This was a joy to paint but it brought its share of adventure: I left Dublin in gloomy weather, as I made Mullingar the sky began to clear. It was hot and settled by Boyle, so I rang ahead and turned into Lough Key Forest Park looking for water and flowers to paint. All I could find was one or the other. So still looking, I turned down a forestry track and found an open gate. Once in the meadow, there were flag irises and a half hidden pond. I was trying to get an angle on these when a big Pajero came trundling over the hill followed by a herd of continentals. The farmer pulled level, lowered his window. He said it was no problem to go painting, so long as I closed the gate after me.
He left the field and the herd scratched and defecated around my car. A bull I had not noticed, dragged his nose ring along the side panels. So nudging through the herd, driving up the field, I was startled by the beauty over the crest. In heaven for a few hours with hares nearby I felt satisfied with life, country, myself, I left for home. Only made it half a mile - I had burst the sump on the rutted track - the oil had drained into the grass while I painted. Made it home with the help of strangers. Same car burst her sump again on another painting trip but is still going strong - thanks to the help of strangers and friends.