Friday, 5 September 2014

A Pet Evening

Last week, while the Godson was here, the Silver Beast decided to break down.
She's been very good this last year or two, living quietly in her kennel-yard and going everywhere we've asked, with no complaint. But no longer. She went from moody to recalcitrant to point-blank refusal in just 4 days.
The started-motor had died.

Happily, the Godson drove us hither, thither and yon, bless his heart, but alas, even he finally had to go home, and still the garage hadn't been able to get to her.
It was my friend DodoWoman who stepped into the breach, as ever.
'I need to ask you a huge favour.' I said - hesitantly.
'What?' She sounded slightly anxious, but when I asked if we could borrow her small car, her response was immediate and generous to a fault, as always. 'Of course,' she said with verve and vigour. It was only afterwards I wondered what she'd been expecting me to say.

I have fallen in love with her Hyundai. It goes like a dream, is incredibly comfortable, and when asked if it wants a drink responds with an astonishing, 'No, I'm good thanks.'
It was - as with all the lends of her cars over the years - a godsend for which I am forever grateful.

The Silver Beast, having had her moment of cosseting and one-to-one attention, is now safely back in the yard, happy and  full of well-being, so yesterday evening we set out to return DodoWoman's car to its own cosy nest.

Unlike the rest of the British Isles and Ireland, we have not been basking in unalloyed sunshine all week, despite all promises and expectations. We have skulked under grey skies and dismal-ness.
I think there were a few brief hours of fitful sunlight on Wednesday afternoon, but that was it.
However, yesterday, although the clouds sat heavy on our shoulders the entire day, it was blissfully warm and even more blissfully still.

'Let's take the dogs and go to the beach on the way,' the In-Charge suggested, just when the sun would have been dipping over the yardarm. ''It will be low tide.'
So we drove both cars over to DodoWoman's house, left her Hyyndai to await her return from forrin-parts and moseyed down green, summery lanes to our second favourite beach. We passed lazy amblers, dogs and companionable horse-riders on the way.






It must have been about 7.45pm when we got to the beach. The tide was at its lowest ebb.
There were sandbars showing all across the bay, the sea pooling around them like silk, the sky pearling softly into the water, and everything the shade of sophisticated dresses, neither silver nor grey nor quite lavender.
And on the spit of land behind the beach, harebells, wild scabious and white heather spread in drifts through the grass.
We walked along the beach in our shirtsleeves, not a breath of wind, the air balmy and gentle, the only sound a heron hurrying home to Culleenamore.





It's not often that we are walking the beach on such a pet evening. It's not often that we are on the beach as the day melts into night.
But the combination of the two sent me tumbling through a mindfall of years, walking a beach on the far side of the world, saying goodbye to my childhood, the night before I left that tropical island forever.
It is strange, what ghosts walk in the gloaming.



Wednesday, 3 September 2014

The Dragon Chick and The Giant Umbrella


We have, as it were, cashed in the rainy-day fund and bought a large umbrella.
A very large umbrella.
So far, this has just led to monstrous amounts of work, but hopefully it will all be worth it in the end.
We have got a polytunnel.

I have never remotely desired a polytunnel. I cannot envisage waking up in the morning and thinking: 'I can't wait to get into that tunnel', whereas I often rush out to the garden first thing with my early morning cuppa.
But recently the In-Charge and I went to visit a friend's garden. We had 'messages' in the area, and Annette, although she was away, invited us to make free of her verdant spaces, which we did. The In-Charge even got bitten by her young rescued pony - but he's well able for that sort of thing. He likes horses, and this one and he share the same name. Anyway, it was no'but a lad's trick.

In Annette's garden





Annette has a wonderful garden, which expands and changes every year, and seems to be continuously bursting with flowers. And she, along with everyone else in the north west, has a polytunnel. We stood in it, out of the mizzle, and admired the wall-to-wall sweet peas. The hot, humid air was laden with their scent and it was a very pleasant place to be.



