Archive for the ‘love’ Category


Anyone that has read this blog over the last few years will know that I’m basically a very optimistic person.

I believe that feeling hopeful is why I get out of bed in the morning.

And the last year and a half have provided a lot of interesting challenges and opportunities … most of which I have met with a measure of good cheer and creative thinking.

Yup – there have been duvet days and I love them.

And I’ve had fantastic support from family and friends … my love and thanks to you all.

I believe that nothing stays the same – good or bad – and part of thriving in this crazy chaos is to build your capacity for resilience and humour and patience and persistence.

Even in the worst moments I knew that it wouldn’t last.

Not being clairvoyent is a gift … I really, really, really … really … don’t want to know the future.

And many of my friends and family have faced their own big challenges this year – ill health, death of loved ones, financial woes … loss of some kind.

People’s capacity for courage and just damn good humour in the shittiest situation never ceases to encourage and amaze me.

Many of you have been my inspiration this year … thank you so much.

And now for the good news.

I heard a week ago that myself and a Dublin consultancy had won a nice contract.

It means that I will have more money guaranteed for the next 6 months.

The relief is wonderful … and the genteel poverty of the last 18 months wasn’t all bad either. It’ll just be nice to be able to pay bills and rent on time …and then buy some winter clothes.

I’ve also applied for an Entrepreneurial Internship grant with the National Digital Research Centre in Dublin. If I win one then I have to move to Dublin for 3 months and build a SKIL2 prototype.

Special thanks to my brother Marc for doing all the visual branding for SKIL2 and for agreeing to be my Brand Director.

More thanks to my good friend Margaret Lonergan who has agreed to be my Visual Interface Design Director [a bit of a coup as Margaret was Head of Visual Communications in the National College of Art and Design until feb this year when she went back to her visual communications consultancy] as we design the most beautiful + practical + affordable online learning space.

And even more thanks to Amy [one of my international SKIL2 Mentors] who read through the application form and gave me detailed and brilliant feedback that made it even better.

I gave everyone fab titles because currently they have been giving me their time and talents for free. When SKIL2 makes money they are sooooo getting a bonus.

Exciting and scary … as all adventures should be.

I’ll hear whether I am invited to pitch the idea to a panel by tomorrow.

Writing the grant application was really useful as I had to further refine and clarify what SKIL2 was all about.

And I got to do it twice!!! Lucky me.

I had to work online within their site …and when I went to save a pile of work I’d typed … it disappeared …never to be found again by the NDRC techies.

That was fun …rewriting everything. On the sunny side …I further refined my ideas.

When shit happens I tend to give myself a moment or two [or 20 … depending on the crisis] to feel angry, sad & scared.

Then I get on with it and find a solution and ask for help.

My fundamental power is to choose my attitude in any given situation.

Smiles in the sunshine are easy … smiles when crap hits the fan … well … that’s a tad more challenging.

To be honest, I really don’t like what happens when I get angry. Lots of chemicals flow thru my system and make my body hurt and I feel sick.

Calm tends to be my default state.

And things are happening in Ballinamore.

This Friday Mary from Cara Pharmacy is having a fundraiser for the Northwest Hospice at the Commercial Hotel.

It’s free entry and there will be:

  • a make up demonstration
  • Fashion parade
  • wine tasting
  • Flower arranging demonstration with Gail
  • Goodie Bags
  • Cannaboe Cake decorating demonstration from Sharon
  • Finger Food
  • Raffles

A great night out.

I’ll miss it as I’m starting work in Dublin on the new contract on Thursday and Friday and then I have 2 fully booked Blogsite Design workshops for Artists + Creative Entrepreneurs on Saturday and Sunday.

They are in Koh Restaurant and the owners have given me a private wified dining area for free – many thanks to them for sponsoring the workshops.


I  love finding beautiful places to create learning events. All the participants will be able to order food and refreshments as they learn.

koh seminar room

I hope there are fab things happening for you.



p.s Coco dog is fab as usual. We’ve been getting straight up and out walking at 7.45am every morning. Coco loves it … and I yawn my way down the street.

I let her loose at the canal at the bottom of the street and she just runs and runs and runs. I stroll and enjoy the morning quiet.


