Friday Fields: Lynup’s Hill, Where my ashes will be spread

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What is it about the possession of land that drives some people to murder?

We’re all familiar with Bull McCabe in the play (and film) The Field by John B Keane. And maybe there is a little bit of McCabe in all of us as people can be remarkably possessive about land they own or rent. At a recent auction near here, a man that had been renting a field for years stood up and told everyone not to buy [...]

Friday Fields: What secrets does Taylor’s Field hold?

Taylor's Field is just past that copse of trees

Taylor’s Field is quite unassuming: an almost perfect rectangle, fairly flat, no large humps and bumps to make it interesting. It has the advantage of good road frontage. No signs remain of the stone cottage that was there just over a century ago, the stones used by my great-grandfather for some project or other. At one end is a small copse of trees where I used to play. The trees created a perfect leafy glade where I could pretend I [...]

Friday Fields: High and Low Shores

Some fields are named after their draining abilities (e.g The Bog), or their size (e.g. The Long Meadow). Two of our fields, High Shores and Low Shores, are named after a previous owner. My great uncle Herbert Sixsmith bought about 80 acres at Garrendenny, and purchased these two fields sixteen years later (around 1925). They were owned by a farmer, John Shore, who also worked as a carman delivering coal by horse and cart. He lived nearby and he had right [...]

Women Farmers Can’t Rest on their Laurels!

Me with the smallest calf of the year (he was 2 weeks old at this stage and I could still carry him under one arm)

There I was, wearing a shapeless milking gown with (I discovered later) a splash of cow muck across my face, not exactly looking my most sophisticated or glamourous when Brian called me to get my thoughts on a decision regarding our ESB connection being converted to 3 Phase. The ESB guy said to me “there’s not many women doing what you do”. I looked at him, totally confused. “Doing what?” He flung his arm back to indicate the milking parlour. [...]

Claudia the Cow

Claudia, small in size and big in attitude

It has been a busy spring between calving, the building of a new milking parlour complete with rebuilt collecting yard and other ancillary expensive essentials, and now of course, we have coronavirus to think about. But this post is going to be about another C – a cow called Claudia.