Just Jogging Along

So I’m sitting here thinking I will just finish this cup of coffee and get outside and do some more to the new “Cluckingham Palace” (Chicken run and coop) when the wind changed got stronger and the rain started so I suddenly thought I haven’t done anything on this for some time so here we go.

I have decided to attempt a family holiday near to my Mum I invited my immediate family and their other halves and out of 19, 16 are coming to the gathering occupying three caravans. I think there will be much wine etc. taken, considerable laughter and fun but most of all I’m hoping for that wonderful photograph of 5 generations. BUT Mum fell over last week and is now in hospital with a broken femur. She is doing well but she will be in for a while. They are talking about her being transferred to a hospital nearer to her home which is more like a cottage hospital and therefore more relaxed than a general hospital. So there’s still hope for the photo. The Irish contingent will be travelling next week to take the two day journey.

The rest of the “troops” will be arriving two days later then look out Somerset. We’ve nothing planned it will be spontaneous which I think is always best.


We have been quite busy with St. Joseph holiday cottage with visitors from England, America, Scotland, Wales, Australia, Canada, with bookings for the future from USA and Germany. Fuel It all helps to pay for the winter fuel etc.

Ireland 122

Talking about fuel I feel quite proud to say that I managed to get the turf in this year (with a little help from Anthony) You may remember that I couldn’t do it last year ( a very good friend Christie did it for me turning, footing, bringing it home and storing) but I was determined to do it. Next year I shall be getting two lines (10 wide by 100 m long) to ensure we have plenty and to allow it to season even more.


Anthony with the last piece of turf

Well till the next time so long and I will publish that 5 generation picture somehow. (they don’t really like more than two at the bedside in hospital but ways and means.

Life Goes On

Well it’s now 10 months since my operation and I have been to see Mr Collins for the third time. He is still pleased with my progress except that I have now got a hernia because of the weakened stomach muscles. He is not over concerned and would prefer to wait 6 months before fixing it. He said it’s a simple job and as I have no pain or discomfort it should be no problem; however he did say that if I was unhappy to call him and he would have me in to get it fixed. I’m quite happy about that. ( link to original post  http://wp.me/p1PaHv-26  )

Mr Collins did ask me if I would be prepared, “as a survivor”, to talk to people about my cancer especially around “lollipop day” at the end of February. Of course I agreed a chance to give something back. I am quite looking forward to it. (The Oesophageal Cancer Fund  http://www.lollipopday.ie/oesophageal-cancer-fund.php)


We’ve had a hectic few days. Left home at 11 to take an hours trip to Galway to pick up the van before setting off to Rosslare and sailing to Pembroke well we got to Enterprise and when I went to pay with my debit card they then asked to see two utility bills. Naturally this is something I always have about my person – not! So back home to collect the bills and then back to Galway. A stupid 2 hour delay so began a rush to the docks without a break to get there just as they were loading. Still just is enough (nearly is not)

We got to Pembroke at 0045 and a short trip we arrived at our overnight accommodation and we were soon asleep

Next day we had breakfast at our usual cafe and we were on our way to Hastings to empty the house and to bring our son back to Ireland with us

All the family turned up together with boyfriends and for three days the house was a hive of industry. Woody, a  friend of Louise and Wayne, brought his van and took several trips to the Council Tip (they wouldn’t allow the bigger vans in which was stupid as they hadn’t informed us of that regulation so without Woody’s help we would have been stuck)


Saul the tail lift operator

Saul the tail lift operator




The younger ones needed a rest

The younger ones needed a rest

And that's it The end of an era Off to a new start after 4 years at Hastings

And that’s it The end of an era Off to a new start after 4 years at Hastings

After a few tearful goodbyes we set off for a leisurely trip home Stopping at Pembroke and Rosslair on the way

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

And Life Goes On

It’s hard to believe that Maisie and Andy have been home for a week. Time has gone by so fast while we have been getting everything ready for the next 7 weeks while we have guests staying at St. Joseph Lodge.

For some reason the smoke detector has fallen off the ceiling and I have had to re-fix it. I don’t know of the way to determine the location of the joists above the ceiling to screw the detector up there so I use double sided tape which usually works quite well.(any hints welcome)

The lawn had to be cut, well I say lawn but consider that until we moved in it has always been pasture so we have a lovely expance of clover and buttercups but at least when it’s cut it’s all green.