For the last 3 days we’ve seen the rare and shy kingfisher bird … tiny and a dazzling blue. It skims along the canal and yesterday it stopped and sang. This morning it skimmed twice and then we saw 5 swans fly across the sky and a rainbow.


p.s.s I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been a time billionaire while I’ve been experiencing genteel poverty.

It’s given me space to develop SKIL2 and Life Dreaming as well as do a pile of probono work and fundraising.

Well, I’m at it again.

Aine Martin and I are running the Big Clothes Swap Party in Ballinamore on November 27th. As far as we know, it’s the first one in the Northwest of Ireland.

Marc has done his usual design genius job of creating a poster.

I’ve attached it here just in case you want to print it and share it around.




Read Full Post »


Some things really do stay the same … like our wet July and August for the last 3 years … and I bet the sun will shine on the day all the kids go back to school in September.

Humid and wet and grey … yum yum.

Took Coco for a walk and she loves being out  … so that’s always cheering as I watch her run up and down looking like a drunk dog.





Festival is over for another year and well done to all the organisers and volunteers … mighty effort.

I was in Dublin on Sunday for the engagement party of 2 of my best friends … Shani and Mia.


An amazing time at the Odessa Club … caught up with people including Mia’s parents and god parents … and made some new friends.






Jaime … from the band Cuckoo Savantes … entertained us beautifully with some great songs.



I became a fan on their Facebook page as soon as I got home.

I know Jaime won’t mind me putting their profile page photo here.

I had a wonderful time chatting with Jaime and his partner Michael who runs a brilliant non profit for gay young people across Ireland.

And then there were the DJ’s … and all of us dancing like mad maggots … well me anyway.

Nice to be home so I can concentrate on tidying up the cottage as my dear friend Mary will be visiting next week from Oz … and she is uber tidy … and I’m … not.

Our public servants have been getting a bit of a bashing lately.

And you know what folks … it’s not the front line workers who are at fault … it’s all the senior managers and politicians who have huge expense accounts … and what looks like … little accountability.

Todays paper has information on government ministers and public sector CEO’s who ran up bills in the hundreds of thousands … on 1st class travel and hotels and drinks and taxis …

Here’s a little taste to set your heart racing:

  • A former minister had a travel bill of 126,000 euro in 2 years – including 900 euro a night hotels … 7,591 on taxi airport pickups …
  • former FAS director (for international readers … that’s the government department that helps the unemployed get training and jobs) swapped his 1st class air tickets (16 in 3 years) for 2 business class tickets so his wife could come with him
  • ‘friends’ of ministers often get their travel expenses covered
  • Mary Harney (Minister for Health) spent 190,000 euro on a trip to the USA last year … 11,000 euro on hotel bills … 11,000 euro on minibuses to move her 7 people group around … 410 dollars on a wash and blow dry

Seriously folks … no front line worker gets those perks ... it’s the boys (and girls) in suits at the top of the ladder … who abuse the system … and aren’t even particularly productive as a result.

I mention public servants because I’ve been going through the process of getting social welfare benefits as there is no work in my sector at the moment.

Here in Ballinamore we are very lucky to have good public servants who treat their public with respect … thanks to the Social Welfare inspector and the local Community Welfare Officer for all your assistance.

Thanks to the Revenue Commission staff who are sending me admin stuff so I can get the benefits.

I have had chats with the staff there over the years in Limerick and Sligo … and every single one has been helpful and thoughtful.

And … I hope the FAS office in Carrick is as helpful when I go in there to ask about some online training I’ve seen … may as well use the time to build my web design and computer skills.

I’ll also be checking out the customer service skills of the housing service in Leitrim County Council when I apply for rent allowance.

I’ll let you know how I go.

Hope your week is going well.

Here’s a photo of me at my 50th birthday dinner in Eden restaurant Dublin … with Billy, Mary, Shani and Mia. Best people … best restaurant.




p.s Oh yeh … one of the things I’m thinking of becoming in my 50’s is a civil ceremony celebrant … with a particular focus on providing ceremonies for gay couples.

By the end of the year there will be a civil partnerhsip act/law that will enable gay couples (and straight for that matter) to enter into civil partnerships.

Civil partnership will not provide all the same rights as Marriage … and this is decidely unfair to a whole group of our citizens.


