Friday, June 24, 2011


A little R&R for the Smiths this week, and with Caitlin packed off to Traceys house ( thanks very much! ) we went off to West Cork for an overnight stay. We went through the mountains from Killarney to Kenmare which is always a lovely journey, and had a quick stop to look at the market there, bumping into, and having a nice chat with Olivier - unfortunately not buying any of his lovely smoked fish or meats as were were on our travels. We did get a lovely scarf for Rachel ( as shown in the picture. )
Then we went on to Glengariff where we stumbled upon the Ewe Sculpture Garden - a real hidden gem in the hills, streams and forests. They have spent a massive amount of time and effort in creating a thought provoking garden, with amusing ( and clever ! ) sculptures, great use of recycled products, with poetry and words of wisdom everywhere. There are loads of surprises to make you smile everywhere. Then it was on to Ballylickey, just outside Bantry and a stay at the Seaview House Hotel which was lovely - full of antiques and artwork, with beautiful flowers, and nice gardens. Dinner was fantastic, so we felt really relaxed after the stay - nice for someone else to be doing the cooking and washing up for a change...We went back to Glengariff in the morning and walked through the woods where we came to a view across the bay where we saw loads of Harbour seals, including some really young ones - I think they were just as interested in watching us!
We then went on to the Nature Reserve which is a great place for a walk - almost deserted as well, with lovely walks through the trees, along by the rivers and on to a beautiful meadow area full of wild orchids. After that it was back to Kenmare and a quick bite to eat in the BreadCrumb vegetarian cafe ( and great bakery! ) It seems like we packed in loads in a short time....

Friday, June 17, 2011

New arrivals

It's been a week or two for the animals: our little cat, Smudge, is now the proud mum of four little kittens, and the dad is - yes - our other cat, Sparks! Anyway, all four are doing very well, and are a mix of black, white ( and shades of grey. ) Meanwhile, down on Manna's Farm, they now have a boar to keep their piggies happy. This lad is a pure Irish boar, and seems quite a character - I went down to feed them tonight and he almost snatched the sack of food out of my hands! If all goes according to plan we may well get a couple of piglets: they're great for turning the ground over, and as our field is getting a bit full of thistles and docks, it would be handy to get the beasts to work. We can then reseed with some nice grass and hopefully get Rachel and Corinnes horse up for a few weeks.