Birthday Thoughts

Today is my birthday ~ not that you’d know it from hubby and son who are the most un-birthday people you could ever meet, even when it comes to their own birthdays.

Birthdays in the house of my youth were HUGE days and it came as no surprise that Big Sis and Big Bro sent lovely cards and things, as always.

I had a gorgeous day ~ just took off on an adventure.

When I was coming back to Tramore the sun had just set and I found myself drawn to the house where we lived back then. It was here in Tramore.  Our parents were renting it and I got to thinking of how Dad would have come home from work ( in those 1950s days, fathers certainly weren’t in attendance at births here in Ireland), and made sure Big Sis and Big Bro were okay.  Here’s the house as it was looking this evening.

My First Home, Tramore, Co. Waterford

Back in the 1950s, Tramore had its own little nursing home where many of the town’s babies, including me and my two sibs were born. It was about a two minute walk from our house so Dad used to call in the mornings and evenings to see Mother and the new baby.

His evening call would have been around the time I was passing this evening and this is how the nursing home of old was looking. It’s the near one with the red door.

Lyon Terrace, Tramore

It’s lovely that these houses are still in existence and so well maintained.

I can’t but smile as I think of Mother’s description of Big Sis’ disappointment with the baldy baby that I was. She had been madly looking forward to having a little sister and thought I would be like her doll ~ Emily-Anne. As you can see from this photo that Father took, Emily-Anne raised the bar rather high!

Big Sis, Big Bro and Emily-Anne

The card I got from Big Sis this morning certainly indicated that she’s well over her disappointment.


As for Big Bro, he and I have been the best of friends since Day 1. He’s a great one for tossing out crumbs of advice so this P.S. on his card  was absolutely true to form:

Make the most of 59!

I certainly intend to …..

Dogging About

Hi World,

It’s Puppy Stan here after what seems like an age. On the subject of age, we had a big day last Tuesday when my ‘brother,’ Harry turned  twenty-one. I was afraid he might change overnight but he’s still himself and still has lots of time for me!

Man and Dog!

Part of his birthday celebrations included going to a Bruce Springsteen concert in Dublin. I was the one that greeted him when he arrived home at some crazy hour. He was humming away to himself and hasn’t stopped since. I love when we have those ‘hello’ times in the middle of the night  dawning cos I get to hear all the news first.

This song has been buzzing around in my head since he came back from The Boss’ concert. (I had always thought Jean was the boss, but anyway, she kinda still is.)

Here’s hoping you have a sunny, sunny week. I’m planning on making it my business to finally start swimming. I hope I can screw up the courage to go into the blue, blue sea. If not, I’ll continue to play and pant at the beach with my Boss.

Glory Days


Talk soon,






Come Join my Festival of Bridges!

Today, October 18 at 12.20 am, is my birthday and I’m in celebratory mood.  It’s hard to believe that I’m 57 but somehow this year feels extra special because I was born in 1957.

I’ve been perusing old newspapers, photographs, memories, books, poetry, music ….. and the dominant thought has been about connections and bridges built, crossed, burned, admired, dreamed about, determined to see ……

'East View of Waterford' by Thomas Sautelle Roberts. December 19th, 1805. Source: Waterford City Council
‘East View of Waterford’
by Thomas Sautelle Roberts.
December 19th, 1805.
Source: Waterford City Council

This painting is one that I love because it includes the first bridge crossing, known locally as ‘Timbertoes,’  in Waterford City

I’m talking about all sorts of bridges ~ and I’d be so thrilled if you would join with me in celebrating BRIDGES  from now until the end of October.

To take part, please email your contribution ~ be it writing, photography, artwork, poetry, music ….. to me at and give me some insight into the reason for your choice/s.

Here’s one of my favourite songs from 1957 to take you back to that era ~ it just has to be Elvis!!






Fun with Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker, who is one of the people I most admire for her brilliant wit, was born on this day in  New Jersey in 1893.

Dorothy Parker Source: Wikipedia
Dorothy Parker (1893-1967)
Source: Wikipedia

No matter what’s going on, a dip into the quotable quotes of Dorothy Parker always makes me chuckle. Here are  a few of my favourites:

“The first thing I do in the morning is brush my teeth and sharpen my tongue.”

“The cure for boredom is curiosity.
There is no cure for curiosity.”

“Don’t look at me in that tone of voice.”

“What fresh hell is this?”

“Brevity is the soul of lingerie.”

“That woman speaks eighteen languages, and can’t say ‘No’ in any of them.”

“Women and elephants never forget.”

“She runs the gamut of emotions from A to B.”

A world without Dorothy Parker would have been so much duller.  Tell me about your favourite quote from her. 

P.S. The quote that was a constant part of my growing up was ‘What fresh hell is this,’ which my late mother would whisper with a glint in her eye when a knock would come at the door just as we were starting a meal or in the middle of watching something special like The Grand National!




To Leonard Cohen with Love ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 250

Dear Leonard,

May I wish you a very happy birthday and tell you that I feel honoured to live in the same world as you.

Your writing is divine, your voice heart-wrenching and your energy, for someone born in 1934, an absolute inspiration.

There’s so much of your work that I admire but these words stand out for me.

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic ’til I’m gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love

I doubt there is anyone who doesn’t crave to be danced to the end of love wherever that may be.  And, my Irish wish for you is that you will always have the love which you both epitomise and so truly deserve.

With Love,