Sunday, 31 January 2010

The Contentment of Doing Nothing.

A rare day spent at home with no agenda other than to hang out together. All the jobs and chores and must-do's ignored or put on the long finger.
There was baking done by someone who is not me. The surprising joy of children old enough to follow a recipe without any help a pleasure I hadn't anticipated.

And when we venture to step outside into the day for a brief foray in search of dinner, our noses stinging in the freezing air, there is a loudness to the birds, a booming to the sea, the air rushing in spite of it's stillness. And even though Winter still has us by the tail, our senses twitch and quiver in anticipation of Spring.

And so we set forth, a choir of hopeful voices humming in our hearts, warming our chilly way. And later, as the day slides away down behind the mountains we gather round the table and pass the bowls to one another, and chatter swirls and surges like surf, breaking into laughter, dousing us for good measure.

So, in spite of our reluctance we are ready for the week ahead. 

For anyone looking for some loveliness,
and for some cake,
can I suggest taking a peek at the newly renovated
gorgeousness that is Friendly Cottage?

Friday, 29 January 2010

A Peek Inside The Rabbit Hole.

A wordy post! Feels wrong...


It's a while since I've noticed tags or awards going around Blogland. They seem to come in waves and surges, and I was happy enough to let them find other little pathways through this strange forest of Blog. But they're back. In the last week or so I've been given two awards, from I Am Not A Volcano, and Kato over on Pandorah's Box. And while my instinct is to shy away from these awards, which I see as little nosy, curious, snuffly woodland creatures, and hope if I stand very still they'll get distracted and wander off, this time I find myself pausing and pondering.

Blogging is such a strange thing. We show such deep, and often private places that say so much about us, and often things we may not say face to face with people, yet in many ways we say nothing really at all that really shows who we are. And when I noticed a few stalwarts like Elaine over on Jaboopee, and then Esti over on Pintameldia, doing their own version of one then I figured it might actually be a nice thing to do after all.

So while it's not adhering exactly to the rules, I do like to adapt things so they are a little bit more me. And I figure I'll take a leaf or two from you ladies, and do my own take on it.

So without further do:  Some Random Things You May Not Know About Me.

1. I am writing a book,
but have writer's block at the moment.

2. I love the smell of clean laundry, coffee, roses.

3. I have been to India, twice, but not for many years.
I have been thinking a lot about it, lately.

4. I cannot live without music. 
For a taste of my current obsessions
take a peek at Carnival.

5. I have not eaten chocolate or sugar in almost 
two years. Or wheat.

6. Lately, I have developed an aversion to
supermarkets. Bit of a problem really...

7. I don't like getting my photo taken,
because I am always disappointed I don't look like I think I do.
(ie fifteen years ago...)

8. I love to bring people together.

9. I erroneously studied ceramics in college.
But am grateful to the Principal who gave me the place on a whim
(I am sure) as a few years later I married his son.

10. I haven't read a novel in over a year.
Something which anyone who knows me would not believe.
But I've lately had the urge to re-read David Mitchell.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Upon Seeing A Dear Friend.

There was a road, and mist and hoarfrost.
A long road that leads me astray.

And we greet one another with tears when we meet,
grief cruelly holding your hand.

We walk arm in arm,
our silences as deep as our words.

And though the longest road lies between us,
my dearest friend, 
our story still has miles to go.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

And The Winner Is...


from Stephanie Says is the name that came out of the hat!

The new piece has been started, and I hope to have it for you in the next couple of weeks. I'll keep you posted on progress.
So in the meantime, please email your details to me, Stephanie!

Monday, 18 January 2010

The Wanderer's Rest.

A while back I wrote about this little piece~in~the~making. And so, it is finished. It was a slow creation, in part because I did practically nothing over the summer. Yes, that's how long it took. I actually started it last May! (Shame!)

But, yes, now it is finished. And it is now hanging on the wall of my friend Joan's house, just up the Sea Road.

'And there in the quiet valley they spied the little house,
lights all atwinkle in the dusk...'

There is a story somewhere in all this. I'm just having to figure it all out as I go. But I have never done anything so satisfying before. I think it's the smallness. And the simplicity. And I am ready to start the next one.

So, an idea has been brewing in my busy head.

A give~away is overdue, methinks. I never did one for Milkmoon's second birthday last October, though I had intended to. And now, this little blog of mine has hit 1000 followers! Something which I am endlessly incredulous and awed and so, so humbled by.

And grateful.

So. I propose the next piece will be for one of you lovely people. It will be small. Otherwise I may be old and grey before I finish it! I estimate 12cm x 8cm. And as I have a notebook of idea's ready to go it will be started tomorrow, and a regular update will be posted, I promise.

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below. Most of you know the drill. And on Friday we'll pull a name out of the hat.

And meanwhile I'm finishing up a little something that's been forlornly waiting to be finished for a while now so I can donate it to CraftHope for Haiti., which is an Etsy shop which is sending all it's proceeds to Doctors Without Borders.

Do check it out if you are looking for a way to donate towards Haiti.

