Garden writing lifts me up.

Six-on-Saturday – Reflections Cum Vino

The optimal time for reflection is between the second and third glass. After that typing becomes as blurred as the thought.

I must make a start. It’s Friday wine-time and there’s not a child washed. Retirement can be exasperating, but never fear! Red wine and words will flow freely, so grab a coffee, put your phone fón on flight mode and join with me for some random Six on Saturday reflections. Afterwards, you’ll be able to tap this link to visit The Propagator’s blog or visit @cavershamjj on Twitter for more accounts of December garden favourites. You’ll find plenty writers linking their Six on Saturday garden selection in the comments section. I cannot guarantee that they are written articulately wine-free-zones. Note also that, just like Brexit, you’ll need to exit flight mode.

First Glass

In an attempt to draw the eye away from the household bins, the baubles dangle on the bare Acer. This is a recent addition to the three trí permanent baubles. Initially, I thought I could see the photographer’s reflection. Thought made a fool of me this time!

Relegated from inside


I am definitely reflected clearly in this one. It was taken a few days cúpla lá before wine-time. Regular readers may remember I used this ball to try air-layering. I was assured that eight weeks would be enough time and roots would form inside. Well, thought made a fool of me for a second time. I opened it (and others) only to find that nothing happened. I regret to say that the solution is… more wine. How exasperating!

Failure is the best medicine

Now The Third

Here, I’m opting for a virtual reflection, the sort that usually starts in my head. The best time for head reflection is between the second and third glass gloine. Everything after that becomes as blurred as thought.

There is very little garden colour at this time on Friday evening, so it was wonderful to see the polyanthus in full bloom a few days ago. That’s a wholesome thought, articulated clearly.


Pacing Myself

I’m only halfway there, and I’ve decided to cease and desist in order to continue clear articulation. The bottle buidéal has been moved out of reach. I snapped this last Wednesday, shortly after a rowdy group of starlings pecked ravenously at something within. I know not what was within, nor the name used for a group of starlings. I don’t even remember the name of the plant. The solution is clear; wine will surely help. I’m reaching out.

Unknown rockery plant

Approaching Plastered State

This is an unplastered west-facing wall. It is seven feet tall, but that’s not important now. The photograph clearly shows the conifer leaning non-vertically Northwards. Of course its non-vertical! That’s what leaning actually means. This wine is really helping me to articulate clearly. I’m so happy that I took a break between glass three and four.

Too much wine

Mumbo Jumbo

I was given a beautiful bowl and lamp set when I left Ballinameela in 2007. The bowl lived a fruit-filled life on the kitchen table for many years. Last month it was upgraded to a garden birdbath, behind the hebe. Regularly filled with water, the birds sometimes visit it. Filled with water, as baths sometimes are, the birds visit it regularly.

They drink, bathe and perhaps enjoy looking at themselves. My final clear thought for the evening runs something like this…

A small amount of wine can lead to great fun. In this instance I learned about reduplicated phrases such as mumbo-jumbo that arrived in our everyday language. This is playfulness at its best! My favourite reduplicated phrase is…

Is it just hot, or is it HOT-hot?

Personal reflections (6)

  • The first vaccine was administered to Mary Keenan, now forever known as Patient A.
  • Our new front and back doors were fitted.
  • I’ve never seed a tradesman so good to clean up mucky mess.
  • The last garden project of the year was completed, as I slatted up the front of the second compost heap.
  • Crystal Palace recorded a 5-1 away victory, their biggest Premiership win.
  • A catastrophic no-deal between the EU and UK is looking us straight in the face.

I’ll be back next week with some reflections about something. In the meantime, I hope your Christmas preparations are going well. Slán go fóill.


0 thoughts on “Six-on-Saturday – Reflections Cum Vino”

  1. Oh what a pity that the air-layering did not work! I had high hopes and was looking forward to seeing the results! The Polyanthus is very pretty and obviously loved by something that has feasted on it! I do enjoy the articulating the wine is assisting you with!

  2. I thought the clue might be in the name Polyanthus; poly = many, obviously enough, and anthus is a genus of songbirds. I think that clears that up. I’m still reflecting on “Failure is the best medicine”. It certainly tastes bad enough to be.

  3. Cheers to you Padraig. Tipsy blogging could become a new thing. Meanwhile – your bird bath looks really lovely. The birds in my garden have to take a dip in the dog bowl – I need something more stylish for them.

    1. I’m sorted now. A full Irish breakfast mid-cycle this morning did the trick.
      Your birds will take water wherever they can! Style ain’t in their makeup. 😄

  4. I was feeling quite lightheaded by the end of your post Padraig, without a drop passing my lips, but then I got pleasantly sidetracked by your reduplicated phrases link and then the unwritten adjective rule…who knew about the latter?! I know I often change the order of my words when I read back through them, but do I subconsciously follow the adjective rule? I have no idea, but it’s invariably a case of ‘the right words in the right order’ (although this phrase was taught to me by an English teacher comparing poetry to prose, where prose was the right words, but poetry was the right words in the right order). Aaah, Words…love them!!

    1. Tell me more about unwritten adjective rule?
      Words are powerful, yet I love the curiosity factor of playing with them. I’m certain it’s the same in all languages.

      1. It was in a link within the link you gave: ‘adjectives in English absolutely have to be written in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun’. Really? I know we wouldn’t normally use as many adjectives (unless we are primary school children who have been told to try and use more of them…), but if we did use more than a couple would we put them in that order without thinking, I wonder, because they sounded right? Something to test out, methinks!

          1. Interesting to read this and your background. Most of my early education was in Scotland where grammar and spelling and learning by rote were drummed into us, to our benefit. Such skills, once learned, are with you for life (like rudimentary Latin, which came later). I taught too in my latter working years, but mostly special needs children, where life skills were more important than academic learning. These days I am still very conscious of grammatical and spelling errors, and studiously write grammatically correct and fully punctuated texts, but am tolerant of those that don’t and to a degree am pleased that people are communicating more these days, whatever the method. After all, language has developed and adapted over the years, so textese and all modern abbreviations is perhaps just part of the same thing, whether we like it or not. What do you think?

          2. Thank you for taking the time! Indeed, language is ever evolving, and does so completely outside of the education system. Look at all the new phrases we’ve got just this year! On other hand, for example, “buddy” or “bro” seep under my skin.

  5. Loving the Irish lessons. The bird bath is very attractive, I should stop looking for tasteful bird baths and buy a good looking bowl. I hope this is right ‘Nollaig Shona duit’ – got it from google so I take no responsibility whatsoever for it!

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