All posts by speccy

an unexpected problem with reading

I was cosy and comfy in the caravan. There were bursts of sunshine and wandering on beaches. We were still in the honeymoon phase of Girl1′s return from foreign parts.

Mountcharles pier

We’d had the world cup chocolate boot presentation.

worthy winners

We’d been in a favourite shop and seen a real loom. No tiny elastic bands required.

Magee's loom

I had plenty of reading material, and was engrossed in a novel. All was well with the world.

The next morning I refilled the breakfast coffee mug and lifted my trusty Kindle, another day of lazy contentment planned. I flicked the switch, keen to get on with the story.


The screen was filled with half images and shadows of words (not a good sign), and didn’t change (a worse sign). I’d been here before, many moons ago, when my Kindle was still an infant. Amazon replaced it immediately. But now, the Kindle is elderly, obsolete. Dead. They don’t make that model any more.

farewell old friend

We have no internet access in Donegal which meant that I couldn’t set about finding a replacement until we came home. Also, I couldn’t simply continue reading the novel on my phone, because it wasn’t already downloaded to that device.

I started to read Spurs Fan’s football book, but it wasn’t the same. Less violence, for a start.

Once home, I began to investigate. I was briefly tempted by ‘Fire’, ‘HD’, ‘HDX’ and other random collections of letters before deciding I wasn’t going to pay good money for a flash tablet when I had a voucher that would practically cover the cost of a basic e reader. Doesn’t my phone do all the fancy stuff? (I have no idea what my phone can do.) After that I pottered choosing a cover and spent a huge amount of time trying to organise super speedy delivery.


The colourful cover is here. The Kindle is not. I feel like I’m waiting for a baby to be born. “Is it here yet?” “Oh, it’s on it’s way!” “Still not here.” I’m pining for a bit of electronic equipment I’ve never met.


I got the story finished. Jo Nesbo’s The Son. A bit long, a bit daft, but I enjoyed it. The reviewers didn’t. Lazy, they said. Turgid, they said. Perhaps my judgement was addled by the Kindle added suspense.

Or maybe I just enjoy some fun rubbish fiction*?


*other examples of this genre include anything by Lee Child or Janet Evanovich.

all the little things

I could tell you about the chaos caused by new shoes or by new carpet.

sparkly & ridiculous

Maybe about thundery, wet mornings in a tin can near the west coast.

the rocky beach outside Ardara

I could tell you about the glory of graduation, or Girl2′s no sleep sleepover.

Dr Dawnriser

What about the foolishness of a person old enough to know better getting sunburnt?


But right now, there’s only one thing on my mind.

going away

Girl1 has been away for most of the last 3 weeks. She had a week in Donegal, a stopover for clothes washing, and has been in France, dancing as part of a cultural traditions programme. She’s spent a week with a French family, and days in a hostel with all her dancing friends and musicians. Despite a bus breakdown in France and a mass sprint though Charles de Gaulle airport, she’ll be home this evening. Exhausted, overdosed on junk food, grown up, with a smattering of French and probably an attitude.

The wee pet.

the one about the football

Ah, now.

The regular reader may not be surprised to find some mention of the World Cup here. Spurs Fan is defined by soccer. He’s been involved in clubs and teams his whole life. Apart from work clothes, he’s most often found wearing a garment that brands him, and has strangers strike up conversations about the fate of their respective teams. For the last two seasons he has coached the local girls’ team, who play in a boy’s league. That part of the weekend that isn’t given over to Irish dancing, Girl2 spends playing football with her mates and her dad. It’s unavoidable. I see a lot of football matches on TV, usually from behind a book.

Tonight, I put the book down. In our family draw, I’d got Brazil. I knew this team weren’t up to much, but still: Brazil. I had a t shirt and a loom band. I wouldn’t need to pay too much attention.

Girl2 had drawn Germany. After half an hour, even she was willing Brazil to score. Something, anything, one wee goal to take the edge off the mortification. A goal in the last minute was too little, too late. Tonight’s match was a little like watching the girls’ team play against a team of boys. Ah, go on, let them score. Maybe you could take a player off to give our ones a chance?  But no. Germany beat Brazil by 7 goals to 1- an unprecedented humiliation.

It really was a remarkable day, because I hadn’t imagined that anything could have topped the novelty value of the new football.


It’s teeny and cute and most unlike all the other footballs we have here.

’twas not I who bought it       #unexpectedfootballnews



the gold standard

I like the seaside. Emptiness, wind, sea. Freshness. Beginnings, renewal, power.

Shells in my pocket. The little bundles of sand my feet bring home.

I love time on the beach, any beach. I’m not fussy.

Well, actually, I’m really fussy. I’ve just learned that there are many sorts of good beach and to enjoy all of them. Not all are lucky enough to be the ultimate in beaches.

Yesterday, we were there. The beach which is imprinted on my brain. The beach upon which all others are judged. There is a road to it. There are no facilities- no cafes, deckchairs or even a Portaloo. I don’t want those. They have their place, but not here. Those are for beaches that are busy. This beach is never busy.

The sun was out. We had just collected Girl1 from a fun hardworking week immersed in the Irish language- school, games, social life, staying in native speaking home in the Gaeltacht.










It was a beautiful day.

A day to restore the soul.