It’s a moist day in Cork. The sky thick like a heavy sheet. The wind on holiday.
The Farmers’ Market crowd sparce with empty spaces, where Frank the Pole from Schull and Joe the breadboy used to be.
Grace chewing the plastic Sainsbury bag, reminding herself of her English roots.
It all began very well with a rush from home, Douglas to Mahon Point, one nappy change to brunch. As we drove in, in the off-white Saab, there was one great parking space. An orange sign above it with a symbol proclaiming that it was earmarked for someone with a child.
Hope abounding, then crushed as a man who looked every bit as if he was in from his hill, nipped in front. Like all bachelor farmers, he was alone in his vehicle. He looked intently everywhere except at me. My entreating eyes tightened and formed a firm frame of fiery fury. “I’ll make you talk to me, I will…”
So I pressed the electronic gyzmo that controls the windows. We would face each other without an impermeable membrane, iris to iris.
He had no chance. He was easy beef. I was too used to using chilli.
“Hi. You’re in the place that’s reserved for people with infants, like me.” I made sure he could see Grace in her carseat behind me.
“Isn’t she lovely?”, the unspoken implication. “Wouldn’t you like to be the one to set her off crying?”, the implication.
“For people with little children…”, in case he was still clogged up with mist in his ears.
“Oh” or was is “Ah”?
He got back into his muddy car, slammed the door and turned his wheel.
That was the last we saw of him.
I’ll be blogging from Lisdoonvarna all September. I’ll be talking to Willie Daly in the Matchmaker bar. There’s one tall dark farmer, with a dark suit and the stain of a yoke on his slieve, that I’ll be able to recommend for his sensitivity to the needs of elderly parents with daughters.
He might be a fine catch.
[ps The website for the Farmers’ Market in Cork is out of date. There is a Farmers’ Market in Mahon Point every Thursday, in the car park of Tesco.]