So Much to Say that Goes Unspoken



This photograph that I took of Stan on Kilfarrasy Beach yesterday has reduced me to silence. It evokes so many thoughts, memories, feelings that it’s better to let it be.

Blogging shouldn’t always have to be about feeling compelled to say something other than ‘I’m here and want you with me in companionable silence.’ 

Sweet dreams, dear friends!

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The House on the Hill

There’s a derelict three-storey house towering over the road as one drives from Bonmahon Village towards the coast road to Tramore.  It’s a building that I’ve passed hundreds of times but have never investigated properly until recently as it has an eerie look about it.

It transpires that it was built in the 19th century for the manager of the copper mine in the area.

Mine Manager's House

Mine Manager’s House

It would seem from the plaque on the wall beneath the house that the most notable manager was a man called John Petherick


The fact that the house overlooked the area, now resembling wasteland, where the copper was concentrated by a small army of men, women and boys explains why the house was so tall.

The windows which once provided the view for the mine manager are either boarded up or have wooden frames, cracked glass, and flapping drawn curtains.

Viewing Point

Viewing Point

Going round to the rear of the house was like walking into a rusty past.

Rusty Brickwork

Rusty Brickwork


Water Pump

At first, I thought this was an old fireplace but on reflection, I’m not sure. Close by is an old water pump that had me wondering about the domestic arrangements in the big house back in the 19th century.

Even though it’s about two weeks since I was up at the house, the human stories it witnessed at both sides of those twelve windows continue to intrigue and haunt me.

The fact that I am writing this post on Thanksgiving Day in America is not lost on me. The Copper Coast and the mining works at Tankardstown always make me think of America and the many, many miners who moved to America, especially to Butte in Montana. I suspect that as I post this many of their descendants will be celebrating Thanksgiving but seeing this little corner of Ireland out of their eyes. Let us raise a glass together!


Old Mining Works at Tanksardstown on the Copper Coast, Co. Waterford




Posted in Co. Waterford Ireland, Connections | Tagged , , , , , , | 26 Comments

Remember Me When I Am Gone Away

Remember me when I am gone away

Gone far away into the silent land;

(Christina Rossetti)

There are many milestones associated with losing elderly parents and the last few days have brought one to the fore for me. It involves the death of a woman who knew my parents for a lot longer than I did.

She knew my father from when he first came to Waterford in 1943. She was a few years younger than him but they shared a great love of sport and he got to know her parents, sibs, boyfriends, her eventual husband and kids. He often spoke of how, by chance, he happened to be with her the night her mother died and how ‘being a shoulder to cry on’ had been very significant in sealing  their friendship for life.

This woman was really warm and friendly and was very welcoming to my mother when she arrived in Waterford to marry father. She was also always very kind to us kids and was interested in all our comings and goings.

After Mother and Father died in 2009 and 2010 respectively, I loved meeting her and having a chat. Her memory was excellent and she regaled me with stories about Father, especially, going back to his single days. It felt so good to know that there were people, like her, who remembered my parents when they were in their prime and who wanted to reminisce about the times they shared.

It was a shock to hear that she had died. Somewhere deep down, I think I thought that she would live forever as she had such a youthful way about her and never seemed to have aged physically in my eyes.

It feels like a wrench ~ both in terms of a bridge being knocked between me and my parents and in terms of the significant friendship that we had developed in our own right, especially over the last decade or so.

Obviously, my heart goes out to her grown-up children who meant the world to her but whom I don’t know. I intend to make it my business to get to know them now!

Web of Life

Web of Life



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One of the things I most associate with November is what I think of as sunsetting with son, Harry, at the seaside. It’s something we’ve been doing together since he was a toddler.

When he was five or six, I had no concept whatever of a time when he would be twenty and driving me from beach to beach to make the very most of day’s end.

We had a glorious few hours this evening soaking in the delicious colours as they unfolded. We played around taking photographs and here’s a glimpse of a couple we took:

Memory-Making on Tramore Beach, Co. Waterford

Memory-Making on Tramore Beach, Co. Waterford  (Jean)

Garrarus Beach, Co. Waterford

Day’s End at Garrarus Beach, Co. Waterford  (Harry)

Shared time is a curious thing and I wonder to what extent either H or I will remember the intensity of this evening in years to come.


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Counting Blessings

This gallery contains 1 photo.

The notion of ‘count your blessings’ is one with which I was reared. If we were ever down in the depths, Father used to ask: Would you throw your lot in and take your chances on picking up someone else’s?’  A quick … Continue reading

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Coasting in Co. Waterford

I got to spend most of today out along the coast and it was bliss. There was a definite touch of Winter setting in but there was great colour, clarity and a sense of Co. Waterford being at one with itself.

The Copper Coast

The Copper Coast

Copper turned to blue, blue as I stood on the Bonmahon Beach, looking back towards the old mining works up on the cliffs at Tankardstown.

