Words that Haunt …..

There are words that play around in my mind and refuse to quieten unless I attend to them. The one that has been my companion for most of today is NUANCE. 

I love its gentle sound and I’ve been thinking, thinking, thinking about where it takes me.

I’m still not happy but here is the image that won’t go away:



Where does the word Nuance bring you in terms of place, image, poetry, music …..








Stepping out with Open Eyes

I’m a sucker for public writing of all kinds. I’m the person who reads the names carved in the sand; graffiti on toilet doors; notices on supermarket notice-boards; carvings on trees; paw-prints on now-set cement ….

You get the picture!

Well, the other day I was taking Puppy Stan for his constitutional down to the beach here in Tramore and nearly fell out of my standing when I saw this mural on the wall of an alley that’s within spitting distance of the beach.

Mural in Tramore, Co. Waterford.
Mural in Tramore, Co. Waterford.

It set my mind off in a million and one directions but most of all that word ‘hunger’ in relation to the sea resonated so, so much.

I can’t understand how I hadn’t seen it before ~ I think it’s probably because my eyes were always fixed on the horizon and the colour and mood of the sea.

I’d love to know about the signs, murals, graffiti , carvings that draw you in. 

The Dating Game

Photo: http://www.wallpaperday.com

I’ve long been intrigued with the terminology that surrounds ‘dating.’

Here in Ireland, the main terms that I’ve known and loved include:

Stepping Out with …

Doing a line with …

Going with …

Doing a strong line with …



So, I’d love if you’d tell me what terms are used in your country/locality/experience/memory for ‘stepping out’ in the dating sense?




I’ve always loved ties ~ I mean the kind that men wear.  But over the years I’ve come to see that ties are about far more than those lovely items of clothing that I tend to give precious  men of my life as presents.




Professional identities

Uniformities, conformities



Winching casualties

Tugs towing calamities


Sharing complexities

Blending individualities

Melting hearts




Jean Tubridy,
October 2009
ties 3









You’ll find me in the snowdrop’s nod
You’ll hear me in the crack of a golf ball
You’ll feel me in the heat of hug 
You’ll sigh me as the teapot pours
You’ll long for me in the doctor’s eyes
You’ll taste me in tears of joy
You’ll recognise me as a tick or a wink
You’ll hear me scream in a newborn’s cry
You’ll pray me, pray me in times of terror
You’ll answer me when true love kneels
But will you remember me when I plead?


The Copper Coast, Co. Waterford
The Copper Coast, Co. Waterford

I’ve always loved playing with words and have been enthralled by the WORDS Writer’s Group which was set up almost a year ago now.  It is held at the Art Hand, which is situated near Bonmahon at one of the most scenic parts of Co. Waterford’s stunning and historic Copper Coast.

The Group meets on the first Wednesday of each month and the whole essence of the event is that we share words ~ be they our own or those written by others. These are words across genres, generations and are local, global ~ mainly in English but sometimes not; mainly face-to-face but sometimes via Skype from far flung places.  You can sit and listen, sit and respond or stand up and perform ….. with performance being as widely interpreted as the words themselves.

Sword 3

My contribution for this months event arose out of  staring at a blank page with the letters W O R D S scrawled at the top. It dawned on me that moving the letter S to the beginning brought a SWORD into play and suddenly I could see a ginormous paper knife slitting open a huge envelope of words, thoughts, emotions, imaginings … that have been evoked by the WORDS Writer’s Group since its inception. The words  that tumbled onto the page included:


Wounds                 Opposites            Roots                     Darkness                Ships
Winnings            Ordinary               Remembrance   Dawnings             Secrets
Worth                     Opportunity        Realities               Drawings             Senses
Welcome               Openings             Records               Drives                    Seamus Heaney
Warmth                 Oddities                 Reading                Drinks                    Storms
Wonderment       Observations       Responses           Death                     Sea Pinks
Wrappings           Oneness               Reactions            Direction                Songs
Willow                   Order                       Roadways          Dread                      Singing
Winding                 Oceans                   Rhyme                 Doors                      Sounds
Wine                                                           Rhythm               Dreams                   Silence
Whispers                                                 Reaching            Desserts                 Sophisticated
Whipping                                                                                Deserts                   Simple
Writing                                                                                      Daftness                 Soft
                                                                                                     Daughters              Sadness
                                                                                                     Dots                           Sailing
                                                                                                     Daring                      Sassy
                                                                                                     Darkness                 Sunset
                                                                                                      Dressing-room      Sisters

WORDS Writer’s Group is very much a work in progress and I know that all the participants will have their own special words from the year that flown. I can’t but wonder what will be unleashed as we move into the future together….

Looking Ahead .....
Looking Ahead …..

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

Mergings ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 257

There are times when you wonder if any word could convey a confluence of place, sensation and emotion. This has happened me a few times recently while walking on beaches here in Co. Waterford.

Stradbally Beach, Co. Waterford
Stradbally Beach, Co. Waterford

The tide has been out and such have been the deep reflections on the wet sands that I’ve felt I was walking on natural glass and enveloped by the very heart of the world. The deep reflections in the sand mirroring the sky but with the brush strokes of  an abstract artist.

Soft clouds of silvery white float along, mystical tall ships with their huge sails billowing in the ever so gentle breeze. Horizons are everywhere, yet nowhere are they defined.

To me, this is the land of ethereal  peace, promise and possibilities …..

Have you ever been there?

Can it be better than ‘Awesome’ ~ Gatherings from Ireland # 126

The word ‘awesome’ doesn’t seem to have made its way into the vocabulary of people in Ireland. I’m not quite sure why but I think that maybe we have a range of our own special favourites from which we choose.

From my understand, ‘awesome’ tends to be used as a positive descriptor or exclamation as in: ‘Wow, look at that thatched cottage, isn’t it awesome?’  Or, in a comment on a blog post: ‘This is awesome!’


So  here’s  some of my ways of saying ‘it’s awesome,’ without using that particular  A-word that seems to permeate so much, especially in American-speak and writing.

‘That’s amazing’

‘ The cat’s pyjamas’

The spider’s ankles’

‘ Tá sé go hiontach ar fad’

What about you? Are you ‘awesome’ or ‘fierce good?’