We’ve been in our retirement setting for nearly two years already! They do say that time flies when you’re busy, and a lot has gone on during the fly past! During that time, the jungle that passed for the back 1/4 acre garden has had all the brambles (formerly the National Collection!) and nettles removed and most of the large stones in what are now the flowerbeds of the white garden dug up and turned into large stone rockeries. I still bear the scars from both exercises! A connection to the mains water supply (well, we are out in the sticks, remember) and the burying of the main incoming electricity cable, before it dragged the chimney off the roof, were memorable – possibly for the wrong reasons! We live on a hill almost at the highest point of north Tipperary and benefit from great vistas and very clean air. The view from the front of Tigh Hattie is across open meadows, which belong to the nearby goat farm. That makes putting up with the often sustained blasts that hurl themselves at the Emerald Isle worth the occasional discomfort (the Atlantic and all that that entails is only about 65km to our west at the shortest point).
With global warming and the need to cut carbon emissions in mind, we have ween working to become self-sufficient with veggies. That has been an interesting learning curve – from rank amateur to being able to live off the land far more than before. The usual mistakes have been made, but things get better with every passing month. There’s nothing to beat fresh beetroot, peas and beans and potatoes. This year we even got the better of the cabbage white butterflies by using covered beds.
We have an east and a west orchard of mixed fruit trees – all planted since we moved in – and two beehives in the east orchard. This retirement lark is all go!
The writing continues and Tigh Hattie Press will soon release my latest effort – a record of one Martin O’Meara VC, a Lorrha lad who went to Australia, signed up for World War One and was the only Irish-born Australian soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in that conflict. The VC has been on display in the National Museum, Collins Barracks in Dublin since last year and it is planned for it to visit Lorrha on ANZAC Day of next year (COVID19 virus permitting…).
Tigh Hattie herself is being extended (we believe that she was built back in the late 1930s) and replacing the rear roof is almost complete (the original was a real cowboy job from the time of the previous owner). We have a three section barn as well, but the roof has seen better times and is also on the job list. There is a graveyard from the Great Famine somewhere up the hill behind us, which we will get around to investigating in due course. Actually, nobody in the local Historical Society is quite sure precisely where it is…
And I think that is quite enough for now.