Bonmahon Beach, Co. Waterford

Bonmahon Beach, Co. Waterford

And I couldn’t resist plunging into the waves at Garrarus Beach just before sunset. The sea is holding her heat well and the waves were all playful and fluffy:



As the sun set, I was catapulted away by W.B. Yeats:

Embroidered Cloths

Embroidered Cloths


Aedh Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven

HAD I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

(W.B. Yeats)



Posted in Colour Creativity and Connection, Poetry | Tagged , , , | 22 Comments

Thoughts on Male Bloggers

Man in Blogland

Man in Blogland

Today is International Men’s Day and I’ve been hearing all sorts of discussions on the radio about various aspects of men’s lives.

It all led me to ponder on men who blog and I came to wonder how representative they are of men as a group. I’ve a feeling that men who blog may well be more sensitive, empathetic, creative, respectful of women ….. than men as a whole.

Today, I would like to extend a special thank you to all the men who visit Social Bridge. You bring fun, balance, interesting perspectives and your very own uniqueness.

Good health and happiness to you all and I hope you know how much you are appreciated here in blogland.

I’d be interested in hearing, especially from men who blog, how you see your place in blogland and how you are perceived by non-blogging men? 


Posted in Blogging | Tagged , | 32 Comments

My Breakthrough!

I find it hard to believe that I invented the word Phunning back on August 14th ~ just over three months ago now.

Lest you’ve forgotten or didn’t see the post, this was the day I made a commitment to myself to get back to running before it was too late in my life. However, because of a whole wadge of past injuries and illnesses (one of which banjaxed my back for an agonising four years and made walking up the stairs seem like climbing Mount Everest), I decided that I’d have to take it nice and   s  l  o  w  l  y  and have plenty of  fun and photography along the way.

My big ambition was to get to be able to run the Anne Valley Trail that links Dunhill Village here  in Co. Waterford to the stunning ruins of Dunhill Castle that is said to predate even Waterford City itself (and it’s the oldest city in Ireland).

Dunhill Castle, Co. Waterford.

Dunhill Castle, Co. Waterford.

The trail is 2.2km each way so the aim was to do up and back ~ 4.4km. It started with far more walking than running; walk 30 paces, run 10 paces; walk 20 paces, run 20 paces. In the early days, the counting was key!

I’ve been hammering away at this on a fairly consistent basis and have seen the Anne Valley Trail in all weathers, at all hours and move from Summer into Winter.

About two weeks ago now, I went out there on a damp, misty day and started from the castle end. I didn’t even have the camera with me as the vision was dire. I ended up running the whole way to the bottom of Dunhill Village. I was so delighted with myself, I headed up to Harney’s Pub for a snack and found myself in the middle of a pre-wedding gathering at 12.45pm. The wedding was due to take place in the nearby church at 1.30pm.

Dunhill Church, Co. Waterford.

Dunhill Church, Co. Waterford.

Sustained with good coffee and the perfect ham sandwich, I made my way back down to the trail and with thoughts of weddings and romance bobbing around in my head, found myself jogging all the way back.

As you can imagine, I was was pretty stunned and nearly afraid to go out there again in case it had all been a figment of my vivid imagination.

Dunhill Castle of my Mind

Dunhill Castle of my Mind

The great news is that I’ve now run the 4.4km on two separate occasions (without making the detour to the pub.) It feels like a huge thing to me (and it is!) but I realise that it’s a far cry from the marathon I’d really love to run one day.

The wonder of it all was sealed for me the other day when I found that the swans I have long associated with the Anne Valley had come back up-river to where I feel they belong.



So, now it’s all about keeping it up and making sure to keep the fun and relaxation built into this personal endeavour.

Little wonders will never cease!


Posted in Stepping Out | Tagged , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Just a Moment

I’ve been one of those gazing out windows types since I was a kid. It used to be called daydreaming by frustrated teachers but it has always been about wanting to catch the passing moment that will never be quite the same again.

Just a few minutes ago I was about to address the washing up piled in the kitchen sink. The kitchen window looks out on our back garden and something fluttering in the stormy wind by the side wall caught my attention. It was the last remaining petals of a pink rose dancing in a joyous light.

A blackbird came to join the party and sat on a twiggy branch of the leafless lilac tree which was a dazzling golden colour. The blackbird, swaying yet perfectly balanced, peered in at me and then flew towards the back of the garden bringing my gaze with him.

Fluffy white clouds were racing across the blue sky ~ a show of infinite creativity ~ with shapes opening my imagination in the way you’d fling open all the windows on a roasting hot Summer’s day.

A sliver of moon came flying out from behind the clouds. How could this little crescent be the place where Neil Armstrong first walked in July 1969?

That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind. (Neil Armstrong)

Neil Armstrong (Source: Wikimedia)

Neil Armstrong
(Source: Wikimedia)

Coming back to my earth, the bright yellow racemes of the Mahonia that lives in our back rockery made me smile and think of how this native of Eastern Asia has a magical way of bringing light to dark November days in this little corner of the South-East of Ireland.

A moment passed that will be stored away with window gazing from across my lifetime.

So, take a look out your window and see what’s going on. (I think they might call it ‘mindfulness’ not ‘daydreaming’ now!)

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Reaching Out



The world still seems all upside down and somehow it doesn’t feel right to be posting like as if the attacks in Paris never happened.

So for today, let me send you my fondest wishes, dear Readers, and a million thanks for being such caring and supportive people.

Flow of Love

Flow of Love

Posted in Blogging, Connections | Tagged , | 16 Comments