Sunday, October 31, 2010

Shadow Shot Sunday

Lots of shadows in this shot, from a park in Rouen, France. I walked through this each day on my way into town when we were there in the summer.
The white canopy is a restaurant, but we didn't manage to eat there - we tried one day, but the waiters ignored us, so after 15 minutes waiting, we left and ate elsewhere.

This is my first time to join in Shadow Shot Sunday. If you'd like to, just click on the picture at the top.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The winners!

Thanks to all who entered this giveaway. I hate it that everyone can't get a prize, I'd really love to be ordering 14 copies of the book to be sent to corners of the world.
And apologies for the delay in announcing the results - we had some unexpected visitors yesterday and today - a lovely surprise!

Back to results ... last time I had a giveaway, I used, but I'm a fuddy duddy old-fashioned person, and when I saw this idea on a website, I knew this was my way to go...

here are all the names ready to go in the magic teapot,

lid on, and give it a little shake,

This is much prettier than!

Then draw out the first winner...

First out was Zuzana, whose blog Life Through reflections has beautiful words and photos, from Denmark.

followed by Amy from The Green Bathtub,

Amy blogs from Smalltown, USA.

And blogger seems to have a mind of its own tonight, and has spread this post out more than I intended, so if you've a sore finger from scrolling, I'm sorry about that too.

Now I have to organise myself and get those books ordered.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Giveaway Reminder

Just a little reminder that my GIVEAWAY closes at noon Irish time on Thursday.

I'm so looking forward to the two winners getting their books!

And to while away the time, may I introduce you to one of my favourite hobbies, when I have time on my hands, which isn't very often - cloudwatching

Christopher Reeve once commented on how you could find endless entertainment from clouds, and I too find endless entertainment just watching them float along, beautiful and fluffy and light, and not a care in the world, and when I watch them, some of that carefree feeling washes over me too.

I deliberately included the lamp posts in the corners, to kind of anchor the picture, not sure if it works or interferes.

"It's only life, and we'll never get out of it alive anyway"!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Crochet Dress, MYM and RT

I came across this in a market in Porto during the summer, and immediately thought it would make a perfect MYM and RT post.

And now we're in the autumn/winter mode, the colours seem perfect for Fall too!

Have a lovely day, everyone, and click on the links at the top to see more YELLOW OR RED

Monday, October 25, 2010

A Giveaway

A good friend recently had his book of poetry published. Tom grew up in the county next to mine, so much of what he writes about is familiar to me. And yet he experienced the 60's in a very different way to how I did, as I went off to the city to boarding school, and gladly shed the cloak of country living. I've never been at all tempted to don that cloak again in real life, but I love reading about country life; perhaps it keeps me connected to my inner farmer, or fisherman!

I missed the launch of Tom's book, due to a bad cold, but I have been enjoying reading it since then.
And I would like two readers to share in that enjoyment, so a copy of "An Exaltation of Starlings" will go to two lucky winners.
Here's a little taste of it:
"Beyond the Mill Marsh
the river takes a turn for the deep
dark pike-swallowing deep,
pike looking up at us,
looking down on them"
To enter, just leave a comment below, followers only, and I'll draw the two winners at noon Irish time on Thursday 28th. It doesn't matter where you are; Doghouse Books have this lovely policy that their price includes postage to anywhere in the world.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A day of Gifts

It's been a lovely, sunny autumn day here, so in the afternoon we got a bit of gardening done.

In the midst of a bit of weeding, I gasped when I saw this

I only planted the bush in June, and thought it would do well to produce fruit next year! But the weather has been unseasonably warm, so nature has given us this most wonderful bonus bounty.

And then I moved to the other side of the garden, and discovered another stash!

I've already made my green tomato chutney, so I'm leaving these on a plate at the window for a few days, hoping they'll ripen enough to eat. And if not, another little pot or two of chutney won't go to loss!

And tonight we were at the opera. And this was another gift. The Sunday Times has been offering some free tickets to a live HD cinema screening of performances from The Metropolitan Opera.

Tonight's performance was Mussorgsky's Boris Gudnov. A marathon 4 and a half hour performance, which included two intervals: it was brilliant! There were also some lovely behind-the-scenes interviews during the intervals

Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain"was the first music I played on my first night in band, so I'll always have a special place in my heart for him.

So, at this late hour, as I'm about to head to bed, I give thanks for a bountiful, beautiful day.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I was on a training course 2 days last week, and one of the things we had to do was to don a pair of glasses to simulate some degree of visual disability.

I chose the Retinitis Pigmentosa ones, because I had in the past taught a girl who had this condition, and wondered how it would be to walk a bit "in her shoes".

Scary was how it was. We left the room, went down some stairs and then out the door and round the block "what, you think I can walk on a footpath with only a pinhole of vision? Impossible".

(picture courtesy of Cruisin with Cricket blogspot)

Initially, I had my hands held out in front of me for balance, and was quite hunched, but eventually I got some handle on it, with our tutor beside me , pointing out rough ground and obstacles.

Half way round the block, we got to swap glasses, so I was thrilled to get a pair where I had poor peripheral vision- a doddle compared to RP. I was then the "guide" for my colleague wearing the RP glasses.

My evening walk on Monday was such a joy!

