Gifts ('cairdeas' = 'friendship' in Irish)
This house is turning into dog-sitting central; we could have had three dogs with us last weekend. We are still not sure when we will be able to commit to having a dog ourselves, but in the meantime we are enjoying our canine visitors.
Every morning I get up early to take the dog/dogs for a walk. I am willing myself to carry this habit into the dog-less days, especially when working from home, to simulate a 'commute' - it is one of these things I know would be good for me, yet laziness tends to win. Nothing new there.
I have been swimming in the sea, in beautifully clear turquoise water in Donegal and in the waves of Galway Bay on a grey Wednesday. Our (British) gardening books tell me that in August the garden needs watering several times a day - not here! Instead I had been waiting for a dry day to go around collecting seeds (another job for August). I am still very much a gardening amateur, putting plants into places that are completely unsuitable. The only thing I am truly good at is weeding. But I have high hopes: one corner of the shed is being turned into a potting station. And we have been eating our own courgettes, raspberries and beetroot (all very easy to grow, so hardly an achievement, but very satisfying).
Yesterday a year ago we got the keys, and I am ashamed to say I still haven't made any effort to learn Irish. It is only now that we live in the Gaeltacht that I am acutely aware of my lack of the language; people do use it. A lot. I re-read Nada and was thrilled to feel all my Spanish flooding back, and as a result I have newfound energy to tackle the language of this place.