Blogging and Images

I’ve become acutely aware of how dependant I am on photographs when it comes to blogging. It’s almost like I feel I have to have an image to inspire me and another handful to illustrate every point I make.

Interestingly, this reliance on images tends to make other writing very difficult; somewhat like a kid trying to cycle for the first time without stabilisers on his/her bike.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this but I’m wondering to what extent image-dependence is an issue for the rest of you?

Now it’s half killing me to not add a photograph into this post.  Just think of all the possibilities …..


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 Place of Perfection

I was on the verge of writing a post yesterday saying that ‘Perfection has no place in the world of blogging,’ but the longing to feast my eyes upon the beauty of the sea and to seize a swim at dusk drew me away from the computer.

As I drove to the beach, I was thinking about perfection and the curse/blessing of perfectionism. I inherited a streak of perfectionism from my father but when it starts to get a firm grip on me, I think of my laid-back mother saying: ‘Don’t be such a mad perfectionist; it’ll drive you and the rest of us crazy. No one is perfect. Try your best but don’t panic if you can’t get to the end of the rainbow.’

Rainbows have a touch of perfection about them, I pondered, but they’re very fleeting. In fact, lots of aspects of nature are perfect and I thought of beautifully formed roses, tiny snowdrops, the full moon … but none of them remain perfect all the time.

As if to prove the fleetingness point, Garrarus Beach was looking totally different to any other time I have ever seen it. The sea was as calm and soothing as Mother’s words while the sky was ‘animated’ and ‘moody’ as Father would have said.

Garrarus Beach, Co. Waterford
Garrarus Beach, Co. Waterford

I swam in the silky, silvery water ~ eyes drawn out to the fishing boats which were highlighted on the faraway horizon. The soft wind dried me off in seconds and I was left with that magical glow and sense of freedom that only swimming in the winter can bring.

The sand was like a blank canvas and a stick of seaweed presented itself to the writer in me. The words that flowed with abandon and complete instinct were: Perfect Cleansing.

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Ruling the Page


The sky was blue as blue yesterday morning and the telegraph wires glinted merrily like inviting lines on a page.

So much to be said about lines ~ writing them; reading them; reading between them …..

The words that has been begging me to be placed between the lines are these:

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
(Albert Camus)

What word, lines, thoughts do the lines in the photograph evoke in YOU?

Does Writing Positively Heave You Up?

It’s pretty noticeable that social media is full of positivity in a world that isn’t all sweetness and light.

Sometimes, I find that reading reams of positive stuff makes me feel like I’ve overdosed on chocolate.

However, I know that when I feel down, I tend to use what I call ‘positive’ writing  as a way to haul myself up. This is at the public level, at least. My private journals are probably a lot closer to the real me.

But overall, I find that the very act of writing a positive post tends to lift my mood.

Today is one of those down days, for a variety of reasons, and here’s where I went delving to find much-needed colour and bounce!

… laugh, leaning back in my arms
for life’s not a paragraph
And death i think is no parenthesis.

What’s your approach? Do you tell it as it is if you’re down or do you try to find something, a n y t h i n g positive to write about to both lift yourself (and not feel that you’re dumping your miseries on other people)?


Where are Blogs on the Pecking Order?

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

I’m getting the feeling that blogs are moving in from the wildest peripheries towards the core of the world of writing ~ from poor relation to ‘acceptable social animal.’

I say this because I seem to be hearing far more interviews with bloggers on mainstream topics, especially on radio.

Is anyone else out there feeling the same?  Or where do YOU see blogs in the grand scheme of writing?  What type of social animal are they at all? Please tell me what you think from where you’re sitting?

Annestown, Co. Waterford.
Annestown, Co. Waterford.

Send out Your Boats!

“If  you don’t send out your boats, they won’t come sailing in.”

I was reared on this saying and had been under the impression that it was first uttered by some very important personI went looking this morning, but can’t find any references to it so am assuming, until I hear differently, that it was a makey-up of my parents.

It’s a saying that I think of every time I enter a writing competition, especially by post. I have no qualms about giving my entry a heartfelt kiss before popping it into the letter box in the Post Office.

It’s all about creating hope, isn’t it?  Okay, one has to be prepared for the fact that some of the boats will get washed up along the way but it’s always good to know that one has boats gone out that may well come back to  safe harbour with an abundance of hope on board.

I mentioned this to an artist friend a while back and this was his lovely response:

A Boat called 'Hope'
A Boat called ‘Hope’


5 Key Things I’ve Learned about Blogging

Mount Congreve Garden, Co. Waterford
Mount Congreve Garden, Co. Waterford

I’ve been blogging for three and a half years now and have written 700+ posts so I suppose it’s time to sit back and have a think about what this whole experience has taught me. Here’s my top five observations:

# 1. My blog is like my home in the virtual world ~ a place that I’ve built with love and furnished to my very own taste. I realise that my taste won’t appeal to everyone but a blog just couldn’t work for me if I didn’t feel totally at ease with it.

# 2. Blogging becomes a social activity from the second one turns off the ‘Private’ button. This brings both limitations, such as having to be careful not to offend or libel, as well as huge opportunities. The opportunities are mind-boggling in terms of the extent to which what one writes can potentially be read right across the world within seconds of hitting ‘Publish.’

#3. Blogging can be addictive and habit-forming. The more one blogs, the more one gets from it and the more one gets entangled in the whole world of blogging. Taking a break can cause ‘withdrawal’ and the extent of the addiction is really only felt when one takes a break. Undoubtedly one of the things I miss most when not blogging is the interaction with other bloggers who I have come to see as co-travellers and, in quite a few cases, friends.

#4. Blogging takes time ~ and one has to consider the opportunity costs. Is blogging ‘time well spent?’ Is blogging time ‘best’ spent? I think these are very key questions and ones that need to be re-visited often.

#5. Blogging, for me, is about writing about subjects that are close to my heart. It is also about recording aspects of life as it unfolds. I like the idea of being able to look back at posts I wrote say this time last year to see what was going on. It is an activity that has heightened my awareness of what’s going on around around me and turned what may have seemed like the mundane into specialness that will probably resonate with someone, somewhere.