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Once, when Bronwen and I were living in Ireland, we took a trip to Donegal. The hostels in Donegal Town itself were booked up, but we called a hostel outside of town and they had rooms. Actually, I don’t remember clearly. We might’ve just gambled on them having rooms. And rather than figuring out the bus (or maybe we just didn’t want to wait…can you tell I remember this story very clearly?) we decided to walk there (closed until further notice?? gah!) – 5km, according to the website. Five kilometers with heavy backpacks. On a gorgeous sunny day. Which had been a bleak, rainy day when we left Galway.

So, we weren’t sure exactly where we were going. We just had directions. And it took a while. But every time a car passed us, I realized: we are taking a very different trip than they are. Sure, their feet don’t hurt, but they aren’t noticing these flowers hiding on the side of the road. They aren’t stopping to admire the view, or that farm, or the sun on their faces.

Whew, I just got a trifle sticky-sweet there. My point is, a walk like that isn’t necessarily something you choose, but you end up appreciating it. Also that each way you get someplace leads to a different view. A different sense of things. And for some reason every time I think about this, I think about the walk to Ball Point Hostel.*
I’ve been noticing this as I zip (or dawdle) along on my bike. It’s a view somewhere in between a pedestrian and a car. You’ve got some speed, but you notice the hills (your thighs, especially). You can admire the view, but don’t look away too long or you might lose your balance. You notice the bumps, the dips, the best places to get through traffic to make a left.

In other news, I just finished The Other Boleyn Girl, which is a bit sensationalistic and apparently not quite historically accurate, but sheesh. It’s entertaining. And has me on a total historical fiction/Henry VIII & his wives kick. Picture the scene in our living room,something like this:

Me & Kitri (my new roommate – say hello to her): talking, blah blah, did Henry have a son? Did he die young? Did Anne Boleyn really have six fingers? How many children did she end up having? What about those illegitimate sons? Etc. Etc. Etc.

Travis (Kitri’s boyfriend, who I went to high school with – freaky, no?): eyes glazing over, nodding off to sleep as Kitri & I talk with unending enthusiasm.

It’s a good thing he wasn’t around yesterday, when read the entries on Wikipedia for every single heirless wife. And we’ll have to make sure he’s busy when we watch the documentary, The Six Wives of Henry VIII. Which I have on hold at the library.

*Not it’s real name, as you’ll see from the link. But really, it should be called Ball Point. There’s a lovely beach there for swimmy-dipping, and rustic rooms, and a nice hill to lay on and watch the moon rise. I feel like I’ve blogged about Ball Point before, but I don’t have the will to look for it.

jess & lily

Originally uploaded by jessmonster.

Yes. Yes! Another one! I suppose I can excuse Lily from my previous tirades since she had the decency to wait until September, but really. It’s an epidemic. Here are Lily & I back in the good ol’ days of 4-H camp. In an interesting turn of events, I ended up swimmy-dipping in the same water hole in college.

August 2022

Flickr Photos