Friday, 2 May 2014

Letter from a Small Island

Greetings my friends,
I do hope all is well with you all - and with your loved ones. I have been fortunate this Easter holiday time to have my both my girls home - so my family is as complete as it can be now, sadly there will forever be a hole in it, but I do the best I can to keep positive. It hasn't been easy of late, hence my neglect of you (and my poor blog) - my friends across the world - but I do keep trying.
It has been a beautiful Easter Weekend here in my little corner of the world. The sun has shone and the skies are blue - and even the wind was warm on Easter Monday. My cherry blossom is in full bloom  - its delicate pink blossom and fresh green leaves bringing colour to the garden and is tempting me outside to actually do a bit of gardening for the first time this year and its ethereal beauty stirred me into picking up my camera - which has been largely unused for a goodly length of time - to my shame!
The fuchsia hedge has fat, bright pink teardrops appearing on the branches so soon I will have some little "ballerinas" as well! The blue bells are all out - not only in the Glen but in my garden, and I love it when they appear - reminding me that really my garden is a woodland clearing - on loan from Mother Nature, since I planted none of them - they just sprout and flower - always popping up in a different place. Sadly they are not our true English bluebells - they are very "upright" and don't have the same intensity of perfume, nevertheless they are pretty to look at. I did manage to find a few true "English" bluebells - though how long they will remain I do not know.
We have taken a few strolls through the Glen, it is always such a lovely walk, on the one side the sea with the occasional seal surfacing,  and the Herring gulls in and out from the shore and across the bay soaring with such grace and beauty that one forgets what a nuisance they can be at times! Me and L---- stop to take advantage of the many strategically placed benches to just take in the stunning view towards the Sound and the Calf of Man. A Gannet circles round and round in an ever widening arc, endlessly searching for the flash of silver beneath the waves which, once spotted sends him plummeting to earth in a dive which accelerates with such speed that if you blink you miss it - before plunging into the shimmering sea like a huge silver arrow - and then just as suddenly - there he is on the surface with a laden beak! Out across the bay the Sailing school is in full swing - the little yachts skimming happily just off the shore - a sight that always brings sad smile as Ben had made plans to  learn to sail.

It was such a lovely day on Monday that we took a little drive - the road over the Sloc climbs ever higher so that soon we are surrounded by moorland - It is a wild open landscape up here - not unlike Dartmoor, or the Lancashire Moors - with very different plants - heather, cotton grass and bracken - yet always looking bare. You can see a long way from up here - out over out to the south the sea shimmers through the haze - twinkling in the sunlight and here and there I spy a stonechat on a spike of gorse, whilst inland the derelict chimneys of the old pump houses from the lead mines stand tall and imposing in the distance - the only sign of habitation in an empty landscape.
Signs of spring were everywhere - even though the trees still sport bare branches - a misty haze of green is begining to make an appearence in between. Golden gorse separates the landscape into a patchwork of colour, green and brown and some dotted with the white or cream or black of grazing animals - cows or sheep and others ploughed and planted or left fallow. Fields closer to the road are full of ewes with the newly born offspring gambolling happily - so gangly legged and waggly-tailed that I have to smile when I see them.
We drop down past the Plantation and towards Niarbyl  - from this road I can see my very favourite view from my island home - out across a silvery western sea to the Sound and the Calf of Man before driving through Dalby then dropping into Glen Maye. This route is a favourite drive of ours - as the sea is often visible - and we all love coast roads. I wonder sometimes if I will ever get blase about living so close to the sea - some of those born here never, never, ever go to the shore!I don't think I will - but maybe future generations might - should I be lucky enough to become a nana someday.

Our destination is Purt Ny Hinshey - or our Sunset City - Peel - for a walk around the castle, a cup of tea at the Harbour, a visit to the Charity shops and antique centres and an icecream on the Prom - one cannot visit this tiny city without doing all those things! I have to smile when I think of Peel as a city - it is no Manchester or London - believe me, but it is the home to the Island's Cathedral - and cathedral are only found in cities I believe!
It was a very, very busy day - all through the winter we have had the carpark at Fenella to ourselves and today we struggled to find a park! Never mind - it was lovely to see so many families out just enjoying the spring sunshine. It is getting time for me to stop now to make our evening meal - so I will say bye for now.

Thanks for stopping by,

'til later,

Bannaghtyn, Jen x


  1. lovely to hear from you Jennie, your descriptions always remind me of happy holidays in Laxey with my aunt xx

  2. I always think of the Isle of Man at this time of year - we took a day trip with the school at this time when I was twelve and it was so exciting getting there and back in a day I've never forgotten it! It's good to see you popping up again

  3. So sorry, I hadn't realised. Beautiful photos and great to see you looking for the positives around you. A lesson to us all. X

  4. Lovely to see you popping up in my reader...and to hear that you enjoyed your day out!
    Love and hugs
    Alison xx

  5. Every time you write about your home island, I just want to catch a boat and visit :). Your descriptions are so lovely ... I am a little late getting here but so very pleased to see you.

  6. Thank you taking us along on your drive, I really felt like I was there with you and could see it all through your writing. I am glad that both of your girls could make it home. I think of you often but have been negligent blogging and ready so am happy that you are popping back in when I can catch you. {{hugs}}


Hi and welcome - thanks for taking the time to let me know you called.


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