Saturday, March 2, 2013

Cottage in Maree, Co. Galway, early Spring
It was a very cold afternoon. A young boy of about 12 footered about tending his sheep, wearing a pair of navy overalls, in a field across from me and my fellow sketcher, Fiona. Eventually he fiddled with a few things near us and then he struck up conversation. "Wooooowww," he said. "Do you like to draw?" I asked him. "Yes, but I can't draw like that," he said, and added, "I did a project on that cottage." This was great: I might find out something about it. "Well, what can you tell me?" I asked. He thought about it and said, "The old man who lives there is eighty. He has never looked through another window nor walked through another door." I wondered what on earth he meant. He struggled slightly to explain but eventually I realised he meant that he had lived there all his life. "And he has never sat at another kitchen table," he added."That must have been a well-made table," I commented, rather lamely. Anyway he was charming.

The lambs were adorable and their mothers were very nervous. The babies leaped over hillocks and generally expressed their joy to be alive. The old man made a few brief appearances and walked around the outside a bit. If only my place was as immaculate as his. He has good neighbours: two ladies called into him while I was there and his daughter did too (I found out who everyone was from one of the good neighbours, who was happy to stop and chat.) I told the nice neighbour that I would be making prints and that I would drop one into her, and one into the old man in the cottage. Better get onto it so.

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