Pride of the Land

I am safe, I am trusting on our great land. In a life I walked a path that was my own. I saw love lost and lost love. I thread the paths of my ancestors, where tears were shed and … Continue reading

My Gift to You

Alone on the cliff top the wind comes to steal her breath, snatching the name that lies dangerously close to be spoken from the lips that cried for him, over and over again.
Silence calls her as tears fall from the hidden spirit, tired of the fight, the unlawful reasons to this beginning, this end, this hell.
‘We know you’, they whisper, ‘Watching, entertaining our chartered lives – Play with us again, allow us to fill you with love so we may strip you bare, wither your beliefs and devour your dreams.’

‘You belong to us, you are ours, come to us so we may feast on your fears and torture you in the glory of the shadows.’

Warmth touches her frozen cheeks, “Who calls me now?” she cries to the howling winds ….

‘I can no longer battle you, my fight has gone. I can not live like this, my hell here is worse then anything that may follow’…………..heat radiates through her head as it is lifted up by unseen forces.

‘Who calls me now’ she screams………

Opening  tear stained eyes she struggles to see, blinking and rubbing away the remains of grief, adjusting to gather the broken pixels of the shape that begins to take form before her.

The voices are silenced before this being of light….only his voice now echoes in her head.

‘Fear not the path you are destined to walk. I have known you, because of you I was a greater man, you were my gift, my best friend and my love. Do not despair in the darkness, my light may have dimmed but yours now burns brighter then the sun. You will find me again. I will not leave you, my silence is my presence, my memories are yours…….I will forever be found in you’

Voice shaking as he stands before her she struggles to say the words ‘Why?’…..’Why you, why us?’……..

‘Because my love’, he softly speaks  ‘Life holds a greater plan for you, my time had come, life’s plan for me was to love you, I fulfilled that destiny in ways that I never thought possible. Your future lies before you, fill it with more memories, more love ……fill it with you.’

Leaning forward he places a single kiss on her lips, ‘ Do not fear saying my name, I will love you from beyond, always’.

Winds calm, and the storm ceases its destruction……..the image of him begins to fade, the remnants of a smile linger for those last few moments as she says goodbye.

Turning her back on the cliffs and leaving the voices calling in terror………..she pays no heed.

Loving you was my greatest gift, living for us both will be my gift to you.

Venice, Tuscany and Rome, Beautiful Italy.

15th of September 2014, 4am, an alarm clock breaks the silence in room 251, The Carlton hotel, Dublin, Ireland.

It was to be the beginning of an amazing ten days holiday to Italy.

Our flight was at a slightly ridiculous hour, but it was to be worth it.

In the departure lounge  we met, coincidently, a lovely couple, Dave, who my partner Pete is good friends with and his beautiful Italian girlfriend Stefania, they too were travelling to Venice and although tired were noticeably as excited as myself and Pete.

After a very unusual flight (mainly due to the young Italian man seated beside me, don’t ask) we landed in Venice on schedule. On the other side we agreed to meet up with Dave and Stefania once we were settled, they, staying for the week and us for three days before we toured further into Italy.

After an incredible whirlwind of people carriers, taxi boats and walking  (whilst lugging suitcases around) we met our host Carlo. The description he gave about himself was ‘I shall be the skinny guy, with glasses and crazy hair, standing on the first step of the bridge after St Marks square’. Needless to say he was very easy to find.

Carlo proved to be an incredible gentleman, friendly, welcoming and a world of knowledge and advice. He brought us to our apartment which although small catered for everything we needed, was spotlessly clean and located in an area that was perfect for exploration.

Where do I start about Venice?

The beautiful maze of streets that are linked by bridges throughout, ornate to steel and often covered in locks that lovers had left behind in the belief that their passion would be forever sealed in this city of love.

St Marks square, the sun setting over the intricate architecture and casting its golden light over the dreamers and dancers that swayed to their own tune.

St Marks Square, Venice

St Marks Square, Venice. Photograph Peter Grogan

The gondolas that ferried all types of people around for the half hour tour.

People that included an abundance of excited Chinese ladies that oh’d and ah’d at every opportunity, photographing anything that stayed in their sight long enough to be immortalised in their holiday albums.

Let us not forget the true romantics, the adoration on the faces of couples that had dreamed the novels of paper coming to life in their reality. The couples that were to make commitments to each other for life, the proposals that were perfectly planned and played out by men whose hearts had been captured by the beauties in their presence. It was here that Pete took what I felt was the perfect photograph, the one that captured all of Venice in one scene.

Italy 2014.

The Proposal, Venice, Italy. Photograph Peter Grogan

If you look close enough you can see the ring box still clamped tightly in his hand, on her finger lies a sparkling new diamond that will light their future together, and the kiss, that single kiss has dimmed and fogged all those around them and they are now completely lost to each other. True love in the city of romance.

