Last web of Spring?

The weather is gradually warming up and we were surprised to find this beauty outside the back door this morning.

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Maria’s Stuff: Memories of our first garden.

The vegetable Garden

The vegetable Garden

niall and sara under beech

sara flowersOur first home was as I remember – picture perfect. The garden the most lived in room.

The nearest neighbor a long walk up a leafy rickety lane-way.

The garden, a field then, stretched on forever. It wasn’t perfect, but it sat on a height overlooking the farms stretched out below and beyond it. We gained aches and pains as we eliminated the abandoned glass bottles, old tin cans and iron bed frames, tainted and rusty to touch. Everything safely sent to a recyclable life via a tractor and trailer.

A lawn and driveway arrived. Tiny hands were tickled by flitting butterflies as they played in this large space sprinkled with roses and hebes of all varieties.  Tree climbers were carefully minded by the one hundred year old solid beech tree. From its lofty height it loved to sprinkle the lawn with helicopters. Pulled by the wind they twisted and turned toward the green velvet carpet where they added their golden brown hue to its richness. All around me I can see nature at its best, soft rolling hillsides displaying every shade of green.

No heavy traffic or exhaust fumes filled the air, here, birdsong was the mainstay of my day. Passing of time was told by every passing vehicle: the milkman, neighbors ferrying children to and from school, husbands returning from work.

The seasons saw some changes which colored the air, spreading manure, making hay, or cows being herded home.
Home – I can almost taste it! Though I have changed house, the memories of this home will never be forgotten. It was a heartfelt first home.

 

Bob’s Diary: Wet

It has been a wet week but this is Ireland and summer is coming so what else can we expect?

I have been busy, found some new routes through a well-known wood.

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I thought you might like to see them.ipp

I was getting a little wet and tiredipp

so lucky for me we found a place to shelter. (I was supposed to be taking care of her tennis ball, Ellie was off chasing a rainbow? )

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The debate now is what color curtains will we put up?

 

 

Bob’s Diary: To cheer Maria up…

talking 1Yesterday was Mother’s day and though her two kids did an amazing job, cooking dinner and surprising her with some spectacular bird earrings. I know Maria still missed her own mum… so….

We decided to cheer her up by beginning our expedition plans to find that Ogre.

I’ve been watching Dora, and learnt a lot,

Looking for Dora the Explorer.

Looking for Dora the Explorer.

So I now know preparation is the key for finding a species, in this case an Ogre. We started by gathering together the following items:

stuff in barrow

1.  Food

 2. Fairy Cakes

3. In case of emergency phone

4. Binoculars

5. Food

6.  First aid kit and book.

7.  A silver star

8. –  We are still waiting on this one,  it is a map of the wood where he lives …until then we will  practice our drills…

talking 2

Ellie:  Hang on a moment, Bob. Why have we got a star?

Bob: all travellers know that if you are lost you can find your way by looking at stars, so we are bringing our own, just in case

ball on stick 1

Ellie: And a ball on a stick?

Bob: Its the old donkey thing, you know donkey being led by a carrot on a stick,

Ellie: No I don’t understand.

Bob: You are a collie/husky, you like balls, see I’ll show you..

donkey

Ellie: Nope sorry I don’t get it..

Bob: Don’t worry you’ll get the hang of it. We just have to pick the correct mode of transport to be pulled.

2nd veh

 Ellie: now that looks plain stupid.

Bob: which one?

3rd veh

vehicle 1

 

Ellie:  Hmm.. I don’t think you’ll get any donkey to pull any of those.

ellies final word

 

But I wouldn’t mind a drive in a Ferrari.

Bob’s Diary: St. Patrick’s Day

Yi ay it’s 17th March, parades, bacon, for breakfast what more could you ask for?

yyii aah

Balloons, Beer, fun… oh oh…

she is doing it again

Why do I always fall for: there is a dog biscuit in it for you?

ellie no way

Ellie never does, but then she is more into balls and running…

burke bob

What I need now is a Lepreachaun or an Ogre

New home

I feel such a twat… an Irish twat.. I think I’ll move home.. anyone looking for a cute cuddly no exercise type of dog?? Apply here please.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone.

The Impudent Tattoo

I’m staring at my arm. I blink. Blink again, in the hope I will wake up. I pinch my arm to check if I’m dreaming. The expensive, painful, carefully drawn dragon has vanished.

