Puppy Stan



One of the most reassuring things about this odd time we are all going through is the way nature is still carrying on and the daisies and dandelions are appearing like they should.

Also, for me, the fact that Puppy Stan is oblivious to it all and is dedicated to his daily round and full of twirly welcomes, lends a strong element of normality to the abnormal.

I hope he truly knows how much I love him.

Star Turns

I’m not a great cook, especially when it comes to catering beyond family.

However, I made it my business years ago to try and develop what I call Star Turns, in other words dishes that I feel confident I could prepare for a load of ‘very important people’ who consider themselves to be a cut about the rest in terms of cuisine. Mind you, I can hardly bear to think of having to entertain such a gathering.

Anyway one of my Star Turns is my late grandmother’s Sherry Trifle and I will humbly say it has never let me down nor failed to impress. Here’s the recipe if you want to give it a go:


Trifle Sponges
Sherry- good tablespoon at least!
Good Raspberry Jam


Break up the trifle sponges and soak with the sherry. Make a pint or so of custard and pour it over the trifle sponges. Cover the dish with an ordinary plate and leave to cool, ideally overnight.

Spread raspberry jam over the custard. Add sliced bananas and top off with freshly whipped cream.

If possible, refrain from eating the trifle too quickly as it is better on day two when all the ingredients have merged.

I really hope you enjoy this. The covering with the plate while cooling is the key as it keeps it nice and moist.

Now, have you any easy Star Turns to share? I am starving just thinking about the trifle!

Business Names

I have decided that hair dressing establishments win the prize in Ireland for creativity around the naming of their establishments. Names like Head Masters and Clippidy-Clip always make me smile.

Pubs seem to be the winners in the  UK with those great names like The Horse and Bridle.

Are there business names that tickle your fancy?



This photograph that I took a few years ago near Hook Head Lighthouse in neighbouring Co. Wexford tends to haunt me.

Depending on the circumstances, it evokes different feelings and thoughts.

Today, it has me thinking about lovers and my late mother’s theory about there always being a lover and a loved within relationships. I think she had a point but I also think that there can be musical chairs between these roles depending on circumstances.

What do you reckon?


Family Trees

I spent a good deal of my blogging break getting stuck into trying to research our family tree.

I have loved every minute of it but my big regret is that  I didn’t ask my late parents half enough about their families and their memories of times spent with them.

I know I learned a lot from them about their relatives but I also let a fair bit sail over my head and they loved sharing this information with me.

Now that we have so much down time, I would urge anyone who is fortunate enough to have older relatives to ask them about the family. It is something that can definitely lead to hours of interesting chat for all parties and can be done from a distance.

Blood is thicker than water in so many ways!

Days to Remember

I took this pic a few years ago near the house here.  In normal times, kids pass our house on the way to the various schools in the town. But, now there isn’t a single child in school uniform to be seen as all the schools are closed because of the virus.

I miss watching them as they are walking home, especially, as it’s a scene that reminds me of days to-ing and fro-ing from school, chatting to classmates about all sorts of things.

I find it amazing that I can remember those days as if they were today. Shared histories are so significant and I wonder how today’s kids will look back on this period in 4 or 5 decades time.



Two Kilometres

The current COVID19 guidelines for exercise in Ireland have brought the radius of two kilometres from home into very sharp focus as we are not allowed to wander outside that boundary.

I feel utterly blessed that the sea is within my 2km range as it feeds my soul and offers horizons of hope.

Tramore Bay, Co. Waterford

Thinking about the 2 km in broader terms has made me think of all the history associated with everyone’s place in this country. I have found myself looking a lot more closely at the buildings, twists, turns, shadows, gardens and pondering on what history is associated with an area I know so well and how all the people currently in my little 2km radius are actually dealing with these strange times.

We all try to put a brave face on things but I guess there’s no one who is completely at ease. Everyone has their own ways of coping and more than anything this feels like a time when there’s no running away or getting away. When I was a child I used to think that if the worst came to the worst The Isle of Man would be my saving place. I don’t remember my rationale.

Now, it’s about coping, hoping, helping and being sensible. My new approach to coping with attacks of paralyzing stress is to draw on a menu of 5-minute treats, like trying to sketch a flower, listening to a song, reading a poem, petting the dogs, writing a haiku, making a smoothie and suddenly one becomes absorbed and the tension recedes.

Now a treat with puppy Stan and a walk within our 2 kilometres.

Take care, wherever you may be, dear friends.












Huggy Huggy

It seems from listening to the radio, of late, that people are really missing tactility – if that’s a word – or the hugginess that has become such a part of modern living.

I must say I have a bit of an aversion to being hugged by people unless they are very, very close to me. Basically, I like my personal space and feel it’s being invaded when people even touch my arm to emphasise a point.

I wonder is this a generational thing or what.

How important are hugs to you and is the current Covid19 regime causing you to have hug/touch withdrawals?