What a day I had yesterday. For a start, it was raining and the wind was so strong it was blowing the rain sideways. Needless to say the builders didn't turn up - who can blame them. Buster wouldn't step outside until I donned a coat and had a walk round and stocked up on more wood and peat blocks. I noticed in the primrose bed, made just a week ago, that there were some deep cow prints. I assumed one of Martin's cows had escaped and wandered about. They do sometimes. I went and shut our double gates in case they/he/she/it returned.
I took the wood inside and had a good old spring cleaning day. Swept and washed the kitchen/diner floor, hoovered our bedroom and the snug and that's all there is to our house until the extension is finished. I looked out of the window while I was floor washing and there was a whole herd of cows, plus a very large white bull wandering around our 4 front lawns.
I grabbed a stick from the porch and shouted at them and tried to open the gate. I was so cross I didn't have time to be scared of the bull. As I moved towards the gate, the herd ran up to our vegetable area. There is a slope up to it which I grassed last year, now there is no grass left after they'd trampled up and down there. They trailed up to the top area, where we have a few fruit trees planted and another lawn. Well, it was a lawn, it now has huge hoof holes in it too. The bull kept himself at a distance from the cows but eventually moved off after them. I tried to steer them towards the gate but they turned right at the bottom of the veg plot down past our stream and up into the meadow. There is a path up the middle of the meadow that Jim has made over time with the mower. It's taken months to get it in shape. Again, it is now grass full of deep holes, some of them as much as 18 inches deep. That bull is very heavy.
I decided at that point that if they stayed on the meadow they couldn't do too much more damage and headed down to our neighbours' house to see whether she had any of the local farmers' phone numbers. I was a bit upset by now, Jim's still in the UK and I was horrified at the damage the cows were causing.
Hilary, bless her, scooped me up, donned her wellingtons and we all piled into her car. Me, Hilary, small son Tom and Millie, our dog Buster's girlfriend. Buster ran behind. By now the cows were heading down from our house and turned right, which meant they were probably Kevin's. He has built a large barn but there isn't any fencing on the roadside there. Hilary drove them along the road in her little car and they duly wandered off to the barn. We drove to Kevin's house, a bit further along and knocked.
Hilary had warned me that Ireland is the land of 'Never apologise and take no responsibility'. Sure enough, Keven ummed and aahed when I told him his cows and bull had destroyed our garden. Oh really? What, the bull? Oh, I'm surprised at that. I guess I'll have to lock them in. And he closed his door. Ye Gods, they are a funny lot. Hilary ran me back up my drive and we wandered around inspecting the damage. She tried to reassure me saying it's not too bad. At least they were gone and my gate was shut. By now it was 6 pm. I walked around despondently.
The evening was OK, I watched a bit of tv, had my dinner and painted the insides of the couple of containers I'm making. I read lots of blogs and played Lexulous on Facebook then went to bed. Inspired by Ces's blog, I had a go at pen and ink drawing whilst in bed. I eventually fell asleep around 5am! I will not show you my efforts.
Today the weather was even worse, although I did have a couple of bouts of sunshine, very briefly. I took photos of the damage and as it was sunny at that point, of some flowers. That cheered me up a bit. On and off it's snowed and hailed and the wind has been really strong, there are gale force warnings around Ireland. I hope it's calmed down by tomorrow, when Jim has to come back on the ferry.
Cow foot prints, well, just deep holes really.
An ex lawn
There's plenty of this about. Cow poo!
This lovely slow growing conifer's in a bad way. Some branches have been eaten off but I'll put some string round it and that might help.
Buster smelling where the cows had been. That's the churned up path to the vegetable garden.
Probably the worst part, this is the mowed path up to the top of the meadow. Might take a bit of work to sort that out.
On a lighter note, I did take some photos of the flowers as usual:
A real 'host of golden daffodils'.
These double daffodils are up by the gate, which Jim has now painted
The painted gates. Buster on the wrong side of them as usual. Can you see the lake on the right half of the photo? That's Lough Graney. I love the shadow of the gates here.
These pretty primulas are just to the left of the gates. I built a small rockery there last year.
Our little stream is fast running with the rain, hail and snow
These little daffodils are so dainty. They came over from our UK garden in the pot holding the Ginkgo Balboa and have thrived ever since.
Best of all, at tea time today, Hilary called round just to make sure I was ok. Wasn't that kind of her? She had the 2 boys with her, who played rugby around the garden for a little while. Danny, the eldest, feeds the cats for us when we both go away together. They are a lovely family.
I have made a couple of little pots for Jim. He said I had to make him something for his birthday as I can't get to the shops! Nothing very exciting, but I've had fun doing them. I need some more varnish to finish them off, which Jim is bringing from the UK.
It is covered with rich coloured eastern spices, some hand enhancement and the inside is a textured finish in a colour I mixed. No idea what he'll use it for. I also covered this bucket. We are always finding odd nails and screws, washers and such around the place, so I thought this could be used as a handy receptacle for them.
I covered the bucket in spring flowers. The top band has a crackled effect. It, too, will look better when varnished. I love using old containers, changing them in some way. The ultimate in re-cycling. The top one was a bubble bath container with the top half cut off. I think the bucket came with peanuts in it. Who'd be married to me, eh? Sorry it's a bit of a long post.