Thursday, April 30, 2015

Every Picture Tells A Story

Zoe's sketch of her grandmother.

663 views, taken 2005

That is a month and a bit of Flickr's mostest views and interestingness all redd up and I can't say I'm sorry. That picture of Jazzer and her oldest girl (married with a baby now) has the 30th most views. We were visiting Swisser on that August day. Seen in the background Bert with Swisser's dog Tracey (I know! A dog called Tracey) and our dog Paddy. Both of them gone now.

Matty, 448 views, taken during the Second World War.

My mother aged about thirteen. This photograph was taken by the Belfast Telegraph to illustrate a feature on war time food production, the Digging for Victory campaign. Matty's school teacher, Master Duffy, had turned over part of the school yard in Creggan to vegetables. That picture was only a fragment. Matty said that the entire image showed her standing framed in a trellis of runner beans.

This is what Matty wrote herself about the school garden.

We had a big garden at the back of our school and when the weather was good we spent a lot of time working in it, digging and planting and then weeding. We had a lot of different vegetables growing and a few flowers. We were allowed to take vegetables home when they were ready for harvesting and they were much appreciated by Mammy even though we had a vegetable garden at home. At the beginning of the war our school garden got a write up in the Belfast Telegraph for the way in which every inch of ground had been used for growing extra vegetables. We were all very pleased at getting a picture in the paper of us working in the garden.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Saying Goodbye

There was a 28th most viewed photograph on Flickr yesterday but I didn't share it. It was taken ten years ago when I was far less thoughtful about what I chose to share. It was only a picture taken at a party of a middle-aged man with his shirt off and sitting beside a young woman in her early twenties who was looking at him bemusedly. He was smoking a cigarette. Deletion was the only option.

Now this photograph, the 29th most interesting today, shows an intensely emotional moment in our lives. Bonnie was seriously ill and we were waiting for the vet. A decision had been made.

Bert had already prepared her grave. That took twenty minutes. The rest of the time we sat with her, soothing her.

I used natural light from the window and Bert was quite unaware of the shot being taken.

249 views, taken June 2013

An hour and a half later she was placed in her grave at the top of the garden.

About twelve hours later I wrote this post.

Monday, April 27, 2015


This anniversary hasn't taken me by surprise for I've been thinking about my mother since April began. I knew I'd be writing this blog today and I've left it to the very last moment. Four years, four years now since Matty died.

There would have to be a picture and that was decided at the last moment too. The problem, and it's not a problem, about choosing pictures of my mother is that there are so many great ones. She came across well in photographs. This is the one I have chosen to remember her tonight.

Miss you Mum.

And this is my sister's remembrance.

Frost And Critters

Taken in 2007, Bonnie and Fred, 727 views, 27th most viewed on Flickr today

Last night brought a very sharp late Spring frost and a thick layer of ice on the hens' water bowl. The pieris, which looked so gorgeous yesterday, are devastated now. My paeony is looking very wilty. In the polytunnel my cucumber and courgette seedlings are mush and Zoe has lost a lot of young tomato plants. The severe cold coming after a very warm week was hard on those tender plants. Mother Nature can be cruel.

Good news is that Dave says my crumble is the best he's ever tasted. I hadn't made it for a while as Miss Martha said she didn't like it. Today's was made with white currants, red currants and raspberries. All from last summer thanks to the freezer. Freezing temperatures aren't always a bad thing.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Insulted Face And Poker Face

The 'do', otherwise known as the tree house-warming party went well. At one point there was around thirteen people in the tree house which was quite a crowd and, I'm glad to say, no one fell down the step winding staircase.

The end of the night brought a bit of a drama when a tired and overwrought woman ordered a guest out of her house for extreme rudeness. That woman was me but the guest really did overstep the mark. He did say sorry but his apology was not accepted.

Tonight the 26th most interesting picture was taken at another 'do' where the guests minded their manners and treated Nelly in a manner that she deemed acceptable. This do was a poker party. I never play poker myself and for two good reasons. Number one, I am bad at it and number two, I detest losing money to other people.

This lady fancies herself rather good at poker and indeed she often wins. I think she looks the part.

