“An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.” -Chinese proverb.

There is an ancient Chinese belief which states that when a child is born an invisible red threads connect that child’s soul to all those people – present and in the future – who will play a part in that child’s life. As each birthday passes, those threads shorten and tighten, bringing closer those people who are fated to be together…

Maybe it’s the pull of the thread that draws me closer to you. It could have been the way you majestically strode into the waiting lounge that caught my eye. No one else looked your way. You were all mine for me to feast my eyes on. I tried not to make it obvious but it was like a magnetic attraction as I started to figure out your story. Oh we’re being called now, a mad rush to get a seat, a free for all.  So there you fade out of view obviously you’re the type that wants to be first. In everything?

Having to conform, I join the queue eagerly anticipating the flight that will take me closer to home. The gentle  breeze swathes my being as I ascend the wavering metal steps to enter the belly of the craft. Apprehension diminished by a smiling stewardess as I fleetingly flash my boarding pass. To my surprise there’s a free seat in the middle on the first row on entering and lo and behold HE’S there smiling as I ask if it’s available.

Almost immediately we connect and the rest of the journey is a blur of coincidences and bonding connections as we trace where we’ve been and where we’re going. The red thread has been shortened because of our link for life.             Patricia Loughnane©March 2012 

ÁRAS AN UACHTARÁIN reflection on visit.


Seeping historic vapours suffuse

Corridors of transient power,

Shadows emerge rendering

Observers  speechless.


Past Presidents majestically watch over

Friends, foes and guests

Present parlance, treaties and consensus.

Secrets smattered into layers

Of hidden promises and betrayals.


Fading mint fabric wall linings

Insulate and forever capture

Scenes of consent and discontent

Infused in every thread.


Opulent woven Phoenix  pile

Relinquishes underfoot

Welcoming your serene presence to survey

Surroundings below and above.


The President of Ireland’s house awaits.

What it means to be Irish.

Irish Beings

Defining what it means to be Irish is a tale in itself as to be Irish has different interpretations according to who you are.

To be considered an Irish citizen you don’t actually have to be born here if your father or mother was an Irish citizen at the time of your birth. If your grandfather or grandmother was born in Ireland you may become an Irish citizen by registering in the Foreign Births Register at an Irish Embassy or Consular office or at the Department of Foreign affairs. You could also become Irish if your parents are non-Irish nationals and have been resident in the island of Ireland for three years prior to your birth according to the Irish Nationality and Citizenship Act, 2004 which commenced on January 1st, 2005.

So now that we’ve established that anyone of sound character can be Irish, let’s consider a few traits of being Irish.


You are not Irish if you do not mention the weather at least once in the day and weather always refers to rain. It’s a ‘soft’ day means a gentle, light misty rain (the type of romantic film weather as in Pride and Prejudice ) that is welcome. When it’s ‘lashing’ means the heavens have opened up and you must be mad to be out in it.

Guinness and Taytos

The black stuff or ‘genius’ beer is mainly drunk for medicinal purposes as it practically builds up your immune system to any possible attack and if you consume enough of it usually you won’t remember the ‘attack’ be it violent, verbal or just plain embarrassing. Taytos are crisps to non- Irish speakers…be warned if you ask for a packet of plain crisps you will invariably be given cheese and onion flavoured ones.

The Angelus

At 12pm and 6pm the church bell chimes for a minute whereupon you are supposed to stop what you are doing and contemplate the spiritual side of life. RTE, the national State broadcaster began this in 1950 and you can be sure you know exactly what time of day it is wherever you are on the island.

St. Patrick’s Day

The 17th March is indelibly printed in an Irish person’s DNA as it is a national holiday and everything turns green! Celebrations galore and the time when all the Irish jokes are retold reflecting the sense of humour that the people can laugh at their parodied selves and not take offence leading to race relations fall out as with some ethnic minorities.


Much of ‘English’ literature is in fact Irish. Heard of Yeats? Wilde? Beckett?  On a serious note all you have to do is read Translations by Brian Friel to see how the English language was imposed on the Irish. Nonetheless Irish as of 2010 was recognised as a European language of member states.

