Walking in a Winter Wonderland

I think I've redeemed myself with WestieBoy. After taking him for a walk shortly after arriving on Tuesday I went awol in Belfast for the next two days, but today the snow meant our other plans were put on hold so it was a two walk day.

The worst of the weather was elsewhere, but we have a nice dusting that feels seasonal and right.


I was wrapped up in warm clothes from London and the one of the hats Cousin has knitted.The first walk was the best. We only met two vehicles. We saw sheep in the fields and birds in the trees and hedgerows but no other living creatures.

The sky turned from white to blue and then grey again. More snow fell, and the wind made it dance in the air around us. Slieve Gallion was all but invisible, and this tree stood alone in a blue white fieldpp.

WestieBoy found plenty to sniff at but tugged and even whined when I wanted to stop and take pictures.

Continue reading


Not a Bad Life

As timing goes, it was pretty good. I'd been back on dasBoot rather less than thirty seconds after a longish (in terms of time rather than distance) walk with my camera when the heavens parted and there was a brief but determined shower of rain. Now it's shaping up to be another lovely evening.


Today I had decided to write. Some of you will now that a few years ago I started a collection of short stories about the Greek gods. These grew until I had around 18,000 words and I realised I was writing a novel. Lots of things happened at the same time: Mother's death and its aftermath, giving up my salaried part-time job and going completely freelance, Aunt beginning to fail. I think these things contributed to the cessation of my Greek gods stories, but the main reason was feeling I needed to structure what I had written, to think about what the point if the stories was. I stopped enjoying them and stopped writing them.


However, they have stayed with me. From time to time I have wondered how Hera is getting on, if her walking boots are still conker bright; if Hades and Persephone have managed the makeover of the Underworld; if Zeus has seen even a glimpse of the light regarding his behaviour; and how Poseidon and Amphitrite's business is going. I have wondered what Max and Dr Jones are up to, if Evangelia has moved to another job, if the Goddesses'Guild is thriving. Continue reading

Close Up Combination Post

I can't say where the time has gone, but since arriving last Tuesday I have not had time to post. So this'll be a bit of a catch up while I try to recall what I have been doing. The weekly photo challenge is Close Up, so these photos are my contribution.

Today we had a bit of walk around Upperlands, a walk down memory lane both verbally and physically. At one point two swan families blocked our path, and we had to retreat in the face of the fluffed out wings and lowered heads of the males.

Fracked Off

I wasn’t at the Olympics when they booed George Osborne last year, but I saw and heard it on the televsion. I hope all those people and more are booing him today even louder after he has announced tax breaks for firms extracting shale gas.
Ungorgeous George reckons the UK must be leaders in this market. He might as well consign half the country to a watery grave and kill off all unborn children. Yes, it is that serious.
Of course if it were just the UK that will be affected by this exploitation of the earth’s resources, we could pack our bags now, bid a nostalgic farewell to lands that were a byword for green and pleasant, and remove to a more environmentally sensitive world.
But behaviours in one country affect all of us. A bit like the flap of the butterfly’s wings in New Mexico that ends in a hurricane in China. Continue reading

Plotting for the Future

Open Studios, Open Squares, Open Gardens. It’s all been happening this weekend. I didn’t manage any squares, but Friday night kicked off with a visit, minus camera, to some local artists studios. I went to look, not to buy and took just £5 with me. The plan was to spend an hour or so there and then come home. It was a gorgeous evening. People were sitting in the sunshine enjoying food and drink. Children were running about. The dog friendly café had some happy tails wagging under tables. Despite meeting a friend and having a longish chat, I kept to schedule. I just didn’t visit as many of the studios as I had intended. I deliberately didn’t visit my favourite ceramiscist until today. She always has seconds for sale on Friday night and I knew I might cave in and buy something I really and truly don’t need. I went there this morning instead. The day has been dull and chilly. Maybe that discouraged people from attending, because it was quite quiet.

Clements Yards

Clements Yards

Continue reading

Staying Awake, Growing Your Area

MasterB has been in all evening while I have been at a meeting and then in the pub. My eyes want to close, but it is only fair he gets a run around outside for a while.
The meeting was good; lots of ideas about greening cities; our connection, or lack of, with the land; how this area might grow more of its own food. There was a thought-provoking and entertaining Ted Talk by Carolyn Steel. You can watch it here.

I like the idea that the Roman Empire was extended shopping trip. I don’t like the fact that five multi-nationals control some 80% of food production.
How did we drift into this state of affairs where we rip up rain forest, mine islands into oblivion and demand tomatoes that are regular and uniform in size, throwing away the ones that aren’t? Continue reading