The Short Baldy Irishman

by ericavanhorn

4 November Tuesday

I just finished sewing up a book with red thread.  I tossed the little leftover pieces of cotton onto the compost heap.  Some of the pieces will blow away.  Every year in the spring I see nests being built using the tiny bits of thread which we have used for our most recent book-making.  If this red lasts the winter there will be bright additions to many nests.  I can recall different books when I look at spring nests.

5 November Wednesday

Maud told me of a woman who passes by her house in Cork several times a day.  The woman never passes without rubbing the number thirteen on the door.  She said it is her lucky number and she dares not pass the house without making contact with what she considers Her Number.  It is the number she uses for any lottery or raffle that she enters.  She sticks with the same number knowing that it will come good eventually.  I cannot not remember if their number is made of brass.  If it is, all of the daily rubbing by this hopeful woman will be keeping it nice and shiny.

6 November Thursday

Various dogs come to visit.  Each one runs around sniffing and peeing and examining things.  I have been thinking that each dog is arriving and discovering the residual smells of Emily.  I should probably accept that Em’s odours are now long gone.  None of her canine friends are savouring her memory.  What each visiting dog is smelling is the signs left by the last visiting dog.  Thor and Molly, Walker, Oscar and Ruby. Each dog delights in the scent of another dog.

7 November Friday

Today was a fine day for the dump run.  We transport our stuff to the dump about once a month.  No one would ever drive down here to collect it.  There are so many things to gather together from the lean-to and the house and from the different barns.  There is cardboard and paper, and the clear plastic bags with clean and dry recyclables.  I put a lot of the newsprint aside for the dog sanctuary but the shiny magazines and other paper are no good to them.  There is the black bag with horrible things.  There are food tins and empty jars and bottles for separate recycling bins.  There are plastic water bottles.  By doing all of the things separately we do not have to pay to put a lot of things into the clear bags.  It is a time-consuming job.  It is largely a matter of consolidating. It is nearly enough to call in the Army Corps of Engineers.  No matter how recently we have been to the dump, the load always fills the entire car. At least on a clear, dry and not cold day it is not a terrible job.  It is just a job. Arriving at the recycling depot is better in good weather too.  The man in charge was marveling about this still fine weather we are having.  He said it is so mild that he had a butterfly in his sitting room.  He did not want to put it outside because he knew the night chill would kill it.  There are still a remarkable number of spiders around too. The thing that really excited him as a sign of the unseasonable weather was that there was A Fly in His Kitchen.  He repeated this three times, with delight.

8 November Saturday

Being in a doctor’s waiting room with nothing to read is my idea of hell.  There are always some people staring off into space.  Some fiddle with their phones.  Sometimes there is a noisy television set or else people just look at each other.  Today a woman was telling her daughter not to touch the magazines as they hold the germs of all the sick people who have come through the waiting room. Not everyone has something contagious when they go to the doctor but that did not seem to occur to her.  She did not call the magazines magazines.  She called the magazines Books. She said the only thing more disgusting than the books at a doctors office were the books from a public library.

9 November Sunday

The Village Lotto Jackpot is now 9050 euros.  Everyone was excited when it reached  7000.  Now the anticipation of a winner is even higher  Everyone comments on the amount and then adds that it would be a grand thing to win the lottery just before Christmas. They are excited for someone to win it but at the same time they are also excited by the idea of it getting as high as 10,000 before someone wins.  There is a lot of discussion.

10 November Monday

There are several words which are consistently said with a Y at the end.  One is Roundy.  Roundy might be used when someone is speaking of a pair of Roundy Eyeglasses.  They would not say Round nor Rounded.  They would not say Circular nor Oval-Shaped.  They would always speak of Roundy which maybe makes things sound more Round.  Another of these words is Baldy.  No one speaks of a Bald-Headed Man nor of a Bald Man nor a Bald Head.  I was reminded of this today when someone described himself by saying: “I’m the short Baldy Irishman with glasses and a white beard”  just so that those who did not yet know him would be able to recognize him easily.