane-hood' between his legs. Fox-hunt days are like funerals in our house, mainly because we have seen at close hand, the misery and torture that is inflicted upon these beautiful creatures.

I hope fox-hunters everywhere, who are sitting sipping their hot toddies have little to brag about tonight as they sit warm and cosy by flaming fires... 'out-foxed' ... hopefully!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

SNOWDROPS - PROMISE OF SPRING


Stayed up until 3.30 am this morning to finish 'Saffron on Sapphire'... blog I started last Friday, so wasn't expecting to be blogging again quite so soon. Racing down the garden path, on my way to a meeting in Clonmel, my eyes were snatched by of a gathering of shy, white-bonneted maidens sighing a chorus of ... 'The Promise of Spring', written and composed by Mother Nature, herself. Yet in their coyness, there is a defiance about being ignored, and I felt their retort.

These words came as I made for the Comeragh Mountains on another saffron-on-sapphire morning.


IS IT COLD OUTSIDE?


'I'm OK',
He convinces from the kitchen...
Not!
Wrapping... softly... fawn scarf
Around strong, dependable neck,
I spot the panic of disillusionment...
About to escape...
Stop!
Fleshy lips kissed,
Switches on to auto-pilot.
Past nodding snowdrops,
And attacked by hope,
Odin strides with shaky purpose,
Not feigned... at least.
Intention inspired,
Aurora's encore became duet...
'The Promise of Spring!'

Maureen Walsh ©
Little things can sometimes go un-noticed!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A CAUSE - NOT WORTH FIGHTING!



Mortal wounds inflicted,
Not once, but twice,
By felon... false and faithless,
Is never villified by Danteesque score,
A chromatic descension into demonized soul,
Exacting explicitly everlastingly,
Essence-endangering engagement.

Maureen Walsh 24/1/2010 ©


This is neither a cause worth the fight, nor a fight worthy of the cause!



This week I raised myself up and walked out of my history!

Friday, January 22, 2010

SAFFRON ON SAPPHIRE.




I drove through Co. Kerry today in saffron-on-sapphire blue light misted by lemon-tinged clouds. I winked at a 'poodle' in the sky, lying in wait, ready to pounce on someone affectionately. Looking at the sky longer than I should, I smarten up and remind myself to keep one eye on the road, at least. (When I fly, I'm free to 'sky gaze' and never cease to wonder at the expressionism of nature and, in particular... clouds. I take out my lime-green 'cloud-watching' book and compete with past journeys in an effort to discover another adjective beginning with the word 'c', and in my trance-like state, I forget that two strangers from planet Earth are sitting at close quarters, when I emit... 'aha!')

Leonardo Da Vinci (?)
500 yds further along the N21, the 'poodle' has transformed itself into an 'unwrapped banana' waiting to be wedged between tongue and lips. Then I think of Leonardo Da Vinci, who believed that great art was born from a continuous observation of nature and a light-induced, ever-changing landscape, and not by the seduction of imitating other artists. He championed the works of Giotto, a Florentine artist and architect (1267-1337), whose youth had been spent in the mountains, watching, sketching goats in their rocky surroundings, and who later resisted the temptation to regurgitate the style of his teacher, the great Cimabue.




Lamentation (The Mourning of Christ) - Giotto

The glory of saffron on sapphire!


Intriguing are the blue and red painted metal horses, that neither whinnied nor tossed manes as I rattled past in an old car, chilled, by a window that wouldn't close, and I wonder who created them and what they are sculpting now. Perhaps they left their mark somewhere on the head or legs... but its too late to check... they're in my rear window now!



The Windmills of Your Mind...... ?

My attention is diverted from the road once again by windmills stuck on top of hills, right and left. Normally intrusive, I am bewitched by their grace and poise. Today they are balletic gymnasts transformed by gentle southerly winds and encouraged by earth's hum.