Speaking of true love, we never actually got to meet up with Dave and Stefania.

Dave (as we were to find out later) was himself in the process of asking his true love to become his future , and I am thrilled to report she said ‘YES’!!! Even though I only met them briefly it was very easy to see the utter devotion they have for each other. Venice touched their lives also.

I found Venice to be incredibly beautiful, you will trip over fellow travellers, but for me it brings the character of the place to life.

If you have time leave the busy streets and just get lost, we did and we found peaceful reflective waters where we too could get lost in each other.

Italy 2014.

Venice, Italy. Photograph Peter Grogan

Upon leaving we both agreed that we would need plenty more then the three days to explore everything that is to be seen in Venice.

Picking up our rental car after a busy but very fulfilling three days we took the road to Tuscany.

The road trip, it was INSANE! I was very proud of Pete and his level headedness on what can only be described as a white knuckle journey, I myself would have lost my life if I had attempted to take the wheel at any stage. Italian roads are very intimidating, fast and consistent. Well done Pete!!!!

After the busy motorway we eventually found our way to the what, I can only describe as a place straight out of a romance novel. Casa al Bosco, located just outside the picturesque village Donnini.

A two point five km journey down a dirt road riddled with foot deep pot holes left us in fear of our rental car, but the surrounding rolling hills of vineyards and olive groves had us quickly thinking of only our destination.

In the distance we spotted a stone farmhouse on a flagged courtyard, all completely encircled by vineyards and forest.

Italy 2014.

Casa al Bosco, Tuscany, Italy Photograph Peter Grogan

Ahead lay our slice of heaven, we were greeted by Nayla, whom was married to Riccardo, one of the twin brothers that owned and regenerated this peaceful sanctuary. Andrea being the other brother and who we were to have the privilege to meet at a later stage.

Our wonderfully restored little stone cottage sat on the edge of their vineyard, I can honestly say that the home-made organic wine that was produced on the farm was like nothing I’d ever tasted before, and actually left us hangover free!!

Ginger the dog became our constant companion, on our walks or the days we created our own versions of Italian food and dined al fresco.

Italy 2014.

Ginger. Photograph Peter Grogan

We became relaxed with our days. Tuscany allowed us to unwind, we ate, drank, I wrote, we took photographs…..magical, mythical and memorable days.

Italy 2014.

Our creation! Complimented with home made organic wine. Photograph Peter Grogan.

Italy 2014.

Photograph Peter Grogan

I think as with many places it’s the people who you encounter that can make or break a place. If you are in the most beautiful place in the world and meet people who lack friendliness it can turn a paradise into a darkened, lifeless abyss.

The worst places can shine and live in the presence of people that radiate openness, homeliness and welcome you as their own. We were lucky, we had both beauty and personality in the one place.

Italy 2014.

Riccardo, Photograph Peter Grogan

We left Tuscany with heavy hearts, we truly fell in love with this oasis of beauty and serenity, we both agreed that this would become our place, our heaven.

Once again Pete took the wheel of our little Opel Corsa and took on the perilous road journey to Rome.

After dropping off our car we caught a taxi and headed for our address. I still laugh at our taxi ride, the oldest Mercedes in the world with mileage of over five hundred thousand miles. In soaring thirty-two degree heat we became one with the leather seats and non-existent air conditioning. The driver himself was silent and read the map as he zipped at high-speed in and out of on coming traffic, a very hairy car journey indeed but left us with a story to tell.

Italy 2014.

Traffic in Rome. Photograph Peter Grogan

Arriving at our address we were greeted by a smiling full of life gentleman, Roberto.

To say he was a fountain of knowledge would be an under statement. Advice on everything from the best eateries to how to access the sites of majestic Rome left us slightly overcome with information overload, but extremely grateful for his attention to us as his guests.

Rome, a city steeped in history, a place that protects and promotes its heritage and belonging in the creation of its people and lands. I cannot put into words the sites that we were privileged to see. Personally my highlight was to enter the Sistine Chapel and view the Creation Of Adam by Michelangelo.


The Creation of Adam, Sistine Chapel Rome Photograph My Own

The Vatican Museum holds untold works of art. Beauty is everywhere and the gasps of all that enter I am sure can be heard echoing throughout the walls of this great city.

Italy 2014.

The Vatican Museum. Photograph Peter Grogan.

St Peters proved to be as astounding, if not more so. I was left completely overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of this colossal Church! The entire place is adorned with beautiful statues, admittedly some I found to be sitting slightly on the darker side.

Italy 2014.

St Peters, Rome Photograph Peter Grogan

Italy 2014.

