…what a little splash of sunshine does for the spirit – not to mention the bees and other pollinators, the vegetable beds, the wild flower meadows in our two orchards and, of course, the weeds. Still, can’t have one without the other and, if I remember correctly, weeds are only undesirable plants growing in the wrong place!

A great deal seems to have happened over the last 10 days or so. Perhaps the most important is that the back of our house now has its new hip (apex) roof installed. A great job done by craftsmen who take pride in their work. What a contrast to the cowboy job that was there before!

We also took delivery of a new lawnmower. Being Swedish, it’s a well-designed piece of kit and weighs a ton. However, it does have an easy start system, so no more semi-dislocated shoulders through pulling the starting cable half a dozen times! It also has a self-propelling feature, but I have to say that the jury is currently out on that one. Which is the greater of two efforts: pushing the thing in the conventional method or trying the restrain its forward motion using the self-propelled thingmy? Still early days, so I’m sure I’ll get the hang of the easier option in the end.

A brief fill-you-in. A local lad from Lorrha went to Australia in 1911/12. He joined the Australian Imperial Force, survived the First World War and was the only Australian of Irish descent to be awarded the Victoria Cross. The VC is on loan-display in the National Museum, Collins Barracks in Dublin and was due to visit Lorrha for one day before returning to Western Australia. That was before COVID19 struck, so the VC is still in Dublin and we now have a provisional date of ANZAC Day 2021 (25 April) for said visit. We are helping to organize the event and it’s not every day you receive a personal letter from the Australian Ambassador to Ireland, not to mention the offices of the President and the Taoiseach (PM), thanking you for your input! That’s the background. I wrote a book to commemorate Martin O’Meara VC (ONE OF OUR OWN – A Memory Reclaimed) and it has been published by Tigh Hattie Press, an Irish-owned publisher. The good news is that they also now have the publishing rights for my other books, which will be available as eBooks and print-on-demand paperbacks via Amazon, once the necessary background prep work has been completed. I’ll put more details on my website once things are ready to roll.

Retirement offers time for things that work rules out completely. We make artisan biscuits, which we donate to the village shop as a contribution to the community fund raising project. What started small has now done a Topsy and grown to the point where we have to almost ration the supply to avoid spending all day making them! We had to be inspected by the HSE (Health) first, but they gave us our registration number almost immediately and we were in business – even if it was on a donation-only basis. There are several EU rules governing the label and what has to go on it. Interesting to browse other artisan merchandise as we occasionally travel about the county (yes, we can do that despite COVID19), to note how many labels don’t comply with the regulations…

…but that’s quite enough of that! Bleak and miserable today, so we’ve had our two days of summer this week.

4 thoughts on “Amazing…

  1. Your garden is looking lovely and I see you even have white agapanthus in the Sissinghurst garden. Amazing that you have already published a book and now biscuits as well. The local villagers must so appreciate having you in the locale and roll on the VC ceremony. Congratulations! I believe with those self propelled lawnmowers, you have to trot quite fast to keep up with them 🤣

  2. Dear Stuart,
    It might not be proper to post it on this platform, however, I feel I must say you age so well! It must be the genes and the super Irish air!
    Thoroughly enjoy your posts and always watching for an update in anticipation!!
    Best wishes to David too.

  3. Hi Stuart, your garden is looking lovely. You both have worked so hard. Congratulations on your new business venture, these cookies look yummy 😋

  4. Hi from a wintry Cape Town Stuart ! Your house and the garden are looking lovely plus those yummy bikkies . You certainly have settled in to retirement well. And i agree with Becky…you are looking great. Love to you both. Felicity

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