Talking of going with the flow, Larry Gogan was on the radio. I hadn't listened to his programme in years, and he was playing all my favourites... Tamla Motown, Fleetwood Mac... good old fashioned dance music. I have a confession to make. I am a 'car-dancer', and unlike Irish dancing which is all about the feet, 'car-dancing', for obvious reasons, does not rely on the feet or the hands. I am in awe of people who can remain quite still while listening to, or watching their favourite bands play. That takes a tremendous amount of self-discipline. My brain compels movement. There is no pre-action thought transmission procedure... it just happens! When you think about it, a woman of my age has no other option but to take up 'car-dancing' or 'kitchen-dancing'. Where do we go, where dancing is just for 'dancing' and not seen as some kind of 'desperate housewifey' mission to 'pick up' someone.






I'm going away on March 12th for eight days with my closest friends, Diane and Avril. I referred to them in an earlier blog. I think we are going to Tenerife (they do the planning... I just arrive from Ireland) where we will dance the night away in the Soul Bar, and I shall do my very best not to give two hoots what anyone thinks. I haven't been on a 'girlie' holiday in four years, and only get to see the girls once a year at most, so it will be good not to have to cram twelve or twenty-four months of news into a couple of hours over dinner. They would normally take a nap in the afternoon, while I explore. Going to hire a car this time around and take off in search of interesting interior shots of the volcanic landscape. Planning a trip to South America later in the year, which will be adventure... adventure... adventure! No Soul Bar there... but I'm sure to find some rhythm to dance to in the midst of the rain forest.





To saffron:

In Sanatan Dharma (Hinduism), saffron is associated with sacrifice and salvation. Saffron or "Bhagwa" is often worn by "Sanyasis" who have left their home in search of the ultimate truth. Saffron is also associated with the goddess of dawn (Eos in Greek mythology and Aurora in Roman mythology) in classical literature:
Homer's Iliad :


Now when Dawn in robe of saffron was hastening from the streams of Okeanos, to bring light to mortals and immortals, Thetis reached the ships with the armor that the god had given her. (19.1)

Virgil's Aeneid :


Aurora now had left her saffron bed,
And beams of early light the heav'ns o'erspread,
When, from a tow'r, the queen, with wakeful eyes,
Saw day point upward from the rosy skies.



Cymon and Iphigeneia c. 1884 by Frederic Leighton - saffron suffuses the canvas at sunrise.


Now to Sapphire:


Blue Sapphire is legendary and has enchanted mankind throughout the ages. The gemstone represents Saturn and a sense of being well-balanced and industrious.

Saturn

Back to my Kerry day:

This was a surreal and beautiful day... unexpected... in the middle of two difficult weeks of angst, (mostly self-inflicted)... a burst of sunshine. I am only finishing and posting this blog now, a week later, because it felt 'weird' to experience these moments of joy in the midst of my whining, whinging self-indulgence. Lyrics from the song, 'Windmills of Your Mind' featured in the film ' The Thomas Crown Affair' spring to mind:
Round,
like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel.
Never ending or beginning,
On an ever spinning wheel
Like a snowball down a mountain
Or a carnival balloon
Like a carousel that's turning
Running rings around the moon

chorus: Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes on it's face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Like a tunnel that you follow
To a tunnel of it's own
Down a hollow to a cavern
Where the sun has never shone
Like a door that keeps revolving
In a half forgotten dream
Or the ripples from a pebble
Someone tosses in a stream.
REPEAT CHORUS.

To those who put up with me, and indeed, for those who can't, I wish you many, many saffron-on-sapphire moments, hours and days.

The Tree of Forgiveness

Saturday, January 16, 2010

STIFLE


How hard is it,
Not to scream out loud,
'Get rid of this fucking pain, someone!'
Picturing yourself, so close to the edge,
Watch yourself jump, then rewind.
Bring hands back to face to stifle a cry
Born from a ravaged, 'played with' mind.
And, as the plains of hopelessness unfold,
And those around you share Jove's joke,
Set off, then, at dawn of rosy hue,
To find ... it ... it ... IT!!!

Maureen Walsh 17/01/2010 ©




Friday, January 15, 2010

THE WAREHOUSE BLUES


THE WAREHOUSE BLUES

Hunckered, rocking
In the silence of noise,
Concrete spits back drops of rain,
And whining wires whistle word ‘ungrateful!’

Self-wrapped, smoking,
From the wind of tyres…hiding
In a corner shadow, fogged by regret,
Glared at, imprisoned by paper-beeched hedges.

Reddened, greying,
Signs of liquidation…rusting
Boxes no longer chalk-churned,
Windowed-eyes cracked with tears.