Swisser, 354 views

And this is the 26th most viewed picture.

Miss Martha, 742 views

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Early Post

I'm posting early today because there is some sort of a 'do' happening here tonight. Not sure what it is all about but it might be something to do with Ziggy. Maybe it is his birthday? Anyway, I'm going to be busy tidying and stuff so best to get Nelly's Garden over and done with.

Great Pollet Arch, 165 views

Great Pollet Arch, Fanad Peninsula, County Donegal, 25th most interesting photograph on Flickr. The 25th most viewed is a repeat today. This picture is much better than mine. I was too afraid of falling in and drowning to get the best viewpoint.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Looking Back

24th most viewed on Flickr, 774 views

Miss Hannah from ten years ago, a photograph taken to celebrate a snazzy new haircut.

The 24th most interesting picture with 206 views

I put this one up not so long ago to mark Mother's Day. Matty is on my mind a lot right now as it is coming up to the fourth anniversary of her death. What a lot has happened since then. How delighted she would have been to know that Katy, the child in her embrace, is expecting her first child this summer. It makes me a little sad to think that Matty only got to meet her first great-grandchild, her namesake Martha, who she adored.

This is my blog from four years ago posted on the 21st April, the last one written while she still lived.

I woke just before 7am and decided not to get up. Immediately I fell into dreams. I dreamed that my mother was dying and that I held her in my arms and would not let her go. We lived in a succession of damp, dilapidated and tumbledown sheds and still I would not let her go. She got frailer and smaller and eventually she was as small as a baby. She was my baby, she was also another person called Shirley and still she was my mother. She was dying and I had to get her a coffin. She was small enough to fit in an infant's casket but I knew that because she had been a woman I needed to get her a woman-sized coffin.

These are the dreams I have without opiates. God only knows what Matty dreams. She told my sister, in one of her lucid moments, that it was like 'being in two places at once.'

Today was my Miss Martha day. We went to Matty's then out for a run with Great Aunt Ganching (with whom Miss Martha has become most enamoured). Next home to see Bert, a picnic on the lawn and a very relaxing afternoon with toys and pigs and dogs.

When Martha went home I spent a while watering the vegetables (this will be my role and it is a very important one) and then gathering sticks, a proper outdoor barbecue (no charcoal) and pork chops, spinach and baked potatoes for supper.

Another normal day. Tomorrow I go shopping for funeral clothes.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Tuffets and Quilts

23rd most viewed on Flickr, 774 views 


  1. 1.
    a tuft or clump of something.
    "grass tuffets"
  2. 2.
    a footstool or low seat.

Here we have Martha sitting on a 'tuffet' in the polytunnel. The tuffet is actually the contents of a plant pot. Martha is a keen gardener to this day having been partly reared in a polytunnel.  She is still fond of sitting on tuffets.

23rd most interesting, 423 views on Flickr

Alice meets Tweedledum & Tweedledee in Through The Looking-Glass, another of A.H. Watson's delightful illustrations.

I remember Matty referring to folk as Tweedledum and Tweedledee. It was generally scathing and directed at various people of her acquaintance,  always two misguided folk who agreed with each other to a high degree. A couple of ladies spring to my mind as I remember this but I can say no more.

Tweedledum and Tweedledee also featured on a heavy patchwork quilt that was often on the bed I shared with my sister. At this stage of my life, maybe four or five years old, I was unaware of the Alice books but I couldn't help being fascinated by the patchwork pieces of fabric that featured the Tenniel illustrations. There were two colour ways, one, sunny and bright and the other, more muted with a sea-green tinge. I'd examine them for what seemed like ages comparing and contrasting. Although it was more likely moments, for little children fall  to sleep so quickly.