 














We discussed it all the way home and have since visited other peoples' tunnels - by way or research. We ate warm, pungent tomatoes in one at Rossinver, admired jungle-like eucalyptus and dahlias in another near Frenchpark, and nearly passed out over the asparagus in a third (on account of the heat, not the asparagus). All grist for the mill.
It didn't take us long to decide.
As far as the fund is concerned, today is the rainy day.

Needless to say, being one of our projects, nothing has been simple.
Well, it was simple deciding where to put it because there wasn't much choice, but after that it was all up- or down-hill, depending on which way you look at it.
The ground wasn't level (and lies in the teeth of the westerly gales). There was a large tree adjacent to the site, not to mention a deep and open drainage channel. Moreover, it was the best grass on the property - how could we kiss goodbye to that? And - and, this was my beloved hens' paddock, one of my favourite places in the garden - could I bear to part with it?

The hens' and bees' paddock

The best grass on the property, a large tree and a deep ditch

 But on the other hand, it gets a lot of sunshine.

By the time we'd reviewed all the ins and outs, it didn't look good.
'It's going to cost as much to put up as it costs to buy the damn thing,' the In-Charge muttered.
All the same, we bit the bullet and set off on a Day Out to visit a supplier who seemed the most reliable, knowledgeable and reasonably priced. It turned out that not one but two of our closest friends had also bought their tunnels from him.
It would be delivered, he promised, a week later. IKEA fashion - ie in a lot of bits like a giant jigsaw.


But first we had a great deal of work to do and a gazillion tons of earth to move. We hired a Dragon Chick from Andy, the builder, and our friend Robin came and worked miracles with it, the first of which was to get it up the bank to the required location.



The Dragon Chick


Then it was just dig, dig, dig.


Bye Bye lovely grass.  Bye Bye hens if you don't watch out!



The hens helped. In fact, they were so helpful it's a wonder that none of them got flattened in the process.
I think they thought the Dragon Chick was their mother, constantly unearthing yummies for them to eat.

Model Dog helped too



When Robin and the Dragon Chick returned to their rightful dwelling-places, we were left looking at the beginnings of a decent swimming-pool, 5 tons of gravel - and a lot of flat-packed metal and wood.

Happily, the In-Charge's godson - little knowing what he was letting himself in for - emailed to ask if he could come and stay for a few days.
Why yes, dearest boy - how positively wonderful it will be to see you! How long can you stay? (And please bring your boots.)

Much debate as the fun and games begin

A lot of standing around in the mizzle

Down one ladder and up the next



Bless his cotton socks, he mucked in like a good 'un. We have, indeed, all mucked in like good-'uns.
We are now at the stage of wondering whose blimming idea this was in the first place, but at least we are finally ready to put the roof on.



The giant umbrella is nearly ready.
All we need is a bit of sunshine to 'stretch' the plastic.
And a pile of people to tug and pull and - ooops, not that way...

 
PS: Unfortunately, because we've been so busy, we forgot to pick the beans.





Friday, 15 August 2014

Felt All Over

When we were at the Museum of Country Life recently, the bit I liked best wasn't the Museum at all (fab and all as that was).
It was the Café.
No surprise there, cake-aholic that I am, but - although they had very delicious cakes - it wasn't even that.
It was the exhibition of felt pieces on display that grabbed me.
One of the waitresses said they'd been made by local school kids.
I wanted to take them all home - the felt, not the kids.


Some of the wonderful display of felt pieces


I love making felt. I think it should be obligatory for everyone at some stage, male or female.
So many people over the years have said to me: 'I'm not a creative kind of person'.
I find that very hard to believe. Everyone is creative. If they think they aren't, they just haven't plugged into the right socket yet. They probably haven't had the opportunity to be creative.
They need to go on a felting course, even if it's only for a single morning.





No one can fail to be creative with felt.
And who knows where one small session of 'making' might lead?
That would just be the start of it.





