Thursday, 27 September 2018

Are you awaiting Creativity?


Photo by MF

When Creativity comes
Will I be ready with poised pen?
Will I have the words and letters
To enrich the flow of the phrase,
And enhance the scroll of the sentence?
Will I invite the reader to follow words
Through poetry and prose?
I wonder.

When Creativity comes
Will I risk writing words and phrases
Some devoid of emotion and
Some laden with meaning,
Of sense and sensibility?
Will I trust the ebb and flow of my pen
Like a wave trying (with all its might)
To land upon the drifting sand?

Will it matter?
Who cares?
Do I?

When Creativity comes
I’ll allow the ink to flow at its will
And move to the place where it wishes to be
For now …

Thursday, 13 September 2018

What’s on your bucket list?


Photo by MF

It’s been a busy morning at the desk of Máire Rua.  Having just celebrated a ‘Big No Numbers Birthday’, I needed to catch up with thank you cards and letters.  Incidentally I’m still in the process of writing and thanking!  My little pen is scribbling as fast as it can.  I have to say that I was overwhelmed and surprised by the volume of gifts, cards and sentiments from family and friends…so much for trying to keep things ‘low key’ this year.  Sometimes ‘growing up’ can be a thought provoking business. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love birthdays and I’m usually the first one to make sure there is a cake to celebrate … irrespective of the age of the birthday boy or girl. ‘You can’t have a birthday without a birthday cake’, is my motto, even if it’s only a Danish pastry with a birthday candle!  Well sometimes one has to be a little more creative.

This year my birthday was surrounded by mystery and intrigue, meticulously planned and implemented by The Man.  He had organised for us to go away for the weekend.

‘Where to?’ I tentatively enquired.

‘Pack a bag, you’ll see’, he responded.

'How lovely', I thought, wondering 'local …or abroad'?

Questions about what to wear  … smart …casual … posh dress … jeans … were all met with vague and evasive replies.

‘Pack a swimsuit … oh and some sun tan lotion’, he mentioned casually, (agghh .. I dislike swimming, a fear held from a near drowning incident many years ago in a fluorescent lime green bikini as a student whilst swimming in Greece).

The vagueness and unhelpfulness of the Q&A session resulted in my cabin luggage being packed to capacity … just in case, if you pardon the pun!

Go with the flow, I thought and I did!  Arrived at London Heathrow, courtesy of an amazing taxi service that conjured up a Bucks Fizz breakfast with fresh croissants for the journey.   Other taxi services are available but this one was special with good friends in on the birthday surprise.  Still intrigued at the airport and heading for security when the first clue was given – my boarding card for ... Dublin city!  I quietly hoped we might manage a theatre visit to Riverdance as I’d heard they were in town.  Máire Rua was feeling very happy and excited.  Arrived at Dublin airport and appeared to be making our way to ‘Connecting Flights’ … but isn’t the EXIT this way?

‘You’ve probably guessed by now,’ said The Man.

My heart was beating quicker by the minute as I hoped (and quietly prayed) that the connecting flight would be to a very special airport … there was only one other airport that I wished to travel to from Dublin and that is … Donegal airport … and that was exactly where we were going!!! Yes, yes, yes - very excited, very happy, heartbeat even faster than before and tears of joy because for me Donegal is a special place. For years I longed to fly into this little airport.  I’ll admit now this was top of my Bucket List.  Those of you who know me will know and understand how much this place means to me, as Donegal is my heart space.  Those of you unfamiliar with Donegal and are yet to travel there, are in for a treat. Donegal airport is a small regional airport in Ireland that runs alongside a beautiful, long white beach.

Photo by MF

Well the remainder of the weekend was full of surprises, partying with family and friends.  Many had travelled miles via other airports to meet up.  I was overwhelmed with love, kindness and generosity.  Celebrating the 'Big No Numbers Birthday' was an event that will sing in my heart and soul for years to come, thanks to The Man.  Maybe ‘growing up’ might not be too bad after all?

Oh, and if anyone needs to borrow a swimsuit and sun tan lotion, feel free to get in touch!

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

What if you only had 10 minutes to write in a day?

Photo by MF

What if you only had 10 minutes to write in a day?  What would you write about? Who would you write about?  What would go through your mind as you scribble as fast as you can?  Well today I’m experimenting with this thought and I’m challenging my pen and me to a 10-minute write.

Here goes.  The timer is set for 10 minutes.  The hardest part is, what will I write about? Will it translate to something worth reading? Can a 10- minute write exercise be worthy of a short blog post?  I enjoy blogging however; I find that having to write on a weekly or regular basis is a real challenge.  I set off with good intentions i.e. to write regularly but after several blog posts I lose the momentum to continue writing every week.  Sometimes I’d get caught up in the minutia of life and living and totally forget about blogging.  Life can be very distracting at times and that’s not a bad thing in my opinion.  I enjoy life and what it has to offer, well most of the time anyway.

