Thursday, November 22, 2018


 Meditating in the grounds of Ballynahinch Castle,  August 2018

Our hens and one of our four-legged neighbours

Aidan at the beach in Spiddal

Since I wasn't able to enjoy the outdoors much during this summer's heatwave, I have been making up for it in the subsequent colder months. The week before my surgery we spent a magical 24 hours in Connemara, staying in the wonderful Screebe House, where we were greeted with a hug and glasses of bubbly by Ursula and a surprise awaited us, courtesy of thoughtful friends. The following day we went to Roundstone and one of Ireland's best beaches, where I walked barefoot in the water (the closest I have got to swimming in the sea this year) and then to Ballynahinch Castle for more walking and a meditation amid mosquitoes by the lake.

While work in the garden is less now, there is always something to do, and we are surrounded by animals (though poor Daisy is no longer with us). We got two hens in the summer, chosen and named by my nephews: Petunia and You-Know-Huhn (the naming required some prompts from the adults. Huhn is German for hen). They may not be very affectionate, but I love closing the door of the hen house in the evening and saying goodnight to their huddled shapes, and opening it in the morning and watching them devour their breakfast (organic food - only the best), with their fluffy behinds up in the air. The two donkeys faithfully show up nearly every day, knowing there are carrots, apples and the odd oatcake waiting for them. The other neighbouring field is home to two horses at the moment. Then there is Phoebe, our neighbours' dog, and sometimes one of the other dogs from the baile turns up, as well as various cats, who know where we feed the birds. 

My current favourite song - and one of my all-time favourites - is "Galileo" by Declan O'Rourke. My own curly-haired bearded man sang it as part of Culture Night, accompanied by this amazing quartet. It was shortly after my surgery, so I wasn't able to go, but he sent me a video, and it makes me emotional watching it. A few weeks later Declan O'Rourke played a gig on campus, and John came home with two records, one for me, one for him, which we have been playing non-stop.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this lovely post. A real treat, loved hearing about your chickens and the neighbouring donkeys.

    Going to listen to the music links you shared.

    Wishing you a beautiful day...
    Brenda (from Canada)