Memories, New and Old

a little stroll does the heart good in more ways than one….. making and remembering memories

Drumleague lock, Co Leitrim
Drumleague Lock, Co Leitrim

Today we decided to do the canal walk beginning in Drumshanbo at Acres Lake, walking down to Battlebridge Lock and back again to where we started.

I had walked a piece of this walk a few years ago whilst visiting Leitrim, but I remember it was raining that day.

Today, the weather was fine, dry and sunny and we met a few other people along the way, getting their steps in and enjoying the stroll.

It is a nice flat walk and not too taxing at all. Along the walk we pass through Drumleague Lock, and the sight of it brought me right back to October 1979, when I was still a girl, living in the UK.

I was on a barge trip with the school for our school tour over the course of a week, from Coventry Canal basin to Birmingham. I remember it being such great fun and my best friend, Jackie, and I had aches in our tummy from laughing. We would hop on and off of the barge at times, as it was moving and run to the Lock to open it.

One evening Jackie was washing her hair over the the side of the barge and I went to fetch clean hot water from the stove to rinse it. I also picked up another empty saucepan and unbeknown to I leaned over the side, filled it with icy cold canal water and proceeded to pour it over her head…….Well, the screams and effing and blinding were enough to wake the dead, as she ran holding her poor cold head running the length of the barge, while I was bend over double laughing and pleading with her that I was sorry and had some lovely warm fresh water to clean her hair with.

Of course she forgave me and we often used to laugh about it. Those were the days…..

Today was about making new memories with my hubby, but I love it when the ordinary things in everyday can transport us back to another time and we can relive that again and talk about it, and smile at the thoughts of it. It brings everything alive and gives a warm heartfelt feeling.

Continuing on from the lock, a bit further down the pathway was a lovely house nestled into the landscape making great use with their big windows out across the canal. To our surprise part of the walkway is also used by cars, not many, thankfully as it would be a very tight squeeze if there was two way traffic with either the car or the walkers ending up in the canal!

We came to the road at Battlebridge Lock and to the right of it was the river Shannon running fast under the bridge. Beside the bridge, a lovely quaint but welcoming pub, called Beirnes of Battlebridge sits to the right. We called in here and had a bowl of delicious homemade soup served with guinness bread and rested a little after the 8km walk, before heading back.

River Shannon to the right of the canal
Home made soup @ of Battlebridge

We finally made our way back around the loop and and now with the canal to the right of us the expanse of open fields to the left giving rise to a beautiful mountain straight ahead.

We talked and chatted and took a leisurely walk back to Acres Lake, where we started and were planning where we should go next on our discovery of this area.

The sounds of the birds singing on this journey was a joy to hear. We saw blackbirds, finches, a little wren and the beautiful Robin. The Robin always makes me smile and I am always pleased to see it, because it lets me know that my beautiful friend, Jackie, is there with me on the walk and on this journey of discovery.

the singing robin….

We saw lots of frogs spawn in the little pools branching off along the sides of the walkway, but alas, my hubby was disappointed to not see any other wildlife or frogs taking care of their spawn….. Perhaps they were hiding away from our chitter chatter.

All in all, I would recommend this walk to everyone, young and old. It is even great for cycling or for children if they have a scooter. It is a bit gravelly, a little muddy in places, but good under foot and nice and flat.

Acres lake

Women March

Remember the fight our ancestors fought for their rights, as women, for us so we could continue the good fight. To all the women today, be strong…

Photo by Efrem Efre on Pexels.com

Women March….

Lay down the night to rest

Upon the morning sun

Kiss thy wounded soldier

With sword and battle done

Run the river of trout up stream

And swim against the tide

Let mans endeavour for justice

Stand tall with sense of pride

Shed no more tears for hatred

Nor feel so ill disposed

The rising mist will lift to clear

A new landscape will be composed

And women march and battle on

Some broken on their knees

But still they fight like gentle giants

Their resolve won’t be appeased

They find, they fix, they nurture life

And pass it down the line

They sacrifice whatever it takes

They seek and they will find

And man may take our freedom

And even take our land

But what he fails to notice

Is what he doesn’t understand

That through the human spirit

The threads from another time

No matter what the terror

He can never take our minds.

And up we rise again and again

Our spirit never falters

It makes us strong, to carry on

Paused but never halted

The women through the ages

Have fought through hurt and pain

Now we rise and stand up

for the women of Ukraine

All women the world over

We have a special task

To raise our sons and daughters

To seek peace, and love that lasts

To banish control and hatred

Derived from power and greed

And so we continue to nurture

And plant that mighty seed….

