The photo above shows a bucket of turf and a milk jug. Both the bucket and the jug were made by Irish Travellers who follow the trade and skill of being tinsmiths who manufacture articles made of sheet metal.
The bucket, a traditional design, is made from a copper cylinder I use it for carrying and holding the turf. It is also watertight and could be used for holding liquids without fear of any leakage. Similarly the milk jug is of the same quality although made from coated steel sheet. The jug is not in use and kept solely as a keepsake.
This type of Turf is a traditional fuel cut on our local bog by a neighbour. Saving the turf (footing the turf) is labour intensive and the whole family is engaged with the work. The quality being very reliant on having a good summer with warm dry winds to blow across the bog plain and dry the sods of wet turf on two sides. By the time that each sod is put into the fire each piece will have been handled about six times.
The bog is an extraordinary place to work, for nowhere else on the land creates such a hunger or thirst. You could eat half a pig go home and consume the other half as well as drinking the Well dry!
Black bog pools stare, glassily
As dumb dark eyes to ashen sky.
Frozen fronds droop down in death
Prehistoric man long infused.
As chalk dust lies in clay form
Under grazed barrowed hill.
And brittle grass crunches as glass
Underfoot as Heron pecks hungrily.
The glazed green pond on
Skeletal sinewy sticks, long.
[17. 01. 2000]