St Peters, Rome Photograph Peter Grogan

The most incredible thing to do here is to climb to the top of St Peters, I will advice that this is not for those that are fearful of enclosed spaces, but the pay off is worth it. The  land lies in front of you, behind you, under you….you, for the time that you are in this spot, truly sit in the heart of all that is Rome.

Italy 2014.

The Heart of Rome Photograph Peter Grogan

Last but certainly not least we came to find ourselves in the Colosseum, the place where the mighty gladiators fought, where blood was shed and history made. The Emperors of Rome placed themselves on their thrones, in their ornate viewing boxes they watched the Gladiators fight fearlessly. A place that will guarantee your torn senses, those of awe and utter astonishment to be stood in this great historic ruin, and those of how you could never view this bloodthirsty sport yourself.

Italy 2014.

The Colosseum , Rome Photograph Peter Grogan

Italy 2014.

The Colosseum, Rome Photograph Peter Grogan

Our trip to Italy has left us both with a want and love for all that is Italian.

I can guarantee we will be having many more adventures to this beautiful breathtaking country. If its history, romance or just pure relaxation you crave, then you can have all here. This is a country with a heart, and the people its beat. If you ever have the opportunity to visit, then please do…….you will not regret it.

Much love Italy,

Sue and Pete

Grazie x


Pete and Sue x

To view Petes photo’s take a look at his photography site, enjoy!!

Good Morning!!

..awake at stupid o’clock I could see the day starting to brighten through my curtains, despite the time I pulled myself from my warm bed to make a cup of tea.
Looking out the window, waiting for the kettle to boil I decided…. ‘screw it, I’m going to be a rebel and have my tea outside’.
This turned out to be my best decision so far today.
I watched the sun as it broke through a low fog, the clouds started to colour with every shade of orange and pink.
Birds started to flit skyward and the sound of seagulls calling broke the stillness.
I don’t think I have ever really appreciated first light and what it brings.
It felt like the rest of the world was on hold, it’s that feeling you get when peace seems to settle on everything around you, including you.
It’s a divine serenity that brings stillness to any and all turmoil……it’s to be able to breathe.
I’m not entirely sure if this stupid o’clock start will be a daily ritual, but it’s most certainly something I will keep for those times when it gets too busy and I loose my breath.
Give it a go, you’d be astounded at how you feel.
Anyway, obviously writer head is on but inspiration has most definitely kicked in.
Good morning all! Have a great day x

Faith Calls

In her own time, in her own mind, she can be finally free.

Closing her eyes and retreating into a world of infinite possibilities becomes her daily escape.

It is here she utters words that refuse to pass her lips and find form. This is where she can become the person she dreams to be. A warrior of her own heart, marching to a beat that sustains her cherished life.

Questions are always present. Why can I not be this person in my waking world? Why does my strength flee in fear when confrontation battles me? Where do I hide?

Opening her eyes she sees the evening light disappear, the blanket of a dark starry night will cover what is left of the day.

‘Tomorrow will come, a day will happen and my dreams will still be there for me.’

‘There will be a time when I need not close my eyes to dream, what I foretell in my mind will be real’… she sighs.

Until then, tomorrow will waken the days, the nights will darken the land and the stars will shine.

My lady’s dreams will exist. 

They are not really afraid and will not abandon her….they will wait, breath and live. Prepared for her destiny, she will be born again.

Loving You Dearest

Lightly running his fingers through her hair he watches her chest raise and fall in a slow methodical manner.

The moment she took the secretarial job in his fathers office he knew he had to have her.

Tentatively running his index finger across her now bare shoulder he reminisces on a history that he has created with her.

It was almost fourteen months ago to the day that he was introduced to Kate, he could initially see his fathers reasoning behind hiring her. She possessed the darkest brown eyes he had ever seen, he felt like he was drowning in liquorice pools when she looked at him, her long raven hair fell softly towards the curve of her back. When he ran his eyes over her exquisitely toned body he had dark thoughts, they forged unintelligible words in his head that would or could not cross his lips.

It was interesting to watch the way they drooled over her, often sitting at his desk he would see their eyes follow Kate across the room, even the other ladies in the office started to dress up more, cover themselves in imitation designer perfumes, and limp around in stiletto heels that made them look like baby elephants on a tight rope.

Tailored well fitted suits were his normal attire for work, they fit his body so as to show his muscular frame bursting from within, slick hair cut on a fortnightly basis and expensive aftershave were his trademarks. He worked as hard on himself as he did in the office, liking things to be clean and organised was always a good thing when you were surrounded by vermin, ones he was forced to be around on a daily basis.

Kate was the first thing he had wanted since Chloe, yes Chloe, she had been very good, he had taken what he needed from her. Missing her was an unfortunate side effect but he had filled his lust with whatever he could have. Paying for services had never been an issue, they ran a business as efficiently as he did and both parties benefited from the transaction.

