I went for a run -4 miles!- with sil. I. She's been running for a while now and is much fitter than me, but I manged to run most of the way though I walked up the hills. Our route was along narrow, isolated country Leitrim lanes, past bogs and low mountains. I thought of the John McGahern's Memoir in which I've just been reading his recollection of walking the Leitrim lanes in his childhood. I. told me that he died a few months ago. I hadn't even heard and feel a bit shocked and bereaved. Last night I read the heartbreaking passage about his beloved mother's death when he was a boy:
Those who are dying are marked not only by themselves but by the world they are losing.He would have known he was dying when that was written. He was a wonderful, author who wrote truthful accounts of lives and family, place and the seasons. May he face the rising sun.
We went to a 'Game and Country Fair' at Makree Castle in the afternoon. Last year at the same event, Duncan had wandered off and it took us 15 fraught minutes to find him (standing by an ice-cream van). Amazingly, he recognised the place although it's just crowds of people and stalls in fields. He pointed to a group of stalls and asked for 'brown sugar cubes', meaning fudge. That section contained the shopping stalls, though how he could tell them apart from a distance, I don't know. He was on great form, stayed by me (with lots of reminders) and with Thomas, really enjoyed patting loads of well groomed dogs, there for the pet show. Gordon joined a queue to buy ice-creams for everyone. Duncan was getting a bit anxious at having to wait, and it wasn't helping him that I kept reassuring him that he would get ice-cream soon. So I walked close to the van, and pointed to each of the people in front of Gordon in turn, saying '1st that man gets ice-cream, then that woman, then that man, then that man...then Daddy gets ice-cream for Duncan' and I repeated this information as the queue reduced. He must have understood better what was happening as he was content to wait then.
All the children enjoyed the day. Lady liked the falconry display. Duncan was enthralled by some dancing horses and afterwards, he was singing the Gipsy Kings song played . Even when lyrics are in English, it's usually just a collection of sounds to him and although he has no problem repeating the phrase, it's good when someone says it slowly enough for him to hear the individual words.
We bought a selection of good cheese, olives and bread and feasted after dinner when the children were finally asleep. The next day we had a relaxed walk, played and ate some more before heading back to the north east and home.