It seems that everything we talk about these days is or could be precluded with the word: Stay. Stay Safe, Stay at Home, Stay Positive, Stay fit, StayInside.

It is the one word Bob never had any difficulty with until this time of year, – stay away from the strawberries was like releasing a race horse from a starting gate.

I know she dropped one

So I won’t say it but I hope everyone in the blogging world is being happy, positive and finding a little kindness in this strange world.


Gadgets and Stuff ….

I am writing this out of pure frustration. Perhaps it is an age thing but computers, phones and all types of gadgets, as we are told, need passwords. The trouble being – they all need to be different and we are also told we shouldn’t write them down or make them personal and the longer the better.

Does anyone have a hint or suggestion regarding the ability to stay safe with passwords and more importantly, remember them?

Book Review- Love Struck. By Maria Mathews.

Reviews are like gold hard to find, I would like to say thank you to Kurian and his book club members for this great post


Love Struck

In the blog world we come across many writers and follow them. Sometimes you write something which gets the attention of your followers and occasionally some of them could be great writers. And then you mention your intention to write a book of your own, and see the offers of assistance and definitely good wishes from many. Imagine then the announcement of forming a Book Writer’s Club. You get some attention.

Perhaps all these or one of them or a combination of a few that prompted writer Maria Mathews to give me an offer to read her book. And she did a beautiful thing, she sent an autographed book all the way from Ireland for me in India to read.

I took some unusually long time to start reading it. But once started I felt a connection. This review is about what I felt when I read the book.


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Ballycorona  sits very nicely between the strip of water that lies to the west of Galway City wedged between the city and the Connemara Natural Park. This island is mostly forgotten by the world at large and for the most part the citizens of this small island are very happy about that. Their mayor, for want of a better title, especially so. It allows him the freedom to do what he wishes, and rule his kingdom his way.

On first meeting this auspicious gent, you would be forgiven for falling into his sugar coated promises and statements, as all about him appear to behave as one unit in their agreement with whatever he says and does.  As you will learn, unluckily for me I remembered, eventually that the sweeter the person appears to be the more cautious and fearful you should be.

“Your sense of direction is dreadful,”  Steve my husband of fifteen years told me. I nodded and agreed adding, “Perhaps it would have been better for you to take the lead on this outing.”

Silence greeted that statement. For a while the peaceful sound of our oars cutting through the  petite waves was the only sound we could hear then a voice, deep and authoritative cut through our dilemma. “You must be lost. We haven’t seen anyone out this far in a curragh for many years.”

Steve did not hesitate with his reply, “It’s a kayak, don’t you know the difference?” He swivelled about in search of the speaker.  But there was no one to see. More worrying still there was no boat.

“All I know is that you almost whacked me with that lump of a stick and interrupted our training night.”

Now we both raised our oars and let the boat drift as we looked into the water. Still nothing.

“Not down there you numpty up here.” He sounded exasperated.

We promptly raised our heads and looked above us. The guy on what we presumed was a para glider was easy to spot  not because  he  should have been attending a slimming world class but because his para glider looked as though it had been made by a quilter. As though reading our minds he said, “No reason to worry, this is perfectly safe, I have this covered I have been doing this for years and know what is what.”

As he spoke he did a superb summersault worthy of a Russian gymnast and dived like a cormorant straight into the water beside us. Unlike the cormorant he did not reappear with a fish in his mouth. In fact for two whole minutes he did not reappear at all. Steve who had leant overboard and grabbed some of the lines coming off the colourful fabric parachute was tugging frantically at it and yelling at me to do the same.

I obliged and slowly we reeled him in. Grabbing him by the shoulders and legs we hauled him across the boat and checked for a pulse.

“He is breathing, I don’t know how, but he is lets head for shore” Steve shouted.

I looked around and discovered we were a hundred meters from land of some type. We headed for it balancing the guy in the space between us. It was easy to keep him there as it was a tight fit.

When we reached the rocky beach I was relieved to discover there were six men standing waist high waiting for us. With a nod at both of us they leant across the kayak and yanked him off it.  We got out and followed them to see how he was doing. I was a little perturbed to hear their words of wisedom as we trudged after them.

“Spectacular dive.” The tallest man declared.

“His best yet” A burly grey haired man confirmed.

“How high was he this time?” A youngster asked.

“Oh all of twenty feet but he will add another hundred to it. You can bet your life on that when asked by the reporters for this weeks paper.”

“He usually comes around by now, my da will be all right won’t he?” The teenager, the youngest one in the group sounded anxious as he hovered about them.

