2 May Tuesday
The sun has arrived after the big rain and after so many days or weeks of grey heavy skies. Already I cannot remember anything but this brightness. It is clear. Everything looks cheerful. The sun did not set until nine last night. When the days are grey it is hard to know when it is going down. Now the days just get longer and longer and longer. Plants are growing by the minute. The path is more and more overgrown. Some of the cow parsley is already up and over my head. The stickyback climbing stuff is on everything and acts like a trap I must struggle though in the overgrown places. I just learned that it is called Robin-Run-The-Hedge. A much nicer name than Sticky Back. The nettles are all tangled up with the stickiness. A sting from the youngest of the nettles is the worst. This morning I got stung in the face while swatting a bunch of cow parsley. This sting will be with me all day.
1 May Bank Holiday
The month of May arrives with a lot of superstitions. I think there might be more for May than for any other month but maybe I only hear more. The weather is better and people are more willing to slow down for a chat. I am not sure if the superstitions are all pisogues. I know that a pisogue is a local superstition, but I am not certain that all superstitions are pisogues. One thing I have learned is that it is imperative to walk out in the dew on a morning in May. It does not matter which morning. Any morning is fine as long as it falls within the month. If you do not do this you will have bad luck and if you do do it you will have good luck. Another superstition is that you must hear the Cuckoo during the month of May. If you do not hear the Cuckoo, you will die. The minute the person saying this is finished saying it, he or she quickly reassures the listener by saying that of course you will die at some point anyway so maybe not necessarily in May, and maybe not this May, but still it is best if you do hear the Cuckoo during the month. Kathleen told me that you should not dust the house in May.
30 April Sunday
Last night there was wild gusting wind and lashing rain all night long. The blustery noise was so erratic and demanding that I had to close the window which is something I rarely do. Each time I relaxed into sleep another huge crashing gust would sort of whack into the house. This morning things were blown all around the place. Nothing was where it had been left and the few garments which had been hanging on the washing line were either wrapped tightly around the line or lying wet and bedraggled on the grass. A few things had flown out into Joe’s field. The rain was welcome and this morning the land is saturated. Everything glows green and bright with the big amount of water.
29 April Saturday
Already it is sad not to see young Oscar at his house. He has moved to Goatenbridge with his people. They had only been renting the house up the track for a year and have now decided to buy a house and to settle in the area. After years of working on water projects in Tanzania and other parts of Africa, they now feel the need to stay in one place for the children and their schooling. The toys and the trampoline are gone. I shall miss Oscar and his rolling over for tummy rubs. I miss him already.
28 April Friday
I have a fair number of photographs of things made with tyres. Mostly the uses are utilitarian like holding down a huge sheet of black plastic on a slurry heap, or stopping vehicles bumping into a cement wall but there are a lot of floral and planting arrangements in tyres. Usually the tyres are painted. Each spring they get a fresh coat of paint before being replanted. Two swans made out of tyres have been in place in front of Mr. Bumbles in town for several years. They never seem to get repainted and the painted surface looks no worse for it. A reddish beak is painted onto the white tyre. In the body of the swan is planted a brown spiky plant. They are safely behind a little fence so that no one can steal them. This year a box of pansies has been placed between the two swans.
27 April Thursday
Michael corrected me. He said that we live BEHIND the O’Byrnes not BELOW the O’Byrnes. We have always said BELOW because we are down the hill from the O’Byrnes. We speak of them as being ABOVE at the farm, so if they are Above we are Below. He said that they are closer to the road so they are in Front and therefore we are Behind.
There was the shape of a car in the field near Moloughstown. Was it a ghost limestone dust car or maybe a tarpaulin-covered car in the field? Was the shape formed in the back of a tipper truck and dumped? Was it strange nitrogen granules for the next crop of oil-seed rape to be grown later in that place? A few days later, I walked past that field and the ghostly car shape was gone. No trace of the grey dust remained. I have no idea what it was.
25 April Tuesday
I stopped in the middle of the shop as I tried to remember what I had had on my list because I had left my list at home. A woman came near to me and then she stopped. I guess she was waiting for me to move but I just stood still. After a few seconds she asked “Can I cross you?” I was confused so I said yes. She passed in front of me and around the corner to continue with her shopping.