Monday, November 30, 2009

Zoning Out

Today is the last day of November.

Tomorrow I don't have to post if I don't want to.

That's the way it should be.

Not that I didn't enjoy the month.

I did.

But having a low boredom threshold with myself and my wonderings, it'll be good to just visit and comment on other people's blogs instead of blathering on and on about me.

So, as and from tomorrow, I'm zoning out; off to wander around the blogs of visitors that I have shamelessly neglected for the duration of Nabloblahblah.

I'm looking forward to it.

Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


The sun came out yesterday.

It was lovely.

The sky was blue with only a few fluffy clouds skittering about and the rain fell down just a couple of times.

Hysterical with the brightness of the day, we abandoned the usual, humdrum activites that occupy a Saturday and hightailed it down to the seaside.

We motored through the familiar landscape that was now, due to the bucketting down of the last 3 weeks, strangely unfamiliar. We made several detours around large turloughs that have been lying dormant for the last decade or so, waiting patiently for their chance to glisten.

We had the flaggy shore to ourselves; listening to the docile lapping of the water against the rocks, feeling the salty sea air sweeping the cobwebs out of our moisture-sodden minds, it was easy to be happy.

At 6pm we went to the exhibition. The invitation had arrived earlier in the week. He who would like to be obeyed, groaned. "Well, if you REALLY want to go ..."

He's not a great fan of the visual arts but he is quite tolerant.

Michael Gemmell was one of the artists. He's a quiet man with a colourful past.

It is difficult to do justice to the visceral wonder of the man's creativity. His work speaks for itself.

I'm not even going to try.

But every fibre of my being tingles with recognition.

art work: Flying Over by Michael Gemmell.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


Blue-footed Boobies.

I didn't know that some of them had feet.

photo credit:

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Wanderer

For 27 years I have filled a Xmas sock for her.

But not this year.

Because now she is wandering far from sockland.

On August 19th last, herself and her main man packed their rucksacks, waved goodbye to their safe lives and ventured forth to travel the world. They bravely took themselves out of impending settledom, gathered their nerve and flew to adventure.

So far, they have rattled their bones in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador and are now languishing in Peru.

She is the first born. A good girl. Responsible, hardworking, loving and caring. And careful.

This was a big decision for her.

I'll miss her dreadfully but I wouldn't wish her here for all the tea in China.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Victory Verse for Molly

5 more posts and then it is done
Nabloblahblah will have run its run
Will I be sad, will I be down?
Will I be wearing a worried frown?

I think, dear reader, that the answer is no
For inspiration has hit an all-time low
Me marbles are rattling, me eyes are bloodshot
The hour has arrived to take to the cot.

25 long nights have seen me toil
Mumbling and fumbling with the midnight oil
I should have said this, I should have said that
Conundrums, indeed, they'd baffle a cat.

For as you may know, I promised the Molly
That once again, I would, indulge in this folly
Posting and blathering for the month of November
Was 2007 that hard to remember?

But, Molly my dear, the plan has succeeded!
The kick in the pants, that was very much needed
Has taken me back to the pleasures of reading
The blogs of the many, so worthy of heeding.

So when the days of November are nowt but a dream
And my life has returned to its normal regime
I'll be writing less often but reading much more
Having all of the pleasure and none of the chore!

image credit:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

No. 2 son, temporarily residing in Barcelona, thinks that I have one of these growing in the back garden.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Umbrella Season

Its been raining here for the last 3 weeks.


One gets weary of the constant wetness.

The sudden drenching of the feet as one decides to dash across the grass thinking one has feathers powering one's shoes. The decision to air the body after one brief glimpse of brightness behind the clouds only to be deluged upon 200 metres from the dryness of the house. The water levels rising, at an alarming rate, in the mighty river Shannon which flows nearby, too close for comfort. There haven't been floods like this for 100 years, the weather people tell us.

We haven't had to evacuate yet but we are on "alert". The weather forecast for the next week is "more of the same". All around this small green island, people are being evacuated from their homes. News reports carry pictures of young families being hoisted to safety on to army lorries, old people being piggy-backed from their homes on the backs of kindly neighbours, farmers weeping at the sight of their fertile fields being transformed into lakes of bankruptcy. Business people looking on in disbelief as their stock floats away on the torrents streaming through their premises. Emergency services stretched to capacity and beyond.

It is unbelievable.

But one just worries about the wetness of it all.

Sometimes, one thinks that one might be better served to be a realist rather than an optimist.

photo credit:

Monday, November 23, 2009

Time for a Little Temper Tantrum

I like to think that I am a fairly well balanced, normal individual. I don't have any outrageously disgusting habits and my temperament is, usually, of the easy going variety. Nothing fazes me, most of the time.

But last Saturday, I shed the mantle of tolerance.

The Queen had asked if I would drop in and visit with the brother in law who was down to do his filial duty for the weekend. I suspect it wasn't out of concern for the brother in law that the request was made. Her own tolerance of this particular individual is a little strained, to say the least.

He has always been difficult. Laden down with baggage that he has never acknowledged, let alone dealt with, he storms through life with an enormous chip on each shoulder. His storming is greatly exacerbated by his overdependence on alcohol to see him through, what he perceives to be, difficult situations. One of these situations is his monthly visit at the weekend to care for his parents.

