Our Irish Christmas

Christmas is over! The farmer here has finished being tetchy at the thought of two three-quarter days off in a row, not to mention the fact that the shortest day of the year has now passed and he cherishes each extra couple of minutes of daylight that we get each year. Honestly, he and our working dog become more similar every year.

An Irish Christmas


I recently read an article about how border collies are bred to work. Having a collie as a ‘town’ or ‘house’ dog would usually render them uneasy and discontented unless you’re prepared to give them lots of exercise. I agreed with every word of the article – it’s a joy to watch a dog who loves working and just waits with anticipation for the signal to go to work. Then I thought about how so much of it applies to Brian too! He actually gets restless if he’s indoors for too long, even the prospect of sitting down for a few hours! The kids were happy to visit their uncle and grandparents on Xmas Day for a couple of hours so we dropped them down and we went for a long walk through the farm, the neighbouring forestry and out along the forest road. You’d think he’d get enough of walking through fields and car roads but no. The dog was somewhat puzzled though – why on earth were we walking so far when all the cattle were indoors? He took him a while to stop looking around for cattle and just enjoy sniffing at the different smells.

Collie dog

Santa came! The kids were up at 6:10! They got what they wanted. I got an iPad. The farmer got a jigsaw and a promise of a weighing scales! Not for humans or the house but for weighing the cattle. It’s what he wants, I promise! Christmas was lovely, I didn’t get as much reading done as I’d thought but we played plenty of board games and I’m nearly at the end of crocheting a blanket from granny squares – it’s been a long journey!

I’m midway between wanting to veg for the next week and wanting to put the decorations away and get on with 2015! The lazy side of me might win out!

Highlights of 2014:

I’m on our local radio KCLR96FM tomorrow morning with a panel, chatting about the past year as well as resolutions for 2015. It got me thinking about 2014 so here’s a few reflections based on questions the researcher asked me earlier today.

My 2014 highlight: Being interviewed on TV about my book.

My favourite book: Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent and I really enjoyed The House Where It Happened by Martina Devlin too (read the latter over Xmas).

My favourite film: Mmm, I don’t get to the cinema that often but got to see The Hobbit, Paddington and Annie over the last two weeks. Enjoyed all three.

Favourite holiday: Mmm, with the beef crisis last spring we didn’t get away for a holiday in January but had a few one night hotel breaks away during the summer. Fav hotel was definitely Druid’s Glen in Wicklow.

New Year Resolutions:

Well, I’m guessing I should include weight loss in here but I always seem to get hungrier if I go on a diet. My aim this year is to cut down a bit once the calving period is over as I always forget that I’m not doing as much exercise and hence am not using up the calories in all the food I consume!

I always seem to make resolutions to get decorating done and never quite get there. But this Christmas we cleared out the dining room / store room and it is a dining room again! It was nice dining in there for the few days over Xmas and we’ll use it again for new year. I’ve started painting the woodwork in the bathroom and landing too. That, of course, means that the woodwork in the hall will need to be done too, not to mention the walls but will get there. I want Brian to wallpaper the bathroom as the plastering is rubbish. When they were doing the bathroom two years ago, I was starting to die with flu and I just wanted the house to myself hence I never checked before paying them. Grrr.

I’m doing some research at the moment for the next farming book and am planning to have it ready to go to the editor by early May. Planning on publishing end August / early September. The working title is ‘How To Be A Perfect Farm Wife’.

I’ve had an idea for a novel for some time – just wasn’t sure about the structure for it. When I started writing it three years ago, it was turning into a ‘chick lit’ on me and I wanted it to be darker than that. So this is the year I’m going to have a stab at it and I planned out the structure of the plot last week. Will see how it goes!

365-social-media-tips-coverAnd some more writing. Amanda and I published our first social media ebook on Amazon last week. Entitled 365 Social Media Tips, it has a tip for every day of the year – they include LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, blogging and various social media tools too. Do have a look at the sampleand let me know what you think. Would love if you could buy it ?/ spread the word too 🙂

It will be interesting to see how the 365 day approach is received – I’m looking forward to writing another social media ebook later in the year.

I think that’s enough – don’t you?! With all the predictions for dire milk price, we’re also hoping to still have the shirts on our backs this time next year!

What about you? Your highlight of 2014? Your resolutions for 2015?

6 thoughts on “Our Irish Christmas

  • Donna OShaughnessy

    Love love love your 365 days of social media and plan to work my way through it. Had it loaded on my Android phone so I can read it when I’m on the bus from the University’s parking lot to campus. About a 10 minute ride each way. Will definitely spread the word on my own social media sites. I too am looking forward to 2015. MAYBE just maybe we’ll sell the farm as planned so I am dejunking all rooms as if we are. HAPPY NEW YEAR LORNA!

    • Lorna

      Brilliant – thanks a mill Donna, looking forward to hearing what you think when you have a chance to read more of them. Thanks for sharing too.
      That’s the way to do it – act as if something will happen and then it will! Mind you, it never works for me when I buy an item of clothing that a smidgeon tight thinking I’ll lose weight and fit into it! Now, I just buy roomy things – live and learn.
      Happy new year Donna xx

  • ioma

    I have a Collie ,she’s from a shelter in Connemara(MADRA),I live in Dunlaoghaire !Initially I agreed to foster her but we bonded ! I have a few medical problems so she definitely doesn’t get enough exercise ,but on a good day she will help pull me up to the top of a hill ,to a park in the center of a Edwardian square ,there are a few in D/L.where she goes through her obsessive (to me) sniff pee-sniff- pee routine.When she came to me first MADRA had neutered her and she had had a hernia opp.She was very thin,hungry and her canine teeth were possibly filed down ..I often wish she could tell me her story from before,why a hernia?,what happened to her teeth? ,is that what Farmers do to working dogs even ?She is about six years old ,and has the beginnings of cataracts,which is maybe the reason if anyone but me bends over her or gets near to her face she tries to bite them,I am careful with her and give her a lot of love and patience..the woman from the shelter said she had been through a lot .but didn’t explain any more….I enjoy reading your blogs ,I used to live in Wicklow and still miss it .All the Best Ioma

    • Lorna

      Many thanks for your comment Ioma. I had a friend had a border collier and she said he had no idea what do do with sheep when he once saw them (was a town dog) but he did need a lot of exercise. Strange re the canines being filed down on your dog, I’ve never heard of that being done – sounds like she did work with animals but was nipping them and the farmer wanted to stop it? Sounds bizarre though.
      I do think most working dogs only have one master / mistress – ie one person that they will obey. Yes, our dog was continually sniffing when we are out – probably picking up scents of badgers, foxes and other dogs. They are a wonderful breed, very loyal. We have to be careful with ours and the kids though, as he is a working dog, he forgets that nipping at animals is okay but it’s not to do so with humans and although not meaning to bite, he just might graze one of them so he is very much treated as a working dog, not a pet who comes into the house.



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