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 [...]
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. [...]
Alice Taylor has written many books and I recently purchased three of them, reviewing two of them here. From Co. Cork, Alice recounts her childhood years in To School Through The Fields, it would be a nostalgic read for people from that era. I know my dad will enjoy the accounts of the threshing machine and neighbours coming to the yard, the planting and [...]