It was probably nursery curtain fabric and perhaps it came from the Old Bleach factory in Randalstown. It was heavy, so maybe linen. I wouldn't have known the names of fabric in those days. One thing I do know is, I would give a great deal to see that fabric again. Not because of the Aliceness of it, but for the pleasure it gave me when I was very young.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Dogs And Dunminning

Dunminning Cottage, 22nd most viewed. 785 views

This picture was taken ten years ago. The cottage has been re-thatched since then and, according to the internet, it has been up for sale. Whether or not it sold I do not know but the asking price was around 60 thousand. Which seems reasonable except that it is very tiny and needs a good deal of work. It dates from around the 1830s and was originally inhabited by the toll keeper of Dunminning Bridge. Cousin Margaret says she went to school near there and she remembers it having a shop where she bought her sweets. Back in the 1950s and 60s people would have a little shop in their house selling sweets and a small selection of groceries. Agnes Hughes ran one from her house at the top of our road. I'd go there sometimes instead of our Granny's petrol station because Agnes did not moan at us the way Granny did. She did give us 20 questions as to what the neighbours were up to. I tried very hard to keep my guard up but it was difficult not to let things slip.

22nd most interesting on Flickr, 179 views

This picture was taken in November 2012. My lovely Bonnie died the following June. She was slowing down by then but still enjoying her life.

The light was beautiful and the dogs blended with the Autumn foliage. And Bonnie was having a really good day.

Another picture of those two, taken by Hannah, whose animal photography is excellent.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

In Which I Obtain Smelly Compost And Zoë Becomes A Shroomer

It appears that both of yesterday's Flickr pics have dropped to the number 21 spot. So won't be shown again today.

And if any reader is feeling deprived of pictures, here is a link to my least seen picture. Taken in 2005 and only one view so far.

We went to one of our local garden centres with a delivery. The guy that owns it is a very gregarious chap and always tells the best stories. Local folk probably know who I'm speaking of. While our friend was giving Nellybert (the gardeners) a talk about the local council he received a phone call. It seemed that he was, at that very moment, supposed to be giving a talk to the local council about gardening. I never knew he could move so quickly.

After the deliveries were made, and an Ulster Fry consumed, we made our way to the local council yard to collect some of their free and evil smelling compost. I intend to use it to mulch my old perennial bed which has become a disaster area. I've laid cardboard down to suppress weeds and over this will go the minicipal compost. I'm doing it despite hearing horror stories. Young Rainey said his father's gardener used it on his beds and everything died. The internet says it is full of weeds and plastic. Don't know about the weeds but there is plastic.

Zoë had an interesting find yesterday. She was pulling up last season's chard in the polytunnel and found she had pulled up an unusual mushroom.

She checked it out on the internet and thought it might be a morel. Today she told me that she had sent a photograph to the NI Fungi Group and had it confirmed

It is a morel and good eating! One of the most expensive mushrooms around, but very rare in Northern Ireland.

So I'm to keep my eyes peeled for more of them. Zoë thinks it might have been transferred to the tunnel from under the beech trees as she had been using leaf mould as a soil conditioner and mulch. I checked out the NI Fungi Group myself and apparently there has only been three reports of morchella in Northern Ireland.

Monday, April 20, 2015


Today;s Flickr theme appears to be sisters. The 20th most viewed photograph features Martha and Evie carrying buckets of frog spawn that they found in the woods. They look really delighted with themselves. 811 views in a matter of weeks but Martha is wearing wellies. 

Since that day the girls' first call on arriving here is checking on the tadpoles. I'm keeping an eye on them too. Soon they will have to be moved to a more frog-friendly part of the property. 



The 20th most interesting picture is a scan of myself and Leitrim sister. She's the one in the stripey jumper which I might have knit but I'm not certain about that. It was taken around thirty years ago in the days Before Bert. I just cannot believe those bushy eyebrows. 

Nineteenth Flickr Breakdown

I have spent the weekend building my new garden and, every so often, I'd say something like,

Well, that's everything planted now except for those five.
Then I find a dozen more sitting around. I think all that is left is five campanula looking things, some yellow crocosmia and about ten sweet William. No doubt there will be something else lurking in a corner that will have to be squeezed in. 

We have had Ben here for two nights and his mum for one. Ben has proved very helpful carrying heavy paving stones to the new plot and Jazzer has made sure that our glasses brimmed full. I was doing Saturday night's blog when she appeared in my secret, private sitting room and started rummaging in a sideboard. I looked at her curiously.

Bert asked me to get him a beer.

He keeps his beer in that other cupboard.

