Friday, June 29, 2012

Memo From a Cool, Green Island.....

It hardly seems like it, but I've been here a week already! It is blissfully cool compared to Florida. We've had clouds and rain and fitful sunshine, none of it slowing us in our tracks at all! The Irish could teach the rest of the world to appreciate sunshine....A sunny day makes the whole country giddy with delight!

The Blister and GB cycled in a big cycling event in The Burren last weekend, he in the 100km, she in the 60 km. Various  friends and relatives also did the cycle, so there was a cheerful crowd. The day started wet and drizzly, the kitchen full of upside down bikes and people in lycra! Not being much into masochism, I was very happy to be staying behind in the big, warm, dry kitchen! I had excellent company in Major Pettigrew's Last Stand [by Helen Simonson] and a fine big mug of tea!

After a few chapters though, I noticed that the clouds had lifted and the sun was making a valiant effort. So I set off for the mountain behind the house. Not finding a path off the narrow lane to take me upwards, I climbed over a farmer's gate [after a furtive look around] and struck off across the fields. I was climbing as I went, and soon was on the typical limestone rock of The Burren, and still making tracks up the mountain. It is a breathtaking sight when you get up high enough. All of North Co. Clare is laid out before you, the rocky limestone stretching for miles, little cottages and farms, and Galway Bay off out to the west! I took a gazillion photos but you'll have to wait until I get home and organize them. Meanwhile, just close your eyes and picture a misty blue and green slice of heaven!

There were  lots of hungry people 'round the table that evening and plenty of lasagne and curry for everyone. Then a walk to the village, to the pub which was full of more cyclists and everyone hail- fellow-well-met with everyone else!

It's very nice to be home!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ten, Nine, Eight, Seven......

"Bring your winter woollies," the Little Blister said.
Summer was last month in Ireland. This month it's "piddling rain and bloody freezing!"

"Bring your winter woollies," said Brit-Boy and the Lovely Natalie.
Summer came in the springtime to the UK. Now it's "piddling rain and bloody freezing" there too.

The Bean came home at the weekend and felt the tension the minute he walked in the door. Invisible, but tangible. It makes him want to turn and run!

"You're freaking out already mom, aren't you?"

 Not really. Pacing a lot, raking my fingers through my hair, avoiding the bedroom where my suitcase lies, open and empty on the floor, demanding to be filled. There was a cat in it for a while. When I freak out he freaks out. He catches the vibe when I still think I'm calm. He knows better. He can tell by the pacing, and the suitcase on the floor. The empty suitcase. A suitcase on the floor never bodes well. It means there's about to be an upheaval of some sort and El Gato dislikes upheavals of any sort. He feels if he climbs in and makes a nest he can alter the disturbing course of events. But he's been evicted and banned from the bedroom. I don't need every stitch I eventually pack covered in cat hair.How do you pack for "piddling rain and freezing" when it's 90 degrees in the shade? Under such conditions, long sleeved, cotton T-shirts start to look like winter woollies.

I'm tense, excited,  nervous....It's not the travelling that bothers me. It's the "What ifs." With the OC in the Far North and The Bean only here on weekends a little voice in my head starts up.....

What if there's a hurricane and large trees fall on the house?

What  if it's so hot the water evaporates from the pool to an extent that makes the pump explode?

What if it rains so hard the pool overflows? [next life, no pool.]

What if unmentionable, scary things happen to people I love while I'm off, swanning around Ireland?

What if I were to take a deep breath, as I've been learning to do at yoga? Because I know that all the fretting is futile.  I know this, but that little voice in my head apparently never got the memo!

I have a list as long as my arm of things to do before Thursday.

You'd think I'd be doing them.

But no. I've been in the sewing room, puttering---to take my mind off the impending need to be organized.

Stress relief.

In a way, I actually am organized. Those piles on the floor?