I was able to scrunch these leaves quite joyfully, and look down too, not having to scan metres ahead for possible tripups.

I remembered my past student fondly, and her determination to succeed at Accounting. It must have been a nightmare trying to write numbers down from the board with only this tiny pinhole of vision, and she did it with courage, grace and a hunger for learning. I know that I was sympathetic, but until this week I didn't really know what it was like for her.

Isn't it a pity that students without a disability don't always appreciate their vision?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ruby Tuesday

This lovely package arrived from Amy at The Green Bathtub.
I won it in her giveaway. They're made in her home town, and even though I live an ocean away from her, she still posted them to me, and they arrived safely and in great condition.

It's just as well I don't live in her home town- I'd be a little tub! They are absolutely yummy. I'm telling myself they're part of my 5-a-day, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it.

Thanks, Amy, I'm still enjoying one a day (ok, sometimes two!).

For more Ruby posts, go to Mary T, by clicking on the link here

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Trophies and Awards

Last week was a good week. Three awards in a row! And I got my new car! More about the car later..... onto the awards:

I love awards!
Many thanks to EddieBluelights at Clouds and Silvery Linings, Retiredand Crazy and Amy at TheGreenBathtub.

I love you all to bits!

So, in line with the conditions of the award, 8 things about me, here goes:

1. I love chocolate. Ok, I know you all know that one, but no harm to say it again.

2. I'm allergic to bananas. Can't eat them at all.

3. My grandfather was born in Argentina. My Mum used to tell us that, but we didn't really believe her, it seemed too far-fetched until we saw it when the 1901 and 1911 census went on line. My great-grandfather had emigrated there during the Great Famine (what was great about it?). He returned to Ireland when my grandfather was about 10. Two of my grand aunts went back there, so I still have relatives in Buenos Aires. I'd love to visit that city, and some day I will.

4. When I was 8, I was very sick. Got measles, followed immediately by mumps, followed by jaundice. Ate practically nothing for 6 weeks. Was so thin afterwards, and had such a bad appetite that my mother brought me to a specialist in Dublin (that was a big thing in those days, "a specialist? In Dublin? She must be very sick"). He instructed that I drink a pint of milk every day, so at break time in school I had to drink milk, lukewarm, from a brown sauce bottle (lock-nlock hadn't been invented!) ; the nuns made me stand at the top of the classroom to make sure I didn't just give the milk to someone else. Seriously! Like there was a queue for brownsaucebottlelukewarmmilk!!! You can imagine how much I like to drink milk now? I do still eat brown sauce, though, on rashers!

5. "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I wanted to be a dentist. Loved the idea of wearing a white coat, and driving a fancy car. So mature!! Didn't get enough points, so decided to do science. The white coat features again!

6. Hated science. Lectures every morning, including Saturday, at 9am. Lab every afternoon, always got the wrong results in chemistry substance tests. Stupid white coat! Now hating it!After 4 weeks, I couldn't take it any more, and decided to take an offer of a bank job.

My mother refused to let me quit college, and made me seek a transfer to another course. I chose Commerce (Business) cos the people I knew on that course were having loads of fun and afternoon lectures. Yay!

7. I loved Commerce from day one. Even though I had never studied those subjects in school, I settled in straight away, and have loved it ever since. I love the world of business, love teaching it, loved working in it when I took a break from teaching. So many years, and I've never tired of it, not for a single day. Thank you, Mother, for your unwavering faith in my ability, and your ambition for me to be the first person in my family to get a college degree. And thank you for funding me through college- my father didn't believe in educating women because "they just go off and get married"! Seriously!

8. We're not at 8 already? Wow!
I'm afraid of dogs. Iwas bitten by a dog when I was 3 (sad life!!!sob, sob!!). It gets worse! We had just had a car crash, and we went into the yard of this house to ask for help, their dog bit me! Not a good day for Mimi!! If a dog rushes towards me, I lose it. I try not to, but a primal instinct takes over. Once I know the dog well, and it doesn't run at me, I'm ok with it, but not otherwise. And when someone tells me "Oh, he wouldn't harm anyone" that just makes me mad!

Now comes the fun part of the award! Passing it on.

So, in no particular order, I'd like to nominate, for the trophy of your choice,

Stephanie V at Hookin'Knittin'and Livin', love your current knits

Gaelikaa at Out of Ireland into India, I always have a great read when I visit here

Lisa at The Long Road to China, you're almost at the end of the road, so exciting!

Ciara at Milkmoon, who has just celebrated her 3rd birthday

Zuzana at Life Through Reflections - I love your beautiful pictures and words

That Ridiculous Girl, any chance of a few more classroom posts?

Mr London Street, oh, what fabulous writing

Catherine at Dispatches from the Deise, fellow Irish blogger and 50th follower! very entertaining posts, always

Kerri at A Little Piece of Me, exquisite photography, lovely quotes, an inspiring blog.

And here are the pictures of my new car, well, new-to-me, car- I just love it!

It took sooo long to find it, I can't believe how much time I have now I'm not spending it all looking around garages and websites.

But I'm so happy with it! It's smaller than my old one, but I don't need a big car any more, now I'm doing less and less ferrying around.

It's got one of these, which I've never had before, and longed for, but the only trouble is, i don't want to dirty the nice, shiny new car by maybe spilling tea or coffee in it!