Sunday, May 29, 2011


While attending the plants in my greenhouse... I heard Robert (Cat) in the garden,
accompanied by a noise I couldn't identify.

Robert was in the process to acquaint himself with a young visitor.

The bird, which I think was a fledgling blackbird, 
had obviously not been told by his parent about cats...
He just sat there, on a branch of a honeysuckle.
After chasing Robert away, I got my camera, and was able to get very close to the bird.
He was not scared at all, 
or maybe so petrified that it was unable to move.

I gently helped the bird move out of my garden to safer grounds.

I found Robert sulking on the couch...
upset I'd given out to him.

Life can be tough!

As always it is so nice to know I have your company! If you like to comment on any of the above, would you be so kind to write it in the comment box below, instead of on Facebook? This way other blog visitors can read it too, and I don't miss your comment when I am not logging on to Facebook. Thank you X

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Visitors planning on moving in

A few days ago, I was lying on the couch and watched a sparrow fly into my kitchen
 and sat, quite relaxed, on the top of the open door. 
He left, came back for a second look, and checked out the top of the kitchen cupboards.
Left again, and came back with its partner.
The twittering going on was as if to say, "What you think, would this be a nice place to move in to?"
Robert was watching from the opposite site of the kitchen, also purched on top of a kitchen unit.
The swallows flew very close to him, but didn't seem to be bothered by his presence.
One went further afield and checked out my bathroom.

As much as I love to have swallows nesting in my house, 
and be able to watch the family grow from the comfort of my couch...
the amount of 'poop' from their brief visit put me off the idea...
and the fact that it meant I'd have to keep the kitchen door open at all times...
(it's cold the past month)
and Robert probably would have chicks for breakfast ...

As alway, I love to hear/read your thoughts.
Facebook still moving on without me, so if you like to share your thoughts, 
please be so kind to do it here, below in the comment box.
Many thanks for your visit.
X Corina

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Bob Dylan and birds

Before I'll show you what I've been up to the past few days, 
I would like to say happy birthday to Bob Dylan
He's 70 today.

This event brought me back to my16th birthday.
I was given an (old) single by Bob Dylan's
(to listen click on the link and, on then on the arrow on the album)

Remember the good old times of records and singles?
Corrina Corrina was the B-side of Blowin' in the Wind

What I had forgotten was the lyrics mention birds!! 

Corrina, Corrina
Gal, where you been so long?
Corrina, Corrina
Gal, where you been so long?
I been worr’in’ ’bout you, baby
Baby, please come home
I got a bird that whistles
I got a bird that sings
I got a bird that whistles
I got a bird that sings
But I ain’ a-got Corrina
Life don’t mean a thing
Corrina, Corrina
Gal, you’re on my mind
Corrina, Corrina
Gal, you’re on my mind
I’m a-thinkin’ ’bout you, baby
I just can’t keep from crying
Copyright © 1962, 1966 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1990, 1994 by Special Rider Music

anyway.... this is what I have been up to the past few days.
Reacquainting myself with my garden and the birds.

No idea of the name of the shrub, but love the flowers

Strawberries in my 'greenhouse' awaiting for a bit of sun to bring out that
 amazing mouthwatering sweetness.

Acrobatic sparrow. I took the picture through the window, so not so clear, but the fact that the sparrow on the bottom of the almost empty seed-ball-bag, is balancing herself with one leg stuck on the bag, the other one dangling in mid air.
so cute.
made me laugh.

busy times at the feeding 'stations'

and all the sunflower seeds that land in the raised bed, are eaten by the young sparrows, not yet able to balance on the feeders.

During this short journey through my garden, I was accompanied by the gorgeous song from a song thrush.

Lucky me

Still not on facebook, and doubt I'll get there in the next while, 
so please, if you'd like to comment, please use the box below?
This way I, and other visitors to this page can 'read' your thoughts 
 Thank you X

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I'm back, kind of...

Remember the last wonderful afternoon in the company of some wonderful children?
I do.
But life has brought me on another roller coaster ride ever since.

I wasn't feeling too well the following day. Was the hour long adventure too much?
Later in the day I was "greeted" by severe pain. Couldn't sit down, lie down or relax with it. Ended up in bed at 7pm, a hot water bottle strapped to my back, stomach filled with painkillers.
To make a long story short, I ended up in hospital with suspected kidney stone, which aggravated fibromyalgia along the left side of my body.
Excruciating pain.
I changed from a reluctant pill taker to happily taking any cocktail of drugs offered to me.

