Friday, 29 April 2011

A Royal Wedding Day - -

- - I had no plans to watch, we had no street party or celebration planned - as I had got completely fed up with all the hype that seemed to be surrounding it - and I always feel that weddings are family occasions, I wasn't going to bother - - however I did watch, from just about the time Catherine Middleton arrived at the Abbey - and she looked so serenely beautiful - - aglow with happiness - - that I watched in spite of myself. When she arrived at his side - and he told her she was beautiful (I can lip read) tears welled in my eyes. I really didn't expect that I can tell you - since I have never been tearful at previous weddings ever! However I do wish both of them much joy & happiness. I also hope that any of you who had parties had a wonderful day.
I really like Carol Ann Duffy's poem written in honour of the occasion - she has to of course - being the Poet Laureate - you know of my passion for poetry. She visited our local Art Festival in 2009 and it was wonderful to hear her read her poems and put the emphasis where it mattered. I heard her voice when I read this in the paper today.

Thanks for stopping by.
'til later.

Bannaghtyn J x

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Thursday Thoughts - -

As I took part in the communal - My Day in Photos in my Beyond Blogging for Scrapbookers class yesterday - Wednesdays Words had to go on the back burner - so this week - just for a change - we will have Thursday Thoughts instead.

If you have visited here before you will know already of my fondness for poetry -and just occasionally I scribble a few rhymes of my own. I'm not especially good and I rarely - in fact never, share them - but after the post yesterday showcasing my island home I thought of this which I did for National Poetry Day this year - the pupils had to guess which staff member had written it and we displayed it in the Library along with other information to be discovered in a small competition - with a prize of course. It's not Shakespeare - but the children particularly like the rhythm of rhymes - and it does express my own thoughts of what makes up Home - so I hope you also quite like it also.

Home is where the heart is,
Isn’t that what they say?
It doesn’t have to be a house,
If you think another way.

New baked bread’s aroma,
The taste of apple pie,
The sound of a gurgling baby,
In daddy’s arms so high.

For home can be an empty beach,
Standing looking out to sea,
Watching for that lonely boat.
Bringing you back here to me.

Or a crowded shopping centre
On a Saturday afternoon,
Spending time with special friends,
Stirring tea with a silver spoon.

It's flickering flames of firelight
On a winters day,
Or family hugs and laughter,
When silly games you play.

And barbecues and picnics,
On a sunny weekend walk.
It’s Christmas, birthdays, happy dreams
And candle light - and talk.

Home is never just a place,
Whatever you may say.
Home is where the heart is
Near - - or far away!
J.M Hall

'til later
Bannaghtyn J x

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Easter Sunday

a beautiful Easter Day greeted me when I woke  - - blue skies & sunshine - warm air and birdsong - not the kind of day for staying indoors. The Artisan struggles to entertain himself indoors at any time - but there is no way he would want to be indoors on such a lovely day. Usually this would mean he would be off climbing but today we took a picnic to Ni-ar-byl for lunch. He did have an ulterior motive - because the first basking shark of the season was seen at Ni-ar-byl only a few days ago - but of course he doesn't think I'm aware of that!
 We took the coast path

 The drop to the shore is incredibly steep in places - and the path very narrow but the views are breathtaking

The sun is warm on our backs,  the gorse scents the air with that spicy, almost vanilla aroma, whilst under the hedges  - shy purple violets, delicate lemony primroses and sea pinks peep out through the grasses - as we climb the path to the headland the first swallow I have seen this year skims the path just in front of us, almost touching the small lavender stars of squill. The path turns sharply and below us is the beach. Steps lead down through the field of grass, which I think they use for thatch, to the hush of waves on the empty shore. It is quite some time since we came here, and a commemorative bench has appeared in between times - so we take advantage of its perfect position to eat our lunch, listen to the sound of the sea and watch - hopefully - for basking shark.
Sadly we watched in vain - but nevertheless Troie Vane is a perfect picnic spot - only a short way from Ni-ar-byl  - and from here it is very easy to see how Ni-ar-byl got its name - translated it means Road of the Tail of the Rocks - they really do look like a dragon or lizards tail in the water - favourite place for us to come even in winter - though we never come to this beach in winter as I don't find the path easy even at this time of year.  A lovely way to spend Easter Sunday.

Thanks for stopping by.

