Yes, it is a bit of self-promotion!  Sorry!

We were chatting here last night, and I just realised I’ve never done this.  I have never blatantly promoted any of what we do here as ‘Oldfarm’.  So why not?  Why not break the rules and tell you what we have and do.

You don’t have to read, but I think you will find some of our ideas funky and interesting.

  1. Pork & Bacon   –  this is the main stay of our smallholding.  Some of you will be aware that this year we’ve had to review how we do business.  In olden times we used to just sell the pork/bacon in small lots.  However, due to Alfie’s heart issues we’ve changed the business model and now ‘grow to order’.  Those who booked their half or full pig for 2017 have started to come and collect their meat.  Why not indulge someone with a gift voucher that will last a whole year long!

    Half butchered pig. Photo courtesy of @DayDreamFoodie

  2. Lamb  … well hogget really.  Just like above we will grow a half or full lamb and have it butchered to your instruction, ready to pop in the freezer next October/November.
  3. Pig-rearing Courses … gift certificates for pig rearing are always popular.  Santa has brought lots of day courses to people over the past few years…. and they’ve always been appreciated. (€90.00)
  4. Hand-knit piggies … these are a new addition to the repertoire.  Great stocking fillers for the big or little person. (€12.50)

    A Knitted replica of our first boar, Clarence!

  5. Calendar 2018… this is the fourth year we have produced a calendar.  I have taken all photographs which are of our life here.  We’ve also included a couple of recipes. (€10.00)
  6. Bread making Course … this is a new course we introduced in 2017, and is very popular with our B&B guests.  In 2 hours, you will learn how to make at least 3 different breads.
  7. Overnight Stay …. treat yourself and/or someone else to a weekend in the country.  We can do a package to include bed and breakfast and dinner… come and relax in Tipperary.

So, plenty to think of as ‘alternative’ Christmas gifts.  Comment below or send me an email if you’d like more detail.

Friday Photo

Caught this guy in action this week!

Muscovy in Flight

This year I felt unsure about producing our calendar.

Do folks still use calendars?  Has everyone gone totally digital?

I am old-fashioned enough to use a wall calendar in the kitchen, and I also have one in the study, but that’s really only for reference.  The one in the kitchen has every appointment, booking, etc. filled in on it.

Still I debated.

We asked the question over on Facebook, and I was amazed by the number of responses.  All saying yes, despite the convenience of digital, people still love to have a kitchen calendar!

So I got to work…. trawled through all my photographs from 2017…. there are a lot!

With 24 photos of our life here in North Tipperary, the 2018 calendar has become a reality.  I know some of those who follow along here are from this part of Tipp – I think you will like this little montage of our life.

There are photographs of the animals and ‘the birds’.  There are some recipes.  And there are some photographs of places to visit in the area.  All the photos will be new to you… they’ve not been used on social media, or here on the blog.

Even if you’re not from North Tipperary you will enjoy the quirkiness of our life in photos!  They might even make a nice stocking filler!

If you’d like one (there is a limited number), you can book yours right here.

Oldfarm Calendar 2018



Friday Photo

He chose a cold November day to go for his first swim!

First swim

Friday Photo

Old man and the sea!!!!

Old man and the sea

Friday Photo


A lesson learned

In fact a very expensive lesson learned….

I am telling this story in the hope it will save someone out there from making the same mistake I did, and will ultimately save you money.

Back in 2009 for various reasons we downsized to one car.  It just made sense, we were both at home, and with a bit of organisation we could operate with a single vehicle.  I did at the time insist that I be a named driver on Alfie’s car.

This year we decided to change the car.

Like me, you’ve probably all heard and read about how car insurance has gone up in price.  Insurance companies aren’t supposed to discriminate between male and female drivers, but we thought let’s check out if there is a difference between having me as the main driver or Alfie as the main driver.

There was a significant monetary difference.  There was even a significant price difference between companies.

In the end the best quote came from Its4women.ie, so we opted for them.  They are an online company so we completed all the details and sent off the money. (And no we hadn’t gone through the endless “t&c’s on their portal”.)  Stupid of us in retrospect.  There was some paperwork that had to be sent to them ‘hard copy’.  It was sent off.

Now here’s the thing with dealing with an online company.  I sent off documentation.  I check the ‘portal’ the next few days and it still says we are awaiting documentation.  Has it arrived and not been registered?  Has it got lost in the post?

Trying to speak to someone is difficult.  You can call them, but you must leave a message so they can ring you back.

Eventually I get to speak to someone who tells me that being a ‘named’ driver does not count… that only shows I have ‘driving experience’.  It does not say that I have a ‘no claims bonus’.    The price for my insurance policy has now gone from €500 to €1,900.

The fact that since 2009, on a one car policy, there has been no claim at all, that counts for nothing?

Photo courtesy of Confused.com

I subsequently learned from a much more ‘customer friendly’ insurance company that a being a named driver actually doesn’t count for anything… and that your ‘no claims bonus’ expires after 2 years.

All that was bad enough.

However, because we had to cancel the Its4Women policy…. they charge a whopping 25% cancellation fee for a policy that was in effect for just 3 weeks!!!

Rip off or what?

Please learn from our mistake.