I think problems with creativity are largely about expectations.
Take art. For nine and a half out of every ten of us, there is such a gaping chasm between what we see in our heads - or even in front of our eyes - and what we manage to produce on paper/canvas or whatever, it's no surprise we feel as if FAILURE is stamped on our foreheads after every sorry attempt.
It's the same with so many creative disciplines.
The words you write don't express what you'd like to say.. The lump of clay won't centre on the wheel, no matter how often you try. The pink fluffy whatsit you're making doesn't look anything like the one in the magazine.
It's as if there's some vital link missing somewhere in the chain from brain to hand - the messages aren't getting through, or else they're being distorted en route. Your head wants to achieve but it ain't coming out through your fingers.

I guess it's probably age related as well. It's ok to splodge paint about when you're four, you're thrilled with anything at that stage, but splodges aren't terribly satisfying if you're 40 and you were hoping to run up a little Cezanne.






It isn't like that with felt.
Possibly because there aren't really any expectations with felt - or certainly  not in those vital, early stages.
You start with a bit of wool in your hands. You choose a colour you like, several colours that appeal to you.
You have soap and water, and someone shows you how to work them together, with a chik or a mat or something to provide a bit of friction.
You work away in the dark - you can't even see what you're doing.
But voilà - magic happens willy nilly.







When you unwrap your warm, soapy bundle, there it is - a unique fusion you have created without glue, or needle and thread, or any other invasive method of joining. The colours you have chosen have come together in a pattern that you may or may not have devised, to form an entirely new material that is robust yet fragile, tactile yet also a feast for the eyes, enduring yet delicate.
You cannot help but be thrilled - I promise you.






I'll promise you something else too.
You'll want more.








Gradually you become more adventurous.
You try bigger, more elaborate, more precise, more abstract, wilder, finer tuned - who knows, but whatever it is you want to try, more will be the operative word.
More and more and more.
It's fun, it's alive, it's creative, it's addictive.
It's failure-proof.
You cannot help but create felt, and you cannot help but create pattern.
It's just so satisfying.


There was also a fab collection of birds made from felt and scraps of other materials




If you don't believe me, get on-line and find a felting course near you, or ask around and when you've found one, don't hang about - try it.
You won't be disappointed.
And who knows where that portal will end up taking you?
And you'll never again think you're not creative, either.






Oh, and if you're anywhere near The Museum of Country Life in the next few weeks, pop into the Café and see this lovely exhibition while you can - I don't know how long it'll be there.






Time to get felt all over.


Wednesday, 13 August 2014

It's a Walk-Out!

We have, as they say, lost the run of ourselves altogether.
One day out (at the Museum of Country Life) and that's it - the In-Charge and I have downed tools, gone on strike and walked out.
Our work lies abandoned where we left it and we have been taking days off, one after the other, on the trot.

I'm not sure that we needed one, but we have had a teensie little excuse for such idleness.
A painful, messy, and - well, revolting excuse.
The In-Charge burst his finger open. I think his endless stint on the roof and then weeks mending the wall have taken their toll.
It was, inevitably, gory, and eye-wateringly painful.
A large stone slipped, squashing his hand onto another stone and one of his fingers bore the brunt. About 3 inches split open to the bone.
It wasn't pretty.

Being a man, he refused point blank to go to A&E, and as I didn't have half a dozen Bouncers and a lot of rope handy, there was nothing I could do to enforce a visit.
Instead, an alcohol wipe was briefly passed over the extreme surface, a squirt of dry antiseptic was sprayed in the direction of the wound, as many butterfly stitches applied as possible and painkillers administered.
You may now address me as Matron (a starched hat is in the post).

My immediate prescription was lots of R&R, so we have, unexpectedly had what you might call a bit of a holiday.
And mercifully, although it's been a tad breezy, and we've had some heavy bursts of rain, the weather hasn't been too bad.
The first few days he lay in the sun - arm propped high on cushions - and for a short while, I even drove him around. But that didn't last long. You know what men are like.

And we've sallied forth on lots of outings.


