Monthly Archives: July 2011

Art in the Garden ~ 10

Today is my final visit to Art in the Garden.  It was fun for me to re-live that event with a closer look at the work of some of of the pieces on display.

Bullyboy ~ Kilkenny Limestone

Patrick Barry

Patrick Barry was born in Cork in 1970.  His first exposure to stone and drawing came while working in a graveyard when he was fifteen.  Who knew that this would lead to a relationship with the medium and his life’s passion.  In his twenties he undertook a BA Degree in Fine Art at Crawford College, Cork where that passion for stone, an eye for observation and innate skill for drawing was allowed to flourish.

Metamorphous ~ Kilkenny Limestone

“The material I use is mainly Kilkenny Limestone, the tones in this stone go from blue grey to a highly polished black. At times this contrast may play an integral part in the composition of a piece.

This fresh new art form accentuates the relationship of the sculpting to drawing. My sculptures bring forth the vivid contrasts in stone in its natural state to create a three – dimensional drawing encapsulated within the sculptural form. The distinction is that this material isn’t formed by adding but by taking away.

The literal work being at times emotive placed within a stylised vessel. Each carving has its own unique context. The abstract work has an underlying human form based on the internal energy and movement, relating to the unceasing nature of ocean waves. “The interchangability of water as a medium, it becoming a conduit channelling elemental energy and the forms this can take”

Metamorphous ~ Kilkenny Limestone

Openings ~ 1

Is that a pig I see before me?

Apologies to The bard!  If you click on the photo you might be able to see what I am talking about.

As I go about with my camera, I am learning that I am fascinated with doors, gates, arches and indeed any form of entrance.  It might even be a hole in a wall that lets you see through to a different vista.

I am thinking of a mini series but need a title.  Any suggestions?

Do you Listen?

My  turn once more to toss in the topic for the LBC today.


Listening is very important for all of us. I feel a post coming on….

That was a comment I left as a result of reading a post entitled Social Work by Delirious

Somewhere on my travels through blogland or the twittersphere I came across a young person – lets call him Henry – complaining about travelling on public transport and when sitting beside an ‘OLD PERSON’, this fellow traveller insisted on carrying on a conversation.

Henry like so many young people these days, was only interested in reading on his Kindle, listening to music on his iPod or surfing the net on his notebook laptop.  He saw the chatter as an intrusion of his time and space.

I have met many ‘Henrys’ and Henriettas’ on public transport over the years.  At times the sound from a one sided mobile phone conversation shouted right beside my ear or the iPod so loud, that the noise caused annoyance for me.  Just imagine what it sounds like for an older person with a hearing aid!

Whose space is more important?

Many an older person is reliant on public transport to get from place to place, they for the most part live alone and the bones are no longer flexible.  There might be days or even weeks when they are unable to get out of the house.  Old bones and slow frail movements do not mean the person has lost interest in people and in life.   Their family might live half way round the world, or all their peers have fallen from the tree of life.

Henry or Henrietta might be the first Real person they have encountered in some time.  Hunger to hear a human voice can feel like real physical pain.  So please listen as they chat, or speak to them for the duration of the journey.  What will you lose?  It will make their day and you might actually learn something from their long years of experience of life.

Difficult?  Not really.  Imagine your grandparent or great grandparent in place of the old person.  How would you like your friends or the Henry or Henriettas of this world to ignore them.

Here ends my Rant!

Now go have a listen to all our active members:

Anu, Ashok, Conrad, Delirious, gaelikaa, Magpie 11, padmum, Ramana, The Silver Fox Whispers, The Student Diaries and Will

Thursday Special ~ Lions

A man starts his new job at the zoo and is given three tasks.

First is to clear the exotic fish pool of weeds.  As he does this, a huge fish jumps out and bites him.  To show the others who’s boss, he beats it to death with a spade.
Realising his employer won’t be best pleased; he disposes of the fish by feeding it to the lions, as lions will eat anything.

