Stepping Out

I hadn’t looked at the weather forecast when I chose Stepping Out  as my theme for 2015. But I must say there’s nothing like the combination of a madly energetic puppy, Stan, and a brand new theme to pull one out into howling winds and that wettest kind of Irish rain.

We made for Kilfarrasy Beach which has tall, tall cliffs and has lots of memories, including long chats with Dad in the months after Mother died. He invariably looked down the beach and talked nostalgically about all the happy days we’d spent there years ago as a family ~ picnics, buckets and spades, and, of course, the day when I was a toddler and slipped away from Mother’s watchful eye to head out to where he was happily swimming until he saw me laughing and waving at him chin-deep in water. He was amazed that either of us had lived beyond that moment for even 50 seconds, not to talk about 50 years, to be able to talk about that early splurge for independence.

Dad must have taken a thousand photographs of Kilfarrasy in his time but this one was always his favourite:

Kilfarrasy Beach, Co. Waterford Photo: Frank Tubridy
Kilfarrasy Beach, Co. Waterford
Photo: Frank Tubridy

It stood in stark contrast today but had a wonderful wildness and energy about it.

Kilfarrasy Beach, Jan 1, 2015
Kilfarrasy Beach, Jan 1, 2015

The stones, though, were as colourful as ever and I couldn’t resist getting embroiled in a bit of artwork. Broad brush strokes, I told myself, as I gathered small rocks rather than stones and made my mosiac. It started as a heart with 2015 beneath it; then I piled the 2015 into the heart and collected 11 more stones ~ one for each letter of STEPPING OUT and tossed them in.

May 2015 be a year filled with Love and Heart in Blogosphere and all around the World. 




Making Connections

My 2014 theme word Connection is one that keeps banging on different doors in my head.

I’m not sure if kids still play that card game ‘Fish in the Pond,’ the one in which you lay out all the playing cards face down and then take turns to try and find ‘pairs.’ The trick is to remember where your opponent has replaced say the Queen of Hearts when you you have just upended the Queen of Spades.

It was a game we seemed to play endlessly and I always loved that feeling of finding the match and adding a new pair to my stash.

While I haven’t played the card game for yonks, I find myself thinking of it when two people who I have known in their individual capacities turn out to be closely related in some way, especially married to each other.

When the penny drops that this is a ‘pair,’ I feel like grabbing the two and putting them neatly to one side with all the other pairs and wonder how on earth I hadn’t made the connection before, especially from what both had been telling me about their lives.

But life isn’t quite as simple as a game of cards with all the pairs eventually being found. Apart from the numbers aspect, there’s layers and layers of intricacies and inter-connections that make it more like dealing with shifting grains of sand than a handy pack of cards.

But, think of the lovely flow of warm sand spilling through one’s fingers ~ so familiar, yet so infinite…..

Me playing in the Sand Photo: Frank Tubridy
Me playing in the Sand
Photo: Frank Tubridy

Theme Thoughts

During my recent blogging break, I came to realise how I am drawn to the idea of posts that are written around specific themes. Last year, I found the whole concept of ‘Gatherings from Ireland’ to be a great way to harness my thoughts and I’m just loving two very different blogs that are using  specific themes this year.

The first is There is No Cavalry  in which David Milligan-Croft is writing a captivating  365- post series called: Things for which I am Grateful.  The second is,  that of my neighbour here in Co. Waterford, Foxglove Lane, who has chosen the interesting theme Pilgrimage on her brilliant photographic and writing blog.  Be sure to check out these blogs if they are new to you!

Sheep's Bridge, Co. Waterford
Sheep’s Bridge, Co. Waterford

I’ve been playing around with all sorts of possibilities but I keep coming back to the word ConnectionFor me, that’s what blogging is really all about ~ finding connections, building connections, seeing connections and,  of course, exploring the multitude of ways in which social bridges are built both within and between people, places, events, ideas, imaginings and a host of other things.

So, 2014 is going to be my year of Connections here on Social Bridge and I hope that it will be a journey which allows me to consolidate existing friendships and forge new ones with people from all across the globe.