Keeping his lust for Kate secret in the office was easy, he was far from stupid, paying her as much attention as he did the others gave no signal to his plans.

Sanctioning a staff night at The Manor Pub was always going to work in his favour, his plan was constructed months ago so as he could have his time alone with her. Offering a few hours overtime was just the incentive she needed.

Kate was so lost in her work that she was unaware of his approach from behind, covering her nose and mouth with a chemically soaked rag rendered her unconscious. Moving quickly he lifted her limp figure over his shoulder and swiftly moved towards the service elevator that would take him to the underground car park. It really was terribly unfortunate that vandals had destroyed the surveillance system two nights previous,’ Who would do such a thing?’ he had said to his father.

He bundles her into the back of his five series BMW and covers her slight frame in an old blanket, his movements were perfectly premeditated.

Bringing her home he expertly carries her to his prepared room, using cable ties to bind her to his bed he allowes the chemicals to keep her in a deep slumber. His plan was faultless, it would give him the opportunity to make an appearance at The Manor.

Being forced to smile and pretend he enjoyed their company was painful, but knowing she was waiting for him was truly torturous, his craving for her continued to build but, he was a patient man. Protecting himself was the priority and establishing an alibi took precedence over his desires.

Leaving them when they were sufficiently drunk ensured they would have impaired memories of whom was there, when they left or if they ever actually did.

Kate never regains consciousness, he is a twisted individual, even by his own standards. Enjoying his time on her, he relishes in the cuts that run deep on her now ruined body, running his fingers on the ragged flesh the blade has left behind. He watches as the blood pools on the floor beneath and spreads itself out as if looking for its dieing host.

Laying beside her he listens, her breathing becoming laboured, a gargling rises from somewhere deep within, her chest becomes still as life departs. This is where he truly loves her, but she has left him, just like Chloe.

It has been seven weeks since Kates disappearance, unable to hold her secretarial position open any longer his father has filled it.

 The office door opens and a beautiful slim redhead walks in, the vermin all look and he can see their want for her already. Consuming her with his eyes he thinks….. ‘I will be loving you dearest’

Darkened Skies

Possibly thinking the worst thoughts can be the best thing for you. Create the worst scenario in your mind, close your eyes and play it in all its glory. Watch how bad it truly becomes, focus on the blacks and greys that multiply to engulf you. They make your situation completely hopeless and all your fears warranted.
Have you destroyed your self worth yet? What pit have you shovelled your confidence in?
The creation of your own fears has penetrated the very part that sustains your strength. Your fears…your creative darkened mind…your own incredible self.
We all have the capability of becoming lost in our own darkness. No matter who you are you will have fears, you will encounter bullies and you will walk in those places where your own thoughts torture you.
Learning to open your eyes and gaining respect for yourself can be the longest journey, but realising that you are lost allows you to be found.
It is in our darkest moments that we see the gentle flicker of hope. It will sadly mean that you may need the shadowed spaces to see light. It is here that you will set your roots deep, your strength found, you will grow, renewed by that hope, you shall reach higher and become stronger as you realise that towards the light lies the true you. A celestial storm bringing light to others in darkness.
Trust in yourself, for, although you were covered by that darkness, it was only then that you could see the light.

The Storm

Behind these eyes I have hidden my true self, I am unapologetic for it because what I hide is all of me. Few will ever get the chance to see me, because the storm of thoughts that lay behind them bring with it a wind of change.

Who is it that will capture these storms and bring rest to these perpetual troubled seas?

Who will catch the lightning, and grasp it so close that the pulse of heat will radiate through their fingers until, the brilliance of light burns my image into their eyes?

I will always hold a storm because this is part of me, the person that will love me will know this.They will know summer when my heart sings,when my eyes flash upon them and dance as I keep that moment forever, imprinted in the great halls of my memory.

They will see the storms and weather through them by my side,they will be my lighthouse and guide me to them when winds howl and seas rage.

For the person that will anchor me through these times, and stand fast in the violent winds I will allow to see the true me. They will see me dance in the summer breeze as the sun blushes my skin, they will hold my heart and hear my spirit sing as my eyes become alive. It is then and only then that they will know the true me.

They will know the passion I possess for all that I love and all that love me, they will see my strength and know I am a force of raw nature hidden within my own storms.

For I am a storm, I am the summer sun and whether my spirit is broken a thousand times I will fight. I will fight with the ferocity of all of nature so that I will always be me, I will be the seasons of the year, ever-changing and forever true to what and whom I really am.

It will be the lighthouse keeper of my heart that will witness this, it will be then that they know that there is no other like me, they will anchor themselves by my side and we will sail into the future.Confident that whatever storms are carried by the winds of change we will weather, forever together.