40 is one of those birthdays that movies are made about, the ones where all the women are depressed and the men go through some strange mid life crisis. It’s the birthday that you spend drinking wine and feeling terrible that you are 40, thinking your life is now over and it’s all down hill from here, that’s if you are to believe the movies. I turned 40 on Thursday and to be honest I don’t feel any different at all, maybe a little more drive to get into gear and start doing some of the many things on my wish list but more about that in a few minutes. Turning 40 so far for me has been nothing to fear turning 35 was way worse. I found turning 35 really hard and I don’t really know why but it took me ages to get over it.
Turning 40 hasn’t had that effect at all or even anything remotely like what we see in the movies. I have been thinking for a while now about turning 40, how I think it will feel, what I think I should do now, If my life should change or if it’s all over now if I haven’t made it now I never will and I came to some conclusions.
40 is not at all scary in fact its a great number to start taking your life back a little. It’s a good solid age to start some new things, It’s a good age to start to look after yourself a little better than you have for the first 40 and it’s a good age to stop being part of the herd and to finally just be who you want to be.
So for me I plan on challenging myself each year to try some travel if it can at all be done and I know this won’t always be possibly as life will get in the way but its time to start on my travel bucket list and the first one for me is Iceland, Halloween holidays next year. So I will take this full year to save to go and that will be the first on my bucket list ticked off. The second thing I am wanting to do for my 40th year is get fairly good with my camera’s, so for me that means finishing my photography diploma, I am going to join my local camera club and for my 40th I have bought myself an Olympus Pen e-PL 8 in brown. The next thing I would like to do but this is a big ask is to be able to get myself a MacBook pro to write my blog on, edit all my eventually wonderful photos on and write each month for Life Plus magazine. The last thing I want to start for my 40th year is to get a little more active when I can.
So that’s my plans for the coming year nothing huge but a few little bits I want to do that are just for me, not for my husband, the farmer who let me tell you is totally spoiling me this weekend, not for my kids who have also spoilt me this weekend, not for my mum who I care for and not for work, the farm or the riding centre, it is all just for me and only I can make it happen.
So if you are turning 40 don’t fear it just get your ass organised, maker some plans for the year ahead and do some of the things you have always wanted to do.
40 is fabulous.
Warm comfort food,woolly warm jumpers, steaming mugs of coffee, a cosy corner with a warm blanket and a good book or a long walk in the crisp Autumn air , when you think of Autumn what springs to mind ?
For me its all the above and the smell of warm apple crumble straight out of the oven. That warm apple and cinnamon smell that just makes the whole house seem so cosy. The middle farmer came home from work last week with a bucket of fresh apples so I had to make some crumble. The one thing about being coeliac is the flour, it is just rotten in most things and baking is never as nice but I think I nailed this crumble and it was just as nice or nicer than my old recipe for apple crumble. It lasted all of one night and was eaten by all the farmers with custard, what more could you want on a dark Autumn evening only warm crumble and custard.
So here is my apple crumble, if you want to make it and you can use normal flour then just change your flour for normal and leave out the xanthan gum.
- Tray for baking crumble in, I used a glass one.
- I used about 8 apples but use as much you need to have a nice layer in your tin.
- 210g or so of gluten free/ normal flour.
- 2 teaspoons of Xanthan gum if you are using gluten free flour only.
- 50g roughly of porridge oats.
- 70g sugar can use brown or white whichever you have.
- 1 tablespoon of cinnamon.
- 170g butter salted or unsalted butter.
- Peel and cut up your apples put them in your tray and cover with some extra sugar and a good sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Put your flour , oats , sugar , cinnamon and xanthan gum if you are using it into a bowl and then hand mix in the butter till it looks a little like bread crumbs and you have no lumps of butter next. ( leave out your butter for a few hours so its soft makes it so much easier to mix).
- Cover your apples with the crumble mix and then cover it with tin foil for the first 25 mins in the oven, bake at gas mark 5/6, this gives the apple a chance to cook and not just your crumble topping.
