Day 6: Rain Rain, Go Away

Trip Start Apr 25, 2012
Trip End May 28, 2012

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Flag of Ireland  , County Meath,
Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Today was meant to be a planting day, but it began to rain sometime in the night and didn't stop until evening.  Lucho says you can't plant when it is raining, because the dirt is too muddy and it clumps together.  Instead, Casey and Eli continued working on the rain shelter, while Cailin and I worked on the ivy on the old walls around the castle.

Ivy is a horrible plant.  While it looks beautiful and rustic on the side of an old Victorian home, it's basically a parasite.  Ivy grows on trees, stone, walls--anything it can get a grasp on.  It sends tiny roots into whatever it's growing on and eats away at it, until its host dies or crumbles.  Ivy causes many trees to die, and in the case of Slane Castle, it's wreaked havoc on the stone walls of the old  buildings.  There were some vines that had grown so massive that the clippers, handsaw, and axe we had with us weren't enough to cut through them.  Lucho had to come back with a chainsaw.

Slane Castle mostly makes its money off of the concerts and by renting its property out for weddings or parties, but it is also associated with a regional whiskey.  Right now, Alex has the whiskey distilled off site, but he is hoping to start work on setting up his own distillery within the next year.  He is planning on using the old outbuildings on the castle grounds for this, which is why we needed to kill all of the ivy growing on the walls.

It was enjoyable enough work, and oddly satisfying, but the rain made the day cold and long.  By the time we stopped for lunch, we were all ready to curl up in our beds and sleep until the sun came out again.  However, no such luck, and we continued on with our work.

Once we'd finished, everyone felt that a day in would be a nice change of pace.  Eli and Cailin cooked curry, dahl, and rice pudding, and we all sat around in the living room reading or dozing off.  Eli lit a fire in the wood stove, and we enjoyed the cozy ambiance of firelight before we turned in for the night.

If tomorrow's weather is less dismal, we will be planting seedlings at the farm proper.  If not, there is always more ivy.
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