4 June 2020 = Covid-19 Blitherings Of A Silly Middle Aged Woman

***My Feature Image Has Very Little To Do With This Post, …
But Did It Anyway***

I can’t do it anymore! I just can’t! If I hear one more bit about this damn virus, the riots, the protesters, the lock down, people who are so fucking vain and self absorbed that they are willing to let other people suffer and die just so they can get a hair cut, cops macing children, shooting people who happen to be sitting on their own door step,withholding much needed medications while arresting innocent protesters … Trump … I’m sorry that you think that I’m a coward! I’m sorry you think that I’m insensitive, heartless, … soulless … because I won’t re post and re post and re post and re post … because I won’t engage in the same conversations that this same choir is having in this same tiny bubble. … I’M SORRY! I CAN’T FIX IT! …I’m so burt out …

How do I get it through to Ricky that I don’t want to hear about it anymore? Esp when I’ve told him over and over and over again that I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT! IT’s non stop fucking “news” with him! Sure he’ll put in his ear buds, but then every 3 min he’s telling me what they just said on the news! It’s RELENTLESS! I am at capacity. I am at fucking capacity. I am way above capacity, and ready to blow at the slightest …

I ran into a friend while I was walking Sprite this morning. She was the same. Burnt out with all the news. We both Americans from Colorado. So we’re experiencing the same thing. People here very innocently believe that because we are Americans that we want to know everything that’s going on in America, forgetting that there are reasons why we left. It was so nice to have a conversation about Sprite, her kids, how old they are, how she painted her whole house, and her not fat, but massive cat named Bob…

… The Lough was trashed again this morning. Not as bad as yesterday, but still, my goodness… The amount of broken glass and metal beer bottle caps in the grass was unbelievable! I would let my kids, if I had any play or even walk in the green for fear they would get cut up! I nearly pick up Sprite to carry here across. I did manage a few photos…

Some good news! The Dean got back to me! I looks like if all goes well, and people don’t screw it up by licking each other, we’ll be able to go into phase 3 in reopening Ireland. Which means I can start on the gradual re opening of the school! The Dean is being very accommodating as well with a reduced rent for the next 3 months, in exchange for some housekeeping. They had to let go of the grounds keeper and can’t afford to replace them for awhile. I don’t mind doing my part insuring continued residence for the school.

I’m halfway excited. Getting back into teaching class, and having more direction on what I need to be doing each day. I’m also, halfway dreading all the work that I will need to do before then, and how much money it will all cost, not to mention my own health and physical state. That is going to be tourture. I have 1 month to get in shape, or enough of a shape to fake it for awhile until I am actually in shape…

I only have one month to get Sprite socialized. That’s a definite! We would have had her 2 weeks today. She been doing so well. This morning she even went up to my friend and sniffed her knee. She was coming within 3ft of people and not trying to bolt when they walked by. But on our way home from her last walk of the day, something spooked her so bad that she was gain some extraordinary strength in that 30lbs body of hers, that she nearly pulled me out in front of a racing car! The selfish upside to that is regardless of my current physical state, I know I can jump away from a speeding car and take a 30lbs dog with me! She went bat shit zoomies when we got home. … My Goodness! What Spooked Her! I’m worried that she may have regressed and we’ll have to start all over again. … I guess we’ll find out tomorrow morning?

I’m trying my hand at making Sprites food and jarring it. When I look up how to jar/can meat, the all powerful “They” say I have to have a pressure canner, and they keep referring to raw meat. I know that cooked meat can last about 2 days, a bit longer in the Winter. I just want it to last a week or so. We have a fridge, but we don’t use it. It cost us €8 a month to run the fridge to run it. We’ve been without it since last September and have not suffered at all. It’s an odds and ends storage unit now. … I don’t want to turn the fridge on just to keep dog food from going off after a couple of days. Today I jared up 5 jars with homemade dog food in the traditional way. Hopefully it won’t be a waste.

