Snow in Leitrim, late Feb 2016

Easter 2016

The year is slowly moving through the seasons, it’s nearly Easter and time to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising 1916. What are you planning on doing? I’m sure there will be events all around the country allowing everyone to get involved no matter where we live.

We’ve had some wonderful weather in the last two weeks and suddenly the winter feels far away, which is interesting when the photo gallery on my phone reminds me that we had inches of snow only a few short weeks ago. The days feel longer, the fire stove is not lit until evening, we no longer panic at the wood pile getting smaller and dinner is not just cooked before dark but also eaten before the sky darkens most days.

My running shoes have been taken out and dusted off, running clothes are on the clothes line drying in the sunny breeze again. The Couch to 5km phone app was reset to week 1, day 1, as I start again to run the lanes around me.

The Darkness into Light Charity 5k is getting closer, the date is May 7th 2016 and my sister and I are planning to do it together again. “Starting at 4.15am, and crossing the line just as dawn is breaking, the phenomenon that is Darkness Into Light, our annual 5km walk/run, will celebrate its eighth year on Saturday, May 7th 2016, with over 100 venues across Ireland and beyond lined up.”

Both of us have lost track of our running routines this winter, the first winter since we lost our mother. We’re not being tough on ourselves, putting one foot in front of the other is important, the pace is not so important right now. We’re doing well, we are grieving well. We plan to do the DiL2016 at whatever pace we can, if we walk some, or even all of it, that’s just fine with us, we’ll be in good company and will finish it together.

Blogging has fallen by the wayside this winter also, I’ve been reading more than I’ve been writing, reading always seems such a lovely hibernation activity, especially beside the stove, wood cracking in the fire, a mug of hot coffee or tea by my side.

This weekend we took a lovely trip to Donegal to stay with some friends and catch up. Our friends keep horses and Gerardine brings people horse trekking, specialising in beginners. The evening we arrived I helped to bring some feed to the horses, put their blankets on and bring them down to the lower field for the night. It was good to introduce myself to them, as we were planning a trek the next day where we rode through the Bonny Glen, a magical woodland where we wove in and out of trees, along tracks that breasted a wee lake, opening out and closing in as the tree line change.

Riding through The Bonny Glen, Donegal
Horse trekking in The Bonny Glen, Portnoo, Donegal

We also met some virtual friends who became real friends which was a lovely experience. In short, we met up with some people that I’ve become chatty with on Instagram and spent time together talking about everything under the sky – we didn’t even take a single photo!

Speaking of social media, and all thing internet-ish, I’ve been playing with product design on a Print On Demand (POD) site. What POD sites allow you to do is to use photos or artwork to create products like laptop & tablet sleeves, phone cases, also clothing and housewares. It’s fun to do with a steep learning curve which is both challenging and enjoyable.

I’ve started three on-line stores on the Zazzle site, one to celebrate the Republic of Ireland being 100 years old this year where I’m designing clothing, reusable shopping bags etc to commemorate the centenary of the Easter Rising 1916. Another store will focus on an Irish view, using my own photography to produce a range of items. The third store will have a similar range of items using my own photography originating on my working trips to Portugal and at the moment I am trying to design a range of goods for all these stores. It’s a slow process as I want the work to be the best I can do and I am yet only learning how to do all these things. It’s fun to be learning, pop over for a look and let me know what you think.

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