Serenity in a changing world – Do you shoo or swat?

Yes, I was wondering last night what I would write about today, maybe about the unfortunate Scottish Saga, maybe the Climate Change Rallies… but I was away for all that so maybe I should write about Italian art or, about Roman frescos or buried cities… but what’s actually gripping me today is: Death by a thousand Mosquito bites!

Even as I write now from the comfort of my home in the ancient Viking settlement of Harold’s Cross, I can feel them still, those despicable, detestable blood-sucking insetti, invading my peace of mind. Urg, they would drive a saint STARK- RAVING MAD. But no, we’re not quite safe from them even here in the leafy suburbs of South Dublin. My own sister has been attacked, in her own kitchen! It is thought that the increase of water butts in suburban gardens (to collect rainwater) has brought about a significant increase in the Irish population of these nasty, vile creatures of the night.

Now, I know that they’re all God’s creatures and I’ve heard it said that Buddhists in particular wouldn’t dream of hurting these tiny little insects (apparently they simply shoo them away with a feather or leaf) But no, I’m afraid that I’m not one of those people, I admit that I swat! And I really wonder about the feasibility of ‘feather-shooing’ anyway. But still, such serenity is indeed, enviable…

No, but the question here is: Was there always Mosquitos in Ireland? And No – there wasn’t. Like the case of the shy river bird, the Dipper who now hatches her eggs one week earlier in the year, these mosquitos are the nightmarish evidence of Climate Change. And no, there’s no good side to Climate Change but, what about this photograph below? These are grapes, growing in our back garden, a gift from our friends in France.  Did we ever think they’d grow like this?

photograph by Eoin Mac Lochlainn of grapes grown in Harold's Cross


Finally, I admit that I’m no expert on Mosquitos, Buddhists, Grapes or even Dippers so please forgive me for taking liberties.  Another artist who knows a lot more about the natural world is Cathy Fitzgerald. Check out her website at:

And after all that, can you guess where we were last week?


  1. There was a Buddhist monastery in Northern Thailand which had a problem with cats. The neighbours were unable to look after all the kittens that kept breeding throughout the village, and so they threw them over the monastery wall in the expectation that the good monks would care for them. Very soon, it became a problem for the monks and so they asked the abbot what to do. He instructed the monks that they should drown the cats as soon as they appeared from over the wall, deeming this to be a lesser evil than have the villagers think that they were refusing to care for these creatures. The perceived lack of compassion projected upon the monks by the villagers would have undermined those same villagers’ faith in Buddhism, which in turn would have led to the mendicants not being fed by gifts of food from them and upon which all the inhabitants of the monastery were dependent. The monastery would therefore have ceased to exist. So you know, one has to be pragmatic!

    Good luck with the swatting Eoin.



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