Stasia Sherry

Moorlands and Meadows

Moorlands and Meadows

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It all started by chance. A chance turn up a newly tarred mountain road on our way to Dundalk, we were amazed to find families cutting turf. A friend give us a slane (turf spade) made from the oar of a boat. The paddle covered with tin, the handle a cow’s horn. We rented a plot. It was never our intention to cut ‘a world of turf’; even then we were conscious of its environmental importance. Our neighbours on the bog were two genteel older men and a detached young fella who done – not a hands turn – but amble over and ask, “How many bags?” Never another word but a forlorn ‘how many bags.’ Later we were to learn he was Ireland’s most brilliant nuclear physicist; chilling out.

Poitin

Poitin

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I reached away back into the back of the scullery cupboard and ‘hand fishing’ I pulled out a bottle. A small bottle with my name on it – in my Uncle Stephen’s hand. A bottle of poitin he’d given me; it must have been there for forty years. I’ve never been a big poitin drinker preferring a pint of porter myself but Stephen managed poitin very well. He’d put a splash of it into his tea in the morning and rub it on his joints at night.

The Scots Cart

the Scots Cart

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Before attending the full blown event in the afternoon I did slip out in the morning to get a few photographs of the scotch cart and the spring van I knew would be there. Truly I marvelled at the work involved in turning out such pristine outfits and more than that the achievement of presenting a horse and cart in the razzmatazz of such a day.