10 January Sunday
We can hardly believe this brightness. It seems like ages since we have seen such sun. No doubt there has been sun here and there along the way in recent weeks but it has been moments not hours. Today is that wintery kind of crisp hard bright light. There is snow on the mountains in all directions. We walked the Long Field facing towards the Knockmealdowns and then we made a loop up and around by road which aimed us at the Comeraghs and we ended by facing the Galtees. Everything looks great in the bright light, even though everything is still squelchy underfoot.
The market yesterday was just David and Pat, as promised in Pat’s email. The two of them set up their stalls in the far corner probably trying to stay out of the wind. David had his eggs and Pat had vegetables and jams and rape seed oil. They were both chilled to the bone. The wind was vicious. David said his hens have been laying like crazy. He said that two weeks ago he had 90 dozen eggs. Maybe I heard that wrong? 90 dozen is a lot of eggs. 90 dozen is 1080 eggs. That is a LOT of eggs. Maybe it was 90 dozen over a two week period. That is still a lot of eggs. Anyway, he had so many eggs that he had to give them away. He gave them to a man who raises greyhounds. The man was happy. All the greyhounds had eggs to eat. I went away wondering how the eggs were served to the dogs. Were they broken open and dropped into a dish raw, or were they lightly scrambled? I have no idea how a greyhound eats an egg.
9 January Saturday
Market restarts Sat 16th.
But egg man David O’Donnell started last Saturday.
I will start tomorrow.
Jim and Keith will start in Feb.
8 January Friday
I spent some hours down in the barn numbering my new book MY IRONMONGERY. There are 100 books. I wrote the numbers with a red Bingo pen. I had never seen nor used a Bingo pen before. The thick line was just right. After I wrote my numbers inside, I wrapped each book with paper and then I stuck on a red dot with the same number written on the wrapping. I do not know if Bingo pens come in other colours. I wonder if everyone at a Bingo Hall brings a Bingo pen with them for an evening of bingo. Does any old pen work just as well? I had a lot of time to consider these questions as my work was slow and the barn was cold. I had to interrupt myself often to go back up to the house to get warm.
7 January Thursday
Simon and I walked up the Mass path. It was the first time in a long time that we could even get through. The lake at the bottom remains huge. We went around the edge but even then we were slogging in deep water and mud. The grasses are all flattened down where water has flooded over the top. Trees and branches are down all the way along the path. We had to crawl under fallen trees on our hands and knees in two places. Hand and knees meant we were very wet very early in the walk. We kept going even though there was a torrent of water right down the middle. There has never been so much water. The path was a river bed with the river flowing and the whole bottom was sandy. We could not decide where the sand came from because usually the path is just muddy and rocky and mossy. Suddenly it has become a sandy bottomed river bed and even at the very top up near the orchard at Johnnie Mackin’s the bottom is sandy and still there is no logic nor understanding of where this sand has come from.
6 January Wednesday
So many fields have been lakes for so long now that it is hard to look at them as anything but lakes. Will the rains never stop?
5 January 2016 Tuesday
The woman on the bus spoke in a loud and constant ramble to the man next to her. No one sitting nearby could fail to hear her. She said that her grandmother had taught her how to forecast the weather and she reckoned it would be dry tomorrow even though the weather man had said it would rain. She said I do not care if it rains because I am going to be at home anyway but my grandmother’s method tells me that it won’t rain. She said I know how to tell but I won’t tell you because I do not know you. I am just sharing a seat on a crowded bus with you. It is not like I know you.
4 January 2016 Monday
I have never lived anywhere else where it is normal to see young men drinking milk from bottles or cartons. A street corner with four or six lads slugging down milk while laughing and talking is not an unusual sight.
Source: Open this Saturday?