Anne-Marie in her domain. We start each day with fresh fruit, fresh-squeezed orange juice, and a "bit of porridge," before she asks sweetly, "...and what would ye be havin' for your main breakfast, today?"
We appear to be in a muddle as to which day we are in of our trip--but as John says, "Does it matter?" I guess it doesn't as long as we are able to make connecting flights and train trips on time.
We are still here at Lawcus Farms in County Kilkenny, Ireland, mainly for the purpose of digging up records on John's family, but also to spend a bit of time with Ann-Marie and Mark who run this wonderful rambling establishment. We were here 18 months ago so we are feeling fairly comfortable with our surroundings. This makes the days much easier. You could translate that to "we don't get lost nearly as often as we used to.
We arrived here with almost all of our clothes dirty, so we spent the morning doing laundry- John couldn't leave the house until he had a long-sleeved shirt clean and dry. With half of our clothes clean we were free to drive to near-by Thomastown with a list of ceramicists/potters that John hoped to investigate. He had spent the morning speaking with parish priests and setting up appointments for Wednesday and Thursday to look at church records. It turned out
The guests get a tour of the Main House that ends with a shot of Potchin---whew!
the picking for ceramics was slim until we stumbled upon the Crafts Council of Ireland Thomastown Pottery Skills Course, What an amazing studio space! (Note to readers--we are now back home, but are continuing to write our journal, dazzle you with our amazing camera skills, and try to remember what we actually did 10 days ago. The best part is that I am no longer working on the laptop with its "erratic mouse control issues"...stupid Dell.)
Yes, back to the Pottery Skills Course. This may have been one of my favorite stops on our trip--there was such amazing energy, but appropriately, it was so centered and serene. As it turns out, it was also the site of the best ceramics we saw on our trip. We were taken in hand by one of the students, Bernadette, who had lived in San Francisco as an art student. Her mates told us that they knew we were from California because Bernadette also had a bit of the "Western Twang." Funny to think of myself as having an accent. We were allowed to poke about and take pictures to our hearts' contents and regretted having to leave for our next stop.
A walk down a quiet lane by a babbling brook and we find this wonderful place.
We were on our way to the Thomas Moss Ceramics production site and sales shop. If you are into country style apples and blue flowers and such motifs, this would be an essential stop for you. I actually fell in love with his chicken series, but all of the pieces available were large and breakable, so I had to leave them there. Next stop, Kilkenny city.
Kilkenny was also an important stop for us that day: Wine Shop and Dinner! The great thing about Europe is that there are so many good things to eat and drink BUT you have to walk so far to get to them playing dodge the pedestrians, bicycles, and don't fall off the sidewalk into the traffic, that they are practically calorie-free. That and the gorgeous scenery as you make your "lost and walking about in circles" way to your eventual destination or to a new discovery, and then turn around and go the correct way back and start again--and it wasn't raining again!
With a half case of wine, full of lovely dinner from "Zuni's" early dinner menu (recommended-although our innkeepers much prefer Championes,) we are back to Lawcus Farms for an
12 students and 27 kilns of different sorts and varieties.
early evening and a good chance for an early start on the other half of that laundry. Tomorrow is also an early drive to Gowran to meet with Father Donley and spend time reading the very early original church records of Gorwan and environs. We are on the search for John's elusive great, great grandparents, Patrick Kennedy and Catherine Muldowny.
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