'til later,

Banaghtyn J x

Friday, 22 April 2011

Good Friday in the garden - -

- - beautiful sunshine greeted me today - - dragging me outside to breakfast in the garden. I love the small woodland clearing at the head of the glen that constitutes our little hamlet. This small cluster of dwellings has been here at least 200 years and show as buildings on the oldest map in the local museum - from the early 19th century. I feel they were all built as crofter's/fishermen's cottages with the exception of the tiny one-up, one-down which adjoins our cottage - as we believe that it was once the stabling that our property had according the deeds.
The small outside space which calls itself my garden is encircled by trees, high hedges, is well below road level and is always filled with birdsong and the soft whirring of small wings as sparrows, robins, chaffinches, blackbirds and thrush all go about the business of keeping the occupants of the many nests in the high hedges well fed. When I sit alone in the garden - as I did today - they soon ignore my presence and flit amazingly close to me in their hunt for food for their chicks. I feel priveleged indeed for this trust they show me.

Sheltered as it is we rarely know know if it is windy - and is probably the only place on my windswept island where you can peg washing out on a dry day before going to work - and it will still be damp when you get home at teatime!! It is still a bit of a mystery to me even after 10 years here! Only in the height of summer can I be sure it will be dry. Here is a small enclosed sanctuary for those little birds - we rarely see anything larger than the pair of ring-necked doves who nest in the glen, but who often sit together on my gate, and it is filled with a deep tranquility and peace.

A quiet hour in my garden refreshes my spirit after hectic working days and for that I am truly thankful.
Hope your Easter weekend is all you wish for. Thanks for stopping by.

'til later.
Bannaghtyn - especially on this day. J x

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Shimmering Spring - -

- - it made it, the island is frothy with blossom - today it's shimmering pink & white and misty green - only days ago it seems it was golden, trumpeting daffodils and delicate primroses - and on the headland it still is - as the natural world bedecks herself in beauty after a long winter. Long shadows and hazy sunlight, soft white blossom on the blackthorn hedges, newly unfurling leaves on the hawthorne, lambs gambol in the fields - and freshly ploughed furrows are a rich brown as the morning sun stretches long silvery fingers to stroke them with warmth.
Every garden I pass  - abundant, lacy, pink petals on the flowering cherries, cushions of purple aubretia and waving scarlet heads of tulips whilst beneath the trees in the Glen - a haze of blue - wild hyacinths - - bluebells - - whose perfume later will make me heady with the joys of spring. It's days like this which remind me why I wanted to live here, and why I am so grateful that I do.

The Bluebell - Anne Bronte

A fine and subtle spirit dwells
In every little flower,
Each one its own sweet feeling breathes
With more or less of power.
There is a silent eloquence
In every wild bluebell
That fills my softened heart with bliss
That words could never tell.

This is the only the first few lines lines from Anne's poem - and since really trying to focus on what the theme of my blog is I am very concious that I write awfully long posts! As I am not sure, dear reader , if you get bored half way through and move onto somewhere snappier I have only included the opening stanzas - if you would like to read the reast of the poem you can find it here

Hope your day is a beautiful as my flowery, bowery island.

Thanks for stopping by.
'til later

Bannaghtyn Jx

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

A new class - -

- - well a continuation class really - Beyond Blogging for Scrapbookers run of course by the lovely and inspiring Shimelle - who always gives me confidence to do more so much than I ever thought I could. I have read the first prompt several times through-out yesterday, and pondered over what the theme of this blog is. I have found it quite hard to come up with a simple answer - as I think my intention when  I created it was purely as a place to share the crafty items I made - mainly papercraft. However I have come to realise that for me, words have at least equal - if not more -  importance in my world, and so it seems to me to be "neither fish nor fowl" without a real focus or direction. I am thinking hard about what the theme is - - -
One of my favourite things about blogland is the fact that I can link right around the world with a blog, that I can stretch out a hand - and greet - a new friend in Australia, America, Scotland, Scandinavia, Africa or China - - and the reason we connect is a shared experience - of womanhood or motherhood or scrapbooking or baking or whatever - - So here I am - again asking myself - what is the theme of my blog ?? Is it Words?? Crafting and a place to share my makes?? Is it purely to communicate with others who share my hobbies in some way?? 
I really want to use this class to improve my blog - to give it a real focus, be more professional yet still be pretty to look at - (I do SO want to keep my poppies), to still have a place to share my "makes" and my passion for words, so would appreciate a little help from anyone who drops by. Perhaps dear reader you might have a moment to check out the poll? Thank you - or Gura mie ayd.

