We had loads of visitors in the first few years. Friends who wanted to see Ireland and even my doctor who wanted to check up on us. We gave them a warm welcome, took them on sightseeing trips which became boring after a while. How many times do you want to visit Bunratty Castle? For the first bunch I had even whitewashed the outbuildings on the yard. I had unpacked tons of removal crates to get the house into respectable order while working in the garden and cooking, making jams and baking breads and cakes. This couple, admittedly well-heeled, showed up in their blue suede Gucci loafers, looked around, and she said to me, “How can you bear it and not be running away screaming?” After one night, she deplored the lack of water pressure in the shower for her thick hair. “We should have stayed at Ashford Castle.” Needless to say, that friendship didn’t last much longer.
We, the blow-ins, were often asked by the natives,” Are you happy?” While Mac wholeheartedly answered in the affirmative, I hummed and hawed a bit, “Well, it’ s very nice here.” In a consoling tone, people remarked, “ It’ll be nice when it’s all done.”
And that became my leitmotif for the next few years while on the farm.