Category Archives: Friends

Where to begin…

Two weeks home from a wonderful week in London and I have not written one word about it.

Why?

Was it a failure?

NO WAY was it a failure!

It was so fantastic that I am struggling to come back down to earth once more. The days, the people, the places and the fun & laughter and of course Toyboys… they still swirl around in my head.

 

With Barbara my niece

With Barbara my niece, photo taken by my grand niece Rebekah

I had/have several crochet projects going on that had time limits, so my fingers were kept busy during the swirling, twirling kaleidoscopic aftermath of my adventures.

There were also other reasons .

  • I am playing my part in the preparations for a family gathering. For me that task is baking.
  • Over the past few months I noticed that I was finding it more difficult to spend time reading or working at my computer. I was blaming my eyes, they would become tired quickly and the screen, the print or photographs seemed dull. An added difficulty was having a ‘Shiny’ screen that acted like a mirror in bright light ( no. I did not appreciate seeing my ould ragged face every time I opened my laptop). Poor Tobias Laptop has been limping for a long time, but on Thursday just as I found some time and inspiration to post on my blog, he gave up the ghost. Died. Dead as a door nail.

I do have so much to share, the holiday and the craft work of the past months. I also have wonderful photos on a USB key, and only managed to add one for the moment.

It might be next week, but I promise details.. some of them anyway… a girl needs her secrets! 😉

Planning & dreaming

The last few days I have been “grass-hoppering” – I ricochet from job to job, starting everything, finishing nothing. You can blame excitement.

I am planning a few days in London. At the moment my destination is a secret. I’ll be meeting a fella. A kinda date. I never met him before… only on the internet. I think he is real and not like Mr Moss!

This here mystery man even organised my accommodation before telling me.

Do not worry. I’ll have a chaperone. Not like in the old days… an elderly aunt or fussing mother in a little bonnet, high necked blouse with mutton leg sleeves over her whale bone stays and skirts that polish the floor never mind her button boots. All finished off with a tiny lacy hanky to wipe away her tears or hide her blushes!

No. my chaperone will be young at heart, young in body and with a sense of humour just like mine. He chose well. All will be grand.

I know I still have a few weeks to wait, but I am already planning my packing… only one small cabin bag with wheels. No trunks with mountains of outfits that will never see the light of day.

It will be a case of one to wear, one to wash and one for spare with the undies.* I am praying the weather will be kind and not saturatingly soggy.

Outer layers will all be mix & match – the best idea the fashion industry ever came up with.

No skirts. It will be trousers all the way, I have no intention of advertising my pallid flesh, knock-knees, corns, bunions and more blue veins that a Stilton cheese!

And when the clothing is sorted I’ll need to deal with technology:

My cell phone

.

My phone

My Tablets

My Tablets

Tablets, yes more than one.

Then there in my latest acquisition…

I have joined the world of the pad. NO. Not TENA Lady, stop smirking toyboy techies, I mean something totally different and it works. Bigtime.

My Eye Pad.

My eye pad

My eye pad

Thirty seconds in the microwave and my eyes sparkle!

*  The mention of travel and undies made me giggle. A sudden memory of disposable pants that were all the go when I was a young twenty year old. You wore one for a day and then dumped them, Great for holiday packing but oh so uncomfortable. They were made of the same paper type fabric as the disposable hospital gowns that are in use today.

My finger

On January 25 a carrot, a sharp knife and my finger were involved in a contretemps.

I saw red.

Pumping red!

I ran to the bathroom for a plaster. It would not stick to my finger.

Pumping hell!

I wrapped the finger in a clean face flannel and that changed colour instantaneously. I rewrapped the damaged digit in a fresh dressing and a cool damp clean face flannel and held it in the air. I needed help.

The health centre is a mile away. No way could I drive one handed, and walking that far would surely leave a stream of blood from door to door.

The kitchen looked like a massacre had occurred. Blood on the counter, the draining board, the cooker and on the floor. The bathroom was not much better. Darn blood thinners – they sure keep the red stuff running! :sad:

💡 I could phone a friend. It might not make a millionaire out of me, but she might save my life.

Emily jumped to the rescue and became my flying angel for the morning. She even arrived with a great big towel to soak up the juice. She sat patiently waiting while I was looked after and on the way home we stopped for a coffee. It was just what I needed before going home to clear up the murder evidence.

So you see from my recent posts, I had plenty of excuses for staying away from blogging over the past month.

PS: No spiders, animals or people were massacred during this event!

Time to do a web search… Does anyone make metal gloves? 😕

Thoughtful friends

I have some very thoughtful friends.

Clair is one of them.

Even when she goes shopping she has my best interest at heart. She saw a bargain that was right up my street and she let me know.

Not alone the perfect bargain, but at two for the price of one…

AND

With 33% off the price, how could I refuse?

Perfect Man

I might have the answer to my warm cold toes… 😉 😉

Life is good

Maybe I should up that statement: Life right now is a wonderful high!

