Monthly Archives: July 2015

Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaa (warning; it’s a noisy one)

I suppose they re not bad. Actually, today, they are awful. The eldest is at summer camp, a well researched, thoughtful (on my part) summer camp and just gone in. I still worry will he be ok, will he manage, will he make friends? I sign him in quickly and run back to the car to the screaming baby and toddler. It’s lashing a la July monsoon rain in Co. Kerry. Don’t judge me, it was three minutes and they have colds. I promise.

Toddler; I want to go to the park mommy (the park is next to the community centre).

Me: Not today darling, we need to get the baby home, he’s tired.

Baby: Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, wa, wa, wa, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Me: It’s ok baby, we’ll be home soon and you’ll go to bed.

Toddler; But I want to go to the park, I really really love that park.

(If you’re looking for originality today, move on, this is just me ranting.)

Toddler: I want to go to the parrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrk.

Inner Me: Wow, you really are a terrible mother, he is spoilt rotten. What do you do? Do you give in and bring him to the park like yesterday or do you hold tough? You’re like a pressure cooker now. No, best go home, but wait, you have to order that part in the garage. Just pretend you’re going home and play soothing music and they won’t even notice that you’re not going home. Deep breaths, deep breaths, deep breaths. If I were more organized, this wouldn’t happen. Were I stricter? If I was French now, I certainly wouldn’t have two cranky children in the back of the car. Au contraire. They’d be sitting reading Baudelaire apparently. Oh no, I’m not going to get away with this diversion. If I lived in a city, I wouldn’t have to drive 30 minutes to get to the (insert profanity of choice) garage. I just want coffee and five minutes peace from these people. Suck it in. Distract them, they’ll be fine.

Me: Not today, love. How many red cars can you count?

Chorus (repeat)

All: Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Leave ’em Swaying

So I’ll assume if you’re still reading along that you’re ok with nauseating twee therefore allowing me to indulge in the telling of our excursion last evening. My mother had visited from Cork and as good grandmothers do, she said, ‘away with ye out for the evening’. She didn’t have to ask twice.

So we found ourselves in a pub in a seaside village some ten minutes away trying not to look so comfortable in each others company that it was ok to just stare at the goings on around us and not actually converse. We could, after all, chat anytime. Over three meals a day in fact, everyday as it goes. Exposure to the everyday rituals of young people, or indeed people in pubs we were short on. Did you know, for example, that in each others company, people now spend a lot of time staring at their mobile phones? Honestly.

One person who didn’t seem to notice was the man singing on the guitar in the corner. He was, or at least it seems, very used to being the much ignored troubadour in the country village of a week night. He didn’t seem to mind. On the contrary, he sang as if he were playing a large stadium to an audience of thousands. Lost in song, eyes closed and wrinkled, guitar high on tummy, he sang (and here comes the twee – you’ve been warned) his heart out. The usual repertoire for his audience, rock songs, old ballads, that Pink Floyd number for Tommy who danced along (I suspect since lunchtime), the hits and the supermarket ditties that make us cringe normally. Not last evening.

No. Last evening, we swayed. We were held in the half asleep reverie that haunts parents of all young children, under the spell of a man who had spent years singing in pubs with bad amplification and audience participation. With little feedback other than the promise of a quiet and not assured round of applause at the end of each song but for the view of the odd sleepy couple in the corner swaying to his tunes.

It made me think, how even when you don’t think you’re making any bit of difference, that someone sways to your tune. Your passion and enthusiasm go not unrewarded whether you’re selling newspapers, baking bread, teaching, nursing or working in an office for when you go to the point that you invest yourself so fully in an enterprise where you give your all, you make an impression. And you never know who needs your smile, your excellent service today, your ability to impress your love for what you do on another, your voice.

A reminder to myself foremost to remember to leave ’em swaying.

I know, I really should get out more often.


The shed is empty in July. The cattle are dotted in fields around the house. The cows are in the High Field. The heifers in Sallies for a while. The calves to the West of the Sheds.

Each field has it’s history. A name recalling a particular story in the life of the land. Ardoughtar is the King of all fields, reseeded in the past five years it is the driest and most abundant. It was the site of the original farmhouse, on the ‘mountain’ and enjoys majestic status. Cattle rarely graze there and their visitation to Ardoughtar indicate a bad year. Not enough grass, ‘we’ll have to drive them to Ardoughtar.’ It normally serves along with Sallies as fields for silage grass.

Then, there’s Sallies. It was named, from what I can gather, after a lady who used to live there named Sally, funnily enough. In my imagination, I see her as an old woman with a stool out the back garden taking in the most beautiful view on the farm. She might have just been going about her business, but this is my story afterall. Sallies field is the one we walk to most days. It is approximately a quarter of a mile from our gate and I have watched my boys go from buggy to to walking to running on that road and it will always be precious to me.

Next over is the Mash, or marsh to you and me. It’s a good lump of land but wet enough, marshy. Prone to reeds, it has a river (a very small stream but there’s no telling them) running along it’s border. It is most definitely the next for reseeding, she sighs.

There’s the High Field which borders the milking parlour. The field West of Houlihans, our neighbour, the field West of the Sheds (there seems to be only one direction here) and the Pump Field (they definitely ran out of steam in the naming department).

A field I hold dear is the field behind our house, funnily unnamed. When cows graze there, I meet them as I hang out my washing to the calming sound of their chewing. The odd pet cow will come over to suss out the farmer’s wife and for the pat on the nose. Beautiful animals that they are. I love that field. The boys sometimes roam there and I can watch them from my window. We know where the rabbits live in that field and where the blackberries are most plenty come September. Still, it is nameless.

How do I get a name to stick? How does a nickname come about? Slowly, it’s becoming the Field around the House but that’s not romantic enough for the farmer’s wife. She’s high maintenance you know. The name comes to stick organically in the life of a farm, from the mouths of it’s owners rushing around getting work done, planning for it, putting cows grazing in it. And yet, it’s the Field around the HouseHearthill, Home.