Happy Tuesday dear reader. Special hi to Dad.
The long weekend is over and we had some marvelous and strange weather.
Really hot (for us in Ireland – I can hear my family in Oz laughing from here) somewhere over 20C in the morning and then thunder, lightning & mucho rain in the afternoon – followed by lots of evening sunshine.
On Friday we played in the Sunny Funny Garden. Still waiting for the moo poo so we couldn’t plant our tomatoes and strawberries.
Of course we had to start with fairy cakes as I believe in reward before, during and after effort. We chatted about what we could do (I’m building in a process where kids learn about decision making – kind of subliminally) and I lined everyone up to weed.
What was I doing – you ask?
Documenting and organising of course – finding gloves for everyone and pouring cordial and making sure that everyone was feeling a part of it all.
It’s like my brother Eamonn once explained to me about the Chief at a fire (both Eamonn and another brother Sean are firefighters. Eamonn is the Fire Chief at Exmouth). Someone has to have a 360 degree view of the situation because everyone else is focusing on their own task.
In an emergency situation (say a multiple car accident) people may be focused on what they can immediately see and not look beyond the main scene – so – a person thrown from a car could be missed if there isn’t a Fire Chief taking the 360 view.
I always thought that was a great piece of advice for facilitation and managing.
So folks – I’m the Fire Chief.
This is Maggies much loved dog – John Joe. He recently had a hair cut and as we say here in Ireland – it took years off him. This is one gorgeous and loving dog – and he’s mad about chasing balls. He comes and visits me when he sees me in the garden and brings some slobbery thing for me to throw.
John Joe knows how simple happiness can be.
My good neighbour Maggie has donated some amazing solar powered lights.
I was trying to read the instructions (and do they ever make sense?) and didn’t realise I was talking out loud and saying ‘blah blah blah until I asked the kids to help me.
As I went to read the instructions again they all started saying ‘blah blah blah’. They never miss a trick. They also had a great time setting up the lights. The pink whirly thing near the gate was a donation today from Dee. People are really feeling like it’s their garden – lovely.
Maggie also gave us the lovely Dreams sign and we all agreed it should be at the gate to welcome people. One of the kids asked me if I ever dreamt when I was awake- and I replied ‘All the time’.
I said that dreams are what makes life fun.
Maeve said that the garden was like a dream.
On Saturday I wandered up (I usually go for a visit every day – it’s amazing how quickly things grow and it’s a very peaceful spot) and there must be some unseen radar somewhere because all of a sudden – there were 5 kids there – 2 new ones.
I gave them all gloves and sent them off to weed. They loved it.
They also helped me put smiling faces on our plant pots.
I collect antique and modern teacups (yeh yeh – I can pretty much do anything – after all a woman in her late 40’s who never wanted to have kids or get married has pretty much passed most people’s eccentricity barrier.).
One of my teacups broke and the garden is now the perfect recycling place – the pieces now frame plants.
Saturday night I welcomed our newest visitors and soon to neighbours – Lynda and Derek. I mentioned how Lynda had commented on this blog that they were thinking of visiting Ballinamore.
I invited them for champagne at my place then more bubbles at the Moo Bar. We had a great time chatting and laughing for hours. I’ll post their blog links soon.
Well folks – they’re staying.
Ballinamore is truly the Bermuda Triangle of Ireland – attracting interesting people who come for a visit – and then stay.
I’ve sorted the wee cottage 2 doors up from me and next door to Maggie – and thanks to Maggie for her help as well.
Maggie and I have been doing up our cottages with flowers and they look fab. I jokingly told Derek and Lynda that the condition of them getting the cottage was they too would have window boxes.
Ballinamore is part of the national Tidy Towns scheme and we take some pride and effort in making our few little cottages look lovely.
Maggies flowers are really lovely and I love the window boxes that Adrian made.
I always smile as I walk past her flowers as they remind me a lot of Maggie – sunny and smiling and witty.
We hope that Lynda and Derek will be moving into the yellow cottage. We’re organising linen and pillows and crockery- and the key essential – a corkscrew.
Some people may wonder why we do this for complete stranger? My reply is – why not?
And here are my flowers. Mrs Hamill’s house is next to mine and you can see Dee’s shop the Forge.
The window box is lobelias and daisies and I love watching them grow.
I have two glass doors that I invite the kids to draw on (using pens that can colour glass). This is their latest effort (we change them with the seasons). The writing at the top reads – Summer time and the living is easy.
And this is my open plan office space. Yeh – I know – looks really stressful and don’t get me started on the commute.
I hope your week goes well.