Baskets for Bloomsday

Dublin was covered with straw boaters to celebrate James Joyce and the ‘notorious’ Ulysses and his other literary works. Though Bloomsday is officially celebrated June 16th, the weekend, especially a sunny one, is too good an opportunity to miss and enjoy a bit of fun.

Traditionally, a fried breakfast of various offal is offered in Irish eateries to commemorate Leopold Bloom’s breakfast and one that Hannibal Lecter would certainly approve of:

Excerpt from Ulysses:
Mr Leopold Bloom ate with relish the inner organs of beasts and fowls. He liked thick giblet soup, nutty gizzards, a stuffed roast heart, liverslices fried with crustcrumbs, fried hencods’ roes. Most of all he liked grilled mutton kidneys which gave to his palate a fine tang of faintly scented urine.

Bloom visits his local “ferreteyed porkbutcher”, and sees  in the window “A kidney oozed bloodgouts on the willowpatterned dish: the last.” He pays three pence for the gory lot and puts the “moist tender gland” in his pocket and takes it home to cook.

It’s not my cup of tea so it’s a No Thank You from me to that one.

Anyhoo, Dublin was vibrant and colourful heaving with sightseers and visitors to Ireland enjoying our city, culture and happy sunshine. The street artists and performers were out earning a few bob entertaining the crowds and the sound of music was everywhere with the various buskers dotting the main walkways.

Our Viking tours were in full swing to remind us all of Viking raids, invasions and trading that speckles Irish history. Dublin has a fine Viking museum full of Norse artifacts and information which is well worth a visit. The atmosphere of fun and festivity was jolly and uplifting.

But, all this hub-bub and crowd swell, made going around the shops a bit of a yoke so I took myself down some side streets, passing the charity shops on the way to my favourite fabric and trimmings shop.

In one window was a basket of glory. A beautiful blue wickerwork decorated with pears and tiny white fried-eggy daisies. I had a ‘come to momma’ moment and went straight in…. to find another couple of wicker pieces that captured my heart. It was like winning the lottery.

I got all three for eight euro. Delighted. They will be perfect for the craft fair on Sunday (and beyond). I can see them in my sewing room with all the fabric and notion doodats that gladden my heart to see.

My garden is blooming, too. I reserve small areas for wildflowers like buttercups, clover, nettles (many butterflies lay their eggs on the underside of nettle leaves) and ribwort plantain (which is so beautiful in an almost puritanical way). So many of the ‘wildflowers’ are in danger of being lost forever – chased out with pesticides, weedkillers, swathes of their natural habitat virtually swidden for housing estates and office blocks and roadside verges being mowed too frequently to allow the plants a full life cycle to regenerate.

I have clover around the edges of my lawn, down at the end of the garden path  and between the cracks in the entry alongside my house. I think they’re quite beautiful and the bees like them too. You might see them as weeds but I see them as wildflowers and nurture them. My photo doesn’t do it justice and if I get some time today, I’ll try to get a better picture to show how naturally they are composed into an artistic arrangement that pleases my eye.

Lots of yellow in the garden at the moment. These yellow poppies are self-seeding and popping up everywhere. I have speckled the flower beds with red poppy seeds and hoping they will take and create nice pillar-box (like in the UK – ours are a sort of Racing Green colour) red patches.

These yellow ‘lanterns’ aren’t a wildflower (though I’ve no idea what they are!) but are vibrant and make more bright splashes of yellow around the garden. They’re lovely.

And, if I’m in the garden, my girls are never far away. They want to know what I’m doing and keep an eye on things. Here’s Gracie pootling around following me and monitoring the goings on.

Anyway, had to show off the baskets. Fab, aren’t they?!

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