Moving on to the second job of clearing out the chimp house, he is attacked by the chimps who pelt him with coconuts.  He swipes at two chimps with a spade, killing them both.  What can he do?  Feed them to the lions, he says to himself, because lions eat anything.  He hurls the corpses into the lion enclosure.

He moved on to the last job,  Which is to collect honey from the South African bees.
As soon as he starts, he is attacked by the bees.  He grabs the spade and smashes the bees to a pulp.  By now he knows what to do and throws them into the lion’s cage –  because lions eat anything.

Later that day a new lion arrives at the zoo.  He wanders up to the other lions and says

‘What’s the food like here?’

The lions say  ‘Absolutely brilliant.

Today we had fish and chimps with mushy bees.’



Thank you David for this weeks contribution.

Grand Canal 2

Having left Brendan Behan and Buddy to their beer, I wandered along the tow path for a short distance.

It is possible to walk along the towpath beginning at Hazelhatch outside Celbridge, Co Kildare right to Graignamanagh in Co. Kilkenny on the River Barrow.

The walk way has been developed by the Office of Public Works and Cospoir and follows the towpath along the canal and the river. The level nature of the towpath lends itself to nice easy walking conditions, mountain biking is also possible along the trail, or indeed canoeing on the canal and river.
This waterway was built to service the various towns and villages along its way, therefore their is no problem with food supplies. There are many Interesting places to visit along the trail making It possible to drop off the trail and return to it at will.

More information can be found here

The main line of the Grand Canal is 82 miles in length from Dublin to the River Shannon.  Work began on the Grand Canal in 1756. In fact the first sods were turned near this spot at Hazelhatch.

Crossing the road bridge to explore the other side

Looks like some have made their moorings home

Talent at work

Naturally I stopped to chat and soon discovered I was talking to Gerard Byrne

Gerard Byrne was born in Dublin, Ireland, in 1958. He is one of six children. “His parents are reserved, loving people. Gerard was never considered an academic, his battle with dyslexia held him back at every turn. His amazing talent for art went untapped and unnourished in his very early youth. Boys of the 50s in working class Dublin were expected to have a trade, so Gerard’s talent lay dormant. He battled his way through school and technical college conforming and emerging in the 70s as an electrician.  ~ Janette Byrne

I am so fortunate to meet wonderful people on my travels.


Something not right with this email.  I have altered all contactable information.

from           Heather Xxxxxx

reply-to     Heather Xxxxxx < > (Yes, this is you.) Learn more
to       (Yes, this is you.)
Learn more

date            XX July 2011 18:41
subject     Personal Assistant info
Signed by

Hi Henrietta,
We met with Marilyn today and she now has your e-mail address and mobile number.  She has asked me to pass on her e-mail address which is and her phone number which is (00000) 000000.  Apparently she still needs a tax reference whether or not you see to the tax and national insurance yourself and send her invoices.  As I have never dealt with this before, can I leave you to sort this out with her?  I can then get on with drafting a contract for Paul and yourself to agree on and sign.  Also I need to concentrate on work hours and rotas so that everyone knows what they are doing in September.  Many thanks for coming over yesterday, advising on the contract and giving me helpful suggestions.  I’ll be in touch soon.

All the best with your new home and past work issues,


Reply     Reply to all     Forward

The problems I have with it are:

  • It arrived in my inbox addressed to MY email address
  • My name is not Henrietta
  • I know not Heather or Marilyn
  • I know several Toyboys called Paul, but none of them are attached to a Henrietta, in a new home, or in need of a contract.
  • If I was a nut, I could easily become a nuisance and pester Marilyn by email or phone.

The most unusual aspect about it is the fact there are three options at the foot of the email:- Reply, Reply to all, or to Forward.  Normally an email addressed to an individual has only the first and last options.

Do you think it is spam or a scam of some sorts?

What would you do about it?

Food Monday ~ Fennel and…..

I love Fennel, be it bulb form or seeds.

