31 May Sunday
We walked to the Abbey and down toward the river. Wild wind sun rain wind sun cloud rain sun rainbow rain sun kind of weather continued during the whole walk. The barley is thigh-high on both sides of the track. At the bottom gate we spoke with four Frenchmen in full fishing gear. They were getting ready to cross through the field full of calves to the riverbank. They were surprised to see us. We were surprised to see them. We never see another person down there except maybe the farmer who owns the fields. They had extremely long fishing rods which flapped about in the wind. They knew the rain was coming again. They spoke no English. We discussed the weather in French and then we all continued with what we were doing. We all knew we would get drenched. I had to change my trousers when I got home.
30 May Saturday
It was cold at the market this morning, but it was dry. I spoke with the woman who sells knitted things. A few weeks ago she made a tea cosy that looked like the front of a Volkswagon camper van. She was very pleased with it. Everyone admired it. Since then she has made two more versions of the camper van. She says she is trying to get the windscreen wipers right. I like the early version where the wipers are made up of several little stitches but she is working on a longer loop which does look more like an actual wiper. She has three camper vans and a beehive and little Aran sweaters with buttons up the front, as well as some other styles of tea cosies. They are lined up on two levels on her table. They look wonderful as a group. She rarely sells one. She says that she makes tea in a mug with a teabag herself. Maybe no one is using tea cosies these days. She said she won’t make another camper van until she sells one of the ones she has already knitted.
It has been trying to rain since 11 this morning. The weather report promised that it would rain all evening and into the night. Evening is anytime after lunch so we knew the afternoon would be a wet one. After returning from the market, I stalled on going out to do anything. Simon rushed outside to do some jobs immediately before lunch. I stalled and stalled. It was cold and windy as well as threatening rain. Just changing into my grubby garden clothes was something I put off. A few minutes ago I walked down to the book barn and a steady soft drizzle was coming down. I finally have my excuse not to go and work outside. Now I can settle to something inside. It is a real relief. We are so weary of this cold and gloom and sun and rain and no sun and the never-ending chill over everything. It is not so many hours before the month of June begins and it is not very nice.
29 May Friday
I followed a car pulling a horse box for about 20 kilometres. On the back of the trailer there was a blue net sack with hay in it. The sack bounced and twirled as the car and the horse box moved along. Sometimes the wind caught the hay and made it spin even more than the bumping along on the back of the trailer already made it do. I could not help but worry if the horse inside the box had some hay to eat during his journey or if his supply was what I was watching bouncing and blowing away in small bits all along the road.
27 May Wednesday
The posters have all been taken down. The feeling of exhilaration and celebration after the successful YES vote has all settled now. For the weeks and days before the referendum the topic was never far from our lives. Directly after the results no one spoke of anything else. People flew from as far away as New Zealand and Australia just to be able to vote. It was the Yes voters who traveled. I do not think the No people were as committed. There were many stories being told. People were both thrilled and proud to have voted for equality. Now it seems that it is time to move on and to talk about other things.
26 May Tuesday
The driving entrance to some houses is called an Avenue. I think an Avenue usually has a tarred surface. If not tarred, it is at least a hard surface. An Avenue is not a dirt track with grass in the middle. An Avenue simply by its name suggests something a little bit finer and a bit wider. An Avenue implies something grand. I never hear an Avenue called a drive nor a driveway. Nor is a boreen an Avenue. A boreen is too rough.
Our own boreen has become a tunnel. It is horribly bumpy underneath and it is wildly overgrown on the sides and the top. The cow parsley has come into its largest and most frothy and effusive mode. The cow parsley is meeting itself at the top and making a canopy under which we drive and walk. It is a fluffy tunnel. The blossoms touch the car on both sides and on the roof as though they are some kind of car wash. An Avenue would never have anything at all touching a vehicle as it drove along.