“Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker?” ― Garth Nix, Sabriel

Well today we choose the path, at least we thought that we did, together with my daughter and four of my grandchildren, all of us girls we choose to take a walk in Dromillihy Forest, a walk that led us to the freshly opened bluebells which carpeted the forest landscape in between the deciduous trees. A wonderful view to behold! The girls were climbing the lower branches of the larger trees and excitedly looked for the fairy houses hiding between the ferns and mosses. The children love the forest, love the leaves in autumn and everything else in between. I’m also a tree lover, even hug them, we all do – it feels good. Here the trees are often covered in ivy and moss, also in beautiful lichens. We were touching the moss today and it was as soft as feathers, or silks with a lovely springy feeling like marshmallows. My youngest grandchild, she is only two, choose me as the darling of the day and held my hand right through the walk, we ran down the hilly paths she laughing out loud, a real nature child she is. All the children love nature. We discovered Wood anemones, violets, and other little spring flowers. The scent of the bluebells though was fine and delicate and spread itself all around.
It is the highlight of being back in Ireland, activities with my grandchildren, and chats with my daughter.

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EASTER ART AND FUN WITH MY GRANDDAUGHTERS

Today my two oldest grandchildren came over to have some quality time with gran. We had a lovely time painting and colouring duck eggs for Easter. The girls were in great form and soon the place was full of brightly coloured arty decorations. Branches were picked out of the garden and decorated with eggs. But the girls then got side tracked and started sewing which turned out go be great fun, they surprised me with their handy work, sewing on buttons and ribbons, we then decided to go visit the local sewing shop and after much deliberation they both bought some really fancy buttons. After shopping we passed the playground and I thought it a good idea to let the get rid of some of their energy. The rest of the day was filled with more art, some seed sowing, and a yummy dinner. Tonight I am wrecked, had a lovely day, and happy to hand the children back to their parents, ready for bed.  These times though, are very precious.
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FAMILY DAY

And what excitement it was with opening presents, playing games, telling stories, singing songs, and eating lots of different little nibbles. The doll’s cradle, and the orphaned doll went down very well, and so did the wooden race track for the little cars. The girls received books and games, and all the children were given a bird house to hang up in the garden. We had a lovely afternoon. Why I found it so lovely was because not only of the togetherness, but because of the simple delightful activities that took place. The seven year old told us the story of the nativity, and another one of how the Robin got its coloured breast, she then sang one of the songs of ‘Frost’, the eight year old engaged my partner in a board game, they both sang more songs, and so did my other smaller grandchildren. My partner read one of the books to them to their delight.   What is so special about it is how children can still enjoy themselves without television or electronic games, and to see this is good.

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“Lastly, she pictured to herself how this same little sister of hers would, in the after-time, be herself a grown woman; and how she would keep, through all her riper years, the simple and loving heart of her childhood: and how she would gather about her other little children, and make their eyes bright and eager with many a strange tale, perhaps even with the dream of Wonderland of long ago: and how she would feel with all their simple sorrows, and find a pleasure in all their simple joys, remembering her own child-life, and the happy summer days.”   Lewis Carroll – from Alice in Wonderland.

A MAGIC DAY

Between, the baking, the decorating of the speculaas (a Flemish/Dutch Sint.Niklaas spicy biscuit), making the Christmas stars, the story reading, and watching a video about puppies, the girls had a great time, we also sang some songs together and before we knew it the day was over and it was time for the girls to go home.  I’m just sitting down after cleaning up the kitchen 🙂 and now for a relaxing evening.  The stars are still drying and were not ready for taking home.  I also managed in-between to make my wreath for the front door, something that I should have done days ago.  A happy day had by all.

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A WINTRY DAY

“…freshly cut Christmas trees smelling of stars and snow and pine resin – inhale deeply and fill your soul with wintry night…” John Geddes – A Familiar Rain
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It’s early yet to decorate the tree, but it’s been such a dismal day here that I thought it a good idea, and yes it does add warmth and cosiness to the room, and after all winter goes so quickly and Christmas comes and goes so fast, that we might as well make the most of it.  So I had a lovely hour or so this morning and carefully put on the ornaments, I so don’t want our little tree to be damaged.  I also gave it water so it does not dry out.  The grandchildren will love it, next week we have a Christmas story reading here for them, I have some lovely books ready.  One is “Step inside the Nutcracker” a fairy tale, after the ballet, and there is “The Gift of the Magi” by O.Henry, “Angelina’s Christmas” by Katharine Holabird, and of course for the youngest there are some of the Thomas and friends Christmas specials.  The illustrations are beautiful in all these books, and the Nutcracker has got 3-dimensional pages, wonderful!  Can’t wait for the story reading day to come, brings me back to when I used to do the story reading in the library.  Children just love it.

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