by ericavanhorn

18 April Saturday

I have stopped feeding the birds.  I have stopped filling the bird feeders.  I ran out of nuts the other day.  The wild bird seed had already run out a few weeks ago. I have been asking other people if they are still feeding the birds.  One person told me that she feeds the birds all year long because she likes to have them outside her windows all the time.  Another person told me that he has stopped ever since he saw the birds feasting off a bush full of berries.  One woman told me that it is time for them to learn to fend for themselves.  She said if she continues to feed them they will only get lazy and then they will not know how to take care of themselves and their young.  I stopped feeding the birds only because I ran out of nuts and the shop had no more when I went to refill my bucket.

I have stopped feeding the birds their special bird nuts but I continue to take scraps of bread and crumbs outside.  Rather than throw crumbs and bread into the grass, I put them onto one of the wooden tables.  I also put bread and crumbs along the top of a stone wall.  Sometimes the table  and the wall are covered with snacking birds before I even get into the house again.  I cannot see the top of the wall from the house but I can see the table. Today I found myself wondering once again if the birds are eating the things as quickly as it seems to be disappearing.  I wondered out loud if it was a rat or if the birds were indeed eating everything.  I am certain if a rat were dining on the table there would be recognizable droppings and since I have seen no droppings I can believe it is not rats. I watched some birds pecking at the table and then I went off and did some other things.  I came past the window a little later and saw a fox standing on the table eating bread.  A magpie stood on a nearby chair observing the fox, or maybe waiting for a turn at the crumbs.  The fox threw back his head and chewed with his mouth open and his head rolling from side to side.  He stood on the table and ate with gusto. He ate just the way Em used to eat when something was a treat and she wanted to make it last.

20 April Monday

I have not heard the man with the strong Dutch accent who reads the weather on the radio for a while.  I cannot remember when I last heard him.  He is often absent for long periods of time.  Sometimes he is gone for so long that I think he must have found another job, but then he comes back again.  Maybe this time he has indeed found another job.

22 April Wednesday

I waited behind a man at the Motor Factors store.  He was buying some part for a piece of farm equipment.  On the back of the man’s T-shirt were the words:  If she’s not blue she won’t do.  The words were printed in blue letters.   It was taking a while to identify what was needed.  Both the man behind the counter and the customer looked in catalogues and made phone calls to identify and locate the correct part. I had a lot of time to study the words on the back of the man’s shirt.  I could not decide if the message was sexist or what it was.  The more I looked at it the more I did not understand it. When the man finally turned around to leave, I saw that there was a blue tractor on the front of his shirt.  The blue and the she were both a brand of tractor.

23 April Thursday

There are several grubby places which remind me of Em.  They are low down on corners.  One is on the way out of the bathroom.  Another is on the edge of the wood box.  Maybe she used these spots to give herself a nice rub in passing.  Or maybe they only mark the spots where she was rushing and cut the corners a little tight.  The grubby places are exactly at the height of her body.  I have been unwilling to clean away the marks.  I like being reminded of her movements.

24 April Friday

The fish and chip man spends more and more of every Friday night inside the pub.  Every so often, he steps out for a cigarette.  While he is outside, he checks on his fryer and his van. Maybe his customers are a late crowd.  He comes back week after week. I rarely see anyone buying fish and chips.

25 April Saturday

We went into the Convent of Mercy to view the items to be auctioned.  The advertisement announced an Auction of Antique and High Class Furniture, etc.  A great many of the people wandering around on the ground floor were there just for a chance to look around inside the large building. We were among the curious. One man who was snapping photographs in the chapel announced that he was only there for the memories.

The furniture on show was a disturbing conglomeration of utilitarian stuff.  Some of it was old but a lot of it was just second-hand.  I am not sure that much was of real antique worth.  There were a lot of religious paintings and objects, church kneelers available in groups of three, four or six, an altar and innumerable boxes of assorted china, glassware, and cutlery.  There were many many tables and many many chairs. Everything was brown.  People were marking things on their blue cards in advance of the auction.  There were twelve rooms and corridors jammed full of things.  The objects were marked on the card by the room in which they were displayed as well as by a number.  Number one was a crucifix in the Kitchen.  The last number was 488 and denoted 6 plastic deck chairs in the Green Room.

I liked a wooden kitchen chair which had been attached to a little platform. (No.321 in the Dining Room).  The platform had two big wooden wheels on each side and a small wheel at the back.  The whole thing had been covered with dark brown paint.  The all over brown made it into a wheelchair instead of just a chair on a wheeled platform.

Just as we were leaving, it began to rain, so we stayed to watch the beginning of the auction.  Everyone was telling everyone else that the convent has been purchased by a group of Egyptian Coptics.  Several of these men were there in the auction room, wearing long black robes and long black cardigans and black head coverings with brightly coloured floral embroidery.  I wondered why a group of Egyptian Coptics have chosen Cahir for their new home.  The auctioneer began the proceedings by instructing everyone on the procedures for bidding, paying for and collecting items after the auction.  He announced that throughout the proceedings the Seventh Commandment was in effect.

26 April Sunday

The stitchwort has turned all of the ditches into masses of tiny bright white flowers.  I never know if what I am seeing is the Greater Stitchwort or the Lesser Stitchwort.  I do not mind which it is.  The distance is full of white flowering blackthorn and there are various fruit trees with white blossom. The wild garlic is in flower too so that means lots of exploding star white flowers amongst dark green leaves. Lots of white flowers and lots of bright sky.  It all looks like spring even though today is a bit colder than I would like.