Thanks for stopping by.
Bannaghtyn J x

Monday, 18 April 2011

A Few Thank You's - -

- - specially to Mel for organising the blog hop yesterday, and also to everyone who created a post for the hop - I had so much fun "hopping" round to visit you all - though now have one very tired right foot!! It was  a new experience for me to be part of a blog hop - and I have to admit to being ever so slightly scared sending Mel that email. I am so glad I did though, as I have now a whole scutch of new blogs to visit more often. Thank you also to those ladies who took part - you touched me, made me laugh out loud, taught me, shared facts I had never heard of, made me weep, cheer you on, inspired me and made me feel like a most welcome friend. Thank you all!
It is back to work for me today so this post will have to be scheduled - but I thought I might share a little album I made yesterday as a 60th Birthday gift for a colleague - it has no photos in yet - because I can't share those as they are not my photos.

Thanks for stopping by.

'til later
Bannaghtyn Jx

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Alphanumeric Blog Hop - This makes me tick

Welcome - especially if this is your very first time to visit my blog - it's lovely to see you! I do have to tell you that this post came to life purely from Mel's post about the blog hop - as the image was a letter short of the full alphabet. I had to try out her idea of writing with just 25 letters to play with!!

Those of you who have visited my blog before may be aware that I share the day of my birth with Armistice Day - so that, that time of year is particularly special for me -  The Poppy Appeal is a charity I support wholeheartedly. You perhaps also might have picked up my love for words - and as words are made from letters - I like those too! All the way from A to Z!  I love the shape of them, what you hear if you speak them, how they feel if you say them, plus the pleasure of them put together to create those words. Merged together they make music - lyrics come to my head, poems shout their joy, whilst prose colours those pictures I see with my soul. My favourite poets, writers or lyricists are those whose words excite me or make music for me, whether that be because of the rhythm of the verses - quick or slow - or the pretty pictures their words create for the make believe world of my head. Do words do that for you too?

Letters put together by others set me off searching for ways to improve my way of "putting letters together" to make my words beautiful too. I have tried - so hope that just sometimes I have succeeded.  Shimelle's classes are a great help . This writer particularly lit up those pictures in my head, she makes pictures with words - she has descriptions that stay with me always, giving me the desire to also create pictures with words. So sometimes I hope my efforts have paid off.
I adore my family - they are my rock - the treasure that makes my life so special, with them I am rich as they give me such a wealth of joy.
Of course I also love "pretties"  - paper, trims, photographs - so I scrapbook - flowers, beads, pottery - so I make stuff - to cook gives me pleasure - pastries, pies, bread, cakes - so I bake - home is special to me - fabric, firelight, comfort - so I keep house for my family to make a happy home. All these small pleasures make me smile - so I feel happy.  I hope they make you happy as well - today I wish you lots of little joys that make you smile.
There are lots more of us to "hop with" today, all at play with this idea - the full list is below - but first you might wish to visit JimJams- so here you go! Have a lovely day.

'til next time.

PS - as a slight twist over what's said by those Sesame Street characters - this post NOT brought to you today by the letter N!
You can find everyone through this list - so enjoy!

I Speak Melsh: [ ]
BE Glorious: [ ]
Captured On Film: [ ]
Chatty Crafty Arty Pig: [ ]
Creating Room: [ ]
Curiouser and Curiouser: [ ]
Daily Life - Bits and Pieces: [ ]
Deb's World: [ ]
Den's Crafty Diary: [ ]
From High In The Sky: [ ]
Gallo Organico: [ ]
Ginger's Life Of Spice: [ ]
Handmade By Kirsty: [ ]
Havoc and Mayhem: [ ]
Heather's Scraps: [ ]
Helena's Creative Maven: [ ]
Holaday's Happy Hearts: [ ]
Jeant-Jinnag: [ ]
Just Jimjams: [ ]
K's Crafty Corner: [ ]
Life...As I See It: [ ]
{Life Behind The Purple Door}: [ ]
Lisa E Design Blog: [ ]
Living Life One Blessing At A Time: [ ]
Mary's Musings: [ ]
Michelle Loves...: [ ]
Obstinate Pursuit: [ ]
Over At Our Place: [ ]
Paper Turtle: [ ]
Peonies and Pennies: [ ]
Random Reflections: [ ]
Rosalind Revival: [ ]
Scrap Dreams: [ ]
Scrappyjacky: [ ]
Scrapworthy Lives: [ ]
Staring At The Sea: [ ]
Surefiredaisy Says: [ ]
This Kalil Life: [ ]
This Little Life Of Mine: [ ]
Xnomads' Blog: [ ]

