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Like many villages around Ireland, our local village, Lorrha, has been almost destroyed.

There was a time, long before we came here, when there was I believe a cinema, 2 petrol stations, a post office and 2 pubs, and some shops in the village.  By the time we came here in 2003, all that was left was the shop/post office and 2 pubs.

Then the post office closed down, and it wasn’t long before the shop too closed its doors.

However, not to be defeated by such things, a group of locals came together and formed a committee….. the result is we now have a community shop, run by a group of volunteers.

It is not just a shop.  It is a hub of community activity.  It is a tea room.  It is a tourist information centre.  It is a craft shop showcasing and selling lots of creativity from around our area.

Once again this year I thought of hosting a ‘coffee morning’ as part of the nationwide fundraiser for the Irish Cancer Society.  Then I had a brainwave!  Why host it at home, when it could be hosted in the community shop?  I approached the committee, and they loved the idea.

Smiley face Meringue

Smiley face Meringue

Volunteers were asked to bake and/or donate.  The community came up trumps once again.

Our hospice fundraiser was held this morning.  People came in their droves to support and help, and guess what…. over €1,000 was raised on behalf of North Tipperary Hospice.

How is that for an example of how a community pulling together can overcome challenges and bring lots of positivity into the neighbourhood?

group

 

Well done to everyone, and major thanks from me to those I asked to bake, your help was very much appreciated.

 

Friday Photo

Found this little chap and its sibling in our hay shed yesterday.

Baby Hedgehog

Baby Hedgehog

 

Friday Photo

It has been a while…. so it must be time to share a piggy photo🙂

Oldfarm pig

Oldfarm pig

Oldfarm Granola

I’ve finally found a breakfast cereal that I like!

Not that easy when you have to avoid wheat.  On a side note I challenge you to check cereal boxes across all the brands to find one that does not contain wheat. Even cornflakes contain wheat….. seriously.

And yes, I can hear you all saying, but but but what about porridge!

Here’s the thing folks, I HATE PORRIDGE.  It has to be the most disgusting food of all times.  It is a major source of amusement with Alfie, that I actually make really delicious porridge for others, but won’t touch it myself.

Okay, that’s out of the way.

The only way for me to go was to start making my own breakfast cereal… I chose to make granola.

This recipe is as flexible as you want it to be with regard to what ‘dry goods’ you put in, but the coconut oil and honey are a staple in this house anyway.

I haven’t checked the ‘use by date’, it doesn’t really last that long as guests love it too, but I would say it lasts 2 or 3 weeks in an airtight tin.

Oldfarm Granola

Oldfarm Granola

Ingredients:

  • 300 gr Oatflakes
  • 50 gr Linseed
  • 50 gr. Sunflower and/or Pumpkin seeds
  • 20 gr. Sesame seeds
  • 50 gr. dried fruit – current batch has diced mango in it, but I’ve used cranberries, and sultanas too.
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 40 gr. runny honey

Method:

Preheat oven to 150 deg. centigrade.

Line 2 x swiss roll tin with baking parchment.

Mix all dry ingredients together. Melt coconut oil and honey together, and pour over dry ingredients

Spread mix out on baking parchment.

Bake for 23 minutes.

Allow to cool and store in an airtight tin or jar.

This is how I had mine this morning🙂

Oldfarm Granola with yoghurt and homegrown strawberries

Oldfarm Granola with yoghurt and homegrown strawberries

Enjoy!

 

 

Friday Photo

Evening light in the back garden

Evening light in garden

Evening light in garden

Friday Photo

Our local traffic jam…. and this is the view.

    The view from Portumna BridgeThe view from Portumna Bridge

 

Our BnB Summer

Continuing with how busy this summer has been….

Despite a very slow start on our bookings via AirBnB, once May arrived bookings started to come quick and fast.  And, in fact, kept coming right through to last week.

Now all has gone quiet, but hopefully it will pick up again.

In previous years our guests have been predominantly from US and Canada, but this year visitors have been mainly from Europe, with the occasional Australian or American thrown in too.

Initially I thought that maybe Americans were not travelling because it is an election year, but having discussed it with those who did visit, it seems Americans are afraid of terrorism attacks in Europe.

Isn’t it strange how perspectives can be so diverse?  From here looking on, we’d probably think going to a nightclub or a shopping mall in US could be more dangerous than visiting a city in Europe.  As I say, all about perspective.

As always we have met such lovely people.  Sometimes within minutes of people arriving you feel like you’ve just met an ‘old friend’.  We’ve had some great evenings of chat and banter sitting around the kitchen table.

Friday night guests are usually treated to a visit to Lorrha GAA Club for the social dancing… always a great night…. sometimes a bit of a culture shock for guests.

Thank you so much to all the lovely guests who took time out of their vacation, or the busy lives when they got home to post reviews…. they are very much appreciated.  This one from an Irish guest won our hearts though.

Guest review

Guest review

As bookings were so slow to come in via AirBnB – which has more to do with North Tipperary not being a ‘tourist destination’ than anything else – we decided to look at some of the other platforms out there.  Did you know that there are so many?

We recently had our first booking via Homestay.  I had forgotten that we had even registered on there back in 2013!  It has taken 3 years for us to get a booking… however, it was worth the wait, again we met a lovely couple from Ballymena.

Other platforms include TripAdviser, Wimdu and Flipkey.

Have you ever used any of these platforms?  Which are your favourites?

And, as always, we’d be forever grateful if you can share or recommend us to travelling family and friends.