A long drive to a huge grey house, so big it’s as if it’s leaning over the road, and folding into the clouds above. Jessica opens the door to greet me and Hughie welcomes me in. Dogs, a cat, a goat; I’m here. I move my sculptures into the studio and lay my belongings out on the bed in my room.
My first task is to prepare for fermentation. I combine grated ginger, equal parts sugar, and cover with non-chlorinated water to begin the bug. This lactic acid culture will be added to a ginger tea creating a lactobacillus concoction. Once that’s done I tear up some newspaper to soak in boiling water, come Friday it will be pulp.
At dusk I take a walk behind The Old Thatch. There I witness a barrage of odds with soon to be ends. I continue on into Glenbower Wood where the dark fools my eye. Shadows behind a hazy mist reveal to me the outline of a woman towering over my brows. I snap a few pics to immortalise her evermore.
To the cemetery, the GAA field, only so far and I’m in Clashdermot. I loop back around and see two daffodils waver, a tea bag hanging from a branch and an old stone telling me where I am, “22 Miles to Cork, 7 Miles to Youghal”. I admire this seemingly historic placard, a tombstone to a trail, a monument on the way, as I can barely fathom the years of this town. A glance into the cemetery beguiles me with a passing remark, “thy will be done”, a slogan that returns me to my studio for some sketching and planning.
The bitters workshop begins at 3pm and to prepare I’m going over my research. I can’t wait to inform participants that you can order shots of Angostura on an island between the border of Canada and the US. Quite the location for a bitter bomb.
After the workshop we have about a dozen bottles with stunning bouquets of lavender, calendula, hibiscus, cardamon, bay leaves; the spice pantry infused.
I take it easy after one too many cocktails yesterday. A visitor comes into town and we take a drive to Ardmore, Mahon Falls and breakfast in Youghal. Many sites worth seeing. The falls are particularly beautiful, skinny streams falling from vast cliffs and rock formations to hike and reveal the river in its entirety.
Today I met Léann Herlihy in Dungarven. Having lived in Dublin for 2 years I became aware of her practice and reached out to her having missed introducing myself at an event we both attended. Her presence lingers at Greywood. She was on residence here at Greywood earlier this year. After a coffee, a walk through the cemetery and bizarre story about her trip to Spike Island I caught the bus and headed back to Killeagh.