13 April Wednesday
There are the kind of daffodils which get planted out to bloom early. These are the ones which cheer people up after the long winter. The early-flowering daffodils are a great sign. The early-flowering daffodils are a sign of hope. The early daffodils are what most people plant. Then there are the late-flowering daffodils that keep the blooming going for a long time. There are also the sort of mid-season bulbs which again keep a display going. Most people are always eager for the earliest possible blooms so they put in the early-flowering bulbs and then they are always meaning to put in more to keep the blooming staggered and going for many weeks. Most people mean to put in more bulbs but by the time the autumn comes they forget that they meant to put more in and anyway in November they feel certain there will be plenty of daffodils in the spring. in November, daffodils are not the main thing in anyone’s mind. This is what Marie explained to me in a big rush. I have put more punctuation in than she said. She barely took a breath in the entire time she was speaking. I simply could not write what she said the way she said it.
12 April Tuesday
Irish language news comes on the radio at half past the hour. The news is read in Irish but as soon as it switches to sport everything goes back to English.
11 April Monday
One of the side effects of all this rain is that the top of the plastic box which we use as our post box fills with water. It makes a rectangular lake of water about 2 inches deep. Today I went to lift the lid off the box to check for post. My scarf dipped into the little lake and immediately soaked up water. Capillary action. My scarf sucked up water so fast that it was already wet six inches up from the bottom by the time I got back into the house.
10 April Sunday
It has been lashing with rain for a solid 24 hours. I have tried various things to ignore it. There is rain pouring in through the bathroom ceiling. There is rain dripping off the edge of one velux window. There is rain coming through a crack over the window in the book barn. We have spent a lot of time moving things out of the way and putting towels and newspapers down. We have spent a lot of time moving the wet newspapers and putting down more newspapers. We have spent a lot of time checking other places which might be leaking and which sometimes leak but so far are not leaking. The wind is particularly wild and I think water is blowing in directions and crannies where it would never usually go. We have put on loud music to cover the sound of the wind and the rain. We have kept a fire going in the stove all day just to be rid of the sense of every single thing being damp. I cannot wait until this day is over. I do not know why I think tomorrow will be any better.
9 April Saturday
There is not much to like about Limerick Bus and Train Station. The old tobacco kiosk is about the only thing to look forward to. Usually I only see it from the bus on arrival or departure. Today I walked out and took a photograph. It is a busy spot with a lot of car movement. A park spreads out green and lush behind the kiosk. The opposite side of the street is full of boarded up buildings and trash and broken down fencing. It is a grim neighbourhood. This little kiosk and its park are the only pleasant things to look at. I had to return to the station quickly because it was cold and windy. The rain came in gusts.
Starbucks has taken over the café at the station. We were a bit shocked to see this. We never go into a Starbucks anywhere. There is always somewhere else to go. But there is only the one café at the station. There has always been only one café at the station. Everyone goes in to sit down because it is the only place to sit and not be frozen. The station waiting area is high-ceilinged and drafty and cold. There are birds swooping and pooping all the time. There is a little news stand and there are a few rows of seats. Basically the waiting area is outdoors. Even on a warm day it is cold in the waiting area. Everyone goes into the café where there is a tall fireplace and chimney breast. The fireplace is not lit. I have never seen a fire in there but everyone wants to sit nearest to the fireplace as if it has heat to offer. It is the idea of heat which makes them cluster close. There are big armchairs near the fireplace as there always have been. The café is much the same as it always was before Starbucks took over. The walls have been painted black and the armchairs are newer and less torn up. There are fancy lights and there are a lot of pricey coffee related products on sale. Everything costs more than it did before. Still, it is the only place to sit while waiting for a bus or train. A lot of people are just there for the waiting. They are neither eating nor drinking. They are just sitting and they are waiting. It is not a lot warmer than the big waiting area but it has two doors which close so it is a little warmer. And there are no birds.
There was a bin full of packages of wet coffee grounds. These three kilo packets were being offered free for people to put in their gardens. The lad loading up the bin said he used to work for the council doing landscape work. He said snails hate coffee grounds so that alone is a good reason to share them around outside. He liked the recycling and he liked the way it reduced the café’s waste. He spent a long time making the display look nice. He was proud of his display. He was proud that the system was working. He said people loved to take the bags home with them but he did not think many people got on a bus or train carrying a bag of the wet coffee grounds. He assumed that the majority of people who took them must live nearby.
8 April Friday
Dead pigeon in the road down near the stream. It had been freshly hit by a car not killed by a fox. There were a lot of feathers spread around. There would not be so much bird left if a fox had killed it. There was that little bit of something bright red which is always near to a dead bird. It is a wiggly bit of an organ. I do not know which one. I decided that it is the spleen. I do not even know if birds have spleens. I do not know what any spleen looks like. Whatever it is the fox rarely eats this organ. Dogs sniff it and leave it. I imagine it is bitter and not pleasant which is why it is always left. When the death is recent and the red thing has not had time to be run over or otherwise further destroyed or dirtied, the red is so bright it looks artificial. It is what I always look for when I see a freshly dead bird.