THE BEAUTY AFTER THE STORM

Beautiful raindrops shimmered on the flowers and leaves in the garden this morning, everything sparkled after last night’s rain and thunderstorm. There was a freshness about the garden and the scent was earthy. Soon the sun burned the mist away and the breeze dried out the raindrops but not before I had enjoyed their beauty. A fine summer’s morning in West Cork.
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RESTORING THE MILLER FIFER

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A few years ago my partner Ian came into the possession of an old Miller Fifer, a boat that was going to be restored to its former glory – Ian loves boats, they are his life. A smile appears on Ian’s face if he even just thinks of his Miller Fifer, yes it is delightful to see his pleasure in the boat. But for one reason and another no work was done on the boat after an initial month or two of intense work which Ian together with my ex-husband Ron did over a year ago. see link to blog post

But lately the desire to work on the boat again resurfaced and Ian got the help now of a young man, my nephew David. So after a bit of planning we finally managed to organise a couple of days work just recently. I volunteered too though I know that my help would be limited, it would consist mainly in being supportive and in running a good tea/coffee service which I gladly did being in need of that sort of thing myself too regularly. Apart from that though I brought my mask and knew that I would have the job of sanding some of the very neglected and in need of much TLC woodwork – the cabin especially seems in need of a lot of this. I also cleaned up the inside of the boat as it was a mess. I found many tools half rusted and decided to put them in a Coca-Cola bath. The boys worked hard, they also enjoyed their rolls and egg salad and copious cups of tea. At the end of the two days a lot was achieved and more planning for the next step was done. I’m very please too, though it is not really my project – it is good to be part of the team and to see good results.

The deck in need of much TLC, wood preserver, and paint or varnish.  Sanding will be a big job here.  I for one am going to take care of the cabin (as much as I can).

As can be seen the inside of the Miller Fifer needs quite a bit of work to it, but order was needed above all so that we could see how to proceed.

Tools in the Coca-Cola and scrapers ready to be used by me.

The boys at their lunch, and during a rain shower we sat in the car drinking tea.

I took to finding spots of rot, only a few but I documented it all on photos so as to have an overview.  The rotten bits will have to be replaced.

Ian, David and I hard at work.  Worst of all are the paint fumes – I so dislike, luckily its outside and there was a breeze.

Silhouette of the Miller Fifer and its bow, nice lines and great photo opportunity, I can never resist it.

CHERISHING THE MOMENT

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
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During the last few days I visited one of my dear friends, it had been too long since we caught up with each other, and it has been very necessary and a great joy and pleasure to make that time for her yesterday.


Since there was such a super crop of raspberries in the garden I have made plenty of jam, but also the cherries were cheap in the shops, but it’s not as easy to make these into jam hence they turned out runny and we are using the result on ice-cream and in porridge. Delicious!

Summer flowers, it’s good to concentrate on the beauty of nature, especially during days of sadness.

“Be present in all things and thankful for all things.”
― Maya Angelou

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It has been a sad start to the week here with one friend passing, and a joy later on in the week with visiting a precious friend who is very ill. It makes for quietness and reflection in my own mind. Realising, of course that nature, the beauty of nature, the flowers, the insects, the summer sun and evenings, the delightful scents in the meadows, the nearly full moon in the sky right now, the ripe red berries in the garden, the stillness of the river reflecting lush summer trees found along its banks all help to make life beautiful and meaningful. Letting go is an essential part of growing a little older too.

MEMORIES FROM BOSTON

Architecture of the nineteen seventies – architect Ieoh Ming Pei.
JF Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
The Pavillion
Archecture at JF Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
The sailboat Victura and the exterior of the library.
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If one would like to catch up with some historical and biographical information on John F. and Robert Kennedy, then it would be a good idea to visit the
J.F.Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum at Columbia Point in South Boston.

Apart from getting a good oversight of the life, the presidency and history of that period, a visit to the building itself is definitely worth it.
The building was designed by Chinese born American architect, I.M.Pei, and was build during 1977-79.
As you walk towards this massive construction, you see a stark contrast between its white concrete exterior and its black steel and glass façade, an unornamented expression in abstract shapes, a monument to modern American architecture.
Pei also designed other great buildings in Boston; like the extension to the
Boston Public Library, the West wing of the Museum of Fine Arts, the Hancock Tower.

I was particularly impressed to see how well old and new architecture can be together, this is shown over and over in the city of Boston, Boston is probably a good example to show how architecture has changed from the American Renaissance, to the Modern, in the 20th century, with the more modern buildings making a clear statement of what they are meant for, attracting visitors from afar, to not only look at the external building, but also see what is to be found inside, and what the buildings are used for.

