Monday, January 26, 2009


Two nice things happened.

On Friday morning I spotted the first snowdrops in my garden.  They are little devils, you know, snowdrops.  You can check them every five minutes, then turn your back and there they are!  It always make me feel good when I spot them - it means that spring is definitely on its way!  And God knows we need every little thing that might cheer us up these days.

Then today a friend brought me for a drive.  We went down the N6 as far as the turn off for Kilteel, Eadestown, Blessington arriving in Ballymore Eustace in time for lunch.  Ballymore Inn - wonderful food, lovely atmosphere and friendly staff.  Eat too much, of course, but what the hell.

Drove back via Valleymount, Ballyknocken, Kilbride etc.  The sun was shining, lake was placid reflecting mountains and sky - utterly utterly beautiful.  I recommend that trip to anyone whose spirit needs lifting.  Only about 50miles round trip too.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Hair

I sat and dined with a friend of mine

Exchanging views on the latest news.

There came a dramatic pause, to think

And sink my chin in the cup of my hand

For dramatic effect. I didn’t expect

To get a prick of a nylon tag or a piece of wire -

I thought I’d expire!


I applied myself to my prawn avocado

(with excessive bravado)

And kept the head down and tried not to frown.

While taking the white linen napkin

To refresh my lips after generous sips

Of a Sauvignon Blanc to recover my poise;

And under that guise very calmly

I probed and I pondered the fact

That ‘twas just as I feared - I was growing a beard!


Should I wax it, or pluck it, I wondered. With luck

If I did the job right it would shrink from my sight.

Conversation was stilted

It wilted and died on its feet.

My friend was upset by my lack of response

To the pearls of great wisdom that fell

From his lips. It was hell,

But I never could tell my dilemma.


Dessert came at last and he left all alone,

As I pleaded a need for ablutions.

A ghastly reflect in the neon lit glass

Showed no flaws, not a spot or a blemish.

My chin smooth as could be.

Was no comfort to me,

‘Cos I know it was there

I felt that damned hair!

Monday, January 19, 2009


My Blog has taken on a life of its own - re-publishing an earlier piece and offering it as new.  I wonder could I patent this kind of 'bi-locational blog? ' It would save me having to think up things to write and at the same time make you all think that I am very busy indeed. 

I never got the mushroom pack in fact, and had quite forgotten it.  Must keep an eye out for them.  But I won't ask in Woodies again - the nice young man there told me all about 'tunnels' and 'manure' and all sorts of things that mushroom apparently need if they are to grow into the lovely things I like to fry with garlic and butter and loads of black pepper and pop on top of my minute steak.  Normally I might have been interested, but at the time I was desperate for two more Christmas presents so couldn't really appreciate his helpfulness.

Something fell with a clunk while I was driving on Friday.  a nice young man followed me for half a mile to my destination to tell me about it.  Wasn't that an unexpected nice gesture?  We couldn't see anything in the dark.  Hubby could neither see anything there nor, I think did he believe me.  For the weekend every time I went faster than 50kph there was this whirring noise - hubby couldn't hear that either, and don't try to tell me he never drives over 50kph!  Luckily grandson heard it too.

Garage man nearly had a fit this morning.  Undercarriage of engine apparently has plastic floor.  This had disconnected, ripped out all screws etc, passenger side wing was more mobile than it should be - like hanging off!  He cobbled it together nicely but wasn't happy when I mentioned next week's NCT.  Will have to wait and see what the mechanic-detective at the NCT finds.

Party Pooper

I can't go to the party!  Various debilitating symptoms, not agonising pain, made it seem inadvisable to spend the evening looking jolly and watching the clock hoping my taxi would arrive soon to let me flop. 

One gets so scintillating in company, doesn't one?  Full of witticisms and intelligent conversation.  But when you leave the adrenalin-inducing people, it all evaporates and these days, leaves me drained. And tomorrow there is so much to be done.  I have to get the Ham for the Christmas Dinner in my son's house (that and the Bread Sauce are my only chores there).  Visit the hair-dresser perhaps - no, better make an appointment for Monday.  Then lunch with a friend - eat too much, talk too much, drink too much and that's Saturday sorted!

