Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Inspired by Beedlemama’s Ode to a Sugar Lump (sorry, Sugarloaf) I travelled east to get a closer look and see if I could hear the wind.  Not from the level I was at, I fear, but the mountain looked  impressive and inviting - I almost wished I was fit enough to start climbing.  Naturally, being me, I missed a photograph from a perfect spot.  But what else is new?

Then on to the Waterfall at Powerscourt where (for €4.50 per OAP) I advanced up the closely-planted tree-lined driveway. Beneath the trees the ground was dappled with sunshine.  Fairies & goblins live there, I’m sure of it.  Haven of peace or source of terror. Careful how you approach or you could be drawn into another world.

Round a bend and a magical sight of water tumbling gracefully from the sky, like finest silk, in drops and streams and torrents tumbling effortlessly over hidden boulders.  Tea shop and climbing frames close by where genteel children entertained themselves while parents relaxed.  Some strolled closer for a better view, others were setting off on the walking trail through what must have been delightful terrain.

Me, I licked my large creamy ice-cream which slid along the side of its golden cone (missing a bit here and there I am unashamed to admit) and praised God for the joys of nature.  Then on through leafy roads to Dalkey for a more substantial repast in Ouzo’s main street restaurant – which I also recommend!

Friday, July 24, 2009


I achieved a life long ambition this evening when I read the news on the local radio station.

Not much of an ambition, you may well say, but since I was a kid I just loved the voices on the radio and there is something so, well serious, about reading the news.  This evening when there was nobody else available to do the job, I jumped at it (with almost indecent haste).  I was sorry that there wasn’t anything earth-shattering to report – just bank interest rates, and murderers being sentenced.  Mind you I was able to reassure listeners that Stephen Gerrard was found not guilty of assaulting a man in a pub.

What a shame that this particular prize eluded me until my voice has gone fairly weak, and my breath practically non-existent.  Still, between you and me, I was terrific!   Nobody told me that, of course.  Probably nobody even heard me.  But I got through it with barely a stumble even without a rehearsal, because I was on in another show for the previous hour and only had the script put up on the screen in front of me when we finished.

Move over Ann Doyle!  I’ll be after your job next!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Light & Darkness

Where were you when the lights went out?

I was fast asleep in bed having refrained from alcohol and treated myself instead to a sleeping pill to make up for several lost hours from the arms of Morpheus.  Woke around 1.30 – when lights came on again, I suspect – and was awake for the rest of the night, n=knowing nothing about the ‘outrage’ (whatever that means, not the opposite of in peace, I think).

Hubby, God Bless him, had imbibed usual tincture and dozed off in front of the TV.  When he woke up he had no idea where (or, I suspect, even who) he was.  Couldn’t get light to find his bearings, and whatever else he was missing.  Being resourceful person, he found a torch and made his way to bed eventually, having inadvertently switched on every light in the house and failing to find ‘off’ button for TV.  House was like a noisy Christmas Tree at 2am but Santa failed to turn up.

Daughter, who had partied over the weekend was exhausted.  Partner being away for a few days, she retired with youngest child at around 10pm.  Woke to find house in darkness and two older children screaming downstairs in pitch darkness and with beloved TV gone black.  Having rescued them from this terrible situation (!), they had all just settled down when up-to-then defunct house alarm went off.  So did the alarms of all the neighbours.  It was after 3am before they got settled (except for youngest child who slept through the whole thing).  All were like hung-over demons the next morning.

What have I learnt from all of this? 

a. There’s a time and a place for everything.  Dark is good for sleep.  Light is good for awake.  But if we put all the lights on at night when we go to bed; and shutter our windows and go round in the dark all day, maybe this would seem the best way to live.  I don’t think so, but it’s possible.

b. Sometimes ignorance is bliss – maybe it’s best to be ‘in the dark’ when one can’t influence the events to follow.

c. Having an early night doesn’t guarantee a good night’s sleep. (Mind you, ‘having an early night’ used to promise something else entirely, but that was a long time ago….I’ve forgotten what!

d. If one kept a candle and matches beside the bed (as my mother always did to prevent having to get out of bed to put out the lights after reading for hours – that was before the advent of bed-side lamps) would one be prepared for all eventualities, or would one be likely to either burn the house down, or have that done for one by investigative sleepless child?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Happy 18th

Eldest Grandson is 18 today.  He came as a big surprise when his Dad was 19 and his Mum barely 18.  It was a traumatic time.  For any of you who may face a similar event, I have to tell you that he brought so much love with him (for all of us).

