Monday – Thursday 31.05.2021 – 10.06.2021

Hiatus. Ten days since I walked in the Glen. Nettle stings got me on the last clean up and then a visit to a pond and a perfect storm for infiltration of nasties and my leg swelled and swelled from toes to knee. At my age I think nothing of nettle stings, from childhood times and crushing and wringing out ‘doc’ leaves into juicy twists over hot skin and then bravely crunching down the spines on the upper surface to chew on a leaf, nettles have been part of my experience of outdoors and I have grown to love the pleasant tingling they make in the flesh. This cocktail of piercing and pond floored me and I spent a bank holiday weekend in the Mercy HOspiTEL, penicillin chugging through my veins to the waking dreams of a milking parlour. Ward nurses are angels and the creamy polished walls of PC3 a million miles away form the deep green V of the Glen. On leaving, my leg less swollen but still angry and encased in a ‘biscuit’ coloured compression stocking, I have instructions to rest up for 10 days – 3 days in and I’m itching to get back. I am not there yet. looking back at the pictures from Monday, post- piercing and pre-swelling – I find that I took a photo of the vibrant head of a nettle, and notice that my leg was the same colour.

purple head

So here I am in the slow zone

I look through the sequence of images tuning in to that interim day as I walked the park in the afternoon, I remember now the clouds of Willow fluff drifting and lit up in the summer sun from the day before, Monday was overcast and they were on the ground and in the leaves all around. I remember looking at the dry flower heads in the gorse remembering the golden blaze from the summer before, and on Monday searching the still stocky willow herb for flowers, anticipating the first purple flush as they ripple ever upwards, fireworks into the sky. A foxglove has opened in my garden and so I feel my stomach squeeze already with disappointment that I have missed this event. And now the sun is flickering through the clouds and i feel I must get into the Glen today.

Published by @julforres

Julie Forrester, artist based in Cork City Ireland

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