27 December 2010

Christmas Round-Up

This Christmas was lovely and family-orientated. Among the gifts I received was a book entitled Abandoned Mansions of Ireland, by Tarquin Blake. I saw the author featured on Nationwide and asked for the book. I never expected it to be so amazing! The photos showed heart-wrenching desolation. To see the hallways where Austen-esque ladies and lords strode now in utter ruin and left to crumble until all that remains is rubble was extremely saddening.
Below is my favourite photo of the book:

The reason I find it so striking is the bath that has not quite fallen, still clinging to the floorboards, reluctant to part with a memory of water.

Another photo that is sad is actually two. The first is an old photograph of how the house once looked, the second of how it looks now. It shocked me when I turned the page.

The last photo is two as well but on the same page. It's a dance hall. You can see an old photo of dancers posed in front of that lovely circular window and to the top left, what that dance hall is now.

I would recommend the book to basically everyone. Whether you love old castles, Jane Austen, writing inspiration, reading cool old legends, local history, or the seventeenth to twentieth centuries, I really think you will love this book. I have already had many ideas for stories/poems from it. Tarquin Blake can be found at his website, Abandoned Ireland.com, and there you will find even more old country homes with impressive 360 virtual reality photos.

I also received two books of Wordsworth's poetry and one of Yeats's. I have been reading them lately and, funnily enough, Abandoned Mansions of Ireland has a Yeats quote on page one.
Below is our small but impressive Christmas bush.

24 December 2010

What I Believe About Christmas

I always liked the story of Jesus as one of many other interesting stories I became familiar with as a young child. I never singled it out as a story of a divine being or a superhuman man but just as a story that could still inspire and awe like so many others that were neither biblical nor religious.
For me Christmas is important because of the sense of community. Any single person can chose to give gifts or donate to charity or decorate a tree at any time in the year but the knowledge that so many others are doing the same thing at the same time is very powerful and it's like an inside joke that you can see reflected in everyone you meet on the street.
Personally I feel it is unfair to celebrate Jesus' birth on the 25th of December as it prevents people who don't believe in the Christian tradition from joining in in the same way as Christians. I think that Christmas should remain a holiday that nearly everyone celebrates in order to spend time with family and give gifts to loved ones.
The significance of Jesus' birth has already been totally overshadowed by consumerism and the "true meaning" of Christmas is never the same. So why not celebrate Jesus' birth when time can be devoted to just that celebration and not combine Santa Claus with the birth of the saviour?
Christmas is confusing (no matter what you believe) because there is no set of directions for celebrating it, or rather there are just too many sets of directions. I'm not trying to add my own set of directions, just saying what I think about Christmas. You'll notice it's different from what you think and from what your friend thinks, but the two of you don't think the same thing either. The point is, don't try to tell someone how to celebrate or what to celebrate on the 25 December because you can never get it right.

Two Christmas Videos For You:
The Digital Story of the Nativity
Advent Conspiracy

21 December 2010

New Pens!!

I was happy to wheedle MM into buying a set of nice pens for me last Saturday. They were reduced from €10.00 to just €2.50. Check them out:

There are six in total with a selection of refills in three colours for each. The colour is gold and silver, a little less rich than pictured. One of the things I have discovered due to using a fountain pen daily (since early November at least) is that the secret to good handwriting is actually the pen. There is a reason that handwriting from fifty years ago looks so much nicer, and that is pens were nicer fifty years ago. Nowadays pens are like fast food; inexpensive but cheaply constructed. You can get them for convenience but the best are worth paying more for. And you can still find quality goods on sale.

P.S. MM posted again! Actually I copied and pasted from her Writing4all.ie account but she knew I was doing it. If you want to check out more of her writing, she has quite the on-line presence there. I will be trying to get more of it on here in the coming days (first full day off: 24 December) so expect to see some more orange writing.

18 December 2010

The Visitors

It is I who chooses the time.
It is I determines the place.
All I ask is that you be present.
And whether you be in slumber, or naught,
I take no heed.
My needs are few, my requirements even less.
It is enough for me to encounter icy roads and careless drivers.
What is a slip of the scalpel when your time is nigh.
Or, a misguided drunk.
Accidents happen.
All it takes is a lift of my hand.
Then the sweet rush of air I so willingly ingest on your last exhalation.
I am death.
No appointment necessary.