Snortling seafarers,
Soar way up over Sunday’s Well,
Winged tattling scavengers delighting in the misery of men,
Who wail a lament called ‘The Warehouse Blues’

Maureen Walsh - 15th January, 2010 ©

Sunday, January 10, 2010

CHRISTMAS EXTENSION - WHY EVER NOT DARLINGS!



Katy

Well why not? If the Queen of England can have two birthdays, why can't the plebs of Thomastown extend Christmas by another week. 'Back of the Moon' loves Christmas and the snow... wow! An extension seemed like a good idea seeing how poor Katy had missed a week of festivities because of her sojourn in hospital. Christmas is a state of mind anyway! So why fuss about dates! That's my excuse and I'm sticking to it anyway. I have a friend in Dublin who has often left his Christmas decorations up until Paddy's day! That's stretching it just a wee bit perhaps, but Gerry just can't help himself... he loves a 'bit of colour!' Some people believe it's bad luck to leave them up beyond 'Little Women's Christmas'... bah humbug!

Contorted Willow - Resplendent!


This gloriously, frosty Christmas Eve lit by the second full moon of December (and 'blue' to boot!) will be remembered as one of the best. At around 11.30 pm, we headed off down the boreen and across fields, no torch required. Menfolk stepped it out ahead with dogs, while the girls lagged behind singing Christmas carols crocheted by shaky, but spirited three part harmonies. Cold-faced, but warmhearted, we floated into Christmas Day... under moon and stars.


Okay - A Cross-Dressing, Country and Western, Pipe-Smoking Snowman....AND!?!

Snow revives the child in most of us, and as we get precious little of it, there is an almost indemic panic to build snowmen, find hills to slide down... and oh... the thrill and joy to be the first to step on a sheet of virgin white. The desire to stay out longer than feet and fingers can bear the biting cold, reminds of being called into bed on a Summer evening. Complaints and pleadings that the kids next door were still outside kicking football or playing 'Simple Simon Says.....!', evaporated, unheeded.

I did paint a snowman on the left-hand side, but it was scaring us all so much I cleaned it off! - Twas reminiscent of Stephen King's 'IT!'

My neighbour and dear friend, Jim, an artist, musician, magician and lecturer of Maths at UL has promised to give me some lessons in perspective and dimension. He's got some job on his hands!

This cold spell cosies me into the world of 'Wind in the Willows' and 'Beatrix Potter.' I find myself wondering if and how the foxes, badgers, rabbits, weasels etc. etc. were warned this winter was going to be a cold one, and that they should be extra vigilant about the harvesting of hops, berries and nuts etc. Perhaps it was foreseen by the Wizards of the Night, and sanctioned throughout their domain, by the whispering breezes of an Indian Summer, and surly winds of Autumn, or by gabbing, winged returning emigrants, boasting of their epic tales from the other side of the world.



Driveway to my brother Marcus's House

I do feel a little guilty about enjoying the snow and cold so much, when animals and old folk suffer as a result. I guess it's up to us fit and able people to do what we can. On my way over to my brother's house, yesterday, I spotted two people breaking up the ice on a pond close by.

A Cornish Folk Dance?


Ducks looked on patiently. I stopped the car and asked the wonderful couple (knew by their body language!) , if I could take their photograph. On my way back, coffee taken, couple gone, the mallards were restored to their watery playground... happy once more.


Come Fly With Me, Come Fly, Let's Fly Away! (Cue for a song!)

