Reading My Way Around the World

Monday 28 January 2019

Searching for direction

Are there days when you just don't know which direction you should be going? 

 ... wandering around, back and forth, looking for pointers

And then suddenly you see the way forward - a clear direction

Nothing stopping you now

Friday 25 January 2019

January Photo Scavenger Hunt

I'm joining in today with Hawthorn for the monthly photo scavenge hunt - a photo for a word.  It's been quite a few months since I played and today I'm having a relaxing day to clear a lingering cold  so a good chance to look over the past year's photos and find some images to fit.


During the summer we spent two glorious weeks holiday in France. 
Visiting a small town with a chateau I spotted this on the path to the entrance .... just in case you weren't sure where you were going!


One of my prized possessions - a plate from Belleek Pottery, made by my father for my christening and painted by C. Arnold.  I just love the spider details in it.  


I've finished quite a few knitting projects in the past year but this one I'm particularly proud of and actually knitted it twice for presents.   It's a technique called brioche knitting - that means it's double sided - and the pattern is from Nancy Merchant's book Leafy Brioche.  


At the old graveyard in Ballyshannon - I could have used this for metallic as well.   Again, it was the patterns that took my eye.


In the same town as the chateau I spotted these modern plant frames - aren't the shapes great?  Ignore the fact that it's covered in pigeon poo!  

My own choice

Ropes on the Carlingford Lough Ferry - I just loved the texture

So that's it from me for this month - I hope you'll take a look at some of the other people who post great photos from around the world in this challenge.   The link is here.  

Thursday 24 January 2019

Misty mornings and songs through the night

It's a soft mizzly morning here - everything is silent and calm and there's water dripping off branches.    There's something magical for me in this sort of a day.

There's been songs running through my head all night keeping me awake so I resorted to getting up around 1 o'clock and finishing a sock before having another attempt at sleep.   We finished the singing group practice on Tuesday with Leonard Cohen's Dance Me To The End of Love and while the subject of this song is very dark, the melody is so beautiful and uplifting that it stays with me for days and my singers sing it with so much joy.

Here's a singing workshop in Sydney singing it.  Go on.   I dare you not to sing along.   I'll put the lyrics at the bottom of the page here.  (Everytime I watch this, I promise myself a ukulele for my next birthday).

I'm just heading to the pub for a meeting (it's a tough life I know lol) - a roaring fire and a cappuccino will get rid of the last of the grogginess.  Have a lovely Thursday.

OK, ready?  Here's the words... (not sure if this is exactly what they're singing in the video)

Dance Me to the End of Love

Ly ly, ly ….
Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin
Dance me through the panic till I'm gathered safely in
Lift me like an olive branch and be my homeward dove
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love

Oh, let me see your beauty when the witnesses are gone
Let me feel you moving like they do in Babylon
Show me slowly what I only know the limits of
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love

Ly ly. …..

Dance me to the wedding now, dance me on and on
Dance me very tenderly and dance me very long
We're both of us beneath our love, we're both of us above
Dance me to the end of love
Dance me to the end of love

Ly, ly …..

Dance me to the children who are asking to be born
Dance me through the curtains that our kisses have outworn
Raise a tent of shelter now, though every thread is torn
Dance me to the end of love

Ly, ly …. Twice

Monday 21 January 2019


The patterns in nature fascinate me

Walking on the beach at Greencastle I spotted these little trees ... they made me smile

And this last one looked like a couple of shadow ladies getting ready to run into the water 

Wednesday 16 January 2019

Getting into the New Year

As the forecasters are constantly saying at the minute, this weather is unseasonably warm and mild but beware the cold is coming ....  But oh, these mild days have been gorgeous.  
The sea has been like glass
Mussel boat

Flat calm, with Carlingford yacht club in the background
Thank you all for the great suggestions on my feel good songs list - I have to agree with a lot of them - particularly Good Vibrations, the Monkees I'm a Believer and the T Rex one.  I'll be putting a lot of them to good use.

I've been very slow getting in to the new year this year ... There's lots of wee jobs I love to complete in December - getting the accounts up to date, updating the website, clearing my desk, filing away all my music in some sort of sensible order ... but this year none got done with all the visitors and bugs doing the rounds ...  until the past few days.   So I haven't even thought about resolutions, which I don't make anyway cos I'll never stick to them, but I have gotten back to my daily voice and guitar practices ....  our first concert of the year is on Valentine's Day and it's a local one (in Burren Heritage Centre, if you're a local reading this - details for tickets etc is at that link).