Edit: Okaaay! So we dropped a couple of followers, but the giveaway still stands lol! :-)

Saturday, 16 January 2010

There and Back Again.

So here I am.

I didn't fall off the edge of the world after all. It seems this past week has been a wondrous thing, of snow and ice, of flying away, of quiet and a strange sort of marvelous space in my head, of things foreign and fascinating, of being cut of from the world.

And oh! But just imagine what that space was filled with!

In the end it was just perfect that the children were snowed in in my parents. Because as you can see our beach~side garden doesn't hold snow very well, and they got more than they could ever have dreamed of with their grandparents.

As we waved goodbye, we almost began to feel the elements were against us. Would we make it? Would the plane fly?
But it did, and we did, and so began our child~free adventure...

And though the sun did shine, it was cold, as we knew it would be. But a crisp, dry, blue~sky cold, so unlike a damp Irish winter. And we walked and walked the streets of Madrid, so glad to have our dear friends Marta and Sam to guide and translate for us!

Jay got his fix of art in the Prado, while myself and Marta went shopping, and the pair of us talked our way around Madrid! It was so good to have time together to talk and just hang out.

On Sunday we all went to the Sofia Reina and saw among other things, Guernica. (No photos allowed!). It was fascinating to see it, but even more so, for me, I found myself looking at the faces of the people who were viewing at it. Most of them were just in awe. Absolute awe. And none more than Jay. And although I was curious at my own seeming lack of interest in the painting itself, to the point of not really looking at it, when I entered a nearby room that was filled with studies for the bereaved mother's face, I could not contain my emotion. It was too much and I had to leave.

And I realised that being there in that room with something so powerful was just too much for me to take in. It was like being in the presence of pain, and horror, and great evil. Not the painting itself, of course, but what it represented. And following on from this, an exhibition of war~time photos...even now as I write I have a pain in my chest.

But our time in Madrid, like this, together, was something special for so many reasons. The photo above is so nostalgic for me. I have many, many images like this of other galleries we have wandered in all over the world in the last (almost) twenty years. And that pose is so very familiar it kind of breaks my heart.

And so we talked and talked,

And walked and walked, like I haven't in years,

Marta's Beautiful Bump!

And ate, and ate, if the truth be told!

And the snow followed us there, creating a magical, beautiful, wonderful long weekend, which would not have been possible without our fantastic dear, old friends, and also, without my dear old parents! I hope you've all recovered!

And so, eventually we wound our way home, back through the ice and snow to the beginnings of the Thaw.

And the little, and not~so~little, clamoring voices I welcomed with open arms. I do need a little chaos in my life after all!

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Away We Go!

So, I am sitting in a hotel room with Jay, somewhere near Dublin airport!

Yes. I was afraid to even mention it in case we didn't get away in the end, and I know we're not there yet, but... we are in a hotel room! And it's so very quiet without all those little clamoring voices. But I think I might get used to it. For a day or two before I really start to miss them.

Hopefully our flight will leave on time early tomorrow morning, but I am prepared for some hanging around. We are off to Madrid until Monday to visit some very dear friends, and I promise some posts to come of our trip.

It was quite an adventure even getting this far, as we decided not to try and drive through the Big Freeze, but bussed it instead.
It was arctic... I felt like I was in outer Siberia, (Jay has been there and said, yes, it reminded him of it!).

So, as I was so disorganised about getting this post done before I left home I had no photos to share with you of the Winter Wonderland we still find ourselves in, so these are from last year. Bit of a cheat, I know, but if anything it's even more snowy and icy this year.

I do love how everyone's blogs and facebook are just awash with Snow Posts. It's wonderful to see. And although it's wearing a bit thin for some, the fact that school did not reopen today as planned means that certain little somebody's are over the moon and making the most of it!

So fingers crossed we fly tomorrow!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

And Frost Did Come And Nip Their Toes...

My view where I gratefully stand each morning to greet the day, coffee cup in hand...!

Well, the cold snap continues, and we awake each morning to a frosty garden, and snowy mountaintops in the distance.

Back to school on Thursday, so in the meantime we'll wait it out, with cups of tea and cocoa, and pajama days, snuggled up on the couch by the fire, with soothing music to match our quiet contemplation.

All to soon we'll be back into the maelstrom.

But for now we are happy to hibernate here and eke a bit more out of Christmas.

At least for the next few days.

Do take a little peek over on ~Carnival~ if you'd like to hear who I've been listening to.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Snow For Spellbinding.

In my parents again. And they got their snow! It really did snow. And all our resolutions were somehow all the more meaningful, or magical, or profound. 
And I watched the softly falling snow, the faces all aglow, listened to their laughter as they ran and played, handfuls of snow flying everywhere, and none more enthusiastic than my Dad!  

It was still there this morning, a pristine world we gazed out at in wonder. 

What a perfect way to start the year. And though the old one falls away behind us, the heartache and the joy, the blessings and the burdens, we carry them still, on into the next.

But we find our pockets filled with hope.


Warmest Blessings to you all for a wonderful year to come!

(All this snow meant our internet was gone! Hence the lateness of this post.)