Kimme at Irish Cottage Dreams left a comment on yesterday’s blog post, wondering what lay up the road from the gate I had pictured. She wondered if perhaps it was a cottage waiting to be discovered. Well a little way up the road, lies this stone-washed…cow shed. It was a typical site on traditional Irish farms with its corrugated iron roof and rough stone washed walls. This one, like so many of its ilk is no longer in use, replaced now by modern milking parlours. Still, it makes a picturesque sight on the roadside, nestled in its surrounding of snow. The gate in front is the more modern six-bar gate I mentioned in yesterday’s post, tied with a piece of blue twine.
Once it was traditional in Ireland to see freshly whitewashed cottages and outhouses at Christmas. The idea was to purify the farm for the arrival of the Christ child. I remember too as a child watching the frenzy of whitewashing that happened each summer in preparation for the arrival of the “Yanks” – the yearly visit home of those who had emigrated to America. Since moving to the country in the last two years, all these childhood memories of old Irish traditions have come flooding back to me, triggered by the sights, smells and sounds I encounter on my walk down these country lanes.