Showing posts from July, 2012

Story for the Day: Of Suet Pie

Suet pie, depending how it's made, is not my favourite thing in the world. Sheamas has an interesting way of disposing of the crusts, but his secretive schemes cannot last forever.
Meraliegh’s gift secured and the sun making its gradual descent over the horizon, Sheamas closed the shutters to his shoppe, turned the open sign closed, and locked the door with a happy sigh. He went to the cellar to fetch the coarse salt and brick dust that his wife requested, and while he was there, took a second rack from storage and hung it on the smoking hooks. A pile of fresh sawdust was gathered beneath it, a hot iron was applied, and as the dust began to billow with curls of white smoke, Sheamas took the hinged bell jar from the corner of the cellar and clasped it around the rack.                 “That’s gonna smoke real nice,” he hummed, remarking his work. “Maybe I oughta make two. Once the Den Asaan smells this, he’s gonna want one. He’s got a nose that can smell what I’m makin’ ten miles off…

RIP Maeve Binchy: Soilse na gréine linn inniu

Today, Ireland- and, indeed, the world- has lost another literature great. The esteemed and much-beloved author Maeve Binchy has passed into the otherworld. A natural storyteller and lover of small-town life, Maeve created stories that glorified her home and brought her wonderment of the small to the world at large. Circle of Friends, Minding Frankie, Tara Road: these are just a few of the many, many stories she shared with us.

Soilse na gréine linn inniu. You will be greatly missed.

In Support of Love

In honour of the great Sally Ride.

Many of you know about D.O.M.A., the Defense of Marriage Act, a legislation that exists to disallow same-sex marriages and to deny benefits to same-sex partners. I cannot pretend to understand the sense behind this legislation, but I can only hope that it is done away very soon. The LGBT community deserves our love and our support, and though they are having difficulty finding acceptance in certain parts of the world, they always have a home on the Two Continents. 

Nidello and Arkastino have been lovers and mates since they were fifteen. Seventy years later, and they are still madly in love. Lucentia, their home, welcomes love of every distinction, and just as their union stands as a beacon for Lucentia's progressiveness and acceptancy, so to our series will always laud and support those who are in favour of love. 

Thank you to Twisk for this picture.

Story for the Day: Special Hearing

Women can hear everything. Remember that when you're planning a woman's birthday or telling your friend how much you dislike a woman's cooking. 
The end of autumn brought Meraliegh’s birthday, and though in the Calcannan household birthdays were of moderate consequence, marked with a small celebratory cake and a handmade gift in the true Frewyn style, to Beryn her birthday must be everything. As his parents had rarely left the Dunhuram freehold, any occasion to observe a holiday or commemorate a birthday was always treated with utmost reverence: a favourite meal must be prepared, gifts must be well-crafted, games and songs must be contrived, and upon the whole a birthday must be regarded as the pinnacle of life, celebrating the blessings that the Gods had granted throughout the year and expressing the ambition of their continuance for the year to come.                 Meraliegh protested against any such celebration: after having seen Teague in the afternoon and being given…

Reviewing the Classics: John Seymour's Forgotten Household Crafts

To me, Frewyn belongs to that simpler time, one that hearkens back to days where water came from either a well or a pump, fences and hedges were made from withies and wattle, and where the notion of being the woman of the household meant that she was the captain of a most honourable ship. John Seymour, ever disappointed with modern contrivances making many things harder and more wasteful, wrote many books glorifying his young days, recanting the time that he spent as a young boy on farms and in cottages in Wales and the west of Ireland. Everything was a joy to him: slipping into the kitchen to beg for cake batter, carding freshly sheared wool, but his greatest joy when he was young was remarking and observing all the many chores and skills performed and held by the woman of the house. In his book on Forgotten Household Crafts, a veritable trove of anecdotes and information of how every duty of the house used to be carried out, he details every moment of  a housewife's day and ext…

Story for the Day: Sowing

There really is nothing more attractive than watching two hardworking men bonding with their young sons.
Beryn stopped at the end of the path and looked up to find Aiden and Adaoire standing in the large field beside the house, sacks of wheat grain slung over their shoulders and their sons running eagerly about. He smiled and leaned against the fence as he paused to watch them.                 “Come a-here you two,” Adaoire playfully growled, gripping the straps of the boys’ overalls. He plucked them from the ground, their legs dangling and their cheeks in a glow, and planted them firmly at his sides. “Now,” he said kneeling down, “we spread the ash through this here field and raked it over to put some nutrients back in the soil, right?”                 “Right,” the boys declared.                 “Good. So, now what we gotta do is broadcast the seeds.”                 “Why are we plantin’ when the frosts and the snow are comin’, Da?” asked Little Aiden.                 “That there’s a…

Story for the Day: Building Character

Many of the happiest people I know are those who work hard for little monetary compensation. Two of those people are Adaoire and Aiden. All that dirt builds character.

The twins left the Seadh Maith well-satisfied with the intelligence they had gleaned from Beryn: the drinks had done well to grant them an image of this woman who, by Beryn’s designs, was heralded as the greatest woman in all of Frewyn. The only thing left to do to complete the business was to convey the news to their family and friends, for having reveled in the delectable morsels of gossip for the better part of two hours, they were very ready to spread across the countryside. Their hands twitched, their fingertips grinded together, and the anticipation of their needing to tell someone of what they had just learned surmounted them.  They gave Beryn all their congratulatory approbation, and once they had shaken hands, had embraced, had patted one another on the back, and had reminded Beryn of his promise to think about …

Reviewing the Classics: John Seymour's Forgotten Arts

John Seymour was an advocate for the good life: for simple gaeties, gardening and farming, husbandry and general craftsmanship. Having grown up on a small rural plot, he enjoyed gleaning everything he needed from his own freehold: he wore the wool from his own sheep, ate the produce from his farm and garden, and learned a multitude of skills that helped him to become completely self-reliant. He published a variety of books about self-sufficiency, and was a firm believer in the idea that we are more than able to take care of ourselves. The more he saw people get taken in by workhouses and factories, the less he liked modernization and mechanized farming. People who would have otherwise been excellent craftsmen squandered their talents by trading a few hard years in a traditional apprenticeship for good money in a factory pushing buttons, and after fifty years of watching his home being taken over by an industrial way of life, John Seymour decided that the ways of life and crafts of yes…