This pile on my desk had to get reduced to a couple of pages - done!

Monday 7 January 2019

Feel good songs and Mondigreens

One of the new singing groups I'm working with have asked for a run of feel good songs and I thought I'd put the question out there - what are your favourite feel good songs?  What makes you want to sing along at the top of your voice and chase the blues away?   Is there a song that just gives you a happy fix?   It fascinates me how different we all are and I'd love to hear your choices.   One of my most favourite happy songs is Good Vibrations by the Beach Boys - that just lifts my heart as soon as it comes on - or the Last Train to Clarksville by the Monkees, although the subject matter of that isn't at all happy, the song has such a lift in it.

And have you songs that you haven't a clue what the lyrics are but you can't help singing along at the top of your voice? ..... Do you know the second line of Blinded by the Light?  wrapped up like a doose among a runner in the night!!!! lol   I'm deliberately not looking it up cos we have such fun trying to figure out if anyone actually knows it.

You know, those misheard lyrics are called Mondigreens.

According to Wikipedia -
Coined by Sylvia Wright in Harper’s Magazine (The Death of Lady Mondegreen, Nov 1954) from a mishearing of a line in the Scottish ballad The Bonnie Earl O' Moray: "They have slain the Earl O' Moray, / And laid him on the green" (misheard as “Lady Mondegreen”).
And it is now defined as a misheard lyric which gives it a new and humorous meaning ... 

A classic one is in the song, the Black Velvet Band.  The line goes "with her hair hung over her shoulder, tied up with a black velvet band" - for years people thought the song went "with her hairy tongue over her shoulder "  LOL

So what's your feel good song(s)?  Let me know and help me compile a good comprehensive list.

By the way, there's a story that Judy Garland, before filming the scene above, disappeared from the set for 13 days and came back having lost a load of weight and had to be refitted for her costume for this final scene.  Now there's dedication to image for you.

Saturday 5 January 2019

The house feels so small

Looking out to the Irish Sea at Kilkeel Harbour
Wandering around the house in the middle of the night, it felt very empty after the bustle of Christmas and the various visitors that were here.  I think I'm experiencing a touch of empty nest syndrome that many of you talk about.

Not being one for Resolutions I did manage to get back to the gym yesterday - don't be too impressed, it's a programme with a Physio called Over To You with the idea that 8 weeks under supervision will kick start a lifelong desire to get physical again ... hmmmm we'll see.   But on my way back, I drove past the harbour at Kilkeel and the sea looked so calm and quiet and empty.  (Kilkeel is the main fishing port on this coast).   Only a few boats on the distant horizon.  On one hand it's such a soothing thing to look at, a calm sea, but the emptiness reflected that sense of calm before the storm that I always get after a busy fun period when work looms around the corner and you never feel ready.  

Today we take down the decorations and the tree instead of waiting for the 6th as I like to do, but we're out all day tomorrow and much and all as I love my tree I want a clear house for Monday.  It's always in my mind to tidy my desk and do all the filing before New Year's Day, but this year none of it happened and my desk is the usual midden that it normally is...   Perhaps today, or maybe it'll just have to wait!  

However, there might be time(if I can summon up the energy) to go through Chrissie presents there's not been time to explore - in fact there's a couple of birthday ones as well that I want some time with.   Maybe book a facial, or organise a date for a pottery class ... Yummy things to look forward to:)

How about you?   Have you had time to play with your presents yet?  Or do you delay the gratification like me?

Have a nice weekend.

Tuesday 1 January 2019

Happy New Year

We're starting 2019 with a lovely fresh bright morning here.  

It's been a busy Christmas with lots of visitors and although I'm fed up cooking it's been a brilliant week.  

We hiked up the hill to the Big Stone yesterday with my lovely nieces from Australia and their boyfriends and wandered around checking out the sights and feeling very proud of ourselves for getting up there.   I was totally disenchanted when my husband, who likes to stick to the facts (groan) told me it was only 700 ft and I only climbed a third of that - humph ... It felt at leasts a 1000ft! - who needs facts when we feel accomplished lol  

The sky was just amazing and lots of people were getting out in the fresh air before getting back to work.   

There's another few days of eating out this weekend, Nollaig na mBan (women's Christmas), a road bowls day, and some catching up with friends to do - I'm almost looking forward to getting back into routine again .... well, soon :)  

I wish you a wonderful bright new year, with lots of joy, good health and happiness and I look forward to following your adventures in the coming months.  

Athbhliain faoi mhaise daoibh (Happy New Year)