When I was young I heard this expression many times “I’ll be glad to see the back of her”. I’m not quite sure if it was my mother or my father or both or even the neighbour that used to say this from time to time and I used to wonder what it meant. The sentiment behind it was always unmistakably venomous so one knew that the “she” in question had better get lost real soon. And it usually was a “her” for some reason; ” She”, the one that the cat dragged in, the hussy who had better tow the line or else!!! “She” was a troublemaker and one to be wary of, one who it was better to see her back rather than her front. Seeing her back meant she was going away and was no longer a threat to the general peace and quiet. Now, seeing her “front” was cause to set off alarm bells; the offending and approaching hazard; double trouble getting nearer and nearer; panic setting in, danger looming larger and larger; Oh, What to do?. “Can’t somebody turn her around so that we can see her back”!!!
While walking in Lough Boora recently with a friend in the middle of summer he pointed out to me some Meadow Sweet which was all but very familiar already but up till then nameless, . He told me that it was good for your skin and to take some and rub it in my hands and then smear my hands on my face. I did that and like a torrent of emotions it brought me right back to my childhood – that moment when the smell, the sweet, almost pungent aroma, accosted my nostrils, the feel on my skin of those tufts of white flowers. Memories of lazy days in the sun in the meadows around our house came springing back to mind, the bees buzzing away, the damp grass underneath us as we lay there with not a care in the world, the promise of an eternity of these long languid days of summer ahead; no school, no rules, no worries.
And as I soaked in that smell of a thousand memories I vowed that it would always have a place in my heart from that moment on; it along with clover, cowslips, daisies, buttercups and all those other nameless wild flowers.
On our way out to that wonderful place, Lough Boora Parklands back the end of June, we just simply had to stop the car and see why was the bog all white instead of its usual brownish colour. Upon closer inspection, we saw that this year, Bog Cotton had lost the run of itself and was growing madly and wildly. It was a sight to be hold!!
Below is a photo taken at Lough Boora Parklands
Mauri, my little cowslip
Below are photos both of my mother and Mauricio’s father. They’re both gone from us, my mother almost 5 years now and Mauricio’s dad a year and a half. When we go to craft fairs and even in our workshop we have them there in our photo frames looking down at us and, as we like to think, guiding us and comforting us.
This photo here of my mother was taken a few months before she died in around May and that day Mauricio had gone around the garden picking wild flowers for her. Later on, we were going to have a barbecue. The other photo of Mauricio’s dad was taken with him holding a glass of “Cola de Mono” a typical chilean aperitif around christmas time. They make a handsome pair just like their children do!!!
Mauricio is contstantly looking over me. At least in the kitchen where he has been immortalised in the form of a mask.
A few years back our good friend Kieran decided he wanted to use Mauricio’s beautiful face to make one of his Papier Mache masks so the two of them set to and went to work on the mould as below. First they covered everything that didn’t need to go into the mould, ie everything that wasn’t his face. Then they put a layer or two or three of plaster of paris on his face being careful to allow holes around his nostrils so he could continue breathing and not die in the process. Well I’m not going to pretend I know how to make a mask so I go no further with explanations, just some photos of the process