I never wanted to get married or even be in a partnership … but I deeply believe that all citizens should have equal access to all civil liberties … including marriage … if they choose.

I started to do some research on what I needed to do to become a legal celebrant … and as usual … bless Ireland … it’s run by the beaurocrats … the HSE to be exact.

Currently if you are straight and want to have a civil partnership you go to a registrar in your County and go thru the paper trail and then a ceremony done by the Registrar.

You can’t have a ceremony in a field, park, lake, beach  … I think all my siblings have had their wedding ceremonies in parks or on beaches in Australia.

You can have a ceremony in an enclosed public space such as a Hotel or Castle … but it has to be approved by the HSE.

And here’s the kicker … because it’s run by the Public Service (a wee oxymoron) … you can only have your ceremony from 9am to 5pm and not on a Saturday … not sure about Sunday.

Now – there are another group of official people called Solemnisers (only in Ireland would they call this kind of celebration – Solemn) that can perform civil ceremonies … and that’s what I hope to become … when I can find out how.

I’ll be calling our local registrar soon.

And to all my friends who are fighting for gay peoples rights to not only enter civil partnerships … but also marriage … keep up the good fight and damn the begrudgers.


Read Full Post »


You’d think that living in a small rural town ( in the County with the lowest population density in Ireland)  might be a little … isolated?

Surely I’d meet more people living in a city … people who could support my social enterprises?

Well wonderful (and deeply attractive) reader … you’d be wrong.


Living in Ballinamore makes me deeply happy … it has become the core of my sense of peace and contentment …  and having that core … allows me to make leaps of imagination and risk I might not take if I lived somewhere else.


Small is good.

I am surrounded by the best neighbours and friends a woman could ask for … people who look out for me (and I them) … people who (rarely) bat an eyelid as I talk about Life Dreaming and SKIL2 … they take delight in what I do … even if they aren’t quite sure what it is!


And … Ballinamore has broadband.

It enables me to write this blog … email my brother Marc in Singapore as we develop Life Dreaming and SKIL2 … email family, friends and clients … research and learn online … connect on social networks …

It connects me to people I would never have met.


Here’s an example of the serendipity and synchronicity that happens for me.

A woman left a comment on this blog yesterday.

Kim had read about Life Dreaming on Marcs blog and downloaded the workbook. She wanted to thank me for giving it away free (just click on the Life Dreaming button at the top of the blog for your free copy).

I read every comment people leave … and if the person has a blog or site … I go visit … it’s just neighbourly.

I visited Kims site and was fascinated by what she did … knowledge management lecturer and consultant … a Masters in Chaos and Complexity Science … an interest in empowerment of individuals and communities …

A kindred spirit.

I emailed her and introduced myself.

I told her about SKIL2 and asked her if she would be my SKIL2 KM/ Chaos/Complexity mentor … because what I’m trying to create in SKIL2 is an online learning space that captures and shares the complex and chaotic elements of workplace learning.


Yeh … there’s a teeny tiny challenge … my learning curve is vertical folks.

She replied this morning that she’s love to be a SKIL2 Mentor … very cool.


I now have SKIL2 Mentors in … design (Marc) … learning technology … computer coding … social media … KM/chaos & complexity … Joomla … global mentors that I found by wandering online and visiting heaps of sites and blogs … and then asking people to help …

My motto … you don’t ask you don’t get (and my other one is … moderation in excess … and excess in moderation)

Kim has a lot of great plans and she wants to use my Life Dreaming Workbook to focus and refine them … and every time someone says that the workbook is useful … I feel delighted and humbled.


So … from reading Marcs blog … to leaving a comment on my blog … to me emailing Kim … to her replying … a connection of mutual benefit has been made.

I love how that happens.

I also love how many wonderful … complex … creative … and value driven … people there are in the world.

OK … the economy stinksand … there are literally millions of people who have hope and confidence and the guts … to create the lives they want to lead.

A life and a community that is not driven by doom and gloom.


A life and community that has a belief and hope in its capacity … and audacity … to create amazing enterprises … to look out for their neighbours … to value the kindness and courage and sheer bloody persistence that’s in people.