I arrived at 4pm intending to stay for an hour or so. He was slouched in front of the TV, beer in hand, glared up at me and snarled "What are you doing here?"

"Just passing by and I thought I'd come and see how you were" I said lightly.

He then proceeded to tell me that he didn't need people checking up on him and that he was very capable of caring for the old folks without any supervision.

"Where are they, by the way?" I enquired.

"Front room" he barked.

I went into the front room and found the Queen in an agitated state, the result of an earlier argument, and the main man drenched because "somebody" had neglected to enquire if he would like to go to the bathroom. Having done what was necessary, cajoled and placated Her Majesty, made the main man comfortable again, I then felt something snap in my brain. Anger seeped through every fibre of my being.

I went back into the other room and let him have it.

What did he do?

He picked up his phone, rang GB and told him he'd better come pick "her" up because "she" was having a temper tantrum.

This man doesn't know how lucky he is to be alive.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

10 Reasons to Smile

1. Sunshine through the clouds.

2. Puppy chasing his tail.

3. Wind blowing, drying the laundry.

4. TV broken.

5. Repair man fixing my bicycle free of charge.

6. The sound of someone humming.

7. Walks on the beach, whatever the weather.

8. Finishing anything.

9. Postcards from afar.

10. December 1st.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


This piece of music takes me to the inner places of my ancestors, to places that I cannot remember.

Even without memory, my body responds to it on a cellular level, recognising some deep connection that defies my senses.

My rational mind would like to know why some musical pieces touch the core of one's being while others just drift past, unrecognised.

But my spirit doesn't care.

Its just happy to go along for the ride.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Queen

The Queen is a mighty woman.

She was born in 1924 in a small town in rural Ireland. Her mother, who was only 19, died of a fever when the Princess was just 9 months old. Her father, being young and a little foolish, was at a loss as to what to do with his baby daughter. Enter the Queen's maternal grandmother, herself a formidable woman, and, he was off the parental hook. Away with him across the water to London where the streets were, supposedly, paved with gold. Neither sight nor sound of him for 10 years.

Roseanne put her heart and soul into rearing her grandaughter. Abject poverty was the norm on the street where they eked out a meagre existence. But she managed to see the little Princess through primary school and insisted that she continue on with her education so that she could, eventually, get a grand, steady, pensionable position working for the Government.

The Princess was an intelligent, good looking child. She grew to be an articulate, hardworking woman. She landed herself the prized government position and left her grandmother's home. For a life of freedom and a little wildness in a slightly larger town about 70 miles from where she grew up. She enjoyed being a grown up. Boyfriends and dances, bus trips to Dublin and bicycle rides around the countryside. And then she met himself. The tall, handsome army man who swept her off her feet. And out of the arms of the man she thought she loved.

When they married in 1953, she relinquished her tiny Princess tiara and readily accepted the heavy duty crown that was part and parcel of her new position. She moved into the role of Queen like a duck sliding into a pond.

She was, like most Queens, quite ignorant of housekeeping duties. The arrival of the royal offspring, all 8 of them, within 10 years, was, to say the least, a bit of an eye-opener for her. But being of the blue-blooded brigade, she rose to the challenge and loved and nurtured them beyond even her own expectations. She loved and ruled with an unquestionable passion. Her devotion demanded very little in return. On one royal occasion, himself and the princes and princesses forgot the importance of the Queen's birthday. Boiled eggs were served for the nightly repast, in silence. This ensured that the 2nd of October was never overlooked again. Her family was the reason for her existence. When death deprived her of one of her children she, temporarily, lost her will to go on. But time, as it does, softened that wound.

She worked hard at creating a home filled with love and laughter. The royal offspring blossomed under her care and eventually left the palace to seek out their own kingdoms. Himself retired and they filled their days with gardening, winemaking, reading and the occasional jaunt across the waters to strange, exotic lands. When himself had a stroke back in 1995 their lives changed, inevitably. Gradually, they became old and dependent. The Queen was not amused.

Being an intelligent Queen, she knows that she has been blessed with a good life. She knows that she has no real reason to complain. But it is difficult. She is heartbroken watching her life partner of 57 years lose his zest for life; she watches him battle with the words that are on the tip of his tongue but refuse to be spoken; she looks at him while he struggles to put one foot in front of the other, worrying in case he should fall. She lives in a constant state of fear.

Fear of life.

Fear of death.

Her bravery is a humbling reminder to me that that we are all vulnerable.

Long live the Queen.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Feeling no Pain ...

I had the best of intentions today to write a non-moaning post about the magnificence of being alive.

I got lead astray.

Delicious eats at a favourite hostelry, Milanos, accompanied by 2 bottles of Pinot Grigio, scintillating conversation, and the solving of the world's problems.

Now I'm home and feeling no pain.

Life is good.

So tis away to the bed with me.

I'll sleep to fight another day of Nabloblahblah.

Codhlamh samh!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

One of the wettest places in the world.

The kingdom of Kerry.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Offspring

Sometimes it frightens me.

The depth and strength of the feelings that my children can generate in me.