To view on Writng4all.ie click here.

17 December 2010

The Messiah

Last night we heard Handel's Messiah at Saint Nicholas's Church here in Galway, performed  by the Irish Baroque Orchestra and the Resurgam Chamber Choir. It was lacking in something, a certain emotion, but overall good. The venue was gorgeous but the acoustics weren't astounding and, as there were no microphones, at times the soloists were greatly overpowered, especially the bass and alto.
There are many old graves in the church which are very cool. Jane Eyre, who lived in Galway in the middle of the eighteenth century (and happens to share the name of a certain famous but fictional character) is buried there. On top of the elaborate grave is a armless baby which was distressing but obviously relating to the destruction incurred by the Cromwellian forces when they used it as a stable for their horses.
It was a nice night and today it snowed, so the Christmas spirit is beginning to take hold.

12 December 2010


Between this week and last week I have purchased 26 books at a total cost of €27.65. Before you ask, yes they were all for me. 25 of them were second-hand.
The books I buy second-hand (most are probably at least fourth-hand actually) I buy for two reasons;
1. Well, obviously because I want to read them
2. Or they have a really nice old look about them and/or a cool inscription.

Most of the ones I bought were for the second reason. But that's okay.
One had a crest sticker that said "Fred L.White His book"
One was in French (ooh).
One was inscribed "L.L. Keane Co. Fermanagh Bought in Belfast Feb 28th 1923"
One was inscribed "Frank Hugh O' Donnell Dublin 1925"
A Short History of Science (12-18-45 was inscribed) had a beautiful cover and gorgeous endpapers.
One was inscribed "S.C.H. from E.H.J."
One was a London Atlas previously owned by a lady in Kent
One was inscribed "Mollie Johnston, 21 Perry Place, Dublin, Christmas 1919"
The rest  had lovely covers/endpapers/subjects/titles/jackets or something to recommend them.

My friend was with me (the second time I had brought her there). We had been wandering around town for a few hours looking at clothes. We were in the outside part of the bookshop (which is covered from the elements) and I was choosing books.
"You and books are like me and clothes" she said (she was holding my purse and a present I had purchased).
"Mmmm. This one looks cool, but no inscription."
"You know the last time we were here, when we tried to sit on that wall, there was a seat right there all along!"
"Wow, that's weird. I had no idea."
"And we tried to get up and I could but our other friend couldn't and she is so much taller that me."
"I know, that was hilarious! Where are all the good books? Ooh, this is cool."
"You are finally getting something!"
"No, I'm getting that whole pile around the corner too, and this pile I left here."
"Just three more."
"This pile is almost up to my knee!"
"You can put those down on it if you want."
"No, I'm okay. I want Supermacs though, but my mum said I have to eat my dinner when I get home. Look, there's all these little children eating pizza through that window."
"Awww, I'm sorry, I only need like two more. Why are they hard to find? Ha, imagine you were inside the bookshop and you just saw books moving..."
"You know last time when we were sitting there and you were here? I'm feeling that way again. Boooorrrreed."

So she knows how I feel in some clothes shops...Anyway I finally found all the books I wanted (pretty books), and when I held them at my waist I could just rest my chin on them. Then I paid for them and I carried them (fifteen hard-cover books) in two big bags which I kept hitting her heels with(accidentally)...And yeah, never again because she has no qualms about complaining, that's for sure! (Fair enough, but you don't hear me whining when we are looking at a fifty euro jacket for the fifth time in ten minutes).

08 December 2010

What I Want for Christmas

1. Abandoned Mansions of Ireland by Tarquin Blake
2.Science & Faith by The Script
3. book of Wordsworth poetry and/or
4. book of Yeats poetry (second-hand is fine if not better)
5. Something old from ebay (like this old coin or these old postcards)
6. Something unexpected
7. Something exciting and unique

I always think a Christmas list should be longer than what you know you will get because then you wonder what you will get from it.  And you know you can't get it all so you aren't disappointed when you don't.

Exchanging prezzies with my friends on Friday!!! Yay!

07 December 2010

Just a Little Word

Sorry I haven't been around. Here is a little laugh from the Galway Advertiser a few months ago.

Below: Cllr Seamus Walsh

Above: Adolf Hitler

I don't see the joke. Is it because they both have polka dot ties? ;)

P.S. The first photo I took of a photo from the Galway Advertiser. The second I did not take at all and do not know who did.