“He will in a minute, give us some room Tommy, step back.”

With that the tallest two men in the group grabbed our failed hero; unzipped some of the dry suit, then as they held him by his boots dangled him upside down,

The whoosh of water was spectacular and the coughing of the guy in the suit was continuous. They simply looked at one another and dropped him to the ground where he dragged himself into an upward position and said, “Only for those two gobshites in the boat, I would have been fine.”

With a toss of their heads all agreed  “it is time for a pint,” they left us to it.


I am rearranging my garden, out of necessity and because of these bothersome days where we are confined to close quarters. And I decided to post this brief post specifically to let Maxwellthedog know that we are working to get it done and some tomatoes growing asap! But as you may notice I have some help (there is four of us living in the house) so all is not lost.

Digging up Bob’s beloved strawberry and blackcurrant patch was tough work,

I had taken cuttings of the blackcurrant bush last year, so it will be replanted in a suitable spot.

As you can see the canine help were their usual supportive selves, Belle and Brook had retired to the yard to get the most sun.

I am interested in learning if anyone has a green house and what they recommend I plant in it, remembering that Ireland is not the hotest place on the planet.

Take care.

Positives in our lives.

It should be a rough day. In a way it is. Between Covid 19, being house bound and my Dad’s first anniversary, all in all there is a lot of downward pushing thoughts but… he was a positive man and would come back to haunt me if I was negative.

Here is my list of #positivevibes

  1. I have noticed the influx of birds into the garden, reminding me that Nature is fighting back and so will we.
  2. We (Matthews Family) are closer than ever.
  3. We remain healthy
  4. We are happy
  5. Our neighbours and friends and those in our community have taken the message to heart; stay at home to protect the vulnerable and those in your community.
  6. I am fitter, but sore all over, due to having two personal trainers (& crossfitters) living with us.
  7. I am sitting in a warm house surrounded by four dogs.
  8. Though we don’t get to see our granddaughter at this time, she gets to be with her mum and dad all day, everyday. And we can still talk to them via social media etc.
  9. Neighbors stopping, (a distance away) to talk and chat.#positivenews being exchanged.
  10. In the past week I have noticed families out walking or cycling, until now a rare event.

I really hope that everyone who reads this is looking to the positive small things about us as we all work our way through this. I wake every day knowing that with the passage of time we are getting closer to living a world without this threat.

I would love to hear all of the positive vibes you are feeling at the moment.

Illustration courtesy of Sara Ryan

Hello –

It is a strange world and that is a fact.

One question for everyone, have you noticed, when you escape the confines of your four walls for a walk, how eager those who pass (some 8 feet from) you are to say “Hello”? This time last year I purposly said, hello to everyone I passed on a mile walk around the village. I received two hello’s from the many groups of mothers and children who were on their way to the school.

Have you noticed any other positive indications that we might be learning how to interact in a new and better way?

And more importantly, how are you coping? Any hints or tips on how to stop watching a screen from sun up to sundown?

A new helper in the garden. Belle is visiting for a few months and loves company. Her idea of helping is..sitting.


We, like many other households, have had our daily lives upturned. So, in order to distract myself, I turned to the garden which has not had much tlc in the last few years.

As you can see from these pictures it will take some time but hopefully over the coming months it will be transformed. Luckily Kelly, Niall and Pat wondered where I was and when they discovered what I was doing, they gave a helping hand.

Pat and Kelly took pity on me and joined in with the digging.
It looks a mess but we will get there.
These three were no help at all!

Dog training and walking lucky for me can be a solitary task, so we continue to work where there is no one around us.

I hope everyone else is finding ways to stay healthy in mind and body. I would love to hear how you are all coping.

Introducing the team

I cannot forget him, but, this is a post linked to a new blog that is more concerned about the working dogs I have the pleasure to work with. They teach me all the stuff that Bob believed to be unimportant, that is everything to do with working dogs. Bob’s work was relaxing.

Working With Search Dogs

This blog can not be anything without these friendly faces. So before I go into a long winded post as to how we met perhaps it would be best to simply show and state the little I know about them. I say little because they constantly learn and develop and in the process drag me along with them.

Ellie, seasoned search dog whose mission in life seems to be to accumulate as many tennis balls as she can.

Ellie the eldest is the most experienced and vocal. She and I have been on many adventures together.

Judy will always find the scent and sometimes if I am not looking the container is also located.


Judy, is a labrador with a heart of gold, she lives to work and constantly wants to please those around her. She is as happy in the water as she is out of it.


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