Especially when they are not around.

The photo above was taken at No. 1 daughter's wedding in London last August.

When I look at this picture, I recognise the people in it. I know that I love them dearly, that I would gladly die for them. They make me outrageously happy. They fill my soul.

And yet, part of me feels detached from them.

To the point of barely recognising our connectedness.

Is this the way its supposed to be?

I don't feel sad.

I'm just curious.

Monday, November 16, 2009

From Nowt to Nod.

Today's letter for inspiration is N.

Nought, nil, nada, nothing, nonsense, nearly, never, normal.

This is where my brain has landed.

The Land of Nowt.

Which must mean that I am going to moan, again, about having nothing to write about and no inspiration.

But never fear, there's bound to be some nonsense that I can unearth from the nether regions of my normally fertile imagination.

The Land of Nowt is a notorious place. The inhabitants are rather neanderthal in appearance and are encumbered with a somewhat narky disposition. They like nothing better than to nibble on nachos and nuts while nattering incessantly about the niceties of nooky . Nooky , or the lack of it, occupies their every waking moment. Woebetide the nuisance creature that would, with nerves of steel, dare to dispute the necessity of having a regular supply. The naive creature would end up with his neck in a noose, his nauseating screams the stuff of nightmares . Neither the nightingales in their nests nor the numerous nomadic nuns could save him from his nemesis.

So be wary reader. If you should happen to find yourself navigating your way through the nasty narcoleptic narrows of nothing to write about, don't go anywhere near the Land of Nowt. You may not live to tell the tale.

Now I am away from the Land of Nowt to the Land of Nod.


photo credit:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Manners Maketh the Man

No.1 son came visiting today. To be fed and watered, I suspect. The love nest is cluttered with studying and papers and heads down. So, up on his bicycle with him and off out to visit the mammy.

He's easy company. No fuss, no trouble, just feed him and he's quite happy.

After we had eaten we sat around discussing various things such as "any sign of a job yet?" or "how are you filling your days?" or "are you happy doing nothing all day?"

No, this and that and yes.

There are no jobs available in the construction industry at the moment in this country. The Recession. But now, after 3 months of unemployed bliss, he's contemplating going back to the real world. To London maybe or perhaps Canada. But what about the "Ladylove"?

Hmmm ....

"But I do have a job" he said, "I'm working in a bar 2 evenings a week and it's o.k .. not too bad really".

Turns out he is bar tending at the local Greyhound Track Bar. Frequented by the local gentry with their over-bred canines. Moneyed people.

"Tight as a chicken's ar**, most of them" he says. "Tips?? Don't be ridiculous Mum, they wouldn't give you the time of day let alone a tip".

He then went on to regale us with various horror stories of bickering and fighting between dog owners, fixing of races, performance enhancing substances in black plastic bags being found at the back of the track.

"But do you know what the worst thing about them is" he said, "they have no manners". Not a please or a thank you.

All of the offspring, at one stage or another, have commented on the lack of manners in their peers and younger children. Working part-time in local shops and bigger department stores, has given them an insight that no amount of preaching by their mother could provide. Although I did do my bit.

"Can I have an apple Mum"

"Can you have an apple what"?

"Can I have an apple Mum" slightly louder. She's old, maybe she can't hear me.

"There's a word missing".

Clink, clink as the penny drops.

"Can I have an apple PLEASE Mum?"


For years, I drummed the basics of good manners into them. I knew no better. That was the way we were brought up so what's good for the goose is good for the gander. They struggled against me. "So and so's mother doesn't make them say please and thank you ..."


But now they know.

It costs nothing to have good manners. All it takes is a little thought and respect for others. It is an easy way to show that you care for your fellow human beings. Why then do so few people behave in a mannerly way? I have no answers for this seemingly trivial question. All I know is that it makes my blood boil when a supposedly civilised person walks through a door and then lets it fly back on me when my arms are full of groceries.

No.1 son, himself has very nice manners.

Little old ladies love him.

Younger ladies too.

Manners maketh the man AND the woman.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Life gets in the way ...

Today is day 14 of Nabloblahblah.

So far, I have managed, technically, to post a blog a day.

But it is now 12.30am and I am lost for inspiration.

I don't know what possessed me when I got to thinking I could write something coherent every day for 30 days. A lightness of the brain perhaps? An absence of grey matter maybe?

I'm sorry Molly, but tonight the madness of the week has finally caught up on me and I am unable to post anything worth reading even for you, the most faithful of readers!

Tomorrow, I will try to do better.

photo credit:

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Key to Happiness

"Morning Lar", I said, popping my head around his door.



I busied myself with the Royal Breakfast. Delivered it to her Highness, descended the stairs and tried again.

"Good morning Lar".


Please God, don't let him be dead, not this morning. I'm not ready.

Took the bull by the horns, went into his room, opened the curtains and said again "Morning Lar".

"You're late" he said.

My turn to be silent. Guilty as charged.

It was 9.15am. I'm normally there at 8.30am. But this morning I was late waking, the bin had to be put out, the dog was misbehaving and I figured 30 minutes isn't a hanging offence. Wrong.

