It's been all go this week, with the local farmers making the most of the dry sunny weather to cut hay and bale silage...silage is rather like wet hay, if you can imagine such a thing...it stinks to high heaven once it's been wrapped up in copious amounts of black plastic for a few weeks, but cows like to eat it...
The chaps who do the actual cutting and baling are very young...to our eyes anyway...they drive monstrous machines at high speed down our little narrow street and round the fields they go...often until well after midnight to get the work finished.
The air is drenched in the scent of freshly cut grasses while swallows swoop over the cut fields to make the most of the disturbed insects and hawks appear to snatch those petrified field mice which managed to escape the cutting machines...
It's light enough to see clearly until at least eleven at night...Jonny goes past with a small herd of cows and their calves and Frank cuts the roadside verges with his ride-on mower...I look intently for the bats which swoop over the yard and Himself wanders about shutting up the sheds and making sure the donkeys have enough water...
Even though everyone with land is busy at this time of the year, there is a quietness and a sense of peace to these warm and sunny days and evenings when the sun sets late enough and rises just a few hours afterwards...
Jamie came by this afternoon to show us his new tattoo of a British Bulldog and a Union Jack Flag...at least he's had it put on his calf and not where everyone can see it...it's hardly the epitome of tact to broadcast about among the Irish people...I refrained from telling him that though and made a fuss of Tilly instead.
And Alex came yesterday...he is such a sweetheart...he looked aghast at my oxygen and nasal prongs but didn't say a word...then Himself walked with him to the gate and he said 'Sue looks well doesn't she Neville?'...he's only eight. I could quite happily eat him.
And talking of visitors, my friend Elsie came the other evening...her husband died in January after two long years of fighting cancer and she's struggling a little. Elsie does have four sons who are a tower of strength to her, but it's not quite the same as a much loved husband...she brought a bag of bits...amongst them there were half a dozen Turkey eggs which a friend had given to her. Very speckled and sort of pointy at the end they are...we haven't tried one yet though. Elsie is a staunch Baptist and never celebrates Christmas or birthdays but she's such a lovely cuddly lady in her long skirts and funny runners which I swear are the boys grown out ones...
Actually Wendy turned up one evening...she was carrying an open can of lager and had another one in her handbag and I had to shout at her not to light a rollie when my oxygen was all fired up and she said she wouldn't have done and I was not to make a fuss and it transpired she didn't have a lighter and wanted to use mine...Wendy never has a lighter.
Elsie talked about her husband, Canice, and Wendy talked about her bloody horses...all the while I was lying on the settee with them sitting on my feet, nasal prongs rammed into my nostrils, struggling to look incredibly interested when all I really wanted to do was go to sleep...
It's been quiet enough today though...Michael has bailed all his silage and it's neatly stacked together in a corner of his field...no-one has driven past in a huge tractor with fearsome machinery trailing behind...all we saw of any interest was a couple of girls driving a bomb proof horse in a gig...and I say it was bomb proof because Nancy went tearing after the wheels on the gig barking and snapping and horse never altered its pace...the language from the pillion passenger was fairly ripe mind you...
So the summer goes on in our little street...people are smiley and stop for a bit of the craic and we chat and exchange the latest gossip and drink tea and eat strawberries and we wander about around our little field and down the road a-ways and watch the swallows and old songs come to mind and tales from the past and I stand with my hand on sun warmed stones and think...not for the first time...how blessed we are to live in such a place.