Just stop….

How easy it is to bring the house down

Bystanders watching, the carnage, profound.

Shifting the blame and pointing the finger

Hide behind lies while the terror still lingers

People displaced, lives torn apart

Not knowing, just how, they can make a new start

Loved ones are missing, some trapped behind

Explosions, confusion, distorted war crimes

Children are dying and running for cover

Is this how humatity should treat one another?

I wish they’d just stop with this senseless regime

Stop with the bombs, the bullets, the screams…

Spiders

Hello God


I just want to say thank you for my family, my home, my best friend, who is soft and cuddly and comes everywhere with me, and for my pets
I am happy and lucky and blessed.
Thank you that my country doesn’t have bombs and rockets and guns and people running scared and afraid that they will be killed.
Im so afraid of spiders so I’m thankful i dont have to worry about bombs.
But God, can i ask you for something, could i ask that you make the fighters stop being so angry and greedy and frightening so the children don’t have to be scared and afraid and that they can just go home, with their family and maybe, just be afraid of spiders instead?
Thank you God….

http://war, http://fighting, http://spiders

My Valentine and me

Valentines day – a day of appreciation, a day to show thanks, gratitude and to feel blessed. With it is with a sweetheart, a friend, a family member or even a stranger, remember, it is not just about chocolates and flowers….

Authors own – Hiking on Arroo Trail, Co Leitrim

Loves young dream, my man and me. We have been together now for 32 years. It has not, of course, been all plain sailing. There have been trials and tribulations. There has been love and hate. There have been many ups and downs in this roller coaster relationship, but, for better or for worse, we are still here, still in love and still enjoying each others company.

He can still make me laugh until I almost pee myself and he can incite such rage in me that I want to ‘knock his block off’. The course of true love never runs smooth though, isn’t that what they say.

We are trying to get out and about more, for two reasons. 1. my dear old husband is recovering from heart surgery and needs to try build up his strength. 2. Having moved to this new County, we need to explore it and see what it has to offer.

Yesterday we decided to go for a hike up the Arroo Trail in North Leitrim. It was a bit of a damp day, but we said, sure what else are we to do on a Sunday! We layered up, packed our back pack and off we went.

The scenery en route from Mohill, where we live to North of the County is just beautiful. We pass through little villages like Keshcarrigan, Lough Allen and a bigger town called Manorhamilton, to get to this Arroo Trail.

Having parked in the car park we started on our way on the trail along the road and then slowly up through the mountain trail. We had lots of sheep to entertain us en route and though it was spitting rain, we were warm and toasty in our waterproofs.

The views as we ascended were just spectacular, even if my camera couldn’t do them justice. We took our time, given that my other half is gradually trying to get back to full health and we didn’t want to put too much pressure on his poor old heart. It was quite a steep incline, but good under foot, with gravel and rocks.

Looking back down the trail we could see the coast, which must be Sligo, Leitrim and Donegal. On a clear day it would look even more spectacular.

From the car park to the end of the trail is just over 4 km and you go back down the way you came up.

We chatted, ohh-ed and ahh-ed at the beauty, the elevation, and how, at times it was a bit difficult on our poor thighs, as they are not used to such a work out. We stopped and drank our water to replace salts, lost through our sweating and I even welcomed the rain to cool me down and took off my hat and gloves to feel it on my skin.

Getting down was alot quicker as it was all down hill and the view was truly beautiful.

‘We should come back on a clearer day’ I say to him, ‘but not on a hot day, or we will melt althogether’.

Spending time together, doing new things together like hiking, and discovering this new place we call ‘home’ has been and I hope will continue to be, a really lovely experience.

Being ‘just us’ again has given us a new lease of life, literally.

So it is not always about the chocolates and flowers, Valentines, it is about spending quality time together and appreciating what we have, like a new healthy heart and a new perspective and to feel grateful and blessed with the little things in life that matter.

http://treehouse? Authors own….
the green grass road – authors own
authors own
authors own http://hiking
authors own
authors own
see the sea? Authors own
authors own leitrim
done! authors own
authors own. end of trail.
Dolly, dilly and daisy…authors own image

Happy valentine Day !

From one life to another, A walk in the park……

Moving to a new place can be scary, disorientating and beautiful at the same time, but discovering it, is amazing….

image, authors own taken @ Tullylacken loop, Leitrim leitrimtourism.com leitrimtourism.com/treasured-landscapes/sliabh-an-iarainn/

It’s not always easy moving. Whether it is moving home, moving jobs or moving from one stage of life to another. Just because it’s not easy, doesn’t mean that it is not good for us, that it is not better for us. Most often it is better to move than to stay stuck. In staying stuck, nothing changes.

How many times do we say, I wish it were different. I wish this was better, he was better, she was better, my job was better etc etc etc. In order for things to change something must happen. We must DO something.

During my life I have moved many many times. From one area to another and from one country to another, more than once. Each time there was an element of pain, washed in with an element of excitement and wonder.

I have recently done it again. I have moved to a different County. For the last 25 years I lived in County Wexford, Ireland, affectionately known as the sunny south east.

I had lived there for 5 years as a teenager too. That was a struggle as I had been a ‘City Girl’, born to Irish parents in the UK. I loved Ireland. I loved to visit my grandparents in Ireland, more precisely. When I knew I was coming here to live at age 14 I was horrified. I was not a County Girl AT ALL, nor did I want to be.

Spending my teenage years here however, though strange, confusing, difficult and lonely at times also had it’s benefits.

In our village, there was one bus a day into town and out of town. It was the school bus and if you missed it, for me, there was no other way into school because my mother didn’t drive and my dad would have already left with the car to go to work. Bonus, if I didn’t fancy going to school any given day!

As I had to leave all my friends in the UK, my brothers and I were allowed to go to the big pub/lounge a few miles down the road. It was a family friendly place and everyone from all over would go to it. It was called the Un Yoke. It hosted many big Irish named bands, like the Wolfe Tones, Joe Dolan, Philomena Begley as well as local bands. We loved it there and, having made a couple of friends on the School bus, went every weekend. It was my salvation from the loneliness.

Fast forward I returned to the UK aged 19 and then bounced back again to Ireland like a y0 y0 25 years ago to my native Co Wexford. Here we built our own house, something we never could have done in the UK. Raised our children, welcomed our grand children and got busy with work and life as everyone does.

The work life balance wasn’t balanced though and then came ill health which if nothing else, puts life into perspective. So Last year I said ‘lets throw in the towel, let’s sell up and go again on a new adventure. There is just us left now, the kids have flown.

Our initial plan was to go to France for a few years and see how that went, but serious ill health put that on hold. So we looked around this beautiful island of Ireland to find the right house, in the right setting for our needs, now.

We ended up in County Leitrim, fondly known as ‘Lovely Leitrim’. When we would tell people we were going there, aghast they would say ‘Leitrim, what the hell is in Leitrim’…….

I was shocked at this reaction. Some would say, ‘the people in Leitrim would move to live in Wexford, not the other way round’.

I agree, Wexford is a beautiful county, full of history and historical sites and beautiful beaches and a lovely quay front to walk along. It is a bustling town with some fab place to eat and drink, but it doesn’t hold the trump card on all that and so I am going to be exploring this beautiful little County in the North West and document just what it has to offer.

It is referred to as Ireland’s Hidden Heartland and I agree, from what I have seen so far, it has truly beautiful scenery, lakes, mountains, trails and even boasts the SMALLEST coastline in a County in Ireland in the little village of Tullaghan https://leitrimtourism.com/towns-villages/tullaghan/

Image authors own at Tullaghan beach….smallest coastline in Ireland

swans at Tullaghan beach, Co Leitrim.. Authoris own photo

Yesterday, my husband and I did our first looped walked around Tulllacken loop. We decided to do the moderate blue walk. We took our time and took it all the beauty along the way. The weather was on our side for the most part, with only a couple of small rain and now showers.

For someone recovering from heart bypass surgery (my other half), it was just what the doctor ordered. The trail was not too steep or too difficult. The views were beautiful across to the snow capped mountain and many many little streams and small waterfalls along the route were a welcome sight.

The rush of the yellow river running by our side was just beautiful to listen to along with the diversity of the tress, the rocks and splashes of colour along the way and also a bunch of curious sheep…..

I welcome our next trek or trail and will post more about the beauty of this beautiful little County.

authors own pic
authors own photo
authors own photo
authors own photo
authors own photo
rainbow days… authors own image
curious sheep…. authors own image
A sheepish marathan…… authors own image….
authors own image….

Not all those who wander are lost…….

When life feels a little complicated, pressured or tense, there is nothing like seeking out time and space, to find your path…….

authors own taken at Knockranny Woods, Co Roscommon

Not all those who wander are lost,

didn’t you know, the price, the cost?

