Its always difficult to say goodbye to someone  you care about but its almost as difficult to say goodbye to things that you once had and cherished.

The other day I lost my homeopathy kit which I’ve had for at least ten years.  It just vanished into thin air, without a trace.  I keep thinking about it and “missing” it.  Isn’t that the strangest?   We should just let things go when they get lost and see it as a sign.  Easier said than done.

Another item that I was sorry to see go recently and which Mauricio made as a once off item was this sun dial clock.   Its quite an endearing little piece.  It’s not quite the same though when something  leaves your possession for another person’s.  He made it in order to sell it so it wasn’t lost.   I think he should make more of them and that way we can have them “get lost”  all the time.

 In the meantime, If anyone sees a green box with homeopathy written on it somewhere, and it’s looking for a home, send it our way.  I’m not quite ready to say goodbye just yet.



ImageThe bluebells are fast fading up in Charleville woods, I’m so sorry to say.  They lingered on for a long time this year bringing joy to many a heart.  It’s funny how they gradually die back, their time done for yet another year.

I feel they mark the passing of time, they serve as a reminder that all things come and go in cycles.  Everything has a beginning, a middle and an end.  But knowing all this doesn’t make it any easier to bid the bluebell adieu.  I get a knot in my tummy thinking that they have gone and won’t return until next year. What if there isn’t a “next year”.  Some of us will never see the bluebells again.

Oh!! But I’m getting all morbid when I should be very happy with the  promise of long and lovely evenings and lazy days of sunshine not to mention all the flowers, both wild and cultivated, that will appear from now on.  Shortly we’ll have the rhododendrons that flourish so sucessfully here in Charleville woods.  And I shudder a little upon thinking about the poppies that will come out in full force come July and adorn the higways and byways of Ireland.  And then in August or maybe before that we can look forward to a feast of fire from the Montbretia.  By the end of August we can be busy picking blackberries and before that even strawberries and rasberries.  Sure Life’s a feast of good and wonderful things

So bluebell, thank you for waking up the summer in us and for staying around so long this year.  We’ll meet again sometime after the snowdrops and daffodils next year and you, the cowslips, the wild garlic and lesser celandine and the primrose can all hang out together.  But you’ll be the most stunning of them all.

lacking inspiration. Help me Mauricio.

I’m kind of going through a “dry” period;  “dry” in that I can’t think what to blog about and its now about 5 days since I last blogged.  I’m having withdrawal symptons, getting a little nervous, a little afraid that maybe I’ll never be able to blog again.

Most of the times, I look to Mauricio’s photos for inspiration,   a little bit of a starting point,  a topic perhaps.  To date, any photos I use on my blogs are all taken by him.  All photos on our website are his too.  He’s not happy unless he has a chance to take some photos.  But Im waiting for him to download some of his latest photos from his camera in order for me to have a look at them.  I’m living in hope that these next lot of photos will inspire me.  He certainly took enough of them yesterday.

Yesterday, we went on the Clara Bog Walk with some friends and he was always behind, camera up to the eye, leaning over some ditch or other, zooming in on some details that the rest of us, too busy talking, had ignored or failed to notice the existence of.  His back must have been killing him last night, he was always so stooped over some thing or other, trying to change the angle of the subject in question, trying to see it from a different perspective.  At one stage I thought we had lost him to a bog hole but, no!, he emerged unscathed and eyes popping out of his head with elation.   Of course, he was also taking photos of us when we were “unaware”.  I’m sure I’ll be pretty unhappy about some of the photos of myself and will insist that he delete them.  But to be fair to him, he does capture the moment and the essence of the event so well.  I can’t wait to see what gems he’ll come up with.  And hopefully I’ll find somthing in among these photos to set  me blogging once again.

Sushi/Cheese boards

With Sushi/Cheese boards  what you put on has to be food safe so we use a danish oil to give a nice shine to ours.  These pictures below will have their natural colour intact.

Notice the whitle spots on this cheese board.  These are the natural blemishes that are there to stay

A rather tall looking wine glass image on this cheese/sushi board gives it another type of airs and graces!!