This morning, while showering I noticed the ink was fading. Soap trickled into my eyes as I attempted to solve the puzzle. Had I been conned? Money taken for a cheap tacky job. No, I couldn’t call it either tacky or cheap. It hurt.

The tattoo was to mark the turning point in my life. I was free from my husband. I suppose it was an incredibly stupid act of rebellion but  I did it. I got a tattoo, at thirty eight years of age.

Once dressed I decided to return to the scene of the crime – the tattoo shop. It was small, crowded and busy. Despite the recession, many of us are escaping age or misery by acquiring a tattoo.

The door bell jangles as I enter.  The artist looks up. He scowls, then flicks the chewing gum from his mouth into a waste bin by his side. The current victim sitting in the chair is young, pale faced and clutching a tin of alcohol. I grimace, turn from the boy.
“Lo. You’ll have to wait.” He grudgingly acknowledges my presence and waves his implement of torture in my direction.

“I.” Clearing my throat I start again. “We have a problem. The tattoo you gave me is disappearing.”

He smiles. This is not a pleasant smile. It is a horrific metal smile. Cool and ugly. His voice canons into me, “I want whatever you are on.”

The boy in the chair glances at me,  “Can I have some? Does it make the pain go away?”
I ignore him and focus on the artist who is staring at my arm. I glance down. Disbelief washes through me because I have a tattoo of a dragon on my arm.
“I think you should go for a sleep and relax. It looks like a nice clean job, swelling has already vanished. You will be fine.” He dismiss’ me.
I feel the blood drain from my face. ” It’s back.” I whisper ignoring the giggles from the boy.

I leave as quietly as I can.
However two minutes later, cutting through the park, I glance down. No tattoo. This is madness. I head for a park bench.
“I must be crazy.”

“You are not but I wouldn’t class you as being un-crazy either.” The voice is elderly but pleasant. I look around and see nothing. Not even a cat lazing in the bushes or a bird tweeting in a tree.

I feel a tweak of heat on my arm and I glance down. The dragon stares up at me. He is approximately three inches tall and is breathing fire at an amazing rate.
“Please don’t do that.”

“Why? I’ve lain amongst the pages of that blasted book for ever and now that I’m free, why not?’
I shrug my shoulders and think. I can understand that. “But it’s my arm and I would rather not be burnt.”
He smiles at me . “I’m George, by the way.”
I lean over and pluck a leafy twig from the nearest shrub. “Try this.”
He does and is happy with the result. A black shriveled mess.

To prove his happiness he begins to dance, tap dance if I’m not mistaken all the way up and down my arm and along the seat I am sitting on.
A shadow looms above me and I look up. The park keeper is standing glaring at me. “Why would you do that?”
“Do what?”
“Set a twig on fire.” He has yanked off his cap and is mopping his brow with a white hanky. His bald head is a shining example of cleanliness.
“I didn’t..” I begin.
“It was me.” George explains as he jumps onto the arm of the bench. To reinforce his point he releases a bellow of fire that catches the end of the park keeper’s hanky. It goes up in smoke. He looks at me and at George. He faints, landing on the ground with a nice soft thud.
Standing up, I step over the keeper saying, “George, this is interesting.  Would you like to meet my ex husband?”
George smiles and I leave the park with him sitting on my shoulder.

Halloween Night at Mudpile Wood – 600 words.

Floating clouds giggled as they slipped by  the sparkling silver moon who danced in the sky.. Breeze tiptoed through the wood carrying a large sack. “Last year was dreadful,” he muttered.

Spike, (Breeze’s pet frog) sat on his right shoulder wearing a golden wig and orange crown. “Riggggbyyyyt…” He said.

“They messed up my cave. Stuff exploded or cackled. This year it’s my turn.”

“How?” Tulip asked him. A thick layers of cobwebs were dangling from the brim of her purple hat. She sat on Breezes left shoulder scanning the wood for tricks.

“By undoing their tricks and scaring them.”

“Nice idea, but impossible.”

Breeze scowled. “No I’ve been planning.”

She tugged his ear. “Stop. There’s another fire crackling stepping stone.”

“Thanks.” Breeze scooped it up.

They walked on again. “Five paces left there is a bend over backwards fire work.”

“Don’t like them. Last year I was carried away to the Elven forest. Rubbish party they were having with twinkling lights and polite voices saying…excuse me but would you like a trick or treat.” He shuddered at the memory.

“So what is your goal tonight?”

