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soapwitch

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« on: April 24, 2021, 06:12 »
I joined the forum a very long time ago when I first started keeping poultry (Chickens, Ducks & Geese) in Birmingham, England, 2008 ish I think. Pre Facebook days for sure. My name was Wildwitchy. I remember Joyful. Iíve just been reading a old thread I wrote about my awful neighbour I had when keeping my poultry. Lmao, what a game that was when I look back.
I now live in Ireland on my own smallholding & itís a absolute joy to behold! I love it. And I have wonderful, lovely neighbours! They are brilliant. My one neighbours are a retired military couple & the other neighbour is a sheep farmer called James who helps me with my own sheep & brings me bales of straw/hay when I need it on his tractor. He also organises the shearers on shearing day for me.
Yes, I own sheep & a goat now as well as numerous chickens & ducks still.
I gave up everything in England. My career, my house, everything. I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Once Iíd fought that, I thought, life is too short. Iím not living next door to a nasty person for the next forever being miserable, working my socks off. I took medical redundancy from nursing, sold the house & here I am. Livin on beans on toast and eggs....making soap & candles for the village.
And the neighbour if youíre wondering, he fell out with the new tenants that moved in & also had a row & fell out with the adjoining neighbour (my friend). They moved about two years after we left. God help their neighbours, I really do!
Iím like a pig in muck here. The people are great & I love living in the countryside.
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« Last Edit: April 24, 2021, 06:19 by soapwitch »
Old account - wildwitchy.
Smallholder & Crafter in County Longford - Chickens, Ducks, Sheep, Goats.
Two Sheep Soapery.

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greenjay

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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2021, 06:59 »
Wow what a lovely place you are obviously a very strong determined person good health and quality of life is everything

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snowdrops

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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2021, 08:28 »
What a wonderful inspirational continuation of your life, how very brave & courageous you are. Next time Iím in that neck of the woods Iíll look out for your soaps  :)
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wighty

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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2021, 17:39 »
I remember you as Wildwitchy.  Good to hear you've found a better pace of life for yourself now after a few trials and tribulations.    Enjoy your new life.

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mumofstig

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« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2021, 08:17 »
After the trials and tribulations  you're now living the good life  :D

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John

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« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2021, 09:18 »
Welcome back! :)
Nothing like a brush with eternity to make you rethink your life.
All that flat land! Totally jealous  :D :D
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soapwitch

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« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2021, 16:23 »
Welcome back! :)
Nothing like a brush with eternity to make you rethink your life.
All that flat land! Totally jealous  :D :D

Thank you John & everyone for the replies. Really lovely. It was something I wanted to all my life. I had a allotment in Birmingham, made Jam (Iíve got your veg & jam book), bread, lived a country life but the city/town was really cramping my spirit. As a child I used to love the countryside & it never left me. I feel so privileged that fate has let this happen in a round about way. When we moved in 2015 staying in the UK wasnít a option with our budget with what I wanted regarding land, a cottage etc so thatís when we looked to Ireland. We really jumped in at the deep end not knowing really anyone over there except a distant cousin for a bit of advice! What a learning curve, lol. So similar to the UK, so very different! The past years have interesting, lots of fun, difficult, massively frustrating (especially with the paperwork/authorities/getting work done) but I wouldnít give it up for anything. I absolutely love it here. I feel like Iíve really come home. The best part is really my neighbour Gabrielle. I really do love her. Sheís a beautiful soul. I go round to see her every other day for a cuppa & a chat.
The land John is very boggy & peaty. My sheep get very black from lying on the ground as the pick up the turf on their fleece. Iím in county Longford in the midlands of Ireland, which is where they manufacture or did do, much of the peat for export/garden use in the UK (Erin peat). They are trying to reduce & stop that now due to environmental pressure. Many of the local bogs have closed & have been flooded. For heating, many rural cottages like mine still rely on cut turf from the bogs (see pic) or coal for their Stanley ranges or multi fuel stoves. People say it will take a while before it ever stops but who knows? During July/August it gets very busy as that is when the turf is cut & get it in the winter months & store it in your shed. It is generally a annual event where people go on the bogs, foot & stack the turf with the family, get bitten by midges :D & have great old day of it.
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« Last Edit: April 25, 2021, 16:26 by soapwitch »

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John

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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2021, 11:51 »
It sounds like you've found your paradise!

Peat and the environment is a whole can of worms - surprised how bright that fire in the stove looks :)

Ireland was dirt cheap back in the 1970s - I remember seeing an entire village for sale in the west at the price of a house in Leamington Spa where we were at that time. Sometimes wish I'd gone for it instead of being safe in a job. We couldn't go back to living in a town now.

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soapwitch

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« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2021, 14:32 »
It sounds like you've found your paradise!

Peat and the environment is a whole can of worms - surprised how bright that fire in the stove looks :)

Ireland was dirt cheap back in the 1970s - I remember seeing an entire village for sale in the west at the price of a house in Leamington Spa where we were at that time. Sometimes wish I'd gone for it instead of being safe in a job. We couldn't go back to living in a town now.

