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Published: October 23rd 2012
Stack of fairy cakes
At the birthday party
Wednesday night was fun – somebody had made, for the birthday boy, who was turning fifty, a tall stack of colourful fairy cakes, to which I was encouraged to tuck in freely. There was of course music, including an incredible violinist, who got so carried away and played so quickly she looked as though she might explode! The birthday boy made a hilarious and very drunken speech and then pulled some poor woman onto the dancefloor to be twirled around incessantly.
Thursday was a nice day for work – I spent a lot of time cutting Pok Choi salad and giving the parsley a severe haircut, as well as watering the polytunnel beds and picking the last of the red and orange tomatoes, before veg boxes were to be collected on Friday. We also moved some straw bales around and Mara and I did a bit of stomping, which involved flattening down straw in the new cattle sheds, ready for the cows to move in. Ester’s friend from home, Lena, arrived on Thursday afternoon and helped out on the farm.
Friday didn’t start out so well. We were moving railway sleepers, putting the final touches to the cattle sheds,
when I got one of my fingers squashed between two of them. My finger bled a lot and I felt faint, but we bandaged it up and I rested in the kitchen for a bit. I went out and helped with moving the cattle to the shed, but couldn’t do anything else and ended up cleaning Dermot’s house to occupy myself. When the others finished work, we made a trip along to the felt & silk gallery nearby, where we met the German couple who run it. The woman makes things mainly out of felt, but also does beautiful scarves by rubbing felt circles into the silk. I wished I could have afforded to buy one! Emelia and I had planned to go to Galway that evening, so her host Nia picked me up from the studio. She took us to Loughrea from where we took a bus to Galway. We booked into Ninno’s hostel, which was full but the kind old man working there offered us matresses in the TV room, for half price. We went to Nelson’s, across the road from the hostel where there was a band playing and after a pint of Guinness, went across the
road to the Róisín Dubh where we had a bit of a dance and met some funny Irish guys.
The next day, after a wonderful breakfast of French toast from a distinctly traveller-type café, we headed to the market where we both spent far too much money on beautiful crafts, including necklaces made by a French guitar-maker out of bits of leftover wood. We went to a music shop and I bought myself a tin whistle for 6 Euros. Once we’d finished shopping, we took a look around Galway cathedral and its incredible stained glass windows, before grabbing burritos and heading to the cinema for a bit of rest! We saw The Perks of Being a Wallflower. We were tempted to see another film afterwards but had an appointment to see the West Cork Ukulele Orchestra at nine, at the Róisín Dubh and didn’t want to miss it! So we pootled along to that, stopping off for an Irish coffee along the way. The band was AMAZING! The nine of them played everything from Madonna to Michael Jackson to The Cure, it was wonderful! We stayed for the silent disco afterwards as well until we both felt ready to
collapse from tiredness - we're not used to late nights and drinking!
On Sunday morning we breakfasted at the same café, where Emilia had the most amazing pancakes (photo included!). We did a bit more shopping on Sunday until being picked up by Dermot, travelling in the back of his van. Before heading back, we popped into a pharmacy and I showed the pharmacist my finger – who seemed concerned and suggested it might be broken! I was shocked because I could still move it a bit and had thought the problem was just because it was so bruised. So she strapped it up in a space-age style splint and told me to check in a few days. It’s been two days now and I’m convinced it's broken, which really isn’t great for farmwork, especially as it’s on my right hand! Added to that, Dermot’s hurt his back badly so could really do with me being fully functional.
Anyway, enough of that! So on Monday I was alone on the farm with Dermot, as Ester was spending a long weekend away with her friend. My first job was to move the small chicken run, after Dermot moved the
hut with his tractor. I spent the rest of the morning shovelling silage for the cows, which are happy in their new home. My afternoon job was to pick tomatoes, easy enough with one hand! It was Dermot’s younger daughter’s birthday, so in the evening we had chocolate cake and played Rummikub - much fun was had. Today Ester was back and we had to clean out the chickens, which took us most of the morning, apart from some time we spent cutting mouldy leaves off tomato plants. In the afternoon we shovelled more silage for the cows and I buried some water pipes in the earth, creating a slate path on top, which Dermot described as “beautiful”! What an achievement! This evening Ester and I are alone and cooked bean chilli for dinner. We’re planning to watch a German film soon, I’m looking forward to it!
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