Thursday, June 24, 2010


On my long and winding healing path I learned about the power of visualisation, although I think I have always felt that in order to achieve anything you have to have a very clear vision of what it is you are working towards. My healing journey through Reiki taught me that this holding of a vision is very important even if you have no idea of how you are going to achieve your goal.

The title of my blog is no cutesy attempt to lure in readers with the promise of coffee and freshly baked scones (although both are often available). No, From The Kitchen Table is so called because that is exactly where I write from – my kitchen table. I yearn and ache for a room of my own in which I could write without distraction or disturbance.

My ideal writing space would be a cabin at the end of my garden, just under the Hawthorn tree. This cabin is fully heated and insulated making it cosy in winter. It also has a little veranda running around outside for summer days. Inside my cabin is a rocking chair for thinking, a stove for brewing coffee and a desk by the window from where I could write.

I see lots of plants and a bed in the corner for visiting cats. The walls are decked in colourful batiks and hangings and paintings that speak to my soul. There is a wicker basket which holds some beautiful blue, turquoise and green throws from Avoca Handweavers for extra winter warmth. Just inside the door, on the floor are my special furry writing slipper boots. There are shelves holding my reference books, dictionaries and books of poetry. On my desk sits my laptop, notebooks, scribble pads and a large candle.

Can you see it? I am there right now. As I hold this vision and will and dream it into being I am reminded of a poem I learned at school,

The Old Woman Of The Road by Padraic Colum.

O, to have a little house!
To own the hearth and stool and all!
The heaped up sods against the fire,
The pile of turf against the wall!

To have a clock with weights and chains
And pendulum swinging up and down!
A dresser filled with shining delph,
Speckled and white and blue and brown!

I could be busy all the day
Clearing and sweeping hearth and floor,
And fixing on their shelf again
My white and blue and speckled store!

I could be quiet there at night
Beside the fire and by myself,
Sure of a bed and loth to leave
The ticking clock and the shining delph!

Och! but I'm weary of mist and dark,
And roads where there's never a house nor bush,
And tired I am of bog and road,
And the crying wind and the lonesome hush!

And I am praying to God on high,
And I am praying Him night and day,
For a little house - a house of my own
Out of the wind's and the rain's way.

Where do you write from?
Photo is of the old shed which is currently occupying the space for my writing cabin... under the Hawthorn tree!

Monday, June 21, 2010


It has all been a bit hectic lately and so I have not had much time for writing, blogging or visiting my favourite blogs. I intend to rectify that over the coming week - in between Sports Day, Concerts and GAA Blitzs. In the meantime here is a very little short story for your amusement. So grab a cuppa, take a seat at the kitchen table and enjoy!


I stood up, smoothed my hair and crossed the bedroom to answer the phone. I made a mental note to get on to Tom again about moving the bloody phone over to the bedside table. As usual he was already fast asleep. Lying on his back, mouth wide open, snoring softly, his grey haired chest rising and falling, the picture of blissed out middle age. I caught sight of my reflection as I passed the wardrobe mirror. My soft and saggy nakedness shocked me. Was that really me? I was caught, mesmerised by the picture captured in the framed mirror. Behind my creased self, was the crumpled bed and my husband of twenty years, oblivious in the dying light of a summer evening. Through the open window, riding on the smell of freshly cut grass came the suburban evening concert of birdsong and the hum of neighbourhood lawnmowers.

I have been here before I thought. On another soft summer evening, I stood framed in a crooked wall mirror and wrapped in the same soft aroma generated by the Trinity College groundsman on his ride on lawnmover. My body was long, lightly tanned and voluptuous. I celebrated my beauty and nakedness by dancing as my lover watched from the bed. Through the mirror I kept contact with his startling blue eyes which were full of the promise of further ecstasy. I danced sensually and slowly, enjoying the sight of his body reacting as he lay sprawled on my single bed. His strong arms held his head up so he could appreciate my teasing. I danced on until he rose up and grabbed me roughly, pulling me back down onto the bed. I gave myself up to his athletic, nut brown body, burying my face in his chest. We devoured each other, noisily, greedily. Outside the day died as we exhausted our appetite for each other. Then we lay, our bodies wrapped around each other as we spoke softly to each other of the big colourful dreams that lay ahead. Futures full of fun, laughter, excitement and languid afternoons spent making love.

It had gone silent. The snoring had stopped and the outside noise had ceased. The quiet was broken by Tom, who muttered “are you going to answer the bloody phone or stare at yourself all evening?” I smoothed my hair, sucked in my stomach, and tippy toed over my broken dreams to answer the phone.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ladies & Gentlemen, may I introduce........

My friend and writing colleague (we attend the same creative writing class) Mr Padraic Murray who has just launched himself into the blogosphere with his very own blog called
Window Across Dublin Bay. Here you will find Padraic's random thoughts on all forms of life and all of it's complexities from the local to the global. All blogged about in his pithy and witty style.

So head on over and have a read of his offerings. And you know the drill - leave a comment (makes us bloggers feel loved) and tell him I sent you (gets me brownie points).

Finally, may I apologise for my absence lately. I am desperately trying to catch up on my blog reading and comments!

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I regularly encounter looks of total disbelief and mild contempt from my peers who cannot believe that a reasonably intelligent, middle aged woman (such as I) would be involved in social networking sites like Twitter and Facebook. On discovery of my partiality to such sites, I wait to be asked if I am excited about the new season of Big Brother. I am an intelligent, middle aged woman – I hate Big Brother. But I love my virtual life!

