The Real World

Our Paddock. Donegal January 2023

So as is often the case I started to draft another post and then ‘Life’ led me to change my mind.

As I said in my previous post in the last ten years I have learned that nature is pretty much the thing that will cure you of your ills – from the rain on the shutters on Montaigu , to the beautiful sunrises that inspired me nearly every day

Sunrise In Montaigu

Every year nature never ceases to amaze me: it’s resilience, it’s understanding. Thursday was one of those days where I stood and said ‘wow’.

Snowy Sperrin Mountains

It has been cold here in Donegal, and we have had a fair amount of snow. But on Thursday  the sun was shining and  as I stood in the garden looking out at the paddock I wondered at the sun reflecting off the snow. It was hushed outside and as I looked out over the mountains it just blew me away and reminded me of how lucky I am to live here.

I stood looking out at all that nature has to give, the blue skies, the birds, resilient despite how freezing it has been. I looked at the buds on my hydrangeas, and smiled at the reminder that despite it all life goes on. At times over the past few weeks it has been minus ten here, but still life was coming back to the plants, the sun had some warmth in it, and life was moving forward.

I was reminded of the cold January’s in Montaigu, splitting logs in the goat shed with the Welshies at my heels, they were scrabbling to get to the rats that lived just the other side of the goat shed in the fields, and that in itself made me smile. If someone had told me ten years ago that I would be so close to rats I would have been terrified, but I learned that is all part of rural living and nothing to fear. I watch the programmes where people want to live in the country and ‘have chickens’ and I always say out loud ‘and rats! ’ Because where there are chickens there are always rats. It just makes me giggle now.

I learned during my time at Montaigu to just sit with the world, and on Thursday as we turned to go indoors, sitting on the gate were two robins. Not one solitary bird but two, they must be getting ready to mate. I smiled because many cultures believe robins to represent loved ones who have passed.

Hello my darlings, I said.

The spirits of those you loved are all around you, if you will just open your mind and see them.




  1. Brilliant. I really felt as if I were there with you, seeing the sun glinting off the snow, breathing in the cold air, and feeling the majesty of the mountains.

    Liked by 1 person

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