Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Seaside Grazing For The Girls.


Here's a blurry picture of my cattle taken this morning from a distance on the old mobile phone.  We live in the countryside next (Bantry Bay) to the sea.  That's the Beara Peninsula across the bay.  I often think if we lived in a tourist area in say England or Portugal.  The land would be full of hotels, villas and campsites.  But it's not, it's rural Ireland.  The land is used for cattle and sheep and growing hay and silage.





 There are houses and farms but very little infrastructure where we live.  There is no public transport or shops or a pub or even a bottle bank on the North side of the Sheep's Head Peninsula.  But it's a beautiful place and I always wanted to live here.  I think most rural places lack infrastructure.
 Bracken the Shetland pony eating the 'Furze' (Gorse) flowers.  He uses the electricity cable straining pole to scratch his back.  The Furze flowers smell like Sun tan lotion at the moment.  The fields are abundant with cuckoo flowers too.  I have not put out 'bag manure' (granulated fertilizer) this year.  Don't think we will need it with only having 6 yearling heifers.  Apart from the odd worming injection.  You could say we are almost organic.

Think we will buy hay this year instead of growing silage.  There won't be the huge expense of paying silage contractors to make it for us.  I will buy small square bales of hay for new calf replacements in the Autumn.  Or if the pasture gets too strong and in front of the cattle we will make some hay ourselves.  It all depends on if they eat the grass and what the weather is like.

John Seymour wrote: "When you buy hay you buy land."  Think he had a point.



30 comments:

  1. It sounds so idyllic even though it's quite rural, that's a rare thing these days.

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  2. It's a beautiful place BG but like most most rural areas these days there isn't much infrastructure. Thanks!

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  3. So Dave have you heard of this saying:
    When furze is in flower kissing is in season ?

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    1. Yes Heron I know that one. Furze flowers most months of the year. Thanks!

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  4. It's beautiful out there Dave, can you remember I think it was in McCarthys Bar when Pete McCarthy said, if SW Cork had guaranteed wall to wall sunshine it would be covered in hotels and high risers :)
    I think it's a little bit of Heaven (although living in the sticks myself realise it's more fun just to visit places with no shops and a very limited bus service :) than it is to live in them sometimes. I remind myself to enjoy the views, when we've run out of milk and the nearest open shop is 6 miles away and the car is parked outside hubby's office and there are no buses that go by the shops !!
    Twiggy

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  5. Hi Twiggy. Yes Pete MvCarthy talked about bungalow blight also. He said a great one liner about and old farmer being asked what was the difference between Fine Gael and Fine Gael and Fine Fail. He replied:

    "Shit and shite."

    It's appropriate for next weeks general election in Britain.
    Property is a lot cheaper here than in Southern England. I wish somebody would build an hotel near us with a bar and create some jobs instead of miles of fields and a bay with a few oil tankers and fishing boats.

    I would love a bus to take me to town on a Saturday night for a few pints and watch a rock band. Towns have everything don't they? We like going to Cork and Killarney and Tralee for the big stores and public transport. Thanks Twiggy.

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    1. I love that Dave, shit and shite.
      Think over here our choices will be shit, shitter, shittest :) although I have no idea in what order. Where we are we, are also voting for our parish councillor and that's the only vote I am sure about.
      A fab bloke who has lived in the village for 50 years and been a councillor since 1974, a proper man of the people, he makes promises and keeps them, a true gent and a lovely fella.

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    2. Yes it's a good one Twiggy. I think most people are disillusioned with the main political parties in Britain and Ireland. I wish the Greens and the Labour party joined together and I like the leader of the SNP and her policy on getting rid of nuclear weapons. Sounds like you have got a great councillor.

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  6. I went for a walk across some Irish fields and came unexpectedly to a pub in the middle of nowhere but near the sea. The sign said 'Next pint of Guinness 3,000 miles" and pointed west. I met a woman who hadn't locked her door in fifty years. Somebody passing on their way to church might want to use the toilet she said. Ireland is a really special land. And the people I met there were too.

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    1. What beautiful prose, Gwil. Is that your own words or an extract from a book? You sum up rural Ireland wonderfully!

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  7. Why do people move to the countryside and then complain about it?

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    1. I think it's different going on holiday and actually living there, Irene. I read a brilliant book called: "Out Of Your Townie Mind". In the introduuction the author says:

      According to recent research, as many as 40 percent of people who move out of the cities and into the countryside end up returning to the city because rural life doesn't agree with them.

      I just want basic facilities like public transport, library buses, bottle and litter banks, jobs, a shop or a pub. Just the usual day to day things that people in towns, villages and cities have. We rural dwellers pay an house hold property tax and get nothing in return. Thanks!

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    2. Hey Dave !
      They repair the roads every twenty years and in between times they fill in the potholes when they have time, plus every time both of the hedges meet in the middle of the road they trim them back and one main advantage is that the Garda drive by at least once a year. When I moved here 25 years ago the nearest village had two pubs, they are both now shut, so at least we don't have any drunks lolling around or falling asleep on the bar. I can't see or hear my neighbours because they are hidden in the folds of the land.
      I take my household waste into Lidls and put in their bin once a week and the recycling I take to the nearest centre whenever the shed is full. The Household Charge is a mere pittance which am glad to pay as long as the Garda stay away.

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    3. That's is very good Heron. We pay a contractor to cut our roadside hedges.
      I think it depends who you are and where you live to get any council services. I know villages with bottle banks, a library bus, pavements, street lights and some rural transport. I also know rural places with nothing. Not even a post box or bottle/can bank.

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  8. Replies
    1. It is CT. But we could do with some basic facilities like a shop, pub or a bus. Thanks!

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  9. Bit like some parts of West Cumbria, a lot of the villages have no pub, no shop, no Post Office left.
    Lovely countryside, but as somebody once commented "The view's not very sustaining"

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    1. Hi Cumbrian. Over one thousand rural pubs have closed in rural Ireland since 2007. Wonder if it's because so many young people have emigrated? There doesn't seem to be much talk about rural living in the UK general election campaign.

      My grandmother used to reply to people talking about the view from her farm:

      "The view won't feed you."

      Thanks Cumbrian.

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  10. Not too many people can afford to live in the countryside in the UK Dave, here rural housing and land is cheap, the price goes up if you buy in a town, this is reflected in the household charge. If we wanted buses, pavements, street lighting and noisy pups we would have moved to a town. Our nearest bottle bank is 6k away, we could have our household rubbish collected if we wanted but we just make a three times a year trip to the nearest recycling centre, total cost, less than forty euros a year. We would not swap the clear night sky's for all the facilities in the world. Peace, quiet and tranquillity is priceless.

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    1. Peace and tranquility is great Anne. It would bè nice to have a social life, a shop, pub, jobs and some public transport near us. I only want 21st century basic facilities and amenities. If you don't own a car you can't get about. The average car costs 5000 Euros a year to run alone.

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  11. You live in a wonderful place, Dave, even if the facilities are minimal. We are closer to amenities, but still rural. It took a while to let go of our old UK lifestyle, but now we have got used to being country folk, the thought of going back to live in a city is beyond the scope of our thinking. I suppose we are now addicted to farm life and living in the country!

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    1. Yes it is a wonderful place to live in Vera. It just needs some basic infrastructure. Pubs are essential for community spirit and public transport is good to get you about and meet people. I wish we lived near a train station or on a bus route and I could get about and see some rock music and have a social life. Thanks!

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  12. Replies
    1. Yes it is Kirsty. Herefordshire is beautiful too. Wouldn't mind living there or Cornwall. Thanks!

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  13. We are 8 miles away from our nearest town, I don't drive and my hubs works away in the week. We chose to live here because of what it does not have. One just lives differently, to a different rhythm. If the countryside had all the trappings of towns and cities it wouldn't be countryside.

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  14. It sounds like you are content Irene. We live in a beautiful rural location near the sea. But it would be good to have public transport, a pub, jobs and basic facilities.

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  15. You cant beat living in the country Dave, can you! Lovely to see the photographs and also hear everybody's thoughts here.

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    1. Yes Rachel the country is a nice place to live in. Even better if your near a village with a pub and some public transport and a shop. It's been a really good response to this post and I am grateful for all the comments.

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  16. Infrastructure or not nothing could make me want to live in a city! Grass is growing well here, I'll have to make some hay to keep up.

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    1. I wouldn't mind a few city breaks Kev. It would be great to see some rock concerts and have a few pints now and again. Grass is growing well here. Have you put any fertilizer on it?

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