Monday, December 16

The Gingerbread Hut!

...each year our daughter....neviepiecakes ... makes us a gingerbread house for Christmas...
I can hardly bear to eat much work and thought goes into each one.

This year she has excelled all expectations with...
...a gingerbread fisherman's hut fully equipped with lobster pots, a little fishing boat and a driftwood Christmas tree covered, of course, in snow...

...I love... love what am I to do? is truly a piece of edible sculpture...
...but she tells us to eat it and not to be so "precious"....

...look on the door ...a blackboard telling you that fresh fish has been caught and is there for the buying.

...and behind the snow laden driftwood tree ...a pile of lobster pots await the fisherman ...ready for the outing the next day....
...oh now I'm getting carried away!!

I just had to take lots of pics ...because the gingerbread is as good as the there is no way that it is going to last forever... Marie Antionette once didn't say...

"Let them eat cake"

Saturday, December 7

Rotten Root

We had a favourite tree in the back garden/field...just up the steps and to the ideal spot to watch the grand girls climb while we had a little relax in the sun trap at the back of the tool shed....
...then came the storm this week.
Well lots of damage on the east coast and lovely Morecambe prom pretty full on as well!!
Houses washed away into the roaring and vans taken by the waves and lots of Welsh bungalows deep in water on the northern coast where the pensioners retire to live a quiet life....ha!

Yesterday morning woke us quietly.... until we saw the tree!!
A beautiful Stag Horn...I forget the latin name...gorgeous tree...sturdy ...broad trunked....ideal for climbing...
...well I did myself a few times when I thought that noone was around to laugh at my antics!!
We had been given it by old friends who once lived in Southport ... it had many memories.

But the thought that I had was that ...
...if the root is rotten...
...the tree will fall... I think that could be well applied to so many parts of life got me thinking.. matter how beautiful... matter how big...
....if the root is rotten will fall.

Anyway here's a collage from happier times and of course the potter already sawing away at it as we will have some unexpected wood available for the winter fires!!

Oh... I have insisted that the main tree be kept and made into a seat at the bottom of the field where there is a nice little spot that gets the late sun when everywhere else is in shadow...been thinking about it for a while...
...I call that redeeming!!

Thursday, November 14

By Teelin and Chill Bheag ...A Poem for Thursday.

 A Poem for Thursday...

By Teelin and Kilbeg
Soft day.
And I’m sunk deep into heath.
On the edge.
Where gulls laze on ochre rocks.
Where barnacles have made home.
And welcomed relatives to join in the party.
Sand stone/ black igneous.
Shelters  green pools.
Bladder wrack swells and pops.
Under gulls feet.

Sunday, October 20

...pretty poison in the back field...

The fungi are popping up everywhere in the back field in all their wonderful colours....

...they are not for the mushroom salad I will make for our meal today!!!

But how amazing are the shapes and colours that we see...

...some of these have appeared for the first time this year...
...I can't bear to get rid of them...
...fortunately there are no little children running around here nowadays.

Monday, October 14

Leighton Moss...Autumnwatch...

I was only 15 when I first came to The Bay...

 ..that's me looking like a tomboy rather than the glamorous two beside me!

...the Bay of course being...
...Morecambe Bay..
..with the most amount of sand in any of the British bays...though often...deadly....100 sq. mls of it!!'s quick...very quick!!
Skirting the bay is a wonderful nature reserve called ....
...Leighton Moss.
Up on a twitter site came the information that the BBC Autumnwatch  series this year was to be based by the bay.

So we went... and loved it...
...not so much because of the birds...we are not birders let alone twitchers..
...nor the deer just entering their rutting season...
..also interesting..
...and we didn't catch sight of the beavers...bah... we just went to be nosey I suppose, and then got caught up in it's otherworldliness.
I took the Lumix Panasonic DMC-FZ45 with me to take some pics...
...but my tiddling little camera was as nothing compared to the whoppers owned by the serious snappers..
...why some even had a sort of structure on their back to hold the length of the thing!!

So I resorted in the end to my Apple ipad and took some views on Instagram...which I have to say is such fun!!
But you know me...I haven't yet worked out how to transfer them to my blog...
one day!
So here are a few pics taken with the camera..
and edited a smidgen on Picdeer, beavers, birdsMonkey.

 can see that it's well worth a visit.
Maybe catch you there one day...who knows!!