- After about 25mins take off the tin foil and put it back in the oven till your crumble topping is nice and golden. Take it out and enjoy with some custard.
So that’s it a very easy and we all think tasty Autumn Apple Crumble hope you enjoy it as much as we all did.
- That it’s still a little too warm for the woolly jumpers yet, still sweating in work when I have one on.
- That Gluten free apple crumble is just as good as one with normal flour.
- That life has gotten in the way of blogging this week.
- That Autumn is still one of my favourite times of year.
- I learned this week about an inspiring Danish fashion labeln called Carcel , Carcel means prison in Spanish and that’s exactly where their beautiful knitwear comes from. Women in prison in Peru for various crimes knit all their items, you can read their stories on the website, the knitwear is really gorgeous but way too expensive for me I am afraid.
- If you also like Autumn then here are some Instagram hashtags to check out full of beautiful Autumn inspiration : #savouringtheseasons , #embracingtheseasons , #aslowmoment , #thisismykingdom , #lovelifeoutside , #slowautumndays , #upandautumn , #mystoryofautumn , #myodetoautumn , #openuptoautumn .
Have a good week everyone !
Where has the time gone? it seems like only a few weeks ago I was all excited about getting the opportunity to write a monthly piece for a new women’s magazine launching the end of September. I was being given a chance to write about something I love but don’t share that much here on the blog for some reason, slow living. Now here we are nearly three months after I submitted my first three pieces to our editor Nicola OHanlon, only three days away from its online launch.
I am still amazed and grateful to Nicola for giving little old me this chance and I am getting to work with some other pretty amazing and talented women. So a little about this new magazine, hands up who loves all the high end fashion magazines? hands up who drools over all the designer clothes? hands up who knows that one they possibly cant afford whats in the pages of the magazine and who also knows that while the latest dress on the very stunning model is amazing not one leg would even fit into it for the rest of us. Well this is the magazine for you, a magazine for all ages, sizes, backgrounds and interests. A magazine full of real life , with real inspiration and realistic goals to reach. This magazine will hopefully leave you inspired when you are finished not wishing you could win the lotto or were a size 0.
I asked Nicola during the week if there was anything she would like me to put in this post and this is what she said about our magazine ” really is meeting women where they are at, encouraging women to see themselves in a more positive light, articles written about real life topics, and having a lifestyle website that is bypassing the celebrity role model and having relateable role models instead.” . We want everyone to enjoy this, get inspiration and bring realistic goals into their own lives.
I am so excited and nervous for Friday which is launch day, I want it so badly to be a success as does everyone else. We want to inspire you all, so now I am going to ask you all to give the magazine a follow on Twitter on our Instagram and to go sign up to our website so you will get a notification the minute it launches on Friday.
There are also two hashtags to use one is the magazine tag which is #lpliving please use it on your social media so we can see what you guys all think and the hashtag for my piece each month is #lpslowlived which I will be using and I hope you will as well.
I wont be able to sleep the next two nights.
On Wednesday and Thursday last week myself and the farmers headed to Europe’s largest outdoor festival ! . When I think of festivals I think of summer time, loads of music, face paints, shorts and fancy wellies and very trendy famous people with farming being the last thing I would think of. Europe’s largest outdoor festival is actually all things farming, food and enterprise with a little bit of music and dancing thrown in but no muddy fields full of tents. The National ploughing Championships this year were on Tues, Wed and Thurs the 19th to 21st of September and was held in Screggan in Co Offaly. The ploughing is a yearly event that over the three days attract over 200,000 people, they come from far and near to see millions of euro worth of machinery, livestock and food. This day out is planned from one year to the other in a lot of houses and we haven’t missed it in years. This is an event for not just the farming community but for everyone as there is just so much to see and do and even though the weather this year on the Wednesday was crap we still wouldn’t have missed it, after all isn’t that what rain gear is for ?
This year was also a little special as the eldest farmer ( on the right) received his award from Dairymaster on the Wednesday and was presented it to him by the Minister for Agriculture, Micheal Creed. The two lads worked hard ( partied hard )on their thesis and it payed off in the end, they both started college together and received their awards together as well.