"Why were you late?" he asked, as I was performing the ablutions. I explained the velcroed-to-the bed syndrome, the antics of the psychotic canine, the recalcitrant bin with the wobbly wheel, attempting a little bit of light relief.

For once, he was not amused.

We continued our daily dance with the intricacies of balance and movement, in silence.

About an hour later, as he was sitting at the wash hand basin, shaving foam everywhere, he grabbed my arm and said "I thought you weren't coming".

"Sure, don't I always turn up" I said lightly, "like the proverbial bad penny".

"I thought you weren't coming" he repeated.


For the last week or so, there has been a lot of tension between the sisters concerning the care of their father. Each believing that the other was being unreasonable. As a result, we had a meeting yesterday with a representative of a care-givers association with a view to finding somebody willing to call each day for an hour to assist with Lar. Larry remained, for the most part, silent throughout. Her Highness does most of his talking anyway.

"Lar, unless I drop down in my tracks or himself does me in in the middle of the night, I'll be here every morning, whether you like it or not!"

"Good" he said "I'm glad .. because ... I thought you weren't coming anymore"

Nobody, including me, saw fit to tell Lar the full details of what was being organised. So he spent a restless night wondering. And worrying.

And the moral of this story?

Don't be late.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Just too Tired ...

Tonight I am just too tired to think. So, some pictures instead.

King of London Zoo.

London Zoo Flutterby.

Another Flutterby.

Yet Another Flutterby.

Would be king accompanied by meat-eating flutterby.

You see all kinds of weird and wonderful creatures at the Zoo.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Lake Isle Of Innisfree

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
Dropping from the veils of the mourning to where the crickets sing;
There midnight's all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
And evening full of the linnet's wing.

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 grey,
I hear it in the deep heart's core.

Sometimes when I have a million and one things to do and my mind is like a a refuse sack, I turn my back on the humdrum and curl up in an armchair with a pile of well- thumbed favourite books. One of these is a collection of W.B. Yeat's poetry.

The offspring have great difficulty in seeing the merits of this pastime. In fact, it is a source of curiousity and amusement to them. But this particular poem is one that they do appreciate. If only because I refuse to entertain the idea that anyone can be immune to such beautiful writing. And if they are to continue being well fed they had better get their heads out of Facebook occasionally and listen to their older, much wiser mater familias.

Obviously, the way to their hearts is through their stomachs.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Heavy Hearts and Heaven Calling ....

The Molly and I, while we were growing up, had 3 aunts. Two on our father's side of the family and one on our mother's. We visited our mother's family regularly and spent several long, hot summers being country children. Molly remembers these visits with a great deal of nostalgia. The mad aunt relating scary ghost stories or whispering the local gossip around the fire when little ears were supposed to be tucked up in bed. I remember very little of that time.

We saw our father's family rather less frequently. They lived quite a distance from us, so it was usually a funeral or a wedding that brought us all together. But every Christmas parcels would arrive in the post for us. They never forgot. My father's two sisters were called Gertie and Dympna. Gertie was the oldest and Dympna was the youngest. My father was the blessed boy in the middle.

When I was 19 years old and going through a particularly rough patch, Dympna invited me to stay with her and Fred. That was the start of a very special relationship that has withstood the distance of time and place. She minded and fed me like I was the only one who mattered in the world. She amused me with tales of her misspent youth in the hotel business and she held me in her heart, waiting patiently until I was ready. She was there. She also had a wicked sense of humour and Fred, being a very patient man, would just smile benignly at us as we were falling around the place, hysterical at our own funniness.

I sometimes think that she saved my life back then.

Through the years we kept in touch. When Fred died in 1977 she picked up her life again. She played golf, kept her garden full of blooms and painted in oils until her lungs nearly collapsed from the fumes of the white spirit. She was a wonderful cook and insisted that good food was the best and only medicine. She was a vibrant, life-loving woman. She enjoyed good health until the early 90's. Then the powers that be saw fit to take away her sight thus depriving her of some of her reasons to live; painting, gardening, reading. But they didn't manage to rob her of her sense of humour. Or her trust in her God. I know she had some very black days where there was no light at all but still she remained good-humoured and optimistic. She insisted on living alone. Independently.

For the last year or so she has been suffering from dementia. Not all the time but enough to distress others and herself. Last Saturday night she got up to get a drink of water and fell. She lay on the cold kitchen floor until her carer called on Sunday morning. This morning she was to have an operation to mend her broken hip. Her days of living her vibrant, humour-filled life are over.

My heart is heavy with the selfish sadness of losing her but for her sake I hope Heaven calls and that she is listening. I know she is ready.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Good Day

Today was a good day.

In the early hours of the morning, a friend and I drove through the mist to the wilds of County Clare. Far from the madding crowds. For a day of navel gazing.

"Mumbo jumbo" he said. "Stuff and nonsense" he said. "Whatever floats your boat" he said.

I have thick skin.

The Retreat Centre is nestled high on a hill surrounded by rolling hills, nature's jamboree and remote silences. For as long as I can remember it has been a Retreat Centre. But I had never been there before because the cost of the courses was too high. The Centre changed hands about 2 years ago and now it is being run by an American man and his English born wife. They live in the Buddhist tradition and as a consequence their charges for retreats are within everybody's reach.

