Our Summer Adventures: Week 1 and 2.


Sorry there was no post yesterday but I want to share with you some of our adventures we are having this summer so I will be posting on a Tuesday now instead of a Monday. For the summer Mondays are mine, the farmer and Sids day off so we are trying to head away from  the yard for that day. So last week it was the farmer who decided where we went and we headed to the beautiful city of Kilkenny. This is a beautiful place to visit with so much to see and do. We parked in the car park beside the river which wasn’t expensive, we were parked most of the day. We headed to the shopping centre first and then back down the town to get some lunch. Now being coeliac getting food out when we are away is always a little nerve wracking because you want to get good food and also not limit the farmers as to where they can eat so we tried Langtons, they had a huge choice for us all and there was no problem with me getting gluten free. After lunch we headed to see the castle which just like something out of a fairy tale. You can go on a tour of the castle but we didn’t we just enjoyed the grounds which has a playground, acres of grass to play on and a beautiful rose garden.

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We then headed back to look at the rest of the shops along the streets of Kilkenny and stopped into a little cafe just across from Kytelers Inn for the best scones and tea I have tasted in ages they even have gluten free. We spent the whole day in Kilkenny and enjoyed every minute of it, its a beautiful place and Sid didn’t get bored once.

So yesterday it was my choice and I brought the farmer and Sid to the Irish national stud and Japanese gardens in Kildare. There is free parking at the stud, there are picnic tables in the car park if you didn’t want to buy food when you were there. It cost 29euro for the three of us to entry the stud which isn’t expensive when you see the size and the up keep of the place. We went to see the gardens first and they are so pretty with a stone track to follow and a map to explain each stop on the way.

Sid loved exploring the gardens and looking into all the little tunnels and caves. When we were finished in the garden we headed to the restaurant for our lunch. It was 33euro for the three of us for our lunch and there are lots of gluten free options on the menu.

We ate our lunch out on the terrace and this was our view along with a swan and her baby.

 

After lunch we headed to the best bit or for me anyway, the stud farm. This place is just a horse lovers dream but it is equally beautiful for anyone. On the stud you get to look around all the stable yards, the stallions have air conditioning in their stables!. You get to meet some mares and their foals, see some of the top stallions they have and meet some legends of racing like Hardy Eustace, who we got to rub he is really friendly.

We got to visit the racing museum, see a video of a foal being born in the stud and learn a little about the man who started the stud back in 1900, Colonel William Hall Walker and how he believed the stars sealed the faith of each foal born and that every horse should be able to see the stars from their stable.

There is a playground near the mares and foals and also a fair door trail right around the stud for the kids to follow. Each fairy they find has an important job on the stud and each child gets a map for them to follow. Sid loved this but he did want to take home this foal, she was such a friendly little thing looking for rubs from everyone who went past. This is a great day out for all the family even if you have no interest in horses and its fully accessible to buggies or wheelchairs.

So there are our first two summer adventures, where have you been this summer on your adventures ? would love to hear all about them.

What I Learned This Week.


  • It’s a dogs life ! This is my shadow who follows me everywhere she can and most mornings sneaks upstairs for a snuggle.
  • That the old ways are still the best sometimes, like leaving Sids porridge out on the window sill to cool down because he is STARVING as he is always telling me.
  • That its good to meet up with family and friends you haven’t seen in years and just catch up.
  • That if you get an invite to one wedding in a year you will get an invite to ten.
  • That its just too warm at the moment for porridge for me.
  • That when the farmers are spreading slurry I need a room that they can leave all their clothes and boots in and get a wash before they come into the house !. The slight smell of slurry in the house is not pleasant.
  • That this years potatoes haven’t reached that burst open dryness yet and they are still really expensive.
  • That you can be a tourist and have a lovely day away less than two hours from home if you set your mind to it.
  • That my gluten free cornflakes has so much more added sugar than just normal cornflakes, which I don’t understand.
  • That the best cup of tea I have had in a cafe in ages and the best gluten free scone I have ever had I got in a little cafe in Kilkenny just across the street from Kytelers Inn in the city. The scone beat the ones I get in Avoca hands down! and the farmer said their normal scones were amazing and only 4.95 for tea/coffee and a scone.

 

So there is what I have learned this week, how has your week been? 

My Perfect Childhood Summers.


My summer childhood memories are some of the best I have of my whole childhood the only thing that might beat them is the horses. My summers started about May when I started to pray the last few days of school away and head to my Grandparents house for the summer, the whole summer, I very seldom ever went home and at the end of the summer I never wanted to go home but that’s another story. The excitement of the last day of school, knowing that possibly that evening or at the latest the next morning I was heading to Courtown for at least two months.

The time was spend swimming everyday twice a day no matter what the weather, playing for hours on the beach with the constant stream of cousins that also came to visit. We spend it getting ready for the kids/teenage disco that was on every week, spending all our money on sweets and bars of Chocolate, having adventures, having many summer crushes and just being kids and teenagers. There was no technology to distract us from our own imaginations, the freedom to come and go as we pleased even with no phones to keep track of us. We went outside in the mornings, managed to be home on time for lunch and dinner, no one ever got lost or into trouble. We were free to be kids, free to explore and free to make friends.

