• a busy period

    I’m coming into a busy couple of weeks and I’m unsure of how much time I’ll have to allocate to blogging. While there is a certain requirement these days for people to blog/tweet/etc. on a regular basis, it does impinge upon my allotted ‘free’ time. Over the coming two weeks that free time is shrinking considerably as a large project with a tight deadline just landed with a thud on my desk. I also have two active projects that are simmering, with one of them coming up to a whistling boil. So, here’s a photo I took in Stockholm, during my recent trip. It’s one of a series of murals…

  • Gothic sacraments

    This is an image from my visit to the Cathedral de Mallorca in Palma city in February. Technically, I was being rather naughty taking this image, but I couldn’t help it when it came to this startling section of the Cathedral, which is the Chapel of the Holy Sacrament. I have a thing for massive, elaborate Gothic churches. It goes back to my time studying art in school. We had a section called History of Art, which I loved, and that’s where I learned about Gothic architecture. The Cathedral in Palma has to be one of the most outstanding examples of Gothic cathedrals I’ve ever been in. In Spain the…

  • primrose heart

    In the West of Ireland we’re enjoying wildly mercurial weather, as is typical for Spring. Today there were two downpours – one of hailstones – in between periods of glorious sunshine. The gusting winds rushed the clouds all over the sky. I guess they got annoyed and had a rain tantrum. Who likes being pressured? I took this picture of primroses in one of my local woods a few days ago. It was only when examining the image in close-up that I spotted the leaf uncurling in a heart-shape. So here’s some natural Spring Love. Don’t worry if the Spring breezes hurry in a shower. It will race away again…

  • a host

    I suspect Wordsworth‘s poem ‘Daffodils‘ is so well-known that its familiarity lends a little contempt. Still, it is marvellous and uplifting to happen upon a crowd of daffodils, their golden trumpets bouncing in March breezes. After a long winter it’s a lovely sight, especially if you’re lucky enough to have sunshine to add a gleam to their Spring parade. This image was taken in my local park, where every year sections of the path are lined with their yellow glory. We’ve been blessed with good weather lately, so they were really putting on a show that day. Unlike Wordsworth, I have an digital image to remind me of their beauty,…

  • the wren the wren the king of all birds

    This little fellow had quite an escapade today. Since we’re having beautiful weather at the moment I left the back door to our kitchen/dining room open. A while later, as I tapped away on the computer, I heard scuffling noises from the kitchen. When I investigated I discovered this chap rustling about among the cups on the windowsill, desperate for an exit. This is a somewhat regular occurrence. I’ve had swallows (three in one go!), chaffinches and robins take a wrong turn and end up trapped in the house. One time it took me a couple of days to evict a tiny avian adventurer because it flew into one of…

  • shake up the sky

    I always say trees and sky belong together. I snapped this a few days ago, and I love how the cloud formations seem like cartoon movement ripples or sound lines radiating from the tree. As if it is hollering out: Wake up! Spring has returned!

  • Spring

    I took this photograph today of the Cherry-plum tree in my front garden. It’s always the welcome first herald of Spring, blossoming before most other trees. We’ve had two stunning, sunny days in a row, and the tree is garlanded with flowers now. Against the clear, azure skies the laden boughs sink and sigh, gravid in the breeze. Today I started sweeping up the clumps of leaves and twigs that have accumulated in drifts around the outside of the house thanks to winter’s storms. It’s the first day I’ve felt compelled to start the usual gardening jobs. Weeds are appearing, and I can’t say I’ve missed them. It’s best to…

  • memories of Japan

    In the autumn of 2007 Martin and I travelled to Japan. It was a country both of us always wanted to visit, and it was a memorable trip. My favourite part was our short seclusion in the Buddhist village of Kôyasan, which is located high in the mountains south of Osaka. It was founded twelve centuries ago, and is the centre for the study and practice of Shingon Buddhism. It is difficult to describe the majesty of its surroundings or the serenity that permeates the area. If you wish to stay overnight you must take lodgings in one of its 120 beautiful monasteries. In 2004 UNESCO named the “Sacred Sites…

  • old horror

    Today I was selecting photographs to post to my Flickr stream from those I took at the Church of Saint Bartholomew in Sóller, Mallorca. One of them was the above photograph of the eponymous saint himself, Saint Bartholomew. As I was examining the photograph I realised there was another face hanging from the Saint’s waist. It was a WTF? moment. I hadn’t even seen it when I’d taken the original photograph. Thankfully, a small bit of Internet research cleared it up. Bartholomew is reported as being martyred in three different ways, all of them bloody. The most popular variety is being skinned alive. Hence, pictures and sculptures of the saint…

  • thanks Mom

    Today is the 100th anniversary of the first International Women’s Day. The idea for it was proposed by German feminist and socialist Clara Zetkin in 1910 at the second International Conference of Working Women held in Copenhagen, and it was implemented the following year. Here’s what the IDW web site says about Zetkin’s aims: She proposed that every year in every country there should be a celebration on the same day – a Women’s Day – to press for their demands. The conference of over 100 women from 17 countries, representing unions, socialist parties, working women’s clubs, and including the first three women elected to the Finnish parliament, greeted Zetkin’s…