Clutches of Mist
18 August Thursday
The radio weather man announced the presence of Clutches of Mist everywhere.
17 August Wednesday
I was in the supermarket. Among other things, I bought two long narrow red peppers. The girl at the till got flustered and asked me to wait a minute. She had to void something on the till and start again. By the time she was finished, she tried to tell me what had happened. It looked like I had bought four Chicken Pot Pies when in fact I had not bought a single Chicken Pot Pie. The Pot Pies were listed and then voided and then listed again and voided again. My till receipt was long and confusing. The girl explained it as best she could because she said she did not want me to get home and think I had paid for a lot of Chicken Pot Pies when in fact I had none at all. She said that it was all because of the red peppers.
16 August Tuesday
We were given some Japanese geta sandals which are very nice but they are not exactly practical for life around here. We hung them up on the wall in the entry to the sauna where they have been for seven years now. Tom Browne’s slate mirror is wedged in up over the sauna door. When I went to photograph it, I noticed that a swallow had made her nest on one of the shoes. The mother was in the nest and she was agitated with my presence. This morning both mother and babies are absent when I go to look. The nest is empty. They might just be out for a flight around the place or they might be gone for good.
15 August Monday
This morning was completely white with fog. We could see nothing beyond the fence. A morning like this feels like the beginning of autumn, even though the calendar says August. By late morning the fog had all burned off. The sky was blue and the sun was warm. After lunch the sun was hot. I lay down on the grass and fell asleep. When I woke up I felt warm pressure on my back. Oscar was stretched out beside me snoring heavily. I never heard him arrive. He does not usually come down to visit unless he is walking along with a person. He lives a kilometer away. I got up from my nap and went on with my jobs. He stayed where he was for another half hour and then he got up, had a drink of water and headed off in the direction of his home. He is an independant dog.
13 August Saturday
Today was the day for the yearly celebration at the Mass Rock. I had never attended so I decided that I really should see it for myself. There was a lot of confusing information about the time but the place was fixed. A Mass at the Mass Rock could only be held at the Mass Rock. Cars drove up into the Knockmealdowns as far as they could go and then people walked across the mountain for about 25 minutes to get to the Rock. A few of the people setting off were wearing completely inappropriate shoes. The day was dry and there was not much mud but little summery sandals did not seem like a good idea.
John and Brendan Condon had tractors and trailers at the ready. They drove across carrying the elderly and anyone who was in any way unable to walk. They made several trips back and forth. Larry Doocey said he had The Sciatica on him so he could not walk but claimed that they needed him up there for taking the photographs because that is what he does every year. John drove a blue tractor with a blue trailer. Brendan drove a red tractor and pulled a red trailer. Both of the trailers had been fitted with padded benches which could be lifted in and out as people entered and exited the trailers. Brendan’s trailer was lined with carpet and he had covered the side rails with pieces of carpet which he secured with blue baling twine. He provided cushions and an umbrella for his passengers. Both bothers had upside-down plastic crates to help people to step down off the trailers. Brendan wore a cowboy hat for the occasion. John wore no hat.
There were about 80 people at the service. Some people sat across the stream because the hill rose steeply up from there. They were directly facing the Rock and the priest. The priest wore a white robe and he held a microphone with an amplifying box at his feet. The amplifier looked like a yellow suitcase. The sound did not carry very well although it was probably better for those sitting across the stream. The steep hillside made it almost like they were on tiered seats. Everyone else stood or sat along the edge of the escarpment. Some people had their backs to the priest. It just had to do with what kind of rock could be found to sit upon. A few people sat on small folding stools. There was a little bit of music with both singing and instruments. The Mass did not last long and then everyone stood up and talked to one another for a while and then we all headed back across the mountain. By the time everyone had gotten back to their cars and we were leaving, a large bottle of whiskey appeared and several of the fiddles were tuning up again.