I am sure that all of us want to live our best life. We only get one shot at this particular existence and so we owe it to ourselves and to those with whom we share our life to ensure it is the very best version we can make it.
But what does living our best life really mean?
Well, I don’t know for sure. I presume that it means different things to different people. Have you thought about it? What would you consider be living your best life?
Perhaps to help you to guage your response, you could imagine you are the end of your life… and this could be tomorrow, rather than when you are aged 100 or so.
So if tomorrow you realised that you had not too long left in this life, how do you think you would be remembered? And is that how you would like to be remembered?
As you look back over your life (so far) what are the moments that shine forth for you?
If you only had a little time left, have you done all you would like to? Have you made peace with all those you let go? Do those around you whom you love, know you love them?
What is your best life? What are the things that make it your best life?
I would really like to know what you feel about this? Leave me a comment and maybe we will take this further…..
The Butterfly. Symbol of transformation… he has to ensure he lives his best life as he only has a day to do so!
Welcome to Autumn! Yep, old lore has it that 1st of August is actually the first of autumn. And the 1st of August is also the pagan festival of Lughnasa which is the first harvest festival, celebrating the end of the growing season.
But we are clearly not ready for autumn yet. The kids still have another month off school and we still have hope in our hearts that the sun will return during this month to allow us some more time to dine in the garden and bathe our bones in the heat.
However, as we turn into the month of August, we are aware of the shortening of the days. Evening comes just a little earlier each day and we are reminded that, like it or not, we are sliding into autumn.
But there is something immensely comforting in the relentless turning of the Wheel of the Year. No matter what is going on in your life, the Earth continues her journey through the seasons, just as she has done forever. And that is reassuring. Earth’s whisper is always the same. – “all is well”.
So take that thought with you – all is well. And allow the heart beat of Mother Nature calm and soothe you.
Pic : Simba is watching out for autumn!
His rather worried expression is because he has actually managed to get himself locked out in the front garden again. Due to his rather wide girth, Simba is no sprinter and has given up climbing trees. So if a local dog should come along he might be in some trouble. So he gets on the bench and (wearing this worried expression) stares into the hall until someone sees him and opens the door!
Cabinteely Crossroads Ceili is always a bit of craic and a great chance to catch up with neighbours and friends.
Last night we gathered at the Horse and Hound Pub and enjoyed the music, the mad Irish jigging about on the road, a few jars (drinks) and plenty of craic and chat.
We left the pub about ten pm and walked home in the rain.. Mia losing her flip flops every few steps – so it was a long enough walk. Tired and wet we ran baths and ordered chinese food which we ate in our pj’s. I think we all (adults and kids) headed to bed about 2am! A proper Irish party!
OOPS….. forgot to mention… wonderful photos by some hot shot photographer called Paul Sherwood…. see my favourite websites!
I was very thrilled and flattered to have been asked to ‘Guest Blog’ on one of my favourite blogs – ‘Writer on the way Home’ – a blog written by Niamh Griffin. Niamh spent many years living abroad and so her blog is all about moving to Ireland – whether you are returning to your homeland or making a new home here. It’s usually great reading and often gives us another way look at ourselves in Ireland.
Anyway, my post ‘GAA is the way to go’ has just appeared. Check it out at www.writeronthewayhome.blogspot.com.
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!
Sometimes it’s hard to remember to count your blessings… especially on Mondays! Which is how come I am posting this on a Tuesday!
Here’s one of my best blessings….. looking all serious since I explained to him that I was posting his photo on my blog and that he must look his handsomest best!
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!
Photos by me!! I wish I could upload the smell from this rose!
You would really just have to laugh. You don’t need to be a photographer’s wife (like me) or be an expert at digital manipulation (on the computer.. you know Photoshop or similar) in order to see just how effective computer enhancements can be! If you live in Ireland – either in rural or urban Ireland – your environment is no doubt staining under the weight of literally thousands of election posters right now.
‘Posters’ is probably an overstatement. Advertising posters are often clever, imaginative and thought provoking. The only thoughts that are provoked by a forest of grinning faces beaming from every lampost are:
1. What do these poor politicians think they are achieving by smirking down on the electorate?
2. Why don’t they employ someone with some imagination to be a bit creative with their posters?
3. Are they worth the money they clearly spend on this rubbish?
But the best craic is when you come fact to face with one of these politicians in the flesh! And you realise that perhaps they had been a bit creative after all… they clearly all employ someone with great skill at digital manipulation. Cos when you meet them, they invariably bear little resemblance to their lamp post image! The first disappointment in a long line of many, no doubt!
Politicians – grow up! These posters achieve nothing except to block the view of traffic lights, create plenty of litter and are mildly un-nerving! But I do look forward to meeting you on my doorstop and seeing if I can guess who you are?
One of my new year’s resolutions this year, was to concentrate more on my writing. And as I was announcing this at home, I also bemoaned the fact that I do not have a dedicated writing space. I have since spent many house imagining exactly what kind of ‘writing space’ I would like to have.
Would I be happiest with a garden room? A posh shed as it were, located at the bottom of the garden with a view of the house but a walk across the grass to separate me from the hustle and bustle. I like the idea of being under a tree, beside my buddleia bush, working a little bit closer to nature. I dream of how I would furnish this wooden cabin in simple but cosy style. I would like to be able to use the space to meditate too. It would be my own personal oasis. But I am a bit put off by having to traipse over the grass on rainy days or late in the evening in order to commit my thoughts to laptop.
Then I think that maybe a room within the house, from a comfort point of view, would be better. It would be warmer in winter and I wouldn’t have to risk getting wet when on my way to write! As most of my writing is done in the morning when the house is quiet I would prefer a room in the front of the house which faces east and catches the morning sun. But unless I evict my photographer husband from his office there really is no other option at the front of the house.
The final option would be to convert the attic into a space for my writing. The idea of being at the top of the house, under a velux window which will provide me with a view of the every changing sky is appealing. But to convert our attic would be a big job and not one that is possible at the moment.
So here I am, in my usual spot, tapping these words into my laptop, sitting at the breakfast bar just off the kitchen. I have now almost trained my mind not to notice the noise or the mess in my immediate area. As I type this, the kids are playing ball with ‘Dylan da Dog’ who has the most awful yappy bark when he is excited.
The best thing about this spot, is that I am under a velux window. When it is raining (a lot of the time), the sound of the rain on the roof window puts me very much in touch with the weather. But even better than that, is the fact the Mrs and Mrs Starling have again nested in the eves directly above my velux and so I can keep an eye on their very busy comings and goings. And when it’s not raining (occasionally) I can hear the insistent cries of their newly hatched little ones. Sure how much closer to nature could I get – unless I could join them in their nest!
Somehow I think this fairly chaotic spot is probably perfect for me! Although I still aspire to a proper writer’s den, quiet and peaceful!
Where do you write or blog?
Photo of Starling by Foxypar4
I am really delighted to be now blogging for Hello Magazine’s website. So if you like reading my ramblings and musings and have a passing interest in the going’s on of celebrities, check out the Hello Magazine website – which I have naturally added to my list of favourite websites!
My Hello Blog is called ‘A View from the ‘Burbs’. Check it out and let me know what you think? And does anyone else feel the same about Marco Pierre White? And before you say anything I do think that the Alan Sugar thing was the result of eating too late at night!
So check out the Hello Magazine website, click the celebs link and follow to ‘A View to the Burbs’.