26 November 2010

No, This Doesn't Have a Title

Yesterday I was feeling terribly down; my friends and I were feeling low and then I got a phone call that was quite depressing, and then a raven landed next to me as I walked down Shop Street.
Today wasn't great but after school I walked to town with my friend and we had a nice talk and then we saw the sweetest little black cat and stroked her (she was silky soft).
Then, about twenty minuets ago DD came inside, opened the curtain, and turned off the light. It was snowing! Not even December yet and it was snowing!
I love snow.

24 November 2010

What Makes Red

Just a little word to say that I have been busy with school and friends and family...issues (since early October...will I be glad when it all smooths out...if it ever does).
Anyway, long story short, hopefully the new year will bring more posts but I hardly expect much, this school year is an important one for me (not that its importance will make me any more likely to study etc., but...).
So, I will just say one more thing: Yesterday a girl in my Art class asked how to make red paint. As if that isn't silly enough, someone told her to mix yellow and orange.

08 November 2010


Oh, one would wish for snow
in a country where it does not fall
one would wish for skidding ice
and even not mind a fall
one would wish for snow-covered scenes
but as for I, I wish for snow not at all

 This us a lie actually, I really do wish  for snow, it is rare in the west of Ireland.

07 November 2010


tea is a marvellous drink
if made properly at all
and toes are marvellous digits
to help one stand very tall
tops are marvellous things to wear
if one can't afford a shawl
but ten is a marvellous number,
the most marvellous number of all.

06 November 2010

Upriver, Uptown

sail the boat against the flow
sit in the yard you don't mow
watch the flock of screeching crows
watch the children walking slow
wait for nightfall over snow
wait for wife to cook the dough
listen for the whistle blow
audience laughing at the show
wait for bugs that lose their glow
above the river that is low
think how it was long ago
and cry from the awful woe
the river, the river, is too low
and fireflies have lost their glow.
It's over, don't you know,
when the crops cease to grow.

04 November 2010


Howls break through the mist
the moon is full and grim
claws pad along with fists
in a parade of hairy limbs
Human and wolf coexist

03 November 2010


xenophoia is the fear of strangers
you might think that they shout danger
but if you do you are deranged

Yes, I know it's bad. ;)

02 November 2010

Last night I was up until one reading Jane Eyre (and it was stormy out...so perfect!). Then I arose at six and went to school. From school I went home, did my homework, ate, then right on to NaNoWriMo. I wrote 1711 words in two hours.
Now I am unsure if my typing is rapid due to skill or finger spasms. I suspect the latter.

Yawns are sure to please no one so keep them to yourself
implode your brains to keep them on the shelf
Nothing  annoys me more than a yawn not properly suppressed
It never fails to climb the chain from the yawner to the rest
I especially abhor them for a reason very sad, 
the act of yawing makes me cry (involuntarily) and that's bad!

01 November 2010


In autumn you can see breezes softly lifting the leaves from the ground, spinning them in a spiral up and up. Then, just as quickly as the breeze swept in, it is gone and the leaves tumble to the ground again. This happens near buildings, around corners, and sometimes in the middle of a quiet parking lot. No one seems to notice these zephyrs juggling leaves. Autumn is their playground and leaves their swings and slides.
It is not only leaves though. Once I was standing on the second floor of my school and plastic bag floated calmly up, hugging the building until it cleared the roof then leaping away and spinning out into the sky.
There is something about a plastic bag in the wind that captures all the hopes and fears of humanity. We fear environmental destruction and that plastic bag is litter, a suffocation device, not biodegradable, a death sentence. The way it just floats makes it seem like a bird, kin to the air, wonderful, art. It soars like a parachute, a life-saver, a safety, and it falls like a bomb, a missile, a fog.
For the moment it lives as a breathing entity the world hushes. If you stop to watch it, breath slows and noise softens for the moment it lives. Just as quickly as life flung it into the air, death has made it fall.
It echoes us and it is our creation. Does that bag make us feel like gods? For that fleeting moment it is animated and our creation is infallible. But moments are too fleeting, zephyrs blow past in the beat of a heart, the blink of an eye. If you miss its careful tossing of our creations you have missed something profound.

