Monthly Archives: September 2011


I had the choice of topic today for the Loose Bloggers Consortium, so I chose…..


What will I choose….

If we were all in the room together and each put our problems or worries in a basket as we entered,
I wonder whose worries we would pick to take home with us?

I think that I would pick my own.

In life we all have our basket of troubles, worries or cares
how we choose to deal with them makes all the difference.
Huddling and hiding, keeps them heavy and cold,
but, talking through and sharing, certainly lightens the load.


I know that all of you will join me is wishing Ramana a speedy recovery following his Hip surgery last Tuesday.  I have just heard from him and he was standing and walking with a walker for the first time today.  Soon he will be dancing!

Thursday Special ~ Shopping

A little old lady went to the grocery store and put the most
expensive cat food in her basket. She then went to the
checkout counter where  she told the checkout girl, “Nothing
but the best for my little kitten.”

The girl at the cash register said, “I’m sorry, but we can’t
sell you cat food without proof that you have a cat. A lot of
old people buy cat food to eat, and the management wants proof
that you are buying the cat food for your cat.”

The little old lady went home, picked up her cat and brought it
back to the store. They sold her the cat food.

The next day, the old lady went to the store and bought 12 of the
most expensive dog cookies – one for each day of Christmas. The
cashier this time demanded proof that she now had a dog,
claiming that old people sometimes eat dog food.

Frustrated, she went home, came back and brought in her dog. She
was then given the dog cookies.

The next day, she brought in a box with a hole in the lid. The
little old lady asked the cashier to stick her finger in the
hole. The cashier said, “No – you might have a snake in there.”
The little old lady assured her that there was nothing in the
box that would bite her.

So, the cashier put her finger into the box and pulled it out
and told the little old lady, “That smells like crap.” The little
old lady grinned from ear to ear, “Now, my dear, can I please
buy 3 rolls of toilet paper?”

Dare I tell you who sent the story today?


I was emptying all my bins this morning and checking that friends were not travelling by the scenic route to my blog or email inbox.

The following four entries made a change from the usual rubbish about extensions that I have no need or use for!

1. I should be described being a comics

2. I arranged your approaches to practice and it performs for me.

3. You actually obtained it site on with this arguement, it tends for making lots far more feeling to me now.

4. Simply a smiling visitant here to share the love (:, btw outstanding style and design.

A message at the end of an email this morning reminds me:-

‘Life isn’t about how to survive the storm,
But how to dance in the rain.’

Catching up

One friend convalescing well following surgery two weeks ago.

One friend through surgery today.

One friend still waits a date for surgery.

An elderly friend now had pain relief in patch form instead of pills.

A young friend (13) will need to take medication for life due to an inactive thyroid.

Son of a friend (age 14) completed 8th day of six weeks radiotherapy treatment.

This makes my cracks and aches seem small.

Food Monday ~ Marshmallow Squares

This Traybake recipe takes me way back to my school days,   It was one I regularly pulled together for something to eat with the cuppa after a meal.  The amazing thing was that the mixture filled the tin when warm and soft.  Once cool and cut into squares…. one square had mysteriously disappeared!

Marshmallow Squares
2ozs Margarine
8ozs Marshmallows
8ozs soft toffee
½ tsp Vanilla essence
6ozs Rice Krispies

Melt the margarine, toffee and marshmallows together in a pan over a medium heat and add the essence stirring to prevent sticking.  Pour over the rice Krispies and mix well.  Press into a greased13in X 9in tin.  Cool and cut into squares.

A Wardrobe

“The Searcher”, Bronze ~ Ross Wilson

“The Searcher” stands in front of Holywood Arches Library, Holywood Road, Belfast.

It is a life-size bronze sculpture depicting Digory Kirke, C S Lewis’ fictional alter ego, entering the kingdom of Narnia through a large wardrobe while resting a hand on a rather inviting chair…..

In the Narnia story, ‘The Magician’s Nephew,’ a wardrobe made from a beautiful apple tree which has special properties. It is through this magical wardrobe that the Pevensie children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, enter Narnia and meet the talking animals and mythological creatures that populate that snowbound world.

C.S. ‘Jack’ Lewis was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, and spent the first decade and a half or so of his life in the streets opposite this spot.  The Sculpture by Ross Wilson, was unveiled on the 6th November 1998, the centenary of his birth.

On the back of the wardrobe, on either side of a small lion’s head (Aslan) near the top, are not just one, but two explanations, a literal one and a metaphorical one. The former is headlined “The Searcher” and reads:

The Searcher is based on a literary character called Digory Kirke created by C.S. Lewis. In the Magician’s Nephew it was Digory who made the wardrobe from a beautiful apple tree that had magical properties, which helped open a doorway to Narnia and Aslan.

The second explanation on the back of this statue details the symbolism chosen by the sculptor:

C.S. Lewis did not just hang clothes in a wardrobe, he hung ideas – great ideas of sacrifice, redemption, victory, and freedom for the Sons of Adam and the Daughters of Eve – Set within the commonplace, revelation within something that looks ordinary on the outside – revelation through investigation. We should not stop looking, some of the greatest things can be found in the most ordinary of places, like a wardrobe.

