This is my first blog! It’s a very quiet day in the cottage. I’m sitting by the turf fire painting some tin boxes. I bought them in ‘Avoca’ during the sale and I sanded and painted the surfaces with a grey primer. I never plan what I’m going to paint. At a certain distance when I’m looking at it, a pattern will emerge. After three hours I have completed my first tin for my ‘own’ usage! It depicts myself and little red fox on our rowing boat. The sea is calm and I have my hands on my hips suggesting a bold determination and independence! At three o’ clock theres a knock on the door, a lady from Austin, Texas, a bright and cheerful soul despite the weather enters. After a bit of chit chat, I disappear into the kitchen. I’m truly the worst saleswoman in the world. Suddenly I hear her laughing. She thinks the paintings are funny…which they are, even if I say so myself. We end up having a cup of tea and she tells me stories of a tormented life, then leaves. I loved listening to her. Life is synonymous with stories. Da called in later. He looks fantastic for eighty years, a hardy Donegal man called Owenie ‘Owens’ Mc Laughlin, he has endless tales of rural life in the old days. We both have such a raw passion for the past. I call him “Shackleton” because he never feels the cold and works a fourteen hour day repairing generators and vintage bikes. He has made me another ‘Dull’ for catching trout. I lost the last one. It is made of six hairs from a horses tail and a bit of a light stick and curls around the basking trout when the poor cratur is totally oblivious to his fate. Dad pulled this delicate contraption across my finger to show me once more how it works and by God the grip is tight.! Until tomorrow…..