That’s the question?

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Million-Dollar Question.”

That’s the question? Well I admit to seeing the actual question: Why do you blog? after I’d seen the title “Million-Dollar Question”. The title was intriguing and put me more in mind of asking what the really big life questions actually are. Who am I? Why are we here? But “Why do you blog?” is as good a start as any.

So I’m catching up with daily prompts to blog and this is actually yesterday’s prompt. And the day before I answered some of this question for myself in addressing the huge gap between posts and trying to think about why I even started the blog. Like many others – I suspect – I thought I’d just write a little something witty everyday and about a year later – with almost no feeling of effort whatsoever on my part, I’d have a book! Well, look what thought did. I think and what I think, or thought, is not going to cut it. I need some action, yes a little blogging everyday but that’s going to take using the prompts to keep going. In addition to answering the call of the blog prompts, I am back doing my morning pages. Does anyone else do those? They are part of The Artist’s Way, which encourages the follower to act, to move, to dance, to write, to create, to find out what makes you sing and then sing. You can’t wait for the inspiration to strike, you strike out and the inspiration will follow.

The instruction for morning pages is a simple one, write it out, three A4/ letter pages and put them away – they are just your warm-up for the day. Well, it had been so long it was something of a struggle to get to two pages on the first and second day. Today was the third day and I made it to three pages, phew. Now I just have to remember to keep going, keep putting the words down, that’s the only way there’ll be anything here to read.


Companions: here and there

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Companionable.”

It’s been a long time since I posted anything on this blog. I’m not sure what I thought I’d really do with a blog to begin with, but I suppose I thought I’d just write a great many posts and see what I had. There was a hint of The Cranberries about it. The group’s first album was called: “Everybody else is doing it, so why can’t I?” – or something very like that and I’m not going to check the title online right now, when I’m trying to focus on the writing here. The title alone is a call to action and it seems just as good a reason as any to strike out. Everybody seemed to have a blog a while ago, and so I thought I should too. The timing seemed auspicious in that I was off to live in sunny California. But I have yet to decide if that makes any part of me more or less interesting in general. I will always be a person who was born in Dublin, Ireland no matter where I go in this world. But I don’t live there now and two years into California, I’m sure there are a heap of day-to-day rituals and circumstances that I’m forgetting about Dublin. As I live away now, there must be things that have changed about my hometown in ways I don’t even know about. There’s some letting go of smaller connections to keep a fire burning for family and friends over there. Equally, there is an immersion into things here, American customs and pronunciations, differences that I noticed when I first landed, that I probably take for granted now: ice in drinks and cheap gas are what come to mind right now.

So is a life in any way interesting because it’s intrinsically different to yours or because it’s similar. To what extent are we all the same? To what extent do we face the same struggles and obstacles to expression? Send us some rain for our drought and I’ll send back some sunshine,

Your SoCal companion.

P.S. I’m following the blog prompts from WordPress for the month of November to try and write a post a day (or so). So although the instruction was to gain inspiration from another blogger, this is what happened instead…

Cool within

Here’s comes the wind again… the Santa Anas. It is hot. Even by the beach. Especially by the beach, as there’s little air-conditioning in our coastal dwelling and local spots. The fan is on full. We might decamp from the living room to the local library – if it has air-conditioning. The closed door has become a invitation to coolness within. That’s how you can tell. The local spot with the open door – well, that open door means the place does not have air-conditioning. Those beads of sweat sapping out through your clothes are only going to get worse. So we reach out to grab hot door handles and embrace the cold inside.
Just yesterday I could feel the drizzle of a cool, autumn day in St. Louis but last night it was back to L.A. A wave of hot air, a mass of people and noise and traffic and sweat at the airport. A mumbling bus-driver and protesting passengers enroute to find cars in badly-lit Lot C. How hot had it been while we were away? Let me count the number of sleeveless garments on the customers at the gas station. Shorts and loose tank top and still sweating as you pump gas? No, dude you do not look cool. People are jogging on the parkway at 9.30 at night, because it’s cooler now at 80 degrees. Don’t do it – the path is holding onto the heat, pushing up through your trainers.
Sleep comes despite the noise of the fan on all night and the sirens in the distance. I am woken again by sirens, all morning – emergencies of sorts. Who knows what’s happening? No one big event, just more tempers exploding in the heat.

Mission Bells

Mission @SJCMission Bells @ San Juan Capistrano

A delightful visit to the mission at San Juan Capistrano on Memorial Day. There was a good crowd of folks who seemed, like us, to want to do something with the holiday and the chance to wander around the mission on a sunny day was the perfect outing. It’s the most intact of the missions in Southern California, so it offers a glimpse into the past, going back about 150 years. More than just a church: the mission was a compound of buildings, administration, kitchen-gardening and crop-growing.

Shop front



Love this shop front, sadly the store itself is no longer in business. All the names of domestic gadgets and machines seem to hold a promise of happiness and prosperity. But repairing the electronics no longer earns anyone a living, is that the progress of our era?

Against the grain


Seasonal fruits and vegetables, working with what you’ve got – these are simple concepts we can all get behind. So here’s a photo from Santa Monica this morning, sun blazing down, about 10am and already about 75 degrees and here’s a case of: ‘If you want it… ‘ or maybe ‘Build it and they’ll come’. Yes, it’s an ice-rink! I’d hate to see their power bill. I saw this before I got my coffee, so while the ‘seasonality’ of it did register, I just thought only in California…

Argh already!


A red cup, I thought – innocently enough, but a closer look revealed the decorations and it’s only November 2nd!