Thursday, January 17, 2019

365 Photo Challenge Day 14. Sunrise, Sunset.

Last night I stayed in the house that I had lived in for thirty two years. As I was already in the area and I was bringing Mum to the hairdressers the next morning, it made sense to stay. I slept in my daughters old room, handy, because it is right next to the kitchen!

When I awoke at eight the following morning, I decided to slip into the kitchen and make myself a mug of coffee and go back to bed for an hour. As I got up, I noticed the sky. I had forgotten what winter sunrises were like here. The house faces east. I love the sea and know I cannot live far from it but there is something about seeing the sunrise over rolling hills and the trees silhouetted in the foreground.

Not wanting to get dressed, I donned my boots, I had been warned to wear them anyway. Luna is not yet house trained and walking the kitchen floow in bare feet is not to be recommended. I pulled my coat on over my nightie and regardless of the bare legs went out to capture the dawn.

 Luckily there were not too many neighbours passing  or they  have might have been tempted to send for the men in white coats. The dressed in coat and boots and bare legs climbing on the ditch to get the best shot above the hedge was enough to raise a few eyebrows. Cilgin Kiz indeed.

Happy that I had my "photo of the day," or even more than one,  I wasn't going to have to bother my "wrinklies" by asking them to pose. As it turns out, G was still not well enough to join us. Therefore the remainder of the gang headed for Mary Barry's Pub where an enjoyable lunch was had by all. Mary Barry's is too far away for G. On the days she joins us we eat in the local golf club.

The weather had disimproved rapidly. The beautiful sunrise had turned into a wet grey day. However some days just never stop giving and this Tuesday was one such day. As we walked back to the car, I noticed the sun setting behind the church. I settled my ladies into the car and they watched in astonishment as I began to walk to the road. When my cousin figured out what I was up to, she also jumped out of the car to catch the same photograph. I now had the perfect pair. Sunrise, sunset!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

365 Photo Challenge. Day 12 Sunday 13th January. Wexford Quays

Today I had my photo planned. I was meeting Anne and her Dad for the lunchtime trad session in The Stores in Wexford. I would take a photo of the musicians and I would be set.

Mission duly accomplished, what a way to spend a Sunday lunchtime, good food, toe tapping music and my photo of the day taken and it would be something a little different from my usual. That is until we stepped outside and I saw the light on the quays.

Wexford is a maritime town, it's current name comes from the Viking Waesfjord, the harbour of the mud flats. It is situated at the mouth of the River Slaney, I lived in Wexford until I was seven. Then  we moved to Rosslare but my secondary school was in Wexford town. Years ago my principal teased me that I was only a young 'wan, i went to school on a yellow bus. But he was wrong, we did have free transport, but it wasn't the yellow bus, it was the train!

The bridge immediately caught my attention. It was sitting under a deep dark cloud. Years ago, I remember a friend having a Halloween party, or maybe it was just a party to see the fireworks at the opening of the Opera Festival. I remember standing on the bridge to watch the spectacle.

Sometimes with some of the same school friends, we would break out of school at lunch time and head for the swings in Redmond Park. One day in a fit of madness, we bought bubbles and headed down to the New Bridge as it was known. We broke into two and stood on either side of the bridge blowing bubbles across at each other, Not the wisest thing to do when wearing your school gymslips. We were known as the "brown cows"

The quays when we were younger were the "Woodenworks" They used to terrify me, walking along as they tended to move underfoot and were not always in the best state of repair. But I remember winning a bottle of hair spray, in a crab fishing contest during the Opera Festival from the woodenworks. I can't have been more than six.  The Woodenworks were quintessentially Wexford. Dismantled in 1995 they were replaced in 2000 with a newly extended quay front.

Therefore, instead of the trad group photo, I present to you the Wexford Quays. And being me, I could not choose one single photograph on this occasion. I warned you I would do this challenge in my own inimitable style.

Sunday, January 13, 2019

365 Photo Challenge. Day 11. Saturday 12th Jan. Light on the Horizon

Sometimes few words are necessary. I am leaving this one to Rumi.

"If light is in your heart, you will find your way home."
Light on the Horizon

365 Photo Challenge Day 10: Tea

The real McCoy, a gift from India

Though not a tea drinker, it is always to be found on my kitchen counter. In the past, when I drank neither tea nor coffee, it had to be within easy reach for my friends who learned to put on the kettle themselves if they were in need of a cuppa. Times changed, I came to love my mug of coffee. Now I am the one to put on the kettle, as soon as I hear a car draw up.

In Turkey I learned how to make tea in a çaydanlık, the double Turkish teapot. . My first effort was not appreciated. However I was only informed of this on my second attempt. I was then given a lesson in the art of brewing the tea properly. 

Later a çaydanlık was brought from Kavaklidere to Ireland. It travelled half way around this country when Mr. Man came to visit. It was greeted with joy by visiting Turkish teachers during a Comenius project visit.  For them their proper glass of tea was a basic necessity.

Continuing in the spirit of fusion,  Darjeeling tea brought from India was recently brewed in my Turkish teapot!
A much travelled Turkish teapot.

