Sunday, June 23, 2019
Late May: Travels to Western Ireland. A Dream Around Every Corner . . .
Graffiti: Call A Cab, O Swift One
St. Brendan's Street
We were in Ireland from May 21-May29th, staying in Brooklyn NY on both sides of coming and going;
arriving home on 6/2/2019.
In Ireland, sunny and mild spring days, with temperatures hovering in high sixties. There were occasional rainstorms with looming fog, but it seemed to burn off by mid-day. We stayed in Galway for three days, experiencing the city on foot (mostly). We did an on/off bus tour to get a sense of the city's layout (1.5 hours), with historical explanations of buildings and bridges and landscape. There was music (buskers) at every corner in the Street of Shoppes, and the musicians were wonderful, playing alternative to traditional Irish music. Throngs of people milled about the streets, stopping in shops or cafes for a bit to eat. We did this, too. I loved looking at the Wall Art, and the people moving past these walls and the pop up art stalls selling their jewelry, paintings, photographs. I bought a photo of a sheep standing in front of a cottage, looking straight at the camera. It's called "Home Alone." When I showed it to my niece Suzanne, who met up with us in Sligo, she said,"Sheep were overrated." I thought her comment was very funny, especially since we stayed in the countryside, outside of the town of Grange, near Sligo, which had scene after scene of cows and sheep grazing in grassy meadows.
At every turn in this trip, there were elements of research that have fueled my recent writing. I have written several poems and lyric essays about our experience there. I wish we had stayed on a bit longer, or forever. I was just starting to settle in, especially in Grange. We stayed in a gorgeous stone house, with walking lanes and gardens, and one particular crow that would sit on our bedroom's window ledge and knock against the windowpane every morning.
Now back to our little farm and the onset of the growing season. The weather while we were gone was very rainy and gloomy. Our garden plot, which is very large area, was floating, so we had to wait it out before we could turn it over. Yesterday, (6/22) the second day of summer, we began making the rows, laying down paper, planting a variety of tomatoes and peppers(4.5 rows worth).
Our plants were getting tall and pot bound. You could actually hear their sigh of relief when I placed
them in the soil. This is "late" planting, even a few days later than last year. Last year, we had an exceptional summer (warm weather), and the plants did well, and we were canning produce into October. Today may be one of the first "summer" days, with temperature predicted to be close to 80 degrees and full sun.
Hoping to get the short rows in the North end of the garden planted with a variety of squash and zucchini. This worked well last year. The vines seemed to sprawl and thrive in this area. Hope we will be twice lucky.