The worst however was and still is... the fact that I was/am so aware to the fact how big a part illness plays in my life. I try so hard to make it all fine and good, but here I was stuck in a hospital bed, ill, dependent, too much time to think, too much time to see the hardship in a small hospital ward.
I felt, "what am I crying about?" I don't have cancer; I don't have young children at home and have to deal with the effects of chemotherapy, and other immense difficult life altering changes for one of the young women.

We had some laughs there too. Much needed light entertainment created by ourselves to deal with life behind doors. Plans were hatched to rob an off licence, dressed in our dressing gowns, armed with the stand holding our drips, and have our fluid bag filled with alcohol.
Laughs too, about the treat of wine gums treats for drinking prune juice; and all those silly 'joys'.

Once released from hospital, I was FULL of conviction that all is well. Being in my own bed was going to make all the difference.
It didn't.
I was still in pain, and incredibly exhausted.
The cocktail of drugs was increased. I lay like a zombie on the couch and saw watching tv for an hour here or there as a good way to spend some time.
With that in mind, I thoughts "I must be ill. I never see tv as a great way to spend time..."

Last night I had a break through.
Or a break down.
I cried to the point that I now have the most wonderful puffy eyes...

Having been told again that I am living with a chronic illness always comes as a shock to me.
I know it is the case.
I've also been told that I didn't get ill again because of something I did, or didn't do.
Glad to have been told this.
I can either lie in bed and be ill, or get as much as possible out of my life by doing what I can, and be ill.

I can be well.
Within the given boundaries, with a positive, creative, and acceptance mind, I am well.

No doubt life will be lived creatively again. Watch this space to see what creative turns this latest reality check might bring fort. :-)

As energy is extrememly limited and I have to make choices on how to spend it, 
one place I won't be for a while, is facebook,
so if you like to comment on any of the above, 
would you be so kind to write it in the comment box below, instead of on Facebook? 

Thanking you for your understanding and support.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Hatched poems- "Re-Hatched"

Yesterday I had the fortune to spend an hour in the company of the children at Liosmor Mochuda National school. A date that was planned during my last visit there, just before the Easter Holidays, when I talked about my latest book, and the making of handmade books.

Lucky me!

The background to yesterday's visit.
In 2004 I had an exhibition in Lismore Library (and later at Tramore library) and as part of this there we a selection of mounted poems on show. This was the first time my writing made it into the world outside.
There were approximately 35 poems. Some of these eventually made it, although slightly edited, into my first book Hatched (see above "books"tab).
These mounted poems were lingering in my house for years. I never had the courage to throw them away.

Before my last visit to the school I thought: maybe the poems can be re-hatched with illustrations by the children. This way they get a new lease of life. "The children get to work with literature," as their teacher Ms Mary England said, "without them knowing it."

I explained about the poems, read some out and asked which image would come to mind. Lots of suggestions were offered.
Each child was given one poem and if it was too difficult a poem to understand, or to create an image for, they were given another one.
Ms England and myself walked around the classroom and encouraged the children with their creations.
I walked around with goosebumps all over my body when viewing some of the work being produced. Some turned out funny, clever, heart warming, beautiful, and amazing.

I will photograph them all and make a little booklet out of them and we have a very good chance to have them exhibited at the library again.

I felt honoured to be working with the children. It was worth every available inch of energy!

Thank you all!!

This image is by Graham, he started with drawing the egg on the top left
 and made his way around the page to have the bird hatch. 
After seeing the colourful bird peeping it's head out on the bottom left, 
I said I would be very happy to be this bird. Happy and colourful.
The bird is a cross between an eagle and a peacock. 
What more can I say!

As always it is so nice to know I have your company! 
If you like to comment on any of the above, would you be so kind to write it in the comment box below,
 instead of on Facebook? 
This way other blog visitors can read it too, and I don't miss your comment when I am not logging on to Facebook. Thank you X

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

An Extraordinary Affair (from RTE Radio Documentary)

This is a story I would like to share with you all.
It is a story of courage, a story of love, a story of the extraordiary lives of two women over two hundred years ago.
You can listen to the always brilliant Documentary , See link below but maybe first read the story, and view the images?
Add caption
An Extraordinary Affair 
 from the RTE website