Got my pressies early - but got nothing for my children (all adults) yet.  Still, they are mainly boys who should be delighted that I remembered their lovely wives and children, but yet....  Saw some 'grow your own mushrooms' packs for about €20.  It only takes one operation and then in eight weeks you can watch them popping out of the ground.  Trouble is, I can't remember where they are sold, so unless I get some divine inspiration in the next few hours, that's another good idea gone west.

I wrote a little story for my friend who moved house recently.  It's a short little piece - 800 words or so.  I read it on a local radio show this evening and it sounded good.  On Wednesday night I pre-recorded a show for Christmas Eve with some  friends and I read two other Christmassy stories about children.  It was great to get some use for them - I hope somebody listens and enjoys them.  I'll probably forget to listen myself, and I'm my only fan that I know of. Sinead window 2

This is our little girl, Sinéad.  She's four now but the picture was taken some time ago.  She's all set for Christmas although she's not saying too much about it - she likes to keep her thoughts to herself.  She came to see me yesterday.  She loves the place where I paint, and can open the tightest capped tube of paint in a flash.  She is not interested in crayons or coloured pencils - but she loves the wet tubes of paint.

When Sinéad walks into the room, everyone smiles.  Isn't that a wonderful gift to have?  I'm sure Santa has something really nice in his sack for her.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

On Being Helpless

I hadn't intended to Blog right now.  I was just casually browsing. But I notice some comments on my last piece and feel bound to reply.

Ok, so you all know I couldn't move my Blog myself!  Obviously I haven't fooled anyone by my casual, 'I can do anything' front that I present to the world.  However I can, and do!, do cultivate friends who can supply the talents I lack, so it was eeesy-peesy!  I hung around (I lay on the bed actually, the pc is in my bedroom) looking intellectual while a kind angel did the business and an other (younger) kind angel made sure that it was done properly.  If only I knew my password I could probably put in an appropriate graphic.  Angel, please note this deficiency....

So, dear readers of my Blog, you must all learn to delegate -particularly the jobs you don't like.  I mean, I used to be able to change a wheel on the car - but not any more!  Oh no.  I will wait forever for a truly capable (preferably) man to come along.  They do things so well, men.  They are strong, and all-knowing about things that need lifting and hammering and fixing.  Things that dirty ones hands, or get ones hair blown round by the wind and rain.  They bring so much joy to my life, men.

My sons learnt at an early age that their mother knew practically nothing about anything - never knew what was bin day, how to answer questions in maths, remember dates in history, put air in tyres, petrol in tank, work the lawn-mower - that kind of thing.  Putting creases in their jeans made them realise that I couldn't be trusted with an iron, and constant absences (usually in book shops) ensured that at an early age they learned to cook.  My sleeping habits (I sleep like the dead, can't be woken) taught babies how to get through the night without feeds quite quickly and gave them a good reason not to ring me for a lift home when they were old enough to visit hostelries  in other places and missed their lift, fell in the bushes etc - you know how it is.

One draw-back to this independence that I gifted them, was that they didn't really have a system about doing things.  But then, that's what wives are for, isn't it, to teach them to do it their way.  It prevents 'domestics' about whether Mother was a better cook, gardener, ironer etc than wife, so they should really thank me more for my kindness to them in their early years.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Bit of a Rant

How on earth did a comparatively new country - an a republic to boot - like ours come to have such highly paid politicians?  Out Taoiseach, for instance, is the highest paid in the EU except, I understand, Luxemburg.  He gets paid much more than the PM of Britain and the hard-working and dynamic President Sarkosey of France.  Isn't that a scandal, given that our population is so much smaller than either of these countries?

