2015 was indeed one of the worst years on record in Ireland for abysmal wet weather. Now, I know there is a conception of Ireland being wet, after all it is so green and full of cows and fields. But the Ireland I had lived in for the last 13 years had been, on the whole, not bad until 2015. I didn't even know where my umbrella was, it had hardly been used. Now I have multiple umbrellas. I had suffered a year of moaning, people moaning to me, moaning to myself, by me and all around me, 'I hate this weather', 'it's so depressing', 'will it ever stop raining' etc. etc. The clouds were relentlessly grey and very low hanging in a mass that drained the life out of most sane dwellers in Dublin (there are the strange exceptions who like rain of course but that is certainly not true of me).
To compound this situation there was the very fast approaching 40th Birthday in August. Why is it that as we get older the year's seem to keep speeding up? Sometimes I feel I am living in a vintage VHS video cassette with the setting on fast forward. I suddenly had a ball of tension in my chest, like something large and unwielding was pressing into my ribcage from within. Was it doubt, fear, worry, illness, had I swallowed the grey clouds? I was so out of sorts I went to the GP to get a full health diagnosis, and got the all clear, thank goodness. All I can say is that it was a general unease, a feeling that something was not right. I wasn't living the life I was supposed to be living, but what was I to do about that whilst sat in my office looking out at the relentless rain with a business to run and bills to pay?
I have as an adult always had a hankering for a farm, a vision of chickens (I love chickens), pigs, sheep, cows and a massive veg patch, a self-sufficient idyll. I can only put this down to genes from my grandmother's parents who had a farm in Galway, Ireland, and many of my Irish relatives indeed do live on farms to this day. We had many a family holiday in County Clare, when I was a child, (and yes I am named after County Clare). We used to have house swaps with my father's cousin who had fields all around his house. Making mud castles with my sister, Kerry (named after County Kerry of course), on the boggy fields and running about in wellies will be enduring happy memories. And so it has come to pass that I too have a strong pull towards fields and the promise of collecting my own eggs and chopping hand pulled onions...but not in Ireland, there are too many puddles!
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