Months mind thoughts….

Authors own

Hello God, remember me
I used to write you, when i was wee
A little child so innocent,
I write to thank you, and to vent.
You were my friend when i felt afraid,
You kept me going whenever i strayed
I couldnt see you, but knew you were there
Listening and watching and answering my prayers.
So now dear God ive a favour to ask,
Take special care of my dear dad,
He’s left us now, gone back to you and its hard to feel happy when I feel so blue.
I know i miss the sound of his voice
And all the times that we’ve enjoyed
Please dont let him feel afraid
And tell him that the love has stayed.
Thank you dear God, for always being there
Even when life,, just doesn’t seem fair…..

Jackdaw

Creatures of habit, the birds build in any chimney, nook an cranny and return year after year., until someone or something gets in their way, it creates a loss and a gain for all involved.

gathering…. authors own

Persistent in the building, the jackdaw

Searched and found

The twigs, the moss, the leaves and tuft

All settled on the ground

He swooped and gathered and up he flew

To place them in the pot

Chirping merrily and proudly

Preparing to weave his lot

His stash, lined bricks and mortar

A home to build his nest

Only to find he’d been locked out

When off he went to rest

The cowl they placed upon the pot

His access had been denied

Not merrily chirping any more

His dreams for ‘home’ had died

No more the morning singing

Inside the house could be heard

Now only a strange quietness

Oh how they’ll miss this intelligent bird

But off he flew, quite undeterred to build

Another nest

A home, a house a habitat

Of where his chicks can rest

authors own

Resilient is this little bird, he’ll seek and he will find

a tree, or steeple, a nook or cranny

he will not be confined

for he is ever working, with tenacity and grit

he will not be deterred, he will just get on with it

and so the chirping will stay with him as he sings

his sweet sweet tune

and where the chimney has been blocked

no twittering lifts the gloom……

Rain

When the downpour comes it may change how we feel….but it doesn’t have to be bad

Photo by Matheus Oliveira on Pexels.com

I don’t like the rain. It makes me feel cold and miserable. I don’t want to go out when it is raining. I hear it lashing off the windows and it makes me shiver and shudder at the thoughts of having to go out in it.

I have to go out. I need to go to work, or to the shops or to do some other errand. I grab my rain coat, pull my hood up over my head and run to the car, holding onto my hood and keeping my head in the downward position.

Quickly, I hop into the car and start the engine. The windows are all steamed up and I turn on the fan and the heater to demist them and warm up the car. Wipers come on, by themselves, smart car! As the rain gets heavier, the wipers get quicker and I wish,more and more that I was back home, in the house, in the warm, cuddled up on the sofa, with the fire on, listening to the rain instead of being out in it, or driving in it.

When I am in the rain, I try everything to keep it from hitting me. I have a rain coat. I have an umbrella. I wear a hat and sometimes gloves. I wear my boots to keep my legs dry and free from the rain touching them.

Sometimes, I get caught out in the rain and am not ready or prepared for it and then, it falls, on my head, my body, my legs, my face and then I remember…..

I remember when I was young, a child, and I loved the rain, especially if it was really really lashing down hard and pounding off the ground. That would mean my friends and I could stay in and play and dress up, pretend to be like ‘grownups’ wearing our mother’s clothes and shoes, clippedy clopping around on the lino floor, face full of make up and a couple of oranges shoved up our tops to give us our ‘bossom’. It was hilarious. There was lots of laughter.

I also remember the feeling of the rain on my face, because sometimes I would run out into it, arms outstretched, mouth open and I would let it soak me to the skin and drink it in until I was completely drenched. Then, after dancing in the rain, I would go back into the house, shimmy the wet clothes off my squeaky wet skin and step into a nice warm bath and soak in the luxury of the bubbles, feeling like the Queen of Sheeba.

It’s funny how the rain can make us feel.

It’s funny how we view the rain.

It’s funny that we forget how much fun we can have if we learn to dance in the rain…..

Signs

Sometimes we have just got to trust in the signs and take them for what they are…. believe in the magic……

So many signs in our daily lives, we can either ignore them , act on them or have faith in them….

It’s a matter of choice or a matter of chance….

Photo by David Atkins on Pexels.com

They say that the Robin, little red breasted bird is a symbol of good luck, happiness and rebirth. They also say it’s a sign that a loved one is near and so it can bring lots of comfort to those grieving.

