It’s Icy!

It probably is where you are too, well, in the UK anyway, I’ve seen some pictures. Even of some snow in Scotland! It’s just very frosty here.

It’s funny where I have random thoughts, or, not so random. I’ve just been outside, putting the bins out, getting wood out of the wood store and cutting kindling and as I was cutting the kindling I remembered a time in my life when I didn’t have any fuel for the fire. In fact, at that particular time, I can remember actually going out to try and find random bits of wood lying around and actually looking around my house to see what I could burn. We lived in a terraced house in a town and it didn’t have central heating, but we did have a fire. But at that point, I didn’t have any spare money to actually spend on fuel for the fire, never mind trees to chop down to use.

From memory, I think we ended up using oil filled radiators, albeit minimally, and having a massive electric bill after winter ended, which made the financial situation a lot worse. It was also pretty normal to wear hats and extra clothes in bed and we had a halogen heater each in the bedroom. (This was before I met Chris.)

I’d just become a Christian when I was in this state and on the surface was quite a decent earner compared to some, and I was working two jobs, but we were in a lot of debt. And it all got sorted over the next few years, mainly thanks to being put in touch with Christians against Poverty. It also took some hard decisions and rethinking about how to use money. It really is a different life now. But I’m so aware that there are still a lot of people in a bad way, some, that are keeping it a secret.

It still knocks me for six when I remember what it was like, just how skint we actually were and that it was largely down to my decisions. I felt so ashamed, but then when I got referred for Christians against poverty to take me on and help, they took on the job of speaking to the creditors and arranging payment plans. They took it away from me, which was amazing, because a certain bank kept ringing and ringing and it was very stressful and upsetting and CAP just said, stop answering, they know we have taken over, there is no need for them to contact you. It was like being set free. Also, they never, ever, treated me like ‘this is your fault’, there was absolutely no blame, just gentle honesty and help. It was amazing. There was also a money course that was excellent (you had to do it at the time if you wanted referring), I still use the principles today and I would never take out any credit now unless it was unavoidable.

So, yeah, memory lane right there. And here we are now, with our own wood supply and home, growing some of our own food. God really does change lives. If you are struggling, please see if you can get help. It depends where you are as to what help you can access, but in the UK, I can definitely recommend Christians against Poverty – In Ireland, it seems a little more complicated, there is the St Vincent de Paul society but I’ve seen quite a few comments that people have contacted them and haven’t had much success, but still try There are also quite a few local things that have been started by people who care about people in poverty, but seems very variable around the country unfortunately. But there are still people there who care, please don’t keep it to yourself if you can’t afford food or fuel. There are people who have even taken their own lives over it, please don’t do that, you are far too precious to do that.

Now, I’m going to end there. Thank you God that you are in the business of restoring people and loving people, through your people. Amen!

Lighten up.

There was a voice in my head this morning, whilst we were shopping, saying ‘lighten up’, so maybe I will (maybe). We did actually have a really nice shopping outing after that. So, I thought I’d give a few updates from our recent ish life here in Ireland. A few anecdotes as such…not that they’re very light… a strange selection of tales really.

Our eldest chipped one of his front teeth a month or so ago. He and his brother were doing YouTube exercises and having a wonderful time, until they bashed heads. Then there was screaming and J holding his mouth and saying, ‘what’s this?’. It was a bit of chipped tooth and a bleeding lip. Strangely, I wasn’t actually sure what to do, I’m normally pretty clued in with injuries. I had vague memories of being told to put teeth in milk and all that. So I googled it and decided I needed to ring the dentist. It wasn’t classed as an emergency, so he got an appointment for a week’s time. They were really good with him, it has to be said, the dentist was lovely. It was J’s first time, so I wasn’t sure how he would react, but he listened and did what was asked and stayed very calm. (I was over the moon.) So while I wrestled with his little brother in the corner of the room, J got inspected, the tooth got sealed?? (it was a permanent tooth) and sorted. We have to return in December.

