We slept and lived in a herd of tents laid out towards the wall of the Valley and around the Chapel. Mine was decorated in plaid and my sister’s in a pinecone print. I kept special things there on my dressing table. Tents were always tidy, as anything else was entirely unacceptable and drew a sad look from Uncle. On the floor of my tent I laid my rug. My mother had bought it for me when I was very small and I could not remember a time when it had not been there beside my bed. It had bold reds and a subtle blue, bounded with a cream background and beige lines. It was good wool, and smelled faintly of its origins when damp. Our tents were not often wet, however. They had good sturdy wooden floors.
Our corner of the Village was a hub of activity. The Degnan’s store and house where there and in the summer I used to go over and help so they would let me lick the blades of the ice cream maker. They kept cows in the Valley and made ice cream from fresh cream every single day.