Note: If any of the posts aren't up yet, please bear with us - the different time zones and the peculiarity of blogging platforms when it comes to autoposts may mean that one or two posts don't appear on time! If that's the case, come back to this list to pick up from the next blog, but do please pop back and try the other link later, when the post should be there for your enjoyment

Gura mie Ayd!
J x

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

I'm so excited -

- today I am going to see my girls. It does involve quite a lot of travel - first by sea and then by train - and a little bit of me - just a smidgeon - feels slightly apprehensive, as it is quite a long time since I travelled alone. However I also feel quite excited by the prospect - I love sailing, it is years since I last went on the ferry and I do like travelling by train - it makes me think of the railways heyday - when steam was king. Nostalgia kicks in (not that I am old enough to have travelled on the railways in their  heyday I hasten to add) - random thoughts fill my head, scraps of poems like this one float to the surface of my mind -  I hear the rhythm of the wheels on the tracks and feel such a sense of anticipation which far outweighs my slight apprehension! I have laughed at myself though - because last Wednesday I was also talking about railways. But you see - I'm so excited! And I am going to see my girls!

From a Railway Carriage

FASTER than fairies, faster than witches,
Bridges and houses, hedges and ditches;
And charging along like troops in a battle,
All through the meadows the horses and cattle:
All of the sights of the hill and the plain        
Fly as thick as driving rain;
And ever again, in the wink of an eye,
Painted stations whistle by.
Here is a child who clambers and scrambles,
All by himself and gathering brambles; 
Here is a tramp who stands and gazes;
And there is the green for stringing the daisies!
Here is a cart run away in the road
Lumping along with man and load;
And here is a mill and there is a river: 
Each a glimpse and gone for ever!

Until next time.

Bannaghtyn J x

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Books with Betsy - -

- - Betsy was the name we picked for our much loved VW Campervan which was our only vehicle when our children were small. She took us all over the UK - from Lands End to John o' Groats - our holidays were spent in her, we shared countless Bank Holiday weekends with her - - and many, many ordinary weekends in some of the beautiful countryside Northern Britain has to offer a couple of hours drive from the Manchester area. We had so much fun in the van - - whatever the weather, glorious days allowed our children to play outside - - but as you may know - in the UK there is no guarantee that it will be dry - let alone warm!! So in anticipation of those inevitable occasions - - I had a stash of chidren's books tucked into one of her many little cupboards. And I read aloud - by candlelight - all the stories I could find which would appeal to an 8 year old and a 30 year old - the baby didn't count until he was 2 - by which time the others were hooked and a tradition was established! At the end of every day after our meal - everything was cleared as quickly as possible, the beds set up for the night - then - treats were liberated, juice for the children and wine for us - and either chocolate, sweets or crisps - whichever was that evenings preference - the candles lit and "the book" fished out of the cupboard for the nights chapters.
I read - sometimes until I was hoarse - all the Chronicles of Narnia, The Weirdstone of Brisingamen, Elidor, The Owl Service, The Prydain Chronicles, The Dark is Rising Sequence, The Hobbit and many, many more. I tried to read a book which linked into the area we were visiting - so when we were in Wales I read the of Taran from the Prydain Chronicles, on Alderley Edge I read of Susan and her "Weirdstone", in Cornwall I read of Will and the Rising Dark and read The Snow Goose in Norfolk and so on. I think I managed to find a childrens book to read in the van which always linked to the area we were visiting.
Looking back on the few titles which I have listed - I have just realised that along the way my husband and children were indoctrinated with all the Celtic Folklore - which so fascinated me - of the British Isles. I do hope they forgive me for imposing my own favourites on them as I did. I know these stories, read aloud by the light of a flickering candle - were my husband's first experience of the wonderful world of legend and fantasy that was part of my childhood and early teens, and that the characters in some of those books still live in our family memories. Some of those characters gave us family "catch phrases" we use to this day - and I look back on those evenings in the van with nothing but pleasure. I hope my children do too. Maybe along the way I also preserved some of our islands wonderful legendary characters Herne the Hunter or the Morrigan - I do hope so. I wish I had taken photos of the 5 of us snuggled together  - but I didn't so those pictures will have to live on only in my head - I need to find a photo of Betsy though. Long live stories!