The thing that always gets me here is you have to pay for children’s dental care at a normal dentist. It’s very different to the UK, even if you have a medical card, which generally helps with payments, you still have to pay for your child. You have to pay for medical prescriptions too. I got told whilst there, there is a school dental service which we are still eligible for, even though we home educate, but there is a waiting list. I still don’t really get it, I don’t get what they do or how it works. I know in the UK, the dentist just encouraged us to bring our little ones with us when we had check ups so they would get used to it. But here, it’s just not like that. It seems to be very, only go if you have a problem. Correct me if you’re reading this and I’m wrong… So, we paid around 90 euro for J’s care and there will be a check up charge when we return. I’ve looked up the school service but not had much joy finding anything out about it yet, I will continue looking though. We find the health system here quite confusing it has to be said. It also shows how spoilt/well looked after we’ve been in the past in the UK I suppose! J seems fine by the way and so is I’s head. I guess if you’re private, in the UK, that might not be free either mind. We always had NHS care.

Although, talking of heads, I (littlest brother) had an epic freak out one night a few weeks ago, I was in the bathroom and he’d just left to go into the dining room, he wan’t happy. I heard a thud and a shriek and crying. He’d bashed his head (hard by the looks of it) on the corner of the dining table (I can only presume whilst throwing himself about) and gashed it. Here, I come into my element nowadays. We’ve had a fair few head lacerations since we’ve been here, so out come the saline, gauze, steristrips and dressing. This is where I feel like a nurse again…and ta da! He’s now healed and fine again. When we had a bit of an accident out walking and had a bit of a failed A&E trip, it triggered me into sorting out my first aid supplies, so we’ve usually got a fair bit in stock nowadays, as well as a small transportable kit. He’s fine now, he does seem a little prone to it though. I have to say, I hate that moment of pushing back the fringe to see the damage…

One more medical one. I got woken up in the middle of the night by one of the boys the other week, he was holding the lower centre of his abdomen and saying he had dreadful pain, he was literally hobbling. I decided not to panic and got him downstairs, so the noise didn’t wake the other one. Two would be harder, especially to get back to sleep. I then questioned him and felt his tummy (with difficulty, he didn’t want me near it). I do wonder how parents get on sometimes, I have some training so have a good idea on what is a sign of what, but most can’t know that, can they? Even I was in two minds whether he needed attention or not, but as I’ve made up my mind not to use hospitals unless we absolutely need to, and due to the fact there were no other symptoms to suggest something serious, and where the pain was did not suggest it either. I decided not to alert anyone and it turned out, in the morning, he was absolutely fine with no further symptoms. I wouldn’t have blamed anyone for getting emergency services involved though if it happened to them. It’s very disconcerting and worrying when it happens. I was praying all night after he’d gone back to bed that he’d be ok, even though I knew it was very likely he would be.

Last story, my glasses broke again last week, I’m a bit renowned for breaking my glasses. I was just stood by the front door, waiting for the dog to do his business, when bang, a lens fell out onto the floor. I found it (with difficulty lol) and on peering at my glasses, realised it was beyond my repairing (probably with sellotape) capabilities. So, I extricated my old glasses from the kitchen windowsill where I’d left them quite a while ago and whose arm actually did need fastening back on with sellotape, put them on and realised that my eyesight had become quite a lot worse since I’d used them… I had to hold anything at arm’s length to even have a chance of reading whatever it was. I was trying to text a friend the next morning and it was hilarious, glasses dropping off, phone at arms length…. So, the next day, off we all toddled, dropped Chris off at work and made our way to the opticians to see if they could do anything. Turns out they only opened at 9:30, so we had to go to a cafe, which was awesome! We love cafes. Then, we went to see them. It was quite funny, because the lady on reception looked at them and said, oh yes, they’ve been quite badly damaged haven’t they? and I said, well I think so, yes, quite some time ago. She then said, how did they get this badly damaged? and I said, ‘well… I think… I might have stood on them, I can’t really remember’. How stupid is that? I ‘think’ I might have stood on them. The things I say when I’m embarrassed. I actually remembered afterwards that I’d put them on the floor whilst I laid down on the rug and then because of how blind I’ve become, stood on them before I remembered they were there. And, of course, that damaged the frame, so at some point the lens was going to drop out…. My response makes me laugh. Anyway! I left them with her, with doubtful promises to see what they could do and when I returned, they’d mended them, not 100% they kept saying, but they’re brilliant. I’ve never appreciated my glasses so much ever. I’ve been quite resentful of the fact that I even have to wear them (I hate the fact that I can’t see to read), but (at the moment) the resentment has gone and I’m loving that they’re even a proper shape for wearing again! yes! (And the repair was free.)

