What is next?

Politics is something I’ve never written about here. Not that I am not interested, it is just that I really do feel it is such a personal choice and decision.

My earliest ‘political’ memory is when I was just over 16 years of age being taken to a political meeting by my Mum.  If I recall correctly I was home from school because of toothache.  The meeting was a morning coffee type of thing, with lots of housewives and Mums there… and 16 year old me!  The guest speaker was the late, Garret FitzGerald.  He was a gentleman and a politician. I honestly have no recollection (and I wasn’t probably interested much) as to what he spoke about.

However, I do remember him singling me out after his talk, and sitting chatting to me about politics. I guess I stuck out in the crowd!  He’s advice was so sound…. I had no idea who/what/if I would ever vote when I got to 18.  He said ‘forget about party politics, and just vote for someone who has the same believes as you.’

the late Garret FitzGerald - photo courtesy of RTE Stills Library

the late Garret FitzGerald – both a gentleman and a politician  – photo courtesy of RTE Stills Library

And that’s the way I have voted since.

I can’t claim to fully understand the voting system in the USA.  Like everyone else outside of USA, I am watching wide-eyed as events unfold.

I naively posted something about the current goings on in USA on Facebook the other evening.  The replies and comments were interesting.  They came from both American and European followers.  So now I am taking this opportunity to air my thoughts.  It would be way too long a post on Facebook!

  • I get it that Donald Trump won the election.
  • I feel sorry for the American voters that they were reduced to a choice of one of two people that polarised them to such an extent.
  • I don’t get that so many ‘sane’ people, and in particular, women, voted for such a despicable and uncouth person.
  • I don’t get that he can enact laws without Congress’ approval.  This screams dictatorship to me.
  • I don’t get that he has surrounded himself with such offensive people.  Mr. Bannon’s stated goal is to infiltrate the Republican party, destroy it and cause national chaos.
  • I don’t get that people can be stopped at the airport from entering the USA because of their country of birth/religion.  What next?  You can’t come here cos you’ve got green eyes/drive a blue car?
  • I don’t get the deafening silence from Capitol Hill.  Where are the senators – both Republican and Democratic?  Are they not allowed to speak out?  Is their role not to legislate?

Looking on from over here…. and, yes, I trust the media reporting on this side of the Atlantic…. all I can think is God help America.

Friday photo

Fresh from the oven….banana bread and white soda bread.

Homemade Irish soda bread and banana bread

Homemade Irish soda bread and banana bread


Our neighbourhood is not a natural tourist destination, nor is it promoted as a tourist destination.  It is quite a hidden gem… almost a secret gem.  So we are delighted to receive the guests who do come our way.

our home

We have met some really lovely people… as has been said so often by guests “we came as strangers and left as friends”.  Perhaps, it is our listing, our reviews, or our location that attracts like-minded people!  We’ve had people from all parts of the world come stay, and many the lively conversation that’s been had over the kitchen table at dinner.

We often wish we could both persuade more people to come, and persuade those who do come to stay for longer.  The #MagicalMidlands has so much to offer – magnificent historical destinations; activities like cycling, hiking, fishing and walking; and, of course, beautiful scenery.

We like to think that by being hosts we are helping our community, bringing tourists to this wonderful part of Ireland, boosting the local economy just a little bit… and, of course, introducing guests to the ‘social dancing’ on Friday nights – always a big hit.

If you are planning a trip to middle Ireland, do stay a while.

We are delighted and thankful that bookings have started to come in for this year.  And, now Minister Heather Humphries, has launched a new Action Plan for Rural Ireland that promises a 12% increase in tourism for 2017…. well, we’ll see…..

As St. Patrick’s Day will give us a long weekend this year, we thought we’d do a special offer to encourage you all to come and visit the #MagicalMidlands.  As we are quite remote, we give guests the option of joining us in the kitchen for dinner.   You will see from our listing that we’re not bad cooks, so good food is guaranteed!

  • Option 1:  2 nights bed and breakfast, and dinner on both evenings at €120 per person – and a bottle of wine with dinner each evening.
  • Option 2:  2 nights bed and breakfast, and dinner on one evening at €95 per person – and a bottle of wine.

There you go folks…. 2 rooms available…. who’s coming?

Friday Photo

I was in Birr today, and popped into Purcell Auctioneers…. oh my the laugh, when I saw these.  This salt and pepper set is coming up in their auction next week.   Yes, Irish people will get this the best… Joe Dolan, salt and pepper pots!  For those not familiar, Joe Dolan was a musical show band legend here in Ireland, for years and years!

Joe Dolan salt and pepper set

Joe Dolan salt and pepper set

Oh, and yes, you can bid on line… and items can be shipped!!!

Friday Photo

View from the office today….

Slieve Blooms

Slieve Blooms with a sprinkling of snow

Time for Tea

Regulars here will know I am passionate about my tea.  I drink a lot of it…. probably too much, but I’m not going to change my habits now!

Despite being gifted a fancy Keurig coffee maker I have not been converted, I am still a tea drinker.

Blue Le Creuset Teapot


Make yourself a cup of tea and have a read of this article which I read with great amusement from the Saturday’s Irish Times –  Denis Fahey’s An Irishman’s Diary about the history of tea in Ireland.

Tea Lunacy

Tea Lunacy

Folks, all us tea drinkers are saved!

We can go mad!

The “Inspectors of Lunatics” have decreed so!  Excessive drinking of ‘stewed’ tea can cause lunacy.

And yes, as I’ve said before, we do use ‘real’ tea here.  And yes, I do use a tea cosy too!  Totally stubborn on how the tea should be made…. I will not be moved on this.

The diversity of the language is brilliant too…. do you ‘brew up’ or do you ‘wet’ the tea ….. it all depends on your nationality seemingly.


Friday Photo

Our ducks enjoying themselves on our neighbours pond!

Ducks on Pond

Ducks on Pond