It's November '09 in the wet country. Parts of Galway, Clare, and Cork are submerged. The country's broke. The Irish soccer team isn't going to the World Cup in South Africa next June – they lost to France because an unfair goal was allowed by the referee who didn't see the 'hand ball' error made by the French captian, Henry. All public sector workers went on strike today, and another strike is planned for next week in protest of the proposed pay cuts in the next budget. Can it BE any worse?
Online Writing Workshops
Meanwhile Niall is busy writing writing and writing. We are setting up the website for online writing workshops. So check back soon. Or send an email if you're interested toNiall's website
Turns out I'm not keeping up to date with my blog.... Ah well. Here's the news. It's July 4th.... in Kiltumper and to celebrate, I brought in some red white and blue sweet peas for the table. Not much for a Yank but after 24 years it feels like just another day. Meanwhile, the family and I have been to France for our holiday... a lovely village in the Maritime Alps called Valbonne, very near to Grasse and Mougin. It was a holiday to celebrate both our children's accomplishments, one in finishing the Leaving Cert and the other in graduating from the National College of Art and Design. (Check out her website: www.deirdremaywilliams.com ) We're just back, in fact. The garden is bustling with colour and scent, but weeding it has given me a back ache today. With the sun shining there's nothing to complain about. The swallows are doing their daily maneuvers between the rafters in the open cabin and the air above my garden as the babies have learned how to fly.
Next weekend sees the first of our Kiltumper Writing Workshops for this year and we are looking forward to another one on the Bank Holiday weekend in August.
If you're interested in a nice article on Co Clare.... the husband wrote a very good piece for the travel section of the Irish Times
Now we are in the very throes on another Irish winter, and what a winter! The Atlantic sends us lashing rain, with storm after storm. Interminable rain. The fields are heavy with it. The drains and rivers are rushing with it. The windows are streaming with it. Henrich Boll in his Irish Journal wrote,"the rain here is absolute, magnificent, and frightening. To call this rain bad weather is as inappropriate as to call scorching sunshine fine weather."
Nor are we only inflicted with this incessant rain. The wind is its co conspirator. I remember one January not too long ago the enormous ash tree in the grove had a giant tear down its side. A section of the great tree had split off in the night and lay a few yards away, a severed limb. Poor old thing. It's been hit before by storm and lightening, and yet stands still.
I went out for a walk in a burst of rainless wind, the wet and mucky road an eyesore but in the dark wet shade of the ditch where the blackthorn grows hides the green leaves of wood sorrel and wall pennywort. The skinny trunks of the blackthorn are clothed in green moss. The new twin leaves of woodbine are like green nodes on the brown vine. Even in this wet and wind and darkening skies, spring is getting ready.
Roll on! Roll on quickly!
Come this spring, when April birthdays come around again, Niall's novel John will be out in paperback preceded a month earlier by the paperback of Boy and Man. And Deirdre will be on the telly! She is one of the eight finalists for the Persil Irish Fashion Awards 2009. As a young girl Deirdre watched the televised awards on The Late Late Show, secretly harboring a dream to one day be one of the finalists. Needless to say, all of Kiltumper are cheering for her.