9 October 2023

The Spider Wars

 Last night, I picked up a spider-related injury.

It is not what you think it is.

As you may or may not know by now, I am severely arachnophobic. I mean, I am scared of many things in life, but I can typically ignore those fears and continue with my life despite them. But spiders, they paralyze me. Or make me move faster than I have ever moved. Or both, in some instances.

I have been alone at home for the last week while my husband takes care of a family matter. It has been a nightmare. It started on Monday, when I started packing the dishes into the dishwasher from the kitchen basin, and, as I moved the last item, and a big hairy spider was sitting in the basin. Needless to say I could no longer use the basin.

There have been a few encounters with them during the week, from the dead spider carcass that blew across my desk to the small spider crawling out of the bushel of apples I was sorting.

But the final straw happened last night. I went outside for a last smoke (yes, I know, go away) and when I was ready to back inside, there is the eight legged monster sitting on the door, just above the door handle.

So, now I was trapped outside.

I tried throwing a few plant materials at it, but this had no effect, especially since it was all leaves and lightweight. I tried to throw my shoe at it several times, and missed each time.

By this time, I was frantic, and texting my husband. He’s sitting on the other side of the planet, watching me through the camera covering our back garden, probably laughing his ass off, and trying very hard to be supportive.

Finally he suggested that I should use the torch on my phone, light up the area around the hosepipe, and just use the hose to blast the bastard off the door.

It took me about ten minutes to work up the courage to do this, but finally, I managed to wrangle loose the hose pipe, turn on the tap and then blast the doors.

And the bastard slid himself in between the two doors, snug as a bug in a rug, avoiding the arctic blast of water coming his way.


But I persisted, and eventually managed to wash him out of there, and then he disappeared.

Ok, so I couldn’t see him anymore. Felt safe to return inside.

So carefully returned the hose to the web-covered hanging space on the wall, closed the tap while quietly dying inside and returned to the door, torch still on.

Yanked the door open and stepped back quickly, torch still my guiding light, no sign of the asshole on the inside of the doorframe. Ok. Scan around the door, and there is the little fucker, at the bottom of the door frame, right where I would enter.

Deep breaths.

I can do this.

So I haul myself in over the little step and into the house in a very swift movement, avoiding touching the ground around where the monster is hiding.

And as I step inside, I twisted my ankle.

Ignoring the pain, I yanked closed the door, locked it, and ran upstairs.

And so it came to be that I had a spider-related injury without ever touching one.

19 February 2023

Plant update

Against all odds, both the cherry trees and the apple tree is blossoming, despite still growing in buckets in our dining room.

We also have some new sprouts today: tomato, spinach and chicory has joined the party.

I also, on a whim, bought a flower planter last weekend from the supermarket, and I am super happy to see sprouts there too. Just wish I'd taken down the name 🤣

I also bought a bigger greenhouse, which should hopefully arrive in the next week, ready for when I start migrating the seedlings to bigger planters.

#plantingseason #plantlover #seedlings #springiscoming

6 February 2023

It's planting season!

I am rather happy that the end of winter is approaching, and I can finally start thinking about gardening again.

I bought a few fruit trees at the end of last year, and they've been growing in pots indoors, and recently started budding.
Yesterday, I started with the seedlings for a mix of vegetables, fruit, edible and medicinal herbs. They're now incubating on a table in front of the window in my library, which gets good sun. I planted 38 different types of seeds in total and in varying quantities. 

So, in a few weeks I should have a few plants to start planting into bigger planters or preparing for their final homes outside.

11 January 2023

Starting again again



So, it has certainly been a while. The last two years have been… a lot…

I’ve said goodbye to my grandfather, father and grandmother. My mother’s currently being treated for cancer.

We’ve moved house, and moved again. And I keep writing blog posts in my head that never quite make it here.

But, it is a new year, and I have things. Maybe even words.

We bought a house last year, another fixer-upper, and the garden is a blank canvas. So soon, I will start with my seedling, and try and fill up the life-spaced gaps with green friends.

29 May 2022

The return of the music

And hopefully a revival of my ability to blog.

It has been a long two years. And I know the pandemic isn’t completely over, but it does feel like there is light now, and especially in Ireland, the numbers are low and the restrictions have been lifted.

And the music has returned.

After two years at home, we have finally been able to go to gigs again.And we have some festivals to look forward to as well.

6 April 2022: Ensiferum, The Academy, Dublin

Ensiferum band on stage bathed in green light

It is probably no secret by now that Ensiferum is one of my all time favourite bands. This was the fifth time I’ve seen them live, and I have seen then in four different countries now, and they never disappoint.

The Academy is a great, intimate venue, that allowed me a great view of the band without being right in the crowd.

And there is just something about this band that makes me incredibly happy.

The setlist was great, Sammi’s energy is unstoppable, and it was the best way to return to live music while living in a new country.

6 May 2022: Tool, 3 Arena, Dublin


I must be honest and admit that I’ve never really listened much to Tool, but when a friend asked if we wanted to join them for the gig, I couldn’t say no, because it has been so long since we’d seen anyone live, and it is always a good way to get to know a band.

3 Arena is massive, and the event was a seated one, which is interesting for a metal gig, but allowed me to really listen to the band.

Tool is an amazing prog metal experience without the vocals. Some of the music was reminiscent of Opeth, but I prefer deeper vocals, and this was just missing for me. I will probably not listen to much Tool in the future either for this reason.

A shoutout for support band Brass Against, who we’ve seen once before at Wacken, and is simply amazing.

25 May 2022, My Chemical Romance, The Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Dublin


I never thought I would get the opportunity to see My Chemical Romance live, and when the reunion tour was originally announced, we still lived in the UK and tickets sold out quicker than I could say The Foundations of Ok. And then the pandemic happened, the tour got postponed, we moved and another date was added in Dublin. I got lucky.

First outdoor event for the year, and it was glorious. It was a lovely sunny evening, not yet so hot that you melt and cool enough to hop around if the mood grabbed.

And Gerard and the boys were amazing.

Also special shoutout to support act Gayle, who has an amazing voice and energy, and will now make it into my regular playlist on Spotify.

Our next music event is Prima Vera in Barcelona on 4 June, where we will get to see some long time favourites, including Einsturzende Neubauten, Nick Cave and Bauhaus.

I should start getting better at these again with some practise Smile

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