Sunday, 28 August 2016

"friendship," said Christopher Robin, "is a very comforting thing to have"

It's not often you get the feeling you've been adopted. Yet that's exactly what this young robin has chosen to do. He flies to the backdoor every morning, flitting at the glass 'til we open up. A flutter of wings and he's in, perching on the kitchen lights and then hopping to the dresser while a quick kitchen survey lets him know if breakfast is ready. He'll eat from the boys' hands and in return we get soft trills of robin song. In the garden, if we eat outdoors, he finds us quickly and steals from our plates. The dogs do not bother him and he is curious enough to check out any visitors calling to the house. So, a new family member and his name ~ Christopher.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

the lightest touch

The lightest touch of autumn is upon us. In the morning, through the open bedroom window, it is the call of the crows that wake me, my feathered reminders of a season's shifting. Out walking I pass fog-catching cobwebs dangling glinting water droplets. I have already spied mushrooms in the grass verges. The hedges too are changing. The berries are beginning to ripen and leaves are already turning. However most days the fog clears and we are left with enough warmth to know it's not truly autumn, not just yet.

Monday, 22 August 2016


Somehow August has eluded me. We spent the first half of the month in Co. Antrim along the coast, beside the sea where, possibly, every good childhood holiday happens. We happened to be lucky with the weather although when I look back on the photos there are lots of waterproof jackets and darkly looming skies. It was one of the busiest holidays we've had, every day brought a new adventure and we found plenty of things to do. My favourite days out included picnicing on the Strand at Portstewart where the boys swam and then going on to walk at Downhill and Mussenden Temple which is perched on the cliff edge with the most fantastic views on to the beach below. At Cushendall we walked the cliff path to picnic at the church at Layd, another favourite day out, as was visiting HMS Caroline a WW1 light cruiser and now the sole survivor of the Battle of Jutland. There were picnics on the beach, ice-cream every day, forest walks and brunches in the walled garden at Glenarm Castle and a trip to Ulster Folk and Transport Museum. The days flew by and suddenly it was time to come home and return to work and here we are - the final week of summer holidays... The uniforms are ready, the school books are bought and the pencils are sharpened and yet all I long for is the crash of waves on the shore and the tang of seaweed in the air...