Unfortunately for some people, and in particular, those suffering from manic depression or bipolar disorder, winter can be an extremely difficult time. I have a feeling they may just need to hibernate, like some of our smaller creatures of nature, perhaps. Last week, I read an article written by Marian Keyes, Irish writer, about her battle with alcoholism and her on-going war with depression, 'the black dog'. (A phrase coined by Winston Churchill, I think.) In spite of all the demons, her courage and determination, have seen her top the best seller list on countless occasions. In the same newspaper, journalist Mary Carr criticized Ms. Keyes for being so forthright and outspoken about her psychological illnesses throughout her blogs and journals etc. I was troubled and disappointed by this article, but to my mind, it is typical of an inherently Victorian attitude to mental illness. We have seen several psychiatric hospitals closed over the last couple of weeks, including Clonmel, Co. Tipperary. About time! You don't have to be Einstein to know that the standard of psychiatric care in Ireland is not good. I would think there isn't a family in Ireland that hasn't somehow been effected by a mental illness of some kind. So why on earth, shouldn't it be thrown out there and discussed. We talk quite openly about cancer, heart disease, diabetes and millions, quite rightly, are poured into their research. I wonder is it the whole blame and guilt scenario? Mental illness is not class conscious and can strike down the most beautiful, talented and intelligent human beings. The sooner we get that, and break the taboos around this whole area, the better. Marian Keyes, whether you like her style or not (I'm not a chick-lit fan) has got balls and I say to her and other celebrities...keep on talking... keep it out there! Maybe something other than lip-service will be paid to this whole area of dis-ease! In the mean time, on a more immediate level, it might help fellow sufferers to feel less like the isolated, wasted and forgotten tribe of this precious, civilized world!



Our Outdoor Christmas Tree - Will remain lit- up until Wednesday!

Reticent to let go of this wonderful childlike day carved out by snow, a fire was lit outside. The Finale was applauded and encored... until red, burning faces and tired, aching bodies wearied their way to bed.

Friday, January 8, 2010

FAT BRIDESMAIDS OF WINTER

Winter Celebration

Hi there! Yes another blog. Writing is addictive...maybe I just don't want to do any housework! Anyway, my washing machine is frozen and so is the gas in my cooker!


Just thrown out the last of my scrumptious chicken and ham pie to feast the giggling bridesmaids of Winter, the birds! (imagine they shoot them and eat them in Italy!) They love it! Bless them! Wow... they are tangoing past the nuts and porridge oats for it...this is amazing! What a testament to my cooking! Saw about six thrushes tap-dancing this morning and are they FAT! Mind you, they were still very light on their feet. Meetings at Weight Watchers or Overeaters Anonymous may require attendance. I get such a kick out of watching birds...they are such comedians. The black-capped pied wagtail stands there like a judge about to pass the death sentence on a sparrow which is sneaking up to rob the last crumb of pastry from under his beak, a dopey crow bounces over like Jethro from 'The Beverly Hillibillies'. ( you young 'uns wouldn't know what I was talking 'bout, but the old critters will!) The chaffinches are prissy and quaint schoolma'ams, while the greenfinches are most definitely the maffia bullies of the outfit!



Where did all the bridesmaids go? ... camera shy I guess!
If I come back as an animal in the next world, I want to come back as a bird...like Merlin's owl in the legends of King Arthur... who knows might even become wise next time around. Talking about Merlin and King Arthur, I cannot believe I forgot to put 'Camelot' into my favourite movies. It has to be up there as one of my very, very favourite movies. It stars Vanessa Redgrave (Guinevere) Richard Harris (King Arthur)and Franco Nero (Lancelot). There are three scenes in this movie that just paralyse me. I stop breathing every time I watch them! The sheer beauty of imagery and performance! If you haven't seen this movie...you have simply got to check it out!

A couple of nights ago, Emma and myself had the house to ourselves and watched a movie called 'Evening' from the same team that made 'The Hours'....both beautifully-made movies. The film was centred around an old lady in her death bed (Vanessa Redgrave) slipping in and out of consciousness, reliving her life and what she perceived to be the mistakes of that life! I found the film rather depressing, but then so was 'The Hours', but Vanessa was just so old in it. She must be in her 70's now, but is still a very fine actress. It was so realistic that you could almost smell old age and death! It got me thinking about the whole aging process... the process of decay, before breathing stops. Oh shiver... Anyway, let's not go there!


With reference to earlier blog, here is the link to Fiona Shaw's recent lecture, The Michael LittletonMemorial Lecture. http://www.rte.ie/radio1/littleton/ I didn't get to hear it on St. Stephen's day. Spent most of the day and night in A & E with Kate.


It's about language and Irish theatre and it's fantastic!


Michael Littleton Memorial Lecture is a most prestigious annual public lecture hosted and broadcast by RTÉ Radio in honour of the station's late Features and Arts Editor. Previous lectures in the series have been delivered by Mary Robinson (2003 - What a lady!), Archbishop Diarmuid Martin (2004), Prof David McConnell (2005), Prof BrendanDrumm (2006) and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (2007).


