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 [...]
Are Cows Just Numbers?
Every Irish bovine has a number that is individual to them. It’s called a tag number and they have to wear a bright yellow tag in each ear. Each bovine is also issued with a passport which contains details such as their sire (father), dam (mother), date of birth, breed and sex. The passport must accompany them if they are being sold or sent to the factory. Before such documentation became compulsory, many farmers gave their cows [...]
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 [...]
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. [...]
Then There Was Light is an anthology, mostly memoir with a couple of fictional stories and a few poems, about people’s experiences of when the electricity arrived in their area and the effect it had on their lives. It’s now 70 years since the rural electrification scheme began. Stories reveal the hostility to “the electric”, often due to fear about the cost or a [...]