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 [...]
I love reading about field names. They provide so much information about the size and shape of the field; the type of soil; the surrounding vegetation; the people who were there before us. Books have been published detailing the names of fields (e.g. The Field Names of Country Meath) in some counties as researchers and publishers realised that as land is sold, this important part of our heritage is being lost.
Some of our fields are named after tenants, [...]
I have always enjoyed reading farm and rural memoirs. My copies of James Herriot’s books are dog-eared and have been reread many times since I was a teenager. The success of recently published farm memoirs proved that the rural memoir is as popular as ever, perhaps even enjoying a renaissance as various sectors of society (indeed, 47% of people in Britain) show an interest in leaving their city lives and dream of living on a smallholding or perhaps [...]
In Sight of Yellow Mountain: A Year in the Irish Countryside by Philip Judge
I read a review of this in the Irish Independent recently, Judge was compared to James Herriot and as I love Herriot’s book and enjoy writing by smallholders and farmers, I was really looking forward to this.
Philip Judge moved to Wicklow with his family, to a cottage on an acre. [...]