The Ladies of Llangollen as they came to be known, were two upper-class Anglo-Irish women from Kilkenny.
Eleanor Charlotte Butler (1739 - 1829) was the youngest daughter of the Butler family of Kilkenny Castle. However, her family had difficulties getting her married off - and so introduced her to a young lady - whom they hoped would become her friend and together they could search for two husbands.
Sarah Ponsonby (1755 - 1832) lived with relatives in Woodstock, Kilkenny.
Their families lived only two miles from each other. They met in 1768, and quickly became friends. Over the years they formulated a plan of a private rural retreat. Rather than face the possibility of being forced into unwanted marriages, they ran away together in April 1778. Their families hunted them down and forcefully tried to make them give up their plans - in vain.
They decided to move to England but ended up in Wales, and set up home at Plas Newydd, near the town of Llangollen in 1780.
They devoted their time to seclusion, private studies of literature and languages and improving their estate. They did not actively socialise and were uninterested in fashion.

After a couple of years, their life attracted the interest of the outside world. Their house became a haven for all manner of visitors, mostly writers such as Robert Southey, Wordsworth, Shelley, Byron and Scott, but also the military leader Duke of Wellington and industrialist Josiah Wedgwood; aristocratic novelist Caroline Lamb, who was born a Ponsonby, came to visit too. Even travellers from continental Europe had heard of the couple and came to visit them, for instance Prince Hermann von Pückler-Muskau, the German nobleman and landscape designer who wrote admiringly about them.
The Ladies were known throughout Britain, but in fact led a rather unexciting life. Queen Charlotte wanted to see their cottage and persuaded the King to grant them a pension. Eventually their families came to tolerate them.
Butler and Ponsonby lived together for the rest of their lives, over 50 years. Their books and glassware had both sets of initials and their letters were jointly signed.
Eleanor Butler died in 1829. Sarah Ponsonby died two years later. Their house is now a museum run by Denbighshire County Council. Both of the ladies are buried at St Collen's Church in Llangollen.
Produced and narrated by Leeanne O'Donnell
Production Supervision by Liam O'Brien
First broadcast Saturday 30th April, 2011
An Irish radio documentary from RTÉ Radio 1, Ireland - Documentary on One - the home of Irish radio documentaries.

As always it is so nice to know I have your company.
If you like to comment on any of the above, would you be so kind to write it in the comment box below, instead of on Facebook? This way other blog visitors can read it too, and I don't miss your comment when I am not logging on to Facebook. Thank you X

Monday, May 2, 2011

The beauty is in the detail

A few days ago I was given a macro-lens on loan. 
One step further to fulfilling my dream of owning one!
Playing with it's possibilities, I created this series of images of the Aquilegia.

Robert (Cat) has to get into the picture again see here  what I mean, 
although this time it is just with a few hairs!

Watering the garden 'handsfree' gave me time to play with capturing water on 'film'

Love, Love this one!! Enlarge it if you can, and "see" the drop of water fall from the flower buds

... and to come back to yesterday's post write-time... 
As I am facilitating the next writers group meeting I am about to consult the book by Julia Cameron
  The RIGHT to WRITE. 
Didn't I find the answer to my query while glancing over the back cover! 

It's about using writing to bring clarity and passion to the act of living.

Case closed (for now)

 As always it is so nice to know I have your company! 
If you like to comment would you 
Please be so kind to write it in the comment box below,
 instead of on Facebook? 
This way other blog visitors can read it too, 
 and I don't miss your comment when I am not logging on to Facebook. 
Thank you X
or tick any of the boxes with your responses...
much appreciated :-)

Sunday, May 1, 2011


"Observing a poppy deciding if it is safe to face the world"
(I've been playing with a macro lens, more images to follow soon)

As you probably know (and if not, then you are new to my life on earth or in cyberspace - if that is the case, I would like to extent a warm welcome to my life on little wings...)  anyway... as you know I have recently 'given birth' to my new book Flying on Little Wings. A lovely event in my life, with so many well wishers and complete strangers writing me -by post (you know the one that lands on the doormat) and via email, facebook and here on my blog, or telling me how much they love this new 'child' when I meet people on the street.

My new baby was warmly welcomes into this world.
I was over the moon, so to speak.

Then comes a time of reality. (Or maybe I got caught up in reality)
This 'baby' needs to finds it's way into the world. It doesn't want to just live here at home ( all of them). It wants to be free.  Book babies grow up quickly...

As I had 1000 copies, I worked steadily to get this book out there. This means getting books out to newspapers, tv, radio, all in the hope to get a little head start in life. I was successful in some cases. See this post or this one. Trying to get books into bookstores on the other hand is an utterly frustrating and time wasting occupation. Maybe it is like getting a place for your child in an elite school when you are of little means?