We meditated in silence from 10am until 4.30pm. We ate our lunch in silence.


Not all of the people attending had meditated before. It was interesting to see how these individuals dealt with the silence. Some were decidedly uncomfortable with it. Others, surreptitiously glancing around them trying to discover like-minded, uneasy souls.

I like meditation. I like the slowness and inner quietness that it brings. My soul craves silence.

My everyday life is noisy. I live with people who seem to be immune to the cacophony of sounds. I manage very well, I keep my cool most of the time but I savour the times when noise is absent and my spirit can dance to the inner music.

So, I am feeling renewed. Calm and settled. Tomorrow will bring whatever it brings. And I will deal with it.

A good day, indeed.

Saturday, November 7, 2009


Friday night, she said with some glee
We'll come to your house, we'll drink all of your tea
We'll sort everything out, we'll make a grand plan
To keep the Royals happy, to do what we can.

We settled ourselves round the table square
Myself and himself and the other pair
Sisters both, one quiet, one not
Everyone there, ready to trot.

The unquiet one had an axe to grind
The solution, she barked, is not hard to find
You MUST do more, you MUST pull your weight
You can't expect US to keep on at this rate.

The quiet one looked like a little lost child
Her lips were trembling, her eyes a bit wild
I want to ... I can't ... I'm doing my best
She stuttered and stammered, failing the test.

The unquiet one preached on and on
Venting her spleen, singing her song
Of resentment and anger, of right and of wrong
For the hours she had spent and all she had done.

At last, the quiet one could take no more
She jumped from the table and ran out the door
She was crying and shuddering, like her heart would break
She was wondering aloud, how much more she could take.

Himself in the kitchen was calming things down
The unquiet one was wearing a frown
Well, thats that sorted, I'm off home to bed
Never mind her, she'll get over it, she said.

When she was gone the quiet one sighed
She doesn't understand, she hasn't even tried
She thinks I'm lazy, selfish and unkind
I'm none of these things, I'm losing my mind.

A little while later, she hugged us both
Thank you for listening, as she put on her coat
She'll be calmer tomorrow, just you wait and see
If she isn't, I said, just refer her to me.

Himself and myself, we sat down again
What'ya make of all that, do you think it'll rain
I'm glad you were here, the voice of the sane
And no, I DON'T think it is going to rain.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Eejity ...

I love the English language. The variety of words available to describe any particular emotion or feeling, are enough to send me into paroxysms of delight, kinks of laughter or child-like wonderment at the vastness of the available selection.

I love the whispering of the wind. The chattering of the chipmunks. The roar of the rapids and the rippling river. The hoity-toity and the skanky slappers.

Its like being a child in a sweet shop. Alone. Free to pick and choose, to gorge on allsorts, indulging the sheer pleasure of rolling them around one's mouth, to taste and lick, to discard or keep.

The fruit of my loins, like a lot of offspring, delight in finding a chink in the elder's armour. I have been caught, on numerous occasions, reading the dictionary. For some unknown reason, they find this extremely amusing.

Eejit is one of my favourite words. It can be used affectionately, derisively, aggressively or even admiringly. So versatile. It serves as a noun primarily but can also be used as an adjective. But you won't find it in any dictionary. Not of the English variety anyway. I suspect that it is peculiar to this green island. Certainly, the Queen of England wouldn't be having it as part of her verbal repertoire.

Loosely translated, it means "a foolish person". A "clown", of sorts.
"Eoinseach", another splendid word, is the gaelic for eejit. It can sometimes be interpreted as meaning "a bit light on the grey matter" or a "tad short on the smarts". Whatever its meaning, its like a great big clove-drop pinballing around the tongue and teeth.

One can be a great eejit, a big eejit or even a stupid eejit. One can even be a f***ing eejit. The opportunities to shine are endless.

Now, the adjective of this word is Eejity. A different kettle of fish altogether. One can be born eejity (sure god help us all), one can develop eejitiness or one can simply degenerate into an eejity state through no fault of one's own. While trapped in an eejity state, one is rarely coherent, one usually has the unfocused gaze of the bewildered and one should most definitely not be allowed within an asses roar of a motorised vehicle. Sympathy abounds in some quarters for the eejity ones. Compassion is an admirable virtue.

It is 11.45pm and I am dropping with tiredness. I have been decidedly eejity for the last couple of hours.

But I couldn't disappoint the Molly.

See, I am a good little blister.

Eejity but good.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

We are experiencing some Difficulty ...

6.45am. Trumpeted out of the scratcher to the sound of the psychotic canine scrabbling noisily at the utility room door. Sleepy nose detects the reason for the rude awakening. Stomach somersaults as the size 5 misses its target. Breakfast is postponed.

7.15am. Floor washed, laundry on, unread newspapers gathered, unrepentant canine allowed back in. Clothes folded, sleepy heads up, "where is my green top?", "where are my keys?" Have a nice day dear.

8.00am. Cup of tea. Spot of navel gazing.

