Tuesday, December 21, 2010

SNOWED IN!

It has been snowing heavily here all day and the garden is covered in a thick layer of snow. We fed the birds as usual this morning but it has snowed so heavily since that the food is covered and they cannot find it.

There has been much more birds looking for food today and they have been flying to and fro but there is nothing we can do until it stops snowing. It is a long time since I have seen such deep snow, I hope it stops soon.

UNDER A BLANKET OF SNOW!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

GARDEN ANTICS

There was great excitement in our garden this morning!

We had noticed that a large ginger cat had been stalking the birds and that they were not feeding from the dishes left out on the garden seat and that the little birds were getting chased off by the bigger birds. So this morning I hung a fat ball in the middle of a bush and a small wooden bird stand from the circular line and sat back and watched.

As soon as I had gone in small birds came from all directions. I discovered by watching that the wobble on the bird house was too much for the bigger birds and this left it free for the blue tits etc, one of whom was having a ball flying too and fro with seeds. The fat ball in the bush also attracted the small birds which left the dishes on the seat for the bigger birds - everyone happy - except the cat!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Thursday, December 9, 2010

BLESSINGS

Adam rings me or sends me a text most days, keeping me in touch with his busy life. He is especially busy coming up to Christmas and he has been telling me about the carol services which he has planned amongst other things but the text I got last night I would hazard a guess most mothers do not get (except when your son is a rector!)

Text read "am off to bed now after blessing the Christmas lights and crib"! Well what do you say to that - except "Bless You" back!

ICY JOURNEY

Yesterday Geoffrey and I went up to Dublin. I had an appointment in a large hospital there. I have not seen Dublin in such freezing conditions since 1983 when we were snowed in.

Yesterday wherever we went there were huge piles of snow on the edge of the roads and footpaths and the footpaths had a layer of hard slippery ice, I do not know how people have been getting around. Some hardy walkers were out, all wrapped up with either sticks or ski poles to try to help them keep their balance.

On our way home we admired the snow on top of two well known mountains in Wicklow called the Big and Little Sugarloaf. At that time of day the sun was setting in a lovely orange glow behind the Large Sugarloaf, I wish I had had my camera with me.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

WINTER FEASTS

The time has come again for us to feed the birds.

"our" robin has returned again and the pair of blackbirds and to our surprise we saw that they remembered where the food was left for them.

Yesterday I left out an extra treat of some pear pieces and the female blackbird immediately flew down and gobbled it up and then suddenly our robin swooped down all puffed up and chased the blackbird away. It is amazing to watch such a little bird bully a much bigger bird - and succeed - maybe there is a moral there somewhere?!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

OUR NEW PREMISES

The members of the gallery are settling happily into our new premises and I must say it is lovely and bright. The small street we are on now, always has people passing to and fro and we are beside the Halpin Cafe which is always busy.

Here's hoping for a good Christmas for everybody

KILMANTIN GALLERY

Saturday, November 13, 2010

FOOT FALLS

I was sitting on the sofa last night, down at my feet scattered across the carpet were a variety of shoes - yes the boys are home for the weekend!

Come Monday I will begin the search for:- the tv remote, the weekend papers, my small laptop etc etc.!

But it is lovely to have them home!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

LOST AGAIN!

Well, I did it again! Geoffrey was in a Dublin hospital for the day on Thursday and I had to pick him up when he was finished.

Finding my way to the hospital was fine, as it is a route I am familiar with but finding my way around the multi storey car park was another matter! The first time I went in I immediately turned the wrong way and had to come out and go in again. The second time was no better going round and round trying to find a space and trying to find the upper level and I was getting more and more bewildered. Finally I spotted a space much to my relief and could park. I wish my sense of direction was better!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

ROMANCE IS NOT DEAD!

Geoffrey came back from the shops today with a present for me - a thermal vest! - and they say romance is dead!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

NEARER TO GOD?

Adam rang me today to tell me what he had been up to this morning.

The roof has just been repaired on one of the churches he is responsible for so he had to go up on the roof with the architect to inspect the work. He sounds like he quite enjoyed himself and is obviously not afraid of heights. I asked if he had felt nearer to God and he laughed.

Who said being a rector is boring!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

CLOGGA BEACH, ARKLOW, CO. WICKLOW

I painted Clogga Beach a long time ago and enjoyed painting it. I am known for getting lost and several times I have set out to find this beach again, only to get lost, so today as it was a lovely sunny day Geoffrey suggested that he comes with me to search for this beach!

We set off after lunch - me driving and Geoffrey giving the odd helpful comment "why are you going down there - "you missed the turning" etc. We drove beyond Arklow - that much I managed before - then drove down a few narrow winding roads. I know now why I never found it! It is a little hidden gem and I still say it is difficult to find.

