Tag Archives: small towns

Oot and aboot


Still getting ready for Sunday and the Open Fair. I still don’t have any information to speak of from the organisers, but apparently they are being annoyed with queries. I got this email today:

“Could I just ask everyone to please be patient? I DON’T have a floor plan yet as applications are still streaming in by the dozen and we’re trying to deal with those, as well as trying to find time to answer everyone’s individual inquiries about their table numbers etc. I DON’T have table numbers yet. As soon as I do, I will send them to you. As I understand it, you will be able to set up from 9am.”

A few hours later, they sent an Exhibitor Information PDF. It didn’t really say much new, other than they are having issues with giving everyone wall space that asked for it. So I emailed them and said my work was very light, and I could use string and clothespins to display it just as easily (and probably quite interestingly), and I didn’t need a wall if they were running short. They sent me a short ‘thanks for that’ reply. Always pays to be nice, I think.

Speaking of which, thank you to the lady on the till at Tesco last week. We weren’t planning to try to use those coupons, we knew we weren’t buying those products. But she said to hand em over, there’s a glitch in the system and we’d get the discount anyway. Nice one; she saved us €1.50 and didn’t have to do that at all, we would never have known. Again, pays to be nice – I’m sure if we were rude she’d have never said a word.

Anyway, back to the Open Fair. Open apparently stands for One Person ENterprise. There’s novelty cakes, lightweight travel bags invented locally, and jewellery makers, bakers, graphic artists, photographers, fashion designers and furniture makers are all mentioned in the newspaper. It sounds like it will be busy! I’ve been telling people about it, and a few folks want to come just to shop – that’s what I like to hear.

I’ve been telling people because iDJ printed my flyer for me. Three hundred of them! I took a batch out with me today. I put them in the hardware shop, the grocery, the post office, the paper shop and the music shop. I know all these folks – I’m too shy to go ask a stranger to allow me to advertise for free in their business. Even though everyone else does it.

I also bought some poster board and visited my Canadian friend at work, to borrow her scalpel and cutting mat. I got 18 8×10 backing boards for €3 and I didn’t cut myself once. iDJ would have cut a finger off, dropped the scalpel, impaled his toe, and bled all over the paper making me have to go buy more.

We had ordered cellophane bags on Monday, so I could put an 8×10 print and the tacky backing board into the bags for sale at the show. They came today. Instead of 8 x 10, they are about 5×10. Fuck. Some quick thinking on iDJ’s part (he’s clumsy, not stupid) got me a pile of clear bags from his uncle’s bakery. They are too big, but I can cut and fold and tape. Fun fun! We’ll go and have a few pics printed on photo paper Saturday and spend the evening making little parcels.

You guys have seen all my work – which ones should I print for sale? I know Fergus the Jack Russell will be popular, and I like Grey Horse and the Seahorse original drawings. Do you think any of the others would sell? How about Mr Penguin, for kids? Oh, I’ve not put him up here, or my dinosaur. Let me fix that next post. It’s going to cost me €2 each to print them, and I don’t want to be stuck with a pile of my own work!

Inefficiency abounds this week


I’m freezing. Just looked and it is 17.1c in the house. That’s about 63f. Too cold for me, I turned on the heat. It’s nasty outside: windy, rainy and cold. Probably won’t be walking The Queen today. Our house faces the mountain, and I can’t see it at all. Never a good sign. I use the mountain like the old joke Indian Weather Rock: if invisible, fog or rain for at least the next half hour. It hides quite often this time of year.

So… they ripped up the old metal cattle-weighing scale in the town square last week. It took five county council workers and a backhoe to dig it out and fill in the hole. Sad to see it go; my hubby remembers the last cattle market. They docked the cows’ horns there, and the streets ran with blood in the gutters, while the poor cows screamed. Not the nicest memory, but still something that should have perhaps been preserved.

There’s going to be ‘some sculptures’ put into the hole, and I saw one of them this morning on a flatbed truck. It was on its back and bubble wrapped too much to tell what it is. Sort of looked like a short brown Gandalf with a gnarled stick instead of a staff. Sort of odd that there’s no talk about what is happening in such a small town as this, with such a big gossip-mill. I guess whoever got paid to make said ‘sculptures’ is the only one who really cares.

They are also putting up the strings for the Christmas lights. The same old strings they put up every year. It takes five men and a scissor lift truck (I had to Google a bunch of shite to figure out what it was called) to put them up all down the town.

Anyhoo, they are putting up the strings. Not the strings with the bulbs attached, oh no. Just the strings. They’ve been at it all week, tying up traffic, these five county council workers. And pretty soon they’ll get to go back and put the bulbs in, one by one.

This is why I can’t get a job. I’m not lazy enough.

Nothing to do with the heavy sarcasm, nah.

Why is my dog purple?