This weekend got me thinking about my summers after I meet some of the many kids/teenagers we spent our summers with for the first time in 25yrs. It got me thinking about my own kids summers, how 25yrs can go by in a flash and how times have changed now for kids.

We used to just sit and talk for hours, kids wouldn’t be able to do that now. We were happy if our Gran gave us enough money to go to the shop in the local caravan park so we could get a bar of chocolate, Mars bars were my weakness. We were happy with swimming everyday and getting the Tv only in the afternoons or evenings. Kids now, even my own kids couldn’t cope with a summer like that they would be bored and have withdrawl symptoms from all the technology they need now. Where has kids getting bored and having to find ways to keep themselves happy gone? My Grandad used to have a saying that drove me mad every time he said it ” only boring people get bored ” , this is what you would hear if anyone said they were bored and now I am older I see he was right. Kids are missing out now on summers like we had, a chance to make amazing memories, a chance to be bored and having to make your own fun so you aren’t bored and the chance to really take in the world around them. I worry that when our kids get to my age they won’t be able to cope with a time when they might not have all the distractions they have now.

I am 39yrs old now and every summer I miss my childhood summers, there are times I wish I was 14 again and for just one day could go back to that time of freedom and fun. A time when the biggest problem we had was if it was a wet day and everyday was an adventure. I haven’t been back to see our old beach or where we used to hangout in years but I will have to take a trip soon and maybe bring Sid minus any technology,let him have a fun day on the beach just me, him and his imagination maybe we would even get a Mars bar at the end.

What were your summers like? what do you miss the most about them ? 

Plans For The Summer.


The count down is on, only three weeks left till myself and Sid are off from school for the summer, eight weeks of being at home all of us together. I try to make plans of some things to do over the summer because if I didn’t the summer weeks would slip by in a blur of farming and horses and housework so having a plan helps us leave the yard an odd day. So here is some of what we want to try do this summer: 

  • Go most days to the International Dublin Horse Show.
  • Climb two locals hills/ mountain.
  • Read at least 3 books over the 8 weeks.
  • Go swimming in the sea.
  • Have a picnic.
  • Go to the cinema.
  • Have fun.

What plans have you for your summer? 

Let A New Year Begin.


Ok hands up who has their new years resolutions done ? Who is sure they will stick to them ? Who just makes them because it’s the done thing ? Well about two years ago I gave up totally on the whole new years resolutions, I NEVER stuck to them EVER so what was the point. I was setting myself up at the start of every year to fail, how can that be a good start to a year. So now I set myself some goals that I aim to reach at some stage during the year, I spend the first few days of the new year getting my diary organised and marking up all of the important dates for our year. I set targets for my hobbies like my blog or social media and this is the year of growth in my social media.

I plan out our days away like the RDS Dublin Horse show which we try to make every day its on and the Ploughing in September, I also want to get away for a few days during the year, maybe even more than the one trip because it is one thing on the farm that is hard to organise, there are so many animals here that need us. I also want to try a little more at making some gluten free cakes and sweet treats and make them taste good which I think might be slightly impossible. I also want to d a little more at pottery, I really enjoyed the little bit I did last year. I also want to up my photography and try to really pick the good ones to post on my Instagram . I have also been asked a good few times are we going to go back daily vlogging this year but we have decided not to because I want to focus more on the blog, so what I am doing and have been since new years day is daily vlogging as such on my Snapchat @ elainslife. We have been sharing our days on it something the same as our daily vlogs, we have been sharing everything from bedtimes to breakfasts, treats to books and some scary just out of bed chats.

We also have a few bits planned for the farm and between all the usual jobs and lambing coming up it’s set to be another busy year.

So that’s my plans for our 2017, have you made any plans for your year ahead ? 

Elaine x

Our Christmas Traditions.


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Christmas time is all about family and building family traditions. Over the years we have built some of our own traditions, things that for us make Christmas. I think traditions are what makes the build up to Christmas so magical for the younger members of the family and for the older ones brings back all the fun memories from when they were younger. They also give a sense of order to a very busy time of year. When I was growing up there was only one tradition that I remember and that was going to visit our neighbour’s on Christmas eve, I remember the excitement of walking home looking at the sky hoping I would see Santa fly by. Christmas wasn’t a huge thing in our house, the tree went up just at Christmas and was down a few days after Christmas and I never got anything I asked for which I could never understand because I wrote a letter and other kids got what they asked for, so for my own family I wanted this to be different. I wanted them to have traditions , to at least get what they asked for within reason and to have the magic of Christmas in the house early in December.

So here are our traditions that have grown over the years:

  • The tree goes up two weeks before Christmas and stays up till little Christmas on the 6th of January.
  • We always have a real tree.
  • Santa’s robin keeps an eye on the littlest farmer in  the run up to Christmas.
  • I try to always get the boys what they ask for if it is within reason.
  • The two older farmers still have to give me a list and eve though they are 21 and 19 they wont know what they are getting because everyone needs some magic on Christmas day.
  • No presents can be opened till Christmas day.
  • We make gingerbread men on Christmas eve to leave out for Santa.
  • Every Christmas eve night we read The night before Christmas.
  • New PJ’s.
  • Myself and the farmer feed all the horses Christmas morning and we open presents when we are back in.

So there are our traditions so far we have started and I would like to add more as the years go on.

What traditions do you have at Christmas ? leave a comment and let me know.

Elaine x