The Models with #2 Son on our favourite beach



We went to our favourite beach, walked to the far end and got utterly drenched on the return journey.
Thank you, Hurricane Bertha.


SuperModel taking off

Even the Models were a bit taken aback by the overwhelming overwhelmingness of the rain. SuperModel suffers from a rare and very sad affliction. She dissolves in the rain, so it is imperative that she stays well away from any but the lightest of showers. (Luckily, she doesn't 'absolve' in the sea as well. Or the lake. She's OK in water that she chooses, but that definitely doesn't include hose-pipes, bathroom showers, rain etc etc. That kind of water is very, very dangerous indeed.)
So, on the beach, as soon as the car was dimly visible (a distant speck - she is a Sight Hound after all) she just bolted. Bullets and guns come to mind.
The In-Charge and #2 Son eventually caught up with her. She was huddled in the lee of the car, shivering and completely unable to understand what had taken them so long. 
Even my faithful Model Dog finally left my side as we neared our destination and, with an apologetic backward glance, turned and ran for the cover of the open car boot.

Fortunately, a good rub down and - in the case of the two-legged members of the party - a hot shower soon revived us all. (The In-Charge has perfected a method of showering/washing that doesn't involve his right hand. I think he takes it off and leaves it outside the door.)

Since then we have really caught the holiday-bug.
On Sunday, we went to Carrick for the day. A friend told me there is an indoor market (of the junk rather than the food variety) next door to the weekly car-boot sale, so we piled the dogs into the car and set off first thing.
We had a great time - and a sunny one withal.
We bought a pair of cast iron legs that will make a perfect table for the garden, once we decide which of three table tops to award them to.
I bought some beautiful phlox from a German chap, two large baskets of shells (for an as yet unidentified project in the garden), a pretty little dish which caught my eye and a gorgeous paperweight that the In-Charge thoughtfully brought to my attention.
Meanwhile, the dogs lapped up a serious amount of flattering attention, behaved immaculately and - as always - served as an introduction to all sorts of people.


We bought a paperweight, lots of shells and a little plate




On our way home we popped into Strandhill People's Market, but sadly it must have rained there a good bit, as the stall holders had all gone home by early afternoon, when we arrived. The In-Charge bought a delicious sausage in a roll from the only remaining stand and then we too headed home for tea and a lazy evening. On our journey we listened to a programme about the Irish Wolfhound in which they quoted the most perfect description I've ever heard of those - and all - hounds: 'A lamb in the house, a lion in the chase'.

By Monday, we were up and ready for the off, the dogs dancing at the door.
All we had to do was decide where to go.
As we needed to visit a wood yard for several items, we decided to go to Sligo. We haven't been out that way for ages, since the end of term in May.
It was a breezy day still, but Bertha having plumped for places further south, it was mostly just sunny and warm. Sligo is very busy this week, and all wrapped up in the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann, so we left it singin' an dancin' and headed out to Half Moon Bay, to Hazelwood for a lovely, peaceful walk.

Hazelwood House, picture taken from the internet


It is heartbreaking that such a house has slithered into rack and ruin, instead of being put to some latterday use. It was built in the 1730's - Richard Cassells was the architect - and owned by the Wynne family, but they ceased to live there donkey's years ago. Let's not go into the whole sorry, sordid Saehan occupation of the site, but if someone doesn't rescue the house soon, it will probably be too late. It may already be too late - who knows when this picture was taken? But imagine if it could be used to benefit the whole community.
We noticed a For Sale notice on the gate, but I didn't see exactly what was for sale. 
Let's hope the Save Hazelwood House society can, indeed, save it.
(Click here if you want to know more.) 