In walking straight along the line

or veering off from time to time

kneel down upon the steady ground

see whats there to be found

a little bud, a blade of grass

a glistening glow, as the river runs fast

a bird soaring through the sky

announcing to all, as you walk on by

A butterfly, a ladybird

flutter ahead without a word

Follow them all down their path

learn the lessons, see what they’re at

Dancing, singing, merrily

living each moment, so care free

burning passion, awaken desire

fan the flames, set alight the fire

stagnant waters, daily drudge

muddy viewpoints, toxic sludge

waste not time, on staying stuck

take a peek, go have a look

walk and wander, don’t be afraid

the choice is yours to be made

no ties no chains, just faith in now

this time, this moment, knowing somehow

that this path we take, whether short or long

it may feel right, it may feel wrong

but not all those that wander

are lost or found

they’re just where they should be,

now that’s profound

some tread lightly and some will pound

upon this earth so rich in beauty

nature speaks, it is our duty

to harness kindness, patience and love

seek to find of what’s enough

to fill or souls and guide our path

cherish simplicity of all that we have

separate the wheat from the chaff

learn to give, learn to laugh

at all the short comings

that we possess

and know that nature, our mother

knows best!

she gives us valleys, mountains and seas

sunshine, moonlight and a soft gentle breeze

forests so strong, air so clean

protection from bad, seen and unseen

a delicate flower, a thorny rose

the speed of the cheetah and the

sloth on a go slow

balanced she is in all that’s around

and those that respect her are not lost

but found

she takes away our anger and pain

give us comfort when we walk her terrain

negative thoughts seep on out

trust in her beauty, have no doubts

the answers lie within your steps

keep moving forward, have no regrets

or second guessing this or that

make mistakes, it doesn’t matter

get up again if you fall down

look to the heavens at the soft white clouds

see the bird, flying so high

sometimes too, he must cry

but keep on going he know he must

through the wind and rain, the fog and dust

picking berries, and twigs for his home

but before he settles, off he will roam

his simple life, abundant but free

wandering, not lost

but thoughtfully

the trick of the journey is simple but true

but it all has to start

with me and with you

being thankful and grateful

take courage and faith

the path it will open

just walk through the gate…..

No, Not Meatloaf!

When our childhood memories stay with us through our lives, it is often attached to music. A song can transport us to another time…..

Photo by HitchHike on Pexels.com

And the Bat has rested…… May he Rest in Peace…

I first came to hear of Meatloaf when I was 13 years old and he touched my soul….. I found him, specifically the album Bat out of Hell, to be exciting, deep, crude and and also so romantic that it has to be my all time favourite album, from my all time favourite musician.

I have played this album a million times and continue to do so. I have blasted out his songs when driving, when hoovering, when celebrating and when on my knees in grief and pain.

My kids know his songs, they too love him and I am sure my grand children will come to love him too, through them.

He is a legend and I am so so sad at the news of his parting. If only Heaven could wait and leave him with us a while longer.

I had written a poem inspired by Bat out of Hell a couple of years ago which was published in a Magical Moments publication. The publication included poetry and stories inspired by music. Of course, my big inspiration had to be Meatloaf.

So, Rest in Peace to him. Condolences to his family and fans. He will be a big loss but he has left such a legacy for us all. He will be immortal.

Heroes are remembered, but legends never die

Babe Ruth

Magical Moments –  Meatloaf – Bat out of Hell

Promised kisses….

Transport me back to another time

Dance in tune to the perfect rhyme

Youth club days in a purple haze

Beginning to blossom, still reserved,

taking risks and losing the nerve

of going too far, with promised kisses

spinning the bottle and classroom hisses

full of hope yet insecure

will it last, who knows for sure

paradise day and night

crossbar rides, taking flight

now dancing round my living room

hoovering up this adult gloom

beating out my heart is screaming

long lost kisses leave me reeling

warning sirens in my ears

take away my mundane fears

heaven can wait, but oh can I

like a bat out of hell, I want to fly

fly and soar and do it again

by the dashboard light, I will abstain

The minutes…

The Minutes…….

And as times slips by

And they don’t see me cry

They think all is well inside

But the thing is with loss

You pay a high cost

You just bury it deep down to hide

When they’re far removed

From the love that you knew

They don’t understand, they abide

So the tears now are silent

And hidden from view

But all the minutes of the days

Are still full of you.