About Me

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antrim, antrim, Ireland
Hello and welcome to my blog. If you like flowers and gardens, housey stuff, food and banter, then this is the place for you. I am a decorative artist, florist and maker of things. I sell painted furniture, plants and crafts, through a local retail shop, in my native Ireland, and wedding flowers from home. I am married to a lovely patient man and have a smashing little girl. I blog for the fun of it. Thank you for listening.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Tales of the Riverbank

It was a very cold but lovely morning in Antrim today. I decided to take a walk and take my camera with me, so that you can see where I live. I love to see where people live, so that I can picture them there, in my mind's eye. First things first though! I would like to thank you all so much for your kind and thoughtful comments on yesterdays post. You really are the most uplifting bunch of people to be around, and I love you for it! Things didn't turn out too badly for Lois, her best friend's granny took Lois under her wing, which was lovely and made her feel included. As for my being a 'domestic goddess'.....it went sadly wrong! I decided to make biscuits (which I have made many times before), and something made them spread out in the tin and all join together to make one very large, very crisp biscuit! At least we got a laugh out of it. Just as well I had the malteser bunnies in reserve! (Have you tried these, by the way?)

Oh I must tell you too, that Santa was a very good boy and brought me my desired red (well burnt orange to be exact) Nespresso 'Pixie' coffee machine for Christmas. It is completely fabulous and makes the best coffee. So I am on my way to achieving my coffee counter a la Martha Stewart, but I need some new cups and a tray, so watch this space! Anyway, back to my walk.........

At the end of the street where we live, you cross over the road and you are into the Castle Grounds (or the park as we call it). It really is a delightful place, so full of history with old buildings, castle ruins, a river, Lough Neagh, and wonderful wildlife. We are so lucky to have it on our doorstep. It is owned by Antrim Council, who seem quite forward thinking, for a council, and have received grants to improve and restore it. There has been a lot of work going on there and you will see signs of it in the photographs, but it will be very exciting when work is completed.

Can you see, the Heron? I saw three this morning, they always give me a thrill I don't know why, they seem so pre-historic or something!

I always love this part of the river where it bends and is overhung with trees, so peaceful.

There is a lovely geometric garden which is very old. It all looks rather grey today.

This is something new, I am not quite sure what this will be used for. It looks like something you would see in Europe with it's canvas roof. Don't they know it never stops raining here?

Ducks and Swans, and this other little fellow, not quite sure what he is, and he rather rudely turned his back on me, and you can't see his very pointy little beak!

Then I met two very friendly Robin's who made me smile, it was almost as if they were  posing for the photographs.

Then as you come up to the lough, there are all the little boats huddled together, and I loved the weathered and worn green paint on an old boat shed.

I was very aware of all the different textures, the moss, the lichen, the frosty grass, the bark on the trees....wonderful!

I have some more, but I think I will save them for another post. I wouldn't want you falling asleep.

I would just like to share something before I go. I am sure you are all like me, and you follow too many blogs, and can't keep up with them all. However, here is one, that you may have missed that is totally fascinating. My sister stumbled upon it and told me about it. It is called Spitalfields Life and the author writes about this part of London where he lives and the characters who live and work there. It is a totally enthralling piece of social history. I have only just subscribed and so have only read a little of what there is to read, but I found it, as did my sister, totally absorbing and interesting. He has written a book, which will be out in March, under the same name. Wishing you all a very happy midweek, love Linda x


  1. Hello Linda:
    We have so enjoyed our walk with you today. As you say, it is rather fascinating to see where people live as one can then picture them in their own environment and form a more definite idea of them as a whole. Your local area is a delight. You are indeed fortunate to have so much Nature on your doorstep and we are sure that there is always something of interest in every season.

    We are so pleased that Lois was 'adopted' by another grandparent. How kind!

  2. It's very beautiful, Linda! I have places round here, in Norfolk, which are extremely beautiful and a heaven for birds. I have so many beautiful birds in my garden, even a pair of sweet little wrens! But they eat all my lovely cherries!

    Not too far ( ten minute) are the Norfolk Broads, a series of canals dating back to prehistoric times, appreciated by locals and tourists. I love water!

    One of my favourite places is a village called Horning: lots of boats, houses dating back to the 15th century, thatched roofs! Every time we go there, it feels like the first time: can't cope with so much beauty! Takes my breath away!

