Ireland is experiencing a pretty good summer this year with a heatwave this week. Well, it might not be a heatwave in the technical sense but for us pale Irish folks, experiencing a few days of 25-27 degrees celsius in a row – it’s a heatwave! We can even become relaxed about whether we get out to sit in the garden or not, knowing it is likely to be nice for a few more days. Two good summers in a row – someone is looking out for us. We’re getting to the stage that the ground will want a nice shower of rain in a day or two but there are thundery showers and storms hitting parts of the country so we’re bound to get one sooner or later. ?I’m sitting in the garden typing this and just heard some loud claps of thunder so it might be with us soon!
Grass has been growing well so we’ve been able to take out a few fields or paddocks here and there for wrapped bales of silage – good quality food for when the cows are indoors and still milking or for using as a buffer feed in the short days of late autumn if the weather is dry and they are able to be out. The grass for second cut isn’t heavy and we’re going to leave it for another while. We are only cutting about 35 acres for second cut as first cut silage was both heavy and good quality. We are planning to plough and re-seed the Chapel field in August – it’s about 18 acres.
We’re had a few nice breaks away this summer! Well, 32 hour type breaks multiplied by two! Brian agreed to get the relief milker and as he milks on the morning we go and on the evening we come back, it’s only a case of getting the relief for two milkings and hoping nothing goes wrong for the 32 hours we are away. It means he isn’t away long enough to fret or to miss the cows! I’m hoping for a 2 night break away in August though as the two night deals for hotels are pretty good at the moment.
We went away for each of the children’s birthdays and they were able to choose whatever we did. In fact, there were many times we heard ‘As it is my birthday two days, I think we should do xxxx’. For Will’s birthday, we visited Glendalough and Brittas Bay beach, then stayed at Druid’s Glen hotel which is lovely. It’s really nice going out for evening meals with the two of them now. They are both so grown up and Kate loves experimenting with new dishes. Dip in the pool the next morning and then to the zoo the next day and it was a bit drizzly but heyho!
For Kate’s birthday, we went to Curracloe beach and it was really hot for most of the day, fabulous beach. Then to White’s Hotel in Wexford, dip in the pool and dinner. Shopping was the order of the day the next morning followed by a trip to Wells House which is well worth a visit. The guided tour of the ground floor was v good (they are currently restoring the basement and first floor). It is owned by a German family, they’ve done a lot of work to it and are making it a full day out experience – nice cafe, playground, woodland walks, archery and more. I’d really recommend it for a day out.
I had never realised before how hotels really only cater for parents with one or two kids. If you have 3 or more, it’s generally a case of booking another room. Druid’s Glen have fabulously big rooms with generous double beds whereas White’s had a double and single and then brought in another single bed.
It’s an unwritten rule in this house now – birthdays last for two days! Mine was on a Saturday, 3 days after Kate’s, so I just read in the garden for a good bit of the day and we went out on Sunday to Altamont Gardens and for lunch to the Forge restaurant. Kate has been surpassing herself with the baking – making Victoria sponges for Will and I. Brian and her made a chocolate cake for her birthday. All were so so scrumptious.
Speaking of Altamont, which is one of my favourite places to go in the whole of Ireland. Fabulous gardens, free entry, and they now have decent toilets, picnic benches and a cafe. It’s the #CarlowGardenFest starting tomorrow with lots to do and see in all the various gardens around Carlow. Carol Klein of Gardener’s World fame is even coming to Carlow tomorrow night. You can read more about it all on the Greenside Up blog and you might even be in time to be in with a chance of winning prizes.
It’s being a busy summer as we’ve tried to get away for one day per week at least too – apart from this week when the kids had a swimming lesson every morning and the week we spent two days testing. It’s great to get a day or two away per week but it’s then trying to fit everything else into the other days. Brian was feeling guilty about getting away for 2 days until I pointed out that he does at least 5 hours work the morning we go and about 4 hours work the evening we come home so it’s really only two half days!!
The school holidays are half over – we are half way through the nine weeks! ?I don’t want them to end and neither do the kids. With the weather like this we want the summer to go on forever.