The Curious Case of the Kerrs...NaNoWriMo

Inspired by the postcard addressed to Miss Mary Feiertag and the further research on the Kerrs that I did, I have deicided (actually did decide a while ago) to write their story as imagined by me, for NaNoWriMo.

NaNoWriMo is (from nanowrimo.org)...
National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.
Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.
Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

31 October 2010

Happy Halloween!

Wikipedia: Throughout Ireland and Britain, there is a long tradition of carving lanterns from vegetables, particularly the turnip, mangelwurzel, or swede.
I carved a swede to be true to my Irish roots along with the more traditional North American pumpkin.

28 October 2010

Take a Break's Young Fiction Writer of the Year Competition

In exams, it is common practice to like a poet/poem when asked to give an opinion about it because it is easier then disliking it. If I don't like something I don't want to say I do even if that gets me a better mark. But that's the thing. Surely getting a better mark is better than telling the truth? After all that mark is how you will eventually leave school and get a job and once you are out there it doesn't matter if you "lied" on the exam.
Writing for a market. I get how some writers write different genres and will write one for a women's magazine and another for an anthology. It makes sense. But say there is a competition hosted by a magazine. Do you write the genre the magazine publishes? Fine, you do. But if it really has little to do with the magazine? Like Take a Break's Young Fiction Writer of the Year Competition. Take a Break isn't about young writers. Take a Break also doesn't publish SF/F.
I entered a SF/F story to the competition for two reasons. One, it was one of the I had within the word count and two, I liked it. Better to enter something than nothing. I happen to know that last year's winners all wrote the same kind of stories (mainly), and that those stories were basically what Take a Break publishes. Yet I didn't write a story for the competition. Because that is not how I write. I can recognise and admire people who can and do write for a specific publication, but I prefer to write first and tailor after, instead of following a pattern from the beginning.
I believe I am an artist and as such, instead of making my art so it will be recognised I want people to recognise my art. Do you see the difference? And it seems to work, as long as I don't need to earn money from it.

P.S. I was happy to get in the post a few days ago a certificate from Take a Break. I got a special mention, which is sort of a short-list, below runner-up anyway which is what I got last year.
EDIT: Actually how it works is there is a first prize and two runners-up and then below that is the short-list (last year) and long-list (this year). I got confused by the absence of second and third place.

27 October 2010

Sepia Scene #105 and #106

Somehow I managed to forgo Sepia Scenes last week, so this week I am posting two photos.

The first is the full moon from last week over some houses near the sea at sunset.

The second has two photos. The first is the scene in sepia, but the second is as it was originally. You will notice it sort of had a rusty sepia tone already!

24 October 2010


Curiosity may have killed the cat
and satisfaction brought her back
but curiosity is not a lesson learned
once ignited you can't stop the burn
the flame gets larger, greater, brighter
the burning question needs to be satisfied
The sad truth is that curiosity is infinite
and cats have just nine lives

Sunday Scribblings

21 October 2010

I'm In The Newspaper!


...student crowned Young Poet of the Year
...student Aoife Troxel from...was named the 2010 Young Poet of the Year at the Cuisle Limerick City International Poetry Festival on Saturday.
Aoife's poem in the...category received the prestigious award at the presentations in Daghdha Space in John's Square. She read her poem "Creation and Evolution" aloud at the awards.
Fellow student {Ponygirl} also received a highly commended recognition for her poem "Empty Chairs*" in the...category.
The competition is promoted by Cuisle, Limerick City International Poetry Festival. The contest was judged by Terri Murray, Mark Whelan, and Bertha McCullagh.
Born in Maine, USA, Aoife moved to her mother's native Ireland in 2008.
When not writing poetry or walking the boreens of Connemara, Aoife is happily posting to her blog - twowritersdaily - taking photographs of the Irish countryside...
Aoife also received a first place Certificate of Achievement  in the Writer's Forum August 2010 edition and the April 2010 edition, highly commended in the Cavan Crystal 18th National Student & Adult Poetry Competition 2010.
Her poem "At Granny's Funeral" placed first in the Beara Writers' Group Poets Meet Painters publication in West Cork this summer. Her story "My Canal" was short-listed in the Take a Break's Ficiton Young Writer of the Year 2009. 

