Our story so far….June 2019… blog intro update…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 πŸ˜€

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…

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Rain!

It’s so wet today it’s unreal. I really want to garden as well. I haven’t really done anything for over two weeks as I’ve been ill (Still not quite right) and away for a short period so the garden is getting covered in weeds because it’s rained so much over the last week. It’s mainly horsetail on one side as well, which is a real pain, I just keep having to hoe it off and I’m aiming to get ground cover plants in to try and squish it. On the plus side, the plants we’ve grown are pretty strong and doing well. We have cosmos, larkspur, sweet peas, cornflowers (blue and black ball), cerinthe, corncockle, calendula and borage plants growing on the front so far. We’ve also got a load of Rudbeckia seedlings to plant as well and even more sweet peas. Chris also bought a lupin (which I really wanted, so it was a nice surprise) and some dahlias, we need to pick a site for them too. At least we now know the plants will grow here, which is brilliant.

A very soggy view through the window.

On the veg side, the second early potatoes are growing well, I haven’t managed to get main crops in yet. The peas and the garlic are growing well, there’s some beetroot seedlings showing now and some parsnip seedlings. I have sweetcorn to plant out and need to plant the runner beans, it should be warm enough now. I planted them too early last year and they didn’t do well. Our strawberry plants are flowering but unfortunately it looks like the raspberry canes have died off, Chris thinks it’s because we had a dry spell and we didn’t water them enough. I’m praying they come back, but we may have to get some more. The cranberry and blueberry bushes are growing really well round the side. I’m still trying to decide what to do with my cucumber and tomato plants as we haven’t yet got a poly tunnel. I might have to pot them on and keep them indoors. I’m pretty sure it’s too windy here to have them outdoors. Oh yes! I have a couple of courgette plants to plant out too. It’s all go…exciting though, eventually I want to be able to grow veg just about all year round for our use. Not sure whether I’ll manage to get all that I want this year, but I’ll try.

Sweet corn plants (they’ve now gone outside)

Animals are currently on hold, I think chickens or ducks will be first, but as there’s pine martens, mink, foxes and badgers around here, we’re going to have to make sure they’re as secure as we can get them. Probably with electric fencing as well as an enclosure. I also feel like I currently have enough on, but it would be good to have chickens again.

5 months!

I’ve just realised we’ve now been here 5 months. Seriously, it’s going so quickly it’s ridiculous.

So what have we learnt in the last 5 months and what has changed?

    God is good, Chris got a job actually in Leitrim in spite of it being thought to be unlikely and there’s been countless other blessings.
    When you feel like you can’t go on, you can.
    We’ve gone from having a dirty, dusty, coaly house to one that just has normal dust and gales no longer blow actually through the house.
    Electricians are difficult to pin down…
    Most of the Irish services we’ve had have been brilliant and turned up on time and done the work excellently. Despite being told by a few people before we came, we would have to constantly be on people’s backs to get stuff done.
    Children love being outside and will always find something to play with.
    I’m less lazy than I was. It’s just harder work than where we lived before. Even getting a wash involves planning!
    It doesn’t matter where you live. Material belongings or eating and drinking don’t satisfy us or make us happy. Only God does and that means we can be anywhere and be content if we live with Him and submit to Him. Put it this way, if you’re not happy in Chesterfield, you probably still won’t be happy in Ireland. Environment matters, but only to a certain extent.
    I’m learning (or trying to) that I can’t have everything immediately). Also, to try and be in the moment I’m in instead of constantly thinking of what I still have to do… I find this difficult.. The house drives me nuts when I let it..
    I can no longer flush anything or wash anything down the drain without thinking. Our water goes straight into the land and the toilet goes into a septic tank..I feel slightly more responsible ‘adult’ now. Fat gets scraped off, food either gets eaten or goes for composting, Bleach generally does not get used…etc etc.. still not queen of the green, but better than I was.
    It is a beautiful place and I am very thankful.
    God has plans for us that we don’t yet know about. I have a real sense of anticipation again. It’s exciting.
  • Oh and that thing we hear about kids no longer bouncing off walls if they get enough time outside… it’s not true..they still bounce off walls and the furniture and the window ledges and anything else you care to mention πŸ˜‚.
  • Au revoir!
  • We’re going out for dinner at a local cafe today. Should be fun!
  • Cathy
  • Here lies the body of…

    only joking! (As Chris would say).

