Reflections up on the roof

It's the witching hour, the gloaming. Patterns and shadows play across an amber horizon and as usual I am drawn towards the sky. Paddy who likes to predict tomorrows weather, is also skywatching and suddenly shouts "Come here and see this"

We both run up to the roof for the best view. Even after all these years, the sun setting in the west is impossible for either of us to ignore. Now it is all autumn gold and deep navy blue.

We are reluctant to let the day go. We carry on pottering until there is nothing else left to fix or tend. Himself eeking out the evening with forays into the garden, or myself following the light to capture the last silhouettes. Of all the hours in the day, of all the magic moments, the last dying rays of the sun hold us inthrall yet again. Neither of us wants to close the curtains on it.

I used to fear the dark and lonely silence of the night, that fading light, the end of things. The unfamiliar noises of twitching bushes of gorse on the hill or the scuttling of bats leaving their daytime home in the rafters.

I've learned that it's ok. Ok to hold on, and Ok to let go. This is how it happens.

First let the darkness envelop you like a cosy blanket. Then cheer on the black swooping bats as they disappear off into the night sky. Finally set the alarm for an early walk to snap the sparkly dewy cobwebs at the break of day.

I don't believe it! Is this me letting go of the past to make way for the new? Is this me making plans for tomorrow?

More autumnal images here



I've always had a house full of them. Long limbed lads with soft chocolatey eyes and too many plans for wild escapades.

Knotting up the house with twine, wool and bits of wood. Getting under upturned tables and chairs and dragging their stuff in there. Breeding mice and guinea pigs and keeping them in their pockets. Sleeping with a hound who ate a hole in the wall and a cat who gave birth to four kittens on top of one who was trying to sleep.....

Scampering through the fields, even during the night when we never knew they were out. Liberating caged birds and protecting a family of foxes from the hunt. Creating endless film footage of Action Man meeting some unfortunate end, of cars and trucks going off the edge of a cliff, of fireworks going off in slow motion.

Tousled heads conferring while carefully setting up scenes with small clever fingers. Imaginary friends with strong opinions on who was to blame for accidental breakages, usually "Mr. Nobody." The sweetest precious cards and pictures drawn and painted to a virtual running commentary. (One in which I was depicted as a mother rat (!) perfectly and lovingly drawn, feeding a babe....)

And of course running around after any kind of a ball in a whirl of excitement.

Laughing, messing and playing football on a misty wild beach.......oblivious to everything and everyone..........the lean sure movements of lads playing football....... just brought me right back........


In the green backwoods

We listen for the sound of the soft turf giving way with each footstep. We watch every little rustle in the leafy undergrowth. The darkened tunnel becomes our adventure today and we are high on the danger of it.

The boys have to hide first and then we girls count to 100. That gives the boys time to conceal themselves throughout the forest. We girls then set out to find them knowing that at some point either we will sneak up on them or they will ambush us cleverly before we can......

The giddy excitement of the increasingly spooky and darkening thicket. The ripe blackberries that lurk in the briars to distract us from our task. The shadowy woven branches of Willows, Ash and Beech. The unbridled screams of the found girls and the inevitable row over who saw who first.....

These greenest of green backwoods have been home to my dreams as along as I can remember. Dreams of bigger experiences and journeys. Dreams of a better me in a better world. Dreams of freedom and safety. Scary dreams too of what might be hidden in the dark there.

Everytime I re-emerge into the light after walking in the backwoods, I feel I have lived that young girl's fears and longings all over again......


Busy bees, the hoverflies and us.

We are busy; the bees, the hoverflies and us.

We are buzzing, and flitting and re-focussing our intentions.

We are working all hours to keep body and soul together. Gathering and seizing every chance. Seeking only the brightest and best. With every other creature we are plotting and planning and above all........ we are looking for signs........

Is there the slightest chill in the wind? Are the leaves turning their backs to the world?  Grasses everywhere are turning golden and seeding, so will the farmers get to save the hay?

We are alert. We watch the sky for breaks or for weather fronts approaching from the west.....

There are signs everywhere, Autumn is just around the corner, and the bees, the hoverflies and us just keep doing what we do best........we are working......and when we get a minute, we are enjoying the Cornflowers.........