Thursday, October 10

A Poem for memorium Dave King

Such sad news tonight fromBrian of dVerse poetry blog...that the poet Dave King has died.

More than any of the internet poets he encouraged me as I tentatively moved back into writing...something that I had given up for years, after being published and knowing sucess in my 20s.

These two poems are in response to the prompt from Brian to write about someone who has encouraged and inspired us. And these two are written in memory of my father and my mother...who encouraged me in my youth to believe that I had someting to offer and a talent to be explored.

 The Irish Bull
He could spin a good story
That fellow.
He could make you believe
There were fairies.
Convince you that things
Were not just as you thought.
Suck you in
Wrap you round
Make a net with his words.
'Til you felt yourself dizzy
And losing perspective.
Believing his line
With it's hook 
And it's bait.
And the further you fell
For the twinkling words
The closer you came 
To believing his spiel.
Aye, he had a grand way 
With a story.

...thanks dad...

I walked along beside her
In war days.
Trusting her
That she should know the way.
Up the hill
Under the arching trees.
Down the lane 
Into the yard.
A foreign land of mud and hens.
Strong smells.
Scrubbed pine
And Mrs. Brown
Who sold us butter, eggs and bacon.

And then we walked away agin.
Down through the fields
Toward the smoking city.
While the mournful sounds of the curlew
Over the empty countryside.

...thank mum...

...and thankyou Dave for knowing you and your words.

This is for dVerse and is in memorium.

Wednesday, October 9

A Poem for Thursday...Poison.

After a gap of at least a year ...the fly agaric fungi are back...and in more numbers than ever.
Now I'm not unaware of the danger of these....deathly!!
...but they do hold a facination for me and a reluctance to throw them in the bin!!

...these exotic plants are succoured...if innocently the Birch Grove in the field...each tree representing one member of the family... the thoughts are there I'm sure you will realise of the many ways that relationships prosper or fail...within the family unit. the poem to go with it ......

Poison grows and spreads
in the garden.
Under the shivering birches
it grows.
Fiery and red 
it attracts my attention.
Birds and squirrels 
Sample it's wares.
But I am afraid
To touch it
So I leave it there
To prosper/ fester.
Just as Blake left the poison tree.
A Dark Facination remains
In me.

I've popped it on to you tube...but as it's my first foray into this medium...I've not yet discovered exactly how to put it with this post.... you will find it on the one before!!!!

I will succeed!!!

oh nearly forgot to link up with dVerse at the pub....
too much new stuff going on in my head!!

Thursday, October 3

A Poem for Thursday.....Cill Charta...

National Poetry Day deserves a bit of attention I think.... my contribution comes out of the week spent in Donegal  this summer.....
happy memories...

...the crossroads...Cill Charta / Kilcar...

Cill Charta

The mist is down
Low hiding
Heather and bracken
Drop laden
Thin enough
To glimpse blue sky through
Soaking the skin
With western rain
As a lover’s touch.
...grave and stone container
Cill Charta ancient graveyard .

Samuel Peranta is in charge of dVerse this this is my contribution for National Poetry Day...thank you Samuel.

Thursday, September 26

A Poem for Thursday.

To travel is to be nowhere.
You’re not here
And you’re not there.
If you get the wrong train to somewhere,
Or you get off at
The wrong station for somewhere,
Does that mean
That you have completely disappeared?
And when the train gets to somewhere
Will they find that you are nowhere.
And how will you get back from there?

Wednesday, September 25

The Herb Garden

I must get out into the herb garden 
and tidy up the shaggy remains of the rosemary and sage
 and all the other wonderful herbs that have given me such pleasure
 this summer
 as the heat of the sun
 released the scents and heady perfumes.

...right at the bottom 
is this wonderful Tamarisk tree...
...there is something magical about a Tamarisk..
.the ferny leaves and soft pink feathery blossom
seem out of place up here in the north west land...
yet it not only blooms for weeks  of enjoyment
but holds a grape vine in it's strong branches.
This year the warmth has given us many bunches of green grapes 
which I plan to turn into fragrant grape jelly. the right of that is a little love seat ..
.made by the potter
 to catch the sun and the deliciousness of the garden
 and entwined in one of the chairs
 an everlasting perennial sweet pea 
given to me by my Irish brother many years ago.

...they say that a healthy sage in the garden
 is a sign of a wise woman!
Not too sure about that...
but it makes a goodly sage and onion 
 for the seasonal "bird"

Monday, September 23

Walking the Labyrinth.