And so, I’ll leave it at that for now, I think. I like everyday occurrences. I think they’re often amusing and interesting. Whether you do, I’ll leave that for you to decide.

Goodbye, goodbyeee, goodbyeee.


Hello my lovelies.

Hello my lovelies! Do you know, my dad used to call me that. When I saw him, he’d say ‘hello my lovely’. At the risk of sounding repetitive, it’s a really lovely thing to say and mean to someone. I miss my dad a lot.

Life here has been ongoing as usual, home ed’ing, `starting to finish up the gardening and tidying up a bit, attempting to sort the house out, baking, cooking, Chris working and making things of use as always, he’s very good at it and of course I’ve been sorting out the ducks and chickens.

Life seems to have gone really quickly this year, summer has flown, the growing is almost over, as in planting. We’ve got a few things to over winter – purple sprouting broccoli, cabbages, leeks, spring onions, but most things are at an end. I’ve just got rid of the last tomato plants out of the tunnel. The ducks are now in there for their winter home and were making a mess of the mats I have down to stop weeds, so everything is coming up and it’s being cleared. Since the ducks have been in the tunnel we’ve actually been having some eggs! The magpies and crows can’t get at them any more, so we have them. The chickens have stopped laying for the winter and the ducks have started! it’s only a couple a day, but they are so good for baking.

Isn’t grief weird? Going back to the comment about my dad. It comes and then it backs off and then flattens you again and then retreats and then punches you in the gut again and then ebbs again. It’s very strange and it’s very hard. It makes you (or me anyway) also think about different things in relation to that grief, such as the past/history, the future, how quickly life goes, how different it is from one decade to the other, or even from one day to another, how nothing is actually predictable and also about how much we value stuff and ways of being that actually mean nothing. You know, things that meant so much 10/20 years ago, opinions, feelings, things, actually mean so little now. People really do matter, God and then people.

I’m extremely grateful for my dad. I might not have always said that. In my younger days I could be extremely arrogant and extremely self centred and self pitying and there are times where I felt extreme resentment against my family for no good reason really, just for the fact that they were fallible and human. Just like all of us. I’m glad he saw what God did with me, that I was restored and made into a decent human being, that he saw me out of debt and married and with a larger family. That he saw me happy and in a better relationship with him and the rest of my family. I’m very grateful for that, and I am absolutely certain that I need to thank God for that. He is the one who redeems, no one and nothing else does.

So, I’m not sharing to facebook this time, I’m off it (and instagram) for November. I needed a break from all the information overload and I kept going on it repeatedly and just doing the scrolling thing. I have to say, life has been a lot better without it in most ways. I actually felt like I was withdrawing for a short time too! How bizarre is that?? Now I don’t, I feel quite ecstatic!

So goodbye! for now.


Write until you can write!

I’ve just been looking and it’s been about two months since the last blog, so hi to everyone. The absolute last post I did also seems to have disappeared off the blog for some reason, but never mind, it doesn’t really matter. I’ve had a bit of a writer’s block again, so as the title says, I’m writing til I write.

So, since the last smallholding type jobbo – the ducks have been outside for ages now, they’re massive and all grown up looking, there’s one drake now and 3 girls, which will be fine for now. One of the girls got eaten by a predator so I’ve moved the rest to a more secure run now.

The growing has been going really well in general. The tomato plants are massive but are actually really late in producing tomatoes, they’ve come now, but aren’t red yet. There’s nothing wrong with them and they’re growing well, they’re just late. I can only put it down to the fact that it was really quite cold here right up to July time. Same with the cucumbers, they’re starting to grow, but only just starting. The gherkins are nearly ready for pickling.

We’ve had tons of celery, we had a good amount of new potatoes which have since been eaten and also put into celery soup which I’ve portioned and frozen. We’ve now got green beans, swedes, spring onions and lettuce growing in that bed. The maincrop potatoes should be ready soon and the sprouts and leeks will be ready in the winter/spring I would think. I’ve also got some purple sprouting broccoli to plant out and some more cabbage.