I quickly published my blog and went to join them all in Bert's public sitting room and was just in time to catch her pouring his beer for him. He said,

But that's water!

I realised what had gone wrong.

It's not even water. It's Holy Water from the monk's special tap in Portglenone. I got it to fill up the Holy Water thingy I got from Matty's so I could bless myself every time I went into my private, secret sitting room.
We had a good laugh about Bert nearly drinking Holy Water and decided that he should learn to bless himself as well although he wasn't much good at it.

Moving on to Flickr pictures.

811 views and it's only up about a month

It was these pictures that got me interested in Flickr again. I'd been off it so long, flirting with Instagram, that all my pictures had taken great leaps in their viewing figures. And I could see patterns. Flickr viewing figures have, in general, shot up as the site has changed the way views are counted. For instance, if a person types in the tag 'wellies' vast amounts of pictures appear in front of the wellie-fancier and each image gets credit for a 'view' even if it is barely glanced at. So, these days, numbers of views don't mean much at all. I had noticed that the tag 'wellies' got viewing figures up so I experimented with it. There are other tags too but 'wellies' seemed fairly innocuous. But who knows what goes on in the mind of a wellie-fancier?

 591 views, taken 10 years ago in Ballymena

This picture was taken at the time the Orange Order was trying to rebrand the marching season, calling it Orangefest. It didn't really work out for them. Trying to turn the Twelfth into a jolly time for all did not sit well with fighting and rioting against Parades Commission decisions. These two children (adults by now) are dressed as William III and Mary II. The man in the hat is dressed as Oliver Hardy but he doesn't know it.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Eighteen Pig Gardens

Another super day, literally not a cloud in the sky. I made great progress with my new perennial garden, with only a dozen or so more to plant. And a path to lay. Fitting then, that the eighteenth most viewed image on my Flickr today is one of my old perennial garden which was taken seven years ago. Between one thing and another that old garden got out of control. When Matty was sick I neglected it and it only takes a couple of years of neglect to create huge problems. Last year I painstakingly cleared it of pernicious weeds, mainly bindweed and couch grass. Then Bert suggested rotovating it. This was a really big mistake for the bindweed spread. It only takes a smidgin of root to start it off. I got disheartened, too disheartened to replant. My current plan is to lay cardboard and mulch and then only plant huge sturdy plants and shrubs. I'll start on that project when the new perennial garden is finished.

Nelly's Garden 2008, 850 views

Lily, 305 views

The eighteenth most interesting picture is the young Lily gazing up at the photographer and wondering when the next tasty titbit would be coming. That was five years ago and she was still a stripling. Still looking for tasty titbits. If the pigs don't get a treat as they enter the grazing paddock they break out. Give them half an orange or a carrot and they graze contentedly until bedtime. All is right with their world. Sometimes I wonder if it is actually the animals that train us.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Just Flickr Seventeen

There was a great deal accomplished in Nelly's Garden today and, hopefully, as much again tomorrow.
We had another calf born, a little bull, very handsome. And Ben is here, always a delight to have him around.

Now to Flickr and the number 17.

17th most viewed, 864 views

It was 2005 and we were getting ready to move house. Bert is surrounded by Paddy, Harry de Cat and Rosie. They are all gone now, Paddy died in old age but Harry (6) and Rosie (10) were killed on the road outside our present house. These days we take care to discourage the dogs from going near the road. We use an electric fencing system and a collar. Some people might think this cruel but it is fairly effective. Much better to receive a couple of digs from an electronic collar than to lie broken and bleeding on the road. It only takes a couple of days. Even so, yesterday Bert discovered a well-trodden track from the field next to the lawn that led straight down to the road. We suspect it is Jess for she tends to stay out longer in the morning than the other dogs. Bert wasted no time in blocking her access and I intend to supervise her morning run out. Here's hoping. 

Evie, 307 views

The 17th most interesting image - Miss Evie, tired out after a trip to the Ulster Museum in 2014. She hardly ever naps now. Too afraid of missing something.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Farewell Madam Black

When we moved the chickens over the yard, one of them, a a Jersey Giant, refused to lay her eggs in the new house. Every other day she'd fly over the wire, make her way to the old hen house, lay one, then saunter back. We started to call her Madam Black because she was so proud and independent. For some reason she could never fly back to the hen run. She used to hang around the gate until someone let her back in.

