HAPPY NEW YEAR

May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
May the clarity of light be yours,
May the fluency of the ocean be yours,
May the protection of the ancestors by yours”
Taken from Benedictus by John O’Donohue


Wishing all my dear friends and followers a very happy and blessed 2019!

 

PEACE ON EARTH

Wishing all my dear friends and followers all over the earth at this time of the year blessings and happiness. And most of all Peace worldwide and also in our own lives and in ourselves. Much love to you all.

THAT MOMENT WHEN THE SUN RISES

I was waiting patiently early in the morning, the sky had already begun to have a glow but nothing yet had appeared on the horizon, until all of a sudden there was the first glimmer of a sun.  The moment was magic, and I felt my heart fill with happiness, joy and gratitude, there was another day about to start, another day was breaking and in what a glorious way!  What a powerful moment!
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20171018_154801 Another day has started in which to explore, and see the beauty around me, and be intrigued by all the little adventures that this day would bring.

The gray-green leaves of the Olive tree, a beautiful flower, the bright colours of the Luzzu boat.

20171025_180121The view out of the window of my lace making class in Victoria.

20171025_152530The humour seen in this proud dog trotting beside its owner in the funniest way.

20171025_151014And the funniest of all, me taking the wrong bus on my way to Victoria for my lace class and ending up doing a tour of almost the whole island before I got off the bus in Xaghra and taking another bus to town.  I so enjoyed this little detour and could only laugh at my own mistake!

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And when the day is done and a glorious sun is setting, painting beauty for long moments more, then, well then it’s time to happily be grateful again.

THE BEAUTY THAT IS GOZO

It is hard to believe that it’s nearly a week ago that we arrived in Gozo again. This time we are staying in a village, Ghajnsielem it is called, which lies on the East coast of Gozo and right at the little harbour of Mgarr which is where the ferries from Malta and Comino arrive, and where many boats of all sizes are anchored in the marina. Our flat is at the outskirts of Ghajnsielem and we overlook this harbour from a height which is very pleasant indeed. I am fascinated with the rock that our building is situated on, a beautiful rock, limestone. On my way to the village centre to fetch some groceries or go to the Post Office or such-like, I walk past lovely limestone buildings, old and new. The traditional, beautiful Maltese/Gozitan balconies can be seen in wood or stone along the way, a pleasure to the eye as always. Then you come to the neo-gothic parish church which rises up toward a blue sky, it’s eye catching! Surrounding the church are a variety of green and tree filled areas and an interesting Band club café where it’s nice to sit outside and observe village life while sipping a nice coffee or a cool drink. This morning I discovered where the library was. People all along the way were greeting me with either a bongu or a good morning! I’m starting to feel quite at home in this village.
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LIFE MOVES ALONG

Summer has come to an end. We are not ungrateful, we had a gently warm summer with enough moist to keep land and animal happy, so, looking at some other countries where people endured hardship because of the weather we have every reason to be happy. Today is dark, windy and very wet. It is time for us to go I think and that is what will happen in the week to come, all going well.

Reflecting on the summer months for a moment, for me personally it was wonderful because of all the activities with my daughter and grandchildren, we went for many walks and explored a variety of wonderful gardens around West Cork. At home also spending a peaceful time with Ian and enjoying many long conversations and discussions on everything under the sun, for some of these my sister Josefine was a part and a great input that was. There were the Art Exhibitions and the Art Festival, also the Historical Festival here in Skibbereen, and the Ellen Hutchins Festival in Glengarriff with an amazing walk in the grounds of her estate, all of which I enjoyed to the full. I’m sorry that I had to miss the Literary Festival in Bantry!   I am also very happy because I was able to connect with all of my siblings (8left), this is something that is both important to me and very dear to my heart.

So I leave some images for everyone to enjoy. As I will be travelling in the next week or so I will again miss checking out all blog entries of my lovely friends and followers , but I hope to catch up soon. It has been a bit hectic around here. Meanwhile I would like to thank each and everyone for your encouraging support of my blog. Take care and be blessed.
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Bantry Bay with the Caha mountains in the distance.

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There was a lot of magic in the garden this summer, the sun on a dew drop early in the morning creating diamonds was just one such moments that creates a feeling of wonderment.

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One of the amazingly beautiful paintings of Maurice Henderson, his works of flowers and his blues especially I love.  We attended a celebration of his life recently after he passed during the summer.

And of course there are always lots of wonderful discoveries in and around the garden.

BUTTERFLIES, HONEYBEES AND THE NEIGHBOUR’S CAT

A happy Monday morning wishes to all, hope that your week has started well. My week could not have started any better when early on I woke up to glorious sunshine. I happen to glance out of the window to the front garden and the buddleia bush and there I saw the most beautiful butterflies, five different species. They were fluttering among the honeybees of which there were over half a dozen.   I stood watching them for a long time and only then thought about taking some photos and I’m glad that I did because in a way I feel that I have captured their beauty to share with so many others, and that makes me happy!