A life and community where people are prepared to try new (old) ways of living … barter … cooperatives … community gardens … skill sharing … recycling


That’s not just my dream … it’s a reality… it’s so very doable.

So … I get to live in a great town … and … meet people around the world online who encourage and support me … as I hope I do for them.

Doesn’t get much better than that folks.

One more cool thing … Sharon (Cannaboe Confectionary) ... emailed me yesterday to say that some of my readers had gone to her site and ordered chocolates to be delivered … to other countries.

Some lucky people will soon be eating the chocolates … and all because they were online … read my blog … and linked to Sharon’s site.

Now … Sharon has a quality and value offering … and … she has a site that lets the world know about it … and she links to other sites and blogs.

That can only help create new customers.

By the way … if you’re an enterprising Ballinamore business and want me to link your site to this blog … leave me a note.

And … no … I don’t charge anyone to promote their businesses … that way I can write about who I want … and … I believe very strongly in our small Ballinamore businesses.

Did I tell you that Coco had me out of bed at 7am … on a Sunday … that’s why I’m writing at 8.30am!

Back to bed for a read and a cuppa.



Read Full Post »


I love days like today … and I have a lot of them.

I had plans and they were open to any serendipity that happened through the day.

Coco pup had me out of bed at 7.30am … gone are the days when I wouldn’t get out of bed before 11 am … or later.

I had brekky and caught up on a pile of emails … some with my brother Marc as we plot the Life Dreaming adventure … some with readers of my blog … then checked all the rrs’d sites and blogs that I read … over a dozen or so on a range of topics.

Talked with a client in Dublin and organised my trip there for next week.

Time to get some fresh air and take Coco to Lock 5.


The sun was beaming down … even though the wind was very chilly.


It felt like the first real day of sunshine and I wanted to immerse my self in it before the clouds came along … as they will.


We had a great time … me strolling along enjoying the sun … the sound of the birds … that lovely sparkle on the water … and the first baby lamb.


Coco just going demented (she’s like the anti zen … or maybe a living zen) and running up and down … going really still if she saw a sheep or bird … then she runs and runs and runs … smiling all the way… I just love her … the sheer joy she lives … makes me laugh out loud.



Back for lunch and a quick hello to Dee and Mags.

Dropped in to Therese Hamill … my good friend and neighbour for a cuppa and a lovely chat by the fire for an hour or so.

Then took Eoin Hamill for a treat as his two older siblings are away on holidays … we had a lovely time over fizzy drinks in the Supavalu cafe.

We debated all the words we want to hang from the trees in the Sunny Funny Garden … lots and lots of words will be there.

Home again and I took Coco for another walk … then some work … and now I’m writing the blog.

The clouds gathered this afternoon … as I predicted.


And now for some excellent news.

My favourite maker of cakes and chocolates … Sharon Sweeney (Cannaboe Confectionary) has opened an online Chocolate shop.

Now folks … Sharon has a wonderful range of handmade chocolates full of ganache that she makes herself … and she already delivers locally.

  • The milk choc – one filled with an orange flavoured ganache and the other a whiskey or brandy (whatever is handy) ganache.

  • The white choc – one filled with a Irish cream liquour ganache and the other a coffee and whiskey ganache (I call it an Irish coffee flavour).

  • The dark choc – one with a mint fondant and the other a rum ganache with a raisin. The chocolate itself is Belgian.

All you lovely people who don’t live in Ballinamore ( and I’m so sorry you can’t live in this little piece of heaven … come visit) can now order Sharon’s chocolates online.

She currently has two boxes available and I’m sure she would put together a bigger or different mix if you asked real nice.

Really … do yourself a great big favour … and treat yourself to her chocs.

If her chocolates were a person … I would be in love … forever … a devoted relationship … I would never stray.

Sharon’s Chocolate Shop

Go visit her site to see amazing photos of her decorated cakes and chocolates.

And more lovely news (life is just full of good news) … a wonderful reader and fellow blogger … Anne Richards … emailed to thank me for the Life Dreaming Workbook.

From Anne’s blog

She wanted to send me a donation for the workbook and we had a funny time sorting that out … many thanks Anne.

From Anne’s blog

Anyway … I suggested that she use the money to buy a few bees and call them Liz Biz Bees.

