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Sunset shot taken yesterday after all the rain.

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Our 2016 Calendar

For the second year we’ve produced a calendar.  This year we’ve got lots of photographs included in the calendar that haven’t been published elsewhere.

We think you’ll like it.

There are photographs taken here at Oldfarm during the year, but we’ve also included some of the neighbourhood.

Oldfarm Calendar 2016

Oldfarm Calendar 2016

If you’d like to order one – it’s easy – just click here.

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We’ve had some sunny days this week and Polonius took full advantage.

Polonius, our boar, enjoying the sunshine

Polonius, our boar, enjoying the sunshine



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Friday photo

The view from where I'm sitting right now

The view from where I’m sitting right now

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And not just for dinner… for all meals.  I mean dressing the table for meals.

I know, you’ll all think I’m crazy.  I know my neighbours do.  I just like to have the table looking nice for all meals.

Curry night

Curry night


I don’t mean, all formal, with the linen tablecloth and napkins… that I will do for special occasions, and was why I wanted a house with a diningroom.

For everyday eating in the kitchen, I do, however, like nice place settings and serving bowls.  Even when eating al fresco or having a picnic….. it needs to look nice.

There is a saying that ‘we eat with our eyes’.  If that’s the case not only should the food look good, but the way it is presented needs to please us too.


Even if it is just the two of us sitting down to eat, the table must be set properly with the right cutlery, and the correct drinking glasses …. and candles, of course. Yes, I will have the fish knives and forks, the dinner knives and forks, the dessert cutlery, the white wine and red wine glasses.

Nice serving bowls, the correct cutlery and the right drinking glasses are important.

Am I the only one who thinks like this?

I’m often told I’m creating wash-up!!!!  But hey, we have a dishwasher.

And maybe I am creating work, but if you’ve got the nice things why not use them? I don’t usually put what I classify as the ‘good’ drinking glasses in the dishwasher but I came across this product recently…. glass protector.  Now I want to get hold of this and give it a shot. I love their explanations for the ‘cloudy’ look…. think we can blame hard water.

Nor do I put the ‘good’ serving bowls in the dishwasher so there is always an element of hand-washing involved.

Maybe you all think I’m crazy?  Am I?  Do you dress your table for dinner?


Disclaimer:  Finish.ie sent me some of their products to try.



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Just had to share this with you all…. take a look at the labour of love that has gone into this project.


It is 20 years since I last visited this large island in the Rosses, West Donegal

Aran Mór cottage

Situated next door to Owey Island it has about 500 full-time residents, serviced by two car ferries in regular daily crossings

granite boulder wall

What remains of the old wall system are the bouldery granite kind

But the uninhabited northern shore is treachery itself – with cliffs of 120 meters   

cliffs north Aran Mór

A harsh outpost, the lighthouse dates from 1798 – only gulls and sheep left here.

Aran Mór lighthouse

cliffs Aran Mór

Here we find a pristine bog – worked with exactitude and respect – with sods carefully replaced after turf has been extracted.

Upon enquiry, we are told that the man responsible is known as ‘Donnelly’


A rigorous man who, we are told, has also built a mysterious structure high upon a hill above his bog. 

We set to investigate & after a steep climb reach a beautifully crafted road.


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DIY in an old house is never done!  If you’re ever tempted to buy a ‘doer upper’ be aware of this.

Before Christmas, having celebrated our 11th year in this house in October, I finally got the hallway painted.  I was determined to keep the DIY momentum going and was excited to be trying out the much read about Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

My first project for 2015 was re-covering and re-painting our ‘dining room’ chairs. In fact the chairs had originally been our kitchen chairs, but had got a new lease of life in the dining room some years back. They were desperately in need of a face-lift.

Renovating chairs

Renovating chairs

They are just your average melamine chairs, but everything I read said Annie Sloan Chalk Paint was the way to go.    As luck would have it a local shop stocked the infamous paint and a colour was chosen, a pot of paint and wax was bought.  (At the time of buying the paint I wasn’t aware that there were other chalk paint brands!).

Has anyone else used this paint?

