Saturday, 27 May 2017



The other morning we woke to heavy fog. I walked the dogs up the lane and around what we call 'the loop' as it's mostly off road and brings you through the landscape using an old trackway that runs between fields. It's where we pick sloes for gin and eventually it joins the road that leads back home. It was slightly spooky walking through the fogged air, past the woods where the trees were dripping and cobwebs hung like spun air. Kevin had seen a fox there the day before. He was sick or old and was slow to move off. Kevin had called the dogs to heel to allow him time to go. There was no sign of him as we walked to the top of the lane passing the small field bordering the woods where the sheep huddled together. Then on through the overgrown bit and down the track that lies dipped between fields. It can be muddy underfoot, although at this time of year it's dry earth and easy to walk on. We ended up on trackway again and there right in front of us a fox full of rude good health, sleek in his glossy coat. We had startled him as he crossed in front of us and in one glorious bound he flew into the undergrowth and disappeared. And somehow just seeing him like that, for the briefest of seconds, made me feel better.

Monday, 15 May 2017


Today it is raining. The dust under the trees, where the boys' swings are, has become mud and everything else is sodden. The rain woke us in the night and this morning it's all grey skies and wind. But we've had such sun and warmth and blue skies that perhaps a little rain is allowed, if only to refresh the garden. 

Friday, 5 May 2017


We have been having some truly lovely May weather. Morning walks are along dusty tracks with bluebells and cow parsley and the lake water looks almost warm enough to dip into. Those clear blue skies have meant lots of garden time - playing, reading and even barbecuing (duck sausages-a real winner!) and having friends over for impromptu drinks as the sun sets. It's amazing how quickly we have become used to sunny days- fingers crossed they continue!

Friday, 28 April 2017

funny ha, ha

The other evening Mide remembered a book that his teacher was reading to the class in school. Luckily we had it at home (Mr. Stink by David Walliams) so he spent an enjoyable hour before bed reading out all the funny bits he liked from it. Having a sense of humour is something so intrinsically human that we barely think about it. People with autism are sometimes regarded as having no sense of humour or as not being able to understand or tell jokes. In Mide's case this is not true - he enjoys jokes, word-play and puns and he definitely gets the humour in books like Mr. Stink and cartoon strips like Calvin and Hobbes. Indeed, it also helps us as parents to have a sense of humour when dealing with situations that might otherwise make us furious or cry (or both). On more than one occasion we've used silliness and joking to diffuse tension or reduce his anxiety. Of course, that said, it doesn't always work...

Monday, 24 April 2017


Last day of the Easter holidays... a picnic at Castleroche and a walk up Slieve Gullion. I say that breezily but I'm not a natural mountaineer (apparently it was a hill I was climbing as Hugo kept annoyingly pointing out but it truly felt like a mountain) and even though I was encouraged to channel my inner mountain goat I fully insisted on not doing that, but instead used my small reserves of energy for complaining. Kevin wondered did I not feel a sense of accomplishment? I looked up from my 'yay, I haven't had a heart attack on a mountain-side' bar of restorative chocolate and said no, no sense of accomplishment just do not ask me to do that again. Needless to say the boys loved it and, with a sinking heart, I began to feel very out-numbered...

Saturday, 22 April 2017


Easter ~ hazel tree branches with glass eggs and paper chickens, cakes and tulips at Burtown House, walking along the River Barrow in the sleepy village of Graiguenamanagh with my sister, magical Huntington Castle, egg hunting and coloured bunting, home to the garden and weeding and planting. 

Spring ~ a time for growth, not always easy because sometimes growth means moving away from what you knew before and going in a different direction where perhaps the way ahead is less clear, and possibly even difficult, but somehow better for you. Have the courage to grow, even when it's hard.

Monday, 10 April 2017

primroses and crocuses

I love the work of Debbie George - her paintings are quiet and peaceful and always beautiful. Her spring flowers are just perfect - there are plenty of crocuses in our garden and the primroses are making an appearance in the banks along the lanes but I've yet to see any cowslips. This reminds me so much of posies picked by tiny hands, one or two flower heads to be put into the smallest of vases or perhaps an egg cup, a small token of love.

You can buy Debbie George's work here

Tuesday, 28 March 2017


It was nice the other evening to walk to the lake. That extra hour meant there was enough light to be outdoors well after dinner time so the dogs and I strolled to the water's edge. We watched as the blues faded to greys and the shadows grew longer and the landscape seemed to settle in on itself, apart from the odd melodramatic blackbird dashing from the hedgerow. The last few days of settled weather has meant spending hours outdoors - eating, playing, reading in the garden and, at the end of the day after we've tidied up, watching fiery sunsets.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Moon light and morning light

We are slowly stepping into the light and warmth. Yesterday we had lunch outside in the garden. There's a sheltered nook in the front where the wind doesn't quite reach. So there we sat eating a cheese and pesto sandwich and sunning ourselves for a few minutes hoping that this weather would continue. Nothing very big. Nothing very special. Just a sandwich in the sun. The first outdoor lunch at home this year.