It was interesting to learn that Pei was also the architect that designed the great pyramid shaped entrance and addition to the Louvre Museum in Paris, a piece of work that I have always admired very much.

Looking back I enjoyed very much taking photos of this building. And of course also learning a little bit about J.F.Kennedy. The friend who was with me was very knowledgeable on the history of all America’s presidents and he guided me around.
I have very many good memories of my stay in Massachusetts and Connecticut, especially visiting David Henry Thoreau’s and Walt Whitman’s Concord, and the Florences Griswolds museum in Old Lyme. I am looking at some of my photos and notes and hope to share more in future.

MINDFULNESS

Below follow some quotes from people I admire. I have put them among photos of our garden showing how lush it is at this moment, a moment to relish and savour, a moment to be thankful for and to enjoy to the full. Yes another summer is in full swing ~~~~~~~~

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.” Thich Nhat Hanh
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“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” Eckhart Tolle
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“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.” Thich Nhat Hanh


“There are a thousand thousand reasons to live this life, everyone of them sufficient” Marilynne Robinson
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“Life is a dance. Mindfulness is witnessing that dance.” Amit Ray


“If the only prayer you said was thank you, that would be enough.” Meister Eckhart


“Happiness is your nature. It is not wrong to desire it. What is wrong is seeking it outside when it is inside.” – Ramana Maharshi
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“You have a treasure within you that is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.” – Eckhart Tolle


“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” – Victor Frankl
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“Mindfulness is about being fully awake in our lives. It is about perceiving the exquisite vividness of each moment. We also gain immediate access to our own powerful inner resources for insight, transformation, and healing.” Jon Kabat-Zinn

ODE TO OUR POLLINATORS

This week has been the week that we remember and show appreciation for our pollinators.

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I read recently in the Irish Times that here in Ireland, bees are a crucial link in the supply chain of our apples, raspberries and other soft fruits. and that a third of the Irish species of bees is threatened with extinction. One can imagine what problems this will cause down the line. Personally we are having a great crop of raspberries and the pollination, as far as I have been able to observe, has been done by bumblebees. There is of course a large number of different pollinators, luckily.  I can’t resist taking photos of any wildlife I find in the garden, so here is a series of pictures taken this spring/summer of our pollinators.

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This bee was just lying there, I guess it was almost dead, but it soon revived with a little honey.

Also many other pollinators visit the gardens.

Thanks to Murtaghsmeadow’s blog for bringing Pollinators Awareness week to my attention.  This is a link to her blog.

https://murtaghsmeadow.wordpress.com/2017/06/20/a-week-in-celebration-of-pollinators

Here is another interesting link:  http://www.biodiversityireland.ie/projects/irish-pollinator-initiative/all-ireland-pollinator-plan/

 

 

MIDSUMMER

. “Life, now, was unfolding before me, constantly and visibly, like the flowers of summer that drop fanlike petals on eternal soil.”  Roman Payne

WORK TO BE DONE!

Yes work to be done, and that in our front garden.  The back garden is taking care of itself for the moment, quite wild, but all the same some vegetables are growing and fruit is being harvested already.

But the front garden has hardly been touched for the past six years.  For years I could not do anything much as I had a bad flare up of fibromyalgia.  For the moment that is under control.  And so the work has been waiting and it is a pleasure to do it now.  Trouble is that I have several ‘projects’ on the go at once.  All maintenance has to be done otherwise in this damp climate everything rots, wood especially.  And so, apart from power washing the patio, there are the pillars to paint, the woodwork of the fence to be sanded and treated with Sadolin or something like that, and the hedges need cutting also.  And I have been and still want to introduce more container plants, especially the Hosta which I adore.

Wellingtons waiting!  And as can be seen there is much work, especially the red brick I want to get really clean as it looks lovely when they are done.  All the same I am very aware of not wasting water!!!  But what else can one do, I decided to concentrate on the red bricks.   And to remove the moss, if I could achieve that I would be happy enough.

DSCF2196As can be seen….lots of moss and dirty bricks!

This is the end result more or less after several hours of work and too much water wasted (where is it all going?  Underneath the house?  I have all these questions and in a way I am happy that I am only doing this job every so many years.

These Verbena I potted up the other day, l love the colours and they give a cheerful face to the front garden.  The Buddleia is also almost flowering, that will bring many butterflies!  The Rose pot which used to be in the back garden I am now enjoying when I look out the kitchen window while cooking, it is a joy!

In Gozo, last winter I did see lots of lovely and well kept front gardens, the plants were mainly succulents, often in containers, beautiful.  I started then to fantasize about putting more containers with flowers in our own front garden to brighten it up.

While I am wrecked tonight, it has been well worth the effort today.

I think that I deserve another visit to the Garden Centre tomorrow!