Saturday, December 3, 2011

Bird Weekend

I love Ireland. I've been to Ireland several times, saw most parts of it, and loved nearly all of them. All those shades of green and blue, and the water everywhere, and the people - don't think I ever encountered an Irish person who wasn't nice to me and nice in general. Of course, there's always the possibility I didn't understand what they were saying.

In the middle of my second trip to Ireland, on a Saturday, we got to a place called Clonmel - a nice, peaceful, quiet town. It was the end of the day, and we were going to spend the night there, so we started looking for a B&B the regular way - i was driving the car in circles, and my brave zillion-languages-speaking friend A was on the communicative role of asking B&B people whether they had a spare room for us. The first few attempts were unfruitful - the places were full, but we didn't worry because up till then we hadn't had difficulty in spontaneously finding a place to stay. So we continued searching. But one after the other, every place we tried was full, full, full. It was beginning to get late, and we were beginning to worry, and drove in bigger and bigger circles, so that eventually we were desperately going through the surrounding fields. Then, not far off on the right side of the road, we saw a woman walking sprightly. She seemed promisingly optimistic, so I drove up to her. Being Irish (and therefore extremely nice), she heard us coming and knew we would need help, so she waited for us, and when I rolled down the window she smiled at me very warmly and expectantly, and waited for my question.

I said, "Hello, we're looking for a B&B for ages now, and can't find one. Do you happen to know any B&B's around?"

The lady wore an understanding-but-grave expression, and replied, "Yes, this is a very bird weekend for a B&B".

well she's expecting some kind of communication. What could I do?

"Sorry, a Bird Weekend? What's that? Is there some Bird watching activity around?" (they do have some very weird popular activities there, you know. Hurling, for instance)

The (very nice lovely kind) lady stared at me, considered the situation, and then spoke very slowly:
"IT IS A   B A D  WEEKEND to look for a bed and breakfast.  B A D ."

She went on to explain why it was bad (can't remember, probably some county Hurling match or a bird-watching festival) and where we should go try our luck (which we later did, and really found a bed for the night!), while i was trying to become very small and hide under the driver's seat.

Love Ireland. And Irish Gaelic (And Welsh, while we're at it. But Gaelic better!).

So. This has certainly been a bird weekend for me here:

I've wanted to make birds for so long, made some attempts, but all of them were awful. Lately I came up with this, which is really very simple and i can't understand why it took me so long. The main issue about these birds are the legs, which have been my major problem - couldn't figure them out. Until I remembered this technique i used a year ago for some other project, and it clicked. Not to say "kicked".

The legs are Tunisian crochet - just two rows of it, which i finished off and then sewed into tubes. It can be made to look neat, but i wanted the rough bumpy look - it reminds me of chicken legs.

I've been in a bird frenzy all week, making them at home, at school and in coffee shops. They're so easy to make. What gets me every time is the moment I'm done sewing the eyes in place and securing their threads - the moment it turns from a lump of crocheted yarn into something that's looking back at me. That's the moment they get their personality. Until that moment, i have no idea what sort of bird it would be.

Have a lovely and GOOD Bird Weekend!

Word of the Day
The "mel" in Clonmel is Gaelic for "Honey". It comes from Latin, and appears (with small variations) in many other languages, like Spanish, French and also in Rumanian, which i happen to speak a little. Since that trip to Clonmel, Rumanian honey became oddly associated in my head with birds.