    We also have a favourite place there: The Swan Inn (1850) a big pub, restaurant, very beautiful hotel with the best menu` ever and Peroni beer on tap ( I usually have good English Ale, or Guinness, or, of course a glass of white wine) I love the "smell" of the hops in Real Ale! Here I am talking about food, again!

    The countryside is so stunning in Winter, isn't it?




  3. Thanks for bringing us on a virtual blogging walk. I didnt even have to put on my coat, scarf, gloves or thermals!!! Brilliant on such a cold day as today! Sinead

  4. I really enjoyed your walk--so much beauty and nature. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Looks like you had a lovely walk. There is nothing like a cold crisp morning for a good walk. I love the picture of the Heron. It reminds me of my sister, called Erin. We used to call her Erin the Heron!! Bless her x

  6. So glad that things worked out okay for Louis in the end, and that she now has a party to look forward to as well. Pity about the Domestic Goddess bit though! Hee Hee!! How lovely to see the wonderful area in which you live. I really enjoyed your walk and the photos. The Heron was rather special, and I loved the blue colour of that wooden door. I love taking shots like that. Strangely enough, my post tomorrow has photos of a walk that I took yesterday! Bitterly cold here today, but lovely and bright. Sending hugs my friend.

  7. I thought I lived in a beautiful place, but this is amazing. It looks like scenery out of one of those movies set centuries ago (except for the tent like structure). Beautiful photos you took! x Sharon

  8. I just woke - well half and hour ago but I only just got up - and saw through the kitchen window that it is -5C outside (we have an outdoor thermometer) - so blimey yes it is cold here today!

    I've had a malteser bunny - they are delicious. I love maltesers. And yesterday we went to get hubby's new coffee machine (birthday present) - he chose the Tassimmo in the end, not the Nespresso. So I shall think of you enjoying your special coffee when I have a cup here. :)

    And such lovely pictures Linda - it's beautiful chez toi.

  9. I am so glad everything worked out for Lois on 'Grandparents' day. And baking a very large joined together biscuit sounds a bit of a result to me!
    Thank you for your walk with pictures. How lovely to see the beautiful area where you live. I am very impressed with your bird pictures. I took some photos of a robin last week and they were all blurred. I am hopeless at pics of anything that moves, thankfully Spotty has got used to standing very still for pictures ;)
    I hope you have a lovely weekend... keep warm!
    Much love, Abby xx

  10. What a nice walk, Linda, I specially like the top photo of the bridge, it has a real atmosphere of winter. And the robin pictures are lovely. I'll check out the Spitalfields link. My mother in law was brought up there, she didn't like it because it was very poor in those days, so she would never discuss it. Infuriating because it would have been so interesting to hear her remniscences!

  11. I visited Ireland about fourteen years ago. At the time I wrote home telling my friends and family that it was waking up and jumping into a beautiful storybook! Your surroundings are no exception. I loved the walk, Linda!
    Your photography is lovely.

    I love that Lois adopted a Grandma for the day!

  12. nice pics!!! so natural and pure!!!
    visit my blog on http://laviecestchic.blogspot.com
    xoxo Marika

  13. Lovely photos of your walk Linda.

    I hope that your little chick is ok now
    it was sad reading your post on the subject of grandparents but she is a lucky little girl to have such a wonderful mum and dad.

    I hope that she is happier now

    I am busy playing catchup - I have missed so much
    so don't think I will ever catch up
    it might take me years!!!!

    I have missed reading your lovely blog and your photos.

    Take care of yourself and a very very belated happy new year!

    x Fiona

    ps hope that your little niece is giving your little chick lots of cuddles and snuggles!!!


  14. I really enjoyed your walk and the different views and your wildlife pics...mine are always a complete failure!!! I think your unknown water bird is a grebe...they dive for their food and not that common...i agree about the herons i love them too and quite often see them here.they remind me of aged old schoolmasters!!!.....xx

  15. It is a bitterly cold day here in Italy so I am staying warm and cosy by the fire and catching up on my blog reading. I thoroughly enjoyed the walk with you, as always some lovely photos, great the way the robins posed for you.

  16. It is so beautiful where you live, Linda! It looks like Spring will arrive soon? Love this idea of taking us for a little walk - I'll have to try this sometime too.
    Hope you have a lovely one!


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