Monday, 26 March 2012

Là na Cailliche sona dhuibh!

So the Cailleach has thrown down her wand (or mallet) in disgust and spring is now officially here...

Dh’ fhag e mhan mi, dh’ fhag e ‘n ard mi
Dh’ fhag e eadar mo dha lamh mi,
Dh’ fhag e bial mi, dh’ fhag e cul mi,
Dh’ fha e eadar mo dha shul mi.

Dh’ fhag e shios mi, dh’ fhag e shuas mi,
Dh’ fhag e eadar mo dha chluas mi,
Dh’ fhag e thall mi, dh’ fhag e bhos mi,
Dh’ fhag e eadar mo dha chos mi.

Thilg mi ‘n slacan druidh donai,
Am bun preis crin cruaidh conuis.
Far nach fas fionn no foinnidh,
Ach fracan froinnidh feurach.’
  It escaped me below, it escaped me above.
  It escaped me between my two hands,
  It escaped me before, it escaped me behind,
  It escaped me between my two eyes.

  It escaped me down, it escaped me up,
  It escaped me between my two ears,
  It escaped me thither, it escaped me hither,
  It escaped me between my two feet.

  I threw my druidic evil wand.
  Into the base of a withered hard whin bush,
  Where shall not grow ‘ fionn ‘ nor ‘ fionnidh’,
  But fragments of grassy ‘froinnidh.’

Là Fhèill Brìghde was cold and bright, and the weather ever since has been completely the opposite - warm, wet and cloudy - up until around the equinox last week. Now we have glorious sunshine, hazy views across the sea, and the garden is getting into its full swing. Yesterday, on Là na Cailliche, we all piled into the car and headed over to the fair that's in a neighbouring town - one of the last hangovers from the traditional trade fairs that would take place twice a year around the equinoxes, where people would go to find themselves gainful employment. Now it's just an opportunity to have fun and eat too many sweeties, and, if you're six and nearly five, it's time to have a go on as many rides or bouncy things as possible:

And go 'fishing' for Winnie the Pooh, prize guaranteed. Rosie chose bubbles:

(I would like to point out that I had nothing to do with putting that outfit together).

Back home, with the warm and dry weather it was time to give the veg a watering and see how they're all getting on. It's taken a while but the first lot of onions I put in are starting to sprout:

As are the peas. As yet the sprouts, leeks, carrots and second set of onions and peas are still thinking about it (I'm a bit worried that the seeds I've used for the leeks and some of the carrots may be out of date now, so they won't do anything, but oh well. There may be a few late harvests this year). I've lost a raspberry bush in the storms at the beginning of the year, but I still have the golden raspberry I planted last year and it seems to be settling in nicely, as is the blackcurrant. The rhubarb is looking a little sad and forlorn, but the rowan is proudly unfurling its leaves and some blossom buds:

Last year was the first time the tree blossomed and I left the berries to the birds to give them their due. This year I might harvest some for drying, depending how well the berries do.

The cowslip is going strong:

And a primrose I grew from seed last year survived! Just:

It's not all yellow in the garden, though:

But spring is well under way already. If this year is anything like last year, the late spring will be glorious and sunny and the summer itself will be a washout, so we're making the most of it right now.

It's my daughter's fifth birthday this coming weekend, then we have most of my family coming to visit for Easter, so things are very busy round here. There has been a lot of spring cleaning to get the house back in shape - I have been pretty incapacitated for the most of the year so far, but it seems that with a change in weather (and medications) things have improved a little. I'm a little more mobile now, so that's one thing, and after a winter of not being up to much the house needs some TLC - a few repairs need to be done, a few finishing touches that need to finally get seen to and so on. The patio has been pressure cleaned to remove the algae that had turned the concrete slabs green, the carpets have been cleaned, the spare room has been de-furred and claimed back from the dogs, and all the bedding has been washed. And the cupboard under the stairs has been bravely tackled. The cobwebs have been well and truly dusted away.

It's a glamorous life, I'm sure you'll agree...