Well … she took that idea and grew it.

She and her husband are now going to name a whole new hive (they lost 3 hives this winter) … Liz Biz Bees … how cool is that?

And there’s more … she’s registered Liz Biz Bees as a website and will be telling the story of the hive as it grows … how bees do their job … what makes them happy … and sad … what we are doing to kill bees … they are literally disappearing … how bees are a sign of health or illness on earth.

The hive has 60,000 bees … unbelievable.

Anne has invited me and the Sunny Funny Garden gang to name some of the bees … and I think we’ll invite locals … school children … and Liz Biz readers … to choose a few names for ‘their’ bees.

Jeez … there’s 60,000 after all … and a lot of them look alike.

Check out Annes blog and read about her passion for bees.

I’m very excited as I’ve always wanted to learn about beekeeping … and  the Liz Biz Bees Hive will now teach us all online.

Photo from Anne’s blog

We’ll be able to follow the seasons and the development of the hive … and ask questions along the way.

Magic happens all the time on this blog and through Life Dreaming … it even sends me into a bit of a spin sometimes … how the serendipity and synchronicity of it all brings people together … how ideas develop ... how things can become a reality with the support of people you’ve never seen … and all from the computers of people like me living in small towns and cities … remarkable.

Finally Finally … just had a lovely visit from Miriam. She told me that there are still a few places left on the Build Your Own Wind Turbine course starting in Ballinamore next Thursday. Go to their site for details.

I hope your week has been going well.

I have to go deal with the dirt fairies and goblins that crept in since I cleaned on Monday … it’s war… and I’m losing.



p.s. This photo of Coco cracks me up. She is obsessed with flies and birds … I think she believes that flies are just small birds … I wish.

Anyway … she will climb over anything (including me) to watch a fly on the wall … and then chase it round the room … she looks at me to kill the fly … and then she eats it … a kind of posh survival of the fittest.


Yup … that is Coco balanced on the back of the couch …staring down a fly … mad dog… kinda takes after her mother.

p.s.s – was walking down the street today and sighed as I walked past the Moo Bar sign … then later in the day I was walking down the street again … and Brent was taking down the sign … sigh … all gone.

Read Full Post »


I want to declare a couple of things right up front:

  • I am a wonderful romantic … ask the men I’ve known on 2 continents
  • Valentines day makes me want to gag
  • I love Ballinamore and support all the great local enterprises
  • Valentines Day is commercial
  • People will spend money on V.Day
  • Some of that money may as well go to the local businesses in Ballinamore
  • Therefore … I will write and promote local businesses for V. Day

Just call me a romantic pragmatist.

Without further ado let me tell you about the V.Day offerings in Ballinamore

Note: – Click on certain businesses and get directly linked to their websites for more information.


We have 2 great flower shops in town.

Eamon & Noleen (071 96 45760) are just across the road from me and have flowers, jewellry, some gorgeous vases (for the flowers that you buy) and scented candles.






Gail & Ben (0719644210) are down the street and have some lovely floral offerings for V.Day. While your there pop up to the Solas Art Gallery.




As far as I’m concerned … the only chocolates I ever want to eat are made by Sharon of the award winning Canaboe Confectionery (0719644778).

And for all my international readers … I’m sure Sharon could arrange to mail you her chocs (anytime … not just V. Day). They are hand made and the different fillings are really good. You can choose the mixes you want.

I popped over to her place (it’s down the Willowfield Road and you can buy directly from them. Sharon will also deliver your orders if  you live within the local area) last night and took photos of her special V.Day offerings.

One word folks … Yum.

Prices for the chocs are:

  • lollipops 1 euro
  • small boxes 3 euro
  • box of 6     5 euro
  • box of 12  10 euro
  • box of 18   15 euro
  • little men and women  3 euro


Sharon also made up a choc hamper (on the right).









Dee & Gabriel in the Forge always have a gift for every occasion. Dee did up the window for V. Day festivities.







There’s a huge teddy bear, candles, lovely jewellery … lamps, fishing equipment, lighters … there’s probably even a stuffed ardvark somewhere upstairs (well … I keep asking for one … love to give Dee a challenge.).