Map taken from Sligo Walks - Hazelwood


At least the woods, surrounded practically on all sides by Lough Gill and the Garavogue River, remain and are open to the public. We didn't follow the well known sculpture trail, we just enjoyed the scenery. From Half Moon Bay you can look across to Cottage Island and Church Island on Lough Gill. We stood for a long time staring out across the water. Back in the mists of time, we used to go to both those islands in the little boat with the In-Charge's father. We'd load up with fishing rods, rugs, picnic baskets, the dogs, and the Volcano, that marvellous contraption for boiling water almost instantly over a campfire, and we'd set out for a blissful day messing about in boats.
'What's it like on the lake, Sammy?' my father-in-law would ask the old black lab.
'Ruf, ruf,' he'd bark his own reply.
It's a perennial joke, but it reminds me of him.
The days that used to be.

Hazelwood


We left Hazelwood and popped into McHale's wonderful wood yard nearby to get the pieces we needed. I quite fancied a mosey out to Dromahair, but by then the car was rather laden, so we went down towards Doorly Park to find the scaffold-board man instead. We wished we'd had the foresight to bring the trailer at that point, but we'll go back another day.

Yesterday, we again got up bright and early and went off to The Organic Centre in Rossinver.
Sadly, once there, we couldn't think of a way of passing the Models off as Blind Dogs, so we had to leave them in the car, parked under some shady trees with the windows open. They were, to say the least, extremely put out, but there you go.
It was a quiet day at Rossinver and unfortunately the cafe wasn't open, so no coffee for the In-Charge. But we looked in all the polytunnels, ate the warm, aromatic tomatoes straight from the vine that were offered to us, admired the wonderful home-made benches, the imaginative fence posts and the willow sculptures.

The Organic Centre has lots of things to admire


After that we drove up to Enniskillen, on to Omagh and then back via the Atlantic route, stopping to picnic,  look at things and walk the dogs in between several gusty rain showers. In Ballyshannon we were too late to find a cafe, so drank coffee and ate ice cream in the car on the deserted little harbour below the town, and stared out at the cross, grey waves snapping at the squally rain. In the distance lay a gleaming sand bar, lit up by a stolen ray of sunshine, but we were too tired to go and find it, and in the event, it too was swallowed up in mist by the time we left.

This morning we haven't gone anywhere.
The In-Charge's new toy has arrived. He has bought a Bosch 'silent' vacuum cleaner, so that he can clean around Hobbes without waking him up - like they do on the ad.
He got it on-line, super-duper-ultra-reduced because it was shop-soiled or something.
I tried it, but it wasn't on silent mode and Hobbes leapt up and ran out in disgust.
The In-Charge was also disgusted. I had taken the first 'go' on his new piece of  kit, a presumption of the first order and not to be tolerated. However, I've apologised profusely, willingly agreed to re-sign the pact that forbids me from using the vacuum cleaner - ever, and peace has been restored.
He is away now, cleaning the house in blissful silence, without needing ear-defenders for once.

Judging how long it's been since the old vacuum died, he could be gone some time.

The Models are consequently sulking in their beds.
It looks like our Walk-Out is over, for the time being anyway.




   




Monday, 4 August 2014

Blessings in Disguise

The gulls were high in the sky this morning, shrieking with laughter; the sky blue from end to end, and the sun hot on the back of my neck as I walked round the garden with the dogs.
I often wonder what the seagulls find so funny, but I love to hear them, just as I love to hear the rooks shouting and arguing like souk stall-holders.

It was not thus yesterday.
We awoke to wind and rain, and the day had that settled look that doesn't bode well when it's wet.
It was Bank Holiday Sunday, and over our bacon, eggs and marmalade we relinquished our gardening and wall-mending plans and debated whether or not to give in to the weather and curl up beside a fire with books and movies.
But then I remembered that a friend had posted about a craft fair on Facebook.
We piled into the car and set off.
It was being held in the Museum of Country Life's hallowed precincts in Co Mayo.

I admit with shame that despite having lived here for the last two decades, I've not previously visited the Museum. I've driven past it on numerous occasions, but only en route to somewhere else.
It occupies an old country house, and the new building housing the bulk of the exhibits, has been beautifully designed to fit as minimally as possible into the grounds.


