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Cute calves and communion party capers put a bounce in my step

June 3rd, 2024 6:02 PM

By Emma Connolly

Cute calves and communion party capers put a bounce in my step Image
A bit of rain won't feep kids from enjoying the bouncy castle. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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The weather has been mixed but downpours didn’t stop the children enjoying their big day – helped along by ample amounts of Fairy Liquid!


• NOTHING brought me so much joy this week as seeing baby calves (probably no need for the ‘baby’ bit as it’s a given, but it does help to emphasise their cuteness) out in the fields for the very first time.

I’m sure it would have been far less joyful if I had been involved in their training, getting them used to the electric fence or in actually getting them from the yard to the field (always hazardous, and always one rebel or five who’ll head east instead of west), but it so happened

I wasn’t. I just arrived home one day and there they were, in the field by the house, as if they literally fell from the sky, leaping around like a group of giddy toddlers in a gigantic playpen. It’s kind of mind blowing if you think about it – this was their first time seeing grass, traffic, possibly birds etc. Imagine!

All the experts say that the novelty factor of trying something new has huge mental health benefits and looking at this giddy lot running around with wild abandon, you’d have to agree.

• That aside, one new thing I wasn’t going to risk trying was going down a gigantic bouncy castle/slide yoke in the pouring rain last Saturday at my nephew’s communion. The weather was a major disappointment (think of all those gorgeous blow drys, my own included, that were reduced to frizz in minutes in the downpours!), but to the communion kids, siblings and cousins it was nothing at all and barely registered with them.

• In fact going down an inflatable slide in the rain was apparently even more fun that if it had been dry, they insisted. You’d have to admire their enthusiasm, even if their teeth were chattering from the cold while saying it.

At one stage it actually looked like our particular townland had been hit with a snow shower (nothing would surprise me), but someone had just livened things up by squirting a shot of washing-up liquid into the mix. A foam party in Ibiza had nothing on it! We were watching the ‘show’ from inside and it was the perfect entertainment until someone almost cleared a ditch going around 40mph so the Fairy Liquid had to be confiscated.

The ‘sport’ continued until they ran out of dry clothes and towels and our nerves were just ever so slightly frayed by the growing mound of wet clothes, but it was a great lesson on how we shouldn’t be limited by the weather. Easier said than done all the same.

To all those who had cleaned their houses, floors, carpets etc in advance of the occasion it must have been ever so galling when they woke up the next day to blue skies.

On the plus side, most bouncy castle ‘packages’ mean you get to keep it for the entire weekend (a little different from Celtic Tiger years when it would be swiped away before dawn) so at least it meant smallies got to enjoy it when it was a bit drier. But sure what did they do then? They only went and added in buckets of water to get the speed up. You really just have to roll with it ... and make sure there’s plenty of towels on standby at all times.

• Anyway, it’s a really busy time of the year, isn’t? My WhatsApp feels like it’s going to explode between end-of-year celebrations and events for this and that. The communions might be wrapping up but that’s about it – I’m living in fear that I’m going to drop a ball and show up for a dance show when we should be at a blitz or that I’ll give a thumbs up as a reply to a message when it should be a thumbs down.

I can only imagine what it’s like in larger households – forget having a whiteboard on the fridge for your weekly planner, you’d need to devote an entire wall for the schedule and have everyone connected to headsets (do you read me?) to see who has to be where and when. When did it all get so complicated?

• Thankfully there’s just a few more weeks in it before the holidays kick in and we can all take a breather, and our teachers get a well-deserved break too. If my head feels like it’s going to melt, I can only imagine what it’s like for them. It’s easy to forget that teachers all have lives outside of school to juggle as well, so spare a thought before you launch into any smarty-pants comments about their time off ... although they should be nicely refreshed by September (couldn’t resist!).

• There’s just a week to go to polling day for the local and European elections. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m so busy keeping up with WhatsApp or what but I feel it’s crept up very fast.

• So there were a few more memorable moments in my week. I was at the receiving end of such a thoughtful and perfectly timed act of kindness this week that renewed my faith in mankind.

A glimpse of cute calves experiencing their first days in the fields has gladdened the heart of columnist Emma Connolly. (Photo: Shutterstock)


• And I got back to nature briefly: I marvelled at all the lovely fox gloves growing here, there and everywhere and wondered how something so pretty could be poisonous (are they really?); I also wondered why so many strange looking insects seem to love my house so much, and if they could just kindly ‘bug’-ger off someplace else and most importantly of all, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for the ‘baby’ calves huddling by the ditch, as they had their first experience of rain.

Maybe if I gave them some Fairy Liquid they’d make a sport of it too?

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