Last year, when I was living in Galway, I would sometimes take the bus up to Rossaveal (a small town in Connemara) to get out of the city for a day. Instead of getting on the ferry to Inis Mor like everyone else on the bus, I’d walk up the road about forty minutes to the second closest pub, spend the day writing and drinking tea, and then walk back to bed and be in Galway again that evening.
On one of these days, I happened to ask a farmer about the mare and foal out in his field. Everything about this farmer was a bit scraggly. We chatted for a few minutes, then I went on to the pub. On my way back, he was still out working; we exchanged greetings and he asked me in for tea. I said I’d love to, but I needed to catch the last bus back to Galway in about fifteen minutes. Next thing I knew, the farmer, his son, his daughter, his son-in-law, and his little grandaughter were all insisting that I had plenty of time and should come in for tea.
Of course I did. They made me a lovely cup of tea and offered biscuits, and I think they would gladly have fed me dinner if I hadn’t left to catch the bus!