Holidaying in the UK

Lyme Hall

As a farming family, it’s not easy to get away for family holidays. There are cows to be milked, grass to be managed, younger stock to be herded and looked after, bulls to be fattened, dogs to be exercised and cuddled. We normally go away in January when the cows are dry (they don’t give milk for 6-8 weeks before calving), and as all the stock is indoors, they just have to be fed and checked which takes the contractor [...]

Do Old Cures Really Work?

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There had been a lot of commentary about the Presidential hopeful, Joan Freeman, announcing that a visit to Knock cured her of eczema¬†when she was 16. Most people, judging by the plethora of comments, seem to think she is barking mad and yes, I’d be sceptical too yet I wondered as I tried something similar myself once.

People still go on religious pilgrimages and people still try herbal, religious or pagan cures in an attempt to cure them of [...]

Would I have been an Early Adopter or a Luddite?

Image from ICA book

I’ve been wondering recently what would I have been like if I’d lived during another era, I’m not thinking of too long ago, just the 1960s. I’ve been following the Electric Generations blog and Twitter account as they’ve been working on setting up their exhibition and thinking about the short talk I’m going to be delivering on 16th October. The exhibition shows how many people initially feared this new power – that it might be dangerous [...]

Sundays Past and Present

Family day out August 2017

Brian and I were discussing recently how Sundays have changed since we were children, not to mention how Sundays have changed since we were PAYE workers. Regarding the latter, Sunday was either a day for decorating followed by a dinner in a local pub or a day to head to somewhere like the New Forest for a pub lunch and a long walk. When I was a student in the UK, I got a job in Sainsbury’s on Sunday mornings, [...]

Should Matchmaking Make A Comeback?

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Matchmaking has a long history in Irish courtships and it seems to be making a comeback in the number of matchmaking (not just dating) websites out there. Before I debate whether it should make a comeback or not, let’s have a look at how it worked in the past.

HV Morton reported on his experiences of viewing matchmaking in the 1920s in the West of Ireland (In Search of Ireland, published 1930):

In Ireland, as I noted in Kerry, the separateness of [...]