The first thing I noticed about it, is that it has a different ‘move’ to it.  There is almost a hesitancy to it as you apply it, but as you work away at it you get used to a different move.  Two coats of paint were applied, and I was mightily impressed with the transformation.

Next it was apply the coating of wax.  To be perfectly honest, I was kind of disappointed initially on applying the wax, it looked messy.  I was advised to give it time and it will ‘settle’.  And it did, and the wax does give the finished product a nicer feel.  Yes, chalk paint, feels like chalk and powdery to touch.

Then it was time to head off to Athlone to find the fabric for the seats.

Fabric was purchased, and thank you so much to Daili Perez (who was visiting at the time) for the help with the re-upholstering.

I’m pleased with the outcome.  Six nice clean, new looking chairs for under €70 🙂

A brand new chair :)

A brand new chair 🙂

Now that I have the bug, I’m looking at other things in the house that could do with a brush up!!!!


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You just gotta love the fact that this cheese is wrapped in lard!!!

Do any Irish cheeses do this?

Fromage Homage

Happy New Year everyone! Okay, I realise I’m a bit on the late side for that but I’ve been so busy lazing about, scoffing festive cheese, that this poor old blog has been a bit neglected. But here I am, pushing away the tumbleweeds and blowing off the cobwebs, ready to start the year afresh. And what better way to leap back into action than with a great big bear of a cheese?

Most cheeses on this blog I forage for but I was lucky enough to be sent this week’s Fromage Friday. I received it a week before Christmas, then my parents arrived and my dad took a serious fancy to it, along with the Other Half who hasn’t stop guzzling it. Or indeed myself. But the cheese lives on. It’s like the tardis of cheeses. So here it is (and I must apologise to any cheese pros for…

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Regular readers will have seen the Friday Photo I posted showing the calendar that we had printed this year.  However, I thought I’d share the ‘story’ behind the calendar.

2015 Oldfarm Calendar

2015 Oldfarm Calendar

One should always share the ‘story’ don’t you think?

My sisters are quite arty….. well able to put pen or brush to paper and produce something.  My Mum discovered the artist within her on retirement and produced some lovely paintings.  Me?  No good at all!

While I loved dressmaking and used to even design and create my own patterns, I could not draw at ALL.  I attended dress-designing classes at one point and used to drive the teacher mad.  I could describe what I expected to achieve but give her no idea visually on it!  But, hey, I could make the pattern – that was just a mathematics exercise – I’m a nerd!

Over the years, I’ve had cameras.  And on occasions produced good snapshots. And then came digital photography….. I found my ‘artistic nirvana’.

I love it.  I’d be happy to go off with the camera every single day.  (Can I win the lottery so I can do this, please!)

Now, I know my photographs aren’t all great.  I’m still learning.  People have often said to me ‘that’s a great shot’, but I’m looking at it and seeing how I could have done better….. I have been well tutored by Suzanna at Zwartbles Ireland.  Go do a day course with her if you get the opportunity…. it will not be wasted…. you will learn so much.

Sometimes though I do knock myself out with the occasional stunning shot.

And so we come to the calendar.

Who hasn’t looked at something/anything and said, sure I could do that myself, or in fact, I’d do better.  Well I was like this and probably driving Alfie mad! Although, to be fair, he’d often say to me…. your photographs are way better than those.

When I won a copy of Catherine at Foxglove Lane’s book (and cards) and read about her venture into self-publishing, it inspired me and kind of instilled a bit of bravery into me.  And, I said, yes, I am going to give it a shot.

The calendar is my little foray into self-publishing.  Not all the photographs included have been taken by me.  Alfie has taken a few.  We’ve been blown away by the number of compliments we’ve received, and by the number of people who’ve purchased a copy.  In fact, we’ve had to do a second print run!

Copies have gone to all corners of the country, and to all corners of the world.  We hope you enjoy the photographs over the coming year which are mostly of moments of life here at Oldfarm.

2015 Oldfarm Calendar

2015 Oldfarm Calendar

Thank you so much for the encouragement!

There are still a few left which can be purchased via our website – www.oldfarm.ie

Happy New Year 🙂


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Aaaw sure aren’t all piglets our heros 🙂

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