no sanctuary in empty words

I’ve just spent a couple of days at the beach house. It instantly comes to mind when I see the word sanctuary. In reality though, we carry our sanctuary around inside our own heads, don’t we.

It seems like, almost every day this month, there’s been bad news story after horrifying news story. I went to the beach to clear my head but why should I be able to escape hearing about the pain, and fear in the world that others are living?

Last night in Australia the news was all about our appalling juvenile justice system, and, warning the vision is disturbing. Prior to that, on four separate news breaks throughout the day I heard the Health Minister apologising for the tragic error that caused the death of a newborn boy – nitrous oxide instead of oxygen pumped into the little fella. I felt like throwing up, not just at the story, but the ineffective ‘apology’.

Where is their sanctuary? This mother…and those young boys.

Sanctuary|The Daily Post


if I could paint…

One weekend, when we were here together, Ali painted the view. I wish I’d asked to have it. It wasn’t as if we didn’t talk about death, her death, but it didn’t seem appropriate to say ‘when you die, can I have that painting?’!

Today the sea is flat and grey. The sky light blue, with a white streak as though someone has dragged their paintbrush across the canvas. No boats out, other than two tankers on the horizon. And helicopter count 1.

No birds on the deck the last two days – is it too cold despite the sunshine? From time to time though, a unseen family of kookaburras cracks up about something.

I’ve got less than 24 more hours to contemplate my future – but that’s another post…

I still hear you

A friend of my sister’s died yesterday, from cancer.

And my thoughts go to my own old friend, Al.

We had some great times here, at the beach house. Talking about life, love. Sliding doors, slammed doors. Sorting out the world. And laughing! Oh how I miss her laugh… I wish I had a recording of her laughing – she was the whole room’s positive energy in an instant.

Her children smile in photos, from across the globe, and my hope is they have inherited her sunshine spirit in overdoses. I can’t imagine the last while, listening to her incessant cough that no medicine could stop. The endgame chemo that was just to ease the pain and fear, no tangible result and yet – what would those final earth weeks have been like without it?!

When she died, I promised myself I would live.

The sun is shining, the crazy 5.30am wind has gone, I will sit on the deck and watch the wild sea til this winter sends me in.

american days

Three weeks of them to be exact. I spent most of that time in Boston, a brief window in NYC, and a few halcyon days in the Hamptons.

Yes, dear readers, I’ve been places I never imagined.

The Boston of this trip, my second time there, was such a friendly city. A little familiarity goes a long way. I had my bearings.

What a gem of an airbnb apartment I started out in. So close to everywhere I needed to be, and so private. Down a tiny lane, off the main street, beyond the security gate an oasis courtyard! and a sweet little home away from…

So much joy at the youngest one’s graduation – hats in the air on the steps of the library, and later, four flights up, champagne with all the day oner’s.

When in Boston don’t miss the Public Library. Go on in and I so doubt you’ll be disappointed by the beauty… Visit the Mapparium – I can’t really say why but it’s like nowhere you’ve been… And if you see nothing else you shouldn’t miss the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. That place will never leave you. What a wonderful gift she gave the world! I’d love to have known her…

oh and hey, have a cannoli from Mike’s Pastry in the North End😉


Boston Library



New York was all traffic, sirens, and bar stools.

A long drive to the Hamptons and another world. Slow paced towns one day bursting with the summer crowd the next but the contrast from NYC – the space, trees, wild deer. And Something’s gotta give beaches…
The rich and famous are all there apparently, but all you’ll see of them is a hedge.


There were many other adventures such as the disastrous second airbnb, the hotel room intruder and meeting two of Boston’s finest Po Po (SUCH gratitude to that hotel’s staff, and the PoPo themselves), oh the lovely Public Garden, the much photographed line of ducks, the coffee shops and bakeries, stumbling across Buddhist art by accident, riverside walk by the Charles, the many angels I met throughout my holiday. The emotion of the last day.


And then home.

Travelling ghosts and shadows

I’d love to be someone who doesn’t even understand the symptoms of anxiety. Has no clue about it. I don’t wish to lack empathy or compassion! but it’s exhausting taking it everywhere with me. Let me enjoy this long planned trip to Boston. Let me not drag the weight of this fear around every day. 

On the other hand the dark pools I’ve fallen in and the clinging vines I’ve fought through have made me a person I actually really like. It’s all contributed. 
I can do this at home – a full day without fear! Trip goal. 

(Is that pathetic?)

family history


There’s a perfect new life next door.

I searched her sleeping face for my own baby but this is another mix and, though my genes are there, she carries the line of three other grandparents – and all the generations before them.

My link to the Irish farmers of my father’s blood feels so strong and completely denies the maternal half of my father, not to mention the ancestors on my mother’s side. How diluted then is the pull to Omagh for this little one? I like to think she is safely watched but do they actually fight above the crib in the dark? All those accents of her past…