man oh man…
There were days and moments where this really seemed impossible. But it really happened and we really went on a plane over the icy part of the planet to a green place called Ireland…
For a WEDDING. We worked and we played, and we played and we worked, and it was darn good fun. Ken drove fast on the wrong side of the road, with only minor curb hiccups right out of the gate at Cork airport. No one really seemed to care but me. I was gripping the seat tightly, screaming a bit and getting as close to the middle of the car as possible, cringing, maybe even closing my eyes now and then.
We learned the positive attributes of roundabouts. “and then, there’s a roundabout”, “Lucy” our aptly named, sugary-sweet and almost never wrong, navigator, computer-woman would tell us. Always listen to Lucy! She knows what’s best and if you get lost, well, there’s ALWAYS a pub to be found and a pint to be had (in my case this was most certainly a half pint.)
And you WILL get lost. I should note…there are no addresses there in Ireland, at least not in West Cork and the ring of Kerry – which was the rural and gorgeous landscape we were sourcing all of our product from. SO you can’t just type an address into your gps and follow it to your destination. You MUST have land coordinates. We didn’t have these. How was I supposed to know? Live and learn.
We had three stops I had meticulously researched months in advance of our job and we needed to find and cut flowers from all three of them in 2 days, with one more day to prep and build everything after that. Not a lot of time, but it did seem doable.
Well, our promised navigator was missing in action the first planned day of harvesting materials. That was a shitty deal, and the stress mounted as I realized we had no way of finding these way out places without a guide and our guide was obviously dropping the ball. Phone calls were made, stern discussions were had, and eventually the groom saved the day! He was going to be our new navigator with one day lost, and 2 days to get it all done, harvest, forage, prep and install! YIKES! My husband was my only assistant on this wedding and I must say, he endured some high stress moments with me well. Without his help, advice, and prodding I am almost certain we would have had some problems on our hands. (while we waited impatiently the first day for our escort who never arrived we explored Cork a bit and stumbled across this old prison (below) and a few places that would become our favorite spots in Cork in the days to follow…)
It was creepy and beautiful at the same time.
Day 2 in cork we set set off into the countryside on a gloriously beautiful day to find all our flowers. 2 cars, empty buckets, and some clippers in hand. This was the most magical day I could have imagined. We were welcomed into people’s homes, allowed to cut from their private gardens, shared our universal passion for growing, living, flowering things and just were in awe of everyone’s generosity and candor. It is a side of Ireland I never would have experienced if we went to just trot around the country seeing the sights. Castles, castles and more castles….It was and remains a truly unforgettable day and the people who made it possible hopefully know what that meant to us.
(below you can see us at the wonderful Ruby Harte’s farm and home and then close to Dunmanway at the cottage and private garden of Chris and Leslie. Lunch in Bantry on the coast. LOVE!!!!!)
I can’t show you any of the pictures of the wedding…as it is slated to be in a publication next fall. Bit of a wait:( But it will be worth it, the sneak peeks I’ve seen of it are sort of other worldly.
In the meantime, I hope you enjoy these snaps of what our travels were like. It was so so fun! We rode bikes across Inis Mor, the largest Gaelic speaking Island off the Eastern coast. What a day! No rain, fluffy clouds for miles. We laid on our bellies hundreds of feet above the Altlantic on the edge of an ancient cliff. This was the high ground and fort for some of the earliest tribes on the island. This was where they lived and fended off attack from the tribes across the the bay in Connemarra; A beautiful mountainous region we did not have the chance to explore this time. Such a long and amazing history and a place that really allows you to imagine the world as it once was. Rugged, and mostly untouched. Majestic and totally brutal.
I hope we will get back there again one day! But I promised Alice Paris is next. Can you blame her?
Happy New Year.
all images here by Ken Holt…my wonderful husband.