Skip to content

Archive for

Halloween / Hunter’s Moon

I can’t tell you how much I love living in the country. We have the best of both worlds. We live in a tiny village surrounded by open fields and forests as far as the eye can see, so we have the comradery of community but the peace and solitude of the hinterland. Read more

Colcannon [Recipe]

This time last year I was pining for a little taste of home. Halloween was coming and I was looking forward to a steaming bowl of colcannon, just like my mammy used to make. Unfortunately I could not find any kale or green cabbage, a key ingredient of the dish, here in Lithuania. I tried several supermarkets and farmers’ markets, but only white cabbage was available. Upset, I consoled myself with cake. Read more

(Extra)ordinary

When does the ordinary become extraordinary? When you see it up-close and personal for the very first time. I spent a lot of time in my garden over the summer and, apart from the hard work, I got to see some amazing sights. I began to see mundane things like dandelions and insects in a whole new light. I began a love affair with crickets when I first saw a nymph on my tomatoes way back in May. It was not love at first sight but later, as I was bemoaning the destruction of my beautiful cabbages by caterpillars, I was very happy to have those crickets on my side. I was lucky enough to capture a kamikaze caterpillar munching its way closer and closer to the waiting jaws of a hungry cricket. You might wonder how the caterpillar could miss the ominous presence of cricket until you see the reverse angle and are reminded how good their camouflage is. Extraordinary. Read more

These Boots Are Made For Walking

I’m pretty easily pleased, really. My needs are simple – good food, love, laughter and an occasional open road. Give me a pair of walking boots, a walking companion and some decent terrain and I’m in my element. These photos were taken in Australia’s stunning Blue Mountains. The vast mountain range provides walks for all levels, from a few hours to a few days long. There are sheer cliffs, waterfalls and lush green forests. Add one beautiful husband and it’s a place just made for taking photographs. Read more

Boundaries

One of the many things I love about travelling is the diversity to be found across our planet – diversity of people, language, culture, food, weather and landscape. So often, our food and culture is influenced by the landscape around us. If you are surrounded by sea you will likely eat lots of fish and seafood, if you have boggy earth you will burn turf. And if you have fields full of limestone, you will build walls. Travelling through northern Spain, close to the border with Portugal, we encountered these stone walls. I was immediately reminded of the stone walls found across the west of Ireland and which I thought were unique to our fair isle. The Spanish construction is a little different – I don’t think I have seen walls constructed around big stones in such a uniform way in Ireland. But the resemblance is striking. Amidst all the diversity there are always similarities. We’re not all that different, really. Read more

Creamy Zucchini/Courgette Soup [Recipe]

On my recent trip home I got to catch up with some old friends, but I also got to meet new people. I love meeting new people, especially in rural Ireland where they seem so characterful, so full of laughter and stories. Meeting new people invariable results in being asked two questions – where do you come from and what do you do. These seemingly innocuous questions always fill me with dread – because I don’t have a straightforward answer to either of them. Read more