Looking in my fridge a few minutes ago I spied the bulb variety.  Lunch sorted!

If I cut the bulb in two from top to bottom, one half will be enough for my salad and the remainder can be roasted tomorrow with the kitchen sink!  No! I do not roast the sink, but you know what I mean.

Now to prepare lunch

Fennel, Potato and Radish Salad (for one)

125g new potatoes
2 or 3 sprigs of mint
half a fennel bulb
2 radishes
1 tablespoon of French dressing

Cook the potato in their skins in boiling salted water, with one sprig of mint, for 15 minutes.  drain well.
Slice the fennel, radishes and potatoes.  Strip the leaves from the other mint sprigs, and chop.
Place the fennel, potato, radishes and mint in salad bowl.
Pour over the dressing while the potatoes are still warm and toss well.

≤≥ ≤≥ ≤≥ ≤≥

Roast Vegetable selection with Fennel

My roast vegetables will be a pick and mix of what is in the veg box.   Even sized chunks of plain and sweet potato, carrot, parsnip, fennel, beetroot, Butternut squash, courgette, red onion halved or quartered and sometimes a whole clove of garlic topped and tailed.

Preheat the oven to 180ºC.

In a bowl I place two or three tablespoons of olive oil, and some black pepper and two teaspoons of chopped herbs of my choice for the day. Depending on my mood, I might add a dash of flavoured vinegar or a drop from an open bottle….  and mix them well together.

Then add in the vegetable chunks and toss gently to coat in the oil.  When ready to cook –spread in a single layer on an oven tray and roast for 35-40 minutess till wrinkly and tender.

Art In The Garden ~ 9

It seems so long ago since my Sculpture Walk through  Art in the Garden.

Today I feature the talent of John Coll who had three very different pieces on display.  Alas, I have photos of only one of them to share with you and thankfully it was one of my favourites from the day.

Swimming Wheel- Cast Bronze and Stainless steel

John Coll worked for years as a marine biologist before turning to his passion for making sculpture 21 years ago. Since then he has become one of the best known figurative sculptors with many public works such as the monument to Patrick Kavanagh on the Grand Canal at Baggot Street, Dublin and his celebration in bronze of Brendan Behan on the Royal Canal in Drumcrondra, Dublin.

Detail of the wheel

He has exhibited nationally at the RHA and Oireachtas exhibitions and also in New York and Amsterdam.

Among the large scale works are a life-size portrait of the racehorse “Bobbyjo” and a 4 meter monument to Countess Markievicz at Rathcormac, Co Sligo. His most recent commission is a 4.5 meter sculpture of the Galway footballer legend Enda Colleran for his hometown of Moylough, Co Galway.

Hurry up, please!

There are times in life when time passes so slowly that it can feel like an eternity.

I give you a few examples:

  • A five year old child waiting for Santa to arrive.
  • A weary worker waiting for their annual holiday to begin.
  • Waiting for a bus on a wet and windy day.
  • A groom waiting for his bride to walk up the aisle.
  • Sitting waiting to see a Consultant, in order to be told the results of medical tests.
  • Waiting for a birth.

My friend Mayo knows all about the latter. The long hours and days of waiting for nature to take its course.  He did have the help from modern equipment.

A little closer inspection lets us have a better look at those eggs…

The markings on the eggs are the dates they were laid, so that Mayo knows when each egg is due to hatch.

Twenty one to twenty three days later…..

Mayo’s quails

Now I am not so sure that my Dear Friend was that patient.  I heard there was a little bit of this going on….

Hatch this instant – or you’re in hot water!

This my contribution to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium.  Our topic this week – ETERNITY –  was chosen by Padmini.

Now it won’t take an eternity, so go check out what all the other members have to say:

Anu, Ashok, Conrad, Delirious, gaelikaa, Magpie 11, padmum, Ramana, The Silver Fox Whispers, The Student Diaries and Will

* I found this card during my recent travels and couldn’t resist it.  It comes from Trumpers World