I have always believed that politicians should be paid well - after all we do want to have the best minds available to look after our welfare. I must have been wrong there because it doesn't seem to have worked out that way.  Over recent years facts have been revealed in Tribunals that makes it obvious that to those that have wealth, more is desired.  Extra 'perks'  were received for voting this way or that in planning matters.  Junior Ministries and Chairs of Committees are awarded, not as one would expect, to the person who is most deserving,  i.e. working hard, but to increase votes in the next election.  The result, I suspect, is the current shambles of the Exchequer and the stupidities of the recent cuts announced in the last Budget.

Had nobody at the cabinet table the sense to realise that announcing major cuts against the elderly and school children was asking for trouble?  It seems not.


I am not a lover of reality shows or talent competitions.  I have no desire to see what goes on in the bedroom at Big Brother, watch people eating insects on I'm a Celebrity - in fact I find both obscene.  Talent Shows in general break my heart worrying about the contestants who don't win,  annoy me when I see the likes of Sean Ban Breathneach making no attempt to even try, or ego filled people, sometimes celebrities, making fools of themselves tackling a genre which doesn't suit them.

But on Sunday night last there was a talent show on RTE seeking the best to represent the west of Ireland in an all Ireland show judged by Daithí Ó Shea (it's from the North next week, with Dana as judge).  Some of the contestants were quite outstanding.  There was a little girl who couldn't have been more than 7 who sang along to a tune on her Ipod.  They asked her to come back in a year or two.  Another little girl - the prettiest little thing you ever saw, who had to be disappointed too.

Then there was a young man with an electric fiddle that he had rigged up so that he could be a one-man-band.  He played traditional tunes with such flair and expertise.  New clothes for an old craft.  Amazing.  Last to show their paces were three young lads from the Aran Islands on too.  Two of them played instruments and the third - a wee fellow - danced.  Now they were fantastic, and so unspoiled too.  The tears were rolling down my face with joy at their performance they were so good. 

Both of these acts got through to the final which will be in Dublin I presume in four weeks time (they have to find people to represent the other provinces first).  But in the main, this programme was presented very nicely, with no smart remarks or hurtful comments from the panel.  In fact if it wasn't for the lurking figure of a Seoige - they're everywhere, aren't they? -constantly in the background I might have said that I enjoyed it utterly.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

A Little Note

All posts from my previous blog have been moved over onto this one, even got the right dates on them!

More Of The Same

I haven't contributed anything for the past week or so.  Got disheartened, I suspect, by the vacarious life that cushions live.  Imagine walking back from town?  Got to be something wrong there, but I suppose it paid off if it got her into such good shape that she was the Best in the Water.  Maybe I'll try it - although I really believe that water is for sailing on or putting in whiskey to be honest. 

Did I tell you that I scribble a bit?  Oh yes.  I too have a novel - but I fear it is languishing in a drawer because the heroine became so boring that I wanted to slap her.  I wouldn't mind, only I have the end of the book written, but just couldn't get her there.  Maybe next year....

But, spurred on by the enthusiasm of another friend who has written a really scary piece - I promise I won't stay in a room alone with her any more! - I did produce a little masterpiece myself.  Just 2,300 words but, like Cushions, I know it's a winner!  Well, I thought it was a winner when I finished it.  Now I'm not so sure, flaws are beginning to show, I know that when I read it out at our group and people contribute their 'helpful hints' I will lose faith entirely and it too, will languish.  But hell, I really enjoyed putting it down on paper.

I dabble in radio too and have a show at 5 today.  Usually I am just a contributor to this 'Drive Time' sort of hour, but today I am in the driving seat, if you'll pardon the phrase, so anything could happen. Have a good friend coming along to participate - mistake really as she's a vibrant soul who will be so scintillating that I'll lose my spot!  C'est la vie - well my 'vie' anyway.  Toujours la meme chose.  Is my French really that bad or can this stupid PC not read?

My picture below is the chimney of the old Hill's Mills on the Strawberry Bed Road.  Just thought you'd like to see it.

Treasury 004


This is my blog!