Posted by: Louise | June 14, 2011

two busy weeks & a plan….

I took on some extra work a couple of weeks ago.

The college I work for runs an outreach programme inviting primary school kids in to give them a taste of college. I was giving them a taste of art-making, a whistle stop tour of dreams – their dreams for themselves and the world.

Tuesday – 60 kids
Wednesday – 50 kids
Thursday – 50 kids

Friday – Tuesday

After school on Friday we gather up the kids and head down West with a friend and her daughter.

The stress of working and mothering and shopping and packing is prickly on the surface of my skin. But the sun is shining. As we drive through the almost impossible green of hedgerows and hills, the sun warms and softens my skin and my soul finds room to breathe.

We lie on the beach.
We walk the coast.
We picnic at Laura’s spot.
We read, eat, drink…..

My soul breathes.

Wednesday – 50 kids

Early evening – community clean up in the common land behind our house.

Late evening – mark end of year essays.

Thursday – 60 slightly older kids.

Late evening – mark end of year essays.

Friday – begin teaching the last weekend of a course I run.

Early evening – bring the kids to their grandparents for a sleepover (ie free babysitting).

Later – out to a brother’s 40th birthday party. In the very noisy bar, my sister-in-law (mis)hears me say I am going on a work residential to Geneva the next day. I love it – so far from the reality of what the weekend holds for me.

Saturday – Day 2 of the last weekend. Begin the day by somehow pulling a number of 4’x 8′ boards down on top of me, in front of the class, resulting in several large scrapes and some pretty impressive bruising. Despite the unpromising start it goes well. End the day in a little hotel in a little town with 13 course participants and my co-facilitator. Not Geneva. Is Granny chic a style?

Sunday – 6.00am – Fire alarm rattling through my dreams. I check my phone. Have I changed the ringtone? Stagger downstairs to a gathering bleary-eyed group. No sign of fire, but this hotel is too old to take any risks and crawl back to bed. The owner shows up. False alarm. The teeming rain had triggered the alarm. Of course, it was the rain. Obvious.

Late morning – homeward bound – talking at length with my co-facilitator and travelling companion about Laura and the infant sister who never came home to her house (50 years ago) and loss and ritual. I tell her I am jealous of people who cremated their babies and now have the ashes at home with them. She tells me she understands.

Afternoon – big family gathering of in-laws at K’s brother’s house. We haven’t seen most of them since K’s mother died five months before Laura. I’m tired, but doing good. K’s aunt rests her hand on me and tells me she knows about our baby, offering love. I crumple – a face twisted, can’t talk crumple like the early days.

Monday – Interviewing all day for next year’s courses.

Evening – I tell K about the book I finished down in West Cork which, unbeknowns to me when I started reading it, had the death of a child in it – back in the past. At the end of the book the now grown-up siblings visit the grave and bring pebbles from the beach to place on it. I like that.

The kids and I have been collecting heart shaped stones since Laura died. Maybe we could place them on her (as yet) unmarked grave. K suggests that maybe we could choose a piece of rock the next time we head West and have that engraved instead of a piece of hewn stone. I like that.

I tell him about my envy of baby ashes. Maybe we could bring some earth home from Laura’s grave and keep that with us instead, he suggests. It feels like the beginning of a plan.

And now…… to sleep.



  1. I really like both of those ideas. Earth and rock.. it seems things this elemental would be perfect for both your heart and as a marker for Laura’s resting place.
    Thinking of you Louise.. those were indeed busy weeks. Love the photos my friend…

  2. I love the idea of a rock engraved. That sounds beautiful. Babyash. I have babyash. I sometimes was envious of a place to go to where I could lie on the ground, and weep into the earth to nourish my daughter. Funny how we each have a bit of envy for the other in about the least envious position around. But I get that. Nothing feels enough, and everything is just right. Busy weeks. I love the way you describe them, though. You could describe bread to me and it would be interesting. Love to you, Louise. xo ps I’m all about granny chic.

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