(Look at the book paper butterflies!)
We’re sitting in a cafe in the afternoon both in our phones. This is so romantic… well maybe it is. Isn’t romance when the other person turns up with just what you wanted? Or when they ask you what you want and then bring it to you? Or when they’re interested in you and your interests?
(Can you smell the bread?)
Anyways, we’re both interested in reading (him) and writing to you (me) on our phones and that’s how we do romance here in the cafe in Portugal. Plus the sun is shining after a downpour this morning. I was on my get-some-photos walk when the hailstones started. I did have a rain coat and an umbrella but I still ended up with soaking jeans. They’re dry now and the rain clouds are gone… so maybe I’ll stop talking about the rain. Sure I will.
(Flowers in the park)
When we walked in here (to the cafe) there were two ladies chatting and as the locals do I said Bem Dia (good day) and they said Bo Tarde (good afternoon). I think you can say good day at any time.. but it might be just for mornings? Then I asked for thé vert which is the French for green tea… and the waitress said Chá Verde, the Portuguese for green tea.
(That’s how you say green tea in Portuguese)
All this to tell you, no matter what you want to say the Portuguese will help you say it. They are very welcoming and interested in what you want. Like I said romantic.
Isn’t it lovely when someone is interested in you, Mairead.
(This is why rain is so great… it makes wonderful green stuff)
Today was a little bit wet so I didn’t get a chance to take many photos. Fortunately, I took a lot yesterday. We’re staying in the small town of Ballaghaderreen, I’m not sure if I know how to pronounce it so I was waiting to hear someone here say it… but no one has yet. I think it’s Balla-hah-dreen but don’t quote me on that. We are staying in a room over the pub on the main street and when we dropped all our gear we went looking for a coffee shop.
(Perfect cafe in Ballaghadereen… with only one small problem)
We couldn’t find one on our own so we asked a lady in the supermarket and she was very proud to tell us there was a beautiful place up near the church. Her friend told us it won some competition as the best in Ireland. Well, of course that’s exactly the coffee shop we want to go to, right? We followed her precise directions and spotted a pretty little gate lodge with flowers in hanging baskets and window boxes. Perfect. We took some pictures outside and congratulated ourselves on such a great find. Then we went in through a little gate and spotted the sign. The CLOSED sign…. We were twenty minutes late. We pressed our noses to the windows for a bit and returned to our room over the pub. The instant coffee isn’t award winning but grand all the same.
(Claire and Paul’s lock-keepers cottage on the Royal Canal near Mullingar)
It definitely makes us appreciate yesterday’s tea break on the Royal Canal in the little lock keeper’s cottage. Paul made us great tea while Claire had baked delicious soda bread. If it hadn’t been for Claire chatting away outside with the passing walkers and cyclists we wouldn’t have noticed the opportunity for tea. She grew up in this cottage and years later when she and her husband retired they decide to renovate and they’ve been welcoming passers-by since.
(This was great tea)
They had been very busy yesterday by the time we arrived and all the scones were gone, then we ate the last of the soda bread. So that when Claire got word from one of the cyclists that there was a boat coming she had to dash off and put more scones in the oven. I wondered to Paul if there would be enough time to bake the scones and he told us the boat was coming from Mullingar and would have five locks to navigate. There’d probably be enough time to cook them dinner too. I really hope the people on the boat stopped yesterday and I hope Claire and Paul keep welcoming people into the little cottage because it’s a really lovely experience.
All the best from Ballaghaderreen, Mairead.
(Scary ride on Bray seafront)
I went to the post office today. It took three hours. The queues were terrible. A big fight broke out at one point because everyone was so annoyed at the waiting. There was lots of shouting. Then someone started a fire in the waste paper bin and it spread through the building. It was very frightening. And it was all in my imagination…….
(Black crow on blue helicopter)
What actually happened was…. I went to the post office, it took two minutes, there was no queue and then I went to a cafe, had a green tea and a biscuit and read my book. I went to cheer myself up because my imagination has been working overtime today with disaster scenarios.
Mainly they’re just boring old “poor me” or “you never…” or “you always…” The post office one is more fun and for sure I know it’s not true, because I can go back and see it hasn’t burned down! The other disaster scenarios are more difficult to see for what they are — drama.
(Can you see the crow, it’s still up there)
When your own drama is getting too much for you and you’re starting to believe it…. make up a new one. But make it BIG and give yourself the starring role…. as the baddie! So let me rephrase the post office drama…….
I burned down the post office today. Now I’m in hiding. Please send biscuits. And a coffee. Americano with just a little milk.
Don’t tell anyone, I’m bad, Mairead.