So tomorrow I need to start taking my training and diet seriously. Get my school in order and come up with a plan to move ahead. For the rest of the night tonight, I some still have a mostly full bottle of birthday whiskey and some shows to watch on Netflix.

There were 5 deaths today and 38 new confirmed cases. Totaling 1664 deaths & 25,142 confirmed cases here in Ireland. Of the confirmed cases 22,698 have been reported to have recovered from Covid-19

30 & 31 May 2020 = Covid-19 Blitherings Of A Silly Middle Aged Woman

… What the hell? … What the hell? … What … The … Fuck … I don’t want to be political … I don’t want to write about it, because whatever I write won’t do it justice or relay my thoughts and feelings constructively. I want to be positive and say that from the battles and trials that are happening in the US a phoenix will rise from it’s ashes making this Earth a Remarkable place for everyone. … I also want to rub everyone’s nose in it and scream at the top of my voice; “I TOLD YOU SO!” … I don’t know what to say … I don’t know what to do … My stomach is spilling out my nose and my heart pounding out my arse… All I can do is shut my eyes so tight that my toes tremble under the pressure…

There were 2 deaths and 66 new cases of Covid-19 today in Ireland. Sure the numbers are going down, but will they stay down when people, like today, pack their mostly naked bodies on top of each other at the Lough? As beautiful as alive mostly naked bodies of every shape, size and colour are, maybe this isn’t the time to put them on display? Because they might be packing those bodies in a very different way in a few months time …

Well, I didn’t write and post yesterday. It was my birthday and if you read my previous posts, I was cornered into celebrating my birthday so that others had the excuse to have their get together. … I spent the day cleaning the house, baking cookies, & making salsa-ish. I also had pizza in the works but the bulk of that will need to be done close to their arrival…

I did take some time to start training Sprite to be home alone. Ricky had a painting job so he was out of the house already. I wanted to run up to Orla’s house to ask about our neighbor Lillian. Orla does some housekeeping for Lillian & helps her out with groceries and other daily tasks. If you’ve read the post from 17 May, you know that Lillian was taken to the hospital because she fell again, 2nd time in less than a week. Lillian wasn’t back yet, so we wanted to know if she’s doing OK. It was an opportunity to see if Sprite would be OK on her own. I wen’t up to Orla’s house, but no one was home. I didn’t want to go back home so soon, so I went down to the Mace and got some eggs so that I can bake the cookies. I guess I was gone for about 15 min. when I got back, Sprite was fine! Everything was fine! And I was thrilled. Tomorrow I’m going to try for a half hour. and see if I can continue to move it up to about 4 or 5 hours.

My friend Dave and his dog Bobby have been wanting to meet Sprite for as long as we have had her. OK, it was only a week, but Dave tried to set up a social distancing meet of the dogs about 3 times already. Well there was a few hours before my so called birthday party was suppose to start so I called up Dave and asked what he was up too. He wasn’t up to anything, so I walked Sprite up to Ballinlough to meet Bobby and to have a social distance hang out with my friend Dave. … And to deliver a pair of socks that I made for him as well. Sprite and Bobby got along well despite a couple of small incidents that required one or the other to bare their teeth. But that’s how dogs set their boundaries and lay down the rules. By the end they were licking each other’s eyeballs. I only stayed for about an hour. I wished I could have stayed longer, but I had to get back, make the pizza & shower before 8pm. There wasn’t enough time for Sprite to warm up to Dave, which is OK, because now I have an excuse to hang out with my friend Dave and Bobby with Sprite another time!

It was a hot day yesterday. Hotter than today I reckon. The 40min walk from Dave’s in the heat on concrete and black top roads did quiet a number on Sprite. Being mostly black, she was over heating and seemed to be panting too vigorously for my liking. So when we got home I took her out into the shade and soaked her in cold water. She seemed to enjoy it. But that put me behind in time and now there was a rush to get the pizza and other bitz done before Mick & Paul came over. There was no time for a shower.

