Spring 2016

March 8, 2016



The Hellebores under the Belvedere Rose arch are flowering in spite of the wind and the rain. A true sign that spring is on the way. It is often said that in Ireland we can have three seasons in one day. So we, the inhabitants, become used to seeing the sun come out and bring out the young, dressed in sun-tops and shorts; whilst those of us, somewhat older bodies, are still dressed for colder weather in thermals and thick jackets.

We have had more rain than usual this winter, so much indeed that the Loughan (turlough)* between Mornington cottage and the Crookedwood road has become a veritable lake. Certainly, we skated on the lake in the winter of 1978/79 and again in the early 1980’s. The surface of the ice in the centre was smooth, though there were ridges along the edges. An old family friend, Patsy Farrell brought an old fire basket and a couple of bags of turf and built a fire on the edge of the lake. So after an energetic morning trying to regain our ‘skating’ legs,  hot chocolate, hot whiskey or port warmed us. Whilst baked potatoes with lashings of fresh home-made butter were on offer along with hot dogs and nutty brown fried onions. This year the Loughan froze around the edges but the ice was not strong enough to hold a person’s body weight.

Mother’s Day and Family weekend

Warwick and I were confronted by the vagaries of the weather on Friday. Our daughter and grandson were coming to see us. We headed to the airport to collect them as we have done many times before only to discover that the plane was delayed. It was no. 38 in the queue of planes waiting to be de-iced at Manchester Airport! To cut a very long story short and after watching innumerable alterations to the arrivals screen, we eventually headed home minus two of our favourite people! Our son arrived home in the early hours of the following morning after his own challenges leaving the UK on the Friday night. He, very kindly, did the return journey back to the airport a few hours later to pick up his sister and nephew.

Feeding the donkeys

Feeding the donkeys

Our grandson is beginning to talk a great deal which is lovely to see and he spent a great deal of time playing with the family’s Fisher-Price Castle. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon so we went on a family walk to greet the donkeys, Holly and Noddy and collect the eggs from the chickens. We even managed an early Easter Egg Hunt which we all enjoyed! During our walk, we went to check on the progress of our neighbour, David, a qualified tree surgeon, who was cutting the stump of a beech tree, part of which had come down in an earlier storm. It was important to remove any possibility of the last branch falling on the road.

Easter Egg Hunt

Easter Egg Hunt

After an early lunch on Sunday the return journey began. Thankfully, all went well and we received a text to say that daughter and grandson had arrived home safely. A shaky start but a lovely family weekend!

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