Until next time.

Bannaghtyn Jx

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Hopping around blogworld

You might have seen this little logo appearing here and there around blogworld just recently. It's all thanks to this lovely lady - and I am just a little part of it. I have to admit to feeling slightly scared - but also really looking forward to reading all the posts. So keep an eye out - we would love for you to drop in to say "hi".

Until next time.

Bannaghtyn J x

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Garden treasures - -

found today in my garden - the remains of one small blue robin's egg. Softly speckled with tiny brown spots - it was so fragile, delicate and so completely uplifting. I haven't stopped smiling all day, though try as we might my son and I couldn't find any sign of the nest, yet we knew there had to be one there - I suspect it might be hiding behind the greenhouse somewhere.

Until next time.

Bannaghtyn J x

Friday, 8 April 2011

A Freebie for you - -

For those of you who are stampers out there - you might like this


Bannaghtyn  J x

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Wednesday Words - -

- - which please me. I love words and poetry - and whilst internet searching today this came up. I remember loving this - and am old enough to remember the film - though it was an old film when I watched it as a child!

This is the night mail crossing the Border,
Bringing the cheque and the postal order,

Letters for the rich, letters for the poor,
The shop at the corner, the girl next door.

Pulling up Beattock, a steady climb:
The gradient's against her, but she's on time.

Past cotton-grass and moorland boulder
Shovelling white steam over her shoulder,

Snorting noisily as she passes
Silent miles of wind-bent grasses.

Birds turn their heads as she approaches,
Stare from bushes at her blank-faced coaches.

Sheep-dogs cannot turn her course;
They slumber on with paws across.

In the farm she passes no one wakes,
But a jug in a bedroom gently shakes.

Dawn freshens, Her climb is done.
Down towards Glasgow she descends,
Towards the steam tugs yelping down a glade of cranes
Towards the fields of apparatus, the furnaces
Set on the dark plain like gigantic chessmen.
All Scotland waits for her:
In dark glens, beside pale-green lochs
Men long for news.

Letters of thanks, letters from banks,
Letters of joy from girl and boy,
Receipted bills and invitations
To inspect new stock or to visit relations,
And applications for situations,
And timid lovers' declarations,
And gossip, gossip from all the nations,
News circumstantial, news financial,
Letters with holiday snaps to enlarge in,
Letters with faces scrawled on the margin,
Letters from uncles, cousins, and aunts,
Letters to Scotland from the South of France,
Letters of condolence to Highlands and Lowlands
Written on paper of every hue,
The pink, the violet, the white and the blue,
The chatty, the catty, the boring, the adoring,
The cold and official and the heart's outpouring,
Clever, stupid, short and long,
The typed and the printed and the spelt all wrong.

Thousands are still asleep,
Dreaming of terrifying monsters
Or of friendly tea beside the band in Cranston's or Crawford's:

Asleep in working Glasgow, asleep in well-set Edinburgh,
Asleep in granite Aberdeen,
They continue their dreams,
But shall wake soon and hope for letters,
And none will hear the postman's knock
Without a quickening of the heart,
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?

WH Auden
Thanks for stopping by

Bannaghtyn J x

Monday, 4 April 2011

After a glorious - - -

- - Mothering Sunday - indeed all weekend - - - the rain has set in! The skies are grey and it is pattering on the skylight above my head - it feels wintery once more and I just want to be home - curled up in front of my chollagh with a good book!
However reality bites and here I am at work - at least I didn't get too wet coming in. And it has gone SO cold, the drafts round my ankles make me wish that I had my boots on! How on earth I am I to get through today without shivering I don't know - I shall have to get the winter wear back on!
Something brighter to look at though -

I made this as a demo piece.

Hope it is lots warmer where you are!

Thanks for stopping by.

Bannaghtyn Jx

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Mothering Sunday

Today is Mothering Sunday in the UK - and it has been a lovely day for me - a day filled with sunshine.
I have come to the conclusion that it really is the simple things which give me most pleasure -
early morning tea in bed
a walk beside the sea
coffee in the garden
flowers from my children
speaking to my mum
phone calls from my girls
my son cooking dinner for us
clean bedding, fresh and sweet smelling from being dried in the sunshine
And something nice to look forward to - -
a bottle of wine shared at the end of the day as we watch TV - YAY I get to choose tonight's viewing in honour of the day!!

Thanks for stopping by.

Bannaghtyn. J x


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...