I think there was probably coal in range. If Iím cooking & need it very hot, I use a ovoid type coal which burns very hot & long. She can be a little unpredictable at times & a few times have ended up with burnt offerings but cooks great stews, curries, baked potatoes, bread & cakes like no modern type oven.
Compared to many other places, Ireland still is very cheap. You have to be very savvy. The auctioneers make up their own prices (they can change from one month to the other, go up/down, all over the place, people pretend to buy houses but theyíre not so they donít sell, all kinds of scams, planning regs all over the place or non existent) & are law unto themselves which is completely different to the UK  :lol:
I couldnít go back either, I think it would finish me off  :lol:

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John

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« Reply #9 on: April 26, 2021, 23:21 »
We often watch the ferries going out from Holyhead to Dublin - perhaps we'll be on one soon, it would be nice to visit Ireland. The thing I like about foreign travel is the difference in attitudes and approaches. They usually work for their place.
We have a multifuel here which often gets smokeless ovals in the winter as it burns longer although it needs a bit of housecoal helps get it going. As we lost a couple of trees to storms, next year will be more wood orientated with the ashes going onto the land.
Sheep - lambs are so cute but can't really say the same for their mums!

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snowdrops

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« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2021, 08:14 »
Next time I visit my sister Iíll give you a wave then John, as Iím intending driving over, mind you Iíll have to get a passport now wonít I?

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soapwitch

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« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2021, 14:13 »
We often watch the ferries going out from Holyhead to Dublin - perhaps we'll be on one soon, it would be nice to visit Ireland. The thing I like about foreign travel is the difference in attitudes and approaches. They usually work for their place.
We have a multifuel here which often gets smokeless ovals in the winter as it burns longer although it needs a bit of housecoal helps get it going. As we lost a couple of trees to storms, next year will be more wood orientated with the ashes going onto the land.
Sheep - lambs are so cute but can't really say the same for their mums!

Are you near Holyhead? Itís been a few years since I was there, but used to be a very regular trip for us.
Yes, travel certainly opens the mind. Iíve been to a few countries over the years & theyíve all been interesting.
I have two trees to deal with & chop up. They came down in the storms. This year a sycamore is being heavily cut after nesting, as itís in a dangerous position near the road, so itís got to come down a bit. We get awful storms here & I'm frightened of it either landing on the cottage or in the road on someone/a car.
I do love all sheep, even though they have one hundred ways of getting into trouble.
Next time I visit my sister Iíll give you a wave then John, as Iím intending driving over, mind you Iíll have to get a passport now wonít I?
Where is your sister in Ireland?

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John

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« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2021, 14:32 »
We're a little down from Caernarfon, about 6 miles inland from the airport up a hill so can see much of Anglesey from the front of the house. Sometimes at sunset we can spot Ireland itself :)

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soapwitch

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« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2021, 14:41 »
Wow what a lovely place you are obviously a very strong determined person good health and quality of life is everything
Thank you. I just think you only get one shot at this life, so take it by the horns. Iíve never been one to sit back & let others decide my life for me & I believe no one should do the same either. Life is far too short to be miserable if you can fix it.

I remember you as Wildwitchy.  Good to hear you've found a better pace of life for yourself now after a few trials and tribulations.    Enjoy your new life.
Itís a much slower pace & less frantic. Gentle. Due to the way the authorities are here, youíve just got accept the slowness & thatís it. Waiting for a telephone pole & connection to be installed when we first got here was a bit fraught- that took eight weeks. We had no internet, TV or phone. The OH was pulling his hair out with boredom :lol: I like to read books & kept busy sorting boxes.

What a wonderful inspirational continuation of your life, how very brave & courageous you are. Next time Iím in that neck of the woods Iíll look out for your soaps  :)
Iím not sure about brave. Youíve just got to get on with it. Let me know about the soaps or whatever when youíre over & Iíll oblige. Thank you.

After the trials and tribulations  you're now living the good life  :D
Yes, I feel like Barbara now off the good life.  :lol: My neighbour & I often say that.  :lol:
 
We're a little down from Caernarfon, about 6 miles inland from the airport up a hill so can see much of Anglesey from the front of the house. Sometimes at sunset we can spot Ireland itself :)
Oh lovely. I used to really enjoy the drive through Wales to Holyhead. Such beautiful scenery. We would stop a few times for a lunch break at some nice spots. I liked Snowdonia but the roads in the dark! Flying by the seat of your pants  :lol: Mind, many of the Irish roads Iíve driven on are just as treacherous. We looked at Wales but it was out of our budget. Had many nice holidays around Tenby/Saundersfoot/Pembroke area.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2021, 15:52 by soapwitch »

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wighty

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« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2021, 21:13 »
I know exactly what you mean about a slower pace of life.  The normal saying is that the Isle of Wight is 25 years behind the mainland!  I've been here 30 years now and if we go back to the 'Big Island' (as we call it) I don't like the crowds of people or the amount of traffic.  Here shopkeepers will ignore the next customer to finish the conversation they are having with you. I was only supposed to be here for 5 years but wouldn't live anywhere else now.  The only downside is that bit of water and cost of crossing it.



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