Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ireland Revisited: In the Demesne

Day 13 of 35: Monday, August 16, 2010

A restful day in and around Birr began with a morning walk to visit Miss Kitty near her new home by the old glasshouse near the kitchen garden. We have found out why she is so wary this time as opposed to four years ago, nervously looking around whenever she wanders very far from the safety of her cushion in the plastic greenhouse where Jimmy the gardener looks after her now. There is a cute white puffball of a Bichon Frise who lives in one of the staff houses near the box hedges with two other dogs (and with people whom we haven’t met yet). On a few evenings now, he has been running free and trying to be the baddest watchdog on the island – barking as loudly and threateningly as he can, running straight toward me until he gets about ten feet from my ankles, at which point it seems to occur to him that I’m laughing at him and he stops and glares at me, until I turn my back on him and start to walk away, at which point the whole dance begins again.

Wary on a wall.

The nasty puffball is a lot smaller than me, but he’s a lot bigger than tiny Bothy Cat, so she stays close to home and we now usually go to visit her instead of the other way around.

Gate to the footbridge to Inis Dara near the Birr Castle Demesne glasshouses.

Taking the occasional stroll in the Demesne was the order of the day, in accordance with doctor's orders for Diane's ankle recovery.

Into Lord Rosse's forest in the Tipperary reaches of the Demesne.

Testing the copying apparatus to be used in the Archives.

Mundane housekeeping was on the menu, too, as was some last-minute homework on my part. My first scheduled day in the Birr Castle Archives was only two days away, and I went through the Calendar (index) of the Rosse Papers for the umpteenth time, identifying still more items I wanted to look into. The Calendar was not available when I last visited the Archives in 2006 (this monumental effort by Anthony P. W. Malcomson was published in 2008,) and was, predictably, a tremendous help in time-management.

Back road near Terryglass.

In the afternoon and early evening, we drove over to Portumna (and a favorite place of ours from our 2006 visit, the Portumna Forest Park). We wandered on backroads south of Portumna on this evening, eventually stumbling upon the beautiful little town of Terryglass and its pier on Lough Derg, through which the Shannon flows on its way to Limerick. Dinner in the Derg Inn was comfortable and fine.

Terryglass on Lough Derg.

Diane walks past Paddy's Bar after dinner in the Derg Inn (background). Note that she's not using crutches!

Lough Derg from the Terryglass pier.

More images from August 15th and 16th can be seen here.

Next: August 17, 2010 -- Back to Kilkenny
Previous: August 15, 2010 -- Recuperation with Parade
Beginning of the series: Prologue, August 2


Nostalgic for the Pleistocene said...

A particularly wonderful set out of a lot of great photo sets. I love the mist, and the White Socks photos, esp. the one where she's sitting on the wall. Love the hay bales - the castle view with the bales looks almost like a medieval moment, except the bales are so uniform that they look a little too machine-made!

Sherwood Harrington said...

Thanks, Ruth! We really were extremely lucky with the Irish weather last summer, and that soft early-morning fog was a great bonus to many days. We're told that this summer is terrible in Ireland, as was the summer of '09, so we hit the timing just right.

Unlike, say, hitting the bottom step of a stile just right.