The sky is the limit.

14 Oct

Love this project from my friends Paul and Marie. Inspiring…

thegreenerdream

sky blue

We are nearing the completion of our extension build. It has been a long laborious journey, hundreds and hundreds of hours of digging drainage ditches, filling tyres with soil for the retaining wall and stripping bark of the logs for the main construction. We have also managed to finish the whole mosaic floor, the only thing it needs now is a final layer of grout to smooth it out and a polish. We are happy with the results and will write a bit more about it and show you some more pictures after the final polish.

mosaic floor

mosaic fire section

This week we are filling gaps in the walls and painting everything for a neat finish. Our reciprocal roof has a fabric layer over the spirals of rope and we wanted to give it a beautiful finish. It already had a painted and stencilled design of a tree crown. We added a sky in…

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In the Woods.

8 Mar

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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.

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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.

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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.

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About a dozen people turned up  and we set off happily on our walk. The weather was ideal…sunny but not too warm.

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Spotted this Oak tree with what looks like a deer head growing out of it.

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At the place called The End of the World we rested a while and had a cup of tea.

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John recited a couple of his own compositions here.

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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!

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A lovely Sunday in the woods!

Looking forward……

20 Jan

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

 

 

These Wintry Days.

15 Jan
Snow covered Hawthorn.

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!

Snowy garden.

Snowy garden.

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.

Log stash.

Log stash.

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.

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!

 

Into 2015.

4 Jan

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Hi folks!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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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!

Bridget xx

2014 in review

30 Dec

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.

Click here to see the complete report.

The Supermoon, Social Media, Genocide, the Sisterhood, and Why Some Artists Get up In The morning.

4 Sep

Hi folks! Sorry for nor blogging for some time but there are major changes happening in my life right now. I need time to absorb and readjust to these happenings. All is well, do not worry my friends.
The post I am reblogging is written by my good friend Charlie Easterfield. She writes of how the scandal of what is happening to Palestine and it’s people has affected her.

charlie easterfield

Well, it’s been a hectic few weeks since the Supermoon…a veritable roller coaster of deeply disturbing world news, with a blog writing itself in my head all the time but not given the space or time to manifest. And now I’m at risk of alienating readers with my outspoken views….. so it goes.

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A few days before the full moon, I was making signs for a candlelit vigil for Gaza.That evening I sat out on my verandah, bathed in moonlight, and I had an overwhelming feeling of Oneness with all Humanity….One World, One Sun, One Moon shining down on all Beings….one Earth to cherish.

Super moon, 1 DSCF9376 As with sunsets, it’s impossible to convey the feeling off a full moon with a photograph…you need to feel the temperature, hear the sounds of the night….but when I see this photo the feelings I had that night all come back to me.

 

And yet for most of the…

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Memories of Summer 2014.

11 Jul

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Blackcurrant time again and the rush is on to get as many as possible before the Blackbirds. All our nets are in use on the vegetable beds so it a case of who gets the ripe fruits first. Luckily we have a lot of Blackcurrant bushes.

Rather than standing by the plants picking… which I find rather back breaking…I cut off the branches and sit in comfort at the table whilst I harvest.  The fruit is frozen in one kilos lots to be used later to make jams, cordials and chutneys. Nothing like making Blackcurrant jam on a cold Winter’s day to bring back memories of Summer.

As I work I listen to the radio. The news is full of Israels attacks on Palestine. It is so heartbreaking to think of what these people are going through. Why should any human being be subjected to this suffering? Why should any Mother or Father have to dig with their bare hands to retrieve their dead child from the rubble of their home? Why oh why is the rest of the world standing by in silence?

Later I look on the internet and the horror is there for all to see. Graphic footage of dead and injured human beings. Such pain and suffering. It’s bad enough looking from a distance but what’s it like to be there?

One and a half million people live in Gaza. They are watched and blockaded from every angle. That makes the Gaza strip the biggest open prison on our planet.

Now I know this blog has many followers from the USA and if my opinion differs from yours so be it. America’s support of Israel is what is giving them the power to carry out these atrocities. Do you know your government gives Israel over three billion dollars in aid every year? Barack Obama has not come out in condemnation of these attacks and our own Irish government is equally silent.  In the last 4 days over one hundred people have been murdered. A quarter of these are children.

I wonder if this will still be going on as I make my preserves in the depths of Winter. Not so sweet memories of Summer 2014.

Welcoming the rain.

27 Jun

039  Our period of sunny weather came to an end earlier this week.  People complain and wish for the good weather to stay. I however was happy to see the Summer rain arrive. It is after all what keeps Ireland fresh and lush and green. Forty shades of brown just does’nt have the same appeal to it. 017 I remember the Summer of  ’95, one of the hottest on record for these parts. Andy and I came over from England… we had been together only a short time and it was his first visit to Ireland.  It was hot in England too but I was shocked when I came home and saw the green fields turned to brown.  Yes the heat was lovely but farmers had major problems that year feeding and watering animals and vegetable crops did not do so well either. Hose pipe bans were in effect and rain barrels were long empty. 020 Yes I welcome the life giving water from the sky that makes everything feel fresh and new and combined with the heat of the land gives a huge spurt of growth to everything. 013   I am happy to to see our water barrels filled again  as I always like to water the polytunnel and the house plants with rain water. I remember years ago the old people always said that rain water was the best to wash one’s hair in. My maternal grandfather  Fred always went out to the rain barrel every morning to wash his face. Winter or Summer…hot or cold…this was his way. He would make a cup by putting his big work worn hands together and splash the water onto his face. I loved to watch this ritual. 010

And as sure as night follows day the sun will once again make itself visible. It’s still there behind the cloud waiting for the curtains to part when it will take centre stage once again. Sunshine  returning after a spell of rain is always so welcome. We gain a renewed appreciation for it.

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Even as I sit here writing the sun is peeping occasionally from behind the clouds… the rain has stopped…I’m off to immerse myself in the fresh green Nature…and if it happens to rain today I shall welcome it with joy in my heart.

“Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.”    Roger Miller

Setting Solstice Sun.

22 Jun

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“If I had to choose a religion. the sun as the universal giver of life would be my god.”      Napoleon Bonaparte

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“There are three things that cannot be hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth.”    Buddha

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“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”    F. Scott Fitzgerald

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“The summer night is like a perfection of thought.” Wallace Stevens.

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