THERE’S MAGIC AROUND THIS WEEKEND

This is a weekend of magic.

Tomorrow night we should hopefully be treated to a wonderfully enlarged and brightened full moon as we witness what has been called a Supermoon. This phenomonen occurs about every 20 years when the moon comes about 17,000 miles closer to Earth. So, hopefully the weather will co-operate with clear skies so we can admire Grandmother Moon as she hangs in the sky, 14% larger and 30% brighter.

This weekend is also the Spring Equinox (Sunday) when the hours of daylight and darkness are equal. This was a very important festival in pre Christian Ireland and one still marked today by Pagans. The Equinox marks the mid point of the Celtic Spring which began on 1st of February. It is time to get out into the garden. Clear away the debris from winter storms and make ready for the abundance of summer. The Equinox also reminds us to check our own lives for balance.

I am always amazed that the animals I live fully recognise the new season. They too feel the pull outdoors. Dylan da Dog drives me mad with is constantly looking to go out, and then coming in only to want out again 30minutes later. But the cats being more independent by having their own cat flap enjoy heading out to a sunny area to sit for a while and contemplate life.

We spent Patricks Day gardening. I now have pots ready to replant, a patio ready for a steam clean and once that is done, we can uncover the table for alfresco dining. We will then declare ourselves ready for summer…..

Isn’t it just great!

BY THE WAY: If you are near a radio or online tomorrow (Saturday) at about 11.40 (GMT) tune into 4FM (94.4 in Dublin or online http://www.4fm.ie) tune in. I will be on with Gareth O Callaghan, shooting the breeze.

We’re Back!

So, then what to tell you?

England was full of….

Hot sunshine (30 last week – thank God for air conditioning in the car).
Flowers, flowers, flowers.
Pretty villages with cricket greens and sagging ancient houses.

Red bricked pubs with great food and peculiar names (we owe our girls a trip to one called The Donkey which himself insists has a resident donkey!)

A wonderful B&B in the pretty village of Lower Langford near Bath with the quintessential English country garden which was bursting with flowers and heavy with fruit! A piece of Heaven.

Miles and miles of motorways and uniform service areas (“did we not stop here a few hours ago?”)

Friends we had not seen for over a year and a happy gathering in the pub garden.

Grandad’s 70th Birthday and another family gathering in the pub!

Warm ale – he loves it. I don’t really get it!

Ducks – our cabin was near a lake and we woke up most mornings to Dylan (da dog) having a bit of a fit as some ducks quacked along outside!

Not very many King Charles Spaniels – although apparently they are the only breed of dog with the freedom of any pub in England, that they should wish to frequent! Courtesy of course of King Charles. We didn’t test the theory!
Robin Hood and Sherwood Forest and men on horseback in funny costumes – we were staying a mile away from the film set of the latest incarnation of Mr Hood played by Russell Crowe!

A trip to Bath – after many failed previous attempts. Elegant and proud.

A trip to Oxford – loved it! Buzzy energy but not enough time to explore as much as I would have liked.

A visit to the gorgeous village of Cropredy – inspired by Journeys Close To Home (see my blogroll!).
It was busy and funny and tiring and great! And so easy to pack up the car and jump onto the ferry (dog and all). Not sure why more Irish don’t head to England for a holiday. It’s good value now too!

SUMMER SOLSTICE 21/22 June 2009

And so we have reached one of the two turning points of the natural year.
The Summer Solstice.
Longest day.
High Summer.

I am pretty sure that in a previous life I was a witch or a Pagan Priestess as the Solstices (and indeed Halloween) in particular resonate with some very deep place within my soul.

I am greatly comforted by the reminder of the turning of The Wheel of the Year.
A marker in time that at Summer Solstice reminds us of all we have to celebrate and to be grateful for.

Nature is at its busiest.
Flowers in full bloom.
Vegetables growing and ripening.
The sun reaching it’s zenith.

The Summer Solstice reminds us to take this time to enjoy all of nature in its abundance.
And to be grateful for all the bounty that Mother Earth provides for us!

And so today make sure you in some small way, capture the spirit of this magical day.
Dance
Sing
Run wildly through the garden
Smile
And then give a big, loud exuberant thanks for all that is given to you.

Enjoy, Enjoy….

Photos of Dylan getting into the wild and exuberant spirit of the Summer Solstice by practicing his newest trick!!!

Rainy Monday

Monday afternoon.

Almost midsummer.
The Solstice waits in the wings of the approaching weekend.
I sit by the open patio door.
Cat is curled up on his chair beside mine.
The smell of the rain drifts in from the garden.
Bringing with it the plop, plop of rain drops falling on the sun umbrella.
Patio stones coloured dark brown in the downpour.
Contrasting with the vividness of the greens of the grass, shrubs and bushes.
The intensity of the rain increases,
smacking hard against the table, the ground.
Fat blobs falling from the tree.
Light is softened.
Temperature drops.
No birdsong.
I close the door against the chilled air.
The sound of the rain now muffled.

The cat stirs and then re-settles himself.
I wonder how long it will take the chairs to dry out.

HAPPY DAZE

Oh… the excitement… summer is here.
The weather has been so wonderful for the last week.
Sunshine, blue skies and (in Irish terms) hot temperatures.
Coffee, lunch and dinner in the garden.
Bare feet all day.
Windows thrown open from early morning.
Washing drying naturally in the sunshine.
Red wine at the right temperature.
The smell of holidays each time I open the sun block.
Cats languidly sleeping – hidden under the bushes in the shade.
And best of all we are now into NO HOMEWORK time!
Oh God if you are reading this… please give us a good summer.
Especially as many of us are holidaying at home this year.
And when the sun shines – there is really no where else I would rather be!

Happy Daze!

Photos by me!! I wish I could upload the smell from this rose!