I got attacked this week! There I was collecting the eggs when there was a flash as Rastus the cockerel charged in and pecked me drawing blood. I gently explaned to him that he could have that one but once more then he goes to a very cold place (freezer)

The Grass was long but not now

The Grass was long but not now

When I was cutting the grass (and clover and buttercups) the grass at the edges was waist high and considering that my petrol strimmer is rubbish I have decided to get a new one so off I went and now I have got a super one and there will be no stopping me soon.

It has been an expensive week as I have also had to get a new battery for Dad’s old car. I like to keep it running as it has a tow bar fitted so it is used for taking the bins to the bottom of the lane for collection and for taking my little trailer when I go to get straw for the chicken runs. It is also used for getting the turf in (when I am able to do it).

On that score if anyone is interested I am recovering from the surgery quite well with only a few aches now, the scars are pulling a bit but I am able to do a little more each day. I am having a little difficulty in controlling my diabetes at the moment because just lately I am getting a reading of 2 – 3 instead of 5 – 6 and I am afraid of going into a hypo so I am reluctant to take my medication until much later in the day. (and then I don’t take all of them) however I am seeing Jimmy (Dr) on Tuesday so hopefully we will be able to sort it out a little better.

We have a lady from Scotland coming on Saturday for a week staying in St. Joseph Lodge then the fun begins as we have seven weeks back to back. The guests are scheduled to leave by 10 o’ clock and the new ones arrive after 3 o’ clock so everything must be perfect for when the new guests arrive.


Friends Coming to Stay

We’ve got friends coming to stay. Well I say friends really they are Maggie’s cousin Maisie and her husband Andy but I regard them as friends. There has been much preparation and cleaning going on around here and after tomorrow all will be ready. Just as well as I shall be picking them up from the airport on Tuesday at 11.15, so all being well we will be getting a spot of lunch on the way back. The weather doesn’t look too promising after the glorious week we have just had but with friends the weather just doesn’t matter. Monday has been and is nearly over spent with last-minute “tarting up” and shopping so now all I will have to do is get the little car started and take the bins to the bottom of the lane (1km each way) for collection early Wednesday morning. We intend to leave here at about 10 o’clock tomorrow so as to be sure of being at the airport in good time to meet them.

Wet Welcome Well Ireland provided it’s usual welcome by washing everything clean – all day! Ryanair did it’s usual arrived early (how they work out their schedules I will never know) Captain Skippy was the pilot (bouncy landing) It was lovely to see them both. We didn’t do much on that day just the girls nattering and catching up.

Westport The forecast was rain BUT we woke to beautiful sunshine so off we went to Westport. Maisie loved the small shops and lunch time came so we called into a hotel for lunch. Maisie is celiac and vegetarian so we have to get the chef to accommodate. They often love it because of the challenge and he came up trumps with a lovely meal. Afterwards we went over to Westport Harbour

Andy & Maisie at Westport

Andy & Maisie at Westport

From the Harbour we went over to Murrisk to the foot of Croagh Patrick and also to the Famine Memorial

Famine Memorial

Famine Memorial

Croagh Patrick through Our Lady Queen of Peace

Croagh Patrick through Our Lady Queen of Peace

Enniscone & Ballina Another wet forecast and this time it did BUT only when we were under cover so not too bad. We went over to Enniscrone to see the surfing beach but Andy wasn’t too keen – well it was cold and no wet suit. On we went to Easky where we found a very nice restaurant and another accommodating chef. Maisie was a bit miffed because the batter used on the fish was wheat free as we found out later. As it came on to rain we decided to go back to Ballina and did some shopping.

Turlough A wet day but we had saved the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life for such a day as it is all indoors. A very interesting museum of life as it was in days gone by.

Studying at the Museum

Studying at the Museum

As the restaurant was full we went to Breaffy Hotel where we had yet another very good meal from an excellent chef

Kiltimagh.Last day but the plane doesn’t leave until 10 to 5 so we have time to do a little exploring so off to Kiltimagh.Maisie was intrigued by the statues around and about and the small shops all around. We did see a sign outside a pub which stated that they were “Drinking Consultants”

Drinking Consultants

Drinking Consultants

We went into a pub and had a very leisurely meal and a very good time


having a jolly good time

Having a Jolly Good Time







They took their pictures

Looking at Page three

Then we went off to Knock to say our goodbyes

Good Bye Please come again

Good Bye Please come again

We have had a lovely week seeing part of Ireland through someone elses eyes


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