Thursday, December 9, 2010
At the end of year one
Our first year was drawing to a close. Autumn storms that shook the buildings and the new slates that had been put on the piggery. "That'll put everything to the test" our handyman would say. We had found this gem, Martin, over the summer to give Mac a hand in doing up outbuildings and repairs in general. Farmer Mac had decided to go bigger next year and buy more sheep and cattle. Surprise, surprise he loved what he did, had gotten the hang of it and was ready to take our attempts at self-sufficiency to a higher level.
I had started teaching at the University of Limerick with the beginning of the Michaelmas term in September. Between baking, wine making, weeding, pickling, teaching, and driving kids to school I was occupied. No rest for the wicked-as they say.
Our first Christmas from home was going to be different. Real firs for Christmas trees were hard to come by. I usually made my own decorations over the mantelpiece, down the banister and various wheel size wreaths. For that I used evergreens like ilex, spruce or,twigs of an evergreen hedge plus ivy. What I missed most were German Christmas markets. But we would have the traditional goose for Christmas: one of our own.
Being German we would celebrate Christmas eve instead of having Santa Claus come and bring the gifts in the early morning of dawn on Christmas day. So much more civilized I always find. At least the parents can sleep in. The new year surprised us with lots of snow. Like Ireland is seeing now.