outwait outrun outwit


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Searching for stray cattle, I clomped through boggy fields, uphill among the tall grass, past the semi-derelict two-storied house where Granny had lived, sold with regret to a London-based solicitor. All that fencing helped my slow, arduous legwork through the mud where it was surprisingly deep. Step on the rushes, not where it appears clear, advised my companion, who also said I looked like a little boy, my hair shoved under a beanie, the bottoms of my borrowed tracksuit wedged into green Hunter wellies.

Time in Leitrim country is the time of sage and purple fields; the time of a place where you can hear the wings of a solitary crow flap overhead; the time Joe sang behind the bar about the taxation of farmers; the time we stayed up till 7 am, drinking hot port and chatting about bands and living in Madrid; the time I could ask a man for an orchid from a mountain-top, because I had flung a penny into a jug on the far counter; the time of amateur theatre festivals; the time of lichen clinging thick among sloes to the blackthorn; the time I felt I had entered Hades in that labyrinthine nine-roomed house above the pub; the time I didn't know if I wanted to return to Galway, to all the worldly, world-weary concerns it promised.


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