A Little Of Where We Live...Himself and I

A Little Of Where We Live...Himself and I

We live in an old ramshackle cottage down a road to nowhere...though if you're going to be properly Irish then the road is 'the street'...there are only eight occupied houses and cottages now...once there was a busy railway station where cattle were loaded onto trucks to take them to the town mart and sacks of flour were brought out for the people living in our street.

There was a lime kiln as well, just a little way from our cottage...everyone used lime then for sweetening the earth before growing the tatties...mixing with water for lime-washing the interior's of the cottages and the farm buildings.

And there were two forges...one was beside the road itself...it was where you took your waggon wheels to be repaired...the other was in the field next to our home and that was bigger. You could have your donkeys shod or a wheel made from scratch...a rake for the garden or a cauldron for the stews.

A little way further up there was a corn mill on the river...now it is just a tumble of stones. You could take your wheat or oats there to have them ground into flour or flakes for the morning porridge.

Almost at the cross-roads, where Paddy and Honoria live, there was an animal pound where straying farm animals were put until the owners collected them...there was a fee to be paid though.

Back again and past our cottage on the way to the big river and there was once a grand two storey house whose occupants all died from T.B. such was the fear of that disease the house was knocked down and nothing remains...the family who lived there were taken straight to the burying ground with no Wake in their names.

Then just before the bridge over the river, is a tiny old cottage which is still known as The Bishops...the local Bishop used to spend his weekends here...fishing and boating on the river and he had a pretty garden by all accounts, but now his garden is where our two old donkeys graze the summers away and the cottage lies almost derelict.

There are Otters living in the river banks and Water-Lilies with pale pink flowers...Pike lurk in the depths and enormous emerald Dragon-flies dart across the water.

This is our home.

The photograph is my adored cats.

47 Replies

  • I also live off a ramshackle road called the Street in the middle of fields....lovely views! :) Fascinating to read your post - thank y ou :)

  • and thank you for reading it xxx

  • It sounds like a little bit of heaven :)

  • And it is...especially when it isn't raining...lol

  • Oh! Vashti you have made me homesick I planned to visit Killinafoot Co Clare when I first retired but health and hospital soon put paid to that, and of course it is academic whether the Church still stands where the family grave was as converting to a non conformist protestant faith I (in the eyes of the church is destined to spend my life in purgatory). Our cottage was long and low at one end were the animals one of each pig goat sheep and 2 dogs one a house dog the other a farm dog plus a couple of hens we slept together on a straw mattress which was renewed each spring. Dada grew the proverbial potatoes until we had a second blight that was not as widespread as the 19th century one that spread the Irish to the four corners of the earth. That put paid to the farm I grew up that summer although I was only 5 I had to help Dada with the slaughtering of the animals in turn the goat we gave away but I never knew so much blood, he went to England and got a navies job (I will give Dada his due he was a hard worker) he was doing some repair work in one of the Transpenine train tunnels with 4 others there was a collapse and he was one of the 3 dead brought out one of the others died later of his injuries and the last one lived a life of a cripple. I will just have to ask my God to make my heaven in that dear land across the Irish Sea.

  • Oh Ant...this made my eyes fill with tears... your memories are incredible...your poor Dada having to leave all he knew for a life he was a stranger to and then to lose his life in the process.

    Your God will love and care for you and His Angels will guard you with love...

  • May The Road

    Rise Up To Meet You

    May the road rise up to meet you.

    May the wind be always at your back.

    May the sun shine warm upon your face;

    the rains fall soft upon your fields

    and until we meet again,

    may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

  • excellent ant ,,jimmy :)

  • I do so love this blessing...

  • My Great Grandma Nuela left it with me before she died she said it would help me through life and others I may meet on the way.

  • Wow vashti feel like I've just walked down ur street with my pinnie on, Molly hat and clogs, carrying a loaf in a gingham cloth home for tea. sounds idyllic. X Sonia x

  • Get away with you Sonia...clogs indeed...you'd have been in bare feet!

  • Lol. :) x Sonia x

  • Hi Vashti, I was wondering what had happened to you. My router failed the other weekend and I was lost without my I pad.

    Thank you for your latest post ....you paint a 3d picture in words...I can imagine being there...love the cats....do they catch the mouses?

  • The cats are awful you know...they prefer to catch the pretty little field mice though they do also murder rats!

  • Thanks for the post Vashti - fascinating. x

  • You're very welcome!

  • Hi Vasti. Sounds beautiful where you live. Reading your post brought back so many memories. I lived in a 'street' that once had a forge, a drapers, grocers and tailors and one or two others shops up the laneway. In my time we lived in the only dwelling house left and on putting in a window in 1958 my father found a big heavy copper penny wrapped in wax that had a date of 1701. I t was an old custom to leave a penny under a lintel when building a house. The shops became outhouses over time as people closed shop and left the little village. The village became a farm around the 1900. I remember all the family using the lime wash every spring, outhouses and all! We used the the street as a playground. We had the mill and one roomed school nearby, all in ruins now. We had the meadows the hills and woods to explore and summer days to follow where the river took us. I could go on and on as I'm sure you could. Thank you for your lovely post. It has made me homesick. I'm going to show it to my family and maybe try and visit the 'old sod' again.


