Monday, 30 August 2010
Other things for which to be profoundly grateful and which I want to remember this academic year. We live in a house which is big enough for us and is "perfect" in the words of the suns. We have our daily bread and abundantly more; I am trying not to be obsessed with The Look. We believe we are pilgrims on this earth, and want to pilgrim well. I don't need to be a yummy mummy. 'Twould be better to be a mummy who makes yummy!
The summer has been busy and interesting and rich in ways beyond money and price. When we got back from Kilkenny we had been away more than at home, and this has made the last two weeks of doing absolutely nothing feel very lovely and special and decadent and good. There have been fabulous books to read for me, and guiltless DVD and Wii times for suns. And today we rounded it all off with a trip to Funworks, lunch at Macdos, and even made it to the Loughshore Festival just in time to get seats in the Drum Circle!
Finally, and again just in time, Mattman has revised Maths and Writing- see below!
Saturday, 28 August 2010
Wednesday, 25 August 2010
When PC comes home from worship meeting with the rector's thoughts on our family moving up a gear in church
"Mrs Monet Cleans the Lily Pond" by Geraldine Mills
She trawls her net across the green rash of weed,
he watching her from the window in a frenzy
so that he will not lift a brush, a palate knife
until she's done, her dress flounced into her pantaloons
a hat protecting her from the Givergny sun.
In the gather of time, she sees picnics in plein air
with Mrs Renoir, Pisarro though they don't see
eye to eye on dress fabrics or ducks' livers,
Mrs Cezanne a bit too dry for her taste
and yet she has a soft reasoning at the dinner table
when tempers rise, a glass knocked over
spills its red stain upon the white damask
and a voice gravels from beyond.
Her net fills with the smell of rotting.
She dredges newts out of their philanderings,
a silt of caddis world, of wandering snail,
a leech puckers to the cold skin of her calf
until the water ripples out of its surface tension
and all he sees are blooms full and pert as divas.
Monday, 23 August 2010
Cooking Catherine and Fred. Ten reasons to be grateful for Catherine and Fred! Despite the fact that their family and friends together form a formidable group of the great and the good, they always invite us to celebrations as well! This graciousness is actually an intrinsic part of their living, moving and having their being because they do, as the Quaker saying goes, let their life speak. Their door is always open and we frequently walk through for coffee and comfort, even when ostensibly there for piano lessons with the wonderful Rowan III. The wonderful Peter IV always seems to materialise from nowhere to do trampoline supervision, proving that well-bred teenage boys are perfectly capable of leaving technology behind at a moment's notice. And not to leave out the first borns, Patrick I and Thomas II blow any theory of teenage boys who only grunt out of the ocean.
They are among the most interesting people I have met. Without Catherine's book recommendations I would not have spent one whole night this summer reading, and would never have read Anne Tyler. She is also the woman behind Faredo's. Fred is a minister who writes and communities and knows.
This summer they have been married for twenty-five years. Inspiration!
Sunday, 22 August 2010
Ken and Tina are Tumble Circus. You'll have to take my word for it that we watched them with Kilkenny Castle in the high background with the river Nore on our left. Camera's still in the car and it's dark out there. Spectacular acrobatics with some daringly rude banter!
It's been dark out there since just before nine o'clock tonight. Ominous. Must be time to start sewing name tags on again...
But without further ado the winners of the cafes of Kilkenny competition! Tricky to mark, folks! Dore's Nostalgia cafe is where we go in the evenings to get cereal for the boys and Irish coffees for us! The Design Centre was where we had non-tea leaves in pots and lovely bread. The cafe over Kilkenny Book Centre is actually called Pennefeather's and we love the little alcove seat over the stairs where this year I had carrot cake with my Earl Grey. And Nicholas Mosse is where you can sit in the huge windows and drink from Nicholas Mosse cups, pour from Nicholas Mosse jugs and eat from Nicholas Mosse plates.
In short- 1d, 2a, 3c, 4b. And the "loquacious loo" was in the Design Centre. That was nice!