CLOGGA BEACH, ARKLOW, CO. WICKLOW

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

MY VISITOR

Decided I had to do some housework as the Rector was coming to stay. Hang on a minute thats my son! Forget the housework!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

BREAKFAST AT THE RECTORY!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU

ADAM'S INDUCTION

Adam's induction service was a lovely friendly service and in spite of my failing voice I managed to do the first reading. Watching Adam was really very surreal as he took his role in the service. After the service a feast was laid on for everyone and I met a lot of people, everyone is very welcoming and warm and have made Adam so welcome. The family were also made very welcome with a lot of thought and kinds deeds, overall the parishes feel warm and welcoming and I am sure that Adam will be very happy there.

On Sunday I went to Adam's first service as rector and was amazed at his polish and relaxed presentation - remember he is still my baby! He fluffed a few things but turned these into a laugh and had the congretation smiling.

AREA DEAN, KATHY, ADAM AND BISHOP RICHARD

Saturday, September 11, 2010

IN THE COUNTRY

Adam's new home is really lovely, big and bright and such a view from the many bay windows.

I stayed with him for a few days and every morning I spent a few minutes looking out of my bedroom window at that view! I am not sleeping well lately so have been up at dawn most mornings.

Around dawn the clouds cover the hills in the distance and the river is black and fast flowing - then the scene changes gradually - wispy clouds floating down the mountain and the river surface gradually turning a lighter shade and reflections of the trees and buildings appearing. Throughout the day it changes, Sligo is a really lovely part of the country.

Since moving in Adam has had so much help from the people around him and it has made his move much less stressful.

THE VIEW FROM THE RECTORY (Adam's new home)

Friday, September 10, 2010

SETTLING IN

Henry and Graham ( the two cats) have settled into their new home with no problem. Making themselves at home and Henry has already started doing his usual act of climbing up and down the bannisters.

When they look out of the windows I wonder what is going through their heads as the scene they see is very different to the one they are used to!

HAPPY IN THEIR NEW HOME

AT HOME

A MOVING EXPERIENCE

Moving house they say is the worst experience you can have in life so Adam's move from his house in Wales to his new house in Sligo was no picnic and I was not much help to him.

In his time in Wales he had made a lot of friends and it was lovely to see his friends pitching in and helping him move.

One friend - from his first parish - took the cats overnight and fed both them and us the following morning before the journey. Another two friends - from Faith and Light - came and cleaned the house from top to bottom on the day it was being cleared out by the movers and another friend - a local pastor - fed us on our last night as they knew we were staying in a hotel and my diet was limited and lastly another friend met us in Aberystwyth (half way through our journey to the ferry) and looked after the cats and us.

The journey was not too bad and the cats behaved themselves very well. The only bad part was when we had to leave them on the ship, their cage had to be left against a wall on the open car deck and they were very frightened, I felt sorry for them but when we came to collect them they calmed down again.

Monday, August 30, 2010

TRAFFIC CONES IN THE HALL

The headline says it all! I am sitting here surrounded by piles of boxes and other bits and pieces ready for the movers.

The cats have been introduced to their travelling cage, if they only knew what they were in for! Wednesday is going to be interesting, not only have the cats not travelled in a car they have not been on a boat either! I will not be able to travel over with Adam to Sligo as I would have liked and am hoping that the cats do not make too much of a fuss on the journey.

Moving house is a nightmare, Adam has found that with his job he will have to move occasionally but he has moved three times in four years!

Roll on Sligo.

GOODBYE TO WALES

I am over this weekend to "help" Adam with his move from Wales to his new parish in Sligo. I say "help" as I am really only supervising as I am still not in the whole of my health!

Today I went to church - which I don't do very often! Adam gave his last sermon and as usual choose an unusual theme which skilfully linked into the reading for the day. Towards the end of the service the assistant minister was reading the blessings and I promise I was listening when I suddenly heard him mention Adam's mom, mentioning that I was there and wishing me and Adam well for the future, its the first time I have been greeted in church like that and it was very nice. Afterwards there was tea and chat in the church hall and Adam and I were surrounded by people wishing us well and saying how they will miss Adam, it makes your heart glad and says something for Adam's time there.

Monday, August 23, 2010

LIFE DIET

I am still struggling to get back to normal - eating wise. Because I have to stick to a bland diet with small portions my energy level is not what it should be.

Adam is coming back to Ireland in a few weeks and I am doing my best to get my energy levels up so that I can help him make his move but so far it aint looking good! The one good thing in all of this though is that I am loosing weight and continue to loose weight which I have been trying to do for some time - there is always a silver lining in everything!

I am very happy that Adam is coming back to Ireland to live and work, he will be over in Sligo which is a wee way from here and it is going to very interesting when I try to drive over to visit him as I have a habit of getting lost.