  • That was lovely to read Sara...I really enjoyed it.

    What a wonderful find of the old penny...very old penny actually...did your Father keep it safe?

    I do so hope you'll be able to revisit...

    Vashti xxx

  • Vashita that was lovely you made me feel like I was stood right beside you looking at the scene.I live in the country but not as nice as yours to much noise and automation these days they took the peace and quiet away.....! My grandparents were from Ireland and I've come to love the country and visit as often as I can.

    Thank you and keep them coming.


  • Thank you Pegg...the west of Ireland is still a magical place to be...

  • Vashita that was lovely you made me feel like I was stood right beside you looking at the scene.I live in the country but not as nice as yours to much noise and automation these days they took the peace and quiet away.....! My grandparents were from Ireland and I've come to love the country and visit as often as I can.

    Thank you and keep them coming.


  • hi vashti,

    what a lovely read, and a beautiful photo, it brought many happy memories back to me, although in scotland i was brought up in a small village, something along the same lines. there was the limekilns, the blacksmith, who used to shoe all the farm clydesdales used for ploughing, the horses used for the milk and coal cart. he used to allow us to watch the red hot steel being hammered and shaped on the anvil, the "burn" [stream] that run nearby where we used to dam, to form a swimming pool, strangely none of us ever got ill. the wee cobblers shop, miles and miles of fields, to run, hunt in, see all sorts of nature, skylarks way up high singing there heart out etc. etc.

    sadly this is no longer ,, all built up, bypass going through it, like the bronx now,, it just seems a real shame.

    so nice to here there are still places like that of yours left, to me that sounds like paradise,

    that was a very well written, fascinating warm post vashti... absolutely lovely, many thanks indeed for such a wonderful read,,

    yours,, jimmy :)

  • Thank you Jimmy...I'm glad you enjoyed reading about the street where I live...we still have so many wild flowers and birds as well as the big Irish hare and foxes and badgers who go plodding down the lanes at night...well...the badgers plod...the foxes run!

  • sounds great vashti,, just my sort of place :) ,, and talking of hares, the big mountain ones further north to me,in bonnie scotland lol :) go white in the winter. a great amazing thing nature, i love it,, jimmy

  • you hit the nail on the head again Jimmy "strangely none of us got ill" and we never did in those days there was plenty of poverty about there was hungry kids going to bed hoping the mourn would bring some food we washed in streams we lived in cottages we share with our animals yet none of us got ill that was until I had been in England for a month I got measles the left over of which was the bronchiectasis I still have.

  • yes ant, that was the strangest thing then, we never got ill, we picked turnips straight from the field,and ate them,the earth still on them :) then cupped our hands to drink water from the stream, even ate raw tatties from the farmers fields, even pinched a few apples lol,, but the best thing i remember was our free range hens, the double yolk eggs that almost bounced in the frying pan,, my mother used to swap the eggs for fresh fish from a trawler man who lived near us,

    we had nothing,yet we had everything :)

    but i have to say, vashti definitely has a good given gift in writing, you could almost see/hear and smell,,,,,, " the street where she lives" i thought it was brilliant,,, jimmy :)

  • This has been truly lovely to read. Thank you all, has anyone else got a story to tell of where they live? Pics of the cats a delight x x

  • It'd be good if people did write about where they live now...or where they used to live...I've enjoyed those who've told their memories so far.

  • Ahh well I am 1 16th Irish - does that count? I used to drink in an Irish pub in London and most of them were duck and dive merchants. Good people though. And my flat is ramshackle, though I live by the sea and not in the country. Does that qualify me for being an honorary Irish please? :d x

  • Course you're qualified to being an honorary Irish person...just don't think we all say Begorrah...lol

  • Begorrah by gum :d x

  • How lovely may you spend ment more happy years there....x

  • Thank you Towse...I do hope we do just that!

  • Lucky you xxxx

  • Perhaps it is more we made the right choice at the time...but we are lucky indeed...

  • Beautiful cats vashti and what a fascinating history of where you live. The only history we have here is that our home is built on what used to be a huge nursery, growing all sorts of things including vegetables. It is now quite a large development but very nice and we have a community centre too which is good.

    Hope you are keeping well. Take care xxx

  • Ah...I just gave you a taster of the history...there is plenty more!

    I envy you living near a community centre you know...we've nothing like that not even in the nearby town!

  • That's what comes of living on a new development but it took a long time for everyone to agree on the community centre so we are lucky to have it. You take care. xxx

  • The thought and memories you invoke are mesmerising. Although I much prefer the reality of hot and cold running water and electricity. You are a brave lady to live in such an isolated area with a lung condition. That's you not the area!

    Take care

    Dozy :) xxx

  • Don't you be mentioning water to an Irish person Dozy...it's a very sore point at the moment 'cos we're going to be charged hefty amounts and where we live doesn't even have a treatment plant!

    Although it is isolated, the Doctors surgery is only a few miles away...the hospital is over forty miles though, which isn't funny... the ambulance men drive awful fast...lol

  • The water supply company have just put us on a meter. I have become ocd about cleanliness and double rinse all our clothes etc to ensure all detergent