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Sadly, we had to go to the West of Ireland for my Father-in-Law’s funeral. For part of the time we were there, we stayed in a lovely thatched house, an AirBnB near the village of Cong in County Mayo. Although the house was close to the main road into Cong, it was well above the road up a steep drive, and looked out onto fields and woodland across Lough Corrib and Connemara.
The end of Cowes Week (a huge yachting event in the Solent) there are celebrations, with big parties, fireworks and this year a flying display from the RAF’s Red Arrows and the simultaneous departure of the “three Queens” (the Cunard liners Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria). We took a picnic to our local beach to watch.
We mostly had to stay in the car at first as heavy showers kept racing along the solent, giving some very dramatic scenes and pretty rainbows.
I was on my way back from a great walk down to the sea when I spotted a thin column of smoke in the forest up ahead. I was surpised that anyone would risk a bonfire in such dry conditions, and hurried to check that it was under control. Within seconds, the smoke was so much thicker and the base so wide, that it could not possibly be a controlled burn.
When the previous owners built the extension for our kitchen and utility room, they created a small, dark corner outside, behind the bedroom they’d made in the converted garage. It’s only about 2m front to back and 1.5m wide, with brick walls on two sides and a panel fence on the third. The remaining side is partly blocked by a tool store. It gets a little light in the mornings and in the middle of the day in the summer, but otherwise is in shade.
We’ve been here 9 months already and have spent some time tidying the garden, but in order to develop it and make it ours, we needed to start planting, and in order to do that, there must be somewhere to plant!
I have no idea what the people who laid out the garden, nor the people who had it before us, were thinking or wanting but it is possible to see a kind of story.