Famous words

I found this short quote from an unknown author and it simply stuck in my head.

You are going to be fine you come from a strong line of lunatics!

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The Beast and Storm Emma

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happy birthday bob

For the last five days here in Ireland, each time I turn on a radio or tv the topic is the same – the weather. It is proof that we are obsessed with the weather when;

Every supermarket is in danger of running out of bread and milk etc as the shelves are emptying as fast as they are filling.

Families are putting planned day trips on hold because the weather is going to be “horrid” bad.

And every double coated husky is being subjected to having to wear a coat or jumper!

Bob objects to wearing anything other than his own fluff! The closest thing he wears to a coat is a high viz mini coat to let traffic know he is out and about.

Ellie – well we would have to catch her first and that would take more time, effort and energy than it is worth.

In the meantime, both of them acted like it was their birthday when the snow finally fell.

.Nice snow, best present a Bob could get… he proved it as he began to eat the snow around him.

bob eating snowellie playingellie

 

Hanging about in Ireland.

Summer is strange, but often life is stranger.

We tend to walk a lot, (well Ellie and myself – Bob avoids it at all costs.) And during the past few months we came across these items during our travels.

A parish walk confirmed we are indeed in Ireland.

 

Greenhouses are not only for plants!

An iconic item

Bubbles but not of the chocolate kind, unfortunately

Garden Delights

All of my hard work is starting to pay off, as the garden is becoming more colorful with each brief burst of sunshine another plant wakens.

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Oops sorry, she was doing her best to get in every shot, so…..

I put her in, Bob, well he was, sleeping. He will catch up with you next time.

Best day ever of 2016 for Bob

Bob woke the house early on Friday morning. At first I thought he must be unwell, as it wasn’t his usual, get up and make my breakfast call.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the back door was the look of disbelief on his face.

disbelief bob

It had snowed. And we all know Bob loves snow.

But it is becoming clear that old age is catching up with him as he spent the next half an hour simply pottering about.

bob pottering 2Bob pottering

While Ellie was all about moving:ellie4snow ellie3 ellieballsnow elliieball5 Ellie 1 snow

He, I believe, was remembering

ellie and bob in snow

Real snow! And saving his energy for its return.

Maria’s Stuff: Sample Chapter of The Runaway Schoolhouse

runaway_schoolhouse_cover_Latest_151031As promised here is a sample chapter of the book aimed at children of 7 years plus.

 

Chapter 1

 

John and Sara Buggy were twins who didn’t look alike. They didn’t think or act alike either. In fact, they were complete opposites. Sara was a quiet, studious type while John was a messer who hated school and spent his days there playing practical jokes.

One blustery, grey Monday morning, they trudged their way to school, all set for another run-of-the-mill day in the tiny two-classroom building.

“Why are we walking fast?” Sara asked John.

“I have something to do,” he replied, with the beginning of a smile tugging at his mouth.

She knew that look but instead of pressing him further, concentrated on stretching her short legs to keep up with his longer stride. There was a six-inch height difference between them and while John had a head of smooth, dark brown hair Sara was stuck with a headful of tangled, red curls. This didn’t sit well with her.

“School is the oddest place because most of what we learn is pretty useless in the real world,” John was saying, as they walked through the main door.

Sara considered her answer for a moment.

“You may think you’re right but I like learning new things and it’s always so cosy in here.”

***

Once they were seated,  Sara started to worry about what trick John was about to play on their teacher. Mrs Brown, she noticed, kept sniffing and clutching a hanky to her nose. Sara wondered if she were ill. She glanced at John who winked at her.

“Not long now,” he whispered.

“What have you done?” she hissed.

Suddenly, Mrs Brown sneezed. John giggled. Sara turned her attention back to their teacher who sat in her chair with her nose twitching like a rabbit. She sneezed six times in succession, sending her glasses bouncing onto her desk. She managed to stop long enough to hold her nose and shove her glasses back in place. Getting up from her desk she walked to the door and said very quickly, “Carry on with your maths.” This short statement was followed by more sneezing as she left the room.

John was given many high fives and claps on the back as his mates asked how he did it.

“A master never reveals his secrets,” he grinned.

Sara was not impressed. “Someday Mrs Brown will get really mad at you and…”

“And what?” John demanded. “Writing a hundred lines is nothing I haven’t done before. Now, come on, it’s break time.”

