Every year we cut this bad boy back to its butt and every year it replenishes itself and starts to slowly creep its way around the conservatory with ambitious take over plans. This Passion plant wouldn’t grow normally in Ireland but the heat in our conservatory sustains it. It get so large and overbearing that we’ve nicknamed it Audrey II from Little Shop of Horrors.


We really don’t do much with it. We might water it every now and again but I think it gets most of its moisture from outside. It’s planted directly into the earth in a corner of the conservatory so the roots may even be below the foundation line.


It’s miraculous how nature can seem to be beat and still come back for subsequent battles. We do our best to train it along the roof beams, but like unruly hair, it definitely has a mind of its own. Seems there’s no chance of fruit here. I’ve tried pollinating between the flowers. I think I might need another plant for that.


It’s only now how much of an appreciation we have of it. Audrey II owns his spot, a rather big spot, but his pretty wildness is hard to deny.

Here’s the extent if his dominance.


Weekly Want: 6

1st – Wisteria. They are so beautiful when they are in flower. I’ve seen 6 trees grow around a gazebo a few months back the flowers dripped from their branches like a marshmallow cascade. I wouldn’t mind a pair on either side of our Front Door way, intertwined in an archway.

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2nd – Antique Studio/Directors lamp. After seeing one of these on Tv, I’ve always wanted one for the living room. Of course, my friends Paul and Mark pipped me at the post and got one brought back from Potterybarn in America. There was one in Meadows and Byrne but it’s no longer on their website.

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3rd – Metal Skulls and Outdoor cushions. Speaking of Pottery Barn, I haven’t been to their website in a while but I just found both of these. You Like?

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I snapped this pick in the Cabinteely Park, opposite where I work. At the start of the year, they cleared a large piece of open space and rotovated the soil. I initially thought they were preparing for a new games field or possibly tennis courts. But no, I’m very jealous! They now have a wild flower meadow. No just a beautiful display but brimming with bees, butterflies and insects. Not many wasps, thank god.

Richie and I bought a load of wild flower seeds to sow amongst the trees of Woodhaven but got lazy and never planted them. So you can see why I’m envious. I look forward to having a similar display to this, next year.


TOP SECRET: I’ve started a new Quilting project a few weeks back and got some direction and guidance from fantastic friends at Just Cotton. I can’t reveal much and it’s going to take me an age but I’m committed to completing this quilt. Stay tuned. Here’s a sample, not a lot but it might get your spidey senses tingling.


A while back we were clearing out the junk from the garden sheds and other ‘rubbish’ dotted around the place. As part of this we cleared out the old small building we call the Boiler House, because it contains an ancient oil burner that was used rather inefficiently to heat Woodhaven.


We had to trawl through numerous cans and tins of used paint. Richie and I would be of the opinion to keep all the useable paint but since we were taking no prisoners, I had to remain strong and force him to throw out a lot of stuff. He hoards away things like a squirrel with nuts for the winter, except the stuff he keeps will never be used. There were a few unopened and never used paint cans and one of these was a Dulux Hawthorn Green – Gloss. I remember buying it for an old clock but never bothered with the project.


Richie said he’d use it again and I made him question his decision to keep it. ‘I’ll use it on the door to this place’, he said with a satisfied look. Not a bad idea, I thought.


While we were still rummaging and dumping, Richie asked Mark (Laura C’s boyfriend) if he wanted a little task to while away an hour or so. Mark accepted and ended up spending most of the day sanding and painting the door of the Boiler House.

I figured the brass fittings needed a new lease of life and broke out the Brasso and some elbow grease.


Didn’t it turn out well? One more thing on the ‘to-do’ list done.


Weekly Want: 5

1st: My Laser Eye Surgery to go well
I’m getting my eye sight corrected with Laser Eye surgery, later today. No more glasses or contacts, I hope. I’ve been saving up for this and wanted to get it done a long time. So fingers crossed it all goes swimmingly without complications.


2nd: Get to see the Dark Knight Rises.
I’ve a feeling this movie won’t be as good as the first two Christopher Nolan adaptations but I’m not that interested in this one. I’m mostly looking forward to seeing the teaser trailer to The Man of Steel. By all reports from San Diego Comic Con, the trailer should give you goosebumps.


3rd: A weekend away in Sligo
This should be happening next month, as a friend of ours, Brian, has invited us down for Sligo Gay Pride. I need to get to Strandhill for my first surfing lesson and get to the top of Knocknarea (or Medb’s Cairn).


Paradise Lost

I went for a walk a few weeks back with Laura H. If you don’t know, Woodhaven is home to two Lauras. Laura H is a native of Mullingar so as part of our march she took me along the Canal Line. I haven’t been to that part of the Canal before though have driven past it many times. At one point there’s a lock and you can sometimes see barges moored on sunny days during the summer.


En route, we stopped off at an old turnstile. ‘Welcome to Paradise’, uttered Laura. I slipped through the gate and the area opened up to a path with overshadowing trees. In the distance was the green lawn at the back of Mullingar Cathedral.


Paradise, as it was called, was where Laura, Richie and other friends of yore would get together, during their youth when drinking underage. It was the practical place to provide the cover from prying adult eyes. I could see the nostalgia on Laura’s face. I envied and remembered times from my kidulthood. I didn’t really do the underage drinking thing. I was too much of a ‘goody two shoes’ to veer from my parent’s advice or ‘we’d be really disappointed if you….’ line that would put all the guilt in the world on me. I was one of few in my family that obeyed. But that doesn’t mean I was a total ‘angel’. I think I was 17 when I drank alcohol properly. It never appealed to me much before that. My friends would be doing the same as Laura and Richie were in Paradise, hiding away from adult binoculars, fearful to be snared by a parent but fearless in their young social interactions.



I’m sure we had a care in the world back then, but remembering it now, it doesn’t feel like we ever did. Those days are well gone. You know that phrase, ‘Youth is wasted on the Young’. I know it’s clichéd but how true is that? The funniest thing about it is, it’s always someone older that says it and always the younger person to completely not understand it. There’s no point in trying to explain it them, it will never sink in. It never sank in with me.


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