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The joy of sunshine

Two days of fine sunny weather and we've all gone mad. I swear the beagle winked at me today as his nonchalantly clicked his heels like a pair of snappy castanets and smiled, a big succulent drool of a smile that caused me to stop in my tracks and wonder why the permanently depressed looking canine actually managed to look happy, for once. Maybe it had something to do with me being out in the garden at six a.m., weeding and watering to my hearts content. Singing along with the birds, trying without any luck to spot the elusive cuckoo.

Sunburn prevails. Before you shake a finger at us, you have to be kind. Understand. Out of the gloom and doom of months of rain and storms we are allowed to burn ourselves a little. We are allowed to be blameless. I mean when you have not seen proper sunshine since last September, well, we are entitled to a little Vitamin D. I bet my bottom euro that if you happened to live here you would do the same. It's called abandon. Stripping off. Letting the bod breathe. Luring the white skin into the ether, the ozone, whatever. And besides, to be honest, any sun protection cream in this house is way out of date, possibly expired since the last warm week we happened to experience which was possibly in 2009.

Still, H has taken to calling me Pequito - whatever that means. He gets lusty in warm weather. Thinks he is a young thing again. I think Pequito sounds like a sauce, a red hot sauce that would burn any taste sensation right out of your mouth. Still it is nice. Pequito, what's for dinner? Pequito, do you want me to take the clothes in off the line? Pequito, I love your ankles, I haven't seen them in years. 

And all of a sudden the house is transformed in this strange sunshine. Gone the rain drenched cottage, swaying in the gale force winds that rage in from the Atlantic. Yes, you got it, it's a villa now - by the sea smothered in night-scented stock and Sweet William galore. Honestly, they are popping up like wild fire. And the tadpoles swarm in the pond like crazy, ravenous beings. Thousands of black blotches eager to finally transform themselves so that they can journey into the exotic jungle of bogland behind the garden gate.

I pick radishes for the dinner salad the size of golf balls. My son lies in the hammock beneath the Monterey pines and tells me that for a minute he thought he was nine again. I glide up across the grass, call the Small dog to me, never far, but still always needing my voice. I stop at the door. I have picked fresh thyme for the dish I am making for dinner. I am blanching tomatoes after I've scooped out the pulp. I am filling them with my own concoction. I am trying to recall when I was seventeen, living in France, standing beside Madame in her kitchen watching her cook. I close my eyes. I see her. I see the steps she took, meticulous, convicted. I follow her in my mind like I am back there but I am not. I open my own back door, walk in, begin to cook. The windows are open. All my dreams float back like the tomato juice stains on the counter top and I celebrate the maps etched on all that I have not yet travelled and the ones I can recall with just a hint of yellow sunshine to ease the way.

18 Comment count
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Sunshine and villas

Lovely... I can smell the thyme, Mary.... B XO

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Thyme has to be my favourite

Thyme has to be my favourite herb, Barbara. It always reminds me of sunshine! Happy days. mx

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Mary, I feel the joy that


I feel the joy that sunshine brought to you. 

Happy smiles and sun kissed cheeks!


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Hi Annette, Great to see you.

Hi Annette,

Great to see you. Hope you are well. mx p.s. my son loves Charleston. He has a wonderful house to rent and two jobs - all in the course of only a week! 

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Smiles, Jane. mx

Smiles, Jane. mx

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Yay rah for our side!!

A smiling and winking dog.  A lusty husband.  Sweet William filling the nostrels and fine son at home in the hammock remembering happy times when nine. Fresh herbs and dinner started.  Good memories from age 17. Ah, Pequito, you have it made with a  sun burn to seal today's memories in for future years.  


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Pequito sends you mucho hugs,

Pequito sends you mucho hugs, Sue. mx

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Hooray for sunshine. If

Hooray for sunshine. If you're getting it in Ireland, Mary--then it has to spread "across the pond." We had a "teaser" of three days of sunny weather and now we are drowned in rain. Am keeping my fingers crossed that June will surely be tees and shorts rather than sweaters and long pants! Glad you are having happy weather, Mary!

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Hi Judee,  Please don't

Hi Judee, 

Please don't meantion 'teaser' days! My god. We are hosting twenty five kids tomorrow evening. Praying for fine weather.....I hope the teaser will return for an extended period!!! Thank you for the recipe. I will write you anon. I love the idea of a Daffodil cake. mx

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The warmth...

How lovely it is that a change in weather can take the clock back, all of you returning to old memories with renewed vigour. More than the tomato juice stains, it is your concoction in the new tomatoes that shall stay.

With so much sun around me, I wish I could give you some.


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isn't it strange how we

isn't it strange how we always want something that is not a ccnstant in our lives, ~ f. Sunshine becomes something we long for  and then when we have to much of it, we crave the rain...mx

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Pure delight to the senses,

Pure delight to the senses, Mary! We've had a good amount of warm weather here as well. It has been like a rebirth. Many wonderful little shifts.

How nice to see the winking hound, and of course, my dear friend, Small dog!

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I told Small dog that you

I told Small dog that you left a comment and she practically did a jig on the kitchen floor! The weather is beautiful today. I picked the lettuce (our first) from the garden and made a stunning potato salad with new Irish potatoes. I roasted chicken with fresh herbs, sage and thyme from the garden too, tons of garlic in its skin, lemon juice and olive oil...I salivate as I write. Dinner beckons dear friend. mx

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Happy Sunshine Mary.Change is

Happy Sunshine Mary.Change is beautiful most of the times. Last month I was reading a novel of Joseph O'Connar 'The Salesman' I brought from the book festival in my city. I chose it only because the author was Irish. And I enjoyed reading it,and was being strolled around in my imagination with the protagonist in Galway, Dublin and many more places. And I remembered you in between.

I love reading this post, as always.    Jitu

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This is so strange, Jitu,

This is so strange, Jitu, because you crossed my mind today! I was thinking about you as I walked in the bog with Small dog. I was thinking I have not heard from you in a long time and now here you are with such lovely words and thoughts. Is this karma? Positive thinking? Good to see you always. Mars x

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You are a soul-mate to me

You are a soul-mate to me Mary. You with your family, your house and your kitchen are always there in my mind.Hope everybody is fine.


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Wow, this was gorgeous. It's

Wow, this was gorgeous. It's amazing how the sun indeed changes our mood. Brings optimism and hope and strength and confidence. I hope you'll write more about your days in France with the Madame.

For me, sunshine radiates from your home 365 days a year, no matter the weather.

Do tell us what you were cooking!