Friday, 18 March 2016


Yesterday we went cycling in Castlewellan. It was more like April than March. A tad on the cold side, but still wall to wall sunshine. Often, at around this time of the year, Irish people will tell themselves, if they get a good spell of sunshine, that this will be their summer. Last year they were not wrong. There was a good spell in March and then one week in June and after that it was November, apart from October, which was very good.

I remember these things because i spend so much time outdoors. I think that people who rely on the weather or at least are affected by the weather remember all the exceptions which when you come to think about it are not exceptions at all. For instance, in 2013, we spent St Paddy's Day in the Mournes. It began snowing and did not stop that year for a very long time. In April there were still snow banks all over Northern Ireland.

There's Ghin running in the snow
We have not had snow like that since. It was our last big snowfall. This year there wasn't even a winter to speak of. I thought that we would get everything pushed back by a month or so, but there was some frost on some nights for a few weeks and then - sunshine. So, my other memory is the leaves of trees did not come out until well after Easter last year. Everything was cold, but not snowy. It was cold though. Birds were stranded with no insects because of the cold wet weather long into April. Butterflies did well though.  After the Easter holidays last year, there were still very few leaves on trees. This year i have a feeling the leaves will be out a lot sooner.

Ask me what last year's growing season was like. Terrible. Fruits did very badly. There was no sun to help them ripen. Leafy plants did well. The weeds were very happy. Already this year, the strawberries are looking very strong. My plants were mulched over by beech leaves and they have survived the winter. I am expecting great things from them this year. Earlier as well. Probably May.

Well, it is almost time for school. This morning i woke up and a thought struck me. The though went something like this: if i ever feel pain, it is i that feels the pain. Oisin asked me yesterday what is a polite word to call someone who is annoying you. After some joking, i said, well, the annoying is happening to you, so really you are experiencing the annoyance. You need to recognise that and then you will stop being annoyed - the person will then cease to be annoying. Then Peter said, oh mom is on her way to being enlightened. I said, i don't really think i will ever be enlightened because i too attached to my faults - the things which make me, me. Also i think that enlightenment is overrated. This brought a lot of laughter. Enlightenment is overrated! Imagine that.

Well it is. I don't think that you can stay in a state of worthiness without either boring yourself or everyone else. That to me seems like a sort of cop out, a death in some way. Water flows all the time, still water is poison. Maybe that is enlightement. Being in constant motion.

Ghin at the cycling place

Oisin attempting a double cong

Wall to wall sunshine

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