So. Catherine and Fred got the cafes completely right and I will be dropping notes into them soon- I know they didn't leave comments but you'll be hearing all about them tomorrow, so I beg forgiveness! Crafting Catherine also got them all right, as did Queen Niqi who guessed the Design Centre's voice as well. The other winner of the voice was Simone, and you got Dore's right too- well done all!
I will be writing lovely cards for all of you tomorrow, and putting a little extra thing in as well. Thank you for playing with us here at fraise lachrymose- we like you very much!
Saturday, 21 August 2010
I mention this to illustrate my complete and utter disinterest in, talent for, knowledge of music.
It was obviously Prince Charming who went to hear Fidil (pleasingly pronounced vigil) last week, but I thought that I could mention them here at fraise lachrymose since we've all been listening to them non-stop ever since. The difference being that this time I don't turn off the CD player!
PC says that if you squeeze through Cleere's bar, you come to a tiny room at the back where they in turn squeeze in as many seats as possible, and then a few more. Which is a shame because if there had been some room he might have been tempted to get up and move!
Aidan O'Donnell has recently won Young Musician of the Year in Ireland, and you can hear them below. My favourite so far is The Hunt of the Hound and the Hare. I love the story, you see! It's like Danse Macabre and Peter and the Wolf. The music's lovely, but I still need a good story!
Thursday, 19 August 2010
Last year I booked to hear Colm Toibin and Peter Murphy. They were dazzling. The setting was too. But once they took the stage your mind was on nothing else. Toibin was the outgoing curator of the literary strand and his introduction was already erudite, yet then came Brooklyn, then came John the Revelator, then came the authors discussing their themes between them, and only finally did the questions come and the answers too, and it was good.
Hugo Hamilton writes from a perspective that is one of my favourite themes in contemporary novels- immigration. His style is journalistic, you can hear him below, and the insightfulness of his prose comes laterally. The bemusement of Vid, the narrator in Hand in the Fire, is the vehicle for the telling of Concannon Family's tale and colours then the illustration of Irish society. Hamilton seemed jolly, and pleased to be there in St Canice's, which pleased me as I was so charmed!
With no further ado the formidable John Banville presided. Reading not at all from The Infirmities but from a work in progress. Oh we all felt very imporatant. He criticised the lighting and the flowers. And he read a scene- you can hear it below. And his prose was mighty. The style with which that man can write filled that place with the authority of an accomplished and established figure. But he was not jolly, and evidently not pleased to be there. He was contrary, and I think he despised us all!
And I wished so much that I had read both books before the event. I'm falling into the habit of buying the books when we arrive in town. But I so wanted to ask both of them if they felt Hand and Infirmities were linked by the eye they both cast on the internal workings of family, if Vid the Observer is like Banville's mischievous gods. I strongly wanted to know if Banville's descent into bawdiness was a conscious path after The Sea. But I didn't, despite the fact that the questions asked were actually so poor that I despised us all too!
Thankfully St Canice's didn't seem to care. She welcomed Hamilton and Banville alike. And when I could finally bear to leave her, I still had the imprint of light that had filled me up during the long minutes of standing staring before they started to usher in the next event.
(Competition winners coming soon- still time to enter!)
Monday, 16 August 2010
4 ...to the four lovely snacks that we had there. A bit worrying when your suns can describe with as much passion as you their favourite watering holes in and around the town!
abcdThere will be a little card for every winner and a bonus prize for anyone who can say which cafe has a lavatory where a mysterious voice from the wall will tell you that your accent is melodious! (Immediate family of fraise lachrymose need not apply!)
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
However, honour must prevail. The seat of High Culture in Belfast is open to all at Blue Lamp Disco.
Little Queenie would not like me to tell you who she is or what she does, but I can't resist telling you that it has been my very great privilege to have worked with this woman!
Thursday, 5 August 2010
I did manage to deliver Crafting Catherine's giveaway on our way over the hill. I now feel like a real bloggiste! That said it's Kilkenny time again, so we're heading down there next week after a brief chilly dip at the North Coast over the weekend, so another holiday break from the Land of the Tearful Strawberries!