I managed to get it all done in time. We sat out back for awhile and ate chips and salsa-ish, and homemade pizza. When it got dark we came inside. We had chocolate chip cookies, with Sakai, coffee, and beer while we chatted about trips to Japan & Taiko drumming. They played their game of cards while I watched. They went home at about 1:30am and I wasn’t up for writing a blog post, so I just went to bed, leaving Ricky asleep on the futon. Please! Please! Please! Remember, that I adore Mick & Paul, Ricky as well, so Please don’t think I am resentful and unappreciative of their efforts.

… And that was my 49th Birthday … Yay …

Today, I woke up nauseous. I think being out in the sun and heat walking Sprite to and from Dave’s house gave me a bit of heat exhaustion. Then eating food I’m allergic too and a whole bottle of Sakai probably didn’t help either. I didn’t get out of bed until 9am. Sprite was so good. She was still sleeping. I had to laugh, it was like she was having her weekend lie in. I could barely get her off her bed so I can take it down stairs. When I did, she just plopped herself down on it and went back to sleep without going outside to do her thang. I got myself together and nearly dragged her out on her morning walk. With my stomach turning inside out the morning walk was more of a stroll and I was eager to get home, just in case I would hurled. … When we got back, I just fell back asleep on the futon for nearly 2 hours before getting up again, still feeling nauseous.

Ricky had scheduled a meet up with his Brother and their dog Teddi, a Bichon Frise at Tory Top. Being that I didn’t shower yesterday … Or the day before for that matter, I figured it would be best to get that done before meeting up with the boyfriends family. I doubt that the 2 metre social distancing would have been enough to disseminate the rather strong fragrance I was emitting. I probably could have bailed on the meet, because it really was suppose to be Brothers catching up, but Ricky wasn’t confident enough yet to take Sprite out on his own. … Now don’t you be too harsh! Ricky never owned a dog, and had a bad experience with one when he was a kid. I certainly appreciate his caution! We met up at Tory Top and sat under a tree watching the world spin as the boys took the dogs around the park a few times. … Sprite did very well, though she still was reluctant still to meet Ricky’s Brother or any other human types.

The rest of the day, I suppose was rather uneventful. After our meet at Tory Top, we went home and the 3 of use hung out in the back garden. Orla was next door hanging up some of Lillian’s laundry, so we talked with her through the gap in the hedges. Lillian’s still going through some tests at the hospital. Hopefully she’ll be able to come home soon. Though it might be better for her to find assisted living accommodation, or maybe have a lodger? … I went up to Super Valu to get some more dog food and some other bits and pieces. The place was nearly empty, so I’m taking note that the best time to go to Super Value is after 7 pm! … Took Sprite out for her evening walk and when I got home Ricky was listening to the news, so I subjected to all the crap going on in this forsaken world … Unbelievable … Absolutely Unbelievable …

There have now been 24,990 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Ireland and 1652 deaths

16 May 2020 = Covid-19 Blitherings Of A Silly Middle Aged Woman

Again, I couldn’t bring myself up to go down to the hall and make videos for social media. … Or for my students for that matter …  This morning I could feel my fat rolls in my back when I stood up to look out the window to see if it was a sunny or cloudy day. … I think I barfed a little in my mouth when I did.  I just laid back down into a tight fetal position cursing my shape. It was overcast, so I was also cursing myself for purposely missing an opportunity to get training done as well…

