She looked at me with her big blue eyes, pushed her blonde curls out of her face and declared, ‘Mum said you had to paint my nails with sparkles.’ She passed me the red nail polish complete with sparkling specs she had spotted on a shelf in my wardrobe and looked me steadfastly in the eyes as she lied.
But it was a beautiful balmy sunny West Cork day so that is just what I did as we sat outside on the swinging hammock in the afternoon sunshine. I painted my little granddaughter’s fingernails and then her toenails.
Bumble bees and butterflies enjoyed the newly planted flowers and plants in the tubs along the back of the house. Apart from the soft buzzing of the bees our world was silent. Aeroplanes left their vapour trails as white crisscrosses in the sky – the only colour to mar the clear blue.
It was not a completely perfect day. The granddaughter accepted my foolhardy invitation to paint. I busied her with a variety of acrylic paints. She chose the colours and I squirted those designated into a series of small plastic bowls. Being the tidy creature she is and one who is totally averse to anything sticking to her fingers or hands, there was a great deal of hand washing and drying interspersed with colouring the A4 sheets of paper.
I had covered the large kitchen table with blank A4 sheets and she happily dabbed away until she decided it was time for a change of colour. Point of action then shifted to the kitchen sink where she happily washed out the plastic bowls and instructed me on how to clean her paintbrush. Interestingly she did not want to mix any of the colours. The white pages are covered in different shaped splats and individually in white, red, blue or green. And she washed up everything she had used, except the dark blue stains on the wooden kitchen table which were easily cleaned off later.
Other dramas of the day included the lack of a sunhat small enough to fit her and my difficulty fitting on the dark blue canopy for the swinging hammock although being directed on how to do so by a not yet four year old.
The canopy did its work and the three of us swung happily for a while under the shade. Left to their own devices for a few minutes, resulted in some kind of sibling rivalry. Such was the lack of accord, her older brother required a cold compress where his eye had come in contact with a tight little fist. Hopefully the compress has done its job and there will be no telltale black eye for the wedding photographs tomorrow.
I have everything ready, even vacuumed my car and had it washed yesterday although a blasted cat has left its sandy paw prints in a delicate pattern all over the bonnet and windscreen.
From the day I bought my wedding outfit in Spain I knew I had the perfect matching handbag in my silver clutch. I looked for it today in the wardrobe where I keep my other handbags. But the silver clutch bag is no longer there although I seem to have a handbag in every other shape and colour except the small neat oblong bag I had intended to use tomorrow.
Maybe it has gone the same way as the hat and the pashmina.
I have another silver handbag, but my friend who has now stepped in as my voluntary style consultant, tells me that only the clutch will do and my other silver bag with the shoulder strap is not suitable for my outfit.
Would that missing handbags and hats were all that we had to worry about in life.
A UK election, still no agreement in the North, no cannabis oil for Ava, a maternity home in the hands of the Nuns who owe so much to Irish women and children,
Then there is Rory McIllroy’s wedding to Erica Stoll at Ashford Castle.
But we have our own wedding tomorrow and the sun is going to shine as promised.