I took the Queen for walkies today, go me! The weather was good (not pissing rain or looking like it was about to, not windy) and I was up, washed, motivated, and looking out the window at 3pm. The timing is important, because the local school lets out at 3:30 or thereabouts and I detest walking Herself through hordes of tweens. She doesn’t like them, they hog the pavement (sidewalk), and sometimes they try to pet her, which really freaks her the fuck out. I’m not thrilled to deal with them either, though I do like it when one says ‘that dog is savage!’ when we pass, because ‘savage’ means ‘awesomely cool’ and not ‘vicious throat-ripping beast.’

We had a good little walk, with no excitement. She did get to go into the post office with me, a rarity. I won’t take her inside if there’s a queue (unless it is people we know). She’s a big dog, I don’t want to scare anyone, and our post office is usually chock-full of old ladies. The Queen loves old ladies. When she loves you and wants to say hi, she does this funny front-legs bounce which can be intimidating. She’s under control, but just looks a bit excitable.

Today she got to put her feet up in the service window and say hi to the clerk; that was good.

We also went in the Paper Shop, to see if my mother in law was working. She wasn’t, but I had a little chat with one of her co-workers on issues of little importance. I do like my town.

We also had a short visit with Chris. Chris is… not all there. I believe the story is that he lives in a home for the handicapped, but by his own admittance. He always wears a suit, no tie. He perches his bony butt on the windowsills of various businesses up and down the main street and chain-smokes. Some days are bad days for him; when you say hello he doesn’t answer and his upper lip is caught on a snaggled lower tooth, making him look a bit deranged. Other days, like today, are good ones, and he’ll actually talk a moment and ask about the dog. He never remembers that he always asks the same things.

On the way home, Dogzilla likes to walk on the church wall as it gives her a nice perspective to survey every.last.moving.thing. I lean and wait while she checks out the ‘hood. Today, I noticed a purple spot on her lovely white fur. And another, smaller one, near it:


I know the pic sucks. It’s just for funsies.

It took me a moment to puzzle out why my dog had purple spots. Then I remembered: she was on the couch with iDJ last night after dinner. He was drinking wine. Red wine. He spilled wine on the dog!

I think he could officially have a drinking problem… at the very least, getting it into his mouth!

I saved 5 lives today, and maybe another


It’s a red-letter day here in Culchieland! I left the house! I know, what on earth could possibly have happened to make me leave? On foot? In the rain? Hell, it’s Ireland, it’s nearly always raining…

Well, I had to make the trek down to the post office to get my dole. That’s welfare, for my Yank friends. On the way, I:

Met BD who is a manager at the post office, and my sometime Harley-Davidson biking buddy. He was making deliveries, which is not his normal job. We had a short chat and blamed the shortage of staff on the presidential election flyers tying up all the postal workers. He handed me my post – a presidential election flyer.

So, mail in pocket, I continue my walk to the post office… is that ironic? It had rained a LOT overnight so there were little earthworms drying up and dying in the church driveway. I picked up three and tossed them into the grass.

Continuing on my way, I saw a small tortoise-shell coloured kitten running around under the parked cars in front of the grocery store that we don’t patronise. I don’t know why not, we just don’t. I tried to coax her to me, but she was scared and probably feral. I wouldn’t let a young fella in a hurry leave until she moved from under his car to another.

Up to the PO, chat with the clerk – turns out two people are on holiday and one other had a funeral for his mother in law. Aren’t small towns fun? Can you imagine getting to have a chat at the post office instead of a surly government worker? Wheee! And my dole went up €20, why? no clue. I’ll take it, 70 is better than 50 any day. It still is a drop in the debt bucket.

Back out, down to the Paper Shop where my mother in law works. She’s usually only there in the afternoon, but she’s in, and so are the other three ladies that work there. They aren’t all working; mam and B are, and the other two are chatting and bringing coffee and sammiches to the others. Aw. Mam has a cold and can barely talk. They all ask me about my back, and my job hunt. A fella delivering magazines hears me talking about my back, and I get advice and the name of a physio who fixed him ‘in one go.’ A physio is someone who isn’t a doctor, or a chiropractor, but does stuff to people who are hurt, like a sports/physical therapist. This one apparently is the physio for a GAA team in B… okay, I don’t recall the name of the town, but it started with a B and I’d never heard of it. Apparently if I go to B… and ask anyone on the street for so-and-so, they will know him and give me directions. Yes, that is the way things work over here!

Back out for the walk home. Dammit, kitten is still under the cars along the main street. Very dangerous for the wee thing. So I try, and try, to get it to come to me. She talks to me, but runs. I gave up, walked away…then turned back and into the grocery. I went to the deli counter and asked if they had a tiny bit of ham or turkey or chicken, as I was trying to catch a cat. I would have paid for it, but she handed me a bit of ham off the slicer. Thanks, deli lady!

Back outside, the kitten finally gets sick of my attentions and runs off down the alley, past the back road behind the houses & shops on the main street, and into someone’s overgrown garden. I tore up the ham and left it in the grass. At least she was safe from cars, now.

On the way home, I find and save two more worms. I feel like an Annelida hero! Yes, I Googled that. I’m a geek, but not that much of a geek!

In case you were wondering, here’s why worms surface when it rains.