Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Memories and comments

Strangford Lough from Nendrum Monastery, Co. Down.

That went quickly. In the blink of an eye almost. I have memories of greens and greys, of gentle rounded hills and low skies, of buttercups and crumbling ruins at sacred sites, of massed choirs of songbirds, of loughs and healing wells, mountains, rain and mist. It was only three days ago that I heard the haunting call of seals in the narrows where Strangford Lough meets the sea, and I remember the light effects of muted sunshine among the clouds.

I was in Northern Ireland for the whole time, so there is a jumble of memories too of the physical proofs of old enmities, of a sectarian parade and Union Jacks hanging from lampposts, of much warmth and friendliness, of that unique harsh-yet-tender accent, of busy town centres and chilling political murals and graffiti, of traffic jams and row upon row of red brick housing. Each time I visit I am always unsettled by these juxtapositions.

We had soft, warm Irish weather with the result that most of my photographs are studies in shades of grey, so there may be fewer on the blog than I had intended. There will be a post or two though once I get myself sorted, and I know I have a lot of blog reading to catch up on.


I want to say a particular thank you as well to everyone who commented on the previous post. At the airport on my return trip, on my own after four days of constant companionship, I had some time to kill after check-in and I suddenly started to feel lonely and overwhelmed at the prospect of the momentous (for me) decisions that are looming. So as a distraction I logged onto my emails at the internet café in the departure lounge. In amongst the usual correspondence and miscellaneous rubbish, up popped all the comments. They helped, they really did.

G wrote:

Comfort. Discomfort. I wonder where we get the idea that one is better than the other….

That stays with me as I unpack and tidy up in preparation for the estate agents’ visits.


Blogger Endment said...

Muted sunshine among the clouds the lough meeting the sea - ah ---
and soft, warm Irish weather... My imagination is melting with longing! What wonderful pictures you paint with your words!
Hold them tight as you face the busyness of each day.

1:47 pm  
Blogger zhoen said...


You may want to delete this, and I will not be in any way offended, since we neither of us want to advertise, but


they have some yellow shoes with airholes

in fact, the same ones I have on my feet.

5:15 pm  
Blogger Brenda said...

A beautiful description of the feel of Northern Ireland... I was there, for a moment, reading you, too.

Our blogging community, oh, yes, we are very important to each other.


6:38 pm  
Blogger MB said...

Yes, we are important to each other!

Studies in shades of grey actually sounds delightful to me. Living in the desert, I don't take such things for granted! ;-)

9:37 pm  
Blogger Mary said...

Endment: thank you .. so glad something of what I experienced came across.

Zhoen: You're a star. I will investigate. Thanks so much.

Brenda: Your warmth and generosity are always so much appreciated.

MB: :-). There's grey, and then there's grey.

5:16 pm  
Blogger Tarakuanyin said...

You're making me homesick. I long for days in shades of gray sometimes, or in shades of green. I look forward to your pictures.

9:51 pm  
Blogger rdl said...

Grey, one of my favorite colors, can't wait to see the pics and.." row upon row of red brick housing", sounds like where i grew up, I'd love to go to Ireland, and England, and....

2:45 am  
Blogger Mary said...

Rdl -if you do make it across the Atlantic then let me know!

Tarakuanyin - thank you and welcome! Just checked your blog to see where you are from:-). I was in the other end of the island.

The pictures will be along in the next weeks sometime.

11:37 am  
Blogger starnitesky said...

Mary I will look forward to seeing your 'shades of grey' from Ireland. All too quick a trip but it sounds as if you managed to fit plenty in to store good memories.

I admire you for your braveness in setting out on a new journey, if only I had the courage ....

I hope all goes well with the estate agents.

8:52 pm  

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