Hello World

Well it’s been a while since I’ve written on here well things have been busy with one thing and another.

The barn has been busy with wall to wall guests staying which means a quick changeover each Saturday with cleaning, re-stocking, checking that everything is how we would like it if we were staying there and weather permitting grass cutting and window cleaning.

We had the Sister in Law staying with us for a fortnight and that involved several trips out Not that I mind as I also enjoy sharing Ireland through their eyes.

The house in Hastings is up for sale under a different estate agent on the advice of the solicitor and already there has been an offer. But it has got to be improved. They are trying every trick in the book to get the price down. You know “it needs a new bathroom and kitchen” No it doesn’t but no matter what they will renew the bathroom and kitchen anyway so they have that expense when or before they move in. That’s their problem not our’s.

Took the car for the National Car Test today and it failed – brakes. It’s safe to drive but it has to be fixed so a frantic call to the garage was made and now I’m waiting for a call back to tell me when they can fix it. I’ve got 21 days for the re test otherwise I have to have the full test for     €50.00 again.

The weather here is wild and like a baby – wet and windy but it won’t be like it forever.

The county have got to the all Ireland GAA football final and tickets are like gold dust. I shall be watching it on TV cheering the lads on. Whilst I was staying in the lodge at Galway hospital I was told that none of the players are paid to play. Perhaps that’s why the game is played with such passion which makes it a better game to watch. I admit I am a convert. I think I prefer the football to the Hurling but let’s give it a little more time. I must go down to see the local team play sometime. They are quite successful. I do support them by buying their lottery tickets and the other week I got three numbers which enters me into the holiday draw which is drawn at the end of the year. That would be nice for the anniversary year.

Oh well till next time

Toodle Pip

Turf’s Home

Well all around here is a hive of industry with the farmers working so hard and long to harvest the hay and the silage for the winter feed. At the same time they are hoping for a milder winter and spring than the last two.

Feverish activity on the bog is going on to dry and get the turf home. For so many this is the main fuel for heating and cooking so a good season is essential. Some of my turf from last year is still damp. Because of my “inconvenience” earlier this year    I am unable to get my line of turf this year but a neighbour and his grandson has offered to do all the necessary work and bring it home for me. What wonderful people

By the way a line of turf is 100 m long and 10 blocks wide

Turf Cut (Last Year) begining to dry

One line of turf cut
The turf on each side has been “footed”

There’s a saying over here “when the turf is home and the hay is set then you can go to the Galway races” well the Galway races are in mid August so it looks like there will be a good crowd there this year.

Our Australian visitors left this morning to go further south as they intend to “do” the Ring of Kerry. They said that they had enjoyed their stay here and had really explored County Mayo. They had also brought with then some glorious weather

After they left we had a leisurely breakfast and Maggie started on the preparation of the chalet for our guests who are expected to arrive after 6 o’clock, meanwhile I cut the lawn.

I have increased our flock of hens by 4. I got them really to replace those who have died (with some extra) all Rhode Island Reds. They are all at point of lay in fact 2 are laying already, small ones of course but that will improve Of course we’ve got the settling in process going on establishing the pecking order and so on.

Oops I’ve let this alone for a while. The guests arrived and the good weather stayed so all is well. Our new people are enjoying themselves and in particular the country life.They were especially fascinated by the hay harvest in the field next door.It was cut and turned and bailed (big round ones) and wrapped in black plastic all within 2 days.

I went to see my surgeon on Wednesday for a check up. He is very pleased with the way I am recovering and has said that I can now do anything I want to and can do. Great news. This time last year I wasn’t even diagnosed.

We got back and Christie and Christopher have brought home my turf and even put it into the turf store. Such a wonderful pair

I have at last finished and launched my website http://www.stjosephcottage.co.uk

Well until next time Toodle Pip

First Visitors

Well we’ve started! We have had 3 lots of visitors so far with more to come. They seem to be more international with the first from Holland, the next from Wales and now our latest has just left to return to Canada. We have had some problems with the wi-fi but that seems to be resolved now. We have found that it doesn’t take long to clean up after they have left and we make it almost ready for new people to arrive.I say almost because we also provide breakfast for the first day. Don’t get me wrong we don’t cook it for them but we provide the bacon, eggs (courtesy of our “girls”), black pudding, sausages, bread & butter, tea & coffee, and milk and sugar. We have found that when we have been away on holiday in self catering premises the most important thing is breakfast. After travelling for several hours with the resulting traffic jams and other mishaps we may have been delayed arriving perhaps after the shops have shut but with a good breakfast inside us we then have all day to explore and also pick up the goodies.