The same can be said for feathers. They are a sign that the angels are near, looking out for you and that loved ones, who have passed over are near.

We get comfort from these sightings and read them how we will and they may instill a level of calm within us and though we will forever miss our loved ones, it brings pleasure to think about them being so close.

I know I feel comfort and calm seeing such things and I openly talk to my friend who passed, too young and too soon from this mortal life. I chat to her as if she is there.

Today is quite a significant day, being her 6 month anniversary. My husband and I went for a nice lovely stroll nearby where we live and walked down to the lake. Just before we got there a feather appeared, floating down from the sky and fell at my feet.

As soon as I saw it, I said to my husband,’here she is, letting me know she is here, coming on the walk with us’.

We used to have such a laugh. We had known each other since our school days and were a pair of gigglers.

As we continued on the walk we went right down to the edge of the lake and my husband decided to skim stones on it as it was so still and perfect for skimming stones. The ripple affect was just lovely.

ripple effect – authors own image
Calm still waters – Authors own image

As I was busy taking photos, and openly talking to my friend saying how beautiful it was here, down at the edge of the lake, I heard a yelp! I looked back and as if in slow motion I saw my poor husband slip on a rock and go down, into the water.

He was literally in the water for about 2 seconds, a quick dunk, as it were before getting himself out.

I just stood there in disbelief and as he quickly scrambled out of the water and walked towards me, and I knew that he was OK, I burst out laughing. It was actually hilarious. I laughed so much I almost wet myself, and as if by magic, the mood was a whole lot lighter.

My husband also laughed, pleased that no real damage was done, and as we walked (he squelshed) back towards home we both agreed that it was probably Jackie, giving him a little nudge in, as she would find it so funny and she knows how much I would laugh too.

I took it as a real sign that indeed, she was there, by my side letting me know that she was there and that she was OK.

Emerging from the lake….

Thank you my dear, for the sign, the company and the laugh…. He is truly fine…

Stairway to Heaven

When you fancy a piece of heaven, take my advice and go do the Cuilcagh Mountain walk, A.K.A the Stairway to heaven. It is spectacular….

Cuilcagh Mountain Boardwalk

It’s commonly referred to as the stairway to heaven and it is on the border of County Cavan and County Fermanagh. It is about an hours drive from where I live in South Leitrim, and the day we went, at the end of February was a day of four seasons… We had it all, sun, rain and snow.

We packed our back pack, had water, a snack and some waterproof trousers, ‘just in case’ it rained. As we left Mohill, the sun was shining, but alot can happen in an hour. Alot can happen in a few minutes!

After we parked the car at the entrance to the walk, we were greeted by a man collecting the parking fee either 5 pound sterling or 6 euro. The sun was shining and there were a good few cars in the car park. We had only been walking about 5 minutes when the heavens opened, so on went the waterproofs, to keep us dry.

It is quite a bit of a walk before you even get to the board walk, with lovely craggy trees and a number of sheep to keep you amused along the way. The scenery was great.

We passed a little river to the right and some frogs to the left. They were protecting and moving about their spawn.

The path was gravel and easy under foot, the incline was gradual. The space was open and dramatic and along the way, we would stop, so many times to take in the magesticness of it. Of course, it was great to catch our breath from walking, only for our breath to be taken away by the sheer beauty of the landscape rolling out before us and behind us. It really is quite awesome!

We met people as they were on their way back down, and all said the same thing ‘keep going, it is worth it’.

After about an hour of walking, I began to wonder if indeed, it was would be worth it or indeed, if we would be able to keep going.

We did keep going and over and over again, we would say WOW, look at that, pointing in each direction. No matter where you looked, it was stunning.

The board walk itself, when you finally get to it, is good and sturdy and as it rolls out in front of you, leading you the way to the actual stairs, it highlights all the beauty it is creeping through.

I am not going to lie, climbing up the actual stairs, to the top, was hard and we stopped many times to slow down the heart rate and just take in the sheer magnitude of it all.

As we were walking up the stairs we noticed the dark clouds coming, and as we got to the very top, in came the snow and hail and poured down on us like a welcomed shower as we were sweating from the steep incline. We both felt our hearts were going to burst!

It was spectacular from the top. The view needs to be seen with your own eyes to appreciate it, so my advice is go, go do the stairway to heaven, keep going, it will be worth it!

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

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…

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