Mags manages Smyths shop and you can always find some lovely Irish made gifts there. Why not do something different and buy the recently (last week) launched CD of trad band Lunasa and a range of Leitrim musicians.



There’s also Eunan Sweeney’s (no relation to Sharon) great photographs of the area.

Both the pharmacies have gifts, perfume etc. Cara Pharmacy is offering 25% off stuff and as much as 50% off until Feb 15 (one day after V.Day … just in case you forgot something).


Try Enhance (071 9645440) for vouchers … massage … beauty treatments … it’s lovely.

I had a massage there recently and it was one of the best I’ve ever had … ask for Helen … I think she’s only there on Thursdays.

They have a special on at the moment for Valentines – 79 euro for 3 beauty treatments:

  1. choice of spray tan
  2. makeup
  3. nails  –  file & french polish

I’d book now as it looks like a bargain … I wouldn’t know as I’ve never had a spray tan.


Smyths (071 9644955) has their lovely restaurant open for V.Day and they also have a DJ on for the evening.

I hear the front part of the restaurant is booked out and they are opening the back restaurant to meet demand … must be more romantics in the area than I thought.

I really must get to the restaurant some time soon … it looked lovely when I went in to take the photos yesterday.




Bobby Joes (086 0821388 ) now runs the restaurant that until recently was Juliano’s. They have a 3 course Valentine menu for 35 euro.



The restaurant in the Glenview Museum (071 9644157) just out of town is having a Valentines dinner – 6 courses for 40 euro.


And Priors is providing a Valentine Free Zone for happy singles, couples who aren’t into V.Day and groups. That’s my take on it anyway.


I was talking with Gay Prior yesterday and he said they’d be open for dinner as usual … love their food.

So … if you’re into V. Day … fair play to ye … have a lovely time … and spend locally.

Oh yeh … Brian … I invited you over for dinner on Saturday  … and didn’t know it was V.Day … stay calm.

Whatever you do on Saturday … enjoy yourself.

I’ve got the Sunny Funny Garden Gang wandering over at 4.30pm today.

It’s really really cold outside so I imagine we will come back in to my fire and eat cake and have a cuppa.



Read Full Post »


Happy spring day dear reader.

I love the slowness of January … and then the start of a growing energy.

In the old celtic days today was called Imbolc and Brigit was the entity that they worshipped.

It’s a time to celebrate fertility and for me … the promise of new things to come.

St Brigid is revered on the same level as St Patrick and it is believed that she visited Ballinamore leaving a well and setting up a church.

I remember making Brigits crosses years ago.


In Ballinamore people take a walking pilgrimage to Brigid’s Well to sip the water.

Before walking across a few fields to the well … people stop in the cemetery and walk clockwise around 3 objects … some praying quietly … I just meditated on the coming of  spring and how thankful I am to live in Ballinamore.

People then  mark a cross into the stone.

It was lovely to see so many people involved in this ritual … celebrating the coming of Spring.


This gravestone was very poignant … the man died during the time of the Land League …  people were trying to regain land and homes from British landlords … and died resisting evictions.


My good friends and neighbours … the Hamill’s (who run a great guesthouse right in town … with a renowned breakfast … home made bread and eggs from their own chickens)… included me in their pilgrimage.


As you can see from the photos … we are well rugged up against the freezing cold wind. Damien said the wind chill factor was well below zero … I felt colder than I’ve ever felt.


The landscape is truly beautiful … and I do love the sparseness of it all.


Mags was saying last night that she prefers the lushness of summer … so here is a photo for you dear friend … the daffs are nearly ready to bloom.


We walked across 2 fields to get to the well.




We walked around the well a few times and then sipped some of the water.


I sat and spent a second just being thankful. That’s me with James Hamill.


We then came back into town and went for a look at the D’Arcy’s new home … it’s got a really lovely flow and feel … and the views are wonderful.

And … to add to the joy of the first Spring day … here are the happy smiling faces of our Sunny Funny Garden Gang.



That’s the lovely Helena D’Arcy in the background.

In March I’m starting an organic growing and cooking course at the Rossinver Organic Centre.

It runs one day a week for 8 months and I’ll be learning heaps for the Sunny Funny Garden.