… It was 7am so I managed to fall back to sleep and had another weird dream. I was standing out in a beautiful meadow that had grass and wild flowers up to my knees. Snow capped mountains behind me, and turquoise lakes in the distance. The colours were so vibrant, and the warm air smelled like jasmine. Dodger, my dog was at my side standing with me and Nigel Benn my cat was peaking out of my back pack. I hear barking, and then coming around the bend is Sprite herding all the close friends that I remember. … My Brother, and my Nephew. Laurie, Aaron and his girls,… Ricky and his family too. They were all complaining about this and that, except for Aaron … He was just happy looking around. And except for Aaron, they were all complaining about me. Particularly saying how disappointed they were with me. Sprite got them all rounded up in the meadow. She turned to me and in my heart I knew that she would take care of them. So the 3 of us turned around around and headed into the mountains … I woke up at 10am with a longing and feeling like it was time to go…

… I spent the rest of the morning tending to the garden. Freakin’ gray aphids nearly took over my crazy cabbage. So I went and cut all the branches off that had them on it and threw them into Lillians garden. I know that sounds horrible. But there’s nothing for them to eat over there other than the cabbage branch they were on and they would be exposed to the birds. They’ll either dye off or get eaten up.

Still trying to keep to my feeding schedule, I made my dinner at around 2pm so that I would be finished eating by 3pm. Even though it was overcast it was still nice enough to sit outside and have my dinner there in my chair… You can hear all the birds … Love the birds … Imelda May was on the Late Late Show last night and she performed one of her … “talking songs” .or “speaking songs”… It’s that just a poem? … Anyway, it was about being in lock down, and the line that I remember went something like ‘… go sit outside, you can hear the birds again because the traffic is down …’ I try and go outside every day. I hope that it’s quiet so that I can hear the birds. … and the bees,… and the spiders as they scuttle around. … The slugs as they chew away on the leaves … Gosh they’re loud! … Today, one of the woodpigeons finally felt comfortable enough with me to land in front of me and peck away at the food I left it. I think it was Harriet. Oh and the tits too! They landed on the bird feeders just up behind me to the right, paying me no never mind…. The bees were practically landing on me. A bumble bee bounced off my head. I saw Ethel Mae and Charlie, a pair of black birds. I haven’t seen Ethel Mae in a while. I suspect that she is between clutches … I wonder if all this will change when Sprite comes. … I suppose it will… It will take some time for the birds and bees to feel comfortable zooming, fluttering, and feeding when she’s around..Maybe because I’m there, the transition will be easier.  …

WE MEET SPRITE TOMORROW AT 2PM! I’M SO EXCITED! Gosh I hope she likes us! Avril called me today, to see if we met yet. I told her that we will tomorrow. She’s getting a lot of applications for Sprite and she doesn’t know what to tell them. So I’ll call her tomorrow as soon as I know if Sprite like us or not…

I spent the rest of the day and night making face masks. My landlady said that if I made them, she would sell them. So yesterday I managed to find at Aldi a king size duvet cover set. The pattern is terrible. It looks like a throw back from the 80’s. But it was 100% cotton and I needed to make some viable prototypes, the fabric stores are not open. So, I got it. After my dinner and sitting, I went upstairs and started making the face masks. The real time eater isn’t the sewing part, but the cutting and folding and ironing. When I got one done, I brought it over to my landlady so that she can see what it was that she was going to be selling. But damn … it turns out that all her methods fell through. Many of the markets & boot sales that will be opening up on Monday will only be accepting food vendors. She’s not a food vendor. She was hoping to sell them there, and now she can’t. Now I have an ugly king size duvet cover and a couple of cut up pillow cases….,

I was hoping to make some money off this. You see, I’m really good for business ideas. I’m really good with running a business. But I am the worst salesperson. I couldn’t sell water in the middle of the desert! But my landlady can sell ocean water to a whale! … It would have been a Great match! So, what do I do now? … Well, I decided to keep the ugly duvet cover. It couldn’t be any worse than the century old one that we have now, that Ricky brought from the home when he moved in. … I think he had it since he was a kid?… Anyway, I’m keeping the cover, and went ahead and made 3 more from the pillow cases, and then another 8 for tomorrow…. Yeah! They were BIG pillow cases! I’ll see if I can sell them for a 5er each. … They’re selling some in the Quay Co-Op for €15! I think mine are better, but I don’t see anyone buying one for more than a 5er! There are so many tutorials out on how to make your own face mask. Even instructions on how to make a face mask out of an old sock…. I certainly won’t make my fortune on this because everyone will be making their own soon enough…

