Tuesday, July 31, 2018


Theoretically I love nothing more than sitting in my garden with a good book on a nice day.  I’m afraid the reality is that I don’t actually get much reading done when I’m out in the garden.  There are just too many diversions.  Fat and fuzzy bumble bees slurping nectar in the bee garden; wee hoverflies eyeing me up; jackdaws chattering away.  I’ll read a sentence, get distracted by a butterfly - I barely get more than a few paragraphs in by the time I’m ready to come inside.

Today I was joined by these two who sat above me and took cheeky sneak peaks over my shoulder the way I do when I’m sat next to someone reading on an airplane.  
I don’t know about collared doves in general, but the ones around here are curious fellows.  They like to come sit on the bird feeder even though I’ve never once seen them actually eat anything.  They sometimes try to perch on the window frames and more than once I’ve caught one strutting about on the upstairs window sill.  Whenever they catch me looking at them, they seem a bit embarrassed and try to act all nonchalant.  Don’t you think these guys look a bit shifty?

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Telling Stories pt 2


Hello out there!  Do people still read blogs anymore much less ones on blogger?  I must confess that anytime I find myself on a blogger, wordpress, or typepad blog I'm surprised if I find an entry more recent than 2014.  That's fine though.  In a sense these low-fi blogs are like the zines we used to make in the 90s and in a very real sense I am doing this for me and not you.

My very first course at university was called Telling Stories.  As with most things from that era in my life I had a very narrow view of what I was interested in and what I was going to get out of it.  I took that course because it was the only one available to first years that had a filmmaking/film theory component (if you are at all familiar with TESC - my alma mater - then you will know that each term you get to take one course that covers a number of different disciplines).  I learned many interesting things in that first term - things about Rilke and Japanese Noh theatre and Carl Dreyer's Passion of Joan of Arc, but right now I'm sitting here wishing I could remember more about the overall theme that tied these individual threads together.  If I were to take a guess it would be the very human need to tell our stories.

The Garment Thread started its life with the intention to tell stories.  Stories about clothes.  Since first reading it, I have been deeply inspired by the Diana Vreeland quote:  “a new dress doesn’t get you anywhere; it’s the life you’re living in the dress, & the sort of life you had lived before, & what you will do in it later.”   I wanted to write the stories of my clothing (and maybe also give myself a justification for hoarding so many of them).  I don't want to write the stories of my clothes anymore.  I want to tell different stories.  Stories about an ageing rock chick from Los Angeles living in the woods of Northern Ireland.  Stories about healing myself with birds and bees and gardens, rocks and seashells and crystals.

A teacher of mine recently told me that singing was going to be the key for me and I think that's true, but I think maybe more importantly writing is going to be the key for me.  So I'm going to give it a go and see what this key might unlock.  It was important for me to come back to this space to try to find my storytelling voice again because I strongly believe that the present is built on the foundations of the past.  Whenever I find a new blog that I love, the first thing I do is dig deep into the archives - five, ten years back and start reading from there.  I want to start from the beginning and understand the progressions.  If you have found yourself here and have any inclination to dig, then welcome - it's all here and I have no regrets.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018


The sun is hot and high in the sky these days.  An unusual and welcome change from what things are normally like around here. The archetype of a late Summer’s day.  We’ve just moved into Leo season and Leo season has always been good to me – time to bask in the heat with our pride like the big cats do out on the African savannah. 

I’m not a Leo.  At least not by the rules of conventional newspaper column astrology.  The more I study this infinitely fascinating subject, however, I realize that actually, I sort of am.  Not only is my natal chart heaviest with Leo planets, but I was born in the small hours of the night, making my Leo moon take on extra significance. I am full of big cat energy, even down to the name my parent’s gave me which means “Lionness”.  

But for a while now I have forgotten that big cat energy.  I have instead been a kitten for a very long time.  I have let those around me project their own fears of being seen and standing out, onto me.  I’ve spent so much effort trying to clamp down on the shadow sides of my chart, that I’ve been afraid to let the gifts be seen.  And one of those gifts is bigness.  

So this Leo season, I am going to try to be just a little bigger.  To roar every so often.  It does appear to be my birthright after all.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Hello friends! I'm afraid it's been pretty silent around here for the last twelve months and the reason for that is that my computer died last June.  I have posted the odd thing here and there using Mr B's iPad, but it's not a device I like using for this sort of thing.  Mostly I have been accumulating loads of pictures on my camera in the hope that when I took my laptop back to California (some eight months later), something could be done.  My dad it must be said, encouraged me in this false hope and after all CA is the home of the Apple, so I guess it didn't seem too unreasonable that they might succeed where their Irish counterparts had failed.  Reader, I have to tell you now that no such recovery was possible and that consequently my computer and all that was on it is now lost to the ages.  

Okay, so that sucks, but now it means I can stop waiting to upload my photos.  Without further ado, here are some of the highlights of the last eight months:

Central Park NYC



giant prawns in Brighton

Belfast Castle

Shropshire

"a face like a slapped arse" I believe is the expression they use

new haircut (not so new now)

we DJ-ed a Halloween "Carrie" themed prom.  I trust you have all seen my costume by now, if not it is in one of my earlier posts



just a few of the fun things on display at the Mr Finch show at Anthropologie, Kings Road

the capitol building, Sacramento CA

Bravo Farms, Kettleman City
(no actual gators were present)

Friday, December 19, 2014


Getting back to the original mission of the garment thread here.  Yes, I realize I took a non-selfie vow about a year ago, but as I have already broken it with the below pictures of my Halloween costume (it's a bat by the way), I figure the floodgates are open.  And anyway, as these were shot by the long suffering husband, they do not technically count as selfies.

Mr B and I have been hard at work on another fabulous new venue here in Belfast - him very much more than me since that's what he gets paid for, but I did choose the paint colours, the curtains and upholstery and had some input into the furniture choices.  A not insignificant contribution if I say so myself.

Anyway, at the end of these projects is the inevitable opening night party where we get dressed up and have our pictures taken by some NI gossip rags who never end up using them in their sad magazines because a) we're nobodies b) Mr B has real talent for making himself look terrible in photos and c) I'm not "glamorous" enough in the grand footballer's wives tradition of the word.  Case in point: this was by far the longest dress seen on the premises that evening.

Saturday, November 1, 2014