A Wexford Rape-field in April

A field of Rape is now a common site in the South East. I took this photo of one in County Wexford. It is grown for the oil that is extracted from the seeds. Recently Rapeseed oil is used to fuel cars as as an alternative to petrol.....it is certainly a lot prettier.....


There's a child inside

My three sisters and I were mulling over some hard decisions we would have to make about our elderly relatives when I showed them these photos from the 1930's of two of them frolicking in the sea. The young girl here who is enjoying it so much is now in her 80's.

I can't say it was an easy evening we spent, but these photos and many more which we are lucky enough to have, were a reminder of the wonderful lives and people that they once were. While they worked hard, they also had a lot of fun and this was mainly when the cameras came out.

Older people need to be known, understood and appreciated for their experiences of life but also for their personalities. It is great to see images of them as children and know that the child is probably very much alive inside. This is certainly true of our Dad, who between westerns and crime novels can create a very interesting imaginary day to compensate for the real one where nothing really happens. This is a great gift I think...... but he is another story altogether.

See www.bealtaine.com  for information on this arts festival for older people in Ireland.


Cuckoo Flower or Lady's Smock

The Cuckoo Flower or Lady's Smock is flowering in the field below. It is a boggy lakeside area perfect for this delicate little flower to flourish. Some of their petals are white while others are tinged with lilac or pink. How did I identify it? There is a fantastic website www.irishwildflowers.ie. It details everything you would need to know with wonderful easy, many angled photos. Necessary in my case.......



I don't believe that gardening is about perfection but in the case of Mount Congreve the impact is pretty close. Right now the rhodedendrons are in full, vibrant bloom. Typically I am more drawn to the simpler blossoms and enjoy the gardeners and their wheelbarrows! There's a whole backdrop of hard work to it. Ambrose Congreve started the garden when he was 11 years old. Now he is 104 and still giving instructions to the gardeners. It is open to the public every Thursday and is free.

There are two walled gardens. One is the informal vegetable and summer border garden where there will be a different border blooming for each month starting in May. There is a lovely gardener's cottage right in the middle of it. The night my youngest son was born at home, the midwife stayed over in this house as the young woman living there was also about to give birth and the snow was thick on the ground. I have lost contact with both of them now, but this visit reminded me of those heady days and nights, during a very cold January.


It's a rock

It's a rock. It's just there. It is. There's not much else to say but to me it's beautiful. I want to be a rock when I grow old.


Biddy's lambs

Biddy's sheep have all lambed except for the last two. She is keeping them in and feeding them meal until their time. We walked over the fields today to inspect the whole lot of them. Lots of sets of twins. The dogs snuffled at the lambs but it didn't seem to bother them at all. It was lovely to see how very proud she was of them especially as she was solo midwife to every single ewe. Farmers don't often get to show off their hard work.  Biddy couldn't bear to slaughter lambs herself, she adores her animals, but she does eat roast lamb and loves it....don't we all.........


By Hook or by Crook

It's almost like going on holidays to take the Passage East Ferry from Waterford to Arthurstown in Wexford. Today, on my way there,  I took a stroll on Woodstown Beach and photographed the demon Dandelion, which is of course very pretty...... as discussed earlier on Twitter!  Unfortunately for us and the Dandelion, we only appreciate those other yellow flowers...... the romantic Daffodils........

The Norman invader Richard De Claire coined the phrase by Hook (Hook Head Wexford) or by Crooke (Crooke Village in Waterford). They are opposite each other across the Suir River and you can see both from the Ferry. Great phrase isn't it?


First creamy blossoms on the lane

Blackthorn or Prunus Spinosa displays the earliest blossoms of spring on the lane. They are scattered and delicate, brightening up the dark hedgerows.

Later in the year they provide sloes for sloe gin which is perfect at Christmas time.


Epicurus (Ἐπίκουρος, Epikouros, "ally, comrade"; 341 BCE – 270 BCE)

I never really knew where the term epicurean came from. So anyway it seems that it came from a Greek philosopher called Epicurus.

"His philosophy was to attain the happy, tranquil life, characterized by "atraxia", peace and freedom from fear, and "aponia", the absence of pain, and by living a self-sufficient life surrounded by friends. 

He taught that pleasure and pain are the measures of what is good and evil, that death is the end of the body and the soul and should therefore not be feared, that the gods do not reward or punish humans, that the universe is infinite and eternal, and that events in the world are ultimately based on the motions and interactions of atoms moving in empty space." (Wikipedia)

Hey I thought I was an Agnostic but I think I am an Epicurean!

Epicurus' school, was based in the garden of his house and called....... "The Garden"..... anyone identify with that? He insisted that nothing should be believed, except that which was tested through direct observation and logical deduction. Many of his ideas about nature and physics influenced important scientific concepts of our time. He didn't over do it either but was a vegetarian and lived a simple but abundant life.....
Excellent! By the way the photos was taken in the visitor's cafe at Christian Dior's home in France. Perfectly epicurean I'd say!


As lovely as a field of lavender

There I was moaning about the state of the garden....... I had spent the afternoon digging out that awful rooty, strong grass which had taken over the flower beds.......again. (It's true, I give most of my attention to the flowers, just can't resist them......)

Anyway, Paddy was planting a few trees nearby and he said to me "Go down and look under the green netting there's a surprise there."  Well! The beauty of the Purple Sprouting Broccoli which was in full flower under the netting took my breath away. It had been doing nothing all winter, and I suppose I am very ignorant, but I didn't have a clue when to expect the crop.

This patch is as lovely as a field of lavender in Provence, and even better we are having it for tea with the left over mushroom risotto from last night.