What a beautiful time of the year it is!
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This is a peacock butterfly, it is found all over Ireland. It hibernates during the winter. It’s got to be the most beautiful of the butterflies in Ireland.
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This was amazing, so many species on the one flower spike, there is the red admiral, these feed on over-ripe fruit and also in particular you see them on the buddleia bush. There is also a painted lady and a small tortoise butterfly.  Not to forget the lovely honeybee, it’s so nice to see many of these around isn’t it, knowing that they are on the decline.

Painted Lady butterfly
Painted Lady butterfly

After I had stood there for a long time watching them, there came a neighbour’s cat and she could think of nothing better to do but to try and catch the butterflies, she managed to get hold of one branch of flowers and destroyed that, but the butterflies were able to escape and of course, much as I love cats, she got chased away very quickly by me.

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GIFTS FROM MY LATE SUMMER GARDEN

Half way through August in Ireland is already considered to be ‘late’ summer. Some years the month of August would bring autumn-like storms and lots of rain with chilly evenings, but this year, however, it has been warm, yes even warmer than usual, and the past few days the temperature has reached into the twenties (C). It’s just a lovely time of the year I think.
I’ve been away for a while and now that I am back the first thing I did was to go and have a good look around my garden. I have a lot to consider because in another few weeks we will be away for several months and though the house will be lived in, the garden will not be looked after. So there is planning to be done, so that when we arrive home again I can start planting and sowing straight away.

Here is what I found in the garden at present:
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Still beautiful flowers, I love hydrangeas, especially the blue coloured types.  These won’t need any attention as they are perennials, so they grow from year to year, all they might need is a little pruning.


Though the start of the summer brought very few insects, lately the garden has been full of them, bees, bumblebees, beetles, all sorts of flies, and so on, also the ants are ever present. The insect hotel has been quite occupied it seems and that is encouraging.

Seeds are starting to ripen.  Here in the garden it is the evening primrose plant and the thistle especially that are ripening fast, both of which I want to save for sharing later with my local GIY group.  The seeds of the thistle of course I grew especially for the gold finch, so far I have not seen any but the they will come, they do every year.

I used the last of my comfrey tea and the barrel is ready for another brew, fortunately the comfrey grows enormously fast and another large plant is ready to use to this end.  The straw I have put in the two cold frames on top of cardboard, this will help to prepare the soil for next year, and keep stuff growing there.  Montbretia flowers still brighten up corners here and there in the wild areas.

The garden is still gifting us with raspberries which are sweet and tasty, I also love the tansy flowers and of course the white hydrangeas at the back of the garden which this year are giving an amazing display.

This is an update of sorts, I needed to have this on record above all, and it has done me good, if anything, writing about my garden, and taking the photos is a really relaxing activity for me, I enjoy it very much and that has got to be good.

ORGANIC SMALLHOLDING IN WEST CORK

A few days ago we visited a smallholding belonging to old friends, this couple had emigrated from Belgium to Ireland in the late eighties. Back then they set up a smallholding and were soon self-sufficient. About two years ago they bought a smaller piece of land, just about one acre in size.

Being who they are, hard working people, they amazed us totally with the amount of vegetables and herbs they have growing in an already very organized garden, the one acre is totally utilized and apart from vegetables they keep hens, ducks, a cock, and goats, so they have eggs, and milk from the goats.

We found their way of life so inspiring, totally self sufficient, they are so very organized, because of yearly flooding of their land they have built raised beds, the soil they used in these beds is totally organic, there being organic waste from the goats, the chickens, and their own compost heap, and lots more go into a recipe that is excellent to enrich the soil. A local strawberry farm provides mulching material. So the vegetables and herbs grow very well, they look the picture of health.

Among one of the things that is very important to them is to save their own seeds.  They reckon that seeds saved from their own produce, and swapped perhaps with neighbours, will produce easy to grow crops.  Crops that would naturally grow well in this particular micro climate, and soils.  Some of the crops we saw were, potatoes, mais, beans, peas, broad beans, onions, leeks, carrots, spinach, oca, spring onions, asparagus, lettuce, quinoa, marrows, cucumbers, kale, broccoli, and lots of herbs, among them rosemary, oregano, chives, comfrey, milk thistle, angelica, bay leaf, mint, and so many more.  There is also a wide variety of berries that grow along the side of the acre.

There are six home-made tunnels in which the couple grow a variety from tomatoes and quinoa to millet, and all sorts of other interesting things. Along the beds the grass is kept short by guinea pigs, these do a good job. The guinea pigs are kept in specially made large wire cages, that get moved along the grass, they also have a larger cage inside, there seem to be quite a few of them, and they are looked after very well.

Use is also made of ferrets, these guys keep the rats down.

Everything has a use, there is no sentimentality at the smallholding. We shared a meal with this couple and it was delicious, all produce out of the garden, except the fish which had been locally sourced too. From the photos you can see how efficient the place looks, lots of hard work goes into it, but I think that the satisfaction one gets when all runs smoothly and the produce is great, is wonderful.

JAN & NADIA'S SMALLHOLDING

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DIFFERENCE SOURCES OF MANURE FOR THE LAND
DIFFERENCE SOURCES OF MANURE FOR THE LAND

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