Being Irish to me means having been brought up in an Irish household overseas with all its nuance, knowing ‘home’ was Ireland to my parents and that they would return to their roots before the ‘closing of the day’ and home being where the heart is, is my home.

26th September 2011




Dear Patsy,

Let me begin by reassuring you that your dream was in fact a good omen. It may have startled you at the time but it does prove that you are receptive to the Universe’s planes of existence.

You mentioned the ‘clusters of starry orbs of flickering bright light’; these were the chorus of angels making their presence known to you. I think deep down you know that because you did say you felt calm,as if there was beauty in the midst of  darkness. When there is a passing of a divine and blessed person, that transition from an earthly plane to a celestial sphere is greeted and accompanied by the angels to bring peace and comfort to the soul about to enter the next realm.

So as you mourn and fall deeper into the abyss of grief reflecting the magnitude of  loss  that engulfs you, you are drawn into the driving force of creation and the more receptive you are to this energy, the more you become aware of another level of existence.

When you said ‘the dazzling lights floated resplendent in close proximity and then still glistening, seemed to fade out’, this was to let you know that the moment had come for the final crossing over.

So all in all, my dear, rest peacefully knowing how privileged you were to be a rare party to this passing and know that your loved one still exists in celestial form, watching over and protecting you like a guiding star.

Regards from Auntie Sally.

Thoughts of a Christmas Memory

Treading cautiously, wary of treacherous terrain hidden beneath a carpet of freshly fallen snow, hearing the scrunch of boots trespassing their mark on the


Crrrunch, crrrunch. There, I’ve left a vestige of my being till the imminent snow


Concealing my path in life.

Now above the chill clouds the panorama unfolds bringing wonder at the sight



Creation at perfection.

Stopping to stand and stare and imprint the image in my memory, I cannot help but marvel at the transience of existence. Thankful to be given the grace to imbue the magnificence of beauty.

Looking closely at where I stand, I bend to greet the enticing spectacle of frozen sparkling gems encrusted in the foliage. Drawing nearer, each facet emits a prism; a glittering rainbow ray, glistening in the sun softly shining.

Savouring the moment

Knowing all too well that the sun’s warmth will cede to the melting of the

virgin ice diamonds.

Looking upwards and beyond

The tips of windmills looming out of the stratosphere stood still too as if to


The only reminder of Man engrained against the vista,

uncompromising yet awesomely serene in their non movement as if they too

have been stopped in time to stand and stare.

InThe Beginning

In the beginning…

I took to the hills…

Don’t think about it. Just do it. Easier said than done! The advertisement in the Tipperary Star said, a ramble which didn’t sound too daunting, all welcome, whatever your level there’s a walk to suit everyone. By not analyzing too deeply the possible consequences of my imminent action, I plucked up the courage to get myself to the rendezvous point on time with trepidation…surely someone would speak to me even if they considered me to be a blow-in!

There’s the fire station looming ahead with its doors closed so all’s quiet in the sleepy rural heritage town, its prestigious landmark Cashel rock imposing over all who pass by at its foot. A few cars are lined up purring and waiting with intent…maybe they too are filled with would be hill walkers?  Taking a deep breath and remembering to grab my flimsy little bag holding my bottle of fresh locally sourced water and an apple for sustenance, I approach the small group gathered by the cars. I can’t help thinking they look seriously attired with thick waterproof jackets, woolly hats, thermal mitts, rucksacks, ropes, gaiters, walking poles, and very heavy duty boots! Eye contact is made, so apprehensively, I venture forth to ensure I am in the right place and the sea of faces turn to size up the newcomer. ‘Welcome! Yes, yes! This is the place…the B group will go on the moderate walk under Mary P’s supervision’. Surprisingly there’s no fee to be paid, all voluntary and they carpool. The leader of my ‘ramble’ or as now known B walk takes me under her wing and I am bundled into the car along with two other friendly walkers after having been reassured I will be fine.

It feels like being on a magical mystery tour as the car is driven deeper into the lush countryside. Introductions and pleasantries are exchanged as the landscape unfolds and demists as the morning sun rises. Is it the Galtees, Comeraghs, Knockmealdowns? Which county will we be in? Still Tipperary?  I sit quietly, taking it all in, contemplating the fact that I had made it thus far. I took to the hills.