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As August makes way for September…

1 Sep



As August makes way for September we are very busy here at Flynn’s Cottage. Haven’t been blogging or visiting blogs very much as all energies are now on getting the house in order.  Filling, sanding and painting are now the order of the day…every day. The builder is finished in the main house and is now working on the new polycarbonate roof for the conservatory. Much as I appreciate getting the work done I will be glad when it’s just us again. Seems like we have had people here doing various jobs for months now. When all is done our pockets will be empty but the house will be just as we like it.



We have taken time off for the occasional day out. As Andy has been working 6 days a week throughout the Summer our days out are mostly on Saturdays. Two Saturdays ago we went up to the Donkey Sanctuary in Castlebaldwin where our donkey Daphne had been residing since we moved. Sue had to tell us the sad news that Daphne had passed away recently. We had forgotten to leave our new phone number so Sue could not contact us.  It was strange in a way as talking about it later at home we both had a feeling going up there that Daphne would not be there. Some sixth sense was telling us I suppose. We did stay some time and had a lovely visit with Sue and the donkeys. Sue is just wonderful and has a heart of gold. A true treasure in this times of animal cruelty and neglect. These dudes are  trying to get at the biscuits behind Andy’s back…donkeys just love Ginger Nuts.



This is little Juniper…born in June…so cute…and so privileged to be born here.



This cutie came running when he heard the rustle of the biscuit packaging.



The lovely Daphne when she lived with us in our old place in Arigna. This was taken last Summer. R.I.P lovely girl.



Meanwhile this wonderful contraption has appeared in our shed. Isn’t it just beautiful!  It’s a wasps nest.  The wonder of Nature…a bunch of tiny creatures co-operated together to make this home for themselves. We humans could learn a lot from our animal companions.

From Herb Day to Inisfree.

23 Jul


Sunday saw us off on one of our fairly regular days out. First stop was at The Herbalist’s Apothecary open day. The weather was lovely…a bit cooler than recently which was a relief. The herbalist is Steffan who lives and works in this beautiful cottage which is just outside the village of Dromahair in the county of Sligo.  There were lots of herbal mixes, creams and herbal plants on sale.  There was also lovely vegetarian food provided for all who attended. How generous is that!!


The cottage itself is beautiful…gorgeous gothic style windows. Photo is a bit dark but it gives the idea.


An eclectic mix of objects give the cottage a lovely feel. Even the windowsills outside are adorned with flowers and lovely little fairy statues.


I love the half door too.


Late afternoon we headed off for picnic and poetry by the Lake Isle of Inisfree…


where cream tea was the order of the day.


We had a couple of doggie friends too…little Charlie and the lovely lurcher Osh who has the most gorgeous gentle eyes. They quickly became friends and paddled about at the edge of the lake. 029

It is just so beautiful, calm and relaxing there. We were all very reluctant to leave. It was almost 8 o clock as we made our way back across the fields to our cars.


On the way home we spotted this cottage…well you couldn’t really miss it. Certainly not a shy retiring person who dwells here I would think.

I will leave you with the words of WB Yeats .

Lake Isle of Innisfree.

I will arise and go now, and go to Inisfree,

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made,

Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honey bee,

And live alone there in the bee loud glade.


And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,

Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings.

There midnight all a-glimmer, and noon a purple glow,

And evening full of the linnet’s wings.


I will arise and go now, for always night and day.

I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore

While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements gray,

I hear it in the heart’s deep core.

The return of Green.

16 May


It’s a wet day today. I woke up to the sound of rain this morning and on and off it’s been raining all day.  Not your soft Irish rain but monsoon like downpours. The garden is too wet to do anything  out there. I took this pic through the conservatory window earlier. As you can see everything is very green again. The brown of Winter did seem to last a long time this year. In this bed there is loads of Lemon Balm, Geum of which I don’t know the colour yet. Looks like it will bloom soon though. Daffodils which are just finished now and a few Roses I transplanted here earlier in the Spring.


Last week we planted our first tree here. A Victoria Plum… plums do well here in the North West…they seem to like the heavy soil.