The runner beans are growing well in the greenhouse, I think I’m going to leave them on the plants and let them dry so I can use them as kidney beans. I do cook chilli quite a bit. The peas have not done brilliantly inside, if we do them next year, they’ll be outside. The kids have loved what we have produced though. I’ve also got haricot beans growing, which again I think I’m going to let them grow and dry. Could maybe make baked beans and add them to stews and all that in the future. I’m trying to store quite a bit for use over the winter. Not sure how effective it will be, but it will be more than we’ve previously managed! So that is good. Oh yeah, I cut the broad bean plants down to ground level because that’s apparently what you do (they put nitrogen into the soil as they rot off) and three have grown again and are flowering! Bonus!

Since the last post, we’ve also had visitors for a week. Chris’s parents came to see us. They stayed elsewhere but visited every day. It was great, It had been three years since we’d seen them in person. Three years is quite a while, especially when you have young children, they grow and change so fast. That’s one of the main things that bothers me about moving here. But strangely, it also didn’t feel as though it had been three years too, so that was good. I am hoping to nip across to see my family at some point, for a weekend or something, but I don’t know when yet.

Travelling is slightly more awkward than it used to be. We only have one car now and a motorbike (plus a normal bike with an engine). So if it is raining hard or if Chris needs the car for some reason, we don’t have it. So we won’t quite have the ease we used to with travelling. It doesn’t make it impossible though. We’ll probably fly in instead of going by boat and have to be collected or get the coach or something. Family, I will let you know I promise (not just turn up haha). I did actually have it really easy a couple of years ago, I just drove back. Home ed makes it really easy as well, we can come whenever we like and J’s passport was sorted very quickly, so that’s no longer a problem. Officially, when you read the rules, you’re not supposed to need a passport to travel between England and Ireland because of the common travel area, but you’re always asked for them at the airport. I suppose it’s probably the most reliable form of ID.

It’s been so hot over the last week, it’s been gorgeous. Thankyou God! It’s meant to be breaking tonight with torrential rain and a storm. Haven’t seen any sign yet, but it’s meant to be on it’s way. Then lower temps and more rain this week. It’s been lovely walking about in my crocs rather than wellies. It hasn’t been as hot as England though, I’m quite grateful for that. There’s been a stream of people driving past our house over the past week with trailer loads of cut turf for the winter fires. That’s something that’s very different about Ireland. We’ve been splitting wood whilst it’s been hot too and Chris is very busy making a log store out of steel. Pictures to come soon.

Anyway, I think that’s more than enough for now. I have plans to write more soon.


I’ve been thinking a lot..

I have been thinking a lot over the past couple of weeks, well, the past couple of years really. But a couple of things have happened recently that’s made me think again. I’ve been taking part in Church in the Peak online meetings since covid first arrived on the scene really, I briefly stopped when I came off facebook for Lent, but I rapidly decided to go back on, just on a Sunday for the meeting. It’s open to all, by the way, no matter where you are in the world physically or spiritually. The facebook page is here: But stemming from that and a conversation with one of the elders, I’ve started meeting up virtually with the small group we used to be part of (a smaller group that usually meets up in someone’s home during the week). I’ve only met up with them once so far, but it was lovely just to see them and hear them and actually talk about God with others. It was wonderful. It also broke my, ‘I’m not going on zoom or anything like it’ fear! It also broke my, I’ve left therefore I don’t belong thing…that’s rubbish, I do.

But anyway, stemming from this and talking to God, I just wanted to lay out part of what’s been on my heart for a long time. Just briefly. And share a word/brief picture that God gave me when we were first here. I don’t think I’ve ever said it, partly because I’ve been a little afraid to (who is she to say that sort of thing, which is not right).

Firstly, the word.

As anybody who’s looked at any of our posts knows, it is a beautiful place. Ireland is a very beautiful place. But in the first months we were here, I was driving back along the road to our house, I glanced briefly at the hills and fields and for a moment, they were black and almost burnt, it looked like a battlefield, it was barren and horrible and then it went back to normal. I felt God said in that moment that it may look lush and green but the picture He showed me was what it was really like underneath in so many ways. A broken place. He then said ‘but I can restore it and bring it to how it looks, I can make it green and lush’.

I’ve thought about this from time to time and prayed sometimes, but I’m going to make this a prayer now, because if he has said this, we need to partner with Him and do it His way. To do and be what he wants us to do and be.

