Thursday, 29 November 2007

Winter Gold.

I've been thinking a lot about how difficult it is to keep the poetry in your life when you have small children. The irony is that it is never more abundant as then, but it is often so hard to take the time out to see it. It was fine before they started school, in fact it was probably most amazingly full-filling then as life was at their pace. But the madness of time constraints takes over and you wake up one morning and realise you have blinkers on! How on earth did that happen!

So here you are doing your best to make sure you check all the boxes that you set out for yourself when you had your first child: that baking and making and creating and appreciating beauty are all things they will learn to take for granted as part of the fabric of life. And it's SO HARD! It is essential to make myself stop every day, at some point and look, and breathe, and bring their attention to some little thing we could so easily have rushed past. And then one day one of them stops you and brings your attention to some little thing and your heart swells and you realise it is worth it. Their eyes are clear and amazed by life, they do see it,oh joy!

One way we keep gentle a hand of beauty on our shoulder, never far away from our thoughts, is music. We have a soundtrack to our lives and it clarifies and polishes the mundane. Sometimes it is silence, sometimes it's loud and joyous, sometimes thoughtful. And there's nothing like dancing madly to make everyone laugh and be joyous.

We help each other to find the gold that is always there, but sometimes overlooked.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Nostalgic Pavements.

"I have nostalgic pavements..."

I love that line. It's from one of the current (censored) repeat-played cd's in the car. (Kate Nash- Made of Bricks.) It got me thinking about the fact that from a very young age we were walking to and from school. Every day. One of the downsides of living in the country is that we drive everywhere. So my kids will never have nostalgic pavements. Those paths that you know every single crack and bump and line of: the one that looks like a map of Ireland, or the ones that are like a stairs. And when something was done to change it, well, even years later it was still the new bit, always just that bit less comfortable.
How do I explain the importance of nostalgic pavements? I'm not even really sure myself. But it feels important.


Fading colour. Reminds me to find it wherever we can. The gray of the next few months will have it's winter jewels.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

A Visit to Mamo and Grandad.

We watched Chitty Chitty Bang Bang this morning. It always reminds me of Christmas. The days when you had a choice of three films for kiddies over christmas week: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Wizard of Oz, and The Sound of Music. To this day I love all three. Today I learned something new: Roald Dahl co-wrote the script for CCBB! Isn't that cool!

We had a visit to my parents today.
Here's Finn singing 'Hush-a-Bye Mountain to a sleepy baby Billy.

Storytime in the Storyteller Chair with Mamo.

It's great. If one person sits down to draw, there's always someone to join you. Ru and Grandad drawing time.

Saturday, 24 November 2007


As a child I always hated that my birthday was in November. To my mind November, and February, were the least attractive months to have a birthday. It was probably because I could never have a run-around-outside birthday party. I must be getting old, but now I love November. I love that last bit of Autumn that hangs on by it's fingernails.

I was treated to breakfast in bed of coffee and pancakes, and later to lunch in the Fern House cafe in Avoca. (At some point soon I am going to dedicate a whole post to Avoca. I am so glad to have it on my doorstep!) The food was incredible, but it's the setting that makes it such a lovely experience.

This is what Finn and Edmund ordered, to share. Isn't it so cool that these kids will eat this? They licked the platter clean, practically.

Ru had the crab pot, with giant chips that have to be the best tasting ever. Then we found out why: they are cooked in duck fat...Hmmm...

After, I had a quick look around and got some cakes to bring home, we had a run around outside in the last of the leaves, and the biting wind.

Then home to light a fire and snuggle up on the couch.

My Favourite Outlaw.

It's the end of the week. It's freezing but sunny. There's a full moon tonight.

Hope you all have a bless-full weekend.

Friday, 23 November 2007

Baby Friday.

Here's a few shots from this morning in Carole's house.
At last, Friday has rolled around again. Myself and Billy spent the morning with our little friends, eating and drinking, confiding, supporting, and laughing together.

Meet the Family

Finally, here we are. Finally finished, and photographed, and posted.

LtoR: Steadfast, Lookaftering, Sweet Pea (in arms), Northern Summer, Little Bird, Sol.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

In The Garden.

A quiet walk around the garden before dark.

The sky, blue, washed over with misty gray clouds. And there, a broad splash of pink, streaked in a puddle that slowly spread down to the hills. A storm of fire on the mountains.

In the deepening lilac dusk bats swoop in looping dives, out of the black trees.

Winter Light.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Busy Hands.

That time of year again when the boxes of christmas craft stuff get rooted out and the planning and ideas get put into practice. Over the years the Knitting and Stitching show has been an invaluable source of goodies, and we have a great collection of cool crafty things. The first thing to do is the christmas cards. I love the quiet of concentration, the light banter. This kind of project puts everyone in a good mood.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Wet Sunday.

We went to Blackrock market today, in spite of the rain. It was freezing. I was after some wool and came home with two books too... including a 1958 Enid Blyton.

I never noticed this door before. Isn't it yummy? I just love the colours against the green.

Every week dozens and dozens of people walk under this archway into the market. How many look up and see this! Isn't it stunning!

Heading back to the car we took a quick peek at the sea, nearly getting blown away. It was sooo cold. We ran all the way back to the car!


Ah yes, that time of year again. Mince pies and fireside knitting. A lovely new book to submerge myself in.

The Sea Road.

