Thanks to Crossway Magazine, Ireland


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Thanks to David Jordan. I’ve a poem published in the Autumn Crossways magazine.

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flying home again

I’ve always appreciated that each plane is blessed and named for a saint. This is my reason for flying Aer Lingus.



My first two nights of sleep were punctuated by my waking up Ireland time, ready to go down the street for cafe latte  and a scone or Irish sausage.  I’d reach out my arm, and be confused a few moments as I adjusted my thinking.  If I wanted a scone I’d need to bake them or drive 20 miles.  So first on my list was to visit my local CSA, a farm where people buy shares. We get fresh organic produce, some that we pick ourselves. IMG_5223.jpgIMG_5216.jpg

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I’m happy enough to share my homecoming food shopping trip  at Picadilly Farm with you . These are the different varieties of tomatoes to choose from and the fresh breads, blueberries, and peaches.IMG_5240.jpgI picked small hot peppers, cherry tomatoes, herbs, and flowers. Finally, I brought it all back home and put it on my porch while I figured out how to put it all in the refrigerator.

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A little Street Art

The street art sometimes takes me by surprise like this by Tara Dart station. I missed the crossing light just gazing & taking it in.IMG_5182 4.jpg

I took the train south to Dalkey, about 5 kl so of dublin, where I found another cool painting in an alley way. Dalkey’s castle  has tours for about 8 euros, there’s a beach you can walk to and several good restaurants and cafes.  I found an organic food cafe/ grocery with great coffee, and met Danny Kenny there.  He spends time in Dalkey when he isn’t working at the San Francisco opera house.


When I walked past the local florist , I thought how wonderful it is that so many bouquets are safe from theft outside awaiting buyers. IMG_5187.jpg

Back in Dublin I walked past a different kind of artIMG_4795.jpg

I watched two waitresses carefully tie the gift boxes on the rooster and perfectly balance it all.  It’s a bit of  street whimsy at Queen of Tarts.


Iveagh Gardens was not easy to find, but I finally found my way in, and the statues are lovely. It’s hidden behind the RTE concert hall, other buildings,  and a tall fence. Ask a local how to get in, or go behind the RTE building/stage parking  and find the doorway in the tall stone wall.IMG_4415.jpgIMG_4409.jpg

May you find some beauty in each day.




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Finding Oscar Wilde

There’s great delight to be taken in Oscar Wilde’s pithy one liners.  I’ve found his house and finally found his statue in Merrion Park.  I joined other fans just before the rain.

IMG_4968.jpgIMG_4970.jpgIMG_4977 2.jpgIMG_4975.jpgOn my walkabout the rains came down like a monsoon. We sprang from the streets to cower in doorways as hail bounced off the ground.  More tea was in order before the trek back to Dublin 8.IMG_4986 2.jpg

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Do you have a favorite  park, bookshop, museum,  cafe,  or site you’d like to  visit again?

Best, Elaine




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Joyce and Sweny by Merrion Park

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FilMs and Photographs in Temple Bar


Imagine you’re walking next with me and my friend Davy who is giving me a second look at spots I’ve walked past. We’re just off Temple Lane when spot this sign and can’t help but sing and even begin to dance a bit because it’s such a funny riff on great song. Just around the corner is a place I walked past and even sat at, and wondered what I was missing. Well, I had missed the doorway, just out of view. Lucky for me Davey thought this was a good place to know about. Just before we turned the corner we saw this couple tying the knot.IMG_5004.jpg

Soon I was once again impressed by the heights the Irish have taken the umbrella concept.

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The stairs are semi hidden by the grandeur of the sculpture like umbrellas. They’re like huge poppies open to the sun.


And then we come to the doorway. It’s an Irish film library with films of historical value as well as newer films, and then many other films on DVD, as well as film magazines.  There are free vintage films shown on Wednesday afternoons, and  a great cafe for lunch and dinner. The place has a good vibe and good coffee.  The menu is delicious and adventurous.


This place makes a great use of space. It’s  interesting to walk into and have a bite. Temple Bar has a good many ways to spend money, but this spot is good value as well as spacious, another rare commodity in Temple Bar.



Just around the corner is the National Library Photograph Archive.  You can visit them  online.


A sample of what’s up on the walls… Visit them online.