8.30am. Onwards to the palace. Breakfast for milady. Doggie biscuit for royal hound accompanied by much gratuitous slobbering. The main man up, washed and dressed. Fed and watered. Bed clothes changed, living room vacuumed. Pills for week sorted. Desultory conversation.

10.00am. She who would like to be obeyed rises from the boudoir. With a list. And an attitude. Silent prayer is said.

11.00am. Class for the wobblies at local pool. Much hilarity and sadness.

12.30pm. Home again, home again, jiggety jig. Soup. Look through post. Pay bills. Transfer small fortune to offspring residing temporarily in Barcelona. Phone dancing off the hook.

2.00pm. Dancing with the divas. One of whom has consumed too many glasses of wine with her lunch. Cross words and slight 78 year old tantrum when not allowed to trip the light fantastic.

4.00pm. Back to palace. 35 minute shuffle to the bathroom. Too late. Exercises done. Queen querulous. Murderous thoughts.

5.30pm. Dinner?? Nah ... couldn't be arsed. Let them starve.

6.45pm. Exhibition opening no.1. Old friends, new paintings. Disappointing.

7.30pm. Exhibition opening no.2. Brilliant. Manic. Hot.

8.30pm. Poetry reading. Interesting.

11.00pm. Home again, home again, jiggety jig. Tidy kitchen, let reluctant canine out, some laundry sorting. Cup of tea. Breathe. Haul cat-marauding canine back in.

12.30am. Yawn. Nabloblahblah??

There are not nearly enough hours in the day.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Wednesday is as good a day as any for a little self-indulgent day dreaming.

The halcyon days on the GR20 in Corsica last July are just the ticket for the escapism that is fast becoming a necessity.

I know, I know, not quite wordless.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Classy ....



Pathetic stray hairs combed over a bald patch.


Wife-beater vests.

Dirty fingernails.

Woolly socks with sandals.

White socks with sandals.

Peroxide blonde hair with bright blue eye shadow.

Foul-mouthed people.

Mutton dressed up as lamb.

Battered burgers.

White ties.

Smelly feet.

Smelly anything.


Dog beaters.

Litter louts.

Lovers who cheat.

I'm feeling rather intolerant today.

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Bee-Keeper

Every morning I see him.

A tall man, he walks with a stoop. He seems to be afraid of having his head in the clouds. A long grey raincoat hangs loosely on his bony frame and he carries a small, black and white rucksack on his back. The heavy, black shoes are the same ones he used to wear when he was a security guard. He is retired now due to ill-health.

He has been living in the area for going on 30 years. His elderly parents moved back to their roots and he came with them. Even though his roots were elsewhere. He dutifully minded them until they died. Never marrying. He knows everybody in the neighbourhood. He knows everything about everybody in the neighbourhood.

Being a religious man, his first port of call, after his breakfast, is the church. There he meets with other retired, like-minded souls. He can be seen, chatting in an animated manner, or quietly leaning closer to catch some whispered confidence. He continues from his prayers into town. His needs are few so the little rucksack is more than adequate to carry his messages. He usually wanders home just after 11.30am. He is a creature of habit.

He likes chocolate and bananas. The neighbourhood children used to call regularly to his door knowing that they would come away laden with goodies. That all stopped when a well-meaning woman warned him that "People would talk ... they wouldn't understand". He still gives out chocolate and bananas. Carefully.

He knows everything. The best way to recycle waste, the nutritional value of bananas, the intricacies of heart surgery, the benefits of thyroid tablets in the event of a nuclear disaster and the life cycles of honey bees. He loves bees. In his back garden there are about 20 beehives. He doesn't care much for gardening so the bees get to live, joyously, in the wild. He bestows jars of precious honey on the select few of his neighbours who have been behaving themselves. These gifts are, inevitably, accompanied by a diatribe on the benefits of clean living and how much man can learn from watching bees. Every year, he tootles off for a week of bee talk with other bee enthusiasts. The other week of his annual holidays is spent in Lourdes. He usually returns from Lourdes laden down with gallons of Holy Water which, like the bees, has amazing curative powers.

He seems to be a man of simple needs. A God-fearing christian.

Why, then, do the hairs rise up on the back of my neck every time I see him?

Sunday, November 1, 2009



A small word. Compact and to the point. Rolls off the tongue easily enough.
It can be said softly or loudly. Whispered with emotion or gloriously shouted.

If one looks it up in the dictionary one is informed that the direct meaning for Amen is "So be it".


If one were of a religious inclination one would be inclined to think "Well, thats it, I can do nor more" or, maybe, "Its in God's hands now, he'll take care of it" or maybe one might whisper softly to oneself "Whew, that was a close one, I'm glad its not my responsibility any more".

One might also think, if one had nothing better to be doing than contemplating one's navel or some other equally innocuous part of one's anatomy, "Why Amen? Why not Awomen?"

Luckily, around here, there isn't a lot of time for contemplation of one's body parts.

The big blister, aka Molly, and I have decided to post a blog a day for the month of November. This arose from a late-at-night telephone conversation which covered a myriad of subjects, including my disastrous attempts at blogging on a regular basis. In a moment of marble-free madness, I suggested that we both undertake the insanity that is Nablopomo. Molly, after much humming and hawing, and being the soul of big-sisterly kindness, reluctantly agreed. Against her better judgement, I might add. She is, indeed, older and wiser. Most of the time.