Friday, July 30, 2010

MISSING

For the the first time in years I will not be taking part on the railings in Wicklow, displaying my art. This week Wicklow celebrates the Wicklow Regatta and the town will be full of visitors of not just the sailing kind. I have been trying all week to get back on my feet but this infection has knocked the stuffing out of me and I have no energy.

I will miss the craic as we say in Ireland.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

LIFE'S LITTLE BUMPS

well - I hit a rather large bump last Wednesday and ended up being rushed to hospital by ambulance! It was very painful and scary and I HATE HATE HATE hospital.

I am now thankfully on the mend and being looked after by Geoffrey who wishes we lived in a bungalow!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

DUTY

As a condition of taking part in an exhibition each artist has to do desk duty, usually an hour or two which I am always happy to do. I always find that I learn so much by spending time with other artists and looking at the work on display.

Last night I did desk duty in Greystones where I am taking part in an exhibition in St Patrick's Recreation Hall in Church Road until Sunday. I really enjoyed the two hours I was there and I had a great chat with my fellow volunteer and other members that came in.

There is some really fantastic pictures on display and it was also great to look around with other artists and study and comment on each individual style of painting. Asking where other artists source their materials is very useful too.

I went home happy with my fill of artistic knowhow!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

COMING HOME

Adam is coming back to live and work in Ireland. He has been living in Wales since he went to college there when he was 20, a long time. It is great that he has finally found a position here and I hope he will be happy and fulfilled here as he puts his heart and soul into everything he does.

I have been trying to search out different things for him and this morning I spent online searching out what he has to do to transport his two white cats.. As he has lived in Wales for such a long time he has accumulated such an amount of stuff it will take a bit of sorting out but his move will not be immediate which will give us time to get sorted.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

ENJOYING IT

Went for a stroll along the pier in Wicklow Harbour the other evening with my sister who lives in landlocked Kilkenny.

It was one of those warm windless evenings. There was a haze in the distance and those dark ripples on a flat calm sea, just great. My sister remarked how lovely it was and how lucky I was to live near such a fantastic place and I agreed.

The pier was full of lots of people strolling up and down just enjoying the evening and after the horrible winter we had it is just what we need to boost our spirits.

SUMMER'S EVENING IN WICKLOW HARBOUR

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

WINDBLOWN

Went out to the garden this morning to photograph the poppies that are bursting into flower and found that the wind overnight had blown almost all the petals off so I consoled myself by painting instead.

POPPIES

Monday, May 31, 2010

I LOVE CATS

It is a long time since we lost our lovely cat and I miss him so when I see other cats I always go over and "talk" to them.

Today I was down in the recycling centre and noticed in amongst all the bins and noise a tabby cat sitting like a king on top of one of the bins. He looked so serene it amazed me as the building is very noisy with lots of people coming and going. I went over to him and he accepted a pet from me. He was one very laid back cat!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

WINDOW DRESSING

The two paintings below have been displayed in two shop windows in Wicklow Town as part of the Arts Trail for the Wicklow Arts Festival. Taking a stroll around the town it is lovely to see such a large range of pictures on display and all for sale!

I spent a lot of time painting the Asgard and it is something I had not tried before, as they are watercolours I had to make sure that the windows they were displayed in were not directly in the sun. One side of the main street in Wicklow Town never gets the sun (something that not a lot of people know!).

Monday, May 17, 2010

IT'S THE SMALL THINGS .......

Like most people today life for us is a bit of a struggle - no point in going into it - its too boring for anyone to listen to but it is amazing how one little thing can lift your spirits.

All day today a male blackbird has been singing his little heart out to his sweatheart who from the volume of his singing is some way away! It is really lovely to listen to, he is making - I think - about four different notes and starts at the back of the house on the roof of our neighbour and then goes round to the front of our house and sings and jumps up and down in the hedge there. It has really put me in a happy mood and I do hope he gets the bird!

WORK?!

I have been busily painting these last few weeks, something I had not been doing lately as I havn't been feeling great. Now that I have got the bit between my teeth so to speak I am enjoying it and am delighted with the last two pictures I have produced which is unusual for me as I am rarely happy with my efforts.

One picture is for a local arts trail and is a subject I had not attempted before, fingers crossed that someone will like it and the other one is of Poolbeg Power Station in Dublin, a subject I have painted many times. I painted Poolbeg a bit different this time and I like it, it is going into an exhibition in Dublin in July - if I don't sell it in the meantime!!

As I sit here I am surrounded by pictures, some framed and some still waiting to be framed, I am lucky that Geoffrey is good at putting my pictures together as this allows me to paint a picture for an exhibition and have it ready for the next day if needed.

