Category Archives: Ireland

January Greenery

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Usually not much is growing this time of year. But this has been a warm winter, mostly, and my plants are jumping ahead of schedule.

No surprise to see these fellows, though.


Snowdrops! Lots of them. I love how they spread and need no tending from me.


I’ve rather forgotten what these are. Bluebells, maybe? Hubby’s uncle did give me some last year.


Daffodils are really coming along, too. Ugh, so much clean up still to do!


For Ark – the cold hasn’t phased the monster gazania. For reference, that pot is about 45cm square. I couldn’t even get them all in the picture. 


I moved all my tulips last year. Or, I thought I did. Missed this sneaky one. Seems happy there, however.


Fall-planted garlic is going gangbusters, too.


As is the clematis in the grey willow.


And my azalea is covered in flower buds! I think it has sorted itself out, almost. Was it last year or the year before that it bloomed in November, the silly thing?

I’m Depressed Tonight.

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I have so much to share here, and instead I’m just…low. And I need to vent.

I walked into the canteen at work twice today, and the lovely big TV they got for us was on, turned to the news. Guess what dominated the news? Yep, the Cheeto President’s Inauguration coverage. I didn’t actually catch any of his speech. 

I haven’t had yet enough drink yet to watch it online, either.

Both times, I found myself starting to tear up. To actually cry at the evidence that this is really happening – has happened. Just because I am 3,000 miles away does not mean it doesn’t matter to me.

All reference to LBGT and climate change has already been removed from the Whitehouse website. ACA is under attack with nothing to replace it. There are no foreign-to-US diplomats anywhere in the world tonight. He’s nominated so many wrong (and rich) people for cabinet positions that my brain actually can’t grasp how fucked up it all is. 

I have family that isn’t white. I have family that are elderly and not financially well-off. I have family and friends with very young girls. I have family and friends that are relatively young but permanently ill. I have a lot of atheist friends and family. I have no Muslim friends, but I do have Hindu and Wiccan friends. I have gay friends, bisexual friends, transgender friends, polyamorous friends, asexual friends. I have friends with Asian heritage, South American heritage, Nigerian heritage.

All are targets now.

I fear for all of these people. Mostly because of how Cheeto’s supporters now think it is open season on ‘the different’ – meaning anyone who is not straight and white and has no discernible accent. Or funny clothing. I know it happens, every day. Not just in the USA, of course. My point is that his election lets some people think it is perfectly fine to discriminate now.

My husband has gotten into physical fights because he ‘looks gay’ with his beautiful long hair. Ireland. 

I’ve had guns pointed at me twice, because I dared to date someone with a different skin colour than my own. America.

Do you see the difference there? No one ever tried to fight me. They threatened my life, instead. This is not acceptable and this bastard has made it clear that white supremacy and violence are just fine with him. Expect more guns pointed at teenage girls in love.

I have two friends on FB who support Trump. One just liked his inaugural videos. The other? Posted some shitty meme about how no one ‘violently protested’ Obama’s inaugurations. Pretty sure that isn’t true… it also called people like me ‘snowflakes’. I’m somehow weak because I have these concerns? How does that make sense? No, I’m not crying because ‘I lost’ or ‘it didn’t go my way’. I’m genuinely worried for the state of not just the USA but how it will affect the rest of the world. FFS, two of the people behind the big housing crisis are now cabinet nominees! Ireland is FUCKED because of that! I couldn’t get a job for nearly two years because of that!

Right, I’m done. I’m going to go prepare my protest signs for the Women’s March in Galway tomorrow. Oh yes, we are going to one of several protests being held in Ireland tomorrow. Hubby made us some wonderful laminated posters, too. 

You might see us on the news.

Nollaig Shona Dhuit ó Lumi!

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Happy Christmas from Lumi, in Irish. 


Bit blurry but hey, he isn’t yet seven months old and is like a little furry rocket. Lumi-zoomie!

And he looks more like a clown than a Christmas kitten, anyway.

Happy holidays to all of you, whatever form they take for you. Love from Spiders, iDJ, Lumi, Lokii and Neko.

November in Bloom

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I still have roses. 


The leaves on the blueberry bushes are just stunning.