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Next we found a good bookshop that flies under the radar. Dubray Bookshop on Grafton Street has three floors of books. They’re online at If you walk up the staircase you’ll find a quiet cafe away from the always bustling Grafton Street.  They serve teas, coffees, lunches ,delicious scones and sweets as well.  I found two small books I’d been looking for.Then on our  way out I found a couple more books about Harry Clarke, the Irish famous stained glass artist . I resisted these as they wouldn’t fit in the luggage. 

Last, I wonder about what you notice that strikes your funny bone or that seems dear to you when you’ve travelled, even if it’s just a walk away from home.

 For example, it’s not a grand thing, but I love the photo I started with today.  That song has stayed in my head, and the humor in it is delightful. Sometimes we find these things that delight us close to home as well.  I’d love to hear about what has captured you attention and delight, in the comments section.

Best,  Elaine




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Glasnevin Cemetery & National Botanical Garden


It’s a powerful place to see, just 2 miles from the city center.  All your patriots are all buried here from Kevin Barry, who died just up the road, to DeValera and Michael Collins, and anyone in between, including Maud Gonne.  There’s a feeling to the place. I walked through the length of Glasnevin into the National Garden. I’d love to bring my gardening friends here to see the sumptuous outdoor beds. There’s a caring that you feel in both places.



The greenhouses are glorious and just out of a fairy tale.


Above is some bougainville , and below are some bog plants.  This is the type of flower that entices the insects into the flower and then eats them.


There are  many small roads to walk along to view a variety of outdoor gardens, but I ran out of steam  after walking along the herbaceous beds. You could pack a lunch or eat at either the garden cafe or the cemetery cafe. I had the best bowl of seafood chowder at the cemetery, so if you’re up in the neighborhood, it’s highly recommended even if it souonds silly to go to the cemetery cafe for lunch.

The garden currently has a nightshades exhibit on.  IMG_4830.jpgIMG_4826.jpg





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St Valentines resides still in Dublin

My friend Davey sent me to the Whitefriar’s church this morning . The church is huge with Saint Theresa residing here as well.IMG_4935.jpg

This is the shrine to Saint Valentine, below, and his statue is above.




Below is the shrine to Saint Theresa, born in France in 1873.


Below is Our Lady of Dublin , carved from oak in the 15th century There’s h a close up of herself below.  She was found being used as a pig’s drinking trough after she was taken out of  her former church. She’s hollow in the back, so she held water. She disappeared again and resurfaced in a shop.  She’s had a hard time of it in Ireland. The mass was not a holiness that I’m used to.  People brought roses and flowers as offerings, and you could leave notes in notebooks at the altars as well, for the saints to read after the rush was over.  IMG_4943.jpgIMG_4944.jpg

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Awaiting Pope Francis

this is just a snippet about Pope Francis arriving yesterday. Just after lunch the the crowds began to form and Pope Francis  would be here  between 4:30-5pm.  Before driving here  he visited with  victims of abuse and a homeless shelter.

As I walked through Temple Bar on my way to writing gorup at Parnell Square I got caught in a huge long snake of people all traveling up to sit and wait. It was like walking in a parade.

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wax museum bus  blaring music with pretend pope the day before



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Someone was quite crafty here  at the crossing of the Liffey.


When Writers’Group was done at 3:30 the streets outside were filled.  This is OConnell Street more than an hour before Pope Francis will arrive.  I had time to run into H&M and buy a scarf I had been considering.  It turned out that from the windows there was a bird’s eye view.




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A neighborhood walkabout: What’s on Offer.

The circus is arriving in town soon, and it looks good!

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Next I visited a couple bookshops.  These happen to be rare and first edition books out on the shelf.


I walked by the Dublin Castle, where they are getting ready for the Pope’s visit,  rolling out the blue carpet, putting up pop up structures, adding new flower pots to the street.


Now I aplogize for the poor quality, but this was a dark window into a closed antque shop on Francis Street.



If youo’ve seen the movie “Once” you know Grafton Street has oodles of  excellent musicans. Here’s a sampling.


Guiness is never far,  Mr Guiness was a more than fair employer, and the fellow working at the admissions when I went by said he was very happy with his job and he has wonderful benefits.  So when you raise a jar, your spreading goodness in the world.




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