I brought him everywhere with me when he was small, and he was a delightful, undemanding companion.  He’s still the same.  Did his leaving cert this year but no great expectation of wonderful results. I just hope he gets into somewhere to do with radio or journalism for 3rd level or his parents will be disappointed.  He joined the radio station with me about a year ago and does 2 shows a week.  He’s coming on at it and on Monday had the first of his own shows (the others are with two other guys).

I was very bold and gave him his pressies tonight because although he usually stays here on Fridays, tonight his Dad was collecting him.  Then I listened to his radio show for 2 hours – I have to admit, I did a bit of painting and had a G & T to save me from his choice of music!

I love him to bits!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tenuous Threads

One of the kiddies in the family is ‘special’ – he was born 10 years ago with what the doctors thought one year later was Cerebral Palsy.  The news was devastating.  They put him on a waiting list for speech therapy.  A year later they took him off because they changed their diagnosis to ‘brain damaged’ and there are very few support groups for that.

Last month Ethan had botox injected into his legs to help him walk without falling over.  He can talk, but his conversation is limited.  He heard about a car crash last year, for instance, and he asks about it every day.  His favourite book is the Argus catalogue which he ‘reads’ for hours, turning the pages in fascination.  He goes to a special school and made his 1st Communion in May this year.  His daddy and mammy love him very much and bring him everywhere.  (He is the second-eldest of four kids).

Yesterday Ethan had a ‘grand mal’ seizure and was taken to hospital.  They don’t know for sure what the cause was and are keeping him in for observation before having an MRI scan done.

It makes me realise what a tenuous thread holds us in life.  How quickly a little soul could be snuffed out, almost without any warning.  How terrifying it must be for his parents, knowing how lucky they were to be with their little boy when this seizure happened, and quick witted enough to call an ambulance even before the terrible shaking began.  They will be so afraid it might happen again, maybe when he is alone.

We take so much for granted.  We don’t appreciate each day as a gift to be treasured until something dreadful happens to make us realise it.

Don’t waste a single moment!

Sunday, July 5, 2009


I promised myself I wouldn’t waste the day blogging when I could be getting dressed, or painting a picture, or improving my mind with a good book, or trying to make up a good story in 600 words or so.  But who ever kept a promise – especially one made to oneself?

God, I’m exhausted at that list of things I might be doing.  I think I’ll go back to bed!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


At the risk of annoying all you sun-worshippers, it was a relief to wake up this morning to a sun-less sky and feeling rather more like a human being that recently.  Maybe now my legs will shrink to the size of a baby elephant and I’ll be able to take a deep breath now and again instead of lying, listless, on the couch watching sky.

Maybe a few days of good old Thunder & Lightening would electrify us.

An incessant supply of ‘Murder She Wrote, Law & Order, the bloody SCI, The Practice and that awful oily M Poirot has my brain turned to jelly.  Jim Bergerac has merged into Midsummer Bloody Murders and Have I Got News for you is from so far back that even I can’t remember the political innuendos.

Someone made a fortune from churning out all those lousy scripts you know – that’s the market we should be aiming for -maybe!  To hell with literature, let’s steep ourselves in soaps, full of (b)lather and froth.  We could do a ‘round the table’ murder story some morning.  Hammer out a plot and see who can fill in the best dialogue.  Our characters could include menacing poets, sexual perverts and pub performers.  And of course a few clever-clogs that know all the answers (I bags being one of those, age bringing wisdom and all that jazz).  I think we could do it.

No?  Just a thought.

The urbane John Bowman bowed out from Q & A (he must have a Dorian Grey-like picture in the attic – he hasn’t aged at all over the years) but Vincent Browne rants on interminably.  Ministers head to the hills for holidays leaving us afraid to make plans in case our jobs disappear, wages shrink further, the price of petrol soars  and lawns are turned into allotments to feed the starving –us!  So there’s no sun shining on our economic fortunes either.

Welcome lovely dull July 09.