Yesterday, my friend Emily brought me out for the day and treated me to lunch at Il Pirata. No. We did not fly to Italy for lunch, we travelled to Ballyhackamore, in East Belfast. We eat slowly and talked plenty.

Back in the car, our mystery tour continued.

Some months ago, Emily mentioned a sculpture that whetted my appetite and I was anxious to see it for myself. Yesterday was the perfect occasion and I was introduced to the work of two wonderful creative souls.

Tomorrow, Sunday, I will introduce you to a wonderful sculpture, if I manage to sort my photos.  The second piece should be ready for Wednesday. The latter was right up my street and I fell deeply in love with the work.

I suddenly realised about mid morning today that the air bubble in my eye had disappeared. I was like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory. Yes. I can see clearly, but I am limiting my time at the laptop for a few more day.

Slowly, very slowly I will get back to my routine of blog reading. Again I plead for your patience.

Good and Not so good

The past few months have been busy, but not that you would notice. I have been staying off line for many and varied reasons.

When the weather was favourable I spent time outdoors. Sharing coffee outings and walks with a lady senior in age to me but with a bright mind to compensate for her physical frailty. The challenge was to find somewhere new for our coffee each week and now our list is growing.  Only a few disappointments. One place was no longer trading, another had changed hands and was closed for refurbishment. There are a few earmarked for return visits.

On my travels I discovered a wool/yarn shop that hosts a morning of crafting where we bring the piece of knitting or crochet that we are working on and work away while nattering and sipping coffee. I had not realised how much I missed the camaraderie of kindred spirits and the inspiration we seem to feed each other. **

Last week was a difficult one. I travelled to Dublin at short notice for the funeral of a life long friend. She had lived a few houses away from my parental home for all of her life. The two families have kept close contact since them. This meant I met the grieving family, most of my siblings and several of the ‘old guard’ neighbours, a few of whom I have not met for about forty years! They needed no introduction the greeting was always the same: You look so like your mother! Thankfully they remembered mammy in her younger days, so I took it as a compliment! 😉 That part of the few days was good for my soul!

I stayed with my sister for a few extra days. She had been very involved in the care of our friend for the past four years of illness and would miss her daily visits. The end came suddenly and was a shock to everyone.  May my friend Rest in Peace.

I almost had a passenger stowed away in my car. She somehow dicovered how to self pack, I found her in a bag one morning!

Allanah in a bag

Allanah in a bag

Allanah whimpered all the time I was packing my car. Playing with a ball will have to wait until my next visit.

I moved to Elly’s for a couple of days and Buffy had great fun smelling the messages on my trousers and shoes. We played ball and tug the rope at every chance she got and the head went down when I was leaving.

** On my visits to Parlour Yarns I learned about Marinke Slump from A creative being, known to all as Wink.  A young creative and inspirational force who used blogging in her attempts to fight depression through crochet. She was so talented sharing patterns and publishing a book of her ideas and patterns. Alas the final post on her blog was not from Wink but from her sister… the depression had won.

Design Wars has asked that people pay their respects by sharing a mandala with the hashtag ‪#‎mandalasforwink. Parlour Yarns in Carrickfergus are taking up the challenge with a display of mandalas in the Courtyard on15th of August. Below are my contributions.

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We all know people suffering the agonies of depression, it would be difficult to find a family untouched by this dreadful affliction.

Unfortunately, many people fail to understand the deeply imbedded negative thought patterns that depression has for the individual struggling with it. Fighting the demons of depression when their voices are louder than any of those around, is not easy. Medications don’t help with that aspect of depression; the negative thoughts have to be fought with positive thoughts which have to be internalized to be effective because when one is in the darkness, other peoples voices are not heard over the din inside the head.

It’s hard for those who don’t go through the struggle to understand. It’s like having your wires crossed and certain signals not allowed through. The dark place is real and no one likes being in the dark. The mental pain and anguish is as real as the physical and all they want is to find a way out. Something’s wrong  and the patient can’t understand why.

If you are a sufferer please try to talk about it; don’t keep your feelings bottled up. If people don’t want to listen…find someone who will.

May we together hold hands and circle those who suffer, with our love!

For Irmi

Earlier in the week Irmi left a comment on my About page asking if I could explain the ins and outs of ‘Liking’ on blog posts. Irmi hails from Munich in Bavaria, but does not as yet have a blog of her own. Our paths have crossed on blogs we both visit and participate in, on a regular basis.

Can you tell me the way how one can “like” a comment at wordpress?

like-button

like-button

The Like icon appears at the base of most published blog posts and all you need to do is click on it. Then your avatar will appear with any others already there. I think you might need to be logged into WordPress or have an Avatar in order to use the Like button.

Is there a deeper meaning in ‘Liking’ – besides being nice and friendly?

Likes are a way to show appreciation for a post or a comment. Some people use them to show they have visited without leaving a comment.I notice that some blogs have the facility to like a comment, but I do not use it.

Are there competitions for ‘liking’ a post or does the blog owner for instance get something for being ‘liked’ very often?

