Wouldn’t this be a nice entrance to one’s home…or maybe it’s a bit too pretentious for a country cottage! This is the old entrance to Kilronan Castle just outside the village of Keadue in County Roscommon. It was here we met today for the second Bards in the Woods of the year. The first was last week at Hazelwood near Sligo but I didn’t get to that one.
Just beyond the entrance is this impressive folly which is known locally as the Fairy House. It is believed that it was used by the occupants of the castle as a place where they could play at being peasants. The roof is long gone as are the toffs in the castle. Very pretty isn’t it? The castle has a new lease of life now as a popular hotel.
As I waited for the others to arrive I walked a little by the shore of Lough Meelagh. Something so very soothing about the sound of lapping water.
About a dozen people turned up and we set off happily on our walk. The weather was ideal…sunny but not too warm.
Spotted this Oak tree with what looks like a deer head growing out of it.
At the place called The End of the World we rested a while and had a cup of tea.
John recited a couple of his own compositions here.
What more could a body want on a beautiful sunny Sunday? Beside a beautiful lake, listening to poetry, the company of good friends and a picnic when we returned to the folly. Perfection!
A lovely Sunday in the woods!
Andy was here today so I ventured out for my first snow walk after being housebound for a week with a lung infection. I am still on antibiotics until Friday but I really feel back to normal again. Today the sky was overcast and really very dark all day. It looked like more snow was coming but it never happened and there was actually a good thaw today.
I don’t fall into illness mode easily and do not spend time lying in bed. Instead I use the time indoors to get houseworky tasks done. Friends sourced some organic Seville oranges at the bargain price of 2 euros per kilo. Four kilos of them have now been turned into delicious marmalade. It is a long process but so worth the effort. Home made marmalade is just a different experience to the mass produced stuff. One batch turned a dark brown colour just like Oxford marmalade.
A little gardening was also done today. These scented Tulips were half price in the January sale at a local garden centre and couldn’t be resisted. A little late being planted but now in pots in the polytunnel they will soon catch up. I really want a lot more scent in the garden so that is one of the aspects I shall be focusing on this year. More beds for planting vegetables is also high on the to be done list.
Still lots of greens in the tunnel. Rocket, Purslane and Spinach are a welcome addition to meals. The Spring Onions are a bit small yet but will grow quickly when the weather warms and the days grow longer.
The Sun is still low enough in the sky to create interesting morning shadows however this evening there was still some light at 5.30. So looking forward to Spring and the year ahead. A few trips planned but not to be revealed as yet!
The view down the lane is bleak today but before long everything will be clothed in green again. Looking forward to that time. For me Winter is something that has to be tolerated to get to the glory days of Spring and Summer again. That is my time!
Snow covered Hawthorn.
The weather is throwing everything it has in it’s arsenal at us here in Ireland at the moment. In the last few days we have had: torrential rain, thunder and lightning, high winds, frost and snow. The snow was beautiful but it was washed away after a day by the heavy rain. Didn’t even walk in the snow this year as I am lying low at the minute with a lung infection. The first lot of antibiotics didn’t work so I’m now on the 2nd lot plus steroids. That should knock it on the head. Hopefully!
Despite the inconvenience of it I do love the snow. It makes everything look so fresh and pristine. I love being the first one to leave my footprint there. Makes me feel like I am walking on virgin ground. I love how it changes the light too, so bright and at night it gives everything a blueish hue.
It’s certainly the time to keep the home fires burning. I always keep this cupboard under the verandah stocked with logs as an emergency supply. During the day I keep the range in the kitchen going as this heats the radiators and provides hot water. At night I retire to the sitting room and light the little wood burner there. It gets so warm that I usually have to open the door.
Snow covered Birches.
There’s lots of indoor projects to work on when I feel a little better. There’s a pile of material ready to be turned into a patchwork quilt, oranges to be turned into marmalade, doors on cupboards to be repainted and a multitude of other tasks to fill these Winter days. If the weather suddenly turns to Spring my mind shall stray to outdoor activities. Lets see what the rest of the month brings!
Well it’s been a while since I’ve written anything on this blog. Almost 6 months, 11th of July was the last post I did. Changes were happening in my life and I just wasn’t in the mood for writing.
The biggest change has been that Andy and I are no longer together. We have been living separately since last August. We are still good friends and look out for each other, we even spent Christmas together. After 20 years together I suppose we had both changed and living together wasn’t as free and easy as it once was.
Of course many of you will have been through the same thing and know that life goes on. There is always that period of adjustment though. Naturally! Uncoupling isn’t an easy thing to do.
I am still living in the cottage and Andy is living in a rented cottage which is about 20 minutes drive from here. We see each other every week and I’m glad to say there is no bitterness between us. He still cuts the wood and other jobs around the place.
I enter 2015 on calm waters and look forward to the year ahead. Who knows what it may bring! I am looking forward to working in the garden again, not that I ever stopped!
Snowdrops are already visible and of course everything is stirring back to life beneath the surface of the Earth. So looking forward to the Spring flowers. Especially the Daffodils, I just love them.
It has been an incredibly mild Winter here in Ireland. Very few frosty nights, the coldest one was a few nights ago, the mercury dropped to -3c. Some days there is a definite feel of Spring in the air but of course February and March are the worst of the Winter months here. Sometimes there is an east wind which goes on for weeks. Maybe this year will skip that! Wishful thinking…
I always feel relieved when the shortest day is over. I imagine the evenings are already a bit brighter. The days of long shadows are nearly over as the Sun once again rises higher in the sky.
Before I finish I would like to thank all the people who sent me messages in the past months wondering if I was ok. Sorry for not replying but that was the space I was in. It was so nice to know that there are so many genuine and caring people following this blog.
Thank you all so much.
Much love and good wishes for a happy 2015 to you all!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
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