A stray grass stalk spoiling the view of The Museum of Country Life

We had a great afternoon.
The grounds contain a small lake, a lovely greenhouse, a garden with herbaceous planting alongside a second lovely greenhouse, some handsome trees and a few interesting sculptures.


My camera pretended to take some nice pictures of the rampant flowers in the greenhouse



I took lots of photos in the gardens, but unfortunately my camera battery was on its last legs and it turns out that it was just pretending to take pictures, something I only discovered when we got home and it was too late to take them all over again.  I must have spent a good hour clicking away in happy oblivion. Mercifully it did finally resort to the black screen of death.
Luckily the In-Charge had his camera too, but he'd disappeared soon after we'd arrived. He's better at museums than I am, and was doing the rounds - methodically.

#2 Son and I headed to the Craft Fair in a marquee behind the house, and had a great time chatting to the different stall holders. Two friends were there, Liz Courtie who makes jewellery and buttons and ceramics and Jane Dunn who is an artist and sells prints and cards of her work.

Liz Courtie's ceramics and Jane Dunn's paintings and prints



We admired some felting and bought some goat's milk soap from Carra's Garden, and spent a long time chatting to Ella, a potter from Poland who had a range of stuff glazed with blue glass that sang to us. Her pottery is called Mood Designs.

Gorgeous blues, birds, felt and soap from Mood Design and Carra's Garden



Afterwards we joined the In-Charge on his tour of the museum. At least, we tried to, but once again he proved to be so elusive that we started to wonder if he'd actually accompanied us after all.
The museum was full of people, and was interesting, but I get a bit claustrophobic in museums, so, although I did the full tour, mine was, well, on the quickish side.

Eventually we all met up in the cafe and ate large wodges of cake, and then I borrowed the In-Charge's camera and went off to take a few photos - alas, not of the gardens.

As we were driving away, we paused to admire the bird boxes amongst the trees along the drive - there were lots of them.

 
An array of bird boxes in the grounds



I am very into bird boxes, especially having read that 12 wrens saved their lives by huddling together inside a nesting box during the very cold winter a few years ago.
I'm not sure that birds would nest in the Museum's boxes - I've a feeling birds are very particular about front door size and things like that - but they looked very pretty, and you never know.

While I was admiring the bird boxes, I walked through the trees to the edge of a large hollow. It was very steel sided and deep, and at the bottom a few lines were strung between the branches, with towels hanging on them.
The Museum's washing? An Installation? Campers?

I'm still wondering what that was all about.

The Museum's washing? An Installation? Campers?


It was a great afternoon, and not at all what we'd expected, looking out on the dismal torrents at breakfast.
I guess every now and again the rain is just a blessing in disguise.

One of the sculptures in the grounds.



 


Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Pests!


I've been feeling rather sorry for myself.
I think I got bitten by a horsefly. There are gazillions of them around this summer, so that's what probably homed in on my ankle. Whatever it was, it's been so swollen and red and hot and sore that I have been laid up, foot propped up on 25 cushions, for a couple of days.
Well, it felt like 25 cushions.  In fact it felt as it my foot was strung up to the ceiling.
I've stopped now - the resultant backache was threatening to be worse than the ankle!

Cleggs.
Miserable creatures. And poor horses, if that's what they generally bite.

There are gazillions of wasps too, this year.
A few years ago I bought a 'waspinator', and very pleased I was with myself, too.
I'd never heard of one before.



Waspinator




We 'inflated' it with a few plastic bags and hung it in the courtyard.
Result: no wasps.
Not a single one bothered us that summer. Or the next, or even the one after that, which was last year.

But right now, we are wasp-central.
What is that all about? And, I bought a new waspinator this year, as the camouflage-y markings on the old one had washed away (wasped away), so I splashed out. It is identical to the old one, except for the presence of camouflage-y markings, of course.
I didn't throw the old one away, they are both hanging out there.
Maybe that's my mistake. Instead of frightening the allegedly territorial wasps away, two nests in fairly close proximity are sending out a different message: 'Wasp Commune, All Welcome!'