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More and more people are starting to protest the lock down, that just doesn’t make sense to me. There is a clear and distinct plan on when and how the restrictions will be lifted.  If they would just be patient, then we would be out of lock down soon enough … They’re idiots … A friend, that I never met in person, but I love her still, Christian in I think Kentucky said an old phrase that I long forgotten; “… Send them to school, and they’ll eat the books …” I love it!

There have now been 24,048 confirmed cases  and 1533 deaths in Ireland

Yeah, I “Do” Lent

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It’s the day before St. Patrick’s Day in Cork City Ireland and people are concerned about whether they will honour their Lent “resolution”. I was told a while back when I first move here, that “They” usually allow you to “cheat” on St. Patrick’s Day. But that’s not what I’m wanting to write about here. In this conversation that I had with a friend who was trying to justify eating meat (AKA a  West Cork Burger Company juicy blue cheese lamb burger) I told them that I was giving up buying ready made meals for my lunches and dinners at work. That I was going to make all my lunches and dinners at home and .bring them to work. The look of confusion and surprise on their face was astounding! They knew that I wasn’t Christian/Catholic, or any religion in particular so their confusion was justified.

“WTF! Why are doing Lent!?” They exclaimed “Your not Christian!”

No, I’m not, but do I have to of that religion to believe that something is simply a good practice?

Before Christianity people gave up eating meat during this time of the year because their live stock were pregnant and giving birth to more livestock. It was good practice to ensure that they didn’t deplete their herd so that it can multiply and grow. Pancake Tuesday was a way of getting rid of the old eggs, so they can distinguish the new eggs that were laid.  You let these eggs hatch so again you can have more chickens! When Christianity was incorporated into this tradition or vis versa, the old hen that doesn’t lay eggs anymore would have 40 days of pampering  and fattening for it’s final destination as one of the main courses for Easter dinner.

Religion aside, I felt that these are good practices, for cleansing, to go without so you don’t become indulgent. It is a good practice for saving and planning so that you are not caught out. It is a good practice to develop good habits. Making my own meals to bring to work will save me money. I make my own food that is better for me, so I’m healthier. Having more money and being healthier, I’m generally happier! So yeah I “do” Lent because it makes me happy!

 

Caught A Mouse

No, no. It’s not a euphemism. I actually did catch a mouse.  I used a glass and captured it, then took it outside to the compost. I released and it seemed quiet content to stay and naw on some carrot scraps.

 

People are always surprised how I do this. “Why aren’t you using traps?” “I have some extra traps you can have!” “They have these ‘human’ traps now!”…

I’ve seen 1st hand what those so called “humane” traps are like. Back in the early 2000s I was living in a basement walk out in the Nyland Co Housing Community back in Layfayette Colorado. I had told the people that were renting the house upstairs that there mice. See back then I didn’t have a phone, or wifi, or any sort of internet. The landlords of the place where living in Italy and the people upstairs were the connection to them if anything was needed. Well, they ignored me, because the mice didn’t make it up the stairs to their place … yet… They eventually did. Maybe they moved upstairs because I was so dirt poor that that my cupboards were bare and my little basement walk out was colder inside than it was outside. So when the mice nested in their oven, they finally called in the exterminators. They laid down gel traps… ugh…

They did their job. The mice ran across them and got stuck. But they didn’t die. They were stuck and they screamed. Shrill, haunting screams. I had to look. There were 2 mice in one tray. One had it’s nose stuck into the gel and couldn’t breath. You could see it’s little body heave for air that wasn’t there. The other one had all 4 legs stuck in it. I heard it’s little bones snap as it struggle to get free. I couldn’t take it, I grab a sharp kitchen knife and stabbed it through their heads to put them out of their misery. From that day forward I swore I would never use gel traps again. And if at all possible never use any sort of death trap at all.

