About Me

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Typical Piscean, dreamer, story teller in the tradition of my country, I love to write. I'm not sure that I'm any good at it, but getting the words down has its reward.

10 October 2011

Night time nature

It is night-time, 00:38 a.m., to be precise, and I am not long in. OH, YD and I decided to go down to the village pub earlier. Something we had been promising ourselves for quite some time. We usually drop down to the next village, OH and I, catch up with all our friends [well, mostly mine, I grew up here] and last night, after Downton Abbey we decided to call into the local.

Pubs in Ireland have taken a hammering with all the pc rules that came on board in the past decade or so. No smoking; so now everybody sits out in the cold in winter in draughty shelters...well, where else are you going to have a bit of craic with your pals. In our village it's not an option, go out and be blown out of it with a howling gale...the village has become very healthy regarding smoking in the past twenty years.

It was lovely to meet up with the neighbours, catch up on whose who [my God, hasn't she aged...look in the mirror dear at yourself!] and could your one over there really be a grandmother? For heaven's sake she was three years behind me in school. How could she be a granny...and of course the questions flying back at us. YD got the usual inquisition "Have you a boyfriend love?!" or "if you're not dating pet, I have a lovely son, he's 36, on his second marriage and has 14 kids". Yes. Indeed.

As OH works anti social hours, most of the neighbours were amazed either with the fact that we were still together after 32 years, or that we still went out together, or that we actually have a mid-twenties daughter. He worked in the place 40 years ago and I was tickled pink when two of my former disco-dancing days pals informed me that he hadn't aged a bit since those days. One cast a cold eye over me and asked me had I heard of botox, the other patted my hand and said I was still quite presentable. Thanks Gals! You don't look a day over 80 either. [Loud giggle!].

As we staggered up the hill after mid-night, not inebriated but tilting head first into a howling gale force wind, a fox was sitting in the front garden having a staring competition with Mme Pounce. Pounce has not been feeling too well this week. More to do with convincing OH and YD that I have starved her and she has been indulging in extra packets of a well known cat food product - serve the hussy right for miaowing lies. My moneys with the fox. Anyhow, as soon as Mme Pounce saw us coming she hopped off the garden table and chased the poor, innocent, underfed, terrified little fox away. Am I biased? Yep, you got it. There were foxes in this garden before herself arrived.

She has put up a ton of weight since moving here. Life suits her, no big black and white bullying tom from the old house around to chase her round the garden. She has discovered the cosiest of hidey holes to rest up in during the day and with her cheating eating is as fat as a frump.

Our owl has reappeared, he is to be seen these nights floating past the dining room window. He was missing for a while, but is now back with us. A barn owl, he sails on silent wings across the garden. In the daytime we are treated to the cackling of a Jay. In my childhood there were a lot of jays around but now after an absence of many years one has come back to us.

Away with me to my bed before I fall asleep. I shall resist the urge to watch another programme on our forthcoming presidential election. I am tired enough to sleep without its benefit.

As Dixon of Dock Green used to say "Good night folks!!!".

02 October 2011

A new Broom

I call out to visit an old neighbour, when I can get him at home that is. His social life at 87 years of age is better than a 27 year olds! He lives beside our old house, and even to this day ED and YD are convinced that he and his late wife were an extra set of grandparents.

Last week I dropped out to see him, and brought the poor man a jar of my home made chutney. He is, as far as I can ascertain, still alive and feeling no ill consequences. I have become interested again in home cooking. Three years of a tiny kitchen here, and about six months of lack of access to all my kitchenalia, I lost the grá and cooking became basic. I am back with a bang and my James Martin cook books are getting great use. Chutney [a glut of apples is great incentive] and apple jam and apple sauce and apple...you get the picture. I still have friends, apparently, all of them having survived their pots of chutney!

So, back to my visit to Tom, chutney included. Being the Miss Marple type, my deductive powers went into hyperdrive when I saw the skip outside what used to be our marital home. Loaded to the brim. The wardrobes from our old bedroom [only three years old at time of sale], the interior doors, and my kitchen. All thrown higgledy, piggeldy into the skip. A wail went through my mind as I sat, to all appearances searching for something on the floor of the car, taking in the contents of the new owners skip. A marital lifetime of choosing with OH the perfect doors, the family friendly kitchen. The kitchen where all my friends headed for, nevermind a sitting room with comfy sofa and roaring fire. The kitchen where ED and YD studied, indeed learned to write and draw, the kitchen window which gave birth to this blog The View from the Kitchen Window....all in the skip. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaargh!

Taking a moment to calm myself, to resist the urge to go and bang on the hall door and demand to ask what the hell she was thinking of throwing out the best kitchen in Ireland, the wardrobe that was good enough for...ah what the heck, I told myself. She paid her money for the house, you're benefitting from that money and aren't you thrilled with your new dishwasher...she can dump what she likes honey. You don't own it anymore.

I trotted up Tom's driveway, weakly rang the door bell and tottered down the hall into his kitchen. "Are ye upset alannah?" the ever-noticing Tom chuckled; "nooo, well not now Tom, I realise that different women have different kitchens, but it gave me a start to see my pride and joy out in a skip all the same" I breathlessly returned. "Well, ye see, tis like this, as I see it...once you'd left that kitchen, the spirit was gone out of it and she'd have to get a new one". Love that man! No wonder he had 52 years of very happily married life to his beautiful Sara, Lord rest her.

Yesterday I had a phone call from Tom. "Is it yourself that's in it alannah?" He hails from Tipperary and Irish is his first language. "Hello Tom, are you ok?" I asked, because at his age, every day he is still in our lives is a boon. "Faith I am", he said. "Yer wan next door has gotten a new hi-fi kitchen in, and the lad that put the plumbing in told me it cost €24k. God help us, now I'm wondering can the woman cook at all?". "By the way" he added, " Mary from number 61 took your kitchen from the skip, and has had it installed in the flat she built in the back garden for her young daughter and son in law, they love it". May Mary's daughter have as many happy hours cooking in her new kitchn as I had. I must give her a James Martin cookbook for a housewarming gift!