Desirable parking positions
8 September Tuesday
SuperValu is having a French Food & Wine Sale. There is a large handwritten sign outside the shop. Beside the sign is a mannequin dressed up to appear French. It is wearing black trousers and a black and white horizontally striped shirt. I think the striped shirt is supposed to look like a Breton shirt. It looks more like a shirt worn by a gondolier in Venice. The very white arms and feet of the mannequin are visible but it has no head. A black beret rests on the neck, nearly hiding a jaunty red neckerchief.
7 September Monday
I was on the road returning home. A car came around the far corner just as a small rabbit ran out and ran diagonally across the road. The other car accelerated and aimed at the rabbit. He was racing toward the rabbit and he was racing toward me. The rabbit jumped into the bushes just at the last minute. The rabbit escaped. The driver swerved at the last minute and did not smash into me. He passed me with a big smile and a wave. If he had been a young man I would have thought he was a creep. But he was an older man with white hair and a round cheerful face. I still thought badly of him, but my disgust was mixed with shock.
6 September Sunday
Heading to the village to get the papers this morning, I thought I was early enough to miss the crowd arriving for mass. A short wait behind Tomas’ cows on the road meant that I arrived exactly at the time as many others were arriving. The desirable parking positions in front of the shop were already filled. Every single car had backed in so that they could easily drive out after mass. This is a way for the people in the cars to stay sitting in their seats so that they can watch everyone else arriving. They can stay in their cars right up until the last minute. This is especially good on a wet day. People were walking toward the church from all directions. It was a lovely morning so people stopped as they met one another and they chatted on the pavement. There was no reason why people could not talk while they walked but every single person stopped walking to talk. Some cars halted to let out an older person and then the car went off to park. No one parks directly in front of the church. That is one space always left open. A lot of men have the habit of dropping their wife off and then they go to find a parking spot. This way they arrive separately. They do not go into the church together. They just meet up again when it is all over. The men were all tidy in their new sweaters and most of the women wore cardigans. It was a lovely morning but still there was a chill in it.
5 September Saturday
The big cow flap down near the stream has stayed in an unusually liquid state for a long time. It was deposited by a cow during the break out or break in through the meadow. That must be several weeks ago now. Normally manure forms a crust over the top. The underneath stuff remains wet and mushy but the top crust forms and then slowly the whole thing dries from the top down. This manure has looked the same for all the time it has been there. I think maybe the top crust has not formed because it is well shaded by the chestnut tree and other bushes. I think there is not one bit of sun all day long in that spot. I will continue to hop over it each time I walk the path but I will be glad when it has broken down into mud.
4 September Friday
I do not go to Dublin often. I never want to go to Dublin. I never have an urge to rush up to Dublin simply because I have not been there for a while. I know Dublin is there but somehow I do not need it. It is not that I do not like cities. I love cities and there are cities I look forward to visiting and re-visiting. Dublin is not one of them. For most people the capital city is the place to go because it is full of pleasures. I always feel disappointed after a trip to Dublin.
As a result of my foot-dragging relationship with this city, I have missed something I really wanted to do there. Back in January, Donal told me about two short films which could be seen at the An Post Museum in the General Post Office. One was of a postman in Donegal doing his rounds. The other film was watching somebody sorting the post in the Athlone center. I put a reminder up on my wall. I looked at it often. I have been to Dublin a few times but it was never the right time. It was either a busy day for errands, or just passing through on the way to a plane or a ferry, or it was a Sunday. For various reasons, I failed to get to the GPO during opening hours.
I finally got there this week. I finally made it a priority on my list of things to do. Unfortunately the museum has been closed. It will not be re-opened until next year and then it will no longer be a museum but an Interpretive Center. The reason for the renovation and the re-naming is because of the anniversary of the 1916 Uprising. Perhaps the museum will be exactly the same when it re-opens. I will not know if it is the same. The woman at the nearby Philatelic Counter could not tell me if the films will be included in the new Interpretive Center. She was not even vaguely interested. Her job was selling stamps to collectors. And because the museum had been closed she was required to sell a few of their souvenirs because her counter was nearest to the closed door. I bought four postcards. She was not happy with her added workload.