So what do I do? When I notice that there is a mouse. I ignore it. It seems to get use to me quite quickly. It might take a day or two. But eventually it gets comfortable enough to come out into the open. Even then I would ignore it for a bit longer. And then about the 3rd time that it comes out, I simple put a glass over it, slide a bit of cardboard under it, and take the whole thing out into the compost and set it free. They never run and hide when I release them out there. They just start munching on the nearest food scrap.

That’s it… It’s a better way… At least for me… I can go to sleep at night without the sounds of a screaming mouse in agony after their bones snapped trying to get out of a trap.

Speaking of sleep… There’s another mouse upstairs in the bed room. Different mouse, bigger and brownish. Maybe a baby rat. I don’t know. But in a couple of days I’ll capture it in my way and bring it out to the compost…

School Strike 4 Climate Cork Ireland 14 March 2019

I don’t have much to say… I was there. I wanted to support the kids and the Cork Environmental Forum. I marched with them from the Cork Opera House down St. Patricks Street, Grand Parade, over Parnell Bridge to City Hall! All us “Old Timers” felt out of place. This was their march, their protest. But being there with the kids and the young adults, was so every energizing and inspiring! Their creativity and enthusiasm was AWESOME!

The Youth of this world are AMAZING! They let us see into the future while reminding us of our past. This strike, this march show us that our future is in good hands!

A Memory Of Lent

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Growing up in a Catholic community in Colorado Springs Colorado, all the neighbourhood kids would brace themselves for 40 days with no candy or chocolate. But not my Brother & me. Nope. We reveled in the “offering” to “share” our Kit Kat, Snicker, or Hershy bars full well knowing that they gave them up for Lent.  We were the perfect tag team of temptation & damnation. So when the other kids with their inflated sense of superiority would get up on their high horses so that they could look down on us when they declined our offer with a snobby  “No Thanks! I’m giving up candy for Lent!”  We would then shrug & proceeded to eat and savour every sweet lushious morsel right in from them. It was even sweeter if adults were around to witness.

My Brother had the dicipline and controle not to eat the whole candy bar. At 3/4 of the way through he’d stop and say “Are you sure you don’t want this last bit?” When the other kid answered with more biting snobbery; “I can’t! I told you! I gave it up for Lent!” He’ll then say “I don’t want any more, so I guess I’ll throw it away.” At which point the other kid would figit & drool. Oh the thought of this perfectly good piece of candy bar going to waste… Their eyes would dart side to side, scanning to see if anyone of importance is watching.  The breeze stood still. …

Just as my Brother began to pull the candy bar back, their resolve would instantly disinergrate like a delicate snowflake on a hot Summer day. They’d snatch it from my Brother and smash it into their face with very little accuracy, I might add… When their face was covered in chocolate,  and their eyes rolled back into their eyelids fluttering from the ecstasy of such delectable sin, I would say quietly in their ear; “You’re going to burn in Hell for that!”

My Brother and I would stand in reverant silence as they trembled  in their Biblical fear…

Never again were they ever so high & mighty… Well, at least not until the next Lent.

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A Cabbage Deserves More

Remember this? The crazy chunk of cabbage I threw out into the compost that took root?

See Left Over Garden” & “Bragging About My Left Over Garden

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The beast is now producing little heads of cabbage not just on the ground but in it’s branches!

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And would you believe it! I think one of the seed pods dropped and took root as well!

