My lovely Mamai Rachel is away out foreign in a mad hot place on holliers, Cara is on holliers in Swords - staying with Nanny and Grandad and Seamai and Liamy and Molly.
Cara meant to write a diary every night; that way Cara will remember all the things I did and can tell Mamai all about it. But Cara is SO-O_O_O TIRED every night from running and racing and laughing and talking and skipping and swimming and painting and swan feeding and digging on the beach and going to the playground and dancing with Nanny and blowing bubbles with Seamai and watching Dora The Explorer with Liamy and calling to neighbours and going to the library and JCs and watering Nanny’s garden and taking Molly for walks that take AGES. Nanny says she’s tired too! And she’s only looking at me !
Last Friday Nanny and Grandad and me drove and drove and drove until we got to Granny’s lane and then up to her house called Donegal. On the way Cara seed a lump of windmills. Nanny and Cara think windmills are beautiful, like big giants guarding our country, twirling and swirling in the wind making electricity so we can watch Netflix and have light in the dark and cook nice things to eat. Electricity is good. Cara not like some electric things. The Hoover. The lawnmower. Hand-driers in toilets. They too noisy. Cara HATE Granny Teresa’s blender. It is the noisiest yoke in the twenty six counties. We stayed in Drimreagh on Friday night and Cara and Nanny saw Stephen’s chickens and Connie’s cows and sheep and dogs. Cara wanted to take one of Stephen’s chickens to bed. But Nanny said the chicken called a hen might lay an egg on Blankie – so Cara left them in their own beds. Cara thought the Gruffalo might be hiding in Connie’s shed cause Cara heard a big loud noise. Nanny said it was just a cow. It didn’t sound like a cow. It sounded like a Gruffalo.
On Saturday we drove and drove and drove to the place where the boat was to take us over to the island. Burtonport. Arranmore. It was Cara first time on the boat. It was BRILLIANT. Cara was a bit scared of the loud noises but Nanny and Grandad cuddled Cara so Cara didn't have to be scared. The wind blew and blew and blew and Cara hair was flying around like Cara was on a high swing. Cara laughed and laughed and laughed. Cara liked the white bits the boat made in the sea as it moved, Cara wanted to jump in and swim. Nanny said it might be too cold. Anyway Cara's Peppa togs were in Granny’s house.
Great Uncle Peter met us on Arranmore and took us to his house. It is a very beautiful house in a very beautiful place. Nanny said it it was so beautiful it made her want to cry. Silly Nanny! There was a lump of people inside the house and outside the house. Great Aunts CronaandAnneandAgnesandBridandTeresa second cousins (or first cousins once removed?) SineadandNiamhandCillianandStephenandMichaelandEilishandSeannaghandAisling and some non Cunnyham people too FrankandMaureenandClaireUrquhartandMichealandAnneFerry. Nicola Doogan wasn’t there. Poor Nicola. They were all very nice to Cara, but Cara was a bit shy. So Cara sat on Grandad’s knee and ate choccy biccies. They were all talkingandtalkingandtalking and Brid was making everyone laugh. Brid is the funniest person Cara knows. Even funnier than Nanny.
Then we all started our big walk around the island. Nanny kept saying ‘OhMyGod Cara! Look at that! Isn’t that so beautiful.’ And Nanny was right. She usually is. It was a good bright clear day and all the colours and smells were sharp and clean. Except for the sheep poo and the bunny balls. Nanny and Cara and Seannagh and Brid strolled along behind everyone else 'cause we like to take our time and chat and admire the world. But then the wind got up – too cold and blowy for Cara so Cara cried and wanted to go back to the house. Nanny put Cara in the buggy and pushed Cara back; Nanny said she didn’t mind not doing the walk ‘cause some of those paths looked fairly steep. Nanny is a bit of a couch potato. But couch potatoes are cuddly. So that’s OK.
Cara and Nanny pottered about, chatting and playing boules and Guess Who? and Connect 4 (Cara’s rules – none of your silly proper ones). Then everyone came back from the big walk – they were all a bit red and shiny and thirsty and happy. So they all had wine or beer or water. Cara had a Caprisun. Then there was a big feast, beetroot falafel (Nanny said ‘Totes delish’) curry and rice and Naan bread that Cara called pizza. And rhubarb crumble and ice cream that made Nanny make a funny moany sound because it was so good. And there was more chats and laughs and Claire Urquhart and Cara played a brilliant jumping game with the boules. Claire is a lovely lady, very pretty and fun to be with. Claire used to play with Cara’s Aunty Eithne when they were little. Grandad told Cara that Claire and Eithne would run away and hide on Mamai Rachel and Nicola Doogan ‘cause they were the big girls and wanted to do big girl stuff on their own. Poor Mamai Rachel! Cara will never do that to her. Then Nicola Doogan came on the late ferry. Everyone was happy to see her. It made the day perfick, just perfick.
Nobody sang. That was strange. The Cunnyhams love to sing and Nanny says when Cara Cunnyham grows up she’ll be the finest singer in all Ireland. Maybe Cara will sing a song with Mamai, just for ourselves then later maybe for other people. Thinking of singing made me miss Mamai’s little voice right this minute, and her pixie hair and her lovely smile and the smell of her and her fingers fixing my hair. But Cara's not going to cry. Cara will have Mamai just for herself for a long long time. Mamai promised. Just like 'Owl Babies' Mamais always come back. That’s the rule. And Nanny told me too. And Nanny always tells the truth.
When all was cleaned up we walked down to the pier to catch the last ferry (that’s another word for boat – amn’t I a clever Cara!) There was a lump of Cunnyhams on the boat, Cara felt sad for the people who weren’t Cunnyhams. Crona and Peter stood at the wall watching the boat sail away. CaraI waved and waved and waved. Cara hoped they weren’t too lonely after everybody. Nanny said they prob’ly went straight to bed.
Cara was worried all day ‘cause Blankie was in the car on his own and maybe a sly old fox or A Swiper or a Gruffalo would take him. (Yes, Blankie is male – he told Cara he is). But it was OKAY! HE WAS THERE! So Cara cuddled him and fell fast asleep. When we got back to Drimreagh Grandad lifted Cara gentle out of the car and put on Cara nappy. Cara was so tired Cara fell asleep when Nanny was still reading The Gruffalo.I GOT TO SLEEP IN NANNY’S BED ALL WEEKEND! YAY!
Nanny is a bit of a lazybones in the mornings so Granda gets up with me and makes my Ready Brek or sometimes my Weetabix and puts on my Peppa Pig. Great Granny Teresa has no Netflix for my Dora though, poor Great Granny, isn’t that very sad? Nanny says if Great Granny Teresa was a little bit better she would watch Dora with me and we could both learn to count in Spanish. She surely would said Nanny. Great Granny Teresa could do her knitting and Cara’d watch Dora and have wee chats. Great Granny Teresa loved chats. And crosswords. And hugs. And laughing. Nanny says Great Granny Teresa was a brilliant hugger. Even better than her. Cara feels a bit sad she never had a proper chat with that long ago Teresa. Sometimes Great Granny Teresa gets very sad and shakes her head and cries. Cara wants to cry too. But instead Nanny showed Cara how to pat Granny’s hand or maybe blow her a kiss to try to make her not sad. Sometimes Great Granny Teresa gives a big laugh and her eyes are all twinkly. Only for a little while; then her eyes look they have clouds in them and Cara know Great Granny’s gone away, way way inside of her head. Nobody can go with Granny Teresa to that place. She has to go on her own.
Cara only told you about two days of her holliers but Cara has to stop talking and talking now because Cara is sleepy and Nanny wants to read her book. See you tomorrow xx