Reading My Way Around the World

Saturday 4 February 2017

Moving into Spring

I'm joining in today with Five on Friday run by Amy at Love Made My Home

We celebrated another anniversary last weekend - 29 years on the 29th - it amazes me sometimes that we're still here and that more than half of my life has now been in this marriage - and we haven't killed each other yet lol

But our plans to go away were thrown out a bit when my mum had a turn and had to be taken to hospital... She lives just over 100 miles from me.  The stress of that phone call is unbelievable - I had to get out of the car for a while to settle myself.   Happily it was nothing too serious and after two days of observation she was out again.  

I started a photography class last week so I thought I'd share some pics from it for my Five this week (had to sneak in a couple extras).  I'm really enjoying being a student for a few weeks (it's a short course) and finally figuring out how to use my camera.  In the office, we're mid way through an update of all our online stuff - web, social media, You Tube etc - as well as booking next year's tours, so it's lovely to have something to take my mind away into another realm for a while.

After leaving Mum at the hospital on Saturday to head back to her house, we drove along the shores of Lough Erne down in Co. Fermanagh.  The water was flat calm although it was freezing cold walking along the shore.   As children, we were always told that there were 365 islands on Lough Erne - there are two of them at the top of this picture. (I've since discovered that most children are told that about their local lake!)  The most famous are of course Kathleen's Island (Inis Ceathlain) on which the town of Enniskillen stands (Enniskillen means Kathleen's Island) and then there is Devenish Island which has lots of old standing stones and relics of pre Christian times.   I've never been out there - perhaps this summer.

Lough Erne in Co. Fermanagh

The colours of the sky were so beautifully reflected in the water.
The reflection on the water had me in thrall
Belleek where I grew up is at the mouth of the lake, where Lough Erne turns in to the River Erne - Beal Leice, the Irish name of the village, means mouth of the lake.
Again the reflection was stunning.  Just past the eel weir along the line of those trees in the background, the river flows to the right and down into Ballyshannon and the Atlantic Ocean.  As with here in Rostrevor, the border is smack in the middle of that piece of water - the left bank is in the Republic (or in the South as we say) and the right bank in the North.
The eel weir at Belleek, Co. Fermanagh
The hotel Carlton which is sadly closed now with the eel weir on the left.  

The birds
This is not a great photo but I had to laugh - this fellow was shouting his head off the other day - we've been keeping watch on the birds more in recent weeks as the RSPB have been doing a Birdwatch plus the Winterwatch has been on the Beeb, so nature is very much to the forefront.  He stayed there for a good 5 minutes - he'd shout, I'd answer and away he'd go again - brilliant.
Blackbird singing in the dead of .... murky morning

The garden
I love garden statues and would love to own some really nice ones.   This wee lady has been with us for a long time and keeps guard at our front door.  She's only about 18 inches tall.
Several years ago while touring in the north of England we spent a Sunday morning at a big car boot sale a few miles south of Newcastle - there was a guy selling imperfect garden ornaments - in spite of glares from Tom I managed to come home with a small Buddha, but if he had only looked the other way for half an hour I think I would have managed to squeeze another one in.   One of these days I'll afford a bigger one - or some contemporary garden art - to hide somewhere in the garden
Not feeling the cold at all
Up until Tuesday last we had a great run of cold crisp weather.   This shot is on Carlingford Lough.  I was about 5 minutes late for catching the most beautiful blue under that orangey pink part of the sky, but still I thought it was worth capturing.
Low tide

I hope you've had some break from routine this week too.
If you have time, check out some of the other people participating in Five on Friday and as always thanks to  Amy for putting this together.


  1. I love those photos of the reflections. The water looks so still, like a perfect mirror. :-)

  2. Really enjoyed your photos, would love to take a photography class. Glad your Mom is ok.

  3. Your photos are beautiful!! Glad you are enjoying the class. Happy Anniversary too! Sorry to hear about your Mum, I know these calls are harrowing aren't they, glad she is improved now. I hope that all will be well.

  4. Hey a quick shout out to you and your buddha!! I'm a Buddha lover, although not so much in my garden art... more all over the house lol!
    Anyway long story short we are moving to Bangkok next week without our Buddha's, not allowed to take them in or out of the Kingdom of Thailand... Show us a picture of yours!
    Wren x

  5. What lovely reflections, so peaceful and calm, just what you need when you Mum's not well. Hope she's on the mend now. It must be hard with her so far away.

  6. Congratulations on those 29 years especially as you also work together - I really don't know how you do it :) Glad your mum is ok and know how scary that phone call can be. Love the photographs - so peaceful and serene those water landscapes look and I know what you mean about birdsong at this time of year - they ALL seem to be getting ready!!
    Take care - Special Teaching at Pempi’s Palace

  7. Hi Fil and Tom - congratulations on those many years and here's to more to come. I'm glad your mother recovered - 100 miles is a long way. Lovely scenery as you travel though ... and your little lady has done you proud ... perhaps she just needs to be your special lady living her special life with you both. The birds are singing, as too the bulbs bursting forth ... happy weekend and enjoy life ahead .. cheers Hilary

  8. Very cool to see a slice of life from your side of the world. I can really picture myself becoming thoroughly relaxed while walking on the shore.

  9. Hi Fil..
    Congratulations on your anniversary.. and wishes for many more wonderful years! I understand about the surviving part. Haha! Your photos of the reflections are gorgeous. Nature offers such beauty to enjoy and capture. I'm so sorry about your mom but glad that it was nothing serious. 100 miles away is long way to worry.
    Your little bird sounds so cute.. What a lovely place to watch and listen.
    I love the picture of you in your header! Wishing you a wonderful week of peace and inspiration. And good luck with the photography class.

    Tamara XO

  10. Wow, dear Fil, so many things that I love... and I am sorry about your mum :( Thankfully, as you said, she is OK now, but the feeling of having to drive for so many miles without any clue, that is not good. Hopefully she is OK from now on! And now, congratulations! 29th anniversary! Oh yes, if no one was killed till now, it's because you are soul mates and that was meant to be! I love love stories! Loved Lough Erne and Belleek... the islands (out of supposedly 365 islands... stories for children :) super sweet!) and the mouth of the river, and the border (there is the south, here is the north, and in the middle, the border). Really nice and peaceful... also amazing the Carlton Hotel, sadly now closed... and that you are taking photography classes, in the middle of so many things to do... it's refreshing and your photography skills are amazing! I hope you have a lovely time in everything you do, dear Fil. And thank you so much for the wishes :) Hope you have a beautiful week! Hugs and regards!


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