It’s easy to spot a farmer out and about when in their working clothes. Items like boots or wellies, mud splattered clothes, sitting in a tractor or jeep, the working dog alongside, bulging pockets (not with money but with nuts, bolts, baler twine, keys, receipts and a battered cheque book) and perhaps even the whiff of slurry or silage all tend to give it away without having to look too closely. But what about when they are dressed up and [...]
Without wanting to sound too morose and, dare I say it, a ‘stereotypically grumpy farmer’, it has been a tough year for farmers this year. Between the late, very wet, very cold spring which meant winter extended into May, and then a drought during the summer, it’s been a year that involved a lot of extra work as we were still doing winter work for weeks during the heatwave. Without even thinking about the bank balance, a lot of farmers [...]
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 [...]
We’re still in a drought situation. Okay, it’s nothing like New South Wales in Australia where the situation is incredibly dire and the earth is brown. However, this is Ireland, the Emerald Isle, where rain is usually never far away and we’re accustomed to rain either spilling, pouring, lashing or spitting at us. The fields have greened up but we’re in a ‘green drought’ whereby the grass just isn’t growing enough to meet demand.
There has been plenty of rain in [...]
I was chatting to a friend recently, I hadn’t seen her in months and she commented that I had kept my book quiet. Had I really? Surely I had told everyone. But then I realised that between finishing the boarding school book, writing the memoir, editing it and then into calving and the long winter, that I’ve been living the life of a hermit really. I’ve talked about it on social media but I haven’t been out much nor have [...]