I think I have too many blog posts around with that sentiment. Some day, we’ll actually be in one place long enough to avoid having to say that. On the other hand, we are making good friends all over, people who find little niches in our hearts and get comfy there. We’re also not too far from Killruddery, so if we have a mind to, we can go back to visit. To put it mildly, Killruddery was a special place with very special people. We will miss it terribly.
In spite of the heartsore, we left with good ‘vibes’. The Thursday before we left, we went to dinner with Anthony and Fionnuala. It was a relaxed, informal affair where we chatted about our plans, The Cottage, plans for Killruddery and general waffle as conversations go. Friday was the start of the second weekend of the Christmas Fair, so we didn’t really get to speak at length with anyone. Fair time tends to be a crazy headless-chicken run-around for all staff. Saturday was spent in a futile attempt at packing, knowing all the while that there would be no time to pack on the Sunday. I did, however, manage to fit in a little milk tart making!
Sunday morning, I cleaned up while Jurgis chased deer and fed pigs. We had a lunch date with Lord and Lady Meath. Lunch with the Meaths was unusual, especially as we weren’t ‘regular’ staff. They were wonderful! We had a lovely roast beef dinner with wine. I think I have a new alcoholic passion…. ginger wine! Ooh, it was delicious! It reminded me very much of my old favourite cocktail, the ginger square. Of course, it doesn’t take much to get me to imbibe ginger in any form. We chatted about anything and everything, from deer fencing and pigs to trips along the Garden Route to saving tiger turd in Nepal. Warm, and definitely fond on our part, farewells were said and good wishes abounded before we rushed upstairs in the hopes of getting the roast done before our visitors were due.
We had Mirek and Larissa, our Polish and Russian friends, over for dinner, another wonderful couple to whom I owe a debt of friendship…. even if Mirek ate my mushrooms! I did a pork roast and served milk tart for dessert. We drank to everyone’s health with a fine bottle of pro seco bubbly that was given to Jurgis on his birthday. We’d kept the bottle to celebrate the arrival of his papers, but figured celebrating friendship was a grand occasion to open it. As usual with Mirek and Larissa, we laughed a lot in a variety of languages. It was a good evening. Though I paced the floors for hours afterwards, drifting between intense sadness, happiness and frustration over the still-unpacked goods, I knew all was well and would turn out fine.
Monday, all thoughts of ‘turn out fine’ were forgotten in my wailing and gnashing of teeth over cases that wouldn’t close. I went downstairs to say goodbye to Aislin and Cathrine. Gosh, I’ll miss those girls. Of course, we promised to keep in touch. Finally, the last suitcase umphed itself closed and was dragged downstairs. We came up by the kitchen stairs and left from the main entrance… I think that was a fine way to leave! I said goodbye to my portraits and thanked them for listening to my nightly waffles, joys and frustrations. Anthony and Fionnuala were to take us up to The Cottage in two cars, as they were going on a family trip into the mountains at the same time. Fionnuala very kindly packed us a ‘doggy bag’ of goodies, which, aside from being kind, turned out to be a wonderful thing. That night, we dined on reheated sausage rolls with Killruddery Christmas cake for dessert. Not bad for a first meal. Kindnesses and fond memories were recalled as we settled into our new home.
I drink a toast to friendships forged!