We made a labyrinth in the back field many years ago...I think I had read a book about them and then the film of The Da Vinci Code came on the scene.

A labyrinth is not a no ...
A maze is somewhere to get lost in as you try to choose the right path to make it to the centre...
 a labyrinth has only one path and that you follow until you reach the centre...and then you are centred!

Mazes are very popular around here...the farmers make a bit of extra money by turning their maize fields into mazes!!

Labyrinths are more likely to be found in gardens and on Cathedral floors...and are often used as a place of meditation. 

Well if I'm a bit stirred up about something ...
...I will often trek down the field to it and have a very slow walk into the centre...'s amazing how calming that walk can be...

I follow the laid out pattern and stop at each turn...
...and have a little think about whatever it is that is earworming into my thoughts and disturbing me.

Each turn gives you a new perspective ...north, south, east and west...
...and as the seasons change do the views...

 ...the pond...

 ...the woods...

...the birch trees...
...the summerhouse...

...the final view...

...and the path itself......

Tuesday, September 3

About time...!

So this morning...rather nervously and not really knowing what to expect...

...I made my way to the Bank Quay House Cafe where a group of local writers meet twice a month to network, chat over coffee and read their contributions to one another.

Lovely people...of course they were harsh critics...though that may come...we shall see!!

I read one of my thoughts scribbled down while helping Rosie in Donegal with her workshop...
...but I'm saving all of those just in case I get up enough courage to send them off to some competition...I really think I must accept that you have to be in it to win it!!

No I'm not thinking money...just a bit of come back from fellow poets.

Anyway I think you deserve a pic from Donegal if you have managed to read through this excitement!!

...this Teelin fisherman was waiting for salmon..
...sadly someone else caught it that day...
..that's life!!

Monday, September 2

Poetic Elements

The elements I'm talking about are the elements you find the further west you go in Ireland....

Donegal and the roaring sea coming in from America...The Atlantic...
And the way it leads to poetry.

Well this is a very emotional week for us Irish.

From the era of post-Yeats when it seemed noone could surpass him and his mystical lines...
...suddenly came the farmer's son who gave us gave us earth...
                ...came Seamus Heaney....

... the digging...the tilling...the ploughing...the calloused hands that my father bore as he worked the soil when I was young....before my city mother persuaded him to give it up....

So first a Yeats gem....

Dance there upon the shore;
what need have you to care
For wind or water's roar?
And tumble out your hair
That the salt drops have wet;
Being young you have not known
The fool's triumph, nor yet
Love lost as soon as won,
Nor the best labourer dead.
And all the sheaves to bind.
What need have you to dread
The monstrous crying of wind? 

and then Heaney in all his honesty...

The Peninsula
by Seamus Heaney
When you have nothing more to say, just drive
For a day all around the peninsula,
The sky is tall as over a runway,
The land without marks, so you will not arrive
But pass through, though always skirting landfall.
At dusk, horizons drink down sea and hill,
The ploughed field swallows the whitewashed gable
And you're in the dark again.  Now recall
The glazed foreshore and silhoutted log.
That rock where breakers shredded into rags,
The leggy birds stilted on their own legs,
Islands riding themselves out into the fog.
And then drive back home, still with nothing to say
Except that now you will uncode all landscapes
By this; things founded clean on their own shapes
Water and ground in their extremity

                                  Muckross Rocks Donegal July 2013

I owe so much to these poets who encircled first my childhood ...and then my adult thinking.....


Wednesday, August 14

...just for Cro!...

...stone bridge...very old...Kilcar...Donegal.

...they may have strengthened the end supports!!

...salmon abound...

Port on the edge of Europe...

Right on the edge down what would only be called a track elsewhere but is a road in Donegal.. the little harbour simply known as Port.

The beach is made of pure white pebbles...


and there is nothing between it and America but the Atlantic.
An elemental and soulish place to be.

...and on the way back to civilisation I spotted this magnificent rook 
fly/hopping from place to place. a field of bog cotton...

I love crows anyway...but to see this wonderful example of the crow family was to say the least ...

Tuesday, August 13

...and there's more.....Cille Carthe!!

I love the colour that the pubs are painted....
...Here we are ...what fun!
More from Kilcar...

...and then the wild flowers under the ancient stone bridge with sweet smelling peaty water gently flowing down to the Atlantic a couple of miles away...

...quiet days...