28 August Friday
It used to be easy to buy nice honey wherever we went while traveling. It was lovely to return home with honey from somewhere else. Honey made by bees eating different things tastes very different. I like to bring honey as a gift and I like to eat honey. I like noticing the difference of honey made by bees eating lavender or heather or apple blossom. I have almost stopped looking for honey when I am away from here. I read a lot about the dangerous disappearance of bees in the world. Bees are dying everywhere. So far we are still surrounded by lots of bees and lots of honey, but not everyone is. Those who have it are less apt to be selling what little they have.
27 August Thursday
I went down to the shop and did a few errands. I was a bit early so I sat in the car and read the newspaper. Then I got out of the car and I leaned against it. I looked around and I watched people coming and going. The village is a busy place in the morning. There were delivery men unloading things from trucks and vans. One would finish and leave and then another would arrive. People went into the food shop and the post office. Other people went into the hardware shop. Some people went in and out of both places. People stood and talked with one another outside the shop or with one person already in their car and the other outside talking through an open window. Everyone had things to do. I recognized everyone I saw. Some people I knew by name and some people I only knew by sight. Or maybe I did not recognize them but I knew their vehicle.
Tommie came down the road slowly. Tommie always drives slowly. He pulled up to the curb. He did not pull up very close to the curb but it was close enough. His car was not exactly blocking the road but it was making the thoroughfare into a single lane road rather than a place where two vehicles can pass each other. He got out of the car and left the door open while he came over to say hello. We spoke a little about things in general. We spoke about the weather and about his wife Margaret, who is not well, and about all the farmers getting their hay and silage in. I told him that I was waiting to meet someone. I said that I was waiting to meet a man so that I could lead him with my car to our house. I said it was easier to do this than it is to give directions. I told Tommie that I did not know the man I was waiting to meet. I did not know if he was old or he was young. I did not know what kind of a car he would be driving. I did not know one single thing about what he would look like. I said that so far I had recognized everyone I had seen so I knew that not one of those people was the man I was waiting for. Tommie reassured me. I was not at all worried, but he felt I needed reassurance. He said You will know right away when you see the person you are waiting for even if you have never seen him before.
26 August Wednesday
Mick is disturbed by the sugar spoon. He knows that he always has four heaped teaspoons of sugar in his tea. The spoon in my sugar bowl is made of cherry wood. It was carved by a friend. I like having it in the sugar bowl so that we can see it everyday. Mick is confused because the bowl of my spoon is bigger than the teaspoon he would ordinarily use. He wants to have one spoon to portion out his sugar and then he wants to stir his tea with the same spoon. The teaspoon is the measure. Since my spoon is not the teaspoon he has lost his measure. He does not enjoy adapting. I usually try to put out a regular teaspoon when he is here but today I forgot. He is too polite to say anything about the incorrect kind of spoon but his discomfort is obvious.
25 August Tuesday
We have been given an Eircode. There was a letter in the post which assigned us this seven digit number. The letter tells us that we do not have to use this code when writing our address. The letter is written in a pleasant tone. It implies that it is understood that most people do not like change therefore no one is being asked to change. The letter has a tear-out card at the top which we are instructed to carry in our wallets. If we do not actually need to use the Eircode, I am not sure why it would be useful for us to carry the number around with us. One of the benefits is supposedly for ordering things on the internet. For years we have had to write a bunch of zeros or a random number whenever we were asked for a postal code. Now we can give this number. Already we are hearing stories that it is no good to put the number into a GPS or any other kind of system. I thought perhaps it would make deliveries by couriers easier as there are so few road signs in the countryside and there is such bad phone coverage and there is never a person to ask for help with directions when out driving. The Eircode has not yet been set up to be used by any computer or satellite system. So far, it is no more useful than not having a number.
23 August Sunday
Em died a year ago today. I still miss her. I miss her everyday. I miss her in funny places and at odd moments. I mostly miss her when I am out on a walk. I miss her when I am out on a walk with another dog who is not her. I miss the sound of her soft snoring and the sound of her feet tapping through the house in the night. I miss the lapping sound of her tongue in her water bowl. I would not say I am mourning. I am just noting her absence. Her sounds were part of the house sounds. Her bed is still in place. Her lead is still on the floor of the car. Her water bowls, both indoors and outdoors, get re-filled regularly. Visiting dogs use them. There does not seem to be any reason to move these things since they are getting used regularly. People ask weekly if we have thought about getting a new dog. We have thought about getting a new dog but we have done nothing about getting a new dog.
22 August Saturday
Blackberries are ripening by the day. It does not matter if the days have been hot or if there has been a lot of rain. Every time I walk up and down the boreen or anywhere at all, I see hundreds of berries. I stop to eat as I walk. Sometimes I take a container and I pick the berries to bring home. Sometimes I am just noting a location that offers easy picking and loads of berries so that I can return.
21 August Friday
Patsy Tom sat up on a high stool in Rose’s. He sat at the same stool in the corner where he always sits. He announced that he had been speaking with a man who told him that you cannot have a road without two ditches. As the hedges bordering each road are called ditches, we are used to seeing them on the sides of just about every road we traverse. I could not understand what the issue was. Instead, this was an opener for what became a long and heated conversation. Everyone within earshot had an opinion about this man’s statement. I left before anything was resolved.
20 August Thursday
I bought a Half Sliced Pan. Or a Half Pan Sliced. I can never remember which way to speak about this bread. It is sliced bread available as a small or half loaf. I do not like this bread and I do not buy it often but some days and in some shops it is the only bread to buy. The reason I mention it is that when I opened the package to take out a slice of bread the first thing I saw was a piece of cardboard in the shape of a piece of bread. It had rounded bottom corners and the top was rounded. The cardboard had one shiny side and one rough side. The cardboard was white and the bread was brown. The cardboard was not heavy. It was like shirt cardboard. It was not strong enough to protect the bread if something heavy fell on top of it. There were not two pieces of card, one at each end. I have no idea what function the shaped bit of card had for the half loaf of bread.