‘Next Stop Waterford…’ ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 310

Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection
Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection

For so long, Friday evenings meant travelling home by train from Dublin to Waterford, being met by Father at the station, and feeling so comfortable crossing Rice Bridge as we chatted our way for the eight miles out to Tramore.

The second I saw this aerial photograph, taken by Jamie Malone, I thought of that special bond ~ Dad and me in a place we loved.

Jamie Malone is a man with an obvious passion for Ireland and Co. Waterford ~ all you have to do is look at his special brand of aerial photography on his ever- increasingly liked Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/ThruMyEyesByJamie.

I was intrigued to hear Jamie’s story as I’ve been admiring his photos for some time now. Here’s how he described himself in his email to me:

I’m a 32 year old Electrician, who has tried the Canada and Australia thing to further my career due to the collapse in the building trade in Ireland.  But after my wife and I had a baby in Canada we got the longing to return home to Ireland and face the music of a battered economy. I realized if I was to gain employment it would be off my own back so I reinvented myself and from my love of Photography I combined a new interest with an old interest and started Aerial Photography…..

I want to show the world the way I see it and the beauty that can be found on our lovely Little Isle!!

Thru my eyes quickly gained a following and I was getting requests to photograph various things for people for a commission. Everyday is now an adventure,  meeting new people and travelling to places I once may have overlooked …..

To me, Jamie’s ‘adventure’  is all about connections, and indeed, being highly creative in terms of re-building his career. How fortunate we are that he returned to Co. Waterford!

Winter Woollies ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 308

Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection
Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection

I rank today as the coldest day of November, here in Tramore anyway, and while out walking on the beach I was noticing how everyone was all wrapped up in thick jackets, hats, scarves, gloves ….. the lot!  It brought me back to the days of my childhood when the ‘winter woollies’ were produced out of drawers lined with brown paper and a scattering of dried lavender.  Layers and layers of clothes and the inevitable white vest. I still don’t know why vests were always white!

This memory of dull white vests has been completely overturned this year by Lauren Scott’s contribution to the Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection which brings a blast of warm, vibrant colours and not a trace of white or yellowy-white!

Lauren, who is from Northern California is one of my ‘must-read’ bloggers as she writes mind and heart-bending poetry. Check out her blog at http://lscotthoughts.com/

Here’s the timely haiku and photo which Lauren sent:

Toys with Connection ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 306

Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection
Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection

I had an absolute passion for kaleidoscopes as a child and it’s only now that I’ve learned that they were invented in 1817 in Scotland by Sir David Brewster. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaleidoscope.

I spent hours and hours just marvelling at the different shapes and colours that would appear with the mere turn of the dial at the top of the many kaleidoscopes that passed through my young hands. I wish I had one here now!

I got thinking about kaleidoscopes the other day as I was twirling around taking photographs of  trees and foliage as they played in the November light.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

When I got into these thoughts of toys with connection and colour, I began to think about spinning tops and, of course, my red scooter that still lives in the garden shed! What toys have special meaning for you and connect you to your childhood?

Should you wish to join in my Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection which I’m hosting here for the month of November, please email me at jeantubridy@aol.com. It’s all about adding warmth and colour to what can be the darkness of this wintery month!

Safe Harbour ~ Gatherings from Ireland #305

Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection
Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection

Dummore East, here in Co. Waterford, is a place that has huge significance in my life ~ so significant, in fact, that I chose to have my wedding reception there.

So, I was thrilled when Sinead Boyle submitted a photograph of  Dunmore East Harbour for my Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection. Sinead is a photographer from Tramore and it means the world to me that her decision to enter the world of photography was inspired by seeing exhibitions which my late father held when she was a youngster.

Dunmore East, Co. Waterford Photo: Sinead Boyle
Dunmore East, Co. Waterford
Photo: Sinead Boyle

As a result, this particular photograph is all about connections as well as colour to me. For Sinead, though, the image conjures up thoughts about creativity which I find very interesting:

Dunmore’s  reflections lend colour to this image.  The water transforms into a natural canvas  to create its own landscape. Nature is by far the best creator; here it is definitely a case of:  to create a picture,  just add water. 

To see more of Sinead’s work, be sure to follow her via Tramore Art Craft and Design http://tramoreartcraftdesign.wordpress.com/sinead-boyle-images/

As we move into the second half of November, may I invite you to join the Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection by sharing prose, poetry, photographs, songs, artwork ….. anything that even whispers Colour, Creativity or Connection to you. Just email me at: jeantubridy@aol.com. I look forward to hearing from you!

Connecting with Co. Sligo ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 303

Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection
Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection

The Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection brings us to Co. Sligo today, thanks to the wonderful photography of Val Robus whose glorious blog can be found at: http://magnumlady.com

Val is a woman with a passion for Co. Sligo, which is steeped in beauty, history and heritage.

Hazelwood Forest, Sligo.

Hazelwood Forest, Sligo.

