Just around the corner…


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.


6 responses »

  1. Such an evocative post. I am not irish but you captured a real sense of vanished tradition for me in this post and yesterday’s too.

  2. god yes, the whitewashing frenzy – indeed i was one of those with bucket of limestone and paintbrush in hand slashing on the paint in advance of the yanks visit – such excitement

  3. We had the yanks coming home to visit from time to time. Living in Dublin there was no whitewashing but the garden was tidied up by my brothers. There was all but the fatted calf cooked, baked or roasted in the kitchen for the week beforehand. Great craic altogether.

  4. What a great picture. It is fun to peek behind the gate!s

    Thank you so much for letting us see what was down the road from the gate 🙂 I also enjoyed the background story of the past….

    Next time we visit my husband’s cousin in Donegal, I will have to ask them if they white washed their house before our visit! LOL!


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