Best of all, I have new gazania. Really tall gazania! These grew from seed this year, and I popped them into a pot with gladiolus. That might give you some idea of how tall they are! All of my others are less than a foot tall – these are heading toward three!


Unfortunately there hasn’t been enough sunshine for the blooms to open fully. Shame as they are just gorgeous.


Yesterday there was a bit more sun and this one tried to soak it in. Blurry as it was also windy as heck yesterday! 

Halloween Treat! Hedgie in the Compost

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It’s an old story now, but last week when I took my kitchen scraps out to the compost bin, I  got a surprise.


The bin.
When I opened it up, it did not look anything like the way it had looked two days before. It looked like the world’s biggest worm had been rummaging around in there.


Such a big hole where no hole was before. What could it be? 


Hard to see, but something had dug a tunnel into the bin underneath the massive oregano bush. 

I immediately thought of rats. I’m not a fan of rats in the wild. Not scared, but I’d rather they didn’t live on my property.


But there was a wee round nest, too. What animal is native to Ireland and is round when it curls up? A hedgehog! So I looked closer….


Hedgehog poop! Definitely not rat poop. 

Unfortunately it seemed hedgie didn’t like my intrusion into the warm safe place full of food, as there hasn’t been any sign that it has been back.

Bummer, I even left grapes as an offering!

Lough Boora Discovery Park, Co Offaly

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The same day we went to Clonmacnoise, we visited Boora Bog and its acres of sculpture parklands. We went to see the art and have a nice long walk on a lovely day – we were successful!

The art installation was begun in 2002, and most works have a theme relating to the Bord na Mona peat-harvesting that was done in the area from the 1950’s-1970’s. Quite a few works reference the wee trains that moved the cut peat out of the bog.



Every work has a sign giving details of the artist and their inspiration and materials used. This one is called ‘Sky Train.’


Looking out from one lonely train engine toward a stand of upside-down bog oak. There is a tiny dolmen in the centre.


The bog-oak henge.


Two views of the same work. So far all pictures have been one by himself and one by me!


Another work. Sorry we didn’t log names.


This one is meant to embody a skipping stone. I saw a canal-monster!

There was so very very much more here. More art, endangered birds, and a Mesolithic site! We spent hours but could have spent a few days. If you go, expect to not want to leave!

Clonmacnoise

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I won’t give you a history lesson – my attention span isn’t that good just yet to do the proper research. Situated in County Offaly, the site dates to 545 ad. That boggles my mind!

We were here last Wednesday. It was a lovely day for pictures. These are a mixture of his and mine. 







Stapelia gigantea, or Carrion Flower

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I’ve had this plant a long time. I first got it in 1998 or so. I couldn’t bring it with me to Ireland, but I did take a cutting and brought it in sans soil. Lucky for me, it survived a month in the container in a jar of water and damp paper towel. Probably still illegal, but at least I didn’t bring any bugs or weird microbes in to the country. It’s a house plant, here, but is native to South Africa – as it seems a lot of my favourite plants are!

Oddly enough, after 11 years, this thing finally decided to bloom. Not that long ago, I gave it a good soaking, and a wash (the leaves are furry and collect a lot of cat hair), and I guess that finally sparked it into flowering. I won’t read anything into a corpse flower blooming the week my Spotty cat died.

First I noticed was that there was a huge balloon sticking out the side.


Stormtrooper mini-fig for size. We all know how big they are, right?

Then it opened.


Weird as hell, right? And it does, indeed, stink of death. Not that bad, really, unless you stick your face right in it. The scent and hairs are to mimic a dead animal, as this is a fly-pollinated plant. The texture of the bloom is very much like leather, too. This one started to shrivel today, so I cut it off. But there are several more coming, so I am taking better care of it than I usually do. It got another good soaking today.

If you want to learn more about this unique plant. 

Oh No, or O.K.?

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Found new residents in my grey willow this evening. 


There are three groups of this size that I can see.


They are eating the leaves down to the centre vein! Not that I care about the willow, in fact I’m trying to kill it by girdling it (I want to keep the framework for other climbers). I don’t see them in any of my other plants, either.

Any ideas? Are they bad, good, or chaotic neutral?