Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘General’ Category

FlyingBeeToday, February 11th,  is St Gobnait’s Day, patron saint of bees and beekeepers. If it happens to be your birthday you may be called either of the anglicised versions of the name – Abigail (Brings joy) or Deborah.  Believed to have born in County Clare in the 5th or 6th Century Gobnait fled her home from an unnamed adversary and took refuge on the Aran Islands. Here she received directions in an apparition to settle and devote her life’s work in the place where she would find nine white deer grazing. No easy task you would think but after traveling to several sites around the south coast she eventually came upon the prophetic pastoral scene in Ballyvorney, Co Cork. The same angelic message also instructed her to find her “resurrection place” where the soul leaves the body. Celtic lore held bees in high esteem believing the soul left the body as a bee or a butterfly. So it is not surprising that Gobnait added beekeeping to her life’s work developing a lifelong affinity with them. She started a religious order and dedicated her days to helping the sick, most probably using honey as a healing aid.
Typical of the ecclesiastical records of the era, lots of miracle-embellished stories survive where Gobnait and her superhero bees save the day. One story tells of how one of her hives transformed into a gold helmet while her bees morphed into soldiers to successfully chase off marauding cattle thieves.
As with many great stories most likely there is a grain of truth lurking in there somewhere. I imagine St Gobnait was a kind, formidable lady, fiercely protective of her flock – she was obviously well revered. Her fondness for bees suggests a calm and gentle character. She has a considerable fanbase outside of the Catholic Religion. Her spirit lives on in apiary circles where she has become quite an icon. In this age, where bees need all the nurturing they can get, anyone who inspires beekeepers to continue their amazing work has earned their sainthood several times over. Everybody needs a hero and in this case St Gobnait fits the bill nicely!

Read Full Post »

My local library is a stunning building. Recently built in the centre of Wexford town it’s a stylish, open space that is a pleasure to spend time in. I’m often found leafing through the homecraft section for books about knitting, sewing or sustainable living. Whether you’re looking to investigate green energy systems for your home, grow your own veggies or make and mend your family’s clothes, there is a wealth of useful information to be gleaned from your local library. In fact every category under the sun is catered for. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the wall to wall shelving containing countless rows of congruous book spines. A spontaneous visit is enough to make your head spin. But don’t despair- the entire catalogue of titles in Wexford libraries is available online to browse through at your ease. The subject/title/author search allows you to hone in on the subjects you are most interested in. Then by totting down the relevant number you can, either by yourself or with the help of a staff member, track down the book you want without difficulty. I imagine this is the case for libraries everywhere?

Image

I’ve had the pleasure of doing some work for Wexford Library over the years. This includes designing the logo and illustrating two of the several Wexford library membership cards. The floppy disc top left on card shown is a dead giveaway to just how long ago!

Image

Can you recommend good reading material for those interested in a sustainable lifestyle?

Read Full Post »

Last week every house in Wexford received an information leaflet about the dangers of Radon gas in the home. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that is released into the ground when Uranium is broken down. A rare radioactive element, Uranium is present in small quantities in all rocks and soils. As Radon gas is invisible and has no smell specialist equipment is needed to detect its presence. It is responsible for up to 200 lung cancer deaths in Ireland so it is important that we take remedial action if needed. If you think your family are at risk there are a number of corrective solutions available. Duncan Stewart explains the threats posed by Radon Gas in Ireland and how we can safeguard our homes.

Read Full Post »

Break open the bubbly….

I’m an illustrator that loves to upcycle, recycle, potter in the veg patch, make stuff and generally try to live a greener existence. I also have a big interest in eco living and green gadgets. So all my favourite pastimes are brought together here and my much fantasized-about blog has finally come into being. Feel free to drop me a line and please bear with me as I get to grips with WordPress. I now declare green jam jar officially launched! Watch this space.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: