Thursday, 29 January 2015

A Rural Smallholders Wish List.

I have been thinking ("oh no!") today.  What would I like to improve my quality of life living in rural Ireland next to the sea.  Here's my wish list on a wild and windy January day:

1.  A Pub.  One of those friendly old fashioned pubs that serve 'real ales'.  Probably need to go to England for that!  A pub that served Irish alcohol would suffice.

2.  Public Transport.  Oh to jump on a bus and travel around.  Even if I met a nutter on the bus who said to me: "Eek as anybody seen my camel?"

3.  A shop and a post office.

4.  A community centre with lots of different groups who offer: gardening, smallholding, tractor mechanics, home brewing, creative writing, progressive rock music studies, English Literature...classes.

I have just been asked why women aren't catered for in the above classes?  They are if they like the above.

OK then: knitting, sewing, baking, painting, wood chip wallpaper hanging five pounds per roll...?  Yes I am joking!

5.  Local jobs.  Just part time jobs that you don't have to travel miles too.

6.  A new back.

7. Street Lights.

8.  Pavements.

9.  No Potholes.

10.  Local Football Club. That sold meat and potato pies and somewhere you can call the referee a "nincompoop".

What are we doing living in the countryside?

What would you add to my list?


24 comments:

  1. I would take off street lights, pavements and no potholes because if you add in all of those it becomes a town :o) Agree about the pub though. We don't have one in walking distance and it is high on our list if we ever moved. Post office and local shop...yup, agree too. Both ours are 3 miles away, but at least I can run that distance now in under half an hour if needs be :o) Is your back no better?

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  2. Hi CT. Oh it really frustrates me that you walk along the main road because there are no pavements or street lights and cars hurtle past at 80 k per hour.. Yet villages and towns all have these facilities that we pay for. I sometimes wonder why we pay road tax when the pot holes are never filled up with new tar. We don't even get visited by the library bus.

    Took a day off from physical work yesterday and I felt much better. It's just an old muscle injury that I aggravate when I do physical tasks.

    That's an incredible achievement to run 3 miles in half and hour.

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  3. Can't walk along the main road.. even.

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  4. The lack of verges is perhaps the issue? That and people driving too fast- same thing happens here on our lane. I am frequently to be found waving my fist and turning the air blue with colourful expletives when idiots in 4x4s who use it as a cut through race past me and the dogs. Grrrr :o( I wouldn't want pavements or street lights in the countryside though, it would feel too urban. Dark skies all the way for me :o)

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    1. I recently noticed a walking/joggers lane next to a dual carriage way in county Kerry. I can't see why we can't have rural footpaths and street lighting like people have in villages, towns and cities. You can't safely walk the rural roads here from August until March at night. So unless you drive a car you can't go anywhere.

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    1. Hi Bedford Gypsy. Yes it would be good to have some 2015 modern facilities and a social life. Thanks!

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  6. I like the sound of your perfect village Dave, when you've built it give us a whistle:) think we need to add cracking allotments with someone with a decent back to do the hard graft, while I just ponce about with cuttings :) oh and a good second hand book shop. Sorted.
    Twiggy

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    1. I once lived in a near perfect village in Cheshire, Twiggy. We couldn't afford to live there, sadly. I miss my allotments. There is a lot of camaraderie and "talking" a good allotment. I like the idea of a second hand bookshop. Perhaps they could legalize selling home brew too and we wouldn't want a pub? Thanks!

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  7. You can take out 2 7 8 and 9 for me. Number 3 could be dealt with by opening up a community shop. Number 4 and 5 could be dealt with by doing number 3, I know in some parts of the UK they have done this very thing. Number 1 I think you definitely need the UK for that one, or open your own private pub, that is also being done in the UK.

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  8. I think public transport should be available for everybody Anne. Country dwellers need cars to get about and that can't be good for the environment. I have noticed the English Green Party is pledging public transport in it's manifesto. You don't get to meet many people if you don't have a community centre, shop or a pub. Thanks!

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  9. I forgot Cricket. What could be better than watching a cricket match on a nice sunny day and drink copious pints of real ale?

