Tuesday, September 16, 2014



Signs of change (at Portumna Castle)


Drinking tea that tastes of grass* (in a good way) on the grass

Colours are on my mind a lot right now, mainly due to something I am working on.

Ireland has been blessed with an extended summer - two weeks ago the weather forecast had seven sun symbols in a row for the week ahead, and it came true and then continued for another week. We are doing our best to keep up the swimming. Last week at Ladies' Beach there was an older woman in the water who had her long grey hair up in an elegant braided bun. She wore a necklace and earrings with her polka dot swimsuit and a smile on her face and spent a lot of time keeping herself afloat on her back (one of my favourite ways of being in the sea, and, incidentally, a great core exercise). I want to be that lady when I am older. Like in so many seaside towns there is a community of septua-, octo- and even nonagenarians here who go swimming in the sea regularly, some daily, throughout the year. They always have a cheerful welcome for us, and last week someone said "See you tomorrow!", as if it were understood that we'd all be there again the next day.

Parts of my life feel like a neverending holiday (the current combination of the weather, the swimming, half-day trips to places I had never been before, my house, the food, the company), and juxtaposed to that I am overwhelmed by how much I have to do. Taking my cue from our neighbour at home, I am banning the word 'stressed', though I am not sure 'overwhelmed' is a good substitute. Whenever I feel that way, I remind myself how lucky I am to be doing what I am doing.

So many things are in the work-in-progress state at the moment, but I am finally getting the hang of working on various projects and not losing sight of any individual one. It has only taken me about a decade to figure this out... I know it is a recurring theme here, but this time it does feel like a mini breakthrough. A lot of it is thanks to a version of the Pomodoro Technique and breaking down that barrier in my head that always seemed to dictate that if I had to be somewhere later in the day there was no point starting anything, even if I had a window of several hours. Now I think, wow, I have an hour to do some work! And I set my alarm. I shall report back next week.

* Kukicha

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