Heatwave, Father Ted, Father Dougall, The end Of The Ice Age, bookwitty,

A hot, golden hush has fallen.

Just the slurp of a raspberry smoothie and sporadic sploosh in the pool.


I bet you didn’t know that July 19th marks the anniversary of the end of the ice age. Don’t believe me?

I slipped out of bed at the misty crack of dawn to write an article for Bookwitty. I was challenged to find ten convincing reasons to grow your own food. It turned out that the eleventh was the clincher. Read it here.

Right now I should be tackling a mounting pile of laundry, picking peas, digging spuds, walking the dog, covering schoolbooks or making a birthday cake. Instead I am compiling a list of convincing reasons to sink into a long, iced coffee.

Ballymaloe House and Gardens.

Peregrine peach. Walled garden. Ballymaloe House.

Ballymaloe House

The farmyard at Ballymaloe was a hive of activity during Litfest 2016, thronged with celebrity participants and eager foodies. Pork crackled on spits and craft cider was swilled with an air of orgiastic revelry.

Just a stone’s throw away, the gardens remained an oasis of serenity and order.

Wild garlic. Ballymaloe House.

The walled kitchen garden was a particular delight.

Walled Garden. Ballymaloe House.Sea Kale. Walled garden. Ballymaloe House.Beans. Walled garden. Ballymaloe House.orchard. walled garden. Ballymaloe House.Cherry cherokee. walled garden. Ballymaloe House.

I was wildly impressed to see these cherries ripening against a wall. My mind is spinning with possibilities…if I only had a wall!

But then, these beauties took my breath away. I couldn’t resist rubbing my thumb against the, well, peachy skin. Wonderful.

Peregrine peach. Walled garden. Ballymaloe House.


A few links I liked:

I bought some seeds from Brown Envelope Seeds. http://www.brownenvelopeseeds.com/

They have a huge selection, beautifully packaged and their brown paper catalogue is a thing of beauty in itself. Their blog is fascinating.

Brown envelope seeds.

They have some cute gift box ideas. I thought the idea of giving new parents the seeds to grow their baby’s first dinner was a sweet one. Wouldn’t this be a fantastic baby shower gift?

Brown envelope seeds

Impressed as I am by Teenage Son’s talent as a whittler (read here), I have been drooling over Hewn.ie. Eamonn has the embryo of a very well written blog and it’s just impossible not to like him. It’s quite shocking to the system when you come across a talented craftsman and your first thought is, ‘his mother must be very proud’.

hewn.ie. Eamonn O'Sullivan. Handmade spoons. Litfest.ie

Middle Girl went on a school tour yesterday to The West Cork Secret (http://www.westcorksecret.ie/) and had the time of her life. If you are looking for somewhere you can bring your kids to, literally, roll around in the mud, this is your spot.

Keeping it Local, I bought chocolate and cocoa husk tea from Clonakilty Chocolate . The chocolate is amazing. It’s not cheap but they deliver free in Ireland. The jury is split on the tea. I like it and have discovered that I can make the tea and then use the tea to top up an espresso, making a chocolate-hinted Americano. Now that is stupendous. I could start a new trend.

That’s my lot.

Enjoy your weekend,




Extroversion and Links I Liked.

#stuffstuckonmyfridge instagram social media links

I’m an introvert. I’m quiet, sensitive (probably highly sensitive) and shy.

Why then am I so keen to share my innermost thoughts with the Whole Wide World?

I’m reading A God In Ruins by Kate Atkinson. It is, so far, a magnificent book. I’m reading very slowly because this book is so good, it literally hurts to read it. My chest constricts and my eyes pinch. Anyway, I came across a familiar phrase (I’ve been banging this into Teenage Son for a decade) in a novel context.

‘Show your workings.’

A comment by a maths teacher on a homework copy and a comment by a suspicious Husband on his wife’s behaviour.

I’ve often thought that people consider me odd or strange, quirky at best. The answers that I have come up with to life’s problem sets may be unconventional. Just a wee bit, mind you, I’m not a crazy, colourful hippy or anything (although that might just be my heart’s secret desire).

So, here I am showing my workings.

If you enjoy what you read here you might like to follow my Instagram page (click here) which has become a sort of lazy mini-blog that gets updated while I’m stirring a pot or holding the garden hose with the other hand.

I enjoy Instagram enormously but I do think you have to put a bit of work in to refine your feed until it is a visual feast. Lately, I have been particularly enjoying @zeensandroger for crochet, @ladyaga for homeliness and @fingalferguson for knife porn (a bit odd, I know, but weirdly satisfying). I’ve also been glued to @litfestie because I’m going to litfest on Sunday (Yippeeeee! I may even get to see some Fingal Ferguson knives in the flesh).

Take a look at my profile to see everything I follow. I’m going to be a little bit boastful here and say that I think I have done a pretty good job of curating a beautiful Instagram feed. It makes my little quirky heart beat faster on a thrice daily basis (yes, I am addicted).

Oh, I had an idea (those are the words that keep my Husband awake at night). I posted a picture yesterday with the hashtag #stuffstuckonmyfridge. Feel like joining me? Post a photo of something that’s stuck on your fridge and add the hashtag #stuffstuckonmyfridge.  Just for a laugh, and nothing X-rated please although a full fridge frontal would be fine.

