Friday, December 24, 2021

Season's Greetings!

 Whether you're celebrating today and tomorrow or not, I hope your days are peaceful and full of joy.

I've got a batch of lasagne bubbling away in the slow cooker, which will be supper tonight and lunch over the weekend--it smells good in here! I've made smoked salmon spread and some spuds with veg, which I will add to and turn into veggies bites tomorrow. We have a few other munchie things and will graze our way through the weekend--no large meals which means minimal prep and cleaning up. 

Sunday is a holiday here as well and much just shuts down between now and the new year--we won't even have mail delivery until next Thursday, I think. It is starting to get more quiet out there. This is what I have always loved about Christmas in rural Ireland--the quiet slowness. Quiet slowness is very me!

I've got some lovely music playing. It's a nice afternoon here. I hope the same is true for you!

Now I'm off to make a cuppa! 😀

Tuesday, December 21, 2021


 Happy Solstice!

This is always a bittersweet day for me. I'm definitely sad about the fact that the days will lengthen now, but I treasure the darkness that we have in such abundance at this time of year! whether you're celebrating the abundant darkness, the return of the light, or simply Tuesday, I hope you have a wonderful day!

Friday, December 17, 2021

Kind of Worth It

 I'm a night owl. I do best if I go to sleep between 2 and 3 in the morning and get up between 9 and 10. This is only possible for some of the year because I'm not able to stay asleep in summer, although I cannot get to sleep any earlier. I savour the restful nights I have at this time of year because I know they are fleeting. I hate giving up any of these mornings by getting up too early, but sometimes choices must be made. 

We recently learned that Friday is Market Day in Falcarragh, a small village that is nearby. One of the vendors is the veg man, a mobile greengrocer. I was thrilled to know that he was there! Dungloe didn't have one and I missed this.When we got here, I asked around but was told that no one does this in the vicinity. no one mentioned Falcarragh and it was just by chance that we learned about it. We had to go there for something else and saw a sign, then asked for confirmation. 

There are some buses that get to Falcarragh from here in 15 minutes, but one comes at 7:30 and the other at 8. One day we will take one of those buses to spend more time there, preferably when it's spring or summer and I wake up early anyway. These are large buses and probably would have a hard time on the coast road, which is narrow and very curvy. The bus we take is a small, van-sized bus--the same one that brings us to Dungloe. It comes through here at about 9:20 and takes the scenic route along the coast. It's the only bus that runs along that route and people get on in the middle of nowhere to go to Falcarragh or the village 5 minutes before that where there is a grocery store. When the bus leaves Falcarragh, it comes back through here and on to Dungloe. People all along the route use it to go in that direction, too. Today someone was going for a medical appointment. It takes longer to get to Falcarragh--about 40 minutes--but it's a gorgeous ride and an important service for those who live along the way.

Anyway, this morning we got up earlier than usual and got ready to visit veg man's stall. I was struck by the colourful sky, the play of light, and the shapes of the undulating coastline. It's not a time I am usually outside at this time of year, so it was a treat to see it! I decided it was kind of worth it to lose an hour of sleep. 😀

I took a bunch of pictures out the bus window as we rolled along to Falcarragh. 
outside our apartment waiting for the bus 9:15 a.m.

breakfast time for the sheep--we stopped here for a minute so the lady who lives across the street from them could board the bus

i think that's Muckish in the distance, but not sure
So we got to Falcarragh, went to veg man's stall, got our fruit and veg, and went back to wait for the return journey. We have half an hour at most when we go there--often a little less if we get there later than scheduled. We only had to wait a couple minutes, but he would have waited for us if we'd not been there. The first time we went, the driver asked if we were coming back. I said we were and confirmed where we should wait. He told me, 'Don't worry, I won't leave without you!' I still find it remarkable and wonderful that we can live in such a rural place and still get to be car-free! And the bus is like a whole little community in and of itself. I wasn't keen on getting up early today, but I knew that once I did, it would be an enjoyable morning. And so it was!

Monday, December 13, 2021

We're Boostered

 Bill and I got our boosters this afternoon. They were talking appointments at a local pharmacy, which is a 2 minute walk from our apartment. We asked if we could just come together instead of having separate appointments, and they put us both down in the same slot, which is cool because it kept a slot open for another person. 

The guy was trying to put a plaster on my arm over the jab site and he was laughing because he couldn't find it. He ended up just sticking it on my arm somewhere. LOL 

We were both glad that we could pop in, have it done, and come home in the space of 20 minutes. Very convenient!

It was a busy day, starting off with a brisk 2 1/2 mile walk to the post office and back to pick up a large (over 1000 pages) book Bill had ordered. When we got home, we had just enough time to grab something to eat before catching the bus to Dungloe so we could go to Aldi and Lidl. We got home from there with enough time to haul the heavy bags upstairs and put things in the fridge. We left the rest of the stuff in the bags and went to get boostered. First thing I did when we got home was to turn the kettle on to make tea while I was putting the rest of the groceries away. All day long, from the time I got up, I was counting down the hours until we would be done, home, and drinking a cup of tea. I am not sure I have ever appreciated a cuppa more than I did today!

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Keep an Eye on the Time!

We've been listening to the all-classical radio station in Portland, Oregon via Radio Garden, an app that allows us to listen to radio stations of all kinds around the world. We both enjoy listening to classical music--it's just about the only music I listen to, in fact. But neither of us likes opera and the 'classical' station here, as with others we've listened to over the years in many different places, will often include a lot of opera in their playlists. We'd be listening to some nice music and then suddenly there would be a shrieking soprano jangling the nerves. The station here also has large blocks of time when they seem to have a jazz-heavy playlist and I'm not a jazz fan. 

When Bill was clicking around the app a while back, he came across this station and we tried it out. It is all classical and almost no opera. What little shrieking soprano there has been has been short. We both really like this station and have been listening to it a lot. As we had it on the other night, there was an announcement about some upcoming programming, including a show about Christmas music. I was thinking, 'Oh, I'd really like to listen to that, but no way will I be up at 7 a.m.' Then it dawned on me. It's Portland. They're 8 hours behind us. Seven a.m. there is 3 p.m. here. I can do 3 p.m.! Yay!

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Sunset Skyscapes

Skyscapes as seen between 3:30 and 4:30 on a winter afternoon on the western edge of Ireland:

Friday, December 10, 2021

Friday, December 3, 2021

Watercolour Sky

 Walking home with some groceries this afternoon at about 3:15, I was reminded of a watercolour painting as I glanced down the lane. I stopped to enjoy the shapes of the clouds and the subtle colours. I love spectacular sunsets, but I also love the beauty that exists in this kind of quiet sky.