A busy time when nothing much happened

This has been a strange few weeks with a feeling nothing much has happened.  Actually I think stuff has happened but it has been cold and very wet.  This has kept us inside for a lot though it has been a busy time, doing the same stuff each day.  It has been the most grey and dismal month, quite unlike previous summers but I have seen pictures of other places much worse off.  Our previous home, in Saltburn on the North Yorkshire coast, was flooded yesterday along with areas inland and parts of England are suffering very bad conditions due to storms.  When we came to Ireland we knew there were often bad storms due to its location facing the Atlantic but we’ve been quite sheltered this time. 

The rain is clearing again now and I actually managed to jump on the mower and give the grass a quick trim yesterday.  We are still leaving most of the wood “wild” and will do the necessary clearing and tidying in sections.  This means there will always be some mature growth for animal and bird homes.  We do need to keep on at the bindweed, brambles and thistles however.  These will run rampant, taking advantage of the clearer land and choking everything to death if allowed.

To facilitate this we have added one more tool to our armoury.  The reciprocal saw is very good for smaller branches and occasional saplings but not anything much bigger.  After some serious thought Jacqui sourced a battery operated chainsaw, lighter and a bit smaller than most models.  When it arrived it was, of course, in bits.  There was much grinding of teeth as we hunted through the box to find the instructions.  These were in the form of rather small drawings and after some struggles we got some way through.  The crucial part was fitting the chain to the saw and here we found ourselves stumped (excuse the pun).  Rather than accepting defeat we lugged it all up to our saviours in Lawlows where they offered excellent advice and support.  

We’ve not had the chance to try it out yet, with all the bad weather, so I’ve focussed on getting rid of more stuff.  This has involved a lot of shredding.  My last-minute panic packing involved much throwing folders and large envelopes into boxes.  Now is the time to sort through and dispose of most of it.  This does involve checking everything – tax records from 2007? No, out they go.  Photograph of my parents?  Keep that and put it safe in an album.  It is slow work and occasionally sad as fading memories resurface but I will be much happier (and tidier) when it is all done. 

Jacqui has a bit of energy at the moment and has devoted a lot of it to getting more done in the Majestic.  She began by making another little table, this time for the bench at the front.  Then she started on the shelves.  We still have a large number of battens from the roof which are sturdy and fairly uniform but a bit rough.  They make excellent shelves for a workshop, supplemented by metal brackets, and soon we hope to begin clearing the centre of the room.  We will then be searching for that other mythical beast, an electrician, to install decent lights and sockets once the workbenches are up.  

Despite having flashes of energy Jacqui is under orders to take things easy at the moment – another reason we won’t be using the chainsaw for a few weeks.  We had her six monthly check-up with the cardiologist which was, sadly, not awfully informative.  It was also a bit disturbing to see he thought she had a stent in her stomach – or at least on the wrong side of her heart.  He offered no relief from the medication, confused two of the tablets suggesting they were both the same and wandered off again muttering about talking to her GP and resting more.  This was such a contrast to our last visit and we were left confused and dispirited.

There is much better news on the canine front however.  Cynthia’s results came back and the lump, whilst alarming in size and the speed it appeared, is harmless.  She had her stitches out and is healing up very well.  She spent the first few days using her tail as a back leg comb-over but has given that up.  Now she trots around happily though her back leg is still almost bald.  From behind she looks as if she’s joined the Masons!

We ventured into town on Friday, partly to get rid of all the shredding and excess recycling and partly to visit the little market.  We had hoped to get some more of the excellent raspberry jam beloved of Jacqui and our visitors.  Sadly there was none and we when we talked to the lovely lady who makes it we learned her husband is very ill.  We know them both and sent our very best wishes for them.  Sometimes life is very hard and all you can do is offer support if needed and kind words.  Her husband was one of the first people to welcome us to our new home and we are hoping, as she is, for a miracle for him.  

We both bought flowers in the market, bunches of beautiful sweet peas.  They have a lovely scent and the colours are glorious.  Jacqui is still crocheting, with an additional seventeen (!) balls of wool from the “Creative Needle” shop in Roscrea.  Well, if I have to be driven to the dentist one of us might as well enjoy it.  She’s making small, brightly coloured items with quirky fairground flourishes.  In amongst the flowers, look for my coffee pot ‘cosy’ and a cover for the sugar bowl.

We have several visitors this month – so exciting!  So I’m off to tidy and get ready.  Thank you for reading, keep safe and let’s hope the weather brightens up a bit for us all.