New Adventure: Identifying Ireland’s Wildflowers

I’m always stopping on walks to examine flowers, shrubs, and trees but I'm not familiar with many of the plant and bird species in Ireland and I find this weirdly unsettling. This is where ‘Wild Flowers of Ireland and Britain’ come in - I’m hoping to learn more about Ireland by identifying as many plants, trees, and grasses as I can this year. I’d love for you to join me on this adventure!

The Sea by John Banville – Book Recommendation

As a child, did you imagine you would be the person you have become? Do you believe memories, especially childhood memories, are like a collection of “polished tiles” that would “someday be the marvellously finished pavilion of the self?” How much of what we remember is true and when does memory give way to fantasy? John Banville explores the unstable qualities of memory and grief in The Sea [2005], a novel awarded the Man Booker Prize in 2005. When we look back at our memories we are confronted with uncertainty, blurred details, figments of imagination, unreliable emotions and doubtful truths about the very events that shape us as adults.

Daffodils

The daffodils in my garden showed their sun-filled faces yesterday. I’ve been anxiously excited about this moment for weeks. I watched the bulbs as they emerged from the frosty earth. Saw them rise towards the leaden winter skies. Watched, with great anticipation, as their flower buds edged upwards, a little closer to the sun each day. Saw the spathe turn brown and transparent like a finely veined piece of paper as the bulbs swelled with promise, drinking in the sun and rain. For a few days, the yellow petals threatened to burst from their containment, but they were waiting. For a day, for a signal, for the sun. Now, finally, they have unfurled their magnificent crowns and turned them towards the light.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – Book Recommendation

Wilde’s only novel is a complex labyrinth about art, corruption, morality, sin, and society’s idolatry of the sensual world. The young and beautiful Dorian Gray, like Narcissus, falls in love with the power of his own beauty after seeing a portrait of himself. He uses his supernatural charm and influence over people to live life to the fullest: he denies himself no earthly pleasures, regardless of the cost to himself and others. Like Dorian, we love a good filter on reality. Read why Wilde's novel still resonates with us today.

10 Questions: How a Dog’s Love Changed your Life – Candice’s Story

Today's Story that Inspires is for all the dog lovers out there. Even if you're not convinced about the life changing potential our canine friends possess, Candice's story might persuade you otherwise. Candice recently wrote a blog post for Candice Says about her relationship with her beloved Delilah. I had to know more about the hugely positive impact Delilah made on Candice's life. I asked her 10 Questions about how a dog's love changed her life!

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – Book Review

If you Google "42" Wikipedia offers the following explanation: 'The number 42 is, in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, the "Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything", calculated by and enormous supercomputer named Deep Thought over a period of 7.5 million years. Unfortunately, no one knows what the … Continue reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – Book Review