Saturday, 24 January 2009


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.

Stay tuned...