Pirate enjoying Abbey Hill on the Burren with Galway Bay behind

My sister in law’s mother died suddenly on Thursday. She was elderly, but just not the person you would expect to vanish so unexpectedly.

Peggy was part of the furniture. I thought the best compliment you could wish for came from her daughter. She said that whatever happened there was always someone there to say ‘it’s okay’. She has her own lovely family, but that was different and age 41 that unconditional security was gone and she knew what it felt like to be an orphan.

I was walking up Abbey hill in the Burren. The late summer flowers are carpeting the little pastures that separate the limestone flags. Ox eye daisies, eyebright, devils bit scabious, self heal; white, blue and purples predominating at this time of year. Just to get an hour up there in the late summer air, looking out over Galway bay, past Galway City, as far as the 12 bens of Connemara and the Aran Islands is powerful medicine, and washed away the anxiety of my husband losing his job last week. But as the old saying goes ‘you can’t eat scenery.’
Read more:


Thoughts of moving or commuting to London are encroaching again. It’s not a great time of year to be looking for a job, with winter drawing in and the kids going back to school, with all the extra costs that entails. The holidays are really over. When school starts on Thursday we will have to sit down, assess the situation and make some decisions. I am trying not to panic.

The cows are having their yearly test for TB today and the calves are fat and shiny and ready for the mart at the end of the month. Also the farm area aid payments come in October but with just 50 acres and only 9 calves that will only keep us afloat for a few weeks. The only company that seems to be recruiting in Galway is Boston Scientific, who make medical devices, and are one of the companies that benefit from Ireland’s low corporation tax of 12 ½ %.They have always been a great employer in this locality, but I imagine the stack of CVs is hitting the ceiling at this stage. Hopefully my husband’s is on top.

With Peggy in the ground it made me very grateful that I managed to spend so much time with my parents and my children over the Summer. When you are working full time you do not have the luxury of complaining about how many meals you have to cook for your relations, or that the kids are driving you insane (and they are at this stage) as you bump into them every time you turn around…that time is precious.