Sunday, August 28, 2016

Beauty | Rituals and Rituals


Still water in a glass bottle

Sun protection on my mom's patio

I switched to aluminum-free deodorants a good while ago, but have switched back temporarily (to this one by Rituals), due to a holiday heatwave (although I need it primarily for fear sweat; the heat is secondary), while waiting for the launch of this natural deodorant cream.

I used to travel with a suitcase full of stuff when visiting home (there was a time I would bring up to ten CDs with me...), but now I have mastered the art of traveling light, hand luggage only, which isn't hard to do when you can have some clothes stored at your mother's house.

It means lightweight purchases if any, so when my sister showed me the natural cosmetics line at a German chemist's, I picked one of the smallest items, a nail and cuticle oil pen, which is lovely to brush on - a calming late-night ritual I had never really tried before. I like to keep it simple and limit the amount of products I use, and I am sure using oils and the hand cream I already have does the job adequately, but this is perfect for trips.

Something I wish we had in Ireland is still water in glass bottles. It may exist (restaurants have them), but I have never seen crates of bottles, which are ubiquitous here, and in Ireland you would pay a small fortune. Luckily, our tap water is safe to drink, but with the bottled water pictured above you know its mineral content, and it is suitable for my little nephews.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Around here, August


 Gifts ('cairdeas' = 'friendship' in Irish)

 Bathroom art

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.