messy Monday

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Today I spent most of my morning trying to get to grips with my messy desk. Somehow, and I do suspect some very naughty elves have been at work, piles of letters, paperwork, notebooks and newspaper clippings have been piled onto my small desk and created chaos.

So I waded my way through the debris of the weekend to unearth my to-do list and have quickly discovered that right there at the bottom I had written  ‘desk’. Such a small work encompassing so much work.

But since I hate working surrounded by chaos I have now spent the best part of the day sorting and tidying and not getting much else done. But with the clock ticking and my classes still in need of preparation I think I will just have to leave the last of the messiness until tomorrow, let the piles spill over if you will and hope that my messy Monday doesn’t turn into another dishevel day – a terrible Tuesday perhaps..

messy Mondays are not the best way to start the week

messy Mondays are not the best way to start the week

Weekly photo challenge – Quest

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I remember as a child always going on quests, of a short, more often than not in an imaginary world I had created. I would battle crocodiles, find hidden treasures, run away from home to find my ‘real parents’ (who  turned out to be circus folk or extremely wealthy), search for fairies at the bottom of the garden or try and solve a mystery. I would dress up in colorful, ludicrous outfits, pack a bag, sometimes a snack and get lost in the journey itself than mostly ended when I was called in for dinner or it was time for bed.

That sense of adventure without a resolution, the enjoying the journey not the arrival, the search not the finding is something our goals oriented world doesn’t really cater for once we hit adulthood. So I can’t help but wonder if maybe rediscovering questing is a quest in itself. After all who doesn’t want to be a pirate princess, an adventurer, a circus acrobat, a cowgirl, a fire-eater or able to fly?

And while of course I know all of these dreams may be somewhat unrealistic, spending a wet and miserable Saturday afternoon daydreaming about impossible quests seems like the perfect thing to do – at least until dinnertime or my bed calls.

going on a quest on imaginary sails

going on a quest on imaginary sails

bookish week

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As Autumn settles over Dublin I’ve spent the week indulging in one of my favourite pastimes – books. I listened to Emma Donoghue talk about her latest book The Wonder and enjoyed hearing Donal Ryan chat with Rick O’Shea about his newly published book All We Shall Know.

One of the things that I found particularly interesting was how differently both authors talked about how they write. While Emma Donoghue explained that she was ‘hopeless at plot’ and thus needed to plan out her story, Donal Ryan seemed to take more of an organic approach to where the story would go by allowing his characters to find their own way on the page.

Both authors are full time writers but while Emma Donoghue enjoys the freedom this provides her, while trying to find the time to work between picking up her kids and drop them off again, Donal Ryan is planning on returning to his old job because he prefers the security of knowing where his next paycheck will be coming from.

‘I use to be a civil servant who longed to be a writer, now I may be the only writer who longs to be  civil servant’ was how he put it in his own words. And the reason for this is his belief that he will be more disciplined with his writing: ‘Now it takes all morning to go to the post office, but when I was working I was religious about spending three hours every night writing. I had to be.’

Now the week is coming to an end I can’t wait to spend an afternoon escaping into the worlds these writers have created and with the weather inviting me to stay indoors wearing woolly socks, drinking cups of tea I think my plans for Sunday are now made.

 

can't wait to know whats hidden behind this cover

can’t wait to know whats hidden behind this cover

the latest book by Emma Donoghue

the latest book by Emma Donoghue

walking thoughts

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All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking

Friedrich Nietzsche

Dublin is a great place to walk around. The inner city is small enough to allow you to wander from a to b quite easily and it is really quite flat. So when I left my afternoon appointment yesterday I decided to let my feet do the walking and my mind wander.

My brogue clad feet tapped on the path as I walked, a steady tattoo of sound my  companion as I walked down the leafy streets of a south side Georgian terrace. For the first time in months I had to shrug a jacket on to stop the wind from chilling my bones and  maybe it was my imagination playing tricks on me but I thought that the air smelt colder, announcing that Autumn had truly arrived.

Unlike so many others I quite enjoy this time of year: the riot of colours in the parks and lining the streets; the comfy cardigans; hot plates of soup and the first lit fires of the season I sit next too while I knit.