*Based on the Winston Churchill quote (1918): "The crippled and mutilated soldiers darkened the streets...every cottage had its empty chair. Hatred of the beaten foe, thirst for his just punishment, rushed up from the hearts of deeply injured millions."

There are some horrible editing and grammar mistakes (MM), not to mention it is embarrassing, but I was in the newspaper! The blurs are obviously mine, and they represent residential and school information. If you are very curious, you may move to Galway and pick up a copy of the Connacht Tribune (page 11).

19 October 2010

Rules to Live By

Look, if there's one thing I've learned, it's:

Forgiveness is easier to ask than permission
and never compromise on your opinion
Always do what you think is right
and even if they're wrong don't pick a fight
Apologies are easier than broken friendships
...but only sometimes.

Carry on Tuesday

18 October 2010


Winning isn't as simple as it seems,
sometimes reality is worse than the dream.
When you win at everything what have you achieved?
If you think you're something special, you have been deceived.

One Single Impression 

Sorry to bring up winning again, I'm still on a high. I never brag tell people I know about my success because from a young age I have been good at most things I put my mind too and people have never wanted to hear me happy about doing well when they haven't done well. So, you know, it's nice to share.

17 October 2010


Pumpkins potatoes
harvested in wicker with
cucumbers tomatoes

Sunday Scribblings

16 October 2010

Cuisle Again Again

DD being the responsible adult was sure to tell me when I got home that Cuisle called. Not! They did, the night before the award ceremony, with this message: "Aoife won an award."
Oh yes, but what award in particular, she wouldn't say. Was it a highly commended in my category, or third?

Can you read that? It says: Cuisle Young Poet of the Year 2010. Young. Poet. Of. The. Year. That is correct, I won the top award in the competition, not my age category. Out of all the poets aged under eighteen, I won overall.
I suppose you are wondering what poem I used and unfortunately me publishing it here could ruin its success in any other competitions I might enter in the future, so I can't let you see it. However, it is called 'Creation and Evolution' and is about a painter and his painting of a pale blue dot.
Anyway, before you ask, I did know I had won something when I posted yesterday but I thought it would  be entertaining to let you think, as I did, that I didn't get a thing only to find out I actually had. Of course I was not expecting to be able to tell you such absolutely outstanding  news!
I just want to say three more things. Firstly, what is wrong with the Irish sense of time? In the poetry festival booklet it said that the ceremony was on at twelve and at eleven, in two different places. WTF? DD and I were late because of that. Which made the award all the more surprising.
Secondly, I wanted to thank the organisers and judges for giving all of us young Irish poets a chance to win awards and share our writing. Brilliantly played.
Finally, I wanted to congratulate PonyGirl for also getting an award. She got the same award I received last year so if she follows in my footsteps you heard it here first! Also she was the youngest age in her category and she was in a bit of a witting funk when she wrote the particular poem. Excellent job!

Cuisle Again

I posted about Cuisle about twelve days ago, if you recall. I pretty much gave up hope. Last year they called the Thursday before the Saturday it took place. When first Wednesday and then Thursday passed with no call, I was extremely disappointed. Considering this poem was at least three times better than the last one in my eyes, it would be only right for them to award it at least the same prize right?
Well, c'est la vie. When I got home there was no message, no prize, no anything... Oh well.

This was post-dated from yesterday night. I will be posting again soon. Enjoy the weekend.

15 October 2010

Doesn't Need a Title

I was going to add this into my last post, but I felt it deserved a post of its own. Due to recent unimaginable drama with both my friends and extended family, I have not been keeping up with things. I have more than an inkling blogging has not been affected as much as say, homework, though.
When I say unimaginable I am referring solely to the extended family thing, the friends thing is...frustrating, saddening, and disappointing, but not abnormal.

Exiled Writers: A Sob Story

Many writers have written their greatest work sitting at a desk at home or at their office, or even in a café.  Some of the greatest however, have written while in exile, far from their cosy desk at home.
For example, Dante. And Aristotle. And also Victor Hugo and Leo Tolstoy.

I was emailed a link by the owner of this site telling me that the readers of my blog could possibly be interested in this article about 5 Famous Exiled Writers (and other articles). I was interested in the article and thought I would share it. Mainly because the email was extremely nice and neither pleading nor threatening and demanding. I get how it is to want more readers for your site and every little helps, so the link for that article is below.

