Things I’ve Seen

Sometimes I see a little thing and try try to remember so I can write about it here.  Then I usually forget to write until I see the next little thing I try to remember so I can write about here.  Now I sit at this keyboard and try to remember all those little things.  So today a list:

  • They call the ocean the sea here.
  • They call the bay the sea.
  • Cindy and I went down to the sea one warm Sunday a few weeks back to put our feet in the water.  DAMN it was cold! Reminded me of attempting to bathe in Horton Creek, a snow-melt powered creek my family camped next to the summer Nixon resigned while my dad ran an archaeological excavation.  Also reminded me of trying to shower at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival where only the first 5 people had warm water and I was number five hundred and five to visit the shower which was also powered by snow-melt creek water.  Washing your hair made your head hurt.
  • We saw a school of eels while we were waiting for our feet to warm up enough for a second attempt at dipping them.  It was the first time I had seen such a thing.  The word murmuration comes to mind.  Not sure if it applies to anything other than Starlings but it in my head it applies to birds, fish, and now eels.
  • Which brings me to words:
    • Would a starlet who has advanced but not quite to star status be a starling?
    • Is there a collective noun for a group of eels?
    • I heard the word “gongoozler” on the TV and knew what it was.
  • We attempted to have milk delivered to the house.  Cindy and I had milk delivery in the States at different times and found it enjoyable in some sense.  So we tried it here.  The company did not provide a box (as we thought they would and as was done in the States), they didn’t even call to let us know the milk delivery was starting (as they said they would).  We were the second group to discover the milk; the crows were the first.  Now we have to put a bucket outside and upside down with a rock on top to keep the crows away.  We’ll see how that works.
  • There was a family of swans in the canal this spring.  Four cygnets, but as the summer has worn on the number of cygnets has reduced until there is now only one.  It makes a forlorn sight when one knows that there were more earlier.
  • One morning, while cycling along the canal on my way to work,  I saw a pied wagtail catch an insect in mid flight and then fly into the safety railing, which rang out like a small gong.  The bird did not drop its catch and continued to fly off.
  • Galway is bidding for the 2020 European Capital of Culture.  I am working on the data manipulation to track the status of the bid on social media.  I hope that we will be providing a lot of open data for the bid and into the future.
  • We have a lot of birds in our front garden (not just crows) and have decided that pigeons do not land so much as crash into the ground.  We can always hear them when they arrive.

Well that is all I can recall for now.  I am certain there are things I have forgotten but which I will remember the moment this is posted.  I guess those things are lost in l’esprit d l’escalier.

— Claude

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