“Survive..” he said. “Let’s climb out of the way.”

They sat high in the tree tops watching the stars play a duck and dive game. “Where’s your pet poodle, Tulip?”

“Maisie is tucked up nice and safe at my mum’s house. Mum doesn’t like Halloween anymore. Not since she got caught by Matt and his friends. They scared her and her hair became stiff.”

Breeze looked at her. “I thought her hair always stood up straight on her head.”

“Nope it used to be smooth and shiny. Like my fairy cake icing.”

Breeze tilted his head to one side. “Did you….?”

“Bring some? Yes they are on the branches above you.”

They sat eating cakes watching the show in the sky and waiting for the fun in the wood to begin.

Ten minutes before midnight Lovisma arrived. “Breeze said he’d set up the apple dunking stall in the clearing.”

Elegant said, “He did. It’s over there.”

Matt watched spiders spinning a rope from a branch that held a large parcel. “Ooh there must be loads of sweets and marshmallows in there.”

Right in the centre of the clearing a group of elves were dancing around a fountain. They chanted, “we love the strawberry sherbert fountain.”

Mrs. Groundsel, Hamish, Breeze’s mum, and other parents arrived.

Tulip looked at Breeze, “hope your mum enjoys a joke.”

Taking a deep breath, he roared, “Go.”

“How smart are they?” Tulip asked as she watched Lovisma lower her head over the barrel. However it moved away from her, sliding across the grass. Lovisma chased it. Steam bellowed from her slime covered hat.

“It shouldn’t take too long for the truth to sink in.” Breeze said.

The children who dug their hands into the fountain discovered, (a) it was green smelly slime and (b) it pulled them into the fountain.

The boys beating the parcel with the stick found it was growing instead of breaking.

Breeze’s mum laughed so hard she fell off her chair.

Breeze winked at Tulip. “It’s going to get better. Watch.”

Taking a deep breath he roared, “Trick or Treat?”

“Treat,” they shouted. Instantly the trees surrounding the clearing began to melt forming a dark pool. Matt dipped his hand into it and shouted, “mud.”

Everyone screamed with delight. Children rolled and played. The witches were building a castle. Suddenly the ground began to shake and rumble.

Elegant hopped on her broomstick. She flew high into the sky.

Her shrieking voice filled every space in the wood, “Grace and her friends, hide.”

Breeze was laughing so hard he pushed Tulip out of the tree. She raised her wand saying, “enough is enough, they will get squished by the hippos.”

“Relax, its not them its only Grace and she is bringing the surprise a Halloween barbecue complete with sparklers and flaming cauldrons. What more could a surprise Halloween party need?”

“Us,” Tulip said and flew down to join them.

For a picture/image of Breeze and Tulip visit : miartedoris.wordpress.com see the illustration under, The Trouble with Trees  .

Flash Fiction… Snow Dogs

ellie and bob 035

‘I could do with a change of scenery’ Luna decided.

For the last two hours they moved at a nice steady pace but she was tired. Too much racing in my life, was her verdict as she trudged along. April was a month she loved, snow plentiful but the sun was warming up, adding a glossy glamorous touch.

‘I could do with lunch’ the idea landed in her head hours before lunch was due and it wouldn’t budge, ‘it’s probably bloody chicken stew again.’ That certainty didn’t stall her appetite in fact it made it harder for her to concentrate on the path ahead of her.

Snow swirled gently about her face. Luna was tempted to stop. Stopping was a sign of weakness and that would never do. Their team leader was two years older. His gruff manner hid a gentle heart. He was the most experienced of the team.

Like a soft veil snow speckled her face and body. Luna lowered her head, hunched her shoulders and plodded on. ‘Hopefully this will get worse, we may have to stop.’ She smiled. Then lunch would be early. A rest would be appreciated.

On they went. Snow was kicked up as they sped along searching for a place to shelter. At last they heard the cry, ‘Stop, here will do.’

It wasn’t too soon for Luna as with head bowed and tongue protruding she stood panting, waiting for the musher to come and release her and the rest of the team from the sled.

Bob’s Diary: Home Alone.

Maria left me – said it was her anniversary and packed up. I’m looking for votes of sympathy she ran away to:

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A Rock.                         Skellig Rock – Kerry.

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IMG_6098

She wants to move there. Said, I’d like it. I don’t know I am not too sure about the pups she found –

Seals on beach

Nope I don’t like them.