I haven't found this month's theme as compelling as I thought it would be. There are lots of patterns in my life, but I don't seem to have any ideas about them. Anyway, the other day I was flicking through my old photos for no particular reason and the patterns in this one catapaulted me back to that Christmas in Tipperary town, 1986. I was in Ireland with my boyfriend. He was not well and to say that it was an ill advised venture was massively understating the obvious. But we were young and I still believed that being in love was the most important thing. We stayed with his grandmother who welcomed us beyond all expectation. She was well over eighty, nearly blind and lived alone in a house that had no inside plumbing and a wood stove in the kitchen for heating and cooking. At first she made noises about me sleeping in the front room, but then decided to put us both in the upstairs bedroom. In single beds with a big holy picture between us and some stern words about behaving and not to be telling the neighbours. We did behave, but the neighbours all knew because it was a small community and it was a pretty big deal to have your Australian grandson visit. Even if he was mad.
There were alot of things about Ireland that surprised me. Like how cold and wet it was. I had never imagined a cold that cut so deep into your bones. And the dark. Australian light is bright by comparison, even in winter. I felt like I was in a perpetual twilight and I think that made me the most homesick of all. Especially on Christmas day. Despite the shitty look I'm giving the camera here, there were some good times in Tipperary. Once I found out that it was an acceptable method of transport, I hitchiked around the countryside visiting old castles and various sights. We were taken to a wild Irish dance and invited to peoples homes where we sat around drinking and listening to people sing and recite poetry. And the next door neighbour would have me over and run me a deep hot, hot bath when I started to flag. And fill me up with good food when the boiled bacon over at granny's got too much. But really, what you see here was the beginning of the end. I left him some time in the New Year and went travelling by myself. Of course, we met up again, and again, but there wasn't ever a happy ending. Not with that one.
More patterns here.