It's an hour long so get comfy and enjoy. Should really do the ironing...start a 6000 word essay on Jacob Moreno...go to the gym... but hey... I think I'll just start tomorrow!


Wintry Bride

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2009 - The Year Dermot Ahern said 'NO' to 'JAYSUS'


The Woods of Aherlow - Happy New Year!



Before I sling disdainful words at Mr. Ahern and his anti-blaspemy legislation of 2009, a resounding word of thanks to all those who emailed, txted and telephoned me with their reactions to my last blog. The diversity of response and interpretation really excites and my head is on fire with possibilities... from film to play to short story...etc. Think whatever the form or shape, it might begin with the end...she might be on death row... possibly in the electric chair...then again...she might just have dreamt the whole thing...crumbling marriage etc...etc. Four years ago, when this idea came to me, George was most definitely dead...now I'm not so sure...hence her waking from nightmare ( which was added last week!) Most respondents did not get the 'hope' in it, however! I thought the 'corned-beef sandwich' signalled that...there you go...interpretation or misinterpretation of the written word...fascinating stuff! How could anyone think they possess the ultimate comprehension of the Bible! It has been revised and translated more than any other work (as far as I know)! With each revision, each translation, there has to be minute shifts of nuance and emphasis, if not integral moments of intention and action.


I was dubious, initially, about putting something so dark out there... that it might perhaps be a little too graphic for some tastes. I was brought up in a rigidly strict household, where 'army belt' ruled! Didn't do the whole 'rebellious teenager thing'...it was all about conforming, as I suspect, was the case, in most households during the 50's and 60's. So hopefully, I'm now catching up on all that mad stuff now (2nd childhood and all that ...haha!) However, that said, I don't believe in outrageous for outrage's sake, but I am just starting to believe that it's OK to express in some shape or form, what arrives, often quite unexpectedly, into head and heart, so long as it doesn't involve intentional hurt. Which brings me nicely back to Dermot 'Dick' Ahern! (Sorry about 'dick'...it just landed there!)



A Real Step Backwards
Found these stones in Connemara. Thought they were interesting!


So glad that my friend, Alex, feels like I do...pissed off (although he would be more polite than I) about a piece of useless, pathetic, retrograde piece of legislation drafted in by Justice Minister, Dermot Ahern last April/May...the anti-blasphemy law! At the time, I could not believe what I was reading! What...in the middle of possibly the worst recession that this island has seen, when the country was waiting for the publication of the Ryan Report, which proved to be not only a damning indictment of the religious bodies of this country, but also the government of this nation... a country that prides itself in the care of its children...well...according to the constitution, anyway! The citizens of this country are drowning in distrust of its Church, its government and its financial institutions and we are expected to believe that this piece of ludicrous legislative material, (which, in my opinion , would be more useful in the loos of Dail Eireann), is for the good of the people...well...isn't that what legislation should be about! Who really gives a 'f--k' whether anyone says 'Jaysus' or not? The country...the world is in turmoil...threatened on so many fronts by terrorism, starvation, a global climate crisis, mass unemployment and an aging population that needs to be cared for in health and sickness!


The Sheer Horror of Kilmainham Gaol Cells!


Did the Freedom Fighters of 1916 envisage this kind of Ireland!


My Daughter, Katy's 1st Holy Communion Day

The innocence of both young and old faces!

When I studied the libretto of HMS Pinafore, a smile crept from ear to ear. Sir Joseph Porter, the Lord Admiral of the Navy takes enormous exception to the blaspemous words of Captain Corcoran and takes him to task in a song that he sings with male and female choruses. Captain Corcoran has uttered the word 'damme' to Ralph Rackstraw, an ordinary seaman, who has been discovered in his attempts to elope with the Captain's daughter, Josephine... so obviously 'above' poor Ralph's station. Gilbert and Sullivan were responsible for the Savoy Operas, satirical works about the British establishment at the turn of the 20th Century. HMS Pinafore was having a particular 'go' at the class system, the incestual nature of the upper classes and the hypocrisy of the British government. Sir Joseph Porter was supposedly based on the real Lord Admiral of that time, Mr. W.H. Smith, appointed by Mr Gladstone, who had never been to sea in his life! Gleefully, I saw this as my chance to have 'go' at the hypocrisy of this inane Irish anti-blasphemy bill.