This cheese/sushi board shows off its blemishes unashamedly.  Note the fish on it. Beautiful reddish hue from this slate.


This was part of my birthday present  recently from Mauricio and our two boys, Miguel and Shane.  The legs were made out of the iron frame of an old bed, lying about in our garden for the last few years, which Shane cut to size.   The slab of stone serving as table top was also hanging about the garden for a couple of years.  Miguel sanded it and varnished it.  Of course all this was overseen by Mauricio.

And the very bottom shelf is made of slate which probably wasn’t hanging around the garden for too long because we are constantly using slate and therefore it doesn’t “hang around” too long.  And the mat and floweres which were also part of the pressie were neither recycled nor handmade but contributed to the overal “wow” of the moment.  Thanks Lads.  I love it!!!!

There were even more pots of flowers but they formed part of the other half of my present, which I will blog about another time because it also merits writing about

A friend of ours recently asked me why we have written on our brochure that we use recycled materials instead of stating that we use recycled slate and I wasn’t able to answer him.  Not until I put the question to Mauricio did it make sense.  Mauricio’s answer was that he wants to be able to use whatever recycled material it occurs to him to use when ever or how ever he wants and having it written on our brochure and on our website in a way gives him permission to do so.

a slice of wilderness

It’s no wonder that the county of wicklow is called the garden of Ireland.  Even now, when all the buds are reluctant to come out and vegetation is tardy and sluggish in most of the country, Wicklow abounds in lusciousness and exoticism.

These friends had a party at their lovely house at the weekend to celebrate both their 40ths.  They live one side of a river and his parents live the other side, each having a sizeable site so between them both they own quite a lot of land.  But what’s truly wonderful about where they live is the wildness and a wonderful sense of isolation .  They have left a lot of their land as mother nature intended it to be.  And the result?  Well its like a slice of wilderness.  I was reminded of being up in the Andes mountains in Chile -maybe not quite as dramatic but on a mini scale.

So dear friends, I know you invited us back and that we’ll be welcome anytime we want to go.  We will definitely take you up on your offer.  The next time we’ll bring our tent and lay it down somewhere near that river.  And we’ll put up a hammock or two between some tree or another and stretch out there with a book.  Later we’ll go off in search of wood and make a great big fire and sit around pondering and wondering at the flames.  And we might even cook some sausies on a stick or/and marsh mallows.  A midnight swim, perhaps, if we feel up to the freezing cold water.   And if any of us has brought a guitar a little bit of a sing song would be nice.  So friends, if you don’t mind sharing we will have a little piece of that slice of wilderness sometime this summer.  We promise we will leave it as we find it; unspoilt, untamed and free.

lovely long evenings in the garden

Isn’t it great to see a stretch in the evenings.  And wasn’t yesterday evening such a stunner.  I love where we live on evenings such as that.  At 6.30 I was prepared to settle down for the evening getting the supper ready and putting on the fires when Mauricio put a halt to my step.  How could I refuse an ice cold G & T, a gentle shove out the door was all I needed.  Out with the sun chairs and off we went to the back of the house where we enjoy the most wonderful view of the oak trees growing in the field which stretches for almost a mile down to the wall of charleville estate.  The cows were on their way back to wherever they go at night after drinking their fill from the water trough. The last one of them slightly running to catch up with the others for fear she might get lost.

There was a general air of activity around Charleville.  It’s funny how little time it takes people to react to the warm summer evening.  Joggers were out, walkers, tree huggers, mothers, fathers with their children came out in droves, lovers walking the lane down to the castle,  football game going on in the field adjacent to ours, teenagers flolicking under the king oak forgetting  about their mobile phones for a change.

And there was great heat in that sun even at 6.30 in the evening.  We just soaked it up and those drinks went down so well.  So much so, that another one ensued. All chores put on hold to cherish this precious moment.  Our hearts were delighted.  And another wonderful thing was that the garden was actually in good shape.  All the flower beds, the vegtable patch, the fruit tree area and the glass house  were all weeded and the grass recently cut so we could actually enjoy the garden instead of dreading all the work that normally needs to be done.

If there is a heaven on earth then its in our wee garden on a sunny summer evening.