Not that I know of. Perhaps it gives them the boost to keep posting on a regular basis.

Thank you for visiting my blog and adding your tuppenceworth at times. We are kindred spirits when it comes to crocheting, I see. The blue scarf you mention stopped me in my tracks.

Did you mean the knitted mauve and white cowl using a random coloured yarn?  ‎ I saw it on Pinterest but did as I often do with 3D objects: work from my head without a pattern. I worked it on a circular needle, decreasing stitches evenly across every eight or ten rows. On most occasions it works out and since I do not sell items, it is not a problem if it is not exactly like the original. As my father was fond of saying: Every fault is a fashion!

I am pleased you enjoyed my trip down memory lane through the wool and craft shops of my (much) younger years.

Enjoy delving into the older posts. If you click on the Categories in the side bar and scroll down to Crafts and click on it, you might find some posts of interest.

I waved a Flag, a colourful Flag.

We gathered on the green, we gathered on Cathedral Steps,
People of all ages, accents colour size shape and sexual orientation,
Warm hearted cheerful people  one message on heart & hand.
Civil Marriage Equality for all in this corner of the land.

Soon the streets were full and whistles began to blast
Banners, flags and badges adding colour to Belfast.
Raised high, like a Peacock’s proud display
It certainly was a sunny RAINBOW day!

We were off!

We walked and talked, shared stories
Renewed old friendships and added many new.
We were one big family one thought on our minds:
The introduction of civil marriage for same-sex couples in Northern Ireland.

To give you a taste:

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Saturday’s demonstration was organised by the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), Amnesty International and the Rainbow Project.

You can read more here

A long catch-up updated.

We have talked about it for six months.

Yesterday was the day and we had six years to catch up on.

First time round we were part of a larger group so the chat was general. Six whole years yet it felt like it was only one single day since we met. Just the two of us with no interruptions so the conversation flowed. Easily.

I was meeting fellow blogger Nelly, from Nelly’s Garden.  She suggested we meet at Clotworthy House where we had coffee before wandering the grounds of Antrim Castle Gardens.

I love this place and have visited and blogged about it on several occasions.

We walked and talked we sat to enjoy the scenery and talked until we talked ourselves dry so we needed another coffee before we parted and went our separate ways. I hope it will not take another six years before we meet again.

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Some of the photos were from a visit a few days earlier.

Sex Education

Over at The Other Side of Sixty  Wisewebwoman has an interesting piece about Sex and Irish Girls.

“Girl people in my time were sent out into the world with absolutely no knowledge of sex. None.”

We are the same generation, but I grew up in Dublin, the capital city of Ireland. WWW, was reared in rural Cork, down on the south coast of Ireland. My experience was slightly different to hers.

In fifth year (16-17 years of age), we had a new teacher for RE & Irish, she was a nun. A total contrast to all the other nuns. She forgot all about:

Miracles, parables and prophets.
Daily prayers for purity.
‘Impure’ thoughts.
Keeping our knees covered. 😆 a couple of years before The mid-1960s – when Mary Quant created the micro-mini.
The occasions of sin – There were more of them than beads on a rosary!
Being able to slide a sheet of paper between our dancing partner and ourselves.
Not leading young men on!!!! Holy Mother of Merciful Maisie. I grew up in a houseful of men and the only thing you could lead any of them on with, was a table full of hot food!

I could go on…… and on…….!

Our 30 minute RE class for five mornings a week and the Irish classes for the week, became sex education classes. She had a BOOK.

One copy of a so called sex education book, covered in a double layer of heavy brown paper and each student in turn, was given THE BOOK to take home for a few days to read. I do not recall the title, a double layer of heavy brown paper made more of an impression on me!

Yes. There were diagrams, but so do books on car maintenance. It could have been our ‘All in the Cooking’ with lists of ingredients, or Home Economics Hygiene book (which had a chapter with pixtures that the Home Economics teacher (another nun) blushed at and skipped over every time!).

When my turn came, I brought the book home and handed it to mammy. What did she say?

“You read it first, love, then give it to me to read.”

I did.

When she gave it back to me, mammy asked if I had any questions. I didn’t.

Books like the one covered in a double layer of heavy brown paper, and ‘All in the Cooking’, talk the mechanics of the topic, not a mention of touch, feel, smell, taste or emotion. I learned all that at my mother’s side about cooking AND relationships. I learned from my four brothers: I saw them go through puberty,  from pimply chins and knobbly knees to hogging the bathroom even longer than I did! I learned what they thought about girls: the traits they liked, respected, and the dreaded ‘man eaters’ who would do anything for a free meal. I saw women like them in my working years too. At one stage I thought I understood more about how male minds worked, than my female ‘sisters’ of the world.

My brothers and their friends showed great respect for me. Yes, they teased me endlessly, but they never over stepped the mark or put me in danger. When we were out, if any of them saw me in danger or if a stranger was misbehaving towards me, they would step in and get them to back off. I treated them all like brothers and that is how I treated all the men I met and worked with, over the years.