I just had a perfect weekend.
It all started around 8am on Saturday when Coco asked to be taken outside … it was literally freezing.
Don’t know how she walks on it.
The Sunny Funny Garden is looking … frozen.
Then I went and worked with Dee in her great shop for nearly 5 hours … I sorted heaps of Xmas decorations … some really lovely things at indecently low prices.
Back home and tidied the cottage in preparation for my Xmas Office Party.
And exactly how many people work in your office? … I hear you ask.
Ummm … one … moi.
Derek and Lynda were due over to cook me dinner … so I coopted them to the party.
It was also Maggie’s birthday so I made her up 2 pots of bulbs … I do like the results.
All the ribbon and butterflies are from Dee’s shop. I think the whole thing cost me about 10 euro to make … including bulbs and the clay pots … I’m making them as Xmas presents as well.
Coco kept watch on me as I tidied up and lit the candles … is the dog a model or what?
Derek and Lynda arrived and we drank some Jacobs Creek pink sparkling as the dinner cooked …. very very slowly … as my gas bottle ran out!!! They popped it all back in their oven and we had a gorgeous pork chop meal …
This was before we heard about the pork disaster across Ireland.
I popped out to take some photos of Santa’s visit to Ballinamore to say hello to the children … I’ll be posting the photos in the next thing I write.
And then we went out and joined Mags for a few drinks at Priors.
I got to bed around 2am (very civilized) and was up again at 9am this morning.
I took Coco for a walk to the lock at the end of our street.
This is Ballinamore on a Sunday morning … I can almost see a tumbleweed.
We got to the lock and everything is covered in frost.
The canal has frozen over.
I let Coco off her lead for her first run in 5 days since her operation … she literally levitated with joy.
The mist and stillness and the outrageously clean air … it’s like an elixir … air as champagne … delicious.
After a good while Coco and I wandered home and were cosy back in bed reading the Sunday papers when there was a knock on the door … it was Mags … could Coco come out to play with the other dogs?
Surely … and I was going as well.
Mags drove us and 4 dogs (all but Coco escalating their joyous barking the closer we got to Garadice Lake … and the barking echoed around and around the car!) down to the lake.
Leitrim has more lakes than any other county in Ireland … you drive around a corner … there’s another one. We’ve even got disappearing lakes … they appear when you least expect it … not joking.
Mags and the dogs lept off and I ambled behind taking photos.
I adore the sculptural quality of the landscape in winter … it’s the bare bones of life.
The winter light is also amazing on days like this … diamond clear … everything is so well defined you could almost cut yourself on the landscape.
There are so many beautiful views of the lake.
I love the way the brown foliage looks like gold.
Sometimes the mist and light make everything look literally … black and white.
And I spied a wee robin … hardy little creatures.
This is the church that overlooks the lake … I love the stone work.
It was so still that it seemed the landscape was etched into the water.
Undulating (such a sensual word) fields defined by treescapes and fences.
Mags walked around twice while I ambled.
Notice the lovely new scarf and hat that was a present from Ann (hope you’re feeling better soon Ann).
John Joe is looking very well … love that dog.
We all piled back in the car and happily wended our way home.
Coco and I were once again happily ensconced in the warm laba (bed) a few hours later when there was another knock on the door … and lo … it was Mags bearing gifts … a warm plate of stuffed roast chicken, 2 kinds of potatoes, peas, corn and gravy.
I thanked Maggie … shoved her out the door … and gave the food the attention it so richly deserved.
Sorry … no photo … I ate it all so quickly … and shared some with Coco. She loved it as much as I did.
Thanks Mags … treasure.
I then spent a while resizing a pile of photos that will be appearing in posts this week and am writing this from the warmth of my bed … Coco fast asleep beside me.
What a perfect weekend … being useful … spend time with friends … make something … have friends cook for me 2 days in a row … walk in amazing landscape … laugh and chat … drink pink bubbles … laugh at my dog …
What’s not to love?
This week and next week I’m going to be writing about Christmas in Ballinamore.
I’ll be showcasing our great shops and other services … and the fab people that run them.
There’ll be tips and hints on different kinds of presents … some costing no money at all.
Lots of photos … because I hear from my readers that you love seeing them.
If you are from Ballinamore but living away … let me know if there’s a place in town you’d specially like me to photograph … I’ll do my best. If you have a friend or family member you’d like me to photograph … let’s see what I can organize.
Thanks to all the people that stop me in the street (or in Prior’s pub last night) and say how much they enjoy reading the blog … tickles me pink … specially when they only recognize me because of Coco!!
I write because I love writing … and I’d do it if no one read the blog.
Gotta say though … it’s nice to know you’re out there.
Big hello and loves to my Pa … who rings me if I don’t blog for a few days to check I’m ok.
I send you all sparkling wishes for a lovely week.
Remember … if you want to see something (or someone) in particular in Christmas Ballinamore … drop me a line.