I am back from France, a slightly different color and with what feels like two fat ducks strapped around my waist. We ate a lot.. After the second week I forgot what I was meant to be worried about, so the holiday obviously worked. Both of the girls are swimming without arm bands which is brilliant (all those swimming lessons paid off at last). We stayed an extra week because the first week it rained, which is very unusual for the midi-Pyrenees in July. 

When I got home the thing that hit me straight away was the lovely fresh summer air with no humidity and also the absence of scary creatures such as hornets and snakes.

There was one objection to our planning application for the nature center when we returned; it is from the neighbor who makes it her business to object to everything and everyone, so that is no surprise. She even wrote to the council and threatened court when we put a sign up at the gate at Christmas saying;
                                   ‘organic turkeys for sale.’

The main points of her six page rant were;
  • the extra traffic would be a hazard
  • the noise would be a nuisance
  • the waste water treatment would effect the environment
We are in the process of getting letters of support from the other six houses in the town-land and have been assured by Galway County Council that all of these issues have been dealt with appropriately in our application. But an objection like this, (costing her €20), means that even if the council grants permission she has a right to appeal to the planning board (An Bord Pleanala) which could take over a year and their decision, made by an engineer in Dublin, could go either way. They have a bad relationship with Galway County Council and a history of ruling against their decision.

It seems to make no sense for an enterprise that would generate jobs with so little impact on the area (the building is already there) to be refused in the current economic climate, but who can tell? If it goes to appeal we will start a petition as the village as the area is desperate for facilities and we already have the backing of the Galway Enterprise Board and all the local hospitality businesses.

The other news is the young pony, Floyd, who competed in two shows while we were away and won first and second prize, has now been sold. He will be going to an excellent yard in Austria in September, which is good news, but I will be sorry to see him go.
So back to reality and a reduction in calories.