Tuesday, October 7, 2014

A Busy, Gorgeous Old Irish Farm

This is Hori (or maybe Hine), named for the Maori, indigenous people of New Zealand.
This 176-year-old Irish farm (here) is called "The Blue Plaque House" and is in Ulster, about 45
My bedroom (self portrait in mirror)
minutes south of Belfast. It is a reflection of how many of us think our ancestors lived. This is idyllic Ireland, green and lush, warm and fragrant, full of light and shadow, brilliant fall flowers and subtle mosses.

The people are as we would have them, warm, open, honest, raw-boned and chiseled, huge inviting smiles, enthusiastic conversation. I feel a level of acceptance and even love here that is rare even in a world of mine that is peopled with golden personalities.

This morning I awoke--late at 8 a.m.; I don't want to miss a minute--to the flitting presage of Victoria Wallace, a 50-ish woman who teaches piano, is earning a master's degree at a local university in "translations" and who was off to teach piano, but not before sitting for a cup of tea.

Louise built this from her own lumber.
She was fascinated that we'll be staying in  flat in Paris in a few days that "is 100 yards from where I lived" and is near the old St. Bernard's Church, where she was beaten senseless during a protest some years ago.

Joy Carroll, a young woman from New Zealand who is half Polynesian, is also staying here. She showed up at about 9, having stayed with her boyfriend in the castle where he lives (Sarah McCloy, who we spoke of earlier, also lives there) last night. She was in a hurry to get to her chores and whizzed through. Joy works the farm for room and board.

Louise and Saba.
Saba ("Seven" in Swahili) is a young black Labrador who lies in front of the wood stove (which heats the house's water ... hot!) in the kitchen on her red velveteen-covered bed, content to be. She loves a good rub, but won't intrude searching for it. Outside, two delightful and youthful pigs run to greet anybody approaching their pen, hoping for a treat.

Sonya and I are driving two hours to a spot where she wants to visit in order to do some research for her historical novel.

Yesterday, I could not resist the lure of the photograph this wondrous place offers and while Lou and Sonya went to the grocery store to rustle up some grub, I took the Canon out. Here are some of the photos.

The farm's trees are spectacular.
Louise outside her lovely farmhouse.

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