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I am still flabbergasted at this! And rather embarrassed. Embarrassed because I am so AMAZED at a cabbage growing willy nilly in my Leftover Garden.  I guess it says something about the world I live in. I tout myself for being a reasonable environmentalist, a do it yourself type,  somewhat knowledgeable on the ways of nature & for the most part in tune or in sync with my surroundings … But I’ve never seen this before. I never even thought about how this would work, or look like.  I’m embarrassed that I took all of this for granted, and it deserves so much more than that,even if it is just a cabbage…

The Cú Faoil Named “Woad”

A bit of a troubled teenager… No, I was a troubled teenager. But not troubled in a way that “They” felt needed addressing. So I spend many of my nights out and about. I wasn’t anti social, I would go do things like sneak into the Penrose Stadium and watch the rodeos and such. When I was 17 or so, on St. Patrick’s Day there was a big festival in the Penrose Stadium. Of course I had to go. Did my usual and went around back, jumped fence, through the stables and out onto the grounds. Security wasn’t big back then.

There was food, music, stands, whiskey, beer, more food, more music, and a big stage where people danced. I know now it’s called a Ceili. All the different styles, even set dances that were almost identical to the American country square dancing. This was late in the day, I had not eaten or drank anything. I was a poor disgruntled teenager, what do you expect? I was tired but fascinated with all that was around me.

So there I am, standing next to the stage, and this black wavy haired Irish guy, with sapphire blue eyes grabs a hold of me and says; “Your not Irish, but I’ll dance with yah anyway!” He pulls me up on stage and we dance, and danced, and danced some more. At the end I was so exhausted that I just slumped on a chair, or was it bench… not sure it might have been a half wall.  Well he, and at the time I assumed was his parents (they were) came up to me and said that they would take me home. I didn’t want to go home. Not a good place. They manage to coax me into their car. ( I know it doesn’t sound good ) I wouldn’t tell them where I lived and told them to just drop me off by Palmer Park. They were having nothing of it. So they took me to their place instead. Probably because I fell asleep in there car.

I half remember the Mom making a bed on the couch and her giving me pillows. I remember them all saying goodnight, and a ginormous blue shadow sitting at attention quietly by the door . It was comforting. I fell asleep.

In the morning I half woke to the smell of bacon and a giant wet nose touching mine. It didn’t move. Still as a cold Winter’s night. I couldn’t even feel the wind in it’s breath. Behind the nose was a pair of bushy eyebrows, one cocked in an inquisitive manor. Off in the distance I hear the Mom; “Nicky! Go wake up your girlfriend!” Then Nick yelled out “WOOOAAD!”.  The body behind the nose doubled, tripled in size! And with one enormous HUUUUFFFFF!, the nose’s  beard pierced my face like a billion paper cuts. With a resounding “AHHH!” I !jump to my feet.

“She’s up!” I hear Nicky exclaim.

“Come to the kitchen and have your breakfast!” the Mother commanded.

I didn’t need to look down. This beautiful and mystical creature, with just a tip up of his chin could nearly meet me eye to eye. He must have been 7ft nose to tail and covered thick in a wiry steely blue coat.  He didn’t pant, or wag his tail. Thank Goodness for that! He’d knock the place down better than a wrecking ball if he did. He was regal and ancient like a Celtic Sage. And for some strange reason, smelled like tarragon. With a light grunt, he turned around and headed into the kitchen. I followed.

On the table there was a plate with a fried egg, what I now know as a “rasher” (bacon) some white and black chunks (black & white pudding), mushrooms, tomato, toast, a bow of creamy oatmeal, and … baked beans? … What the? Apparently this is what the Irish call a “Fry Up” or just a “Fry” … As soon as I sat down, over my left shoulder, like the devil whispering in my ear, Woad rested his head.

“Woad…” the Father said calmly. Woad lifted his head, huffed a defeated grumpy huff and went outside, where he chomp on some greens. Ah! A tarragon bush. That explains it.

“What … uh … what kind of dog is … uh … that… ‘er … him?” I asked.

“A proper Irish Wolfhound.” The Father said looking over the morning paper he was reading.

Nick comes in with wet hair and sits at the plate next to me. “I’m Nicky.””