It's either that or the bees. Perhaps our new high rise bees have ousted the wasps from their usual nesting sites.


High-rise bees


Whatever it is, I'd like it to stop. I loathe and detest wasps, especially when they hold massive get-togethers in my kitchen and around the table where we eat outside.
The In-Charge got stung on the inside of his arm while he was mending the gutters.
And he's been bitten by a horsefly too, on his shin.

The poor cats are in misery as well.
It's that time of the year when the mites in the grass spring to life, sharpen their gnashers and turn into little piranhas.
Hobbes is OK. Nothing seems to disturb his equilibrium, but poor Pushy and Pixie can''t stop scratching and tearing at themselves. They have great, raw patches all over them.
I keep them in as much as I possibly can, but I don't know if it makes any difference.
My sister's cat was prescribed anti-histamines, which made all the difference to her, but when I tried the same pills on Pushy, she reacted strangely to them, so I stopped giving them to her. And trying to get a pill down Pixie's throat twice a day is a purgatory worse, quite frankly, than the initial itch, so I have given that up as a bad job.

So much for summer.
Not such fun when it's all pests!


Pretty little Pushy, in happier times - ie, not summer





Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Who Wants to be a Millinaire?

While I was at Claregalway Garden Festival with my friend, the New Yorker, we did - eventually - feel that we ought to see what was on offer inside the buildings around the old Tower House.
You can't just think about plants. Well, we can, but on this occasion, we didn't.
And if we hadn't gone in, we'd never have found the hat ladies.

I love hats. I always wore hats to weddings, when we were young and went to lots of weddings, and these days, I generally garden in a hat. (Not my wedding hats, obviously.)
And not these hats. They would have to be reserved strictly for garden visiting, or garden partying, not garden weeding.

They were a treat to behold.
And vastly elegant.




So beautiful



Every single hat had a sense of occasion about it, the sort of hats that just make you feel absolutely at your best, the moment you put it on.
I instantly wanted a glass of champagne in one hand, and someone thrilling to talk to.
Luckily, I had the New Yorker with me.
She is very thrilling.


Hats with a sense of occasion

We stopped and chatted to the milliners for quite a while.
What an amazing, creative, talented and sparky duo! And what craftsmanship.




Beautiful, and beautifully made


You know the old saying: 'If you want to get ahead, get a hat!' Well they've certainly got the hats, so watch out Philip Treacy, is all I can say. (And interestingly, he comes from Co Galway as well.)
These ladies are going places, so if you want to be able to say: 'I wore one of their hats long before the Duchess of Cambridge discovered them...' then get on the blower.

Confectionery for the head




I don't see how you could possibly regret it.
Weddings - Garden Parties - Leopardstown - the Curragh - Your kid's graduation - knock 'em dead with one of these smackers while you can still afford them!



Affordable glamour


The New Yorker bought two. One is for a wedding later in the summer, but knowing her, she'll probably wear them out and about in the Big Apple - quite possibly with an old pair of jeans.
I mean, look how good they are on top or plaits, for goodness sake!
She'll look fantastic.
She'll probably bump into Sarah Jessica Parker as she strolls nonchalantly through Greenwich Village.
Parker will drool and catch her arm.
'Where did you get that hat?' she'll hiss.
'My hat?' the New Yorker will say vaguely. 'Which one am I wearing today?'


She'll look fantastic


She'll innocently put her hand up to her head.









'Oh this one! Of course! I have this little Irish designer - no, not Philip...he's so passé this year, don't you think?'
I can picture the whole scene now.





So folks, you know what they say about she who snoozes...

Crevation Design, the hat ladies call themselves.
I have to say, the name doesn't grab me. It doesn't have the necessary sense of occasion. And it seems a waste not to have a bit of pazzazz.
Now, Majella Dalton - that's a name with pazzazz. That's a name to conjure with.
Watch out for it in Hello, ladies!
OK?

Majella Dalton
Millinery Designer
+353(0)86 834 7049
crevationdesign@gmail.com