Then she stopped going to the old chicken house. She had a nest somewhere among the hay bales and she'd access it by the scrubby trees behind the shed. We'd have to go in there, catch her and return her to the run. The odd night she stayed in the barn. It wasn't going to end well. She was missing this morning and this is all that was left of her. Foxy and the cubs will have had a very good meal.

Poor Madam Black. I'm going to miss her proud ways. But we won't miss her eggs as we never did find her nest. As the bales come out it will reveal itself and those eggs will be stinking.

To Flickr, on the 16th of April. No interesting photograph today as it was here before. This is the 16th most viewed, clematis florida "Sieboldii". Ain't it pretty? 924 views. I don't think there are any in stock these days.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A Harsh Thirteenth Yin

The most important thing about today is that it is Hannah's birthday. The anagram in the title will tell her age, just a little bit older than the age displayed in the following photograph. Garvagh got it wrong.

Garvagh I hear you say? What would take a body to Garvagh? It's a terrible place, there are pictures of Gregory Campbell on the lamp posts.

Yet I have to disagree for Garvagh is a delightful village. It has a river and a forest and a pyramid. So what if the kerbs are painted red, white and blue? Nothing beats a pyramid.

And so to Flickr on Hannah's birthday. It would have been good if Flickr had turned up a picture of the birthday girl but it was not to be.

 15th most viewed, 962 views

For the longest time this was my most viewed image on Flickr until cute kittens in deco boxes and puzzled Limousins took over. I could never figure out why it had so many views. It was taken ten years ago when we had the previous house up for sale. I could write a very long blog post about what happened but I'd rather not. A lot of people wanted to buy the property and we actually lost a friend over it. In the end Clint bought it.

He has made a few changes. There are fewer trees and more sheds. It's a lot less wild and woolly. It has become what people around here say,

more Presbyterian looking

Except maybe for the goats. Goats aren't very Presbyterian.

Katy sometime in the 1980s, 322 views

A picture of my middle daughter, the one with the curly hair. She is probably four or five. It is the 15th most interesting of my Flickr photographs. And this is what she looks like today...

Katy in Cambridge, photo by Ganching

Katy calls this look 'spotty and bumpy' and while the spots are rather obvious, the bump is still pretty neat. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

On The Fourteenth Day of Flicker

There was a headline in one of the rags last week declared that, this week, Britain was going to be hotter than Marrakech. Didn't happen in Ireland. What we keep forgetting, when we see stuff like that, is that when the media says Britain, what it actually means is London and the surrounding area.

So despite the cold I sowed leeks, spring onions, courgettes and climbing beans. All are being started in an indoor propagator. No work in my flower garden as I neglected to put on my thermals this morning.

Now for the 14th most interesting image on Flickr. There is no 14th most viewed picture today as it was a repeat.

Vancouver Brother at Whistler. 276 views.

Taken in British Columbia in August 2013. We took a day out to the mountains while I was visiting Eamon. That was a wonderful holiday, I long to return, although next time with Bert. Eamon looks so much like our father in that picture.

Our parents on their wedding day, Seamus was 32,  Martha 25.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Flickr Thirteen

 976 views, 13th most viewed

Hannah posing with Shaggy Blog Stories, a compilation that included an offering by Ganching. The purpose of the book was to make money for the charity, Comic Relief. It was published in 2007. I wonder how many of the bloggers featured are still at it Obviously Ganching's excerpt is the best in the entire book but I would say that, wouldn't I? And she's still at it.

212 views, 13th most interesting...

...but not as interesting as the completed wine, I'd wager.

1. A conglomeration of pome fruits. Middling to good. All drunk.
2. A rhubarb. Rhubarb is always good. All drunk.
3. Carrot and Raisin. Carrot is always good. This one was dry and delicious and is all drunk.
4. & 6. Rosehip, made from dried hips. Overly sweet. Still some left.
5. Orange and Apple. Made from fruit juice. Not very nice and wouldn't use juice again. Still drunk it.
7. Damson. Fabulous, delicious, sublime. All drunk.
8. Nectarine. Some of the fruit was over ripe and there was a slight mustiness to it. I liked it. All drunk.

