Sunday, 22 June 2014

The Good, The Bad & The Downright 'Orrible

I feel a bit of a part-timer, these days. It seems as if I'm no sooner here than I'm gone again, what with one thing and another.
A bit discombobulating, Life In Transit. I should write a book - I could call it something like There and Back Again - an homage to dear old Bilbo Baggins.

I've been in sunny, blossom-filled Suffolk visiting my folks again, and now I'm back in a, miraculously, sunny Sligo where my own patch, anyway, is also blossom-filled. June is in full swing. There can be no doubt - the Summer Umbrella is up in the courtyard - so you can tell, it truly is the season of wine and roses.

As it happened, this trip, I was away for my birthday, which was celebrated in the bosom of my family. My papa took us all out for lunch, and then my sister and I spent the afternoon happily rummaging through a couple of Suffolk's many antique/salvage/vintage/junk yards. Perfect.

I bought this pretty plate to hang on my kitchen wall.

On the way home, I met my charming boy at the airport. He'd just flown in from Brisbane, via Kuala Lumpur and Colombo and we did the last leg to the west of Ireland together.
It's weird, isn't it, when you are looking for someone in a crowded place. Either every person you look at somehow resembles the face you are hoping to see, or else the whole place becomes a blur.
Stansted was a blur, but that might have been due to my bus-induced headache.
It didn't matter - he found me and enveloped me in a 4-year-overdue hug that was wonderful, if slightly oxygen-less.
Have both my boys grown? I thought they'd stopped growing years ago. They are like cranes. They go up forever.
Perhaps that's why this boy loves climbing - his head is already in the clouds anyway.
I have generally been called tall, but I don't feel tall around them anymore.
Perhaps I have more in common with dear old Bilbo than I thought - he was vertically-challenged too, wasn't he?
Or perhaps I have shrunk.

It was very good to see him, and it was very good to arrive home to evening sunshine and sit in the warm, bee-buzzy potager drinking a celebratory glass to salute his return, my beloved Model Dog rolling upside down on my feet, waving her legs and tail in the air, grinning with delight.

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Just as good to hear him exclaiming over the changes the passing years (and my labours) have wrought in the garden, as we wandered around in the long, light, pre-solstice evening.

'The strawberries are coming along,' the In-Charge said. 'Some of the smaller ones are ready.'
We opened our hands and he placed a few beef-tomatoes in them.
Oh Barney McCreavy - what strawberries!
Fat and fulsome, juicy and gigantic.
And - typically - I've only got 4 empty jars on the shelf in the pantry.
Why didn't I think before recycling?

Climber-boy and I stopped in amazement when we reached the herbaceous border. I don't think either of us have ever seen such huge delphiniums. The girth of them - they are obese, like the paeonies.
Obese and utterly 'tivine' as my other son used to say when he was little. Utterly tivine.

And the bees! The garden is buzzing. Hundreds of our own bumble bees (of all sizes and colours) and lots of our new native Irish black bees to be seen and heard everywhere.
The In-Charge had seen a dark mass of bees on the outside of the hive just a few days ago and rang the Bee-Boss. 'I think they're planning to de-camp,' he said. But when the Boss turned up, he said no, they were just too hot in this sultry weather, and were outside cooling down.
He removed a chunk of honeycomb and added another storey, so now we have high-rise bees - and a foretaste of our very own honey!

Lots of good things to come home to.

But alas, not all good. Bambina's sister, for no good reason that we can think of, upped and died on the day of our return.
The In-Charge had put her into the quarantine cage, because she was sitting in the orchard 'looking a bit gleckit' - but to no avail. I am all the more glad of Bambina's ten little chicks.
Not so little any more. They are definitely entering the spotty, gawky teenage years. I've removed all mirrors from their pen, so that they don't get too depressed. And we won't show them the photos when they're all grown up and over it.

So much for the Good and the Bad .
And the Downright 'Orrible?
I've got all-consuming, uber-ghastly, life-diminishing, headache-grinding, sinus-punishing, sleep-destroying, med-defying, all-orifice-streaming, in-snot-drowning, push-me-under-and-hold-me-down-forever hayfever.
It just isn't fair.
I've been chewing on the honeycomb frantically. Some say it will make a difference.
I've been chugging down the echinacea - a friend told me it worked for them.
The anti-histamines ain't doin' nothin'.
Any other remedies I should try?
I'm willing to try anything - beheading starts to sound appealing...


  1. Gadzooks woman !!! What were you thinking?? Pictures Please !!!

    We've seen strawberries before, tasty as they look, not to mention peonies and hens.... where are shots of said long-overdue son?? Even dogs get a photo opportunity and a mention in the list of label tags.
    Tsk Tsk!

  2. Lovely to read you and to know there is a backlog of posts for me to enjoy. Model dog is very defintely your girl, isn't she?
    I am feeling very empty of countryside. Due to wrist and work, the closest i have got in the last few months have been a couple of train rides through Surrey. These are the times when I realise however long I live in london, my roots are in quieter, greener places.
    Stick with the honey, it is supposed to help, but maybe you have to build up a bit, probably eating it all year round. Or check out and see if they have something to recommend.
    I get a reaction to London Planes these recent years; lots of coughing and sneezing and itchy eyes. It passes pretty quickly, thank goodness.
    I am glad to learn your family is well.


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