This photograph of Hazelwood Forest immediately had me thinking of W.B Yeats, who spent many childhood holidays in Co. Sligo and who is buried in Drumclif, Co. Sligo.  The poem that immediately comes to mind is this one:

The Song of Wandering Aengus

 W.B. Yeats


I went out to the hazel wood,

Because a fire was in my head,

And cut and peeled a hazel wand,

And hooked a berry to a thread;

And when white moths were on the wing,

And moth-like stars were flickering out,

I dropped the berry in a stream

And caught a little silver trout.


When I had laid it on the floor

I went to blow the fire a-flame,

But something rustled on the floor,

And someone called me by my name:

It had become a glimmering girl

With apple blossom in her hair

Who called me by my name and ran

And faded through the brightening air.


Though I am old with wandering

Through hollow lands and hilly lands,

I will find out where she has gone,

And kiss her lips and take her hands;

And walk among long dappled grass,

And pluck till time and times are done,

The silver apples of the moon,

The golden apples of the sun.

Val has sent me another gem of a photograph and I look forward to posting it later in the month. Meanwhile, be sure to check out her blog. You have a treat in store!

I would be delighted if you would join in this Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection. Please send a poem, photograph, artwork, song ….. anything that spells Colour, Creativity or Connection to you. My email is: jeanturbridy@aol.com

Creativity Unleashed ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 298

I was half hoping that someone would produce a logo for my Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection here on Social Bridge but now I’m glad they didn’t  because it was on my mind when I went to the beach today. I was amazed at how liberating it was to have a whole beach to myself, with the tide full out and lovely fresh sand as my canvas.

So with a stalk of seaweed in hand, I started playing around the letter C and here’s what happened:

Now, take a look at how it appears from another angle:


Needless to say, I couldn’t resist a little bit of stone work as well!

The possibilities are endless and I kinda like the bridge effect of the inverted Cs! What do you reckon?

I’d be thrilled if you would share in this fun Festival which is aimed at helping us to cope with the darkness of November. So, if you have a poem, prose, photo, sketch, song ….. anything that fits the over-arching theme of Colour, Creativity and Connection that you would like to bring to this adventure, please email me at jeantubridy@aol.com. I’m really looking forward to hearing from you!

Land of Enchantment ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 295

Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection
Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection

I happened to toss my towel on the rocks at Garrarus Beach here in Co. Waterford the other evening when I arrived for my first November swim and this is how it fell:

The Irish coast, and especially that of Co. Waterford, is my place. 

Garrarus Beach at Sunset

And, let me say that the water was warm and warmest along that shimmering bridge to the horizon.

Where’s your Land of Enchantment?


Half Close Your Eyes ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 294

Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection
Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection

The Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection http://wp.me/p1ip9d-25x which I’m running here in Social Bridge for the month of November is one of the most uplifting things I’ve ever done and is yielding all sorts of  glorious surprises. 

Here’s an email and photograph I received from Vanessa Adams who lives in Australia:

Hi Jean
I’d like to share this photo which I took recently on Main Street, Heathcote, a little town in central Victoria. Although it’s growing darker in the northern hemisphere, we’re heading into summer here and I hope this colourful and creative reminder of warmer days will connect to memories of summer for you.  If you half close your eyes, it looks  just like a woman in a strappy top, with her arms raised to fix wind-blown hair.
Best wishes


Photo by: Vanessa Adams
Photo by: Vanessa Adams

 If you would like to participate in the Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection, please send me an email at jeantubridy@aol.com.

Hyacinths to Feed the Soul ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 293

Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection
Festival of Colour, Creativity and Connection

Yesterday, I bought hyacinth bulbs and, for me, it was the most instinctive and natural thing to be doing at this time of year.

When I got home, I looked under the kitchen sink for the ‘hyacinth bowl’ which has always been a fundamental part of my November life.  There it was, just as it lived under every kitchen sink that my mother ever had.

Hyacinth Bowl
Hyacinth Bowl

It’s a bowl that she inherited from her mother and every year we would plant three hyacinths in it and put it into the the darkest press in the house, ideally one that had no reason to be opened, except to keep the soil from drying out.

I was always desperately impatient to see the the green shoots appear and would steal glimpses in at the bowl when I had the place to myself.

The day the bowl  was taken out into the air was always momentous and and we would watch the buds grow and eventually cast their delicious colour and scent all round the kitchen.

I mentioned a few days ago that November,  for me,  is very much about ‘remembrance,’ in its broadest sense. Hyacinths evoke some of the strongest memories I have of my late mother whose love of nature, and passing on that love, was deeply ingrained in her.

Just to touch that bowl, yet again, makes me smile and think of  how Mother would be warning me not to open the press and give the poor hyacinths a chance! It also makes me think of how it’s not the BIG occasions that seem to draw Mother’s presence to me; rather little rituals that we shared and which were so often associated with planting the seeds of hope and colour.

So, if you haven’t bought your hyacinths yet, take this advice which Mother always quoted as hyacinth-time approached.

“If, of thy mortal goods, thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store two loaves
alone to thee are left,
Sell one & from the dole,
Buy Hyacinths to feed the soul”
– Muslihuddin Sadi,
13th Century Persian Poet