Sunday, 30 March 2008

Time's Up.

So. The holidays are over.

The clothes are laid out. Lunch boxes wait quietly on the kitchen table.
Alarm clocks set. Sleepy, clean scented heads on clean pillows.
The trudge begins in a mere few hours.

We all felt a bit dejected today.

We cleaned and tidied and organised, but without spirit.
The Easter tree is put away for another year.
The last traces of holiday swept away.
Last crumbs of chocolate pressed on their fingers, licked clean.

School tomorrow.

Just let me pause for a moment first...

Thursday, 27 March 2008

My View.

I've lost count of the number of times I've posted this view. The thing is, I never tire of it. Even after nearly twelve years.

It changes, not just by the day, but by the hour. It's my barometer, my soother, my anchor. And it makes washing the dishes a nicer experience!

There's the Sugarloaf. And Slaughter Hill. Djouce in the distance. And the little Sugarloaf. And all the way over to the north, Bray Head. They can't all be seen in this picture. Some days none can be seen. (For more moments of this view have a look here).

But it's my constant. Always there. And it reminds me that even with all the different weather fronts life throws at us, the mountain that is 'I' remains the same.

Something Lovely.

This weeks offering comes from a delightful young painter called Emily Martin. I am just mad about her work. They are like illustrations to some long forgotten fairy tales I can't quite remember.

There is an air of sweet sadness, yet quiet contemplation.

To see more of her beautiful work, check out her blog here.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

The Magic Valley

Spring time in the Garden of Ireland.

I spent the afternoon in Judith's garden. One of my favourite garden's in Wicklow, and I do know a few. It's a garden that is tended with love and dedication, and it shows. Hidden away in the most magical of valley's, amidst rolling verdant hills, a treasure that is just starting to stir, bursting with life.

It's full of beds that are dotted with gently nodding little heads: yes, yes, spring has come, here we are, here we are.

The faintest blossom tentatively peeping out.

And tiny fairy gardens with tiny flowers.

And the sun shone down.

Here, the door is always open. For tea and wisdom.

And you never want to leave, until late.

Hidden In The Garden.

Aren't parents great things? For lots of reasons. Here's one.

While poking around their garden on Sunday, during the egg hunt, I spotted not one but three pieces of ceramics I made a lifetime ago. They're a little old and a lot weather-worn, but still there! I couldn't believe it. I realise I had known one of them was there but I just didn't see it anymore. You know how it is.

But they are there!

As I said, aren't parents great things? I suppose that's what we do as parents. We keep all our children's achievements and their projects and all the things that add up to who they become, and we keep them safe, hidden away sometimes, when they have become history. But kept safe. To remind us. That we all achieve things that are lovely and loved. Even the things that become old and forgotton about by those that make them.

Our history is part of our environment, the threads of our fabric, even if we don't see it anymore.

Thanks Mum and Dad!

My New Toy.

No, I don't mean my baby, it's my new camera! There'll be no stopping me now!

Monday, 24 March 2008

Happy Easter!

Well, that was an unintended break. And a lovely one too.

We spent Saturday morning painting eggs with Lisa and her gang.

Sunday we spent with my family. We celebrated Easter, and two birthday's, Dad's and The Smallest's. And as usual, Dad had organised an egg hunt for the kids. Everyone was there except my sister Emma and her husband Mike.

And today we had an egg hunt in Greystones, and a good old fashioned egg and spoon race.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend!

Thursday, 20 March 2008


Heading for the sun.

Let there be light! Isn't this such a heart-warming thought? Longer days now. It's official.

If you do one thing today: open a window...

Happy Equinox everyone!

(pics by Jay)

One Year.

Sweet William is one year old today.

Did I blink? Where did this year go?

Ten minutes old. Here at home.
I still remember what it felt like, to hold him for the first time.
He took his time. To breathe.
He looked me in the eye.
Held our gaze as he took his time, to breathe.
Held on to us.

A Tiny Dynamine. Joy to us.

And now, here we are, one year on. My blue-eyed boy, bashful and bonnie and blithe.
Thank you for choosing us.


Haiku for William.

William, one today,
the world at your tiny feet-
Blossom, leave your print.

Grandad (20 March 2008)

Something Lovely Too.

Well, seeing as I missed out on my Something Lovely post last week I'm going to make up for it with another favourite of mine. These are paintings by the Pennsylvanian artist Stacey Bear.

I only discovered her fairly recently, but I love her work.

I could just see these on my wall.

Something Lovely.

Why have I not featured the work of Julie Arkell before now? My all time favourite. My hero. I could look at her work for hours. I dream about owning some. Someday.

It's the lovely yet heart-breaking innocence she captures so beautifully.

And the attention to detail.

