Thursday, April 30, 2020

Solstice Eve

For Ann

A lip of light extends long and low
above the headland.
It illuminates your house on the cliff,
pearly white in a shaft of sunlight.
Windowpanes flash silver on this Solstice Eve
and I wonder how your children are,
will they be home for Christmas.

Memories of you flood my mind,
times past when we were young mothers,
your newsy letters from Letterkenny and Cork.
I kept them for two score years
in a file under my bed.

It was a terrible misunderstanding you know,
years of refusing to talk,
inability to forgive
then the shock of your death notice
in the newspaper.

I glance to the headland,
clouds drift and merge
and there is only rain
and the crashing of waves
on the rocks.

Monday, September 30, 2019

Monday Watercolour - Foxglove

Poetry Monday

Marbled Chocolate

When I think back
to my first taste of chocolate,
it smacks of your seed cake
almonds neatly layered on top.
A treat on Saturday
after piano practise,
one thin slab on a white china plate
choked down with a glass of milk.
A penance, 
but I never dared to tell you.

I remember your anger
when I came home from Mulligan’s,
told you they had shop-bought cake,
a triangle of marbled sweetness;

They had sliced pan too;
white and fluffy,
and on Fridays, fish and chips,
lashed with salt and vinegar,
wrapped in newspaper.
I used to stand outside the chipper
watch people queue,
hungered to be like them.

You beat me senseless.
the cane snapped in two 
as I bent over in apology.
You shouted that they
were common and poor,
and shop-bought
was a sin.

I lost all interest in food.
and spent years in therapy

learning how to eat.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Birds and things ...

Wednesday 8 November

It is a cold day again only 3 degrees celsius but it was so bright and sunny, perfect for my morning walk.

Birds in my garden were feeding happily all through to day. The robin family were busy guarding their territory. They were stationed all around the garden and were quite successful in chasing blue tits over the back wall but failed with the starlings and bigger birds.
There was a little sparrow munching on nuts earlier. His name is Alan. He is from Ivy Terrace over by the Football Club. He comes from a large family so they need all the food they can get. He will send his siblings over for dinner before dusk tonight.


Monday, November 6, 2017

November Blog, BIRDS and Things....

6 November

This morning I opened the bedroom curtains to great activity in the garden. There were birds all over the trees feeding on the stations then flitting back to the trees. They danced amid branches, almost bare. The flame colour of the cherry tree and yellow and golden hues of the Silver Birch are glorious. The rambling roses along the garden wall are rich shiny red hips and there are offerings of riches from the ivy and solanum too. It was a delight to see the activity around feeding. I got some tea, came back to bed and watched a blackbird and thrush, then robins, sparrows, blue tits, coal tits, starlings and magpies. The whole neighbourhood was feeding in my garden.  Jim had the binoculars, it was a wonderful to see them up close and for long periods of time. The Robin family who live here had their work cut out trying to defend their territory.  The Father Robin (Maxwell) was on the compost bin issuing warnings to the tits. The Thrush was speckled and very beautiful. His name is Bram. There is a female Blackbird called Caroline. She is confident and well able for Max's abuse. She took up a position on the garden pillar where she had a full view of the front garden. The tit family children are Castello, Charlie, Melodie, Cobalt, Chloe and Primrose.

It was a mild November day by the sea. 12 degrees celcius, overcast and dark by 4.45 pm. The clocks went back two weeks ago.

Blue tit Charlie

Max Robin

Birds and Things November Blog

5 November Blog

Yesterday we bought two Bird Feeding Stations in Aldi for 20 euro each. There has been no activity there but it will take a few days for the birds to get comfortable with visits and feeding. 

It was James's 35th Birthday yesterday (Sunday 5 November) so he and Elaine came out to celebrate his special day. I do not know where time has gone to but it is gone!!. We are all growing older by the day.  I made an apple cake with the last of the garden apples. It was delicious. We sat around the kitchen table chatting into the darkness and a Beaver moon. 

Photos of the Bird Feeding Stations

Front Garden Station
Back Garden Station

A swing with seeds and nuts for larger birds

Greystones Coast Daily Blog on Birds and things.....

November 4, 2017


Finally we have time to welcome the Birds of this area into our Garden.  I have been planning to do this for years but with work and other commitments, I did not get around to it until now.

Recently I watched Autumnwatch on BBC2 TV and decided to do some watching and note taking in my own back yard. There is so much that happens out there that we do not take time to see.  Now that I have more time, I will invest in the birds, keep this blog going if I can.

It is November and I have a view of the South beach from my bedroom window here in Greystones. The train runs along the track from Greystones to Wexford on the half hour. I used to live next to the Railway track that ran from Waterford to Tramore as a child so trains are important to me. I love to hear the whistle blow, to watch the train trundle down the track beside the beach. I especially love to watch it in Winter, cabins lit up, people looking out as it passes into the darkness.

Sitting on the bed in the back of the house I can see the tree tops in my garden. I have a 20 year old weeping Silver Birch, a laurel of the same age, an 18 year old Cherry, a Bramley Apple tree and a Pittisporum which I planted in 2004 when we came to live in this house.  I have various large shrubs,  acers and plants in the beds and a huge variety of roses... tea roses and climbers and ramblers that span walls and trellises. It is not a very mature habitat but it is pretty at this time of year and full of ripe hips. I have other climbers such as ivy, solanum and honeysuckle that offer seeds and berries to the birds. They grow on walls all around the house. The garden is rich with Autumn colour just now. The Cherry is a flame red today and the birch yellow and golden hues. It is a beautiful time of year and a perfect time to feed the birds as Winter is here. The clocks went back two weeks ago so it is dark most evenings around 5.30 pm and first light is around 7.30 pm. It will of course continue to get darker until the December Solstice when I look forward to longer days again. We have a short period of Winter here in Ireland and it rarely gets below zero degrees celcius.

Today was chilly at 3 degrees celsius but it is usually around 10 degrees by the sea. We are lucky to have only passing rain showers on the East Coast.

Jim and I bought two bird stations in Aldi today and installed one in the front garden by the den window and one in the back garden by the conservatory. We will monitor and take notes of activities each day as we go about our lives here. We actually have a family of Robins living in our beech hedge in the front garden. They patrol the trees daily from the Silver Birch in the back to a Silver Birch in the front. I hope by inviting all birds into our gardens that we do not upset the Robin Family too much.

Below is a photo of the Birch and Cherry trees in my back garden.

Trellis area is covered in Rambling Roses, Wisteria, Solanum and Ivy
Acer is so red at this time of year.