4.30am

The dawn chorus. It bursts into life at whatever time and, just when you’re awake with little chance of dropping back to sleep (yes, about 4.30am), it takes a break till later. I’m not a heavy sleeper and so, for me, that’s that. Sometimes I read. Sometimes I think. Sometimes I seethe. A couple of times during the last week, I’ve got up at about 5.30 and hopped on the bike for my early morning ride.

I have a regular route: along the Dodder, to Churchtown, under the Luas bridge at Dundrum, up Taney Hill, past the Goat, up past Mount Anville School, down Fosters Avenue (my favourite bit), turn left onto the Stillorgan dual carriageway, past UCD, to Donnybrook, left up Eglinton Road, through Milltown, Orwell Park, Orwell Road, Victoria Road and home. Just shy of 15k. 45 minutes or thereabouts.

Yesterday and last Friday, I cycled to Dun Laoghaire. This morning’s ride was leisurely, to more fully appreciate the sun, the views from Blackrock and Seapoint, and to cruise down the East pier and have a sit in my thinking place. I reached there at about 7am. Not as quiet as I hoped. Quite a few men, fishing. Still. It’s Dun Laoghaire. Childhood memories. Sea breezes. Glorious views.

The last week hasn’t been that productive creativity-wise. Some wood-carving projects, sketching, a tea-bag or two and colour experiments. One day lost completely, regrettably. Friday. I may have had a creative thought or two, but I really didn’t DO anything creative.

And there was Saturday. I spent a lot of it gardening. Gardening. GARDENING. Let’s just say: it’s not my favourite activity. My objective in relation to the front garden is to make it as low maintenance as possible. So, I’ve transplanted a magnolia plant from a pot to the raised bed, put in a few bedding plants and piled a load of bark mulch on all the bare soil. With a bit of luck that will keep the necessity for weeding to a minimum. My objection to suburban gardening is not about the work involved. (I don’t mind digging and growing things generally.) It’s philosophical. It’s about the question: what are suburban gardens for? I’m just going to leave that question there for a little while and I’ll return to it in a later post. In the mean time: the magnolia. Replanted.


It’s taken a while and a bit of mental effort to begin to paint again. I lost a bit of confidence about this recently. Fortunately, I have lots of other creative things to do. It’s like investing. If you put all your money into one thing and it goes down the toilet, you’re screwed, so to speak. Likewise (and I know this from experience), if you only have one creative activity and you lose confidence doing it, you’ve nothing really to fall back on. That is the main reason why I do so many different things.

I’ve been working up to it by sketching …

And filling in …

And playing with colours for different projects I have in mind …

And messing with brush strokes …

Cocktail Hour!

And finally, I painted a seascape. On a teabag. Whew. Not my best work but it’s done.

Otherwise, inspired by the SpaceX rocket launch, I drew this. Not Bob or Doug, as you can see.

Inspired by midweek bee-talk, and having a spare wooden spoon to hand, I grabbed my Lidl pyrography pen and did this …

And I bottled my second batch of rhubarb flavoured vodka. It’ll be ready to drink at the end of August …

Finally. I love poppies. These were in a suburban carpark, existing against all odds …

Actually, having said that i didn’t do much this week, maybe I was wrong.

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