Hands Touching Hands

I’ve been gathering pebbles from all the coves and beaches around me over the last few weeks with a view to trying some ‘pebble art.’

I poured my loot out onto the table in front of the fire this afternoon and waited for inspiration.

Before I knew it, I was tracing my hand and thinking of the power of the sense of touch. Touch can be so electric and sensuous. What kept coming to mine was the way in which touch is so central to our relationships with other people.


Recently, I was getting my hair done and found tears streaming down my cheeks as the hairdresser was towel drying my locks. I simply don’t like when strangers touch my hair. It feels all wrong to me and I crave the gentle touch of my mother running her fingers through it when I was a child.

The towel drying tears quickly turned to a watery smile as I thought of how we’d all run from Father’s offers to dry our hair after swims as he had such thing about making sure that we didn’t get colds and almost tore the heads off us with his vigorous towelling.

The first touch in a romantic relationship can be so special with fingers meeting fingers. What can be so bittersweet about the ending of a relationship is that even one little finger touching another that was so familiar becomes off limits.

How easy it is to take the sense of touch for granted and it’s often only when it’s gone for whatever reason that we appreciate it.

What song or poem do YOU associate with Touch?




The mere mention of Valentine’s Day sends me back to my days in Secondary school and the buzz of excitement about Valentine cards.


Anticipation of the big day would start the minute February arrived and after-school activity centred on visiting all the card shops in town to gaze in secret hope at all the heart covered cards, especially the big cushioned ones that were displayed in their boxes on high shelves well away from our sticky, chalky fingers.

It was always about two days before the big day that the first Valentine would do the rounds in the classroom as one of the girls rushed in with a HUGE envelope ~ her cheeks flushed and matching the love hearts and the red S.W.A.L.K. that was now like a patchwork of romance.

I’d laugh and smile with the rest of them as I read the card with its flowery rhymes, hand-drawn hearts and the inevitable Guess Who? 

Year after year after year, I’d watch our letter box with aching hope but it wasn’t to be. Of course, my sympathetic mother tried sending me a few but I had to tell her that there was no use trying to cod me and she eventually gave me that knowing look of hers …..

While I’ll never know how many of the school day Valentine’s Day cards were real or mothered, I know for sure that I’m facing into yet another no-show Valentine’s Day. Hubby, of almost twenty-five years, scoffs at Valentine’s Day and contends that it’s all a racket to sell chocolates and red roses and that love isn’t a one day wonder that comes SWALKing in on February 14th.

Oh I know he’s right, I know, I know, I know …..

Now, lest you think I haven’t learned to cope with this, let me assure you that I am Ms. Valentine when it comes to forward planning for the no-show day.  This year, I’ve already stocked up on heart-shaped chocolate marshmallows, hanging heart ear rings, a fascinating book called Romantic Moderns: English Writers, Artists and the Imagination from Virginia Woolf to John Piper by Alexandra Harris and a ticket to my heart throb, Finbar Wright’s Valentine Eve Concert at the Theatre Royal in Waterford.

So go on tell me what Valentine’s Day was like for you as a teenager? 




Ace of Hearts ~ Five Photos/Five Stories 1

Ace of Hearts

There’s always a story behind how couples get together and I took this photo as it reminded me of this day in 1982 as it was the day that hubby captured my heart.

We had known each other through tennis for a good few years but a few weeks before the Tramore Open Tennis Championships that year I discovered that my brother with whom I normally played mixed doubles wasn’t going to be around so I boldly asked Adrian if he would partner me.

We didn’t hit it off on the tennis court; in fact we were a disastrous combination as our temperaments are totally different. Thankfully, we were beaten very early on in the week but I managed to scramble into the final of the singles.

I was up against a very tough opponent and said to Adrian that if I lost I’d be delighted if he would come for a swim in the sea after the match to cool me down.

I was absolutely annihilated and turned to him after the defeat and said: How about that swim?

It was a gorgeous sunny day and we drove down to the beach and ran into the waves.  I took it that he was a water baby like me as he seemed perfectly at home in the ocean.

After the swim, we passed a little seaside shop that had a kiddies’ machine outside with sweets and beaded bracelets in it. I’ve always had a thing about beaded bracelets so being the gentleman he is, he handed me the coin for the machine and lo and behold a brightly coloured bracelet fell into the slot.

We headed back to the tennis club for the presentation and there was a definite sense of romance in the air.

We saw little of each other for for quite a few months after that and I went to America for three months at the beginning of 1983. I sent him what I thought was a well-chosen postcard.

Soon after I got back from the States,  I met him down town in his car one lunchtime. I sat in and asked him if he’d got my postcard. He gave me a disgruntled look and showed me the torn up shreds of the postcard which were in the side pocket of the car door. He said something like: ‘I thought you would have done better than three lines on a postcard.’ 

We’re still chalk and cheese but will be married 24 years next month. Yes, I still have the bracelet; and, no, he’s certainly not the water baby I thought he was.  In fact, I don’t think he’s been for a swim in the sea since this day 33 years ago.

I’d like to thank Willow for nominating me for the Five Photos Five Stories Challenge.

Here are the rules for the “Five Photos Five Stories” challenge: “Post a photo each day for five consecutive days and attach a story to the photo. It can be fiction or non-fiction, a poem or a short paragraph and each day nominate another blogger for the challenge.

My first nomination for the challenge is Lauren over at Baydreamer