Thursday, October 28, 2010

A room of one's own

Viewing prospective homes has begun in earnest. As a past-time, it can be a smidge... shall we say, bleak? However, gotta figure the right place for me is out there...

In Writing News, I'm back in front of the laptop. Phew - it's been way too long. And I shall be frequenting the Irish Writers' Centre in the coming weeks. I've been given a place on Dermot Bolger's novel writing workshop (which the IWC is hosting tomorrow), *and* I'll be one of the Centre's in-house writers for the month of November (which is National Novel Writing Month - all very appropriate). Excellent news. Feeling very grateful indeed :-)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Security canvas

You just don't realise the various hazards: gusty erratic wind; people walking, moving, gesturing; umbrellas held at awkward angles; treacherous wet leaves; polluting emissions from vehicles...

Walking home with my new painting was quite the stress rollercoaster.

But it's safe, and all beautiful. Happy sigh.

Well, the Bank Holiday weekend zipped by. Babysitting on Sunday, and the rest was a mix of home-hunting, dharma talks, yoga, shopping, sunshiney walks and a seasonal horror movie or two.

PS - I guest-blogged on visitlondon: one of those ambling conversations over the summer that a friend listened to with a gleam in her eye before saying 'Can you write that down for me?' :-)

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I get occasional bouts of indecisiveness these days. Maybe it's because I'm in an inbetweeney phase, but I second- and third-guess choices, wondering if I should wait until I've [insert random act here: found new home/job etc.]. I noticed I was in the midst of a bout today as I stood staring at a selection of bed linen, humming and hawing.

All of the linen was white. That's the seriousness of the dithering I'm describing here. It drives me kray-zee...

Anyhoo, I walked away, and on the way home, I noticed a little gallery/craftey shop in a basement, and down I went. There were lovely glass pieces in the window that I spent some time admiring in silence, then wandered through the other two rooms. In the second room was a very beautiful painting. I went to ask the Nice Shop Lady about the artist, and she smiled, "It's the same lady who does the glass that you like..."

I looked at the painting some more; took it outside to see it in natural light. Explained to the Nice Shop Lady that I didn't have a new home yet, so I didn't know what kind of space it might go in...

And realised, I could care less. Blew most of my week's wages on the painting *and* two glass pieces (one is a present), then spent the remainder on a bunch of Thich Nhat Hanh books and a supersturdy meditation cushion.

All without a second thought :-)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Marking the day

Today was the last day of the major stint of childminding. There'll be a couple of more days required, but my sister is in super form, and life is returning to normal for her family.

It was also Dress-Up Day: Minnie Mouse, Cinderella and Luke Skywalker (from Star Wars, when he's disguised as a stormtrooper to infiltrate the enemy base and rescue Leia) had a little disco before we left the house. They even found us some spare ears for me and my sister (Minnie and Bunny respectively) so we could share in the fun.

We arrived to a school teeming with witches, Darth Vaders, vampires, Spider- & Batfolk. Lovely start to the day :-)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I bring you sad tidings

RIP Sniffy the Dwarf Hamster, who passed away peacefully this week of natural causes.

And by 'natural causes', let me be clear: my cats did not eat him.

(I know, because it was the first question that I asked.)

So, our household is a little smaller, but coping. Taking it day by day...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Morning travels

Each walk to school is a new frontier. Many mornings, we have the path to ourselves, free to roam and zoom about and laugh too loudly. The trip fosters a conversation between our little group: whether walking, running or scootering, we come back together for bursts of talking.

Stories or dreams recounted, fairies and animals glimpsed or imagined as we journey through the dark woods...

And at the edge of the forest - sometimes - sunshine awaits.

Out in the open, nothing can stop them. Lily (age 2) calls out a warning if she feels the distance between us is too great.

Once inside the school gates, their attention is swallowed up by a zillion distractions: friends and teachers and the school day ahead. And the distance becomes too great to overcome.

But the short, shared journey there is precious :-)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Don't believe your eyes

There was a Book Fair at school today. Jack & Molly's classes were both milling around the Hall, and among the adults were my sister and myself. I was on a teeny bench, reading to Moll + Onlookers, and Tara was catching up with some of the other parents.

One of Jack's friends ran up to our little reading group and stopped dead, staring at me.
"There's two of you!"
He looked behind him - to my sister - then turned back to me.
"Which one is the real Tara?"

Sunday, October 17, 2010

News Roundup

Before I launch into next week, a few pics from recent days, featuring:

A boy and his new schoolbag. His new, beloved schoolbag.

A young laydee testdriving trains and costumes.

The mood at the very lovely Farmleigh House (in the Phoenix Park) on Friday night. I was given tickets for an evening with RTE's Drivetime Diarists (Joseph O'Connor, Olivia O'Leary and Fergus Finlay): nourishment for the soul, filled with laughter and a few blinking tears.

For the latter part of the week, I overhauled an office for a friend (while its regular occupants were away). A complete revamp (vs tidying) is always fun, though there's always the anxiety that someone will return and say "Great job! But you didn't throw away my lucky rubber band, did you? It was red, and broken..."

Anyhoo, the office is not finished, but it's getting there. Baby steps... as in so many other aspects of life at the moment :-)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Snuffles have intensified. Have increased prescribed dose of red wine to compensate accordingly. That's all the news for now :-)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bouncing Queen

There's something about a trampoline that's guaranteed to bring out unfettered exuberance in one :-)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Floral Passage

A moment from last Friday, when the Ha'penny Bridge was bedecked as part of a charity drive. Always a bridge with character, but the roses gave it a fairytale quality - fleeting and quirky :-)

Life, if I had time to file it, would be found under Very Busy Indeed. The weekend was a lovely mix of being out with friends & family (and bumping into friends and family), and getting to spend some time with nothing in particular to do (once I'd done the Particular Things, that is).

In Kitty News, they've taken to entering/leaving via my bedroom window. If you've seen Salem's Lot, the original Buffy movie, or any Hammer Horror, you'll understand that hearing a scritchy noise from the darkness has certain connotations...


Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Couple of photos from the walled garden at the Phoenix Park on Sunday - it's a lovely place to stroll around and enjoy an autumnal sunshiney day.

The week is zipping by amidst children and play-dates and sleep [*after* babysitting is finished :-)]. I got an entire short story read last night, which felt like a major accomplishment.

In other news, introducing Kitty Sheen: this no-streak product effortlessly buffs leather and cats to a glossy finish :-)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Weekend Round-Up

Okay, the Bedtime Countdown Timer is a'running, so this'll be quick (and without photos) :-)

Weekend was a lovely mix of chilled-ness and super-social. I got to catch up with friends yesterday and:
(1) see their new house
(2) experience lovely day out in Phoenix Park (where a child is *the* must-have accessory. Actually - ideally it would be partner plus child. I was kind of a Tagger-Along in that environment...)
(3) enjoy a gorgeous meal & general catch-up
(4) visit my house plants. My (bunny-ears) "home" is a smidge spread out at the moment, and getting to see my orchids alive and well (one of which was a treasured present that Me-In-Madeira posted to Me-In-Ireland) was surreal and most lovely.

Meanwhile, The Home Search continues, having been tweaked by good advice. And the Kitties now feature on the Mostly Well Behaved gauge. About time...

Okay must sleep :-)