Suddenly a shadow fell across his desk and Mrs Brown said, in a sharp tone, “Let’s try five hundred lines on the blackboard today John, not on your tablet where you are a master at copy and paste. The line, I should not play pranks on the teacher, is to be written at lunchtime.”

Mrs Brown then turned to Sara adding, “And John is to do it on his own.”

“Yes, Mrs Brown,” Sara said.

***

At lunchtime Sara slipped back into the classroom to help her brother, but found him staring at the blackboard.

“You haven’t written many lines,” she said.

Sara noticed a message written across the board – and it wasn’t in John’s handwriting.

School is a useful tool for life, John and Sara.

Sara read the words aloud and looked at John.

“I didn’t do it.The board was clean when I began and then it just appeared. It’s wrong anyway, school is stupid.”

He wiped the message away.

“Perhaps it is magic?” Sara said in a wistful tone.

“Huh, there is no such thing,” John sneered. “If there was I would click my fingers and the whole board would be full of lines, just like this.” Turning to face Sara he clicked his fingers but noticed her smile fade as she pointed back to the board.

There before them, more lines of the same sentence appeared. They watched as they scrawled, with no sign of a marker, in neat, tidy rows.

Sara counted the lines.

“There are twenty rows of twenty-five lines.” She looked at John. “Did you do this? Do something else!”

“Two packets of crisps,” John shouted, then clicked his fingers and waited. Nothing happened.

Sara was busy staring at the blackboard again. She read the message aloud.

You have enough lunch to eat in your schoolbag.

“I don’t like this. Is it a ghost? ” Sara whispered and jumped further away from the board.

John was curious and moved closer. “Rubbish! Ghosts don’t exist.”

“I wonder why it happened today?”The words changed and she read aloud, Today is my birthday, I am one hundred years old.

Gathering all of her courage Sara said,  “Happy Birthday to you but who are you?”

I am the schoolhouse you are standing in and my name is Clearie.

“Clearie, what an awesome name!” John said.

The words on the bottom changed once more and they both read the message.

Clearie means minstrel and scholar in Irish.

Suddenly, the ringing of the bell announced the end of break. The arrival of the other children back into the room prevented Sara and John from finding out more.

Sara did notice the last message was wiped clean before Mrs Brown arrived back to her desk but she instinctively knew  it wouldn’t be the last of them.

In the meantime, there was John’s lack of lines to worry about…

Copies of the book can be purchased via http://www.emuink.ie

This company also offers a unique book rental along with the usual, Kindle/e-reader and printed copies to buy.

I am truthfully hoping I can get some reviews as feed back is how we can develop and change as writers.

Thank you all and have a great Christmas.

 

 

Bobs Diary: Countdown to Turkey day.

We have been busy.

I have been: Patrolling,

go slow

go slow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Guarding

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Ellie has left me alone while she goes travelling.

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Hisilicon K3

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Puddling about – an update from the canine pool

We did return for another session to the hydrotherapy pool and much to our surprise, Ellie wanted to go into the pool.

This time we had a surprise in store for her – a surf board.

Unfortunately we had so much fun we didn’t get to take photos, this time. We reckon it is an achievement to get a collie pushing off a board into the pool, but then again there were balls involved and we all know her love for tennis balls.ippipp

In a perfect Ireland the following would not be heard of:

1.   Politicians who break promises as frequently as they drink tea.

2.  Social inequality – to achieve perfect equality everyone receives the same wage for working. Including politicians (which would mean pensions are limited to one pension per person.)

3.   Minority groups who claim to be in the minority with such strength of feeling their needs are met to such an excessive level that their claims exceed the majority.

4.  Rural Ireland having no public transport.  Trains and buses would run strictly to timetable.

5.   A low number of hospitals in each county – every major town would have a hospital capable of dealing with its community.

6.  Every A & E room that looks like a Christmas sale event. With people fighting for beds or in some cases trolleys.

7.  Taxes being dispersed as randomly and thoughtlessly like bird food.

8.  Tribunals – which only serve to raise the blood pressure of the average income tax payer.

9.  A police force stretched thin.

10.  Children having more rights than parents.

Please note the above are all merely my opinion/feelings on what is happening around me and I would love to hear comments or additions to the above list. Now I am off to join my chilling dog who takes life the way we were meant to (in a perfect world) – by enjoying every moment.

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