Reading My Way Around the World

Friday 29 May 2020

May 2020 Photo Scavenger Hunt

Hello everyone,

How are you all coping with the continuing lockdown?  I'm finding that it's taking me even longer to get anything done and after 10 weeks I'm really relaxing into this pace of life. 

A few weeks back I fell and sprained my ankle and have been going slow ever since - but on Sunday we got out for a short walk for the first time in ages ... so much for my dreams of getting fit over this time.  Anyway ....

Today I'm joining in with Kate's monthly Photo Scavenger Hunt and most of the photos have come from that walk to Greencastle, a few miles from here, which is on the shores of Carlingford Lough at the mouth of the lough out onto the Irish Sea.   On the opposite shore is Greenore in Co. Louth. 


Well I thought it looked like a triangle anyway - and I love the shape of it .... a marker for the feighters coming in to Warrenpoint Harbour further up the lough. 


Oh how I love the dandelion clocks at this time of the year - it brings me right back to learning how to tell the time on them when we were children. 


I'm not going to show you too much of the Splat! here though you can see some of it at the bottom of the pic - we were slightly too late when we spootted the starling going to the corner of the roof - Tom went to close the hole but realised too late that there were already chicks - so we've had to stick with them - apart from the mess, they're sooooo noisy.   Thankfully they take only 3 weeks to fledge so they'll be going shortly - the little darlings:)  But they are fascinating to watch.   Another year swallows got in to the front porch - thankfully we've avoided that one!  I love nature :) 


I love the (almost) square windows in the Castle at Greencastle - it's a small castle here and dates back to Norman times - one of a series of lookouts right up the lough.   There are a lot of remnants of both Viking and Norman invasions around this part of the coast. 


A few years ago I was having a real photography phase and managed to get some half decent night time photos - I was really proud of this one.

Your own choice

The ferry moored up at Greencastle until times improve.   This crosses the border from here to Greenore and is a handy route for people working at the port across the way.  It's only been open for a few years so I hope this lay off doesn't impact their business in any way.   It's really handy for a day out to Carlingford or a quick route down to Dublin from the Mournes for tourists.

So that's it from me for another month - off now to join the other Scavengers from around the world to see what they've been up to this month. 

Friday 1 May 2020

April 2020 in Photos

I've been trying to take the time this month to get some much needed rest and blogging has fallen by the wayside again .... so I thought I'd at least try to jump in and join the Photo Scavenger Hunt that Kate at I Live I Love I Craft has kept going for several years now.   This month the words, or suggestions, have been put forward by Purple Threads and they're an interesting variation to suit this new situation we all find ourselves in.  I feel like I want to answer the questions more than put up photos so bear with me....

Happiness is ....

Having  more than one weekend at home and getting to grips with the garden while watching Nature slowly unfold in front of us.

Normally at this time of the year we are off travelling somewhere.   Right now we should be driving home from a trip around Scotland and the north of England after visiting several folk clubs, enjoying lovely gigs, and catching up with friends we've not seen for a few years.

So it's been a lovely surprise to actually be here at the right time for pruning hedges, planting seeds, weeding and tidying. The poor garden doesn't know what's hit it!  This is a very boring photo of a bit of waste ground that it has taken us 17 years to dig over!!  so a few herbs and peas already in and more seedlings getting ready

Makes me smile ...

There have been so many funny videos doing the rounds since the start of the lockdown - some are chuckle worthy and others really laugh out louds and we've had our one constant smileworthy Red the squirrel.   But these sweet flowers make me smile everytime I see them - closing up at night and opening up to the sunshine.  Not even sure what they're called but were part of a bag of mixed bulbs I planted in the Autumn

Relaxing with ... 

Finally at Easter we got some time to relax - so out came movies, books and knitting and of course the obligatory glass of wine (hic)... And I've also been dabbling with art journalling - enjoying creating with no end result which has been a huge joy.   I'm not artistic in the slightest, so to play with paint and paper with no expectation is bringing me back to childhood and is wonderfully relaxing.

I set myself a few projects to do during this time using up left over scraps of wool and took this basic pattern from Beate at Hedgehog Fibres for a blanket.  It is still growing and keeping me warm on these cooler evenings and my piles of unused wool are starting to shrink.

Busy with ... 

Learning new technology ... groan ... sorry, but this is a long comment ....
Coming up to St Patrick's Day and the week before the official lockdown we were hoping to finish up our run of The Emigrant's Woman Tale and managed to get to the last two shows before everything collapsed.  There was an instant panic as we spent the following 2-3 days cancelling the following several months work.Too much stress.

Then began the task of moving some of it online and that meant learning new tecnhology - to teach a class, to run the choir and to do a concert.  It took 3 weeks, but we managed to get all of them going by using Zoom and Facebook Live.  However it totally exhausted me and I've ended up taking an earlier than normal holiday to get time to recover (and apologies for not putting up the link after our concert).

The concert was a huge success - much better than we could have expected - you can still see it on YouTube.  Once we starsted seeing comments coming in from around the world, friends and family letting us know they were there, it became very emotional and really really enjoyable.   We're considering doing a second one if our energy returns before the lockdown ends, and we'll time it to suit the American clock this time.  And I will be a bit quicker about letting you have the YouTube link afterwards

However, the choir online was not as successful.   Because of the delay in sound we cannot sing together from different places - we can use it for a check in and for all the members to say hello, tell a story etc and if I switch off everyone's microphones each person can sing along with the tracks I've recorded.  It's not as sastisfying as making music together, but at least it is keeping the group together.

And the last bit - teaching a one to one class on line - that was a great success - almost better than in real life as I can watch the student better.  It just depends on students having good enough technology at their end. 

Positive about ... 
So as a result of the last one I am positive about learning new ways of being.

A gorgeous walk around the bay on Sunday evening

But more importantly I'm positive about the future.  I've worked weekends all my life and never knew how to switch off.  It never occured to me to take days off in lieu, and as I've got older couldn't quite figure out why I always felt ill and exhausted.

Now I'm learning to rest, relax, chill out and just be.   Wheee .....

My Own Choice
Friends doing shopping for us, ... and arriving with a gorgeous bunch of flowers at Easter.   And as I've watched the tulips fade in the vase, the shapes of their elegance have been fascinating.  I've spent ages each day photographing them, learning about the light, and watching their shapes change.

Heading over now to Kate's linky page to see what everyone else has been up to. 
#staysafe everyone - this too shall pass.