I have a dream of lots of community garden spaces all over Ballinamore … the schools … the soon to be built Nursing Home … on public land … people learning about and growing organic vegetables and fruit … it would be very interesting.

Small steps at a time for me though … learn more … and practice it in the Sunny Funny Garden.

I had a Gang meeting with the Hamill kids yesterday and we agreed on:

  • the day to meet – every Thursday from 4.30pm … so they can do their homework and eat dinner first.
  • some ideas for the garden … plants as well as an idea I have to hang words from the trees that the kids and I love.

Many thanks to Maeve … she is the Gang’s scribe.

We also agreed on our core custom  which will be:-

The Sunny Funny Garden Gang will treat each other with:

  • kindness
  • respect
  • gentleness
  • and fun

I explained that we would not have rules … just an agreement on how we all wanted to be treated.

Simple but powerful.

I’m by the fire now after making a lovely Sunday lunch of vege quiche … potatoes with dill and yoghurt … soya beans (really yummy) … and carrots. Coco got her own plate of everything … she loves cooked vege.

Looks like more snow this week … hope my bus still gets me to Belfast on Tuesday.

I’m delighted that my January reader figures were higher than any other month … over 3000. Thanks folks.



Read Full Post »

Despite getting to sleep at 2am … I was working and chatting with a friend about computers and blogs …. stop snoring at the back … Coco still woke me at 8am.

Feeling groggy and a little drifty … a nice way to feel on Saturday … slowly slowly says I.

I received a comment on my last post from a great reader and commenter … Lindy.

She wrote about the real, painful & personal impact of this global debacle … started by unethical and very very greedy people … and supported by many of us in one way or another.

Her son and inlaws are suffering.

I replied:

Hi Lindy
Sorry to hear how the big greedy bastards have affected your nearest and

I have hope (because without it… what’s the point) that this catastrophic time will affect a real change in the way people … view money … decide what’s really important in their lives … and ultimately … create new ways of supporting themselves and each other … less material and more mindful.

Until then … I will do my small part to share information like the sites I mentioned … tell the stories that show we have the spirit and capacity to thrive without massive amounts of money …and … be part of the creative and life affirming solutions.

We all have a part to play.

We all have voices that can speak a new truth about what success and a happy life means.

We can support and encourage every person who is trying to be part of the new solutions.

And ultimately … we can be truly appreciative of our own strength … kindness … intelligence … and humour.

We must never lose sight of our immense personal power to create an amazing life … because of … and in spite of … the incredible crap that happens.

A fond slan to you Lindy


I really believe what I wrote.

I do not underestimate the pain people are feeling.

I do not underestimate the scale of the problem.

I never ever … underestimate our capacity to survive and thrive.

We are faced with amazing challenges … and we have real and powerful choices to make.

Each person has the power to decide:

  • their attitude in every given situation … I may rant … but I don’t ‘do’ doom and gloom. I can see the sunshine and the crap folks … I choose sunshine (which is saying something in wet old Ireland!).
  • what’s truly important in their lives right now.
  • what solutions are within their power … and what is waaaaay beyond their influence. Just let go of the stuff you have no control over … really … it just gives you a headache and heart ache.
  • how they will support other people in their communities … with time, skills, humour, goods, services and even a little money. My friends and neighbours have been awesome to me … and I hope I reciprocate with the talents and skills I have to give.

I have less money now than I have ever had in my life … and I’m happy and content most of the time … I’d say as much as 98%.

I deal with the bills … paying a little at a time.

I am mindful of putting healthy food inside me … and wasting as little as possible. And the Love Food Hate Waste site is giving me a heap of new ideas.

I barter my skills for other peoples skills and products.

I’m spending time developing a few ethical social enterprises that may provide me (and a few other people) with some ongoing micro income streams.

I take huge delight in my friends, family and neighbours … they are my wealth.

I live in a great town surrounded with canals, lakes and mountains.

I have a deep sense of my principles and dreams for my life.

I really really like the person I have become.

And I have Coco pup … who makes me exercise … and is a living symbol of a zest for living.

I intend to not only survive … I’m going to thrive … in ways I define myself.

I send you my best regards and would be interested in hearing how you are surviving and thriving these interesting and challenging times.

Have a wonderful weekend.



Read Full Post »

Older Posts »