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  10. Unfortunately Dave most social events seem to be connected one way or another to the church, we've been here over three years and only found out earlier this year that there are weekly card games held in the local primary school as well as various other things, these activities are announced at mass on Sundays. We don't go to mass, the only thing that we get informed about is the Xmas dinner held for all us OAP's in January. I would prefer not to go but as Simon says it's the only time we get to meet other people living in our town land, but apart from our age we have nothing in common with any of them and that includes other Brits living close by.
    There are all sorts of things going on in our local town, 6k away ( what in England we would call a village), but they are all daytime activity's and we are too busy during the day.
    What we would really like would be a good restaurant and an A&E closer than over an hours drive away.

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  11. Yes we are in a similar rural situation Anne. Eight kilometres to town and 90 if you need a maternity hospital or A & E at night. The nearest Church of Ireland and Roman Cchurch is 8 kilometres away, There is a fortnightly RC meeting every 2 weeks in a near old school. Like you we don't attend the church, so we don't hear what's going on.

    Sometimes go town (Bantry) if there is a rock band playing in a pub - rare occasion! This involves taxis or somebody driving and not having a drink. If there was public transport we could have a bit of a social life. Thanks for telling us about your rural situation Anne.

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  12. We're walking distance from 1, about 2 miles from 3 & 4, there's no 2, one 7, no 8 and loads of 9, (don't get me started on them).
    I wish I could help you with 6 Dave.

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  13. Thanks Deb. Sounds like you are far better off than us and have some proper infrastructure. I believe that forty percent of people who move to the countryside move back to the towns. It's good to visit villages, towns and cities to see what facilities people have and what people living in the countryside don't have. Thanks!

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  14. Hello Dave, I have been thinking about this post all weekend, in fact have read it through more than once. I would like a village pub, we don't have one, but I don't think realistically the village is big enough to support one although 20 years ago there were two, one just like someone's front room so Peter tells me. The life of the village revolves around the church like Anne says above. We take the parish magazine to keep up with events. I sometimes go to church but I also go to churches in other parishes because of connections I have with where my mum is buried and I like to go there too. I would like a regular bus service so that I don't have to drive everywhere, I think that would be very good. Apart from that I like it all as it is.

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    1. Hello Rachel. Thanks for thinking about this post. I don't understand why people in rural areas don't have the infrastructure like public transport that people in towns and cities have. It would be great to have a pub, shop and a community centre and some public transport.

      Great win for the Gunners. Sad day for the Villa, one of my teams that I follow. Thanks Rachel.

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  15. No street lights for me please! Our village is well connected with a pub, shops and butchers, and a good train station. Couldn't ask for more really.

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  16. I think it would make the roads a lot safer for pedestrians if we had street lights and pavements on the main roads, Kev. We could make do with a torch but we would need a pavement to walk on. Speed limits could also be reduced to make it safer for pedestrians and cattle on the roads. Sounds like you are well connected. Would love a bus or train station, even a visit by the library bus. Thanks!

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    1. We've even got a little library as well but now I'm just rubbing it in!

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    2. There is a library bus that comes to the other side of our peninsula, but never on our side. You are very lucky to have all those facilities Kev.

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  17. Hello Dave, I just found your blog via Countryside Tales and found your post so thought provoking given Mr Healy-Rae's statement yesterday about the current governments attitude to rural Ireland! I live in a small Irish town (30 000 pop) and am still nodding my head in solidarity with many of the issues you have highlighted, lack of public transport, pot-holes, pavements -our 1st choice school is about 1.5 miles away but has no pavement -impossible for non-drivers like myself. We do however have many clubs and society's that can offer a good social space, perhaps you could set up one, Progressive Rock Fridays perhaps?! :) Take care.
    Shauna.

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  18. Hello Shauna. Thanks for your comments. I think rural life is very peaceful and we live in a beautiful place in the countryside by the sea. But we lack basic infrastructure and the countryside seems so empty in the day time these days. I like visiting Cork and seeing what infrastructure they have there. It would be wonderful to have a bus service, say 3 times a day and night. I do miss rock concerts. Take care and thanks again for your comment!

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