Poetry book: I am truly and maddeningly indecisive. Mostly. I am also a procrastinator. So, it doesn’t surprise me that over a year on from putting learning a couple of poems per year off by heart, on a list of things I would like to do in the next decade, that I hadn’t decided which poems would make the cut let alone learnt any of them by rote. I haven’t a breeze of an idea how many poems there out there to choose from, but a book of poetry, a lovely compilation by Ana Sampson, called ‘Poems to Learn by Heart’ greatly narrowed down the field and I have finally started with one poem. I choose William Wordsworth’s ‘I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud': partly because everywhere is awash, at the moment, with daffodils standing proud as cheerful yellow heralds trumpeting spring’s arrival, but mostly because I already knew the first verse!
As Urbun, a café in the South Dublin suburb of Cabinteely, is on my caffeine trail and as Cabinteely Park is next to Urbun I often meander around the park post my latte fix. I normally stick to the lower reaches of the 80 odd acre park as there is plenty to see there such as: the small pretty lake with ducks and swans gliding across it; paths along which centuries old trees stand sentinel; and in the summer the apple orchard, close to the lower gates, is gloriously underplanted with a dense carpet of colourful meadow flowers.
Feeling in need of something to cheer me up I headed to the city centre for a spot of retail therapy. I say of the spending kind because as often as not I am as happy to browse as I am to buy.
There is no need to send for Sherlock Holmes to solve the mystery of Dublin’s disappearing garden centres because even the zebras in the zoo know that those centres, many of which were on large sites, were hovered up during boom times for development.
The tumbling over of one year to the next is traditionally seen as a time to slew off bad habits and replace them with dizzyingly good ones in the hope of creating improved versions of ourselves. Thus far in 2015 I haven’t done
much anything on the self-improvement front, not, I hasten to say, because there is no need for a dose of betterment but because I have been blindingly slothful since the start of the year.
So another year has spun around and it’s Christmas time again. This morning I headed into the city centre. Traffic was light so I was all parked up just before eight o’clock and I started the day ensconced in a cosy café (Hatch & Sons), breakfasting on a scrumptious date scone and coffee.
Lately it seems as if time has ghosted by and yet Christmas 2014 still feels as if it is as far away as the twenty-fifth century. And I have been absent from the blog. Again! That’s because, for the three weeks just gone by, I decamped to the back bedroom of my lilliputian house while a builder took over most of the rest of it. A diagram of my brain during that period would have shown that I was ninety-five per cent preoccupied with the building work, leaving a mere five per cent for dealing everything else. Yesterday the work was complete and I got my house, now transformed, back.
I love this short video with its message about kindness. The speaker is legendary television producer John Llyod whose credits include: Not the Nine O’Clock News, Spitting Image, and Blackadder. The design and animation are by TOGETHER.
I am neither a risk-taker nor an adrenaline junkie. So there are certain things I am as likely to do as a family of penguins is to arrive on a beach in Florida for a spot of sunbathing . Items on my unlikely to-do list include: leaving a plane at a surreal height and relying on a parachute to get me safely to the ground, bungee jumping off a vertiginous building, and white water rafting.