As I walked my thoughts changed, plans made way to dreams and I allowed myself to be excited by possibilities, no matter how unsure or far away they seemed. So, while I know the rain and winds that this time of year brings may dampen my mood at times, I am quite looking forward to the next few months, and I hope that for me autumn won’t just be the end of something but also the beginning. And if not – well at least it also means Christmas isn’t too far anymore.

leaves changing colours

leaves changing colours

new week, new semester, new adventures

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Monday morning and a new week begins with grey skies and a large cup of tea while I muse over my weekly planning. Today college opens up its doors again and with that lecturing is back on my agenda. Planning my week will now circle around my students and planning classes will become a main occupation again.

The summer seems to have bid its farewell and autumn already painting the leaves in shades of yellow and orange it truly does feel like a moment of changed. A new week, a new semester, new students and an entirely new course will be like a breath of fresh air and challenge me.

So as I schedule in my teaching hours and the time I need to prepare I can’t help but feel a little bit excited. After all something new and unknown always holds the possibility of adventure.

A little gift from my sister - it makes me smile every time I go to my desk

this is where I’ll be spending most of my time

visitors from afar

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The summer seems to be back for  a short visit, the temperatures are high (for Ireland) and the sun is shining more than it should at this time of year. It really is an Indian summer, the best time for a visit to Dublin.

And that is exactly what a friend from overseas is going to do as she is coming to stay for a few days. And while I am excited that she is coming it does mean I need to get the house ready for her visit and make sure I can spend some time with her and not be tied to my desk all the time.

She flew in from Canada yesterday and I am sure she’ll still be battling jet-lag when she knocks on my door, so I have made sure the bed is ready for her, clean sheets and throw pillows inviting her to lay down, creating a home far away from home. After all when you’re traveling it’s always nice to have a cosy place  to call you own.

But since I need to clear my desk and tidy up a bit before she arrives I better get my butt into gear before I greet my guest from afar. And I’ll make sure we won’t have far to go when it comes to lunch!

bees

 

Weekly Photo Challenge – Edge

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Being on the edge is often not a very comfortable place to be. You aren’t quite in but not out either, however it can also be the best place to observe from or see things a  little bit differently.

Living on the edge implies danger, a little bit of excitement sprinkled over our daily lives. But it also means that there is not a lot  room for settling down or creating a sense of security and normalcy.

Edges are those in-between spaces, neither here nor there, neither safe nor fully dangerous, neither past nor present. And they are important to help us define where we are, whether physically or emotionally doesn’t really matter, and where we are going.

a few frames

frames provide an edge to pictures

a sign on the island

on the edge

a ladder into the Spree

to climb over the edge

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mirror

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Mirrors seem to be everywhere in our selfie-obsessed world waiting for someone to check their clothes, fluff up their hair or adjust themselves. But mirrors aren’t always our best friends, those puffy eyes early in the morning isn’t something anyone really wants to see, and often they only changes the perception and don’t tell us the truth.

mirrored pillars under the bridge (Dublin)

mirrored pillars under the bridge (Dublin)

a mirror in an old church changing your perception

a mirror in an old church changing your perception (Lisbon)

mirrored ornaments (Berlin)

mirrored ornaments (Berlin)

back to blogging

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my small pencil collection

After a month of internet exile and one filled with finishing up my masters it is now time to get back to blogging. The only problem is: where to start?

After all after months of absence and my days filled with mundane tasks and the usual daily grind it seems I have fallen out of the habit of coming up with ideas. But then new habits are hard to form and take about 21 days to actually stick (they also take three weeks to dissolve).

For the next month my goal is to create a new ‘habit loop’ by reminding myself of what I want to do and following the three Rs, allow the routine to take and then reward myself for following through – a cup of tea or a 15minute break or maybe even just a pat on my shoulder.

Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken

Warren Buffett

 

making magic

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For the past few days I have been staying with my brother and his family. This means that I have been playing with a two and nearly five year old – games filled with make believe and books riddled with rhymes.

To add a little bit of magic to my stay I decided it was time my niece and nephew had there own little fairy door. So last night, as the sun set and the children slept, I painted a door and my brother attached it to a wooden backdrop at the bottom of their garden.

Now I can’t wait until the little ones arrive back from the dentist and find (hopefully) the door and the magic can unfold.

wondering what fairy lives here

wondering what fairy lives here