Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Not long back from Annaghmakerrig where I got everything done that I went to do (hurrah). Must get cracking and finish the Pullman paper due June 15. But of course I took the day off yesterday for a drumming workshop with John Bowker, held at the Chrysalis Centre in the Wicklow Mountains: The workshop was a gift from a friend who couldn't make it as she was ill and I have to say I benefited from her misfortune! In a group of 26 men and women, we began with basic rhythms and moved on to more complicated ones, i.e. African healing riffs. Fabulous. As the day progressed, we went outdoors into the sunshine and I ended up on the bass drums, using sticks, wearing my sunglasses. Spot the daughter of the jazz musician. Yeah man, I got into the groove.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

First pictures!

I am posting the first pics I have taken with my new digital camera. Still figuring out the ins and outs, but I love it! Here is the big house of Owen Doon - with prayer flags flying - which is the heart of the Buddhist Centre of Jampa Ling near Bawnboy in County Cavan. I made a flying visit there recently with friends. On my Book Blog you will find a pic of bluebells in the woods not far from the house. I have some more pics of the walled garden and a stone Buddha and will post them soon. Meanwhile, here's the website of Jampa Ling: People of all spiritual interests and backgrounds are welcome there.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

For Hamish

Here's a poem my friend Dave wrote for Hamish. (It is the role of the poet to say the things we cannot say ourselves, but need and want to say.)

When I tut-tutted your mischiefs,
I told you I missed you.
When you bothered your sister,
And I complained,
I told you I missed you.
When I laughed at your crooked affection,
I told you I missed you.
When I told you and told you and told you,
Those times too,
I told you I missed you.
Now you have gone,
And yet you have never been so present,
And I tell you,
I love you.

Poem by Dave Murphy,

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Broken Heart

I haven't been able to blog for ages as I have been grieving the death of my own dear cat, Hamish. It was only days after the little black cat died. Hamish wasn't killed by a dog, however, but died as he lived - fighting another cat. My neighbour told me about it later. Because the row happened around a car, Hamish ended up with a chest wound from some sharp piece of metal. Poor Finn found him on the pavement as she left for school, then called for me. It is a terrible thing to discover your beloved pet dead and tattered on the ground. But he was an outdoors cat and would never have accepted a life cooped up inside. We have buried him in the back garden with stones and sea shells on his grave. His sister, Emma, sits there from time to time and then looks at me as if to say, "is he coming back?" I've wept my heart out for him. Alas, this was one fight I didn't wake to save him from. His time had come. I loved that big, handsome, troublesome, bad-tempered, manky, and affectionate cat and I will never forget him.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Little Black Cat

I am still recovering from the trauma of trying to rescue a poor little cat that was being savaged by a huge boxer with a spiked collar. I woke at 1:00 a.m. yesterday morning to the sound of screams. I thought it was two cats fighting - I am always rescuing my Hamish from fights, at this point I am "the crazy cat lady of Wolfe Tone Square" - so I pulled on a coat and ran out of the house in my pjs. Next minute I see this huge dog mauling a poor wee black cat, hardly more than a kitten. Without thinking, I ran over and screamed wildly at the dog until it let go of the cat who dragged itself away. (Lordy, only later did it occur to me that the dog could have gone for me and I didn't have a stick or broom or anything!) Alas, I didn't find the cat till the next morning and when I got it to the vet I was told it couldn't survive its horrific injuries and had to be put to sleep. I wept buckets thinking how cruel life is for so many animals and, of course, people too. A beautiful world, but hard also.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

May Eve

Here's Kath and me with the May bonfire behind us before our fire-walk last night. (See pic on Book Blog.) It was a magical evening. We drummed for ages until the fire collapsed. Glen, our fire-walker man, raked out the embers and tamped them down with a shovel. By then it was night-time. The full moon hung in the sky over the dim fields and the mat of fire glowed like red jewels. A wall of smoke and flame rose on either side. One by one, and then in pairs, we strode across the fiery ground and into our futures.