My vision for people in this country is that people, no matter whether they’re Catholic or Protestant or anything else, I don’t care. They will know God, they will know His freedom and His love, they will know life through Jesus. Eternal life which starts now. A turning around of their lives and this country and the UK (I will always have a heart for the UK). More than anything they will be born again worshippers of Jesus and know the love of God and turn to Him and be changed. There will be forgiveness and freedom from sin and shame and both a turning back to Him and restoration and new life of people born again.

Have a good day!



That’s the bath horsed in (to quote Chris)

We have a bath! I can not describe the absolute feeling of glee and pure luxury it gives us. The taps aren’t connected yet because we will need to move it out of the way again for painting etc but we can drain the water out using the plug! It is so much easier and less messy than filling and then pailing out the plaster tub, which we’ve been doing for a year (before that it was a large bucket that we were standing in to wash). I want to re-iterate this, it is awesome! May I never take the ease of a plumbed in bath for granted again. It really is pure luxury. It makes everything seem better weirdly and once in you don’t want to get out. Thank you God for baths and husbands who can fit them.

It’s nearly winter again!

It’s absolutely beautiful here at the moment, cold, but beautiful. In December we will have been in Ireland for a year.

There’s loads to do in the garden and a load of strimming, the last cut before the winter. It’s become apparent that doing all the strimming as well as working full time and doing lots of other stuff in the house, is just too much for Chris, time wise as well as physically, so I’ve volunteered to be chief strimmer (I love doing it) and Chris has fitted me into the harness and shown me how to use it. I’ve only done it once so far, but am raring to go. I need to make the most of rain free days. It also feels really good to do something physical.

The strimming is actually the glamorous bit though, because there’s a load of weeding to do too, in the flower garden and where my veg patch was. It’s on your hands and knees in the wet, wet, soil type weeding, whilst keeping an eye on the kids. I did a bit yesterday, but I need to do a lot more. So it’s one of those just do it, make a choice to enjoy it type jobs really. You can learn a lot from gardening

In the house, It’s been bank holiday weekend this last weekend (yes we get an extra one) and Chris has almost finished tiling the dining room floor. He’s spent about three days on his knees, as well as a full weekend a couple of weeks ago and has done such a good job. It’s going to be so good practically and it’s going to look brilliant when it’s finished. Interesting fact – we chose the same quarry tiles that we had in our old house. We felt it suited the cottage, it was built around 1900 which was also when our terraced house was built.

Doesn’t look very glamourous from the photo, but life isn’t about looking glam..! (wait til it’s cleaned up too.) Chris is really good at doing work like this.

There’s loads I could have spoken about, so much has been going on in both Ireland and the world recently…but I’m choosing today to focus on the house because it’s been so long since I’ve updated and because the topics have probably also been done to death elsewhere…

On a separate note, I’m going through a reading phase, in the past couple of weeks I’ve read ‘The heavenly man’, ‘Run, baby, run’, and ‘God’s Smuggler’. There’s no words really, reading real life accounts about people who’ve put their lives in God’s hands and what he has done. Reading about Brother Yun, in the heavenly man, the suffering (and potential death) and his willingness to face it for Jesus. Andrew going behind the Iron Curtain and the trust in God to provide and protect, Nicky Cruz, who was so messed up, a bloodthirsty gang leader, becoming God’s and then following him, reading about his redemption, hearing his journey in a truthful way… Straight forward, non frothy, real faith and a willingness to do anything and experience anything for God. Breathtaking.

6 Month-Versary

Six months! Really! Another month has passed. I’ve actually found the last month pretty hard, for various reasons. One being, I think if you live somewhere that needs various things doing, for a while it’s ok, then you start (or I do) doing the I wish thing which means you can become a little unhappy with progress. Even though for the length of time we have been here, the transformation is remarkable already.

It’s also difficult sometimes, managing the kids and doing what I have to (or think I have to) do. My mind goes mad sometimes, with alsorts circling around with what I could be doing, what I need to do, what I should be doing….and that is not productive and is very tiring! God calms me. I LOVE the outside of the cottage, the garden, the wood and the field and so do the kids, working outside and planning them when I can is really good.