This is a view of the road I have to drive on if I want to go anywhere further than the beach. Every day.
When we moved here eleven years ago the entire two kilometers looked like this. But as the years go by, housing estates are creeping down the road, and the hedgerow is disappearing.

Favourite: Books.

I love books. My whole family are book addicts. Especially my Dad. From him I have inherited a particular love of old books. And it was amazing to see Finn develop a love of old books at a really young age too. I have the beginnings of a little collection of old children's books. I can't resist. And you know, my Dad's style of drawing is exactly of his era, Just William meets The Beezer. Ah, nostalgia, I love it.

Favourite: Dress.

I love dresses. And there's nothing like a favourite dress. Any excuse to wear it. This is about three years old and it's from NoaNoa. (That's right, not this years line as was pointed out to me by another NoaNoa wearer at a friends wedding. Ooooo!) But I love it so much that this time of year when it's going to get no wear at all I love to hang it where I see it every time I walk into our bedroom.

Saturday, 17 November 2007

This Day.

Those mornings, not so long ago, I would take a moment to have a look at the sea before my day began. Like Mole peeping his head up and sniffing the air, it was like my barometer, literally like opening my senses, yoga for the spirit, you can feel all that open sky, endless sea expand your mind. A great way to begin the day. And the earlier the better.
And then a couple of years ago they decided to put up a proper fence. So we put up a ladder to climb over. They took that. So now we have to take a ten minute walk, or less if I'm on my own, to the railway crossing if we want to access the beach. And on a school morning that's just not going to happen. I don't think I realise how that has affected my life.

So here is the sun rising over the sea this morning. Can you see the sea? At least I can hear it...

Friday is Mamas and Babies. It's amazing to have been doing this of over eleven years now. And I have met some incredible women, and babies. And our children are growing up together and some are going to school together, and how many times have we looked at them lying or sitting there and said, 'they'll be running around before we know it". And they do. They do!
Why does that bring a lump to my throat?

These two from this morning in Alanna's.

It's so wonderful to realise that most of the time if I'm checking out what Finn is up to, she will either be writing, reading or singing. That's my girl!

Little Knits.

This little blue hat is nearly fourty years old. My Nana knit it for my brother, and all my boys have worn it. I have finally accepted he has outgrown it and I've been looking for a pattern to knit another. You would think it would be easy enough but no. I've lots of lovely pretty girly ones that have a lace effect but it's the helmet shape that makes it a boys hat. I'll keep looking.

Here's a hat I knit for our baby cousin, Joe, modeled by Billy. Sorry about the awful quality of the picture. It was taken on my phone. I'll replace it with a better one asap.

It's knit with Debbie Bliss cashmerino wool and is lovely and soft and not scratchy at all. I got it in my favourite wool shop
This is Knit.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Working Together.

This is what I love about winter evenings. If I can resist the temptation during the week of letting them turn on the tv before dinner, then I have all these little helping hands. Cooking dinner is great fun when it's not just me all alone in the kitchen. When I suggest it, you would think I offered The Little One a lollipop!

I love His sense of colour. With The Eldest it's all about precision of line.

Don't worry, the knife is pretty blunt!

And My Girl is like me. Something to pick up and feel and form. It's so nice to snuggle up quietly on the couch and work away side by side.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Fire Time.

Sorry for the quiet few days. We've all been feeling a bit under the weather, and there's been a lot of snuggling up on the sofa by the fire in 'jammies', and far too many movies. So today I put my foot down. Never a good thing to do. So there was withdrawal, and boredom behaviour. You know, where if one of them is doing something the other starts to annoy them til there's a fight. It usually last a day, and sure enough by dinner time there was christmas plans in action. So hopefully there'll be some interesting pics up here over the next few days. Busy little fingers.

Favourite Corners.

As the winter draws in, and the winds sings through the house, and the sea booms louder, I remember, again, that our house is cold in winter. I remember how close to the sea we are, (it's a different close to summer close!). I remember all the things that need to be done before winter takes hold. And the golden glow begins to dim and blow away at the edges like showers of shimmering glitter in the last of the sunlight.

So it's time to remind myself of all my favourite corners in the house, the lovely places that hold the sun a litle bit longer.
So expect lots of cosy-ness and warm nooks over the next few days.

But to start, two favourite corners.

Clearing Skies.

We hurry home from school these days, not much in the mood for walks or wind or much else. Quick! in the door and light the fire and let our bodies grow accustomed to the dying light, and the rising wind and the looming winter. The sea is louder these nights, and I think of that brilliant line by Ted Hughes: "This house has been far out at sea all night". In the morning, I wonder where we are waking up.

Friday, 9 November 2007


We've been doing a bit of re-organising, re-decorating, de-cluttering. It is very slow. A seven month old baby keeps things at a certain pace. That's ok, most of the time, though I do find impatience snapping at my heels occasionally! Jay has a new studio in the garden, so I will be gaining more room in the sitting-room, and I've been preparing for that and sorting through my stuff. I can't wait!

I found these little baby stitches that Ru did when he was five. I think it was the first he ever did. I can't believe it was six years ago. It needs a good clean, and I think I'll mount and frame it. And put up a better picture of it! These precious baby stitches.

Oh My...

I just have to show you this. I am addicted to interiors magazines and books, (yes Jay, I do admit it!). Especially if they are family orientated. And this is my latest addition that Jimmy-the-post-man left in the little blue box on the doorstep. It's called FamilyLifeStyle :Home by Anita Kaushal. This, I have to say, takes the biscuit... Have a peek.