I never tire of it.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

A Week Of Sundays.

This is what I love about school holidays. Getting to slouch around in slouchie gear and not do much at all. Except a lot of play.

Or. I get to do one of those on-the-long-finger jobs. I always seem to start off doing one thing and end up doing another. My plan was a long over-due re-organisation of my work space. But I ended up painting the kitchen dresser. With a little help from The Little One. There's still a bit to do, so I'll leave it til tomorrow to show you how it looks.

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

At Last.

Jay is home. Finally.

We are all smiling.

Suffice to say, we will not be doing much more than mooching around for the next few days.

Monday, 17 March 2008

My Little Chef.

Ok. It's almost two weeks now that Jay is gone. I have had countless dinners and 'sleep-overs' in my parents, (thanks Mum and Dad, as always), dinner and 'sleep-overs' in Joan and Dominic's, lovely bean feast in Jude and Steve's, delicious Indian meal in Carole and Paul's on Saturday night. Am I forgetting anyone? Thank you all. This is what makes it a bit more bearable.
But after nearly two weeks now I am flagging, and the last thing I felt like doing was cooking tonight.

The Eldest loves cooking. His latest favourite movie at the moment is Ratatouille. He absolutely loves it. He was watching it this evening when I was trying to encourage myself to get up off my chair and cook dinner. In a flash he turned off the movie, disappeared into the kitchen and came back announcing that he was going to do stir-fry and noodles for dinner.

With a little bit of help from his little brother.

We had an amazingly delicious and perfectly cooked dinner.

And I promised to mention these cakes he made last Monday and Wednesday.

It was my Dad's birthday on Thursday, and the cake was by The Eldest.

More cake on Monday too, just because.

And I didn't lift a finger.

I am grateful, proud and very reassured.

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

We woke up to sunshine. The excitement! After giving Lisa a quick ring there was the familiar mad dash out the door to see the parade. So far we have not ventured in to the city with them. I just know the St. Patrick's Day 'Festival' is not what it was when we were kids, where all the little ones were ushered to the front by beaming, well-wishing grown-ups. It was a vaguely down at heel affair with not much more than marching bands and some clowns and funny bicycles, and after that, well, it was companies advertising themselves on floats with about as much imagination as a ham sangwich. But we loved it! I know the parade in Dublin will be great fun when they are older, but for now, Greystones has enough of what we need.

As usual, we missed the first few minutes, but it's the slightly hotch-potch (and I mean this in the best way), slightly innocent everyone doing their bit, everyone doing their best, kind of air about it that I just love. The little ones were enthralled to see a row of vintage tractors or the local Judo Club kids in their suits. They didn't care. And the older ones were delighted to be told they could go off up the main street and meet us later. The freedom!

We always have an icecream after, even if it's about to snow. Today was perfect. A cold wind but warmth in the sun.
Then it was back home for some lunch, which you may read about over on What We Eat!

Happy Pear Day.

Well. It wasn't a happy day. Jay got delayed and there was tears all around yesterday when they woke up to realise it would be another couple of days before we saw him.

So a promise of lunch in the Happy Pear made everyone a bit happier.

I'm holding my breath.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

A Note From My Only Girl.

I've been going through the archives. Both at home and in my parents. Oh, the darlings I have found. Including a Note From My Only Girl, age about 7.

good night sloop tight don't let the bed bugs bite

One For Sabine.

Here's a little post for my friend Sabine, who I know is a regular reader.

Now that you are coming home, I won't feel bad about posting pictures like these that might make you very homesick!

A lane in the country that is dear to your heart.

And two little boys who may not remember each other but will no doubt make up for it!

We are all looking forward to seeing you all in the summer!

Saturday, 15 March 2008

A Reason To Celebrate.

I think I can safely say I'll be back to daily posting again. With Jay away I find I'm flat out chasing my tail, (at least that's what it mostly feels like) and I lose focus of the fun bits. The inspiration is still there but it just feels like something at the end of my really, really long finger. Plus, without him here I think I kind of float off into insubstantial-land, where there's no ground.

He'll be back tomorrow morning.

And I'll be back too.

So. What to do on a grey, rainy Saturday? It's the first day of the Easter holidays. No school for two whole weeks! Bliss...

We put up our Easter tree.

It's kind of like Christmas when the box is taken out and all those dotey little things we've collected over the years see the light of day again. It didn't happen last year, for the first time ever. The Smallest was only a couple of weeks old and again, it got put on the long finger until it was too late.
So I was determined to get it up this year.

This little chap was very excited as he didn't remember it from before. Each little treasure was oohed and ahhed over. (The 'face' here is because he thought all this meant lots and lots of chocolate. Now.)

Yay! It got done. I have restored my faith in me...