Andy hammered a good stout stake when the tree was in. It’s always a good idea to stake trees as they establish better when they’re not rocked by wind.


When Andy sat down for a break Freddie decided to give him an all over head massage…with his tongue.


Better put up a picture of Lettie in case she gets jealous. Don’t think she’s too unhappy with the wet day! Crazy to be lighting the stove during the day at this time of year but that’s how it is so far this year.


Elsewhere in the garden the Cherry tree has loads of blossoms. I’d be made up if we got ripe Cherries. Apparently the birds go mad for them. This is a small tree so it could be netted.


The Hawthorn is also in leaf now…I love how the perennial Geranium has grown up closely around the trunk of it. Don’t know what colour flower this Geranium has…it was already planted here. Surprise gardening is the theme this year as a lot of stuff was already planted  when we arrived…just wait and see what comes.

As I write the rain has stopped…and the sun is shining. Hurray!  At least we have the longer evenings now so all is not lost.

Bye for now! I’m off to catch a few rays.

Are we past the tipping point?

23 Apr


What is the tipping point  you may well ask? The tipping point is the point at which 50% of the world’s ecosystems have been interfered with. Research published by Anthony D Bannosky et al, University of California in 2012, says that in that year the figure was 43%. So yes, with the way exploitation of the Earth has escalated it is likely that we are now beyond the 50% point.


To me that is a rather shocking thing. What does it really mean though? Are we on the road to doom and destruction?  The Earth is a powerful living entity, not solely for the benefit of the humans being allowed to live there. It is for all the living creatures. Each have full entitlement to live peacefully and breathe clean fresh air. Perhaps even that very air is under threat. So many trees being felled on the Planet right now. Even here in Ireland the Government is debating whether or not to sell off our publicly owned forests.


Such a crazy idea! Humans and  Trees share an important resource…oxygen. Now I know that trees aren’t the only source of oxygen on our Planet but they do create a huge amount of it. Opinions differ as to exactly how much. It’s simple….Trees breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen. Humans breathe out carbon dioxide and breathe in oxygen. Seems pretty fatal for the human race then to be cutting Trees at a time when the Planet’s population is growing rapidly.

Birr Castle 019

Water is another resource that is being abused on our Planet. Hydraulic fracturing is seen as the saviour of our fuel shortage situation. However fracking  as well as rupturing the Earth in the search for gas uses vast amounts of water. This water is made toxic by chemicals used in the process as well as naturally occuring chemicals from the Earth. Water is not a renewable resource….All the water that will ever be is already on our Planet. Should be a no brainer that we protect and cherish it.

Birr Castle 014

However it seems that corporations are now more powerful than our governments…and to them profit is the only endgame. It is a well known truth that there are now more lobbyists than politicians in Washington. I’m sure it is similar here in Ireland now.


So what are we to do? Are we to flow along helplessly on this tide of greed and exploitation? No!! We have the power to make a difference. We need to become passionate about our Earth. Stand up against what you believe to be wrong. No, you don’t have to go on the streets protesting. We each need to start in our own homes and gardens/farms/balconies/ growbags. Whatever we can each do may seem very little but if we all work together we can surely turn the tide. Grow what you can in whatever space you have. If you must buy everything try and buy organic, go to independent shops instead of corporation owned supermarkets. Use your money as a weapon. It’s what the corporations understand. That’s the only hurt they feel…the financial kind.  Don’t let shopping be your pastime, even here in Ireland now the shopping centres thrive at the expense of independent retailers. Let Nature be your recreation. Go to the Woods, the fields, the allottments, the parks. It’s healthier than the malls… cheaper too. We need Nature, Nature needs us. Lets get to know her…love her…defend her…before we are tipped into the abyss of no return.


12 Apr


Check out this cheeky chappie.When it was sunny he had been in the habit of jumping up on the beds and onto the windowsill. We foiled him recently by putting wire around the beds when they were planted up. Not to be denied his sunshine he perched on top of the water feature to get the sunshine. Inventive and determined…that’s our Freddie. I would loved to have flicked the switch to turn on the water. That’s nasty isn’t it! Would have been funny though!

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