Friday, January 11, 2019

365 Photo Challenge Day 9: Fusion

One of the greatest pleasures in my life is to prepare a meal for the people I love and then have them sit around my kitchen table chatting as we enjoy the fruits of my labour.

Today, I wanted to prepare a meal that would represent me. As my guests were from overseas it should represent my Irishness. But of course even though I am Irish born and bred, part of my soul remains in Turkey.

It has been a long time since I made Beef and Guinness stew, first made for a Comenius project meeting. The ingredients for my Irish dinner went into my Turkish copper pot, handmade in Kavaklidere. They were laid out in advance on my wonderful board, a slice of olive wood from Birgi. Each item has a story of it's own, but here on my table, they have all come together.


All I need now is my dinner guests to arrive.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

365 Photo Challenge Day 8: Hey Dude, This one's for You!

When everything is moving and shifting, the only way to counteract chaos is stillness. When things feel extraordinary, strive for ordinary. When the surface is wavy, dive deeper for quieter waters

Kirstin Armstrong

To know yourself as the Being underneath the thinker, the stillness underneath the mental noise, the love and joy underneath the pain, is freedom, salvation, enlightenment.

Eckhart Tolle

The Saltees

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

365 Photo Challenge Day 7 Back to my Roots

I have visitors coming and going this week and so have found it hard to find time to make my posts but I can promise that the photographs have all been taken on the correct consecutive days. 
Yesterday took me back to my roots. Tuesday is my "Wrinklies Day"

From the time Mum got sick and was not allowed drive, I  have brought her to meet her golfing buddies for lunch on a Tuesday. Even though she can now drive again, I still bring her as I love the ladies company. They are a feisty bunch. Some Tuesday, I will ask their permission to take their photograph and share it with you.

 G has been sick and was not in form for joining us. So it was decided to go further afield to Mary Barry's gastro pub. We were joined by E, another of the golfing buddies and my first cousin, who I have really only had the pleasure of getting to know over the past few months. A pleasant lunch was had by all. 

After dropping my cousin back and heading to drop E home we passed the Coastguard in Rosslare Strand. The sky was streaked with pink. Nothing as spectacular as two days ago but beautiful.

This is where I grew up and I spent a lot of time on the far end of this beach. I loved walking it in winter, the wind never failing to clear my head. It left me with my love of the sea and a desire never to live far from the coast.

365 Photo Challenge: Day 6. Last hope

With not a hope of topping yesterday's sunset I was feeling rather uninspired. 

Another busy day, lunch with my cousin and her husband. Our friendship goes back to when I was a little girl and she would come down on holidays, call for me, bring me out for a walk and an ice-cream. Being an only girl with five brothers it was the highlight of my year. Fifty years later we still have a close connection.

We had a lovely lunch together with Mum in the Riverside in Enniscorthy. I planned to take some photographs of the river. However with all the chat and news of an unexpected dinner guest, taking the photographs went clear out of my head. 

I had to make a quick stop in Wellingtonbridge for supplies. With the light fading, hope of my photo of the day was fading too. It is too early in the challenge to be skipping days. However, coming out of the supermarket, the twinkly lights in the trees opposite caught my eye. A last reminder of Christmas. I crossed the road put down my shopping bag and took a quick snap. Still on track!

Monday, January 7, 2019

365 Photo Challenge. Day 5: Sky on Fire.

Today was a busy day. In spite of a very late night,  I got up early and started to pack away the Christmas decorations. My son-in-law was coming later on to collect it. The house looked strangely bare. The monster tree was gone, and everything was packed away for another year. 

The one good thing was my all singing, dancing, swivelling, rocking and reclining chair had returned to its rightful place in the kitchen where I will catch any tiny ray of sunshine that dares to shine while sitting on it.

The house cleaned, the log rack stacked, all that remained to be done was to get the boxes into the attic. it doesn't sound like much of a challenge but have any of you tried to wrestle a box, slightly wider than the attic staighre, solo, into the attic? 

The only way to accomplish this was to balance it on my head and push. I basically head butted it into the attic. Unfortunately sometimes a corner of box got caught on one of the steps. For me, it was quite a manoeuvre. But I can safely report, mission accomplished, with no injury to life or limb! 

I had to stand on the bed to close the attic trapdoor. I happened to glance out the window and saw streaks of orange over the rooftops. Even though it is early days, this project has become a quite a  motivator. I jumped off the bed. I know with my history,  this was not a wise move. Once more my luck was in and I survived without incident.

 I grabbed shoes and a coat and I was out the door and into the car. Even though I am a five minute walk from the beach I wasn't going to risk missing that sky.

This photograph was my reward. It was the best sunset I have I seen since I moved into the house.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

365 Photo Challenge Day 4: Magic happens!

"Any time women come together with a collective intention, it's a powerful thing. Whether it's sitting down making a quilt, in a kitchen preparing a meal, in a club reading the same book, or around the table playing cards, or planning a birthday party, when women come together with a collective intention, magic happens."
Phylicia Rashad

Phylicia's quotation above could have been written for me. In the past few years, various groups of women have become central to my life.

