It's like being wrapped up in a warm wet blanket...the sky is dark grey and there's not a breath of air moving...perfectly foul! And the houseflies...horrid nasty things they are...we hang those sticky fly papers up, which look disgusting but are effective, but there's always a few flies who refuse to join their mates and land on the table or on your arm...last year I bought a fly swatter thingy...so I dispatch any that dare to linger ...Bobby hates the noise though and hides under the bed...
Time was when I used to use fly spray in an aerosol can...the flies would keel over and lie on the windowsill drumming their legs...
Himself has been up the ladder to bring down an old cardboard box which has been on a shelf in the barn roof for donkeys years...there was a very good framed photograph of some young Edwardian ladies...one of those Russian dolls, but only the outer doll...and a rather odd looking brass thing...could be a coffee pot perhaps, but I've no idea where it came from, and there were broken table lamps and a box of nails and things he held up and said 'Whatever is this for?' and I didn't have a clue.
Jamie came by the other evening with tall tales to tell but he's alright really and doesn't seem to mind in the slightest when we tease him...he's desperate for me to get a tattoo...thinks it'd be 'cool'. I did scold him yet again for having the British Bulldog plus the Union Jack tattooed on his leg and was trying to explain why there'd be some Irish people who'd take offence, never mind any Black people he might come across. But he didn't know England had ruled over Ireland for seven hundred years...didn't realise being a Catholic was enough to get you hounded from your home and worse...it was getting too late to give him a brief history lesson though.
I do wish schools wouldn't pick out the best bits of history and ignore the less palatable side...
Kitty's sheep squeezed themselves through the gate and landed up in our small yard...they did look slightly startled when I went to shoo them back...trying to shove fat little bodies through narrow bars while they bleated frantically...their tails wagging to and fro.
There is a Solas fest in town this weekend to celebrate a tourism initiative...Solas means light...one of the attractions is a Mediaeval battle which would probably have me spitting in fury when farm labourers come on to join in the fight carrying shiny swords...I did see that once and thought if they couldn't do it properly then it's best not to do it at all...they'd have just had stout sticks they'd cut from the hedgerow...only the Knights could have afforded swords.
So we're not going...because the rest of the attractions are things like children's face painting, which is really becoming so old hat now, and bad musicians' playing the bodhran out of time to everyone else.
Goodness...I sound horribly cynical, but poor musicians are ten a penny and will insist on singing Danny Boy off-key while clutching a glass of porter and swaying about, trying to stay on their feet...
The best Irish musicians we have ever heard was some twenty-five years ago while we were here on holiday...we'd stopped at a remote 'pub on the coast of Co Clare...there was just one small room warmed by a roaring open fire and no-one there but us. We had huge platefuls of fresh caught fish and thick crispy chips...a heaped plate of homemade soda bread and a tea-pot that the landlord kept refilling...warm and with full tummies we were deciding which road to take when we left when half a dozen lads came in carrying their instruments...they settled themselves down in a corner...the landlord brought them glasses of the black stuff and then they begin to play...
Old reels and jigs and plaintive airs...sad songs of love lost and found... rebel songs and some in the Irish...the boy on the penny whistle was stupendous...the banjo player brought tears to my eyes...we sat on until the afternoon was almost gone. Then they gathered up their instruments and downed the last glass and went out the door with a wave and a Good Luck be with you!
'You were lucky to catch the day they practice' said the landlord...
And they didn't sing the god-awful Danny Boy.