All the essentials are there: the pounds, the euros, the passport, the flight information, the camera, the chargers, something to read, something to write on and with, something to stitch.  When I do start to put stuff in the suitcase [and it had better be soon] first in will be the legendary ladybug quilt. Legendary for how many years it took to finish! The incentive to do so was the opportunity to hand deliver it to Little Brit-Boy who is already three [!!] and an expert on all things creepy crawly.

And now it's no longer Tuesday. To assuage my guilt at abandoning Pat for so long I went to work today. I left early, at her urging...."Go home and pack!"

Standing, wringing my hands doesn't seem to be working, so I've called on S-I-L for help.She needs a break from The Prince anyway! She'll be by as soon as he is fed and watered, and between us we'll wrestle those winter woollies into that suitcase!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

California Dreamin'

Thought I'd better pop you all a line or two before you erase me from your memory! There are about sixteen feeble attempts on my dashboard. Blogger dignifies them with the title "Drafts!" Hmm.....

So I thought " Drafts be damned! I'll just pretend I'm writing a letter!" Part of the "draft" problem is that there is nothing earthshaking or profound going on...... About which I'm certainly not complaining. I've had my fill of "earthshaking," and it's hard to be profound when you're going in five directions at once.

Speaking to the Little Blister on the phone the other day, I asked if she was still writing. It's not as if she has the time or anything, what with teaching yoga, and water aerobics, the recent death of her beloved Larry [R.I.P.] and the care and feeding of the queen in the aftermath. But still, she's good at it, was going to a writing group, but not at the moment, so the short answer was "no." And apart from time, she doesn't have inspiration.

 "Maybe I'll have to start blogging again," quoth she! I'm not holding my breath, but that is a direct quote! Maybe we'll inspire each other, when I see her in a few weeks. 

 There's a strange, white haired, older woman lurking in the mirror these days. I find that, if I pretend not to notice her, I can carry on being thirty five and she can carry on being whatever age she is, and nobody gets hurt..........I'm a year older now than when I last posted. I have reached that venerable age immortalized by the Beatles. God only knows if he "still needs me" but he does "still feed me," and even, once in a while, takes me out for an airing, most recently to California. Since the OC couldn't  be home for my birthday he hatched a plan. We'd meet in Sacramento, hop in a car and drive, drive, drive, north, to visit our California

 Last time I saw her was seventeen months ago, so a visit was long overdue.

We accompanied CG on an expedition to the vet one day. And I do mean expedition. It reminded me of when our children were younger. At one time we had a van. It was quite an adventure if all the children had to be rounded up and taken somewhere together! The fact that this time it was a horse trailer, not a mini van hardly matters. The logistics were much the same. The stallion went in first, with longing glances back to the mare in the pasture-----

"Parting is such sweet sorrow!"

But he was a good boy and stood quietly while CG put his socks on.....

But then, Oh joy! She went and brought the mare, who had been whinnying after her man.....

Next into the trailer were her "teenagers" who seemed comfortable with the whole situation since their elders weren't kicking up a fuss!

Here's the vet with his arm buried up to the shoulder, James Herriot -style, inside Maggie, trying to ascertain if there's the beginnings of a foal in there. Sadly there was not.

All the grand-animals got their shots and while the OC helped CG load them into the trailer again, I had time for some random photographs...................This was the scene from the vet's parking lot..............

 The lilies at the top were growing in a ditch at the entrance to the farm where CG boards her horses. Such exquisite perfection growing unheeded in the ditch!

Alongside the lilies was a tangled profusion of wild flowers..........I happily risked falling into the rather wet and messy ditch to bring you this picture...........

 The OC is a restless man, though he would call it  "busy." We can agree to differ on that!  He likes to keep moving, likes to "leave'em begging for more," believes that "fish and visitors stink after a few days......" Well you know all that......

Bottom line: I was not ready to leave after the few days he had planned.

 Wail! "I just got here!"

I was back here before I was fully convinced I'd gone at all. I'd forgotten how beautiful, and vast, California is......

Next time I'm staying 'til I'm kicked out!

California Girl and I even picked out a cottage for our dotage.....but I'll keep that for another post!