Friday, June 27, 2008

Puppy, Visitors, Rain and Wind.. 27 June 08

I cannot believe how cold it is tonight. It's late June and so cold and wet.

The puppy is now officially Buster. After several attempts at names (including Samson, Rocky and Brandy), we hit upon Buster. It seems to suit him and it's one I can remember!! Everyone thinks he is a beagle and so I guess he is, though his colouring isn't quite right. The more we read about beagles on the Internet, the more fearful we become! They are notoriously difficult to toilet train, obedience train and they run off a lot!

Today we took him to the vets as he had fleas and was due his 2nd vaccination and wormer. The 2 girls in the vets adore Buster and as we were the only customers, fussed over him like a baby! He was given a toy to play with and a doggy treat! Sadly the proper vet wasn't there and so we'll have to go back for the vaccination, but they gave him a worming tablet and some drops of flea stuff on the back of his neck. We have to keep him dry for 24 hours, so are having to keep him in our conservatory as he goes in and out of the cat flaps at will otherwise! More piles of poo and rivers of wee to look forward to.

It's been difficult to do much gardening lately as the weather has been pretty awful. I know his is Ireland but even so.

We have had our first visitors of the year, my daughter Kay and one of her wives, Rachel. They came for the first time, so I was looking forward to their visit no end and wondering what they would think of our cottage and land. I have been looking forward to attempting some ATCs (Artists' Trading Cards). Jim re-arranged the computer table and book shelves so that I had some space to work and I made my first one. I gave it to Rachel as I know she makes them too. The idea is that you swap them. They are never sold. I was pretty pleased with my effort bu forgot to take a photo of it. Kay please note.....

We knew the weather forecast wasn't wonderful but as it turned out, those 2 days were much better than today! The first day, Tuesday, we picked them up from Shannon airport and drove home. We decided to do local things as we also had the land to walk around. In spite of the drizzle, we did walk the land, which took some time. Kay and Rachel both loved it and wanted to move in! I knew they would really...

After our walk, we came back and dried off, then had the most gorgeous curry made by Jim. It was without doubt the best he had made by far. We togged up with coats and hats and headed down to the lake. It was a bit dark and drizzly but ok. The ground underfoot in the wood was a bit soggy in places but we poddled through it all with a spirit of adventure.

The wood is full of lichen on the trees and thick moss on the ground. It smelled of slightly damp moss, old leaves and the damp moss, gorgeous. We reached the lake which was much admired, especially the big stones and waving rushes. It was quite choppy and windy and the sky blackened, so we headed back at a fairly slow pace. Rachel has a painful big toe from a karate accident and Kay has aching joints and a dicky heart. And of course there's Jim's dodgy back too. What a group of invalids!

Much chatting ensued and playing with puppy and cats. It was great fun, light hearted laughter.

Everyone was exhausted, so we called it a day.

On Wednesday we didn't make too early a start to the day. We were off to The Burren, which is really not too far from our home. We had a very civilised breakfast, reminding Kay of my parents' breakfasts years ago when Kay and Jason used to go and stay with them in Lancing. I am growing into my mother apparently. Cereal, tea, toast and chat. Excellent.

Donning weather gear, off we headed to The Burren. The weather was showery with breaks in the cloud but so windy. Unseasonably so. We started off at the visitor centre at Kilfenora. Stopped for coffee and small eats. We took in a couple of tourist shops as Kay wanted to buy some presents. Just near the centre is a Church of Ireland cathedral, now pretty dilapidated, but it has a glass protective roof and is currently well looked after. Around the cathedral is a graveyard which has many beautifully carved Celtic crosses on the graves. We spent quite some time wandering around and taking photos. Kay has a very posh mobile phone with an excellent quality camera in it. Much photo taking went on with this piece of high tec equipment all the holiday! I managed to walk into a very low stone arch and momentarily saw stars!

We then headed off to show them the Dolman. I knew they would love it there and indeed they did. We timed our visit well, as one coachload of tourists were just leaving as we arrived and as we left, after quite some time, another coach pulled up. We met a couple from the USA who said no wonder the Irish left for other lands with our weather! It was blowing a real gale by then and we really had trouble standing at times. We still managed to poke about among the burren rocks and search for the plethora of flora hidden in the abundant nooks and crannies.

We saved the last part of the tour until the last part of the day. There is a tiny ruined church in some dense woodland on one part of The Burren. Not many people know of its existence and it is really beautiful there. It was quite a walk from the road, but still worth it. This part of the Burren was absolutely covered with orchids. Amazing. We squelched our way up the rather muddy path and into the thick cover of the trees. You are greeted by ancient lichen and moss covered trees and masses of ferns. There appears before you an incredibly pretty stream and a tree which is covered with ribbons and other 'presents'. A hermit used to live in a cave at the top of the wood and we clambered up to it. Jim sat pretending to be a gnome with a fishing rod!

We explored the cave, which was actually pretty small for a home. The hermit apparently paid for a vicar to come and live in the church so he would have some company. There isn't much left of the original building, but the whole atmosphere is spiritual and Kay and Rachel were as awe struck as we had been on first discovering this place. I think we probably picked the best places for our particular visitors this time.

As time was passing rapidly and we had left Buster alone, we headed back to the car. Jim hates wind and his back was obviously giving him pain, so he went ahead. We battled our way through the wind and arrived a short time afterwards. The relief when we sat in the car, out of the wind, was fantastic.

We headed back through Gort, our local town and home. Kay and Rachel enjoyed some rest and relaxation while Jim and I made a big spread of meats, nibbles and fresh picked baby salad leaves from the vegetable plot. It was really lovely and we sat around the table for a long time eating and chatting, discussing the day's events and delights - and weather! Kay and Rachel tidied up my computer for me, Rachel having fixed it the day before. Clever girl.

As they had to catch a plane at 6.30am we tried not to be too late to bed. I think I had 3 hours sleep!

It was a super couple of days. It's quiet now but we've busied ourselves taking the dog to the vets, a little shopping and generally tidying. We did go back to bed this morning to catch up on some sleep. It's been a dreadful day weather wise, almost incessant rain and cold. I do hope July and August bring some warm sunshine.

Must to bed soon. I have some great photos of the past 2 days, so will post some of them here.


Leatherdykeuk said...

It was a really super couple of days. Thank you so much for having us :)

I'll scan the ATC for you. Thanks you for that too. I'll have to make some now!

DK Leather said...

What a really wonderful post! Thank you so much mum (& Jim) for such a lovely couple of days, we really, thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. You're quite right, you couldn't have picked better sights to see for us personally! :-)

Happy, tired, rested now (yesterday I was pooped!) and going through all the wonderful pictures. I'll be sure to Facebook link the post / pics for you too!

Love and miss you mum, and rest assured it won't be so long before we come again :-) xxx

Leatherdykeuk said...

The ATC scan is here - click for large

Olga/Maddie said...

I'm so very happy that both Katya (my nickname for Kat) and Rachel were able to come over and visit with you both for a few days. *big smile*

I'm also happy that you all had a most lovely time together. *big big smile*

As well, I'm glad to hear that Buster is both doing well and that he is settling in.

Oh, and the photos all look wonderful. *GG*

I'm sorry to hear about what happened to your head. :(. But I hope that both your head and you are feeling better now. *big big big smile*

Also hope that you and yours are doing all right, that things are going okay, and that the rest of the day goes all right for you all.

God bless and take care. :).

BT said...

I'm happy that you enjoyed yourselves so much K and R and glad you'll be back in the not too distant future.

I love Rach's blogs. Thanks for the little buttons on my computer now!

Must try harder with my blog...