Saturday, March 31, 2012

2-23 Weekend at Burtown

After a good breakfast and a run up the road and back I had a nice cup of tea with Lindsay and Clara then met up with James in the flower gardens to discuss the days tasks. Giles would be in today and would be focusing on weeding as many of the flower beds as he could to get control of everything before the gardens opend to the public in two weeks. Clara and I started by picking out obvious weeds around the edges and any clumps of grass growing in the beds. The cows that are being help on the property had gotten loose early that morning and had caused damage to part of the lawn and a few trees on the edge of the garden so me and james spent some time lifting prints with pitch forks. Any where the hooves had dug too deep and torn up the sod we had to leave some topsoil in place to not have and indentations left. The cows had gooten loose simply because a wire had been left unhooked by a farm worker the night before when they were bringing in the tractor from the fields. Around half past eleven I started using an edger to clip the sides of each bed and trim any over hanging grass. This was a way to enhance the apearance of the gardens and outine each curve of the beds with a sharp contrast from the green lawn to the dark topsoil of the beds. We had the same great curry from the day before out on the patio for lunch in the warm sun. After lunch I spent my extra time looking at flights to exchange my ticket home in August. I was nervous about what it would be costing me because the only flights I could find through my airline were twice the price of my origional round trio ticket. When we got out to the gardens again I spent most of the afternoon edging the beds. there were about six large curvy flower beds in the front of the house along with a few sections of hedges which had to be lined with string and cut straight in line with each other. As I moved through the beds, Clara followed with a wheel barrow and bucket to gather all of the cut pices of sod and grass I left as I trimmed. It was a long day of monotonous cutting and weeding, but we made a lot of progress in those beds, whcih would only grow more weeds to be picked before teh area was open forthe summer. After a light dinner, Clara and I went down to Lesley's where Lindsay was staying to watch some movies together with a bottle of wine Jasmes had given us and a nice pt of herbal tea. I stayed up later that night to sit by the fire and enjoy some whiskey and music until I finally tired out a while after mid night. Saterday morning the three of us made a trip into Athy to stop by the market and the health stores for odds and ends. I spent most of the day Saturday painting and writing outside in the warm spring breeze. The gardens had started to bloom quickly in the first days of spring and several Tullips and trees had began seting blooms. That evening James's sister and good friend had come by for the night and the lot of us enjoyed music and drinks for the night together.
Sunday morning most of the house slept in and we all got together shortly after noon for a cookout on the lawn. James made a few rounds of bloody marys and mojitos while the meat and vegetables were be fixed as everyone wandered around the gardens chatting about this and that going on around the country.  For lunch we had grilled chicken and spiced sausage from a local butcher in Wicklow along with chips, salads, pasta and grilled vegetables. It was a beautiful day with a light breeze so after lunch a few blankets were spread out in the lawn where everyone cold sit and enjoy a few bottles of wine and rosea for the afternoon. around Six, Clara and I took a walk out to a historic ridgeline where a large masacre had occured during the famine. We saw an amazing sunset and got to talk to some neighbors that had lived in the area thier whole lives. It was a great way to end the weekend as we all settled in back at the house preparing for the next week. James planned to have the gallery cafe completed and ready for pictures, tabels and the works for an operational serving kitchen in another month. It had already been a few weeks and I was feeling very comfortable in the place. The work was enjoyable and the house seemed like luxy, but the family and workers are laid back and enjoyable to be around. I am looking forward to the next few weeks as well. 

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