Friday, May 7, 2010

ARACHNOPHOBIA

What! Yes I know - as my sister would say "I had one of those and the wheel fell off!"

The frightened and informed people amongst us would know that the big word above means that some of us are frightened by spiders.

I grew up on a farm and wasnt afraid of any of the animals I had to take care of, no matter how aggressive they were and had been bitten, stamped on and chased by many an animal but silly me I am afraid of spiders.

So picture the scene - I had just washed my hands and picked up the towel to dry them and there was a plopping sound and when I looked down at my feet there was this HUGE SPIDER, I nearly died of fright and there was nearly a Helen shaped hole in the ceiling!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

DRIVING LESSONS!

We had a full house last weekend which was great as both boys are rarely home at the same time. They both lead such busy lives and Adam particularly catches up with friends when he is at home - just one problem he does it in my car!

Simon spent some time over the weekend getting driving lessons with Geoffrey - just one problem he does it in my car!

Seriously - I don't mind - maybe just a little!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

WHAT FUR

The garden is strangly quiet now that the birds no longer require feeding and have gone off to build nests and things, so I was surprised to see another visitor to one of the feeding dishes we had left out.

At first I could not make out what exactly the moving object was, but as I studied it I realised that it was a very small dormouse. A sweet little thing with big ears and a tail longer than its body. It sits and feeds not even bothered by us going to and fro to the garage, I just hope the grey tabby that comes into our garden does not have it for lunch one day.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


SPRING!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

MAKING A CAKE

Its well known that I am not a good cook but I am also a very bad baker too! My cakes turn out flat and rubbery - not nice! So when Geoffrey had a milestone birthday yesterday I decided to make him a cake in the only way I knew how.

The outside was cardboard but the inside was sponge like a cake should be - a natural sponge of course! He was tickled pink and I can honestly say this is the first successful cake I have ever produced!

THE CAKE!

GEOFFREY'S "SPONGE" CAKE!

Friday, March 26, 2010

BUSY BUSY!

Havn't had much time for blogging lately as I have been away in Wales with Adam. It was my first long visit since he moved to his new parish. His vicar is away on a break and he is in sole charge of a big parish and seems to be doing ok. As his mother it is fascinating to watch him work. His two white cats have settled in well into their new home and he has plenty of offers to look after them when he is away.

I had an awful crossing on the ferry on my way back. Big seas and every so often a wave that seemed to twist the boat. I am a good sailor even in bad weather but this time I was very tired and what with a few people getting sick all around me, I did hold onto everything but only just!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday, March 6, 2010

HERE COMES THE SUN!

Got up this morning and the sun was shining! I swore I would not moan about the weather but I am so fed up with being cold so it was just fantastic to see the sun this morning and to feel the warmth coming through the glass in the patio door. I sat for some time looking out at the garden watching a blackbird and a chaffinch warily eying each other at the feeding tray quite content with the day.

It just goes to show - the simplest things in life are the best.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

I LOST MY HEART!

I don't paint very often in acrylics as I prefer watercolour but every so often I try my hand at it. I painted the fiery heart you see on the site and liked it so much that I was going to hang it at home but when I saw the beautiful valentine window in the gallery decided to put my heart into the window. The girls in the gallery insisted I put a price on it which I did. When I went down to the gallery on Monday I found I had lost my heart!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

GETTING AWAY FROM IT ALL

I have just come back from Lanzarote, having spent a week there with Adam. It was lovely to get away from all the snow and ice but not without first falling the day before I flew out and twisting my knee!

Lanzarote is a really unusual place. The island is volcanic having had 2 large eruptions in the 1870's, although the islanders manage to grow vines in the middle of the lava fields! Thanks to a man called Cesar Manrique the island is one big artistic backdrop. Only two storey buildings (with one exception) are allowed on the island and no billboards are allowed which gives the island a lovely unclutted clean look. Cesar Manrique's house itself is amazing having been built within two volcanic tunnels - see the two pictures below.

The week went so fast but I was able to catch up with both my sisters (who live there lucky things!) and it was a nice winter treat with Adam.

THE WALL SCULPTURE

The Courtyard of Cesar Manrique's house

Saturday, January 2, 2010

THE NEIGHBOURHOOD BULLY!

You know how people say Robins are the bullies of the garden scene well......

We have a large shrub growing on our back wall which this year was full of berries but as the winter has been so severe all the berries have gone so we have started to feed the birds. I put down fruit, a fat ball and water, I also scattered bird feed in several places as we are visited by quite a few birds. Guess who is trying to hog the lot - yes you guessed it - Mr. Robin! When he is not stuffing his face he sits in the ivy on another wall and creates such a racket, obviously to frighten off the other birds. The amazing thing is that birds eight times his size sit there cold and hungry and let him take over.