Chris is also working very hard at work and at home and life sort of just passes by really quickly. I’m sort of managing this a little better now and trying to relax a little, spending focused time with God really, really helps this and being realistic (we simply cannot do everything at once). We are planning on sorting the bathroom out next, but for now we actually have a big plastic plasterer’s tub that we can bath in! We can actually use it as a bath, instead of using a tub and strip washing. It is amazing what sort of difference something like that makes to your attitude! I found it on Amazon and people had put things like this in the comment: ‘if you haven’t got a bath this is amazing, get it’. So I got it..

Next time I put a photo up there will hopefully be a different bath picture to add to the collection. We’re looking at them on t’internet tonight.

So I thought I’d add to the before and after theme:

There are so, so many before and after shots I could do…

I think I’ll leave it at that, I could do pictures of us as a comedy thing..but to be honest we don’t look that different…Chris has lost weight with his job, but that’s it really. I have been ill and stressed recently but apparently look quite good??!!

Ha. Well hello and goodbye for another day. God is good, we are safe, nothing that we rely on is guaranteed, apart from Him, so trust Him.

Couldn’t leave without mentioning the field, its gone from a boggy, reedy, place where you were up to your waist in places in rushes, to a cut, lovely field in which the grass and some flowers are taking over again rather than the rushes. Chris has worked so hard on it and it is really paying off.

Good bye!


Our story so far….June 2019…Hello!

Our story at the moment is that we moved from a terraced house in Derbyshire, England to a dormer style cottage in Southern Leitrim in the Republic of Ireland at the beginning of December 2018. The cottage is in a rural area and we have approximately 3 acres to play with as well as the cottage. We are in the process of doing the cottage up and although stressful at times, it is going well so far! You’ll have to read back over old posts for the details if you are interested. It’s changed a lot so far! It’s now dry for a start….

This is where we now live – a little bit different to a terraced house..

‘We’ consists of myself (Cathy), my husband Chris, and two of our children who are almost 2 and 4 (at the moment obviously). We have two other grown up children as well who are still in the UK.

We are Jesus followers who try to listen to Him and follow Him constantly. We feel that He did bring us here, but I get that a lot of people will think that’s not a real thing..(it is).

I do talk about God quite a bit and what we think He is doing in our lives and I will try and persuade you to seek Him for yourself and ask Him if He is there. The reason I do this is because as far as I’m concerned he is the cure for us all. He is who we all need and it would be very selfish of me to not to try and tell you about Him. Also, our lives are completely entwined with Him and it would be impossible to do a blog without talking about Him to be honest.

Jesus saved my life, He saved my husband’s life, He saved a lot of my friend’s lives and He can save your life…give Him a try.

I do also have a sense of humour and it is quite interesting stuff 😀

Mowing the runway.

Welcome, please read, enjoy, ask questions or whatever, I love doing this blog and I do try to be very honest and open. There were various aims of doing it, to give a realistic view of relocating to a different place/country, specifically a small holding, to tell people about Jesus, to give me an outlet (I love writing) and to keep friends and family updated. I’m hoping some people may also just find it plain old interesting!

Toodle pip…


So I’m going to briefly mention the last few weeks. As I’ve mentioned, I was ill, some sort of viral thing that started as a cold, worsened until I felt like I could hardly move with big temperatures, then as that part improved, moved to my throat and chest. I’m still not quite there yet, my voice is still a little hoarse and I’m still coughing but I feel waaaay better than I did. I can actually do stuff now. With two little ones at home too, it was difficult.

I’m fed up with getting ill, since being here we’ve all been much worse than normal. I’m looking at our diets now and I’m taking supplements too. Exercise is next, once the chest has cleared. And of course, following God closely and perhaps with a little more discipline. Not that this is guaranteed to avoid ill health but it’s something that’s on my mind.

Speaking of which, there’s a song by Bethel called the goodness of God and I listened to it and worshipped to it right up until my dad died. Then I couldn’t, I couldn’t bear to play it. I have been able to play it and sing it today for the first time since. It talks about singing of the goodness of God. He is so patient and kind, I’ve also had some pretty good Godly friends to talk to over the last few weeks/months. Who’ve also spoken God’s words to me and looked after me by pointing me to him. You know who you are, Thankyou.

God always meets you where you are. There’s no need to work anything up, be anything you’re not, just come to him and trust He’s with you and for you even when you can’t feel it or hear Him. Just trust. If you have friends who know Him, try them too.

(that’s my advice anyway)