Hanging Around

HANGING AROUND – The Legend of Curly, Wee and Moe.

April 10th 2020

Empty baskets marking time are spectators to the changing angle of the sun, rising above the tiled roof of my neighbour’s house, above the towering sycamore where crows scatter smaller birds from ivy sanctuaries. Behind them, the motorway screams an eerie silence.  Yesterday’s heat locked away into the soil encourages growth, rebirth. Easter bunny eggs hidden at first light to the tune of the dawn chorus were discovered with squeals of delight, the ancient excitement of the hunt and innocence. The basket is overflowing with multicoloured tinsel chocolate figures and eggs.

Tumbling Toms and Tumblers. Last year tomato seeds were gathered and stored by nurseries in brown envelopes, waiting, waiting. Trays filled with damp compost. Tender plants in rows of tunnels and greenhouses. Replanted in larger pots for market. I’d anticipated their arrival in the garden centre with childish enthusiasm.

The compost is prepared – ripe horse manure, ash saved from winter’s log fire and last year’s soil compost and its whiff like ripe fish guts. What’s the fuckin’ stink? Hard to explain to the smartphone generation – I try, and fail, again.

The baskets sway in the chill northerly breeze. No soil to anchor them. Across this besieged planet, garden centres remain closed while we mark time from one nine o’clock roll call to the next.

On Good Friday, I discovered five Tomato seeds in a packet hidden between wildflowers and mustard. Folklore reminded me that anything planted on that holiest of days will flourish. Dry, flaking fingers crossed that there will be tomatoes for sweet chutney this autumn to soften the chilli and ginger hit of spicy curries. With little experience in gardening and fingers more chubby than green, I don’t expect success.

Strong young plants are out there in Coronaland – somewhere – roots spreading, stems thickening, growing tall.

And the Bodhráns beat slow for the fallen.

Stay safe …

And if you like to read.

You might like to check out this book, “Hold Me Now” by John Mac Kenna, Derek Mooney, Niall Hatch.

Something completely new from one of Ireland’s finest writers – a rom-com based around the Eurovision !!!!!

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April 26th 2020

The official start of Summer is days away. Already bright sunlight illuminates our cocooned houses and gardens, bringing the promise of toes buried in sand. The lapping waves rolling in from the Atlantic with their cold fingers sending children scurrying to shallow water. Alas, a great sadness casts a deep shadow across this land as we reflect on the premature passing of so many elderly people. Their collective wisdom and love lost to us. The trickle of memories fed to us during lucid moments now dammed forever by the cursed virus.

Five miniscule seeds planted on Good Friday more in hope than any real belief they would grow. Water dripped from fingers daily into their little pot enticed life. Yesterday, three miracles were given their individual homes and named. Curly, Wee and Moe.


They are ready for virtual adoption.


May 8th 2020

The Corona Gods in Leinster house have spoken. The vulnerable can leave their nests and venture outdoors.  Leaving cert students weigh up their prospects as the examination is cancelled for the first time ever.

A burn sienna Super-Moon dominates the night sky.  During great plagues, it would have been seen as an omen. Good or bad? It’s a sign of good times as we emerge from lockdown – isn’t it? These ‘once in a century’ disasters seem more frequent – did Nostradamus predict bat stew could kill hundreds of thousands?

Blue skies and the mercury is rising. The last risk of frost has passed for Curly, Wee and Moe. Time for them to taken to their new residence outside during daylight, for their daily exercise. Moe alas is more fragile than his brothers, slower to grow. Like a pet lamb he will require some personal attention while his brothers twist their heads to follow the sun from East to West.

Curly         Wee



Work is quiet … writing has become scribbling in the space between teenage stomping, shrieking and grunting events. My third Novel, The Last Ring of Skellig Michael. will be completed by the first frosts return – that’s the plan.

Recently sent to the great library in the cloud, a few short stories. You can read it here  Finding Tír na Nóg

Stay safe !!!

N.J.M. 2020