Firstly there were my work colleagues. We would sit down to plan, which inevitably ended with coffee and chat.

 The next group of women were my Irish "Turkish" women, a group of Irish women learning Turkish together. We learned, swapped stories, became firm friends, travelled, and loved and supported each other.

There was my knitting group in Turkey, who encouraged me through the two years I knitted my hexipuff quilt as they turned out an amazing range of blankets, jumpers, socks and scarves, and now there is my Irish knitting group. They  took months to learn my surname, as they preferred to know me as Mary from Turkey. The group could be known as the stitch and bitchers. However, one day as the gales of laughter rang out of Crafty the wool shop where we meet, I remarked we don't do much bitching, to which the immediate retort came, we don't do much stitching either!

One of the more recent groups  of women to weave their magic in my life are those I fondly refer to as my "wrinklies" When Mum was ill, and was not allowed to drive I would bring her to meet her golfing buddies on a Tuesday. We meet every Tuesday for lunch in the golf club, not one of them below 90 now, some not in the best of health. But once they sit down together, the magic happens, as they compare notes, poke fun at their ailments and generally rejoice at the fact of being " still above ground" or  "Mary dug us up today" If you could bottle and sell their spirit you would become a millionaire overnight. Mum is driving again, but I still insist on doing the Tuesday drive. I would hate to miss the privelege of spending time with my wrinklies.

Yesterday was a busy one for me. It was my turn to host yet another group of women important in my life, my Irish book club. To be honest we rarely read books , but when we sit around one of our kitchen tables, magic happens.

In the middle of preparing for the women, I was conscious of taking my photo of the day. I made a detour on the way to the supermarket and and took some photographs of the beach,. The day as usual was grey but  I still took a couple of photographs that I was happy with.
Just before the ladies arrived I took this photograph to send to a friend. (There is nothing like a photograph to describe what I am up to,) While I knew it wasn't the best photograph I had taken, it was definitely my photograph of the day!

I have always been a kitchen person, it has always been the heart of my home, a place where, when the women gather, magic happens.

Footnote: Today was always known as Little Christmas or in many places in Ireland, Nollaig na mBan, Women's Christmas. It is the day when the housework is left to the men and the women head to the pub.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

365 Photo Challenge. Day 3 Sea and Sky

We can speak without voice to the trees and the clouds and the waves of the sea.

Without words they respond through the rustling of leaves and the moving of clouds and the murmuring of the sea.

Paul Tillich

Friday, January 4, 2019

365 Day Photo Challenge. Day 2: The Bare Bones

Today dawned a grey, wet and miserable day. Plans to head for the beach to take my photo of the day were scrapped. Instead I went to Wellingtonbridge to do some essential shopping....... twice!

 I grabbed my purse and shopping bags and the new car tax disc which had arrived in the post and needed to be displayed. Unfortunately, when I got to the car, I couldn't find the disc. So back into the house, I checked my purse and the kitchen table. O f course the disc turned up in my coat pocket. Job sorted and I was on my way. 

 A friend and her daughters were coming for dinner and also I had to shop for my bookclub dinner on Saturday, I parked the car and reached for the shopping bags. No purse! I'd left it on the kitchen table. So I had to make a second run.  It means I drove up and down this stretch of road twice,

This photograph of the "green road" seemed apt for the day that was in it. Apart from the ivy there was not much sign of green, everything is stripped back to the bare bones, the few leaves left, still stubbornly clinging on, are withered and brown

But look to the "wings" and the green is lurking there, just waiting for its opportunity to shine.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

365 Photo Challenge. Day 1: Grandpoopy

I have seen several people undertake a 365 Photo Challenge and with the new year beginning I hav been giving it some serious thought. Only today, as I sat in my car and drove to town it fleetingly crossed my mind but then having missed January 1st, decided to let it pass.

This evening when I was home again a friend from the H3A photography group shared a post to the group re 365 photo projects and asked was anyone game?

Two things were now in play 1) co-incidence/fate
                                               2) I find it very hard to resist a challenge!

I have decided to give it a go but in my own particular way. I will try to post a new photograph everyday for the next 364 days, the odd time I may cave and post one from the archives, there may be a day or two when I miss one. Sometimes I will simply post a photo and sometimes there will be words.  I am, however, starting with the best of intentions.

This first one got it's title from the above mentioned friend. Thank you Terry for the laugh.

Luna my grandpoopy.
This is Luna. Daughter No. 4 got a new beagle puppy at the beginning of December. I encouraged her to get her, went with her to pick her up and was instrumental in naming her. Really we should have elongated her name to Lunatic.

 Daughter No. 4 and Luna came to stay on New Years Day. There has been much oohing and aahing over her photograph. I introduced her to my social media friends as my "grandpuppy"  There were various replies, "She is so cute" to which I replied "She is a divil"(the Irish equivlaent of a devil) The conversation continued "She is only a baby" My reply  "Exactly, pees, poops and has chewed half of my Christmas tree decorations" to which my aforementioned friend replied that a grandpuppy (or should that be grandpoopy) that cute gets forgiven anything.

So please meet Luna, my grandpoopy and the first subject for my 365 Photo Challenge.