5 Famous Writers That Lived in Exile

Favourite Pen Friday #5

I also own the counterpart in gold, but after a trip though the wash, it hadn't recovered enough to be on par with this one, or even among the ten.

13 October 2010

12 October 2010


Close your eyes, have no fear
the thorns of life can't touch you here
breathe deep, breathe long
silver birch whitens there
the creaking wooden rocking chair
breathe deep and breathe long
don't worry, it will soon be gone

Carry on Tuesday

11 October 2010

Spring Tides

These illustrate a phenomena known as spring tides. Around the new moon and full moon when the Sun, Moon and Earth form a line (a condition known as syzygy) the tidal force due to the Sun reinforces that due to the Moon. The tide's range is then at its maximum: this is called the spring tide. In English, that means a much higher high tide and much lower low tide. The opposite of this, that is when the tide's range is at its minimum, is a neap tide.

An interesting animation to further explain this is available here.

08 October 2010


I always thought that one perfect friend would be great. You know, one who shares every interest. It seemed that lots of people had them, and had had them since they were very young. But I guess having lots of friends who each have something in common with you isn't so bad.
I used to want a friend to share every interest but the truth is I have too many varied interests, I think, for it to be likely someone with the same to show up. They might exist somewhere, or have existed sometime, or will exist, but me finding them is unlikely.
So I have lots of friends with different interests and some share more than others. Still, it is most disappointing when someone you admire does not enjoy the same admirable thing that you do. If that makes sense?

Favourite Pen Friday #4

This pen was purchased by MM for DD last Christmas. At that time, she was working in Athlone, and that is where the particular shop and artisan are located. The pen is made of Irish bog oak, bog wood being wood that was preserved under the ground of the Irish bogs for thousand of years (from 2,000 up to 9,000 years). It is normally pine, oak or yew. The conditions of the bog change the colour of the wood to red brown (pine) jet black (oak) or dark brown (yew). It is commonly found while digging for turf in the bogs, and many artists use it in their work. It has a wonderful sheen when softly polished.

05 October 2010

Why I Don't Edit

Someone commented a while ago on one of my poems about how the meter of the last line was longer than the rest and so stood out in a bad way, just giving advice on how to edit it. The thing is, I don't edit things I post on my blog. There are few reasons why. It is not that I am insulting my readers and saying you don't deserve the best, it is that you are important to me.
Say someone spends years learning the violin, painfully screeching out each note, causing their family to clap their hands over their ears and run and slam doors to block it. They play the same song over and over. And over. And over. They finally get it right and at their recital they play it. Their family has heard the song so many times they hum it in their sleep, they have resolved to never ever buy their kids another violin, and they have a special drawer for earplugs.
Even for that, who applauds the loudest at the end of the song?

Do you see?

Also, I think blogging is a stream of consciousness. It is different to other media. Just like Twitter has a "science," so does blogging. Most bloggers are honest creative people. I am just being honest by sharing things straight from my head, without editing them.
The truth is, I don't edit. At all. Anything. And I know it is silly and ignorant and stupid but here's the thing...So many people have told me writing is good, that it deserves praise, that I believe them. Truthfully, when I look back at some of my writing it seems so horrid that I think it would have been better not to write it at all. So I listen to those people and think it is good. I send it off almost as soon as I am done writing it. Then it has no chance to slowly change over time to something horrid in my eyes, because someone indifferent has already said it is good. It is like a safeguard, not editing.
I do edit some. As I write, if things sound off I fix them, if a word is wrong, I change it. It is not that I don't edit full stop, just that I don't do that thing where you put in  drawer for two weeks and "come at it with fresh eyes."
I know it's stupid.

04 October 2010


Caterpillars climb our white exterior walls like they are horizontal and stay motionless for days or a second. When they move on, we see a pile of small yellow eggs that stick for twenty rains and hatch whenever we aren't looking. Sometimes the eggs are broken and eaten by a fat black spider, or just don't hatch at all.
A caterpillar lay by our door for days, and never moved. Now there is a green form, where it sleeps. Sometime it will emerge, ordinary as waking from a nap. But this time it will have wings.