#stuffstuckonmyfridge instagram social media links

I’m signed up to twitter but find I can’t tweet. I’m not sure why. It’s a bit busy for me. I feel like I’m sitting in a noisy pub and there is no way my voice will be heard so I don’t bother trying. ’tis not for me.

Pinterest, to be frank, is where I go to vegetate. I’m usually semi-comatose when I resort to Pinterest so my account is not nearly so well curated as my Instagram but I have a couple of very pretty boards.

I spent a rainy Sunday gathering pins of celebrities photographed in the Piazza San Marco (click here). If you click nothing else, do not deprive yourself of the beauty of this one pin. Takes my breath away.

I have another board, Bellezza (click here), devoted to beautiful pictures of famous people (and/or famous pictures of beautiful people). Paul Newman features. If you are a pinner, feel free to send me relevant, beautiful pictures.

Right, enough of me.

Here are some links I liked this week:

Yarn Harlot. Another comedic knitter, this time a Canadian. I’ve linked to the first post I came across, which had me in stitches (ouch). I love the tone of this blog.

This left me in tears, of relief mostly that I am not the only one:

An Open Letter to the Adorable Young Couple Leisurely Strolling By As I Frantically Usher My Children into My RAV4

I find I like Canadians. The Belle Jar   may be a slightly caustic blog but it acts as an astringent to the predominant sticky sweetness spread all over the web. I don’t think Husband refers to me, his darling wife and life partner, by any of these metaphors but I suppose, if he did, he would hardly tell me. There is some great writing here.

Right, all this sharing has made me want to go hide my face behind a book.

Have a great weekend.





Brand and Growth and Links I Liked.


Small Girl was right. The sun has come out. The sky is blue all over, all the way round, a perfect shimmering sky blue.

So that’s why they call it sky blue, eh? I had almost forgotten.

Brand and growth blogging course, set three goals, blogging 201, #bloggingbranding,

Down to business.

I have signed up for the wordpress Brand and Growth blogging course. Is anybody else having a go? It will be ten days of tasks to complete by the end of which I shall be transformed into a seriously influential blogger, a proper mover and a shaker.


Okay then, being realistic, I will hopefully get some guidance about what I’m supposed to be doing here. I am supposed to answer these questions:

Why do I blog? 

I ask myself this all the time and the only true answer is this; because it feels good. I’ve always been a writer of letters and this is my writing comfort zone. I’m sending a letter into the universe and hoping that a few like-minded souls will, at least, send up a smoke signal in reply. It makes me feel that, even if I am isolated here in my quiet house, there are people just like me, out there, beyond the wide blue fence.


If my blog exceeded my wildest dreams what would it look like?

A woman on the other side of the world sits in a coffee shop reading an obscure and unfashionable book. Her friend arrives, drops her bag and takes a seat.

‘What’s that you’re reading?’ asks the newcomer.
‘Oh, you’d love it,’ says the woman,’Sultanabun recommended it’. 
‘Really? Then I must read it’.

Something like that 🙂

I would also really like to find a way of making money from this blog so that I can keep doing it forever and never stop because I love it.


Set three concrete goals for your blog.

  1. Followers. I would be lying if I claimed not to care how many followers I have. Of course I do and I want more! So far, I have a total of 150 which is paltrey compared to others. I would claim that mine are high calibre followers; they read and comment and care. I’m going to set a goal of reaching 200 followers by September 1st. I have no clue how to make that happen but I guess that’s what this course is for.
  2. The first regular feature, which I began yesterday, will be a monthly garden update. I’ll let you know what’s growing, what’s blooming, what we are eating from the garden and what the slugs got first. I’m making a vow to be completely mostly honest with absolutely no very little selective cropping of pictures.
  3. The next regular feature, which I will begin today, will be a selection of my favourite links and tidbits from around the web. Let me know what you think.



Right. Let’s do that.

Drumroll please…..ta daah:

Links I Liked This Week.

Well, that was a bit underwhelming.

Get a free t-shirt from Bookwitty.com

I came across this site by chance. It is a book-selling, book-loving, book-talking site. They have a hub in Toronto and a new office in Dublin. If I have understood correctly, they are selling books worldwide through a network of independent bookshops. That seems like a great idea. I buy lots of books from Amazon but I do feel traitorous as I one-click a book.

Bookwitty also feature a wealth of bookish articles and conversations and they encourage users to contribute. I liked this article by Dr. Ken Beatty about fostering a love of reading in children.  I have linked some of my reviews to the relevant topics so, if you come across them, I would be grateful if you could give me a like. They call it a wit.

I signed up on wednesday night and received an email yesterday to tell me that I am one of the first 1000 followers which wins me a free t-shirt. If you get in there quickly you might get lucky.

Just to be clear, I am not affiliated to Bookwitty but I would like to contribute to the site.

Give up dieting. 

This is a great article. When I was in college I had an option to study nutrition. I regret having dismissed it in favour of food chemistry and I’m fascinated by the subject now.

While I remain a lazy, lardy lump, I have been making an effort to walk the dog more often and a little farther.

Watch James Cordon.

Am I the last person on the planet to watch the James Cordon youtube channel ? Just in case I’m not, link to it here.

I’m sorry to rush you, my friends, but I need to get out there with a trowel, or maybe just an iced coffee. Have a great weekend.

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