To get books into bookshops- in Ireland anyway, it means that you need to have a distributor, or ring shops one by one and offer your books on a sale or return basis. Most bookshops won't do this and those who do, might never respond to your calls again...  
To get a distribution deal, you need to be 'god', the next JK Rowling, need to be on tv at least once a week, or so it seems. With my previous book (Cirrus Chronicles) I emailed, rang, posted books to the distributor and never EVER got a response or the courtesy of a return email... So, I was utterly surprised to have a person to talk to at the distributors, after the article appeared in the Irish Examiner.  I was asked to forward a book. I did. Excitedly and full of hope.
After that. No response.
No return phone call.
Until last week when I received a letter that Flying on Little Wings, will not be distributed by them (pretty much the only distributor in this country). The reason? They need to be able to confidently predict significant sales in order to justify warehouse space. (the book is 10x10cm and about half a centimeter thick- if that) ... etc etc.
Even if they had taken on the distribution, they take 55% of the sales; do not actually distribute unless a shops asks for the book, and do not in any promote the book.
So maybe nothing lost.

What I did loose is energy and the conviction that writing is what I need to do in life. The big question reappeared in my mind. And that is after I had so confidently written on my Facebook page that I AM a writer.
I had to re-examine my role as a writer and what writing means to me, and creativity in general.

What is a writer?

a person engaged in writing books, articles, stories, etc.,especially as an occupation or profession; an author or journalist.
a clerk, scribe, or the like.
a person who commits his or her thoughts, ideas, etc.,to writingan expert letter writer.

Taking the above description into account, then yes I am a writer. But aren't we all in some way.
Incidentally, a while back I had been very excited to learn that my great grand father was a writer, but when I researched this in greater detail, it didn't necessarily mean that he wrote books. He wrote letters for other people and was a civil servant (station master) in his days (early 1900)

So we are all writers, in some form or other, it just isn't for everyone to have the desire, or being encouraged, to share their thoughts on paper, in books (or the Internet) with others.

So why do I write and why do I see myself- at times- as a writer?
I need to write to survive.
I write so I can hang on to the lovely things I see around me, like a bee leaning from one forget me not flower down to the one below to nibble on the nectar.
I share my writing to have some presence in the world, which is otherwise off bounds for me due to illness.
Writing is how I communicate with the world. And I value the connections I made because of it.

Being denied to have this connection with the world increased by distribution and to see how much energy it cost to follow this path of releasing books into the world was like that 'slap in the face' again. You are not in the real world so get used to it it seems to say.

Reading a sentence in a book I was reading The Breakers by Claudie Gallay made me realise our/my position in the world. "The sickness of those who look on as others live."

The sickness of those who look on as others live

I am in no way saying that if I didn't have ME that selling my books, other than via my website, would be any easier.
What I am trying to say is that this whole episode, exhaustion bordering on relapse, made me very aware again about what I do, and what I do not have, and what I long for.
I would love to go out to book fairs, to take part in writers festivals, to drive around the country to show my work, and have shops take an interest, and most importantly share my work. 
I can't. (As yet).
And that drives me nuts.
It sounds like I am blaming everything on ME. I don't; if it wasn't for illness in my life I doubt I would have written and published three books, and would have reached so many heart and minds.

The usual double edge sword. But then again, we all have our issues. Healthy individuals, bestowed with buckets of energy might not have time to write as they have to work all hours of the day to pay the mortgage for a house which is worth a lot less than last year. 

So for now, I have decided to quietly keep promoting my books and art where ever I can. Today opened an  Etsy Account for my handmade book and sculptures, and have a Facebook page for  Little Wings Publications  with links to my three book pages. I also have has opted to sell my books via Amazon and they should be available soon.

A long flight it has been. A bit like the swallows that have just arrived from Africa. They are a bit weary and didn't sing must in their first week here.

As with the swallows and all the other birds in my garden, I will start rebuilding my nest to create a safe place for more eggs to hatch. This time round however, I will nurture the hatching and growing with a lot of love, for them and for me as the mother of these fledgelings. 
I will proudly follow their progress and watch their little heads peeping out over the rim of the nest and share this with you all.

As always it is so nice to know I have your company!
If you like to comment on any of the above, would you be so kind to write it in the comment box below, instead of on Facebook? This way other blog visitors can read it too, 
and I don't miss your comment when I am not logging on to Facebook.
Thank you X