“I know” I replied

“So who are you?”

We all start laughing hysterically. What a surreal situation! Woad comes barging in tail straight, head up high! Without curling his jowls or showing his teeth he growls. Not a growl that you could hear, but a growl you felt deep down in the pit of your stomach. A growl that would shake the heavens back down to earth. We all froze and held our breath at the impending consequence of our laughter. Ages went by before Woad huffed and went back outside.

“You should hear him when he’s angry.” Said Nicky. We all giggled quietly this time.

Obviously Nicky and I became very close and Woad was always there to make sure we behaved. Strange sort of hound. He never care to sit up on the bed or couch. He would cock and eyebrow and  huff at you when you invited him onto the couch as if to say that a proper hound with a shred of dignity would never disgrace itself by laying on a sofa! A proper hound would lay in a bed of thorns at the foot of the bed always at attention! … Or maybe he just knew he wouldn’t fit… I never heard him bark, and he never panted, even after a run. Maybe because his beard was long and covered his gaping mouth? Oh my, to see him run . ..*sigh*… A well orchestrated symphony of grace and power! It was MESMERIZING!

This was a long time ago, and I’m certain that Woad is in BEAUTIFUL place know keeping everyone in check and watching over you while you slept.

The photo below is not Woad. It’s a Google search stock photo. I posted it just to give you a visual hint to the likes of a Cú Faoil Named “Woad”

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My Stay At The Rose Hotel

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A The Great Rose Hotel Of Tralee! A 4 star hotel where all the Roses of the Rose of Tralee stay.  It’s known to every Irish resident from Letterkenny to Dingle. Just mention the Rose Hotel to any of them and they will respond with a loving sigh followed with “Oh Lovely”.  I made the bookings nearly a year ago. Got a really good deal for 3 nights. Sat on it for a few months and then when November came around and people starting talking, when people started asking what you were going to do over the holidays, I told them that I was staying with the boyfriend at the Rose Hotel for 3 nights… “… *Sigh* … Oh Lovely!” They would proceed to tell me about the wonderful times that they spent there. And every one of them wanted to make sure I knew that the Rose Hotel is where the Roses of The Rose of Tralee stay.

So as the days approached, they all had a countdown to the day, the moment that I would arrive at the prestigious and glorious Rose Hotel. Messages through text, whatsapp and facebook; ” Are you there yet? Are you there yet? Are you there  yet?” They were like giddy kids on a road trip to Disneyland. “Are you there yet?” …

We take the 40 bus up to Tralee. We hail a passing cab because we are not sure where it was. The taxi driver reminds us that Tralee is the capital of Kerry, not Killarney and that the Rose Hotel is where all the Roses of the Rose of Tralee stay. He drives us to the front steps and we pay the €7 fee plus a €3 tip. …

… I don’t know what it was that I was expecting. Diamond chandeliers? Doormen in white gloves and top hats? Marbled floors and Wood Sprites serving us champagne when we entered? Whatever I was expecting, I can honestly say that I was expecting a lot more. It wasn’t that is was run down, filthy and the staff were nasty and rude. It just wasn’t the Rose Hotel that everybody and their little dog boasted about.

I found it to be run of the mill standard hotel. Much like the Econo Lodge  near the airport in Denver Colorado. Yes, the Econo Lodge is a discount hotel. The staff were cordial but mechanical and cold. The food was over priced. The room was adequate. The toilet didn’t flush well, so there was a certain level of anxiety that ensued whenever I had to spend more than a penny.  The shower was more complicated than an escape room. After spending an hour deciphering the code, locks, switches, knobs, buttons and pulleys, a stream of lukewarm water poured from the shower. You would have gotten better results if you  held  a garden hose that has been sitting out in the sun, over your head. ..

It wasn’t a bad stay, but for the money I paid even with the deal that I got, I know that I could have done so much better some place else. I nearly feel duped in paying for  a brand name rather than for quality stay.

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