Happy Birthday Shirley and Suzi

Posted on 15 April 2011

I wish you both a great day. The sun is shining in Northern Ireland and Shirley, I hope it will come up in Vancouver. You, fellow plum, requested that I not create a card for you. Instead I should write for myself as a gift to you. I promise that I will sit down and write in my journal right after posting this.

I am in Northern Ireland with my mother though she is at her sister’s house and I am at my cousin’s. When she needs me, I am here for her. It’s no fun – or at least it’s not fun all the time – being in your 80s and having to get around on a cane, dealing with loss of hearing and all kinds of other aches and pains, but still there are pleasures to be had. I see my mother’s face light up when a sibling or niece or nephew comes to call.

I’m sitting on the stairs gazing out on a green green field. I said to my mum the other day that this country looks like one large farm with little clusters of buildings every here and there. My cousin’s son raises sheep (although this isn’t his day job) and some are kept in the back garden though contained by a hedge and fence with a narrow stretch of grass in between. It’s birthing time and so Gary has taken holidays to be available when a sheep needs help giving birth (which seems to be often – several times during the day and evening and even in the middle of the night (or so he says as I never hear him leave.)

I am definitely a city person though I have this romantic outlook on farm life and am probably driving Gary crazy with questions. I’ve learned that a sheep can only feed two babies so if it has triplets or more, the newborns must be fed with a bottle. I have said that before I leave, I wouldn’t mind feeding one.

I am having a bit of a difficult time without my computer and only this ipad but since buying an external wireless keyboard, it’s easier. A bigger problem is that internet connection is intermittent. Though I must admit that I am enjoying the quiet times alone, without technology, to think and read.

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