Reading My Way Around the World

Sunday 29 October 2017

Photo Scavenger Hunt October 2017

I didn't get a chance to join in with you all last month for the photo Scavenge Hunt and really missed you all - but I'm delighted to get back to playing this month.

Hawthorn always come up with an amazing list of prompts to really challenge our heads, and this month there have been some real corkers ....  so here goes.  

We have had beautiful proper Autumn days for the past few days and we took our visiting friend across in the ferry to Carlingford in Co. Louth.  Carlingford is a Norman Town and very popular with tourists... this is the pedestrian street and the arch at the bottom housed the town jail.


This is the jail - just tucked in to the left corner of the arch.   It is tiny and thankfully very empty.   totally open to the elements and only about 4 foot high - I couldn't stand up in it. but I"m sure it housed at least 3 or 4 men waiting for deportation in the 17 and 1800s

Starts with a ...... F

We stopped in PJs pub for a pint of Guinness and some lunch.   They're all prepared for Halloween and the fire was very welcome after the ferry crossing.


PJs pub is famous throughout Ireland - for many things.   For a start, it's one of the last remaining grocery pubs - they've made this a tourist feature now.   Plus the Guinness is very good and you don't have to pay Dublin prices for it, although it's still a price hike compared to here in the North.
But it is also famous for its collection of leprechaun clothes!!!
What a neat little man was Sean Og - these are his belongings.   Again, the pub was decorated for Halloween so the cobweb streak is masking his little jacket but you get the idea.   Every year, Carlingford hosts a leprechaun hunt in the mountains behind .   It also has a great Oyster Festival, if that's your thing.


This stone is new since the last time we were over in Carlingford and so interesting - for sure Kate is more familiar with the theme than I am.  Occasionally you see Ogham writing on jewellery and it's a huge field of study.   I loved this stone carving listing the trees for the different lunar months of the year - the year of course beginning on November 1st and ending on October 31st.   Apologies if this photo runs off the page a bit, but I wanted to make it large enough for you to read.


Thankfully the wet weather of the past few months has let up for a while and allowed the leaves to dry out.   I just love the smell and the lovely crunchy richness that looks and sounds like paper. 

The Fairy Glen

This vase came out of Tom's grandmother's house and it's being kept safe up on a ledge in the porch with last years' hydrangeas in it... that's actually a clay drum beside it - all the big items that we can't find a home for end up on that ledge, but then so too do the young swallows in spring if we don't keep an eye out.


The seaspray in this photo is known as a Kettle around here, or the Carlingford Kettles.
At certain times of year, the wind whips up the lough  - they're like mini tornadoes on the water ... this was the only picture I've ever been able to catch of them.   It's something to do with the lay of the mountains on either side of the lough - the sprays of water go up to 20 or 30 feet high and then appear to run across the top of the water into shore.   Very exciting to see.  

My own choice

I spotted this one time in France - not because I love macaroons - I do :)  but because of the name.
I never use my full name - because our society here was so blatantly us and them, religious wise, and my name gave away my background like a stamp on my forehead I never liked it.   Being known as Phil people had to guess a while longer.
When someone shouts Philomena I hear nuns in my head usually with raised voices and usually attached to the feeling of having done something wrong .....
But there is one exception... when it is pronounced by a French man - how shallow am I!!  Philomène sounds so much more ancient and goddess like than Philomena ... to my ears anyway ... I'd nearly moved to France for that lol.  

Making ...

As I've been spending much more time knitting this year, my horizons have been widening to learn some of the wonderful new-to-me skills that are out there.   For the first time I joined in a Mystery Knitalong - which has me tortured - not because of the mystery (you don't get the full pattern at the start), but because of the blinking beads - there are about 800 of the little blighters on this piece .... never again.
Fine lace knitting is not something I've ever tackled before, and it's very annoying because you can't really see what it's going to look like until it's off the needles.   The last row had about 250 beads on it and I"m now on the cast off which is very slow.  
But it will be worth it when I'm finished.
For the crafters reading this, the yarn is a hand dyed Tussah Silk from Yorkshire I think - this was a first for me - beautiful yarn to work with - it is so strong, but still fine - this colour is called Mermaid's Tale - can't wait to get to the end of it to see what it looks like - once I have it finished and blocked I'll do a show and tell.    Repeat note to self: KEEP AWAY FROM BEADS!!!

So that's been my month.   Off now to have a look at everyone else's pictures for the month.  
Are you taking part?  What's your month been like?  

Monday 23 October 2017

Bake Bread for Peace #WATWB

24th October each year is designated Bake Bread for Peace Day by a wonderful Donegal woman called Breezy Kelly.   I wrote about her initiative here a couple of years back.   She started going around houses baking bread and singing songs, telling stories about the old days, bringing people back to a gentler time - with the idea that when hands are in a bowl of flour they can't be out fighting.  Even on a simpler level, by gathering people around the table to have a cup of tea and some lovely fresh scones or hot buttered treacle bread and telling yarns, community is being held together.

Here's a more recent video of Breezy - if you're on Facebook, follow her page - she puts up recipes for different breads and is good fun to watch.

And if you can, share some bread with someone, home baked if possible and spread the peace.

This post has been edited to share with the We Are The World monthly Blogfest, spreading positive news stories.
Co-hosts for the thread this month are: Shilpa GargSylvia McGrathMary Giese, Belinda Witzenhausen and Guilie Castillo . 

Follow along with  other stories from around the world at the Facebook link.  

Tuesday 10 October 2017

On this day in history Oct 10

Edith Piaf died on this day in 1963.  She was only 47.  Piaf, the little sparrow, was a wonder and there are many fabulous singers still singing her songs.

Her funeral was the only occasion after World War II that Parisian traffic came to a complete standstill.  There were so many people at the event that allegedly several mourners fell into the open grave.  More than 40,000 saw her interred.  

I wonder what would stop the traffic nowadays.  

I'd like to introduce you to a colleague of mine who sings on the UK folk scene.   She is French and her name is Flossie Malaiavalle.   I'm honoured that she chose to record one of my songs - I Still Think of You.   When she appeared at our folk club recently I had the chance to finally meet up with her.  

Flossie sings many contemporary singers' songs, but also does a show of Piaf songs, so here is her version of La Vie en Rose.