“Peace is when time doesn’t matter as it passes by.” – Maria Schell
I feel this peace.
Bright crisp mornings have continued for most of this week in October, without a cloud in the sky. Before sunrise on Tuesday there was a lot of thumping and bumping on the house roof drawing me with some haste from a cosy bed to the window. It was still dark but the faraway sun was reaching out fingers of light behind the big Christmas tree on the front lawn. Outside on numerous telephone wires and the house roofs across the road too were dozens and dozens of birds, squawking and chattering. More birds than I had ever seen in one place. They moved about and swapped places all the time as though mingling with others to get a word in. Networking. They were back again on Wednesday for more discussions. Then they flew away when I stepped out the front door trying to take a photo for evidence.
Ahhh… I thought, it’s the pre -meeting before migration to ‘summer camp’ to escape the Irish winter. But once again after googling I was surprised to find out that our resident starlings in Ireland do not migrate! Huge flocks in their hundreds, up to half a million in all, come to Ireland for the winter from colder areas in Europe; Lithuania and Scandinavia being two countries picked up from tagged birds by bird society’s. So, they were using our road as a pit stop or an arrivals lounge after the flight.
Just more Blow-ins as the Irish call us immigrants!
The picture above is of starlings over Brighton, UK.
Web site quote: “Huge roosts are a spectacular sight in the winter, when at dusk massive swirling flocks form prior to settling down for the night. Roosts in urban situation such as old buildings and piers and in the countryside in reed beds, woodland and on the coast. The majority of the visiting starlings arrive in October.”
“Having entertained us throughout the winter, starlings will return to their breeding territories during February and March.”
I am sure emigrating at retirement age must be far more difficult than at a younger age. Apart from being set in your ways by then; your life itself is entering into a time of change, which involves loads of decisions about bank accounts, money and pensions and where to stay. It seems my lists of paperwork for each day is continuing; explaining, writing and filling in forms to one or other of the two countries continues…..
After Autumn – will come Christmas…
Changing colours of autumn move on to all the pretty new stocks in shops for Christmas, red, white, gold and silver; some snow-like and some edible! Stollen bites from Germany were a must buy for me yesterday. “But what about Halloween, let’s get that out of the way first!” said a volunteer in one of my charity shops some years ago, as we loaded the shelves with Christmas items to raise money for the Hospice. It’s all about sales in retail I said, sadly if your goods are not on display people will buy from the shop across the road. People complain every year saying it’s too early for Christmas shopping, but they buy anyway! So, the shelves are stocked up for Christmas here too!
Anyway Halloween is not really my cup of tea at all, and here in Carlow I think they are more crazy about it than in UK. Whole departments in shops have been filled with all things scary, in orange, black and sinister purple. Our Carlow newspaper had a front page spread last week about men dressing up as clowns with scary masks and actually terrorizing people in town after dark. Threatening to stop cars said one person, and it was reported by another woman that they were carrying baseball bats. This I think is a bridge too far. So, Carlow people have been warned to call the Garda, as all threatening behaviour, even for fun is against the law.
Where have we been…
Just drive…. Is what Phil wants me to do some days. One day we took the road out between the farmlands from our blackbog road and I tried to remember landmarks along the way so that we would not get lost, all the while thinking what I would rather be doing at home. Just like window shopping I hate pointless driving! I repeated the landmarks like a mantra, while he says (or does not say! But point, left or right) Tammy calls him the silent satnav. Luckily we came to a road that said Kilkenny left and Carlow right and I knew exactly where I was! Not lost that time.
One of our more structured drives led us to Blessington lakes, but it is so frustrating for me the driver when there is nowhere to pull over to take pictures of the best views! A morning drive was the plan, but when I turned to go home, he points to the range of mountains in the distance; oh no! I despair.
We have also visited Leitrim Quays with the family for the weekend, where a boat ride was on the cards as well as a couple of nice pub evenings.
And what’s next….
Bookings are open for visits next year!! No sign of the house being sold although another viewing is happening tomorrow. In a few day’s time the family will descend on us from the UK for the weekend. All our girls under one roof for a while, babies and all! Can’t wait! Don’t mention this to Henry, he will probably throw a sicky AGAIN. Yes, I talk to Henry the hoover; Phil watches and smiles as he knows we have a close bond, really!
Last night Phil’s nephew from Monmouth married his Princess in Vegas. We watched it on Skype. Very different and quite untraditional, and the bride looked stunning. The bridegroom didn’t look bad either! Scary to think that the world has become such a small place. We can be touched by the feelings of others; be they happy or sad so far away, as to almost seem impossible…
Winter berries are filling the creeper on the garage walls, and our birds who will soon be lining up outside waiting for seeds and fat balls as the colder weather approaches.
On life and living…
Have you ever been asked something right out of context, and not got the point at all? Or am I just slow…. I was shopping at Peacocks once and went to the counter to pay for my items, the smiling assistant looked at me with wide eyes as she scanned the items and said:
“What are you wearing!”
I looked down at my tee-shirt and blouse, and thought in that split second, I didn’t know there was a dress code to shop in Peacocks. The next second she laughed… (she saw my thoughts….my face never lies)
“…no! your perfume!”
Silly woman, who? me or her!