Colouring Tramore

Whenever I see a rainbow over Tramore Bay, I just drop everything and whizz down to the seafront. I glimpsed a big, bright one out of the corner of my eye as I was in the throes of getting supper ready yesterday and took off to chase my dreams.

Tramore Beach, Co. Waterford

Tramore Beach, Co. Waterford

What more could anyone want than the sheer beauty of rainbowed sea and sand, especially here in Tramore?

Contrasts, in all walks life, can be stunning and the sight that met me as I turned when the rainbow had finally faded was one that will linger in my mind for a long time. There was Tramore in silhouette, as if highlighting the magic of black and white.

Tramore from The Promenade.

Tramore from The Promenade.

Posted in Tramore Co. Waterford | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Little First Times

Puppy Stan

Puppy Stan

I get a reminder of ‘little first times’ every single morning when I hear Puppy Stan bark. He didn’t make a sound for what seemed like months after I got him and then one morning I heard a single deep bark emanating from the back garden where he was having his dawn sniff.

While I heard that first bark, I attributed to a huge German Shepherd who lives down the road a bit. But, it has happened every morning since and it was Stan. It’s like his bark was made to match the depth of colour of his black coat.

Every morning when I hear that single bark, I still get a jolt. The jolting has made me think of all the ‘little first times’ that occur in our lives. I’m not talking about mega first times that have been designated in ‘rites of passage’ terms. No, just little things.

However, the more I’ve thought about all this, and I’ve been thinking about it for about nine months now, I’m reckoning that ‘little first times’ can, in fact, be hugely important even though we don’t realise it until later on. Also, when you think about it,  every single day is a ‘first time.’

Guess who has just come up to drag me away from the computer and off to see some more Summer colour?


I’d love to hear your thoughts on First Times, especially little ones!

Posted in Stepping Out | Tagged , , | 21 Comments

What’s Left of Sunday?

Burnished Gold

Burnished Gold

Sunday was always a ‘special’ day in our house.  Sunday lunch with all the trimmings was an absolute institution. After the big wash-up, Father would turn to Mother and ask: What’s your preference? This meant, where did she want to go for the family afternoon drive and long walk.

As I was walking around the block with Stan this morning, I found myself thinking of how Sundays have changed in our family and, I think, more generally.

There was a stage way back in my very early youth when Mass-going was part of the agenda but that went when I, the youngest, ‘lost religion,’ and it has never again been a part of our Sundays.

For us anyway, the Sunday lunch has been totally obliterated in spite of my efforts to keep it going. The bits that I still adhere to are keeping Sunday shopping and stuff like washing clothes to an absolute minimum.

Summer Sundays, for hubby and son  continue to involve going to see Inter-County Hurling matches. (By the way, Waterford had a great victory over Dublin today to reach the All-Ireland Semi-Final.)

But, overall it’s like Sundays, as we knew them, are no longer. Maybe, every day has changed but somehow it seems that Sunday’s changes stand out more than all the rest.

How are YOU fixed about Sundays? Is there continuity or change? Is it for the better or worse? 


Posted in Ireland | Tagged , | 26 Comments


Sea of Astilibes

Sea of Astilbes

I would feel more optimistic about a bright future for man if he spent less time proving that he can outwit Nature and more time tasting her sweetness and respecting her seniority.

E.B. White

Posted in Mount Congreve, Nature | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Throwing Shapes

Yesterday was a day of shapes for me. I seemed to be seeing them everywhere and the light was playing games as well.

Here’s a tiny sample:

Posted in Co. Waterford Ireland | Tagged , , , , , | 25 Comments


Mother and Tiffin

Mother and Tiffin

We got Tiffin when I turned 15, two years before I (the youngest) left home for College, and she was the dog who was Mother’s constant companion during the ’empty nest’ years.

The love that they shared blazes out at me as I look at this particular photograph but more than anything the photograph evokes memories of Mother’s ability to love in a soft, gentle, humourous, witty, empathetic, interested way.

She was a listener and was genuinely interested in hearing about friends of ours that she was never necessarily ever going to meet.

Our relationship was remarkably strong and we chatted endlessly and went all sorts of places together over the years. One of the hardest things to cope with after she died was not having our morning chats down in her house and our nightly chats on the phone  at 8pm. We talked about absolutely everything.

I reckon I was absolutely blessed to have such a maternal presence in my life up to my early 50s. The more I learn about life, the more I realise that mother/daughter relationships are certainly not guaranteed to work out.

Yes, I miss her but I’m so glad that she didn’t have to endure the heartbreak of living without Father. In July 2009, just a couple of months after she had died, I didn’t see things quite like this. I just wanted her to be at the end of the phone or down in the house with her welcoming smile.

But, it wouldn’t have worked out. I know now that it wouldn’t. I also know that she is fully with me in spirit and there at my shoulder as I do everyday things like deadhead the roses, pet puppy Stan, go for walks in the woods, go looking for the new moon, spit superstitiously when I see a single magpie, graze on raspberries in the garden, think in poetry, go for stolen swims and treasure the ‘Tramore air.’

The Lady Moss lay under the moon

Silver from side to side.


Posted in Losing Elderly Parents | Tagged , , , | 21 Comments

Blogging Mindsets


I’ve been at this blogging lark for four and a half years now and I’ve become more and more aware in recent times how much my perspective on it has changed.

The dominant change is the extent to which I find myself relating thoughts, days, events, photographs, experiences, places, expressions … pretty much everything to different blogs and bloggers I’ve come to know since I started.

I’m not sure if there’s a continuum related to the blogging experience:

1. Dipping tentative toe in water and nervously pressing PUBLISH

2. Seeing the mist rising to reveal the vastness of blogland

3. First ‘hellos’ from fellow bloggers

4. Secret visits to the domains of the ‘great.’

5. Plunging in and leaving comments on blogs of what feel like kindred spirits.

6. Realising that every single blog is different and that bloggers have different aims and ambitions.

7. Posting to please and get the buzz from rising stats

8. Building relationships with fellow bloggers and getting to know their styles, tempos,  interests, likes and dislikes.

9. Taking courage to fiddle around with themes, widgets …..

10. Wondering if the time invested in blogging is worth it

11. Taking a blogging break to see what the impact will be

12. Returning to ‘old friends’ and new followers

13. Pausing at a crossroads with various options:

Blog to please

Blog to compete

Blog to connect

I took that ‘Blog to Connect’ road a while back and I guess that’s how I’ve ended up where I am now.

I’d no notion where blogging would bring me when I started out and I’ve less clue now where it will lead in the years to come.

I’d love to hear about about YOUR journey thus far in Blogland. 

Posted in Blogging | Tagged , , | 27 Comments