November Colour on the Copper Coast

Today was a perfect day here in Co. Waterford ~ a day to soak up sun, swim in the sea and draw energy from the vibrant colour that lasted from sunrise to sunset.

Colour in a picture is like enthusiasm in life
(Vincent Van Gogh)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Posted in Co. Waterford Ireland, Ireland's Beautiful Places | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Which Words do YOU Over-Use?

Big Bro, Beauty and Me Photo: Frank Tubridy

Big Bro, Beauty and Me
Photo: Frank Tubridy

My big brother is an English teacher who writes very well and years ago he advised me to abolish the word nice from my vocabulary and try and come up with something a bit more descriptive and meaningful. I took his advice and I don’t think I’ve ever used the N-word since, except when I’m talking to him. I love seeing his knowing smiles!

Swear words are not part of my vocabulary either and I reckon that comes from our Mother’s influence. Damn; to make a hames (a mess) of something; banjaxed; malarkey; the pink limit;  and hell are the standard acceptables in that department, as well as ‘That beats Banagher and Banagher beats the divil.’   No F-words are allowed apart from Flipping!

But there are two words that I know I completely and utterly  over-use ~ SO as in ‘So, so stunning!‘  and REALLY, as in I’m really glad to hear from you.’ 

From today, my plan is to give this pair the ‘Nice’ treatment and obliterate them forever.

There’s another one that raises its ugly head far more than it should. One letter, I, I, I ….. It needs considerable reducing too.

‘Of all the words in all languages I know, the greatest concentration is in the word I.’ Elias Canetti

Posted in Connections, Writing | 8 Comments

Irish Pride

There are times when I feel intensely proud of Ireland and I had one of those penetrating feelings this morning as I was driving home from Waterford City to Tramore ~ just 8 miles.

This was about my Ireland; not the stereotypical Irish Mammy, Guinness, or even Book of Kells in Trinity College image of the country.

It was the beauty of the back road from Waterford to Tramore ~ all lit up in November sunshine ~ that did it.  I just stopped the car on the Ballinamona Road to soak up the colour, history and pure essence of the place that is so familiar, yet always enchanting to me.

Here’s how it was looking:

Ballinamona Road from Waterford City to Tramore

Ballinamona Road from Waterford City to Tramore

The stone wall glistened with a mingling of the man-made and nature:


And a blue, blue sky smiled through the almost bare November trees.

Ballinamona Road from Waterford City to Tramore.

Ballinamona Road from Waterford City to Tramore.

Posted in Connections | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

because we’re only here for a season


This is a post that captured my attention for a host of reasons ~ not least the emphasis on the seasonality of life and the wonderful image. I hope you enjoy it as mush as I have.

Originally posted on Kellie Elmore:

They’re all dead.
Or dying.
All of them fell
to that cold blade.
And their scattered bodies;
spilled crimson,
fading to brown
lines the streets,
an entire generation,
filling the ditches.
And the few who are
still hanging on,
look down on them,
their turn to fall.
Swallowed by soil.
Remembered only
by their roots.

View original

Posted in Reblogged | 6 Comments

Is Brevity Best in Blogging?


I’m constantly reading how busy everyone is and how attention span these days is incredibly short. It seems that the 140 characters of Twitter is about the optimum limit if one were to believe this.

What’s your feel about word counts in blog posts? Are you drawn towards writing/reading very short ones? Do you run from long posts and I don’t mean ‘long-winded’ here.

What has me wondering all the more about this supposed short attention span is the number of people who are writing books. Have people got the time and/or attention span to read books these days or do they just speed read them or just read reviews?

I can’t resist a few quotes about brevity:

It is with words as with sunbeams. The more they are condensed, the deeper they burn. ~Robert Southey

If you can’t write your idea on the back of my calling card, you don’t have a clear idea. ~David Belasco



Posted in Blogging, Writing | Tagged , , | 52 Comments

Shoulder to Shoulder



our bench is rotting
moss-covered and leg buckling
but remembering
Posted in Connections | Tagged , | 16 Comments

The Place of Perfection

I was on the verge of writing a post yesterday saying that ‘Perfection has no place in the world of blogging,’ but the longing to feast my eyes upon the beauty of the sea and to seize a swim at dusk drew me away from the computer.

As I drove to the beach, I was thinking about perfection and the curse/blessing of perfectionism. I inherited a streak of perfectionism from my father but when it starts to get a firm grip on me, I think of my laid-back mother saying: ‘Don’t be such a mad perfectionist; it’ll drive you and the rest of us crazy. No one is perfect. Try your best but don’t panic if you can’t get to the end of the rainbow.’

Rainbows have a touch of perfection about them, I pondered, but they’re very fleeting. In fact, lots of aspects of nature are perfect and I thought of beautifully formed roses, tiny snowdrops, the full moon … but none of them remain perfect all the time.

As if to prove the fleetingness point, Garrarus Beach was looking totally different to any other time I have ever seen it. The sea was as calm and soothing as Mother’s words while the sky was ‘animated’ and ‘moody’ as Father would have said.

Garrarus Beach, Co. Waterford

Garrarus Beach, Co. Waterford

I swam in the silky, silvery water ~ eyes drawn out to the fishing boats which were highlighted on the faraway horizon. The soft wind dried me off in seconds and I was left with that magical glow and sense of freedom that only swimming in the winter can bring.

The sand was like a blank canvas and a stick of seaweed presented itself to the writer in me. The words that flowed with abandon and complete instinct were: Perfect Cleansing.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Posted in Blogging, Connections, Losing Elderly Parents | Tagged , , , , , , , | 12 Comments