Lovely afternoon in this great little spot. Eating fish and chips with this view of the harbour and the peace and quiet that is there. Fishing boats sailing peacefully home to harbour. Tall masts stretching the limits of the camera lens. Reflections of orange bouys in the still waters in stark competition with the setting evening sun. Later on a slight mist rolled in and gave the whole area a mystical quality.
I very rarely buy food to take away but I was told that there was a very good chinese restaurant in Roseburg and , given my recent interest in chinese food , I decided to compare what I was doing with what I could get in this restaurant. I found this little thing in the bag when I got home and when I broke it open this is what I found. A harbinger of future good things or silliness?
This is an annual event in Roseburg and it is called Music On The Halfshell. It is a weekly event through July and August with a weeks break during the local fair. They attract some big names, Lyle Lovett has played there.
It is completely free and it is a great evening although I have never been to one. It is a great family affair. In the afternoon or the day before people bring their blankets and lay them down to mark their spot for the concert. They then return the next day and find their blanket undisturbed exactly where they left them. They bring little picnics and refreshments and enjoy the concert. There are also several vendors and face painters and the like to be enjoyed.
There are no dogs allowed but I wander through the vendors with Dudley before the concert begins to chat to some of the people and the vendors. Everyone is always in a festive and chatty mood and the whole affair is one of local charm and community. It is really remarkable.
When I go to this event or pass it by I am always reminded of Civic Week in Crumlin many years ago. Civic week only happened once in Crumlin as far as I can remember but it was wonderful. There was bunting and music and food and everyone was in the street. I still don't know what prompted Civic Week and why it wasn't continued. I can only imagine that it it was for the Queen's coronation but that seems doubtful. Anyone have any info on this or does anyone remember it?
Another travelogue from JP. Florence is a small town about two and a half hours from Roseburg. The drive is beautiful and takes you off the interstate onto smaller roads. The town is very touristy but with a small town feel. There are lots of little restaurants and shops and a great variety of visitors. The restaurant we were in was just wonderful, very casual and very friendly. This was the perfect trip. On the way back home we had to go through a little place called Elkton. This little town is aptly named because it is home to a herd of elk and a special drive off has been created to observe and photograph them. I have been there many times but the elk were always asleep or hiding or something. They were not to be seen. Once I got there to find elk all over the place but when I went to get my camera I discovered that I had forgotten it. This time the Gods were smiling .
I don't know who took this film. I didn't even know there was a camera there. This was a singsong that I am sure everyone will remember once they see this. They were all in great form. This was my last visit to Ireland quite a few years ago.
This is a great photo of Jack and Lilly. I have never seen it before. I was five at the time it was taken.
Jack had a window cleaning business in the late fifties. He would come home from the night shift in the Irish Press, have his breakfast, then take his ladder and bucket and all the gear and go off to the swankier parts of town to clean windows. He was very conscientious about his work and he was well liked by his clientele. He was also very proud of his honesty. He would often have to go inside these homes in order to clean the inside of the windows. I remember him telling me one day that he would never touch anything. he specifically said that even if he was dyin' for a smoke and didn't have any cigarettes and there was an open packet of ciggies around he wouldn't take one. I don't know why he told me this but that is the way he was.
Also, he was the true Dubliner. He talked like a Dubliner, walked like a Dubliner and dressed like one, down the the newspaper sticking out of his jacket pocket. He had a ready grin and a very jaunty and jovial manner. He always seemed to be in good mood, except of course if you were his assistant window cleaner.
I worked for him for a while. I was his assistant and I also had a bike and a bucket and a ladder. We would go out together and he would do the top windows and I would do the bottom ones. It was horrible work to me. I really did not like it and I was not very good at it. I am surprised Jack had so much patience with me.
When we started doing a house we would get warm water from the client's tap and we half-filled our buckets. It didn't take long in the cold Dublin climate for this water to turn very cold. It would drip down the arm and the clothes and go right up to the elbow as I reached up to clean the window. I was left with a freezing and wet right arm by the end of the day.
I was not very interested in what I was doing really. I was much too young to be in a job that required effort without the added stimulus of learning something new or advancing myself. I was also freezing most of the time. I don't think Jack was overly pleased with my performance but I just could not muster up the spirit to do better. I didn't have the moxie to just get on with it and stop thinking about the job. I was earning a few bob, wasn't I?
One day, it was really freezing out; we were in a very residential area of Dublin on a job. To my young eyes anyone who lived in anything other than a corporation house was part of the aristocracy.
This particular house was a very plush house. I was relegated to the bottom windows and I got my water and put up the ladder. It was a very cold wintry day and it was just getting dark. This was the last house of the day. I started to put the initial coat of water onto the window. I then looked in the window and I was taken aback by the scene in what was a beautiful sitting room, well furnished and very comfortable looking.
The fire was lit in the grate and it looked like it had been lit for a while. It had settled into a warm amber glow with some spluttering and flickering flames. The lights were out in this room so the only light was from the fire. These gentle flames lit a carpet of amber glow directly in front of the fire, then receded and licked the walls in a lovers caress so that the room seemed to be in motion from shadow to glowing amber. The scene was mesmerizing to me. I must have stood for a full m minute drinking in this portrait of warmth and lush comfort.
In front of this fire was a cat. It was a Persian cat and it lay in the warmth as cats will do. As I watched, the cat stretched itself from nose to tail and then relaxed in a furry ball. I think I heard a sigh of contentment from this beautiful animal as I looked at this fairy tale scene.
The irony of the situation was not lost on my young mind. It was as if I was observing life from a far off place.
I was shivering with the cold, I was wet and miserable and I was watching a cat mocking my condition.
I stopped cleaning windows soon after that. I was grateful to Jack for giving me the opportunity to work with him but he was faster on his own. My heart was definitely not in the job. A more pragmatic approach would have been to just get on with it , clean the darn window and go home but, there you are.
One thing I got out of that time was that I learned the name of the cloth used to clean windows. It was and is called ' scrim'. I know that I will come across it one day in a crossword puzzle and I will know the answer. I will then know that my time was not entirely wasted all those years ago and that from every experience there is always a little nugget of knowledge to be found.
A more important lesson learned was to just get on with the job and stop whining. We can't always do things we love and there are people worse off than us no matter how bad things are.
I have always admired Jack for his hard work and his tenacity and always felt a little guilty for not having made more of an effort.