I can’t really believe it’s already been a month since we’ve left home. Today, while waiting for the bus, we sat at the same table in the same outdoor cafe as when we first arrived in Dublin. It doesn’t feel like much time has passed at all, but already we’re getting more confident and sure of how to travel and what it entails (however it should be noted that almost as soon as this rough draft was finished, I got us off at the wrong bus stop, so take what you want).
So let’s get you up to speed with our latest leg of the trip.
We’ve started and finished our stay with the second house in our trip, Dot, and she was absolutely lovely. She has a working partner named Peter who is a little bit harder to read, but his heart is in the right place. He has his goals and ideas for what the garden should be and how to get in there, and he makes sure to tell you how to do your tasks correctly. He was actually our go-to man when we wanted to know differences between Ireland and the US, little things, like where everyone gets tobacco if you never see it advertised anywhere, and why not many people speak Gaelic but all of the signs are first in the language, then English. (Turns out it’s illegal to show tobacco for selling- don’t know why, but that’s how it is. However nearly every kind of shop has tobacco for sale.) Gaelic, he said, was taught in most schools (read: Catholic) while he was growing up but the students were never taught how to speak. So the majority of the country can read and understand the language, but not speak it. And of course now there are the all-Gaelic schools were the language is being re taught and given a new life.
In return for these bits of knowledge, we taught him a couple of terms he wasn’t familiar with and gave him some good laughs.
Anyway, we had a marvelous time working with him planting potatoes and bush upon bush of gooseberries.
Dot is a wonderfully kind and understanding woman, just trying to do what she can on her own. She is still very new to being a host, as we were her third batch of wwoofers, but we all improved by staying at Holly Cottage.
She has two adorable little cats named Rose and Pettle, both of who claimed our beds as theirs and would share an afternoon nap with me nearly every day. Also, there were 16 adorably chaotic hens and 5 growing pigs. We had a great time hanging out with the pigs and fending off the chickens from getting into literally anything we were trying to accomplish for the day. After failing to learn how best to shoo them (and still unable to stop them from touching our freshly painted walls), we still agree that having hens would be a lot of fun and we’ll be looking into getting a bunch of our own when we’re back.
Dot was also kind enough to drive us and drop us off at various locations near to her cottage, so we spent days about in Dublin City, Drogheda, and Bettystown. There was also a free day for public monuments and the like, so we got a nearly private tour of Newgrange. It’s a very neat and unique burial mound, and just a bit awe inspiring to get to go inside and see.
So yes! Now we’ve arrived at our third host of the trip, An Ghrian Glas Farm, and are already in love. Somehow it’s worked out that each host has surpassed the last, which is both lucky and remarkable what we’ve had the fortune of meeting and staying with such lovely people.
I hope that I’ll stay more up to date with these posts, as I’ve been falling down on the job recently. Thanks for hanging in there!