There were lots of cute animals to see and also a pink Valtra tractor for breast cancer, I couldn’t convince the farmers that we really needed this tractor.
For the last couple of years I have curated the @IrelandsFarmers twitter account on the Wednesday of the ploughing, taking photos and some videos during the day to share with the over 12k followers the account has, this year I got to curate for two days, the Wed and Thurs and it was made extra special as on the Wednesday it and myself were number 1 in the top 5 journalists to follow for the plouging which I was delighted with as its a great account giving people a inside view of real life on a farm. Here is the link below.
We put together a list of the top 5 journalists tweeting from #ploughing17. https://t.co/MLUMACCPCH
So that’s the ploughing over for another year and we are all looking forward to next year already, Roll on September 2018.
Above photo by Elisha Clarke of some of our cute cattle.
This is a subject that from time to time plays on my mind and I know as I write it I will possibly have a hit put on me for not standing by my fellow females. I was born and raised on a farm and from a very early age I was never made feel I couldn’t do anything on the farm I wanted to do, I was never told I should stay inside or that a farm wasn’t really a place for a girl/woman. I went everywhere with my dad from sheep sales to shows and never did I feel I was somewhere I shouldn’t have been. As I got older more and more responsibility was given to me and I was left at times to deal with vets or cattle dealers and what I said to them stood and I was always backed by my Dad. I grew up knowing that I was equal to any man if I so chose to do a certain job from driving a tractor to lambing ewes and all the men I dealt with treated me the same.
I now live with a house of men and I still feel I am treated as an equal, I am not given any special treatment because I am female and am expected to muck in when needed as is everyone else. I am treated with the same respect as the men in the house by anyone who visits and if I happen to meet someone who is old school, and they are a few I make sure they get a little education about women on a farm before I am done with them. Now this is where I think other females are falling down and they are just feeding into the old views of females on farms, I don’t think they are helping change age old views of females on farms. The other day I saw a post on Facebook about men complaining about why do women get cheaper car insurance than men and why have they got their own company who only insure women? this person asked was this not defeating the whole drive for women to be equal? that having groups that were just for females was keeping them isolated , which I am in total agreement with.
I think in farming this isn’t any different ( sorry women ) it is great to have groups where women can meet and socialise, this I agree with but I think to be seen as an equal we need to just mix with the men to be honest, why do we need to meet as a group to talk about what we do for farming or how we are not treated equal at home/ in our community when we should actually be getting out there and going on the same farm walks as the men, going to the same conferences as the men and to local discussion groups so to be honest we become part of the furniture and no one looks twice at us.
There is an old saying in the farming community that women are only good for stopping a gap, taking down tag numbers or doing the paperwork and that is not going to change unless we show just how important those little jobs are to the running of the farm. If we didn’t stop a gap when we are asked the stock would not go where they were supposed to so our input is just as important as the person herding the stock from behind, it’s pretty hard to read tag numbers and write them down at the same time and I am sure no one wants to do paperwork after a long day outside so if we can do it then that frees up time for other jobs, so it’s time for us to show that all those tiny jobs, the ones that have been a laugh over the years are just as important to the running of the farm and should not be a joke and going to all female group meetings is not going to change how we are treated and I am pretty sure if the male farming community started their own men only groups their would be up roar.
I feel as a female in farming us women are our own worst enemy, we love to complain about not being treated equal but to be honest we don’t do much about it and I don’t think female only groups will change how we are seen but will only serve to keep us separate. The best way to change how we are treated is to start at home with your own farmer/ farmers and then start to work outside of that and eventually you will be treated no different to anyone else. We are the only people who can change how we are treated and being involved is the only way to do that, if it’s from keeping the house running, bills paid and a clean supply of work clothes to stopping gaps or milking or tag reading each is just as important to how everything else runs and a progressive farm is going to be the one where it works as a team.
So where are you going to start ?