January 2019


My physio said that I must walk more.  So this afternoon I did just that!  Two miles out on the main road and then into the country lanes.  The difference in the levels of noise is enormous!  Cars going at speeds they shouldn’t, creating regular whooshing sounds as they pass by me, and then as I turn into the lane, peace and quiet, as if I’ve just closed a door.

I am in low spirits just now as I read the other day that one of my favourite poets had died; Mary Oliver (1935-2109).  “Make of yourself a light” that’s what she wrote once!

The sky is wrapped around the landscape like a great grey blanket, ensuring the moisture cannot escape.  The only sounds are the blackbirds, sparrows, starlings, hooded crows, a robin, a pair of magpies and the quiet shush of the wind.


My Year 2018

January – Slieve Donard Newcastle County Down

1 january

February – Crumlin Road Gaol Belfast

2 february

March – Guildhall Art Gallery London

3 march

April – Donaghadee Harbour County Down

4 april

May – Heaton Park Manchester

5 may

June  – South Stack Anglesey (RSPB reserve)

6 june

July – Garden County Armagh

7 july

August – Dungonnell Reservoir County Antrim (Hen Harrier Day)

8 august

September – Greyabbey House County Down

9 september

October – Hedge County Armagh

10 october

November – Newry Canal County Armagh

11 november

December – Merry Christmas 2018

12 december



Oak and Beech

We step off the track and onto the field, to gather beneath an old oak tree.  Like children, we gaze into its canopy, and watch the flickering light spill down through the leaves.

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I look out across the field

to a beech that stands alone.

I walk towards its prescence,

and dip below its heavy boughs

where the ground is dry

and the air is still.

Within the bounds of this trees’ reach,

I’m grounded by its great endeavours,

my feet rooted in the brittle earth.

Some lovely days

Earlier this year, in June, we were fortunate enough to spend several weeks on our beautiful north coast.  One of my favourite places is the area around Portballintrae.

1 portballintrae

Looking west with Donegal on the horizon

2 runkerry beach looking towards causeway visitor centre (white building)

Looking east towards the Giants Causeway (out of sight, beyond the white building in the centre left of the picture)

the river bush finds the sea (salmon and irish whisky)

The River Bush (Bushmills Irish Whiskey) as it enters the sea

Lovely days by the sea.


A walk in the park

We’ve been blessed with some lovely weather recently and so it was this morning when we decided to walk around Lurgan Park.


The park was originally part of the Brownlow Estate when the “big” house was built in 1833.  During WW1 the house was the headquarters of the 16th Battalion Royal Irish Regiment and during WW2 it was the headquarters for all the American Troops based in Ireland.  There is a small museum in the house as well as a tea room which serves lunches.




It is a wonderful place to walk with many paths around the park and lake and so many beautiful trees!  A quiet and peaceful place today!

However, on Saturday (1st Saturday in June) the Park will stage the Lurgan Show.  It has been organised in the park annually since 1912 and showcases rural life including agricultural and equestrian events.  It’s amazing to learn that it is organised by volunteers supported by the local Council.  If we make it there I will try to remember to take my camera and take some pictures!  Let’s hope this lovely weather remains over the weekend.