HEART KINDLING

Little things that feed the flame


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Local Fun on Our Doorstep: Newbridge Traditional Farm

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As we climbed back into a hot car and turned it homewards, the conclusion was unanimous – we had had a most enjoyable afternoon. ‘And we did not have to go anywhere far’, my husband, always the driver, rejoiced.

Indeed we didn’t: Newbridge House and Demesne is a meager 2 km away from our house, so virtually on our doorstep. It is natural for us, humans, to be enchanted by far away places, to fall under the spell of things new and unfamiliar. And yet, it is so true that it sometimes makes us overlook pretty cool things right under our nose. It is not a bad idea to play tourist in your local area now and again, to rub your eyes and open them up with some wonder and… attention.

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Let the fun begin!

In our case, we have been enjoying the Newbridge park and playground for a good while now. We knew the house had a traditional farm, but were waiting for our dear Sparrow to grow up a bit to be able to enjoy it before we splashed 14 euros for it (entrance fee for the three of us). Last Wednesday – a lovely sunny day in the midst of what seems more like November than May – seemed like a good time to finally enjoy our local attraction. Continue reading

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A Stroll Around Dublin on a Sunny Day

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Have you ever been to Dublin? If not, I invite you to take a little virtual stroll with me.

I cannot believe how fast this year is flying by. The first few months of 2014 fluttered away in such speed that they are only a blur in my memory. And here we are in May already, 1/3 of the year gone. Some of you may remember the ‘flower pot list‘ I drew before the beginning of 2014. Well, I thought it was about time to start acting on it. Or else I will be left with very many gifts to give myself towards the end of the year.

This will not be a very touristic stroll at all. I got a pointer from somebody at work about a street in the city that is packed with curious vintage, second-hand, and antique shops. So, one sunny day last week, I left my daughter with the minder, grabbed my camera bag and boarded a train to town. What you see bellow is a mix of snapshots from my stroll in Dublin city.

I wandered away from the well-known streets of the city centre towards the areas that were less familiar. There is something liberating in just strolling around, looking for something to catch your eye Continue reading


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A Trip Down Memory Lane to Dingle, Ireland

It is a dark miserable day here today. The rain blasting on my window with fierce power, the wind wildly knocking about in the chimney like a trapped feral. Luckily, I am sitting inside wrapped in my green lambswool throw and the fire peacefully flickers away. I love today’s misery whilst I am cozily tucked at home. This is the day to stay at home.

Lately, however, I have been living with the urge to flee, to go exploring. I am getting tired of winter hibernation and my mind is getting carried away with making holiday plans for the year. It is too early, though. Not yet… While the Irish winter (as mild as it is this year) has not released its grasp yet, I resort to trips down memory lane. As well as down to the computer hard drive, where the pictures are stored. It is there that I decided to take you as well on this wet and miserable Friday morning.

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Where is Home?.. Musings of a Migrant Soul

Where is home?.. Seems such a simple question. But it has not always been for me.

When I graduated from high school and went away to study, the answer was clear. Home was back at my parents. My younger sister was living there, most of my friends were still in town. And, since it was only a two-hour journey by train, I visited at least every month. However, children are meant to grow up and make a home of their own. I suppose, mine ended up being a bit more fragmented than usual. I made new friends, new connections, settled in. Eventually even got married. Home was this new place that I was crafting for myself. Only the crafting did not last for long.

Eventually, I followed my husband to Ireland. Being abroad and away from the tiny spot in space that was mine, my ‘home’ suddenly expanded to encompass the entire country. I missed my family, my friends, but also the language, the culture, the sense of everything being familiar and easy. My husband was next to me, but my personal history and identity stayed behind in another country. Home was not just this person or that, Continue reading


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Connemara – The Wild and Beautiful

You know those scenes in movies when a rushing protagonist is forced to slow down because there are nonchalant sheep roaming the road? Well, you can experience it live for yourself in Connemara, West Ireland. After months of wishing it into existence, I finally packed my bags and my family and went there for three days. Three days that felt a bit like leaving this world and travelling to some parallel universe, an alternative reality. And not only for the sheep, Continue reading