Six minutes in and I’m scribbling fast and furiously.  I do love the word ‘scribbling’ and often use it instead of ‘writing’.  When does scribbling become writing and when does writing become scribbling?  Emm, perhaps that’s a blog post for another day?  I particularly enjoy writing long hand and much prefer it to typing or should I say word-processing certainly in the initial stages of a piece of writing.  I wonder why that is.  For me, I like to see the old fashioned pen at work.  I’m a girl who enjoys writing letters and cards.

Brrrrrh … the timer goes off.  Wow, my 10 minutes is up already!  Where did that time go?  I’m surprised to see that despite a lack of clarity about what to write, I’ve done it!  I’ve written for 10 whole minutes without stopping.  I like this ‘write for 10 minutes’ exercise. I am going to add it to my writing routine. Like most new exercises, routines and habits I need to write more. I need to write often to strengthen that writing muscle.  Note to self – increase the 10-minute workouts and be more disciplined with my writing practice.   

I’m curious, what would you write about if you only had 10 minutes in a day to write? 

Friday, 17 August 2018

How do you re-ignite a blog?


photo by MF

Today is the day I re-ignite my blog!  Is that a drum roll I hear in the background?  Perhaps not.  I have been really neglectful and not written anything for ages and I don’t mind admitting it that it’s tough trying to get back into the swing of things.  There was a time when I wrote something every week.  I belonged to an online bloggers’ group. I quite looked forward to the Sunday Picture prompt and the challenge it presented to the group. Every picture tells a story and I loved the pictures chosen for us to write about.  I particularly enjoyed the different takes on the same picture.  It was fascinating to see and read where creative minds flowed.  Sadly the writing group ceased … I guess everyone got busy with ‘stuff’.

A conversation with Sarah at GoldcrestPublications today got me thinking about blogging again. We both share a love of reading books, particularly the old fashioned kind of book where you can turn the pages, feel the quality of the paper, admire the cover and mark your stopping page with a elegant bookmark.  Good heavens, no, I never turn the corner of the page down - sacrilege!  I know there is a place for electronic devices and e-books but as an avid reader, well, for me, it’s just not the same. The Man loves his Kindle, however, I am happier to pack a couple of real books into my cabin baggage on holiday.  When I’ve read said book, I like to release it into the wild or exchange it for another as happened on our most recent holiday in Stockholm.  This particular transaction made two ladies very happy indeed.  I’m currently enjoying ‘Sushi for Beginners’ a novel by Irish writer Marian Keyes thanks to our lovely Airbnb host.

The Man and I enjoyed Stockholm this year for our summer vacation.  Exploring the city and surrounding areas was very agreeable and inspirational too. It was good to discover new places, take pictures, slow down, relax and read a good book too.  I’m wondering if perhaps one or two holiday pictures might make for a blog post in the future. Who knows what may unfold as my blog is re-ignited.  


Sunday, 30 July 2017

How does a Hollyhock grow?

 Photo by MF

There he was, almost at the top of my much loved and well-nurtured Hollyhock! 

An early morning visit to the garden, just after the rain - a peaceful, relaxing Sunday morning.  There he was slowly, slithering his way along the long, tall stalk of the Hollyhock.

I tried to flick him off quickly and quietly without causing too much anger and stress (for me or him?).  But he tightened his grip firmer and firmer.  A battle of the wills ensued – his and mine!

I was determined, as was he.  I had grown and nurtured this one single Hollyhock from a small, straggly seedling in a pot.  Last year’s efforts of Hollyhocks had been devastated by his army.  They came, they saw, they ate every leaf and flower in sight.  This year I was determined to win that battle and ensure my garden would sport at least one fully-grown Hollyhock.  It became like an obsession.  I guarded the little Hollyhock seedling, nurtured its growth by staking it, watering it regularly, moving it to a sheltered part of the garden.  I checked regularly for evidence of him and his army. 

The little Hollyhock began to stretch and grow independent of my motherly ways.  It sprang up tall and independent and started to shout to the rest of the garden, ‘Look at me.  Look at me.  How tall I grow!’  Okay, perhaps her voice couldn’t be heard by everyone but on a sunny day with a gentle breeze, it’s amazing what can be heard … if you listen carefully.

He glared with an air of defiance.  I glared back.  He moved slowly.  I moved slower and flicked him off the Hollyhock!  No time to finish his Sunday munch.  He fell to the ground and ambled forlornly into the undergrowth.

She smiled and whispered quietly, ‘Thank you.  Thank you for saving me.’

‘You’re welcome.  Grow tall, my lovely’, I replied.

Slug seizing can be a tiresome job, but someone’s got to do it!