Magnolia Magic

Magnolias seem to come and go in a flurry of petals. They always have me wondering where to look  – upwards as they reach for the sky with their big blooms or downwards where they leave a gentle carpet of  velvety pink and white.

I hope you like this selection from precious Mount Congreve Gardens which are just a few miles out the road in Tramore.

Counting Blessings

Garrarus Beach
Garrarus Beach

The notion of ‘count your blessings’ is one with which I was reared. If we were ever down in the depths, Father used to ask: Would you throw your lot in and take your chances on picking up someone else’s?’  A quick glance into his wise eyes always had me answering (often in a blubbering whisper) ‘NO.’

Well, the other day, I heard a great interview with Brent Pope, who is a former rugby player from New Zealand who now lives in Ireland. He’s a man who is quite open about the fact that anxiety and panic attacks have been part of his life for many years. The part of this recent interview that has stayed with me was his description of how he takes the time every single night, no matter how late he gets in, to write down 5 things that have been good about the day that has just passed. He said that sometimes it can be hard to focus on the good things if the day has been particularly fraught but that he forces himself to find even very mundane things, like hearing a particular song. He emphasised that he makes a conscious effort to find new positive things rather than repeating the same ones ad infinitum.

I love the fact that he does it every night, not just on occasions when he’s feeling either wonderful or terrible. Positive things do have a way of weaving their way through our lives and so often we press on and leave them unacknowledged.

I’m contemplating starting a private journal of my ‘5 Positives a Day.’ Just thinking about today so far ( and it’s 15:28 now), there’s been:

  1. The first bloom of the purple hyacinth on the kitchen window-sill with its magnificent fragrance;
  2. The gorgeous light on Garrarus Beach when I was out there early this morning with Puppy Stan;
  3. The smiling encounter with the man at the supermarket door who stood back to let me through with my trolley and laughed when I said: ‘It’s great to meet a gentleman.’
  4. Remembering the diaries that Santa always brought me and which I still have.
  5. Building new connections with two bloggers, Lennon Carlyle  and Paul J. Grainger whose posts I really admired.

Would you care to share YOUR  5 Positives of today so far? 


Cork, My City by the Lee

I would like to thank Joan Frankham for submitting this post to my Festival of Bridges. It relates to the beautiful city of Cork here in Ireland which is blessed with many, many bridges.

Retirement and beyond

I went for a stroll around Cork City today, and managed to get quite a few nice shots of the old buildings, the many churches, the hills on which the city is built, all looking down on the River Lee.   For those of you not familiar with Cork, the river Lee splits in two at the western end of the city, and flows in two channels, before meeting up again when it flows in to Cork Harbour.  These two channels form an island, and the city centre is on this island.   It can be very confusing for first time visitors to the city who do not realise there are two branches of the river, and making arrangements to ‘meet by the river’ doesn’t always work out!   By the way, there are over 30 bridges over the river (s) Lee around the city, and it takes about two…

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