24 October 2008

Like the Flowers in the Garden...

I'm winding down for the Winter.

Gradually, indoor activities are taking over and
I hope to get back to playing the piano next week.

Here is a Flower for All Seasons,
and one of my favourites,

Have a great weekend.

Phlox at the End of the Season

23 October 2008

Anger Management

There are many Irish bloggers who assure the reader
that they are ANGRY.

I usually back out of any blog that decides to share
a whimsical polemic on the woes of contemporary society.
We are not subjected, as were people in the past,
to arbitrary afflictions like plague, imprisonment
at the drop of a hat, marginalisation for being "different".
The worst our present government can do to the voter
is to ask anybody over 70 to fill in a long,
rigmarole of a form, explaining why they should
be entitled to a medical card.

This is enough to bring the grey brigade out in force onto
our streets, and, given the chilly weather we have been having,
this seems a bit extreme, as they are in danger of catching cold.

I have a fairly keen interest in how this problem will get resolved.
I will be old one day as well, and I wonder how I would respond to
being told that what the government gave with one hand it is now
going to fooster around with until it has squared circles,
balanced budgets and generally made the economy ship-shape.
I expect that by the time I reach over-seventy I shall need
some fiscal expert to help me fill in forms.

Put not your trust in princes, etc.,... etc.,... comes to mind.

Which brings me to the ANGER.

What, I ask myself, is the use of getting angry with social

They cannot feel, think, organise or delegate.
They depend on the humanising qualities of individuals
who run them for their functionality.

The debates on TV have me rivited.
One group was accused of bussing old people from the
back of beyonds to stand in the cold in front of the Dail.

From what I know of the doughty generation who reared and
educated me, they don't need free transport to get moving.

They are on the move...

We may all look out...

22 October 2008

Sweeping Leaves

I've been too busy sweeping up leaves to think
about taking any photos this week.

There is a rhythm to an October afternoon.
If the sun manages to shine, as it did all day today,
it is warm enough to work for four hours until sunset,
which is just about now in Dublin.

Somehow, starting off in the morning is a different matter.
I admired the garden from a distance until almost three o'clock today.
This gave me courage for the attack make on wild shrubberies that grew
apace all Summer and which now need to be curbed.

Unfortuantely, Slash and Burn is no longer possible,
as fires are seen as adding Carbon to the environment
and are banned by law.

From now on I'll have to look elsewhere for a source of
potash. Years ago, wood ash was all that was needed,
spread around the base of apple and pear trees.
Buying fertilizer was an unnecessary luxury.

Not any more.

Using Diopter 4+

Having a Tarkovsky Moment

At the Weir

Finally the weather has become sunny and dry.

I have found myself thinking about all the films directed
by Tarkovsky that I watched during the 1980's.

Metaphors of water were inescapable, as were the birch trees
that were photographed with such loving care.

Never has nostalgia for one's homeland been more poignantly expressed.

21 October 2008

A Colourful World?

Lily and Butterfly against Teal Background

Flowers and vivid colour make for a cheerful day.

Black is the Colour?

I have to admit I laughed out loud when
reading Peter Donegan's wonderful history
of the Irish Nation in the 1980's.

All of a sudden, 'Eighties Fever has hit the media.
Perhaps the shock of recognition, the easy comparison between
those recessionary days and the days to come is the cause?

Sometimes I have the sensation of having lived for centuries.
This may be because every event on our island is slotted into
a very long historical memory system.

Cut down a tree and somebody is bound to start intoning
"Cad a dheanfamĂ­d feasta gan adhmaid?" in a dreary voice.

Impose a draconian budget and people start a long litany of
woe of the sufferings of the past.

In fact, the 'Eighties were uncomfortable in some ways
but we did get enough to eat and even though the population
was in a peculiar hour-glass shape, with the workers supporting
a very large number of children and older people,
we got through it through sheer hard work.

Everybody was on a bicycle in those days.
This will probably never happen again.
You would want to be barking mad to set off to
work at dawn into the traffic that clogs most
Irish towns these days.
Cycling is now quite dangerous and the fumes
from exhuast pipes is directly aimed at
any cyclist's respiratory system.

It's also unlikely that the Black Economy
which fuelled the 'Eighties is in danger
of returning.

We are living in a Brave New World of
indoor work and computer generated activity.

Let's see what we can make of it...

Making the Best of What We've Got

Oh, I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside...

There's a lot to be said for living near the sea.
For five years, at one stage in my life,
I lived in the centre of Ireland.
Much time was spent looking at a map of the country
working out where the nearest beaches were and dreaming
of a time when I could be closer to a mild coastal climate.
There is something brisk and invigorating about the frosts
that grip the Irish Midlands in Winter.
However, it was not for me.

Dubliners spend a lot of time looking out to sea,
without even being aware of it.
Driving around the city and in the outskirts,
sudden, dramatic glimpses of Dublin Bay still
make me gasp with surprise.

I could not live in a more amazing place...

20 October 2008

The Humourous Budget?

I daren't turn on the radio.
The irascible over-seventies who are both angry and confused
about last week's budget cuts in the health service make
uncomfortable listening.
Last night I heard that one elderly lady had been
brought to hospital suffering from post-Budget anxiety.

This is not the way to keep up the morale
and physical and mental health of a Nation.

A feeble attempt on my part to open a discussion
on Techfocus the Lounge fell down sadly.
Everybody there seems to love the Budget
and, since private health care is the
method of choice of an increasingly large
section of the Irish population,
it will be interesting to see how it all gets settled.

In the meantime, I've spent the day getting the 'phone system
here back to work.

Techology, as anybody who read my groaning posts two years
ago here, is not my thing...