24 April Monday
It rained for six minutes today. A tentative little drizzle that barely started before it stopped again. Everyone speaks of the lack of rain. It is an endless topic of discussion. The fields seem to be growing with barley and corn and various crops but nothing is growing as quickly as it should be growing. The cows are eating grass faster than it is coming up. Most days are cool, overcast and grey. It looks like it should rain. It feels like it should rain. We wish it would rain or we wish the sun would come out.
23 April Sunday
The field across the meadow is very steep. It is so steep and so straight up and down that when Paul’s cows are walking along the top edge of the field in a long drawn out single line, they look like they could tumble off the field. The field looks like it is vertical and flat.
22 April Saturday
There is a squished thing in the road. It has been there for months now. Maybe it has been there for a year. It was the kind of long narrow tube that is used for squeezing silicon or adhesive or bitumin or some other building stuff. The tube gets fitted into a sort of gun and then whatever is inside gets squeezed out through the nozzle. From the first time I noticed it flattened on the tarmacadam it was already too late to know what it had held. It had been run over several times and the printed information which described its contents was already faded to an all over grey. There was nothing to identify what had been inside. The nozzle is unbroken. Whatever it was that was inside was tough stuff. It has survived in its flattened condition for a long time with tractors and lorries and cars rolling over it. It has not broken down at all. It is well stuck to the road. In the midst of my spring time walking and my noting of each new kind of flower as it arrives, I check to see that the squished tube is still in place. Speedwell. Vetch. Apple Blossom. Bluebells. Garlic flowers. Primroses. Stitchwort. Cow Parsley. Flattened tube.
21 April Friday
The man on the radio was giving advice about calling in to visit elderly people just as a way to make certain that they are all right and that they know someone is keeping track of them. He said that this is important in the country where houses are far apart but it is important in the city too where the neighbours are not who they used to be and the person still living there might not know anyone around any more even if once they knew everyone on the street. He said that calling in did not have to mean going in. He kept repeating that there is no need to go into the house. Just a brief hello and A Standing Up Tall on the step was enough. He said, “You don’t have to go and live in the house.”
As always, it is slippery and wet going up the Mass Path. It is the only place that is wet. I was walking carefully through the mud when I was pushed hard from behind. I knew I was alone so the hefty nudge startled me. It was the big yellow labrador who appears every few weeks. He wanted to walk in front of me not behind me. I have no idea who he is nor where he lives. We walked together as far as the tar road and then he turned and went off into a field. I have not seen him since.
19 April Wednesday
I took a short cut down a street in Clonmel. At the corner a plastic sleeve folder was wired to the hedge. Inside the sleeve was a sign which read WALL GREASED DO NOT SIT. The wall beneath the hedge was about as high as my thigh. It had been daubed with globs of some kind of grease. Maybe it was axle grease. It was not dry. It would probably never be dry. It will make a terrible mess of a person’s clothes if someone sits down on it. There is a school across the street. Perhaps the resident of that house is weary of school children sitting on the wall. But what about an elderly person who might need a rest on the way home from the shops? Both the wall and the hedge and the grease continued right around the corner where there was a second sign, exactly the same as the first one.