Hoping for the big ‘H’

Posted on: 5th May, 2015

Category: A West Cork Life

Contributor: Tina Pisco

Spring is in the air, and ain’t it just swell!  Winter is definitely gone. The swallows are back and the hedgerows are fit to burst. Lambs and calves gambol in the fields, while the ewes and heifers lie sunning themselves.

It has been an incredible start to Spring. Has the gorse ever been as luscious, the primroses as plentiful, the blackthorn as magical? The blooming this year has been so spectacular that I’ve managed to spot a few wild damson trees that I hadn’t noticed before. I’ve made a note to visit them in the fall, when I’m picking sloes, which, judging by the blackthorn flowers, will be a bumper harvest this year. I am really looking forward to that moment when the hawthorn blooms (almost at the same time all over the country) and the roads look like they are strung with pop-corn balls.

I love this time of year. There is so much anticipation in the air, so much promise of good things to come: thick green foxglove leaves in a clearing, seedlings in the porch, plans for a weekend away on Sherkin Island.

That sad, sniffling woman who dragged herself around the house only a few weeks ago has left the building and started gardening. Stepping outside I shed the last my seasonal depression like a snake’s scaly skin. Everywhere I look lifts my heart: banks of wild garlic, blue bells, yellow flowers that carpet the woods, a profusion of daisies, streams of tiny blue forget-me-nots and a dozen tiny multi-coloured flowers spill that through the grass. Swallows swooping high over the front field on a sunny blue sky day, erase any trace of the winter doldrums.

There’s only one sight that lifts my heart more than the swallows and that’s the Big H.

It hardly ever happens, but the last few weeks of lovely weather coincided with a mini-bus load of visitors. It was wonderful to be able to show off West Cork in all its glory, and a great relief not to have to watch my family put on ever increasing layers of clothing as their holiday progressed. Every night I anxiously watched the weather forecast as if it were an All-Ireland final. “Go on! Go on you big beautiful freakin’ H!” I’d shout at the telly. I know that the big H stands for High Pressure, but for me it stands for Happiness. The big H is a promise, a covenant with the people of Ireland that we will be basking in the sunshine. All thoughts of cold, wet, windy weather are swept away on a wave of optimism as that beautiful second letter of the alphabet embraces us. How I love that Giant H as it hovers over the map of Ireland.

Unfortunately, living on a small island in the Atlantic means that a Giant L (for loathsome) is always lurking somewhere in the wings, ready to sweep the country with another gale, or blanket us in fog. And so it was that yesterday, I could barely see the fields across the road. My lovely giant H is gone and we’re stuck with plunging temperatures and dripping gutters.

Yet hope springs eternal, especially in Springtime. I know that big H isn’t too far away. It’ll be back, peeping behind Evelyn Cusack, as it makes its way across the Atlantic, or sneaks up from the South. I have faith in the big H. Let it rain this weekend. Let it rain all through the last week of April. By the time you read this that big H will be over us again. It will be the May Bank holiday Weekend, which kicks of the season of BBQs, beach, festivals, vegetables, craic agus ceoil that defines a West Cork summer. I’ll be on Sherkin Island (where ‘One Horse Pony’ will be playing at the Jolly Rodger plus a BBQ!) and I don’t know of many places in the world as beautiful as Sherkin and Cape Clear when that big H is marking the map. So come on BIG H! Here’s hoping….

Newsflash: The oak tree in the front field has come into leaf well before the ash trees, and you know what they say: Ash before oak, summer will soak. Oak before ash, summer will splash!

Latest News Articles:

New tours give a taste of the Lee Valley
More than €30,000 raised for charity as crowds flock to Ford 100 Fest in Ballinascarthy
Opening of new all-inclusive pool places Dunmanway at centre of West Cork for sport and recreation
Bantry Harbour Marina officially opens
West Cork named top food destination
Tourist numbers up in Bantry and Beara this summer
Brookpark Community Enterprise Centre
Global Shares to create 80 new jobs
Ford 100 Fest on Ford family farm to mark 100 years of Ford in Ireland
A Taste of West Cork Food Festival launches delectable programme

Join us on Facebook

Dúchas Clonakilty's first lecture for the Autumn promises to be of huge interest to all: Emerging from the Shadow of Tom Crean – The Parish Centre, Clonakilty, Thursday September 28th 8.30pm.

Lecture by Aileen Crean O’Brien & Bill Sheppard

In May 2016, Kerry man Tom Crean, along with Ernest Shackleton and four other crew members, landed the James Caird lifeboat on the rocky isle of South Georgia. The navigation of that small boat, across 1500 km through icy winds and towering seas, is regarded as the greatest ever feat of navigation. They then trekked across the forbidding and inhospitable mountains and glaciers of South Georgia to seek help for the rest of their crew, who were left behind on Elephant Island after their ship, the Endurance, was crushed by the Antarctic ice.

One hundred years later, Crean’s grandaughter, Aileen Crean O’Brien, set off with her sons and partner to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps. Join Aileen and Bill to hear of their adventures (and misadventures) on the Southern Ocean and the island of South Georgia.
... See MoreSee Less

7th September, 2017  ·  

Caheragh are holding a Modern,Classic & Vintage Run next Sunday 10th September at the Travellers Rest in Aid of The Aisling Tanner Fund. Registration 11am. Run starting @ 12.45. ... See MoreSee Less

4th September, 2017  ·  

Dunmanway Historical Association regrets to announce that the talk on Sile na Gig which was to take place on Thursday, 24th August in Atkins hall @ 8:30pm has been cancelled. ... See MoreSee Less

18th August, 2017  ·  

Jump to:

Top