We have put a book in the cottage for guests to put places they have visited and any comments also anywhere they have been and enjoyed a meal or entertainment etc. That is building up quite nicely with some good tips already. We have had no complaints as yet but I expect one day we will. Lets face it you can’t please everyone although we try. We don’t expect to make a fortune out of this venture but if it helps to offset the fuel costs it will be a bonus.

First Steps to Granny Flat

Well at last the planning permission has been approved the builder has been appointed and the internal layout has been thought out so now the work begins. We are preparing the site for two sheds one for workshop and machine store and one for potting shed and garden store. Intend to order the sheds next week.

Flu jab today so will have a sore arm for a day but that’s better than getting flu. Well worth it. Its free here if you can comply with certain conditions.

Jab not bad we were very brave and didn’t cry.

Went shopping today as it’s raining and on the way back went to the pub for lunch. We were earlier than normal and we had just sat down when 40 – 50 students from the local secondary school came in for lunch. I must say how very surprised I was at the behavour of them all. Wonderful, no shouting, no showing off in fact a joy to see. They use the pub every school day and are given free squash. It’s a good idea I think because they are getting into the pub culture and learning how to mix with the adults in a relaxed atmosphere. Why the pub? Because they don’t have school dinners in the senior school.

Wonderful Things are Happening

At last we have got planning permission for the barn and after discussion with the builder we are looking forward to seeing the finished job. It’s going to cost a little more than we had hoped but it will be worth it in the end. In fact, to be honest, I miss running a business and this will be just the job to keep the mind occupied and to get the old skills working. I’ve got an expert designing a website for me and I know she will do us proud.

We went away earlier this month to England to help out our relatives (Maggie’s Sister and my Mum) It was quite hectic but it was necessary but while we were away the Chicken Coop (empty at the time) was subjected to very high winds and was wrecked so I’ve got a job to do. Seems the cockerel will have to go he is waking everyone up at stupid o’clock daily so I think he can have another month with the girls then it’s off to the freezer with him. I want to get some more girls soon so I will have to mend the coop and re-design the run for the new ones.

The other English people in the lane have their house up for sale I don’t think they want to but they are going back to Blighty to help elderly relatives. We will miss them when they go however this is not the ideal time to sell a house over here in Ireland.

The car failed the NCT (same as MOT) last week and has been fixed by  my very good friend Martin and it’s got a re test on the 5th.

They don’t have bonfire night over here instead the kits go wild on Halloween because fireworks are banned and anyway it was the English Parliament that was supposed to be blown up. Bonfires are also banned except for one day in the year June 23rd I think but I stand to be corrected.

Oh well must go I will try to be a little more regular with this in future


Till then Toodle Pip


Warm calm day with a light shower.

Well the plans of mite and men… We had planned to see our Architect today to try to find out just at what stage we were, if he has sent the reports in and so on. So we made a complete detour to Claremorris to see him BUT what do we find?  The door is locked. We just hope he hasn’t done a runner. He is so laid back he is horizontal. We will just have to keep on trying.

Today, as you can imagine,  was shopping day so we did some in Claremorris and some in Castlebar, ending up in Mannions Bar in Balla where they do a very good lunch.

The battery on our oil level sensor had expired and we were having difficulty getting one. You would have thought that the shop that sold the sensor would have also sold the batteries but no. We tried everywhere but in the end and following a brainwave we went to a jewellers and We got one. After we got home I replaced the battery and It works.

We have had warnings of very high winds over the next few days . I’m not looking forward to that!

With luck we will get down to the bog tomorrow to get some more winter fuel.

Well thats all for now

Toodle Pip