At the bottom, is a quote from C.S. Lewis himself:

This world is a great sculptor’s shop. We are the statues and there is a rumour going round the shop that some of us are some day going to come to life.

Off-center below the lion’s head is reproduced in bronze a letter from Lewis to a little girl who had written to him complaining that she didn’t understand his stories. Lewis’ reply, according to this letter, was basically, “Aslan is Christ, the stone table is the cross, and the White Witch represents little girls who write to me with annoying questions.”

A letter from C S Lewis.

Ross Wilson graduated with a first-class honours degree in Fine Art from the University of Ulster and received his masters from the prestigious Chelsea School of Art, London.  He has had many solo exhibitions and has been included in group exhibitions worldwide.  He lives and works in Northern Ireland.  His aim is to encourage others to begin their journey of sight, to open up, to see into, to search beyond with the soul of the eye.

Since 1980 he has had 26 solo exhibitions and has been included in many important group exhibitions worldwide. He has been a visiting speaker at both Harvard and Oxford Universities. In 1998 he helped set up the innovative `New Art of the Irish` open exhibition as a showcase for a new generation of Irish artists.

His many commissions have included those of several Nobel Laureates, that of St Lucian, Nobel Prize winner Derek Walcott for the National Portrait Gallery in London being the most recent; referred to by Wilson as `The Dream Commission`.

One earlier commission was that of Seamus Heaney, a study of who hangs in the National Portrait Gallery.

The year 1997 saw Ross Wilson`s first public sculpture commission in bronze being placed at the Waterfront Hall, Belfast. In 1998 his second public bronze, the C S Lewis Centenary Sculpture was placed at the Holywood Arches, Belfast.
He is currently working towards an exhibition of portrait studies based on the American Playwright Arthur Miller in New York and an installation of portraits based on the Spanish poet Fedrico Garcia Lorca in Granada in Spain.


All the while as I studied and photographed the sculpture from all sides, a conversation was taking place.  Two gentlemen were sitting watching and throwing questions at me.

A ‘Happy’ waving Dave and friend.

The questions included:

“Are you a Christian?” – Well it was late on a Sunday Morning.

“Do you take a drink?” – The blue off licence carrier bag of ‘cans’  sits between them.

“Would you like me to take a photo of you beside the statue?” – How could I refuse…

Having a rest!

He is Home!

@eolai The Digital Nomad™, has completed his epic #paintingtour of 3000+ kms around Ireland, while painting, taking photos, blogging, twittering and updating his Facebook account.

It was at 8.30 pm last night that I twittered:

The Eagle has landed. To hell with the pills, I’m having a drink to celebrate @eolai finishing his #paintingtour. Congratulations my Friend!

Throughout the epic trip, The Thirsty Gargoyle (Eolai’s brother) has produced a write-up each week with photos and links  and a map of the journey.

You can also see paintings and photos here
Not alone was this a painting trip and a visual tour of Ireland in all weathers, it was a  community building experience.  Friendships were made between Liam/@eolai and his hosts, as well as amongst the followers on twitter, as we tweeted and re-tweeted what others had said.

For me, and indeed for many other followers, that special tweet each evening “I’m in and safe….!”, was a joy to read and the great sigh of relief must have been audible across the land.

The hard work of cycling may be over, but some paintings need finishing and some are yet to be started.  A dog left behind in Dublin for the past three months, needs attention and ‘yo-yos’ for the rent and other bills need to be earned.  Several paintings for hosts will not be completed – by agreement – until after Christmas.  I have told @eolai not to worry about my painting until I am sixty five.

I am sure there will be more chapters to this tale, stories to be retold of people and places, and at least one book of the  epic journey.

It was an honour to play a very small part in the #paintingtour.

I Do!

The topic this week, chosen for us by Conrad, will be very much on his mind right now as he prepares for the marriage of his son Clay.


A marriage is built on the strength of the two who build it.
The commitment, the honesty and the trust that a lasting marriage requires must be given freely, wholly, and without reservation.
Commitment cannot be demanded, respect cannot be forced, dedication cannot be faked, and trust cannot be taken.

“I, Marie, take you Jack, to be my lawfully wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; until death us do part”.

On the day, I said it, and meant it.  Unfortunately, I was the one left behind when death parted us.

Part of me died with him, but as long as Elly walks this earth, Jack’s spirit lives on.

It was a marriage built on love, laughter and fun.

Jack was my husband, teacher, my soul-mate and friend.

Chains do not hold a marriage together.  It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years.  That is what makes a marriage last- more than passion or even sex!

Thursday Specials ~ The Taster

In an alcohol factory the regular taster died and the director started looking for a new one to hire.

A drunkard with ragged, dirty look came to apply for the position.

The director of the factory wondered how to send him away.

They tested him.

They gave him a glass with a drink. He tried it and said,
“Its red wine, a muscat, three years old, grown on a north slope, matured in steel containers.”

“Thats correct”, said the boss.

Another glass.
“Its red wine , cabernet, eight years old, a southwestern slope, oak barrels.”


The director was astonished.
He winked at his secretary to suggest something.

She brought in a glass of urine. The alcoholic tried it.

“Its a blonde, 26 years old, pregnant in the third month.  And if you don’t give me the job, Ill also tell whos the father!”

This came from a teetotal friend.