So here I am, clueless and bereft of inspiration.

Molly, dearest, as the older blister, one feels that you have a duty to guide and mentor the younger sibling. You are most remiss in your duty in letting the hare-brained one cajole you with well-meaning promises to be good. Do you not realise that queens and kings will go unwalked, psychotic hounds will remain unfed, spouses and offspring will, needlessly, suffer the rantings and ravings of a middle-aged, bewildered harridan.

What were you thinking?

I have no more to say for now.



Friday, September 25, 2009

Between the Darkness and the Light ...

It was very quiet and dark on the second floor tonight. Only the gentle sounds of, seemingly contented souls, snoring gently, oblivious to the roaring chatter stampeding through his head. This was the second night that he had slept in a bed that was not his own.

He likes his own bed. The familiar smell of the brown, checked woolen blanket, the new red curtains, occasionally, brushing his arm as he tries to turn, the shufflings of the dog in the kitchen, as he attempts to make a comfortable bed for himself on the narrow bench. The monotonous tick- tick of the clock in the hall, chiming the hour and the half hour, relentlessly signaling the passage of each day and night. Sometimes, when sleep is slow to arrive, he finds himself counting the ticks, wondering if he will be able to count himself into a new day. His mind usually wanders and the shadows from the soft light in the hall, left on to light his way through the darkness of the night, throw up forms and shapes that spirit him to a world where he is the man he was, and still wants to be. The man who faced his world with an unquenchable enthusiasm, who charged through life with a gentleness of spirit, loved and loving, impatient with fools and foolish to the charms of children. Independent.

The night nurse, a petite, pretty girl, appears, silently at his bedside.
“Are you still awake Larry? Are you having difficulty getting off to sleep? Is there anything I can get for you?” she whispers.
“What time is it?” he says, none too softly. He has never really learned the art of whispering. The army life.
“Oh sure tis the middle of the night Larry, you really should try to sleep … have you any pain?”
“No, no pain …I’m o.k”.
“Alright then, just press the bell if you need anything, we’re just up the corridor .. Goodnight” she says softly, with a light pat on his arm and leaves the room as quietly as she had come in.

Angels of mercy, they call them.

How did he get here? When did he come to need other people to just live? He could feel the remnants of some age-old anger lurking in his soul. Raging against his God. Why him? Why not him? He wished he could still run. He dreamed of running . Of feeling his legs powering him forward, strong and unbeatable. King of his world. He hadn’t run for 20 years. He hadn’t walked independently for 5 years. The betrayal of his sleeping mind was unbearable. Since the first stroke, 15 years ago, his life had changed, slowly. Always, the hope that things would go back to the way they were. They never did. He watched himself become the man he didn’t want to be. Old. Dependent. He knew he was a lucky man. They kept telling him so. He had a loving, caring family, all his needs catered for, patience and compassion abounding. Why was he still alive? Did God have a reason for slowly stripping him of his dignity, his sense of humor, his capacity for enjoying life to the full? Was he too lucky?
Fifteen years is a long time to be learning new tricks. A long time to be wrestling with anger and impatience.

As he lay there, watching the morning light creeping through the curtains, he thought of the day ahead … What would it bring? Would they find anything in the scan they had planned for him? Or would it show up negative, leaving them scratching their heads unable to find a definitive reason for his inability to stand?

Apart from old age, that is.

He was tired now.

Tired of the struggle. The struggle with his body, his soul, his torment.

Maybe he should pray?

To a God he did not understand.

He yearned for the familiar sound of his hall clock.

Ushering in a safe new day.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Really ... It's easy to learn English ....

A friend of mine sent me this recently ... Enjoy!

Let's face it. English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?
How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. Why doesn't 'Buick' rhyme with 'quick'?

You lovers of the English language might enjoy this. There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is 'UP.'
It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report?

We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver. We warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car.

At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing but to be dressed UP is special.

And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP. We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night. We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP!

To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions. If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more. When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP. When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP. When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP. When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.
One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, so. Time to shut UP! more thing: What is the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Its been a while.

A hectic, mind-bending while.

A while of happiness and joy, of heartbreak and worry, of irritation and self-doubt.

But now its September, and as is my wont, I take myself aside at the start of this month every year, and give myself the luxury of starting anew. The self-indulgent luxury of thinking that I can change the way I am on this planet. That I can take the slightly less than meandering path through the maze of family, work, hopes and dreams and undergo the metamorphosis that is essential to my journey.

The cynic in me whispers "not again, why bother? Aren't you doing just fine the way you are? You can't change the world on your own."

But the relentless optimist roars in my ears, demanding to be heard. You can change. You can make a difference. You can be a better human being.

I can't hear myself think but I am listening. Intently.

I am also gathering my marbles, those that I can find, and I am preparing to play the game again.

I hope the gods are smiling.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

What Colour is the Wind?

Today is a typical April day in this part of the world.