All these wines were started in late 2012.

The piano they are sitting on? Chopped up. Late 2014.

A Calf Is Born

When Martha and Evie came out this afternoon Bert told them it was highly likely that the cow would have her calf before they went home. They stuck to him like glue for the rest of the afternoon, made him fix them up a den and got him to push them everywhere in a cart. Honestly, you would think the man hadn't any work to do! At one point I saw him race past the window, two excited girls in the cart and five dogs bringing up the rear. Round and round the house four or five times. Bert was exhausted. Eventually he sneaked off for a coffee and Martha took the opportunity to check on the cow. She then raced to the polytunnel to inform her mother that the cow was lying down and it was panting and straining. Zoe let Bert know and they all went out to the shed where the girls saw, for the first time in their lives, an animal give birth. They were absolutely delighted. They are calling the new calf, a little heifer, Polly.

 Evie watches the proceedings

New arrival

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Twelfth of Flickr

Quiet, quiet day today with no visitors. It was wonderful yet it will not go into the record books as The Day Without Callers as we are expecting the Bar Room Buddies to call in after their gig at the Wild Duck in Portglenone. I don't mind and the dogs will be very pleased. We have four of the buggers here tonight as Ziggy is having a sleepover. Hannah phoned to ask if he was 'being good'. I had to say that he was not, having pooped on the good Ikea rug in my bedroom.

Ziggy is very happy as he has discovered that fat old Roy cannot outrun him. It is comical to watch them. Roy goes really, really fast - for Roy. I reckon he has had more exercise in the past month that he had in the previous five years. 

And now to Flickr.


An Irish Moiled bull that was part of a herd that used to hang out at the Ecos Centre in Ballymena. The Irish Moiled are, in my opinion, a very handsome breed. A few years back we had a calf that was half Irish Moiled and he was a cute little beast. He didn't make much of a weight though, so we didn't do it again.  


A photograph from September 2013 that is rated 12th most interesting. I remember thinking that it was Dangerous Tricks* but Evie did not come to any harm. She would have been 22 months then. Martha had just turned four and was so enamoured of her new tights that she removed her skirt all the better to show them off.

* Any caper that might result in an accident

Saturday, April 11, 2015

29 Years Of Dogs, Cats, Pigs, Horses and Chickens

I have had a very lively few days with hosting playdates and having Leitrim sister to stay. She returned home this morning but there was still one thing left to do. Nellybert went into town to meet some very distant Scottish cousins of his. You know I'm not even sure if they were cousins but there is certainly some connection. Bert has a very confusing family. Far out cousins were always getting married to each other and motherless children were reared by other families. Old widow women abounded and they were moved from house to house to help out until such times they became too demented and were looked after in their last house until they died. So nobody is sure who is related to who. Which is why they are always seeking each other out.

I think I prefer my kind of family where one knows exactly who one is related to and there is no need to seek each other out as we have Facebook and funerals to refresh our connections. I have over 50 first cousins and probably far more second cousins, not to mention more than a hundred first cousins once and twice removed. That is as far as I am prepared to go for it is safe to assume that I am probably distantly related to every Catholic in Ireland and a good few Protestants and Jews as well.

So, when I got home from the distant Scottish cousin thing I planted iris, aquilegia, foxgloves and some sort of blue and pink thing that Howard gave me. I cannot remember what it was called, he did tell me, but I do remember what size it would grow to and that is far more important. It got very cold for outdoor work so I planted nine broad bean plugs in the polytunnel. I'm still very behind.

And now to Flickr which is brought to you by the number 11.

The 11th most interesting photograph has featured already.

19 years worth of pets, 1,003 views

It's the 11th most viewed image on my Flickr and featured on  a blog post from 2005. Well overdue an update.

Row 1: Holly de Cat, Big Bad Fred and Rusty. All still part of the family.

Row 2: Lily, Judy and Charlie. Lily and Judy still here. Charlie broke my heart. We only had him six months.

