From Clare to here.

In Animals, Gardening, Off the beaten track., sustainable living on October 15, 2011 at 1:42 pm

Spent the last week in County Clare house-sitting for friends. They own this beautiful thatched cottage plus 5 acres of organically farmed land. The rain did’nt stop for the first 2 days but once the animals were looked after I had lots of time for reading and relaxing. There is no TV so I spent lots of time reading from their extensive library. They have a huge collection of books on homesteading, gardening, ecology, beekeeping, cookery and herbalism. All subjects that I too find interesting.

One of my daily tasks was to feed this little Guinea-Pig with milk from a dropper. He is 2 weeks old and his Mum died a week ago. Funny little dude…I called him Gerry…don’t even know if he’s male but somehow the name suited him. He looks rather Squirrel-like does’nt he! He is eating all the usual Guinea-Pig stuff , carrots, apples, hay and grass too so I think he will survive. First time I ever handled a Guinea-Pig.

On the farm there are also Goats, Hens,Sheep and a Cat. This is Goldie and her 2 female kids who are 4 months old. She did’nt need milking as the kids drink all the milk at the moment. Soon they will only spend part of the day with her, she will then be milked to provide milk for the family too.  The kids are already eating hay and grass.

This is Annie, the other female Goat. She did’nt have kids this year. She has a very superior attitude and gives a very dismissive look sometimes!

The drive back home took about 3 hours. I like to take my time and admire the countryside. I avoid motorways and main roads if possible. Yesterday I took a route up the west side of Lough Derg driving through the lovely lakeside village of Mountshannon and on to Portumna. Did’nt have time to stop at the lovely forest walk there…another time. Into County Galway now…stone wall and Sheep country.


Stopped at Creggs which is on the Galway/Roscommon border to take these pics of the stone walls which are such an abiding image of this part of the country. Built with stone from the surrounding land these walls are expertly built and stand strong without any cement or mortar to hold them together. On then up through Roscommon reaching Arigna before darkness fell. Yes…it’s nice to go away now and then…but it’s even nicer to come home again. Home, Sweet, Home.

  1. Love seeing a wee bit of Ireland through your post.So beautiful! My great grandfather and grandmother were Irish, I long to go there someday. So glad you found my blog! I’ll visit here again soon,

  2. Gerry’s so cute! How exciting to have no TV… and so many books… 🙂

  3. I was so sure you had hold of a squirrel there Bridget. (Once, when I was about five, I tried to pet a wild chipmunk. He was sort of backed up against a tree, and he bit my finger!) Those stone walls are so beautiful, works of art. And a thatched roof over rooms full of books. What a nice place to spend a little break.

  4. Aawwww, that guinea pig is soooo sweet! I thought he was a cuddly toy to start with! How wonderful to be without TV for a while and just enjoy reading and relaxing in beautiful countryside. I don’t suppose I’d miss the TV if mine disappeared, but my son might!

  5. Hi Bridget, Gerry is adorable! Your house sitting sounds to have been a bit of a country vacation. It is great that you had time to explore the library’s books and see a little bit of the countryside.

  6. Gerry kinda looks like the gopher from Caddyshack.

  7. Dear Bridget, This is a lovely posting. You live in a beautiful part of the world. What a wonderful house-sitting job you had – so relaxing – and you didn’t even need to milk the goats. I wouldn’t know how – our goat is male (and looks a little like your Smokey.) I hope you have a mild autumn and winter doesn’t come to soon. P. x

  8. I enjoyed a lot this post! It reminded me of when I was very young, we use to house-sit this beautiful house in the countryside, owned by a family friend who had a very big rose garden (she taught me how to love old roses). I remember the smell of the house, all those old books and peeping around the house, like kids do. She only had 3 dogs, I wish we had goats, Guinea-pigs and other animals to look after, must be fun!

  9. Gerry does look very squirrely doesn’t he! He’s a gorgeous looking guinea pig.
    Jane x

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