13 May 2014

A Bag of Roosters

Monday, May 12, 2014
I find that I am starting to really look forward to and enjoy Sundays. It is nice to get up knowing that there’s nowhere in particular we have to go or anything in particular that we have to do.  For the past couple of Sundays, we’ve spent hours reading the paper and then books, drinking coffee, and in the evening, listening to the radio (me) or watching a DVD (Bill). This Sunday, we also spent a few minutes looking at the view from the sitting room window.

This morning we walked over to the Country Market on Main St to get a 10 kg bag of red potatoes, which are called “rooster potatoes” here. We were the only customers in the place and the guy greeted us with a “Hello! Nice soft day today, isn’t it?” I have no idea what a soft day is, but I nodded and agreed with him. I made a comment about there being something for everyone--rain one minute and sunshine the next. He declared that everyone had had enough rain by now. He was wrong, but I didn’t contradict him. I quite enjoy the fact that there’s a bit of grey sky and at least some sprinkles most days.

Rather than carry the bag of potatoes to the counter to pay, I said, “I’ll take a bag of these.” He replied, “OK, a bag of roosters, then.”  Of course the image that sprang into my head was of someone trying to stuff a bunch of roosters into a bag. I paid him without laughing at that image, got the potatoes into my big backpack and off we went.

I’ve mentioned that on weather reports they often predict “fresh” winds. Apparently, in addition to the possibility of winds being fresh and days being soft, days can also be fresh. We met our neighbor across the deck coming up the stairs last week and when we got to the top of the stairs she said, “Lovely, fresh day, isn’t it?” Yup. She also told Bill and me at separate times to be sure to go and hang out on the deck on fine days. I am quite enjoying learning the ways the same language is used differently :-)

We took a nice long walk today after coming home, dropping off the potatoes, and having some lunch. We started to head toward the road we came into town on when I had to stop and recover from my distress at seeing the unfortunate abundance of apostrophes on the sign for the restaurant--LOL.

I never understand why no one proofreads such things before they give the final approval for the sign to be printed. Happily for them, the large sign they have attached to the wall of the building and which says exactly the same thing, does not contain such mistakes. After that unhappy interlude, we walked on until the sidewalk ran out and then we took a right because there was still sidewalk on that road--at least for a while. It was amazing how quiet things seemed just a kilometre from the town center. We walked a little bit further once the sidewalk ended, but the road was curved and there was no shoulder, so no safe place to walk with the cars zooming around like they do. Almost everyday brings another report on the radio about someone who has died in a traffic accident of some sort--often people run right into walls. Sometimes it’s pedestrians or bicyclists getting hit. A couple of weeks ago a small child was killed near his home in a hit and run. This weekend there were 3 deaths reported.

We turned around and went back the way we came, ending up on Main St again. As we were walking, Bill pointed across the street at the little stone building that now houses a shoe store and asked, “What’s back there?” I assumed it was a car park, but it also looked like there was a walkway, so he decided to take a look. It is a walkway and it leads down to the river and the walking path and little park area that is alongside. We got to the end of the walkway and turned right--on one side was the river and on the other was a fenced in field with sheep. There were a few tables with wrought iron legs and wooden tops and one accompanying bench at each table facing the river. Now we know where we can go to eat our lunch on fine, fresh, or soft days!

We walked until we ran out of path. It was lovely to find this place--so quiet and green with stone walls and plants and flowers growing out of the walls sideways and the river flowing along. You would never know that the center of town was just up the hill. At the end of the path we took the bridge over the river and found our way back to the road. Tomorrow we can bring our lunch to eat by the river and then take off in the opposite direction to see what we will see! I have a feeling we will spend a fair bit of time hanging out there, now that we know it exists!

It seems we have a 4th address! We got mail last week and again today with an extra line on the address that we hadn’t seen before. So we are up to 4 possible variations now that we know can be used--one street or another or various combinations.

No sign of any Internet connection here and we move into working day 12 of our 5-10 working day wait. I suggested to Bill that we tell Eircom to forget it and go look into pay-as-you-go smartphones that will allow us to do basic web stuff. We can go to the library for other things. We have had enough anecdotal evidence to tell us that we can assume that even if service is ever available at home, it will be unreliable. The idea of paying for it and essentially rewarding the company for crappy service bugs me a lot.

I just finished a book in which the author mentioned an ad run by the Fine Gael party during the elections in (I think) 2002. In the ad they said the Celtic Tiger should more appropriately be named the Celtic Snail. I can attest to the fact that the Celtic Snail is alive and well!!

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