It’s been 10 months since my last post and an awful lot has happened….
A year ago, I rocked up to the beautiful Ariel House in Dublin with a close friend, to hear two woman speak. What none of us knew at the time, is that Nicola, ‘the naked blondie’ and Fiona‘s evening of honest talk and delicious food would spark something inside me. Nicola spoke of losing over 8 stone and has since gone on to set up the The Naked Meat Company, she’s such an inspiration. Fiona is a food blogger who I’d been following for a while, she’d launched the amazing children’s book series Freddy Buttons, after nearly loosing everything following the recession. I found myself telling a room full of strangers that I was working myself into the ground, doing far too many hours and commuting for far too long every day. That night I realised that these were two normal woman were living their dreams. It was time to start living mine.
Within a couple of months I given up my job and had moved to the other side of the country! That sounds a lot easier than it actually was…
We’re never, ever, EVER, ever moving again. Dr Doolittle did most of of the packing; well he emptied cupboards into a boxes, and if there was the tiniest bit of space left , he’d fill it with something random. To add to the chaos, he marked all the boxes ‘kitchen’. All of them!
It’s stunning, it’s beautiful, it’s peaceful, it’s heaven. We’re so lucky to be able to live in the middle of nowhere again. The Glen House was mind-blowing, but this house is uncomplicated. Perfect little rooms, simple windows, a front door that opens in two and thick, thick walls make up this small farm house. It’s like a mini version of River Cottage, the famous residence of the cook/writer Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall!The land has already proved fruitful, providing us with peas, beans, tomatoes and apples. The plan over the coming years is to expand our fruit and vegetable production to become a lot more self sufficient.
We live near the little village of Cong in County Mayo, made famous by the John Wayne/ Maureen O’Hara film ‘The Quiet Man’. People kept asking why we’d chosen this part of the country? Well the food is fantastic! Cong is becoming a destination for foodies, with wonderful eateries and the world’s best hotel!
The Hungry Monk is a small cafe in the village, that sells the famous ‘salad of lovely things’, as well as delicious homemade treats. I love the decor, painted, shabby chic furniture and textured walls! We popped in on our 2nd ever visit to Cong, earlier this year and fell in love with the place. Aisling and Johnathan have remembered us ever since…
Pat Cohan’s Bar serves the best pub food in the world! Whether it’s the delicious lamb hotpot or Granny Newells trifle, it’s all tasty and fresh. I had the great pleasure of working in the gastro-pub for a couple of months when we moved, it taught me so much. I saw how difficult it is to run a small food business, even if it’s a successful one. I came to realise that just because I make damn good cake and have plenty of business and managerial experience, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll get to open a tea shop. The hard truth is, unless I find a fairy godmother with some serious cash to help me start the business and keep it going in the first year, it won’t succeed.
So here I am, with a new life laid out in front of me. I’ve no idea what will happen next (apart from marrying Dr Doolittle next year)!