Miriam Black-Fore’s round metal table is still at the Cottage. On the moment it is tucked up round the back of the garage wall. Although it is bent and rusty it has retained its shape. The last layer of paint is starting to peel. We use it to put things on until they are needed. One day it will collapse and the broken pieces will be put away in a dark corner of the orchard to finish their slow disintegration back into the ground.
The chairs that Miriam sat on are long gone. She would move the table and its two chairs round the garden to follow the movement of the sun. Morning, and they were positioned on the grass outside the split yellow door the view of the sea framed by the fuchsia hedge on the left and the tall trees that used to run up the right side of the garden separating it off from the pier.
From midday she would have them moved to the far left hand corner where she could sit and look out over the full spread of the bay, mountains in the distance and the black rocks with their seaweed in front of her. Sat there under the hedge she could hear the traffic passing on the road and more particularly the clank of tractors with their load and people walking their voices caught for a moment directly behind her.
She knew the sound of each of the tractors and some the cars and could measure out the activity of the day with their movement.
Sat at that same seat she watched as the weather came in up the bay. She could be sat in bright sunlight and spits of rain would drift in on the wind from a black cloud half a mile away. The weather mostly came in from the west. Great banks of cloud gathering over the hills of the Mizen not so thick as to obscure it but their shapes would soften into shades of grey with Carberry Island floating black in the bay.
She would be able to see the sheets of rain coming down and how thickly it fell on Golleen and Toomore and she would judge if the rain was going to miss her or if there was going to be a shift and quickening in the wind, a change in the waves as it came in off the sea. She could see where the rain started and where it finished and there times the difference was so fine she could cross from one side of the garden to the other to be out of it.
An afternoon could be spent waiting for the clouds to clear and if it had been raining then as the sun came out every piece of rock and exposed stone over Rosskerrig would flash silver in the light.
Her day would be done as a heron made its way across the bay flying low over the water. Once it had gone she would gather her things and fold up the rug that was draped around her shoulders and make her way back into the Cottage.
Inside her mind was bright and clear and she would sit down in one of the soft chairs by the fire and try to sketch out with pen and paper the trail of thought that had crossed through her head over the day as she sat looking out over the water. She would be able to make out a few words and get them down on the page and sleep would then take her and she would fold her hands on her lap and close her eyes for an hour or so before waking and going upstairs to bed.