Sir Joseph Porter ( a fictitious 'dick'!

Wish I was clever enough to stick Dermot Ahern's face onto this image!

The ladies of the chorus rush out onto the deck when they hear Sir Joseph's distress at the blaspemous words of the Captain. I decided they should carry on with them, hidden in their skirts, hand mirror-sized photos attached to pieces of two-by-one, of Dermot Ahern, which they produced, when it was their turn to join in with Sir Joseph's condemnations, ' He said 'Damme'!' There was a sea of Dermot Ahern heads on stage! I loved it, because I got it! Sadly, I don't think most people did, and even when I explained...it didn't impact one way or the other. It was like...'SO!' So ...Alex, I was delighted to discover that I have at least one fellow anti-anti-blasphemer friend! Seriously it is such nonsense. I'm really like a dog with a bone over this one. Down, Maureen, down!

Hanging On In There!

Let's face it, 2009 was a dreadful, dreadful, dreadful year from a national and international perspective. On a personal level, its important to hang on to the positive and this year was a good one in many ways. I graduated from UCC with a First in Drama and Theatre Studies and a high 2.1 in Italian... chuffed about that! Directed HMS Pinafore in Clonmel ( and have been asked to direct their show in April - Oklahoma. So I must have done something right!) I continue my work in schools, my own group and my studies in psychodrama.


Received the best compliment of my life from my nephew's son, 9 year old, Daniel this year. We were extremely fortunate to have him and his 3 year old sister Thi stay with us for the Halloween weekend. What fun we had marching all over the house, 'Left... Left... I had a good job and I left!' for hours ... and hours... and hours, while the adults drank their wine by the fire! I had to go to rehearsals on the Sunday afternoon and Daniel wanted to know when 'Moejoe' (that's me) was coming home. It was suggested to him, that I was mad and his response was, 'Yeah... but she's class!' Obviously going to grow up into a man of great taste (haha!)




Tides of Change


I love to be next to the ocean at New Year... tide taking away what you want to let go of... and bringing in new adventures and dreams, new friends and new solutions to old problems. I had hoped to get to West Cork for a few days, but Katy fell off Mel on St. Stephen's day, fracturing her pelvis in two places, so that was the end of that. She's doing great, she's home from hospital and not grumbling too much about not being able to climb the beautiful snow-capped Galtees.


I need a new car, or should I say a different one. Scared of 'too new' cars. Rita (that's her name) has been acting up... preferably a four-wheel drive, so that I can take Katy right up to the edge of Lake Muskery. Get a load of this!


Innisboffin Island Mode Of Transportation


One more payment and she's mine!


Thursday Morning.

Put on Sky News to check out weather conditions... Emma is flying back to London today. (She has been at home for almost a month and I will miss her constant chatter and good-humouredness.) Looking at the conditions in Britain, I was reminded of the big freeze of 1963. We children thought it was just the best fun. Cream sticking out of milk bottles like candles, burst pipes, robins coming closer than ever, ice-skating on the lake in the Queen's Park (which I'm sad to say looks more like a bomb site at the moment. It was always the one place I returned to, revisiting my 'first kiss' behind an enormous, all-seeing, all-knowing oak tree.) We had a slide running from one end of the avenue to the other. I hit my head on the road during one of my turns to 'go for it' and suffered temporary amnesia, which required medical attention. Some people might say... well...that explains it then....the madness!

Emma and I went for a last walk down the boreen with our dogs this morning and the snow covered pot-holed road positively sparkled, reminding me of the golden glitter I used to spread over the timber floor at Christmas in The House of Merlin (my shop, which is now closed), and then pictured my mother, bent over a brush, sweeping it up, as if it shouldn't be there... and I smiled!

In uniting us, as unexpected arctic conditions seem to do, it feels like a process of purification or even disinfecting is already underway, preparing us for 'a newness', a way forward, from the horror stories of recent times.

Finally I would like to wish all my friends a year filled with magic, hope and love! Let's all try to make this is a year of smiles!