Some very wet rain, a little watery sunshine, breath-taking winds, squally showers, bright spells and a couple of horrendous downpours. Everything that a body could need to dispel any seasonal blues that might be lurking around. The excitement and suspense of not knowing whether one is going to make it safely through the next hour without being soaked to the skin or, whether, the powers that be will smile benignly on the ant-like creatures scurrying about their oh-so-important business and spare them the ignominy of the drowned-rat masquerade.

It helps to be an optimist.

On with the running shoes and the dreaded raingear. Off with the ill-concealed pessism and reluctance. "We'll feel great afterwards" we mutter. Heads down, loins girded, we brace ourselves for whatever Nature can throw at us.

Character building.

I like the wind. Her noisy roar whispers seductively in my ear of immense power and incumbent humility. "My way or your way" she sings ... "Come dance with me..."

Three miles down the wild river bank we meet a lone walker braving the elements.
We regularly meet this man. He is always alone. Now. He used to have an old, far from handsome, dog that smiled. Just like the man.

Each time we meet, we exchange weather impressions, opinions on the state of the country, the world, and always wish each other well as we shuffle past. Today, he said, in passing, "Its like an orchestra out there .. the wind ... mother nature indulging her passions ... Do ye remember that story about the little blind boy that asked his dad ... what colour is the wind?"
All the time striding along. "Have a nice run, ladies".

This man, with a few sentences, lifted my heart, releasing my spirit to soar and swoop through a rainbow of wind. I wanted to sing, to shout, to roar my gratitude to his soul.

I can't explain why his words had such a profound effect on me.

I am just so very grateful to him for awakening my senses, for showing me the way to a different reality.

photo credit:

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Whats Normal Anyway?

Isn't it amazing how time flies? One minute you're gathering up the detritus of Christmas and the next thing you know its Spring.

Rather alarming.

Admittedly, after the festive season, it was a manic couple of weeks. The kind that make you wonder about life in general. What its all about. Where we are all going. But once February arrived and the dust settled, I thought " YES, life IS going to swing back to "normal" mode". My naivete shocks even me, sometimes.

February saw the brightness of 2 young men slowly putting the pieces of their lives back together. Like sad little plants in the garden that you thought were lost forever. It also saw the optimism of youth, dreaming dreams of faraway lands, planning and scheming to make their dreams a reality. And he did. Beloved No. 1 son packed a small rucksack, organised his previous life and headed off into the unknown. Armed only with a passport, some money, a sunny disposition and an unquenchable thirst for life. There is a crack in my heart but thats where the light gets in. I suppose.

Early March saw a trip to London with Daughter No. 2 to see Daughter No. 1 who is planning wedded bliss. There's a lot to be said for living "in sin". My eternal reward is looking a little dodgy for that blasphemy, I suspect. March also saw 2 weekends away from home in a strangulated effort to finish a Yoga Teacher Training course that I foolishly embarked on 2 years ago. It saw GB playing with ice-axes and crampons in the snows of Scotland and also skittering his bony frame down the slopes of some remote Austrian ski slopes. It also saw youngest son dealing with the pain of losing a friend through suicide. A difficult time for him.


The Royal Residence remains as ever. In dark moments, of which they're are few, thankfully, I wonder are they going to live FOREVER.

So, in my head, its still January and I'm fired with the enthusiasm of a new year. No matter that 3 months have passed me by. In my heart, I'm an optimist. I will make time to do the things that I want to do. Like sleeping. And reading. And blogging. Sometimes, I wish for a slow life. But then, I realise, I'm the one in the driving seat. Its easy to rationalise yourself into a corner.

In recent days, I have been skulking around various blogs, catching up on lives unknown, rarely commenting. I feel I have no right. Just when my conscience reappeared is a mystery.

I suspect guilt has something to do with it.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

And now .....

Thank you all for your comments on my last post. My apologies for not updating sooner. Its been busy around here, to say the least.

Against all the odds, the 2 lads pulled through and are now back in hospital in this country. Thankfully, the prognosis, for both of them, is good. There is a palpable sense of relief for everyone affected by the accident.

Incidents like this, and we've had more than our fair share since Christmas, bring home to me the utter futility of planning ahead, of wasting today because tomorrow will surely be so much better.

Now is the only time we can be sure of ...

I find it quite difficult to live every moment in the present.

But I'm getting better at it.

I think.

Any spare angels hanging around looking for a project?

Monday, January 12, 2009


Its the skiing season.

The cold, wet, white, sometimes slushy stuff, that inspires normally sensible people to purchase wearable lagging jackets, lurid pink woolly socks and impenetrable mirror shades. All in the pursuit of the THRILL.

"Its SO exhilarating" they gush.

"The change of scenery is SO invigorating".

"And its SUCH a marvellous change from the normal, humdrum, da de da lives we all live. You MUST try it!"


Six young lads from my daughter's circle of friends decided to bite the bullet. They duly girded their loins and ventured forth into the alluring world
of snow.

They were having a ball. The apres-ski was particularly to their fancy.

Last saturday night, 3 of them accepted a lift back to their lodgings from a local man. The other 3 decided to walk.

Now 2 of these vibrant, young men are on life support, 1 is seriously injured and the other 3 are severely traumatised.

Their lives and the lives of everybody who knows them, are changed.


Maybe there will be positives from this change.

I am praying.