Neighbourhood: Inishturkbeg

Text by Nadim Sadek
Photography by Dylan Thomas

Days begin on Inishturkbeg knowing that the only boundary one has is the shore that surrounds the island. A glance out of the window confirms what to wear. That leads to a contemplation of what to do that day: tend to the animals, work the land, fettle the boats, harvest fruit or vegetables, work in the office with its porthole to the world, through which one watches the seagulls vying with crows for mastery of the air, or the elaborate skyscrapers the scudding clouds make. If work is too much, then the indoor pool feels like a life-affirming challenge to the moody weather.

Peter might then arrive at the jetty with freshly caught salmon in hand. A quick chat and scallops mysteriously appear from the bucket in the cabin too. That’s lunch sorted! A stroll around the farmlands finds Johnny gently contemplating the newborn calf. When we got them, the Kerry Cows were scarce in Ireland—now we have 10 of them, each fine-horned and reminiscent of a cow’s shape in an era before they were bred to be mighty beef-givers. Mandy appears out of the orchard and walled garden with mischief in her eyes. “Try this,” she suggests, her twinkling eyes getting my suspicions up—the mustard lettuce leaf predictably blows my head off due to much hilarity.

The rest of the day is filled with a visit to a neighbouring island to chat with a fellow islander, or a dash into the mainland to ask Kirstin whether we’re continuing with pure-bred Connemaras from our brood mares, or whether we might try Oriel with them, our new Arab stallion.

Read more in N˚2: Constant.