Twitter is probably my favourite. It is like being at a busy party with lots of conversations going on at the same time. You can join in or opt out at will. Perfect. I totally get Twitter and have many Twitter friends with whom I tweet daily!

Facebook is another proposition and can be fraught with hidden perils. Some months ago, I signed up and got a profile together. I put a few photos up, linked to some friends and writer colleagues and mainly used it to shout about new blog posts! Then I realised that no matter how careful I was with the photos I put up on my profile, others are free to post their photos with you in them and tag you. So like it or not – the image of you from the mid 80s arrives on your newsfeed. A wee bit un-nerving alright – not to mention highly embarrassing!

Then my daughter’s friends began to send me ‘friend requests’ and it seemed rude to say no. So you accept the ‘friendship’ of 9 and 11 year olds and feel like a trendy mom until your email inbox gets clogged with gifts of animals of all descriptions from FarmVille. . You are asked to mind people’s virtual sheep and goldfish. You get bunches of spring flowers and hearts sent whizzing along the internet highway in your direction. This bestows a feeling of being very busy. Sorry I can’t do dinner just yet, I have to milk the cows on some child’s farm.

Older daughter is 22 and some of her 1.5 million friends have become my Facebook friends too. This brings a different problem altogether. I now get news of each night out, of who was the drunkest and the photos to prove it. This I definitely don’t need. They are getting older now, so this activity is beginning to slow down and my nerves are slightly less frazzled.

The worst aspect of Facebook and the one thing that is guaranteed to make someone my vintage feel very worried indeed is the Friend Request from someone you know you should remember but you don’t. This is enough to send you running off to the nearest memory clinic immediately to get an assessment of just how bad your dementia is.

Did I mention LinkedIn. No? Well that’s ‘cos I don’t get it at all. There is no action on LinkedIn. Nothing to do. And worse of all it doesn’t make me feel loved. No, not at all!
Twitterers photo by lindayshaver

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I am so pleased. The Irish Times have published a short feature by moi today! The piece is in the form of a letter I wrote to my eldest daughter when she was doing her Leaving Cert a couple of years ago. You can read it here:

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


One of my favourite expressions comes directly from the Irish is La Bog (pronounced bug) which means soft day. It is a phrase I first heard used in the Kerry Gaeltacht (Irish speaking area). It describes perfectly the weather here today. It's not raining exactly but there is a fine, constant damp mist. The sky is grey and low but the dampness does soften edges and make colours shine. La bog ceart go leor!

On days when I am not feeling quite so poetic, soft days are known as frizzy hair days!

Photo : Tiger being the elder lemon of the cats is well used to soft days. And I, being the eternal optimist have the sun lounger ready for the return of the sun!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


Yesterday, for the first time since the mid 80’s I took a bus into town (Dublin City). The reason for my journey was to meet up with fellow bloggers Brigid from Sort of Writing, Ann from Inkpot and Quills and Theresa from Substitute Teacher’s Saga. We had coffee, scones and lots of chat and laughter in the Avoca CafĂ© on Suffolk Street – where they really should not transport fish in the only lift in the building. But smelly lift aside it was a lovely way to pass a sunny morning in Dublin. However I digress.. this post is about the bus.

Back in the 80’s, when I last took the bus into town, it was a rough and very basic way to travel. 80’s buses never looked that hygienic or clean. They rattled and chugged their way along and I remember regular break downs.

I do remember that back then, back seats were to be avoided at all costs being positioned directly over the engine which always seemed to be straining at the very limit of it's capability. This resulted in a fume filled rear section where nausea was likely to overtake one after a couple of miles. Travelling on the back seats also was usually and worryingly very hot. I was never on a bus that spontaneously burst into flames but on many journeys that eventuality did seem to be imminent. 80’s buses also usually had dirty windows and, of course, the fug of cigarette smoke upstairs which made locating your destination somewhat difficult.

What a difference a mere 25 years had made! The first big change is that now bus stops have names. In the 80’s your stop was known as Stage 10 or whatever. But now the wise folks at Dublin Bus have christened all the stops and I am very proud to say that my local bus stop is called Monaloe Corner – how poetic is that? I almost expected Tigger and Winnie the Pooh to come bouncing and ambling along at any moment as I waited for my carriage into town.

And I didn’t have long to wait. After about ten minutes at Monaloe Corner and with an elegant ‘whoosh’ sound, my bus glided to a stop. Gone is the big step up (or was it two steps), which made boarding the 80’s bus difficult especially if one had been for a drink or three after work. No, 21st century Dublin Buses are flush with the pavement with lovely wide doors, presumably making them wheelchair accessible.

Gone was the graffiti and grimy interior. My bus was bright and cheerful and decked out in corporate coloured upholstery. There was a dedicated space for standing passengers, a huge improvement of the 80’s arrangement of standing in the door well of the second door half way down the bus where one always felt a bit vulnerable should the driver inadvertently open the wrong door! There is even a luggage hold on Dublin Bus – which in the 80’s was only found on the coach that took you from your aircraft to the terminal building at the Airport.

So – Dublin Bus – this post if for you. Take a bow. Efficient service, clean and comfortable vehicles. I was most impressed. I can’t wait for an excuse to go into town again!