    It’s our outside fire that Chris has made for us. It’s great, the tombstone makes sure the smoke doesn’t go everywhere. Hoping to cook on it sometimes this summer.

    New bed dug today, only a small one. J said he wanted to grow carrots, so I dug one and the seeds are in. I’m not sure whether they’ll work, the seeds are from last year and I’ve never had much success with carrots, but I guess we will soon see. The sticks mark the rows.

    I gave J his own little bit of garden today (he chose it), mainly because he kept running on and digging in the bits I’ve planted. In the photo he is using my early birthday present. He’s really good with it too. It’s a Wolf Garten set, they have interchangeable heads and the ones I chose are a tiller and a weeder. J has also sown some sunflower seeds too today. He seems to really like gardening. Maybe we should start a family business πŸ˜†.

    Empty houses

    Along our road into the village there are quite a few empty cottages/buildings (and none of them seem to be for sale). I decided to take a picture of each one and actually add up how many there are on a relatively small stretch of road (about 2 miles I think). Starting from our end and working our way along the road.

    Number 1.

    An old school.

    Number 2!

    A 1960’s? Bungalow.

    Number 3.

    Number 4.

    Number 5!

    Number 6.

    Number 7.

    Number 8!

    There IS a building behind there, a big old white schoolhouse.

    Gatepost

    the gate to get to the school is almost hidden in this undergrowth.

    So! 8 in total along a small stretch of road. I hope nobody would mind me photographing their building. (let me know if you read this and do.) 8! Two school houses included, on that short stretch. They are owned and apparently some have land with them that is used for farming.

    The older locals who can remember the schools being open say it used to be fairly busy round here and now it isn’t. Mind, apparently there were 9 children that lived in our cottage at one time, so that in itself is a lot of people I suppose. 11 people in one little house! My word, we really don’t know we’re born sometimes! It would have been very basic as well. It would be lovely to see the place becoming busier and more populated again though.

    There is a fella who’s doing a place up further up the road in the other direction (when he’s in Ireland), who visited relatives in our cottage as a child and is hopefully going to bring some photos of the kitchen when it had an open fire that they cooked on. Really looking forward to seeing them.

    Night!

    Cathy

    School?

    So today we nipped into a local pre school to have a look and see whether there are any places for J. J was very well behaved, it must be said, he looked round carefully, played with some play dough, pursed his lips and shook his head. We got outside and he said very calmly “I’m not going and I am NOT going to change my mind”.

    We are currently in negotiations πŸ˜‚

    (Meanwhile littlest was yelling because he couldn’t go in with the little ones, he was raring to go)

    This was yesterday in our little wooded area. I have to say I can see his point… I’ve never liked classrooms either. ( No detriment to the preschool, they were lovely and there was lots of activities and messy play).

    Month 4 in the Shepherd house!…

    It feels like longer than 4 months strangely.

    So this morning I went to get the headlights focused on the car so it’ll pass the NCT to be told it’s better to have it done just before as a slight bump can affect them…how silly is that? That it can fail because you go over a bump..anyway! We’re going back next week to have them done.

    We’ve also been outside again, I’ve done a bit of digging, J has been using the loppers (he really enjoys it) and littlest has been playing. Chris hasn’t been very well at all and has been off work and in bed, he has a sickness bug we think. He must be ill, he’s refused nearly all food and drink apart from water 😢

    It’s a lovely day, it’s meant to be cloudy but it isn’t. It was a shame to come in. In fact J is creating because I’ve just brought them in…

    starting a little bit of an experiment outdoors, nothing major but I’ll see how it goes! (see above circle). more to come…I’m still deciding on the exact plan..

    The soil is majorly wet on the back of the veg plot so I’ve tried to cut a bit of drainage into the bed I’ve dug. It’ll hopefully dry out again over the next few days.

    it’s so strange what you find when you’re digging, today it was a little clear bottle and some cutlery.

    and before anyone says it, no I don’t think the cutlery is worth anything.

    The bottle is a lot smaller and cuter then it looks there.

    I’ve decided I need to start painting the walls soon…I may start with our bedroom (as soon as it becomes a bedroom and I’m not going to step on a plane…)

    really need to get a shed sorted!..