Row 3: Jess, Roy and Plum. Charlie's departure left a space for Jess. Roy, we've had for a month but he has fitted in well. Plum, represents all the chickens. We had him for five years or more. He flew out of the hen house one morning, cleared the fence, then the hedge and was never seen again.

And lastly, Bonnie. I miss her every day.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Flickr Day 10

 The 10th most viewed picture on Flickr, it was taken in 2010. I called it Farmgirl. Martha was just starting to hang out here and she was very keen on getting outside. This is one of my favourite pictures even though Martha's face cannot be seen. She was fascinated by the chickens and watching Judy herd them. Bonnie was always ath her heels. There are so many pictures of Martha and Bonnie. One of my cousins once said,

I can't believe that wee girl is so at ease with that big dog.

But it never entered Martha's head to be afraid of Bonnie. She was the most gentle of dogs. 

Another things I like about this picture is the roughness of it. The leaves, the rocks and the make shift tin shelter. And in the middle of it the delicate child with the intricate hand-knitted helmet.


The 10th most interesting photograph today. This picture of Pearlie and Lizzie is for friends & family only. It was taken around ten years ago when we were renovating this house. The reason I have taken it out of the public domain in Flickr is that it attracted a particular kind of person, a person who preferred an older woman. I got tired of blocking them so changed the privacy settings.  When I uploaded it I saw a photograph of two sweet old ladies with haloes of fluffy white hair. It never occurred to me that others might interpret Pearlie's frank gaze at the photographer (me) as a come hither look.  As a friend once remarked,

There are boys for anything!

Thursday, April 09, 2015

Dusty Old Books

The 9th of April and I'm way behind on my seed-sowing schedule but when it comes to entertaining, I'm right out in front.

Today's 9th most viewed photograph is a bit of a cheat and I'll tell you why.

Dusty old books. 1,135 views.

This was originally a picture of Mrs The Wee's trodden upon toe. The toe was trodden upon by her daughter's mare and she lost the tip of it including the nail. It healed rather well but the nail never grew back. Now it turned out, that a few times over the years, foot and amputation fetishists found and favourited the picture and this bothered me. When complete strangers favourite or comment on my pictures they are checked out and if I judge their pictures unsavoury I block them. In the picture's last flurry of interest I considered deleting the image as well as blocking the Flickr user but decided to replace it instead. Those dusty old books have been viewed considerably less than the 1,000+ times attributed to them. It amuses me to see the picture sitting among a collection of mature and warped feet in someone's favourites. The other culprit was blocked as his pictures were NSFW.

Thankfully I never posted to Flickr the picture that illustrates this ancient blog post. If I had it would probably have featured on many a saddo's favourite list. I know I should be more tolerant of other people's predilections but I'm not. So there you go. Like it or lumpen feet it.

The ninth most interesting picture is a far pleasanter subject.


Alice falling down the rabbit hole illustrated by A.H. Watson. I found the book in a charity shop and it is one year younger than me. I particularly like that Alice is wearing a rose coloured dress instead of the cornflower blue dress popularised by Tenniel, Disney et al. I find Watson's illustrations more appealing and less frightening than John Tenniel's work although it was that very quality that appealed to Lewis Carroll when he chose Tenniel to illustrate the Alice books.

So that is how it is - I like my Alice whimsical and my Flickr untainted by the grotesque. No more crazy foot pictures ever. And I'm beginning to have my doubts about the 'wellies' tag.

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Interesting Is As Interesting Does

Another beautiful day and I managed to spend a good part of it at the seaside with Miss Hannah. Leitrim Sister here this evening and we've been chatting all evening so this blog post must be a speedy one.

On to the Big Flickr photoshare, on this day the eighth April, 2015,

Eight most viewed picture today, me and an unknown and very pretty lady, somewhere in Larne in the mid 1950s. I know very little about this picture. Did someone say she was a priest's housekeeper or did I imagine that? Matty might have cleared it up but far too late for that now. There was building work going on in the background and those houses look new. Wish I knew more. 1,316 views.

Cullybackey riverside walk. 193 views

That is my eighth most interesting picture. I like it very much, and the walk too but don't think it is that interesting. Flickr has other ideas.

Goodnight all.