We rented a house, not because of the rain, but because the wind was driving us crazy. We have been keeping a weather-eye open all summer, but everything over worn down tourist housing was prohibitive. Now I have fancied for years to buy a derelict house and renovate it myself but for just the site prices rise over 200.000 euro's. Then you have to pass an insular planning commission and only then you might start building.
Since a few days we live in a former farmhouse just outside Ballyvaughan. The windowsills are 62,5 cm deep. The wind roars over the chimney and tears around the cornerstones of the house. At the front we look out upon stone walls, which, bordered by trees, dive into a valleyette and next run up to the roofless ruin of an ivy-clad and cemetery chaperoned church. Beyond it lies Galway Bay and Connemara looks after the horizon. To the left the harbor of Ballyvaughan dwarfes against the staggering dive of the Blackhead profile, to the right the skyline accelerates to the Slievenagapple. Behind the house is a stone wall trimmed courtyard, beyond which a meadow extends almost at eye level. This is inhabited by the family of Cow, bulls with enormous balls, calves of both gender that haphazardly practice procreation and mothers that wean their newly born. Beyond there is a girdle of whitethorn bushes and then the Moneen mountain steps up the Burren way to 262 meter.
Nature is OK here, but I really have to get used to the house. I did do an occasional dish wash on the meadow, but then I spat some water in a spoon and pulled it through the grass. Never made me ill. But now I even have to rinse the washed-ups for detergent. Clothes you don't stuff in a rucksack anymore, they need to be folded into a cupboard. It feels like needless fuss. And then the things to organize over the phone, the endless repetition of idling incantations and the excruciating music in between.
It feels like every stone in the wall is paid for with a degree of freedom. Every shingle takes a ray of sunlight. Security hovering over me like a bird of prey. I only have to think of my jobby on the rocks, in gale force fluttering pajama's and on the jump for freak waves. Now I sit and stare at the bathroom skirting board.
Still, no paradise is lost. It's all there, even more, now that Nature has run free from summers leash. Near Doolin we saw ocean waves bouncing the cliffs and crossing the next ones. Never before I saw tons of waves throwing each other about in such nonchalance. All along the coastline from afar columns of water were rising like geysers and falling in slow motion.