I am a sociologist and writer from Ireland. I have worked as a social researcher for 30 years and have had a lifelong passion for writing.
My main research interests relate to health care and sense of place.
The memorial for George Floyd was one of the most heart-wrenching ‘ceremonies’ I have ever seen.
America is at more than 5,000 miles from Ireland but George Floyd is a man who has come to touch all our lives. Those who spoke at his memorial were incredibly dignified, in spite of their grief, and I sincerely hope that their longing for major changes in race relations will come to pass.
I know there are all sorts of historical issues at play but surely it is time for us to fully recognize the crucial importance of equality.
What matters to me is a person’s heart not the colour of their skin.
All the tears shed for George Floyd from across the world are the same, sad, salty tears.
May he rest in peace and may his death mark a turning point in the way we relate as the fragile, imperfect, striving human beings that we all are.
Next Monday is the day that we are due to be allowed travel 20km from home which is an increase from the current 5km restriction here in Ireland.
I’m like a child about it – thinking of all my favourite places that have been just out of reach. High on the list is a road along the Copper Coast which is festooned with Sea Pinks in May, early June. I am hoping to catch them while they are still in their glory.
But, there will also be all the beaches that are so close to my heart:
and going out to see the swan family in the Anne Valley…
There was always a saying in our house: While you’re resting for supper be sweeping the yard. Essentially, don’t waste time.
It has stuck with me and I often think of it when I am waiting for something or somebody and feel that I should be doing something useful.
I heard of a woman a while ago who installed a piano in her hallway and practiced musical pieces while hanging around waiting.
The two things that are key for me are deadheading flowers in the garden or doing Spanish on my phone App.
I especially love deadheading as it’s outdoors and really gives me a sense of giving hope to plants.
The Spanish is going very nicely but I feel now that I need to find somewhere to put it into action in a real Spanish speaking place. So that sends me into reveries about the vast areas of the world where Spanish is spoken.
No doubt most people have a few ‘while you’re resting for supper’ activities. What are yours?
It’s Mother’s anniversary today – eleven years on.
She adored poppies and this one was in her garden.
She gave us an undying love for nature which I see as one of the most precious gifts any parent can give a child.
Long before anyone was talking about mindfulness, she had us engrossed in our little plots in the garden, lost in the joy of bird-watching, merged with the moods of the sea, enraptured by fleeting rainbows….
Yes, she ensured that her presence would live on through natural beauty and it is a presence that never fails to make me smile.
There is no point denying it. This week feels very raw … still … It is the week during which my Mother had her final stroke eleven years ago, just 45 minutes or so after being told that Father was dying downstairs in the Emergency Department of the same hospital she was in.
It was the stuff of absolute nightmares to witness. I don’t think of the final week of Mother’s life all that often but come May 24th, it hits me every time from the depths of memory. Dad wasn’t dying, as it turned out, and it still plays on my mind how she felt she could die, given that she wouldn’t be leaving him alone.
They were extremely close and it would have been fitting for the two of them to have gone together but, for me, it was a blessing to have Dad around for another 16 months. He was sad, he certainly was, but being him, I think he knew he was doing his fatherly thing by being there to share the sadness with me and to bring me right into his life and share memories which are now a great source of solace and joy.
The sun is beating down, just as it did that last week of Mother’s life. I am drawn to the garden where I want to tend my precious plants and introduce new growth. I am also drawn to the sea, the sea that Mother and I soaked in, in every sense, all our lives.
I know that this sense of ‘that week’ will subside again when we get to June. In the meantime, I think of people who have been unfortunate enough to have to go through both parents dying within days of each other from Covid. Their hearts must be shattered. I just hope they have the possibility of being able to come to a time when memories will not be about the dying week but of shared times of joy.
Now, to the garden to inspect the progress of the new seedlings and the blooming of ‘Happy Dream’ rose as well as the blue geraniums …..
Twitter and I have a complex relationship. I went off it for three years after being part of it for about 8 years in 2014. Then when Covid struck I rejoined to keep abreast of developments as they were unfolding so quickly.
Some aspects were enjoyable but I soon realized how angry the overall content was making me and ,worse still, I found myself wasting an inordinate amount of time on it.
So Deactivate happened yet again yesterday and I feel like I have managed to get rid of an ingrowing toenail.
I wonder if the Covid situation has made it even angrier than ever or was it that I had forgotten how it used to rile me.
I am absolutely hopeless when it comes to household duties and am a great one for shoving things into already crammed spaces just to make it seem like I am at least half civilised.
My ways have been rightly found out in the last while as hubby has been off work due to the Covid restrictions. He is much more ‘house proud’ than I am and has taken to cleaning out presses, cupboards, rooms, behind beds, under cushions … you name it, he’s finding it.
I have just made a mad attempt to scour out the fridge before he got cracking on it and it’s now pristine and half empty with in-date stuff. No more landslides for the moment, every time the door is opened.
I blame my grandmother, Jean, for all this cos she was every bit as bad as I am but you should have seen her garden with its array of vegetables and healthy flowers. She also minded the lambs and hens and baked the most delicious food, some with her homemade butter.
I loved her house and all the clutter that came with it. I can just see her in my long distance memory calling me to help her to collect some newly laid eggs.
No doubt, I am not alone in being discovered during this lockdown. I guess it could be a helluva lot worse!
Now to try and find my jacket, which is probably hanging up somewhere in astonishment …