Pixelated friendship

Sometimes, here in the middle of nowhere,  I get the most precious correspondence. Mostly from people I don't know and have never met in the real world.

There's a tribe of ripening women who consistently show up and dazzle me with their shining wisdom. They are photographers, practitioners and bloggers of all kinds; sky watchers and lovers of sunsets everywhere, in Australia, Brazil, Alaska and on Horsecroft Farm in merry old England; sensitive types who love birds, and lanes and dogs; writers, creatives and friends of Ireland; sassy beach walkers and mid-winter sea dippers..... 

And lonely people, bedridden, who remind me of my Dad's last years and send me warm email messages. And men too, with foreign sounding names and fabulous websites of their own. People with all sorts of deep knowledge and technical skills in their own fields, or who live in big cities and pine for hedgerows. 

Even real old friends, who played in the back gardens of Ireland and beyond, send hand written notes with warm memories or mail me snippets from their lives. 

So thank you ALL. (Even if you never did send any love letters and just visit here occasionally, consider yourself included) We may never have met in person but through some twinternet alchemy we are developing a new kind of pixelated friendship. 

Soon Foxglove Lane will be moving lock stock and barrel to a new website. I have yet to learn how to fully make the transition, but things are falling into place and while parts of my brain are now fried, a few of those pesky old brain cells are leaping for joy.

Here's to you, me and continuing pixelated friendship!

By the way there's an interview with me here by nature lover and blogging legend Donna Abel Donnabella. Hands across the Atlantic! 



You won't usually find me photographing dying exotic flowers. But these ones are ethically traded and were left on the shelf of the local supermarket. Himself succumbed to their vibrant beauty.

They just got better and better as they shrivelled up and died. Yes, BETTER! You can see for yourself, although maybe you would have preferred them in full bloom? Beautiful either way, but from the perspective of a photographer not nearly as textured, characterful, or intense.

This leads me neatly to myself and the challenge of how to talk about ageing. My ageing. The word AGEING comes with a lot of baggage. You know I'm developing a new online space, which is taking forever, but it's also very absorbing and is waking up brain cells I didn't even know I had?

Well, I'm making theme headings for my blog archive of 5 years and one of them will have to be AGEING or something like that as I've just realised that I write quite a lot about it! (While denial seems to be my default, there is no arguing with what's there in my own words.)

So when mulling over the last year and thinking forward into the next, I was meditating on the following beautiful Rilke quotation.

"There is no measuring in time, no year matters, and ten years are nothing. Being an artist means, not reckoning and counting, but RIPENING (my caps) like the tree which does not force its sap and stands confident in the storms of spring without fear that after them may come no summer.”

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Thanks to Rilke my word for 2016 is going to be RIPENING, softening and easing my way forward, "confident in the storms of Spring without fear that after them may come no summer." Allowing for the completion of projects and the exploration of new ones in a more organic and instinctive way, it's all taking lots of time, and sure there's no hurry on me......

Plus, Ripening sounds a lot kinder to my soul than Ageing!!! 


He keeps himself to himself

On this grey winter's day, for these ten minutes, in the old farm-yard; I sense his imprint.

I see how he solves problems, how he sets up his work, his personal history. How each tool is a prop in the daily routines that unfold here. I admire his handiwork, his craft. 

And you won't have to teach him how to recycle or why. Every single rusty nail has a purpose. Every piece of rope and twine is waiting to be tied into position.

And all is in order, to hand, filed to perfection. A rook is feeding on the compost and the cattle are housed away in their steamy cafeteria. 

It is as if small and hidden parts of his life are on open display to all who pass, and yet he keeps himself to himself, remaining elusive. 

Also browse a very different 10 minutes spent in Bruxelles Nord


Long before it happens

"The future enters into us....in order to transform itself in us.... long before it happens."

William Beveridge

Time is beginning to play tricks. It gallops along at a right old lick and then slows into stillness. I love the idea that the future enters into us, to transform us, long before it happens? It is a kind of explanation as to what I am feeling about the future and why.....

I have no New Year resolution or intention..... I only know that I want to go deeper into what matters with every day.  Like going into the forest again, that spooky old place, rustling and creaking. But then the light catches some small details and I get swept away, into the flow again.....

Afterwards the thinking part of my brain decides to build an entirely new website. I'm about to shift from Blogger to WordPress, start again from scratch, learn a lot more about how to do all this. I'm trying to visualise the world 5 years from now. I find it is almost impossible as everything changes so fast.....

Then I woke up and found that artist, genius and legend Bowie was gone. I find Lazarus (his current gift to us) very hard to watch. But I always loved this one from 2013, maybe before he knew how it would end? Full of emotion, sadness, nostalgia for Berlin, and of course the dead.....



It's a time of the year for mulling things over.

Today, in a lull, between rain storms, I stand on the shore in Annestown and feel the power of the sea overwhelm the questions I have queuing up from 2015. Like fragments of flotsam and jetsam they end up in flithers on the high tide line.

With New Year resolutions being made all around me, my vague musings on 2016 are blown away on the wind, evaporating into white foamy bubbles.

The cold saltiness is an ice bucket challenge. The eyes are focusing on the horizon, capturing the constant changes; the head full of the roar of waves. Don't stumble, don't drop the camera, don't fall in.

Under her spell, hanging in there, mulling......

Happy New Year and great mulling dear friends!

PS Speaking about the sea, this moving piece by Ruth Fitzmaurice blew me away.....