Do you find it odd that the chrysalis is so uniform? Each raised bump and ridge is a duplicate of its siblings'. The shape itself is odd, like a bug at rest with furled wing. But each bump and ridge must have a purpose, must fit one toe, or a leg, else why would they exist? It is perfectly efficient, nothing wasted and no space or ornament there if unrequired.
Either God was a genius who created every single thing on earth, in our solar system, everywhere, perfectly efficiently, first try, in seven days...or...evolution smoothed some bumps and raised others so the caterpillar would fit perfectly, uniformly, in its infancy and adulthood, exactly into a chrysalis that it was born with the knowledge of how to construct.

03 October 2010


Last year I expressed remorse for placing in a poetry competition with a low-quality poem. This year I have pulled out all the stops and written a poem I love, and I really hope to win. I am the top age in my category and I like this poem where I hated the last "commendable" one, so I am fairly confident.
I am not the only one of my contempories to do so: PonyGirl has also entered. I am hoping we both get something so we can see each other there...
This competition is Cuisle, if you remember I posted a lot about it and Killarney. We are not going to Killarney the same day as we did last year, so it should be less rushed.
I will post about it if I get anything. Here's hoping :)

01 October 2010

Favourite Pen Friday #3

Well there goes me saying I hadn't mentioned ten consecutive weeeks of Favourite Pen Fridays, because I did. Ah, well, here, after much ado, is Favourite Pen Friday Number Three, and I daren't count how many weeks late.
Still, better late than never in most cases save CPR, so...

These must be the cheapest pens in the series, costing just 4 cents each, but they are not missing in quality the same proportion they lack in price. I haven't found the ink to run out any faster than other pens, they certainly aren't ugly, though they may not be beautiful. They have no branding on them, and they are colour-coded. Sure, if you have a pen fetish they won't be up to standard with your Cross or artisan produced (see next week :) ) work, but they suffice for a writing utensil if what matters is the writing, not the medium in which it comes from the mind to the physical world of the page.
I have noticed they sometimes need a little prompting to write, but lots of pens do.

30 September 2010

Willow's Ball...

This is a terribly long post, so I apologise in advance. Today has been full of things to do and places to go, and all of a sudden I look at the calendar and the Third Annual Willow Manor Ball is here!
I rushed to the bus station to go home and change as I was attending the Over the Edge Reading tonight. It was lovely as always, and I was able to see much more this time, though my mind did drift a little. Hey, I'm a writer, what do you expect? Wonderfully a poem read early in the evening won the poetry section of the Over the Edge New Writer of the Year. MM and I got coffee and a chocolate éclair at the local bakery. Mind you, this was at eight pm. Then we strolled down Shop Street, listened to Key West playing.

When I returned home, I remembered the Manor Ball, so of course I had to rush! I had my dress, my shoes, my accessories, my car... I decided to go dateless, as there are so many wonderful people attending, perhaps I shall just steal...But no, I am too polite for that, I will soak up the atmosphere while reposing on the sofa. Not for the whole night mind you, have you noticed the moon? Moonlight and my dress go so well together...
Here, my stylists have worked so hard I can't let their magic not be showcased.
The car ( a customised Bentley GT Continental) of course, will rush down the roads, taking the bends dangerously.

Lucky I have already applied lipstick! Just before the manor it slows to a crawl, silently sliding up to the entrance. What is the first thing you see as the driver opens my door?

Blue Carvela satin shoes. Ah lovely, and not so expensive. But there must be a dress, perfect for dancing and moonlit strolls and I have found it.

And that necklace I am also wearing, complete with a twig ring , Hercules-knot bracelet, and chandelier earrings (earrings from here), all below.


My hair (it's dark brown by the way) is coiled in an elegant Victorian coiffure, seen below. 


You will perhaps have noticed that my theme is timeless elegance and simple grace. Achieved?

Now if you will excuse me, I just have to sample something chocolate. My guess is that there is a great variety. I myself have taken the liberty of asking my personal chef to prepare the same cake he baked for my birthday. It is made with Lindt 70% Cacao Noir and Belgian powdered chocolate. It is simply named Death by Chocolate.
I do believe I see him now, the cake elegantly wrapped in brown paper and ribbon and deposited in the wicker basket of his penny-farthing.
Here, chef!

 If you patiently look you will likely find the owners and makers of these images and objects. I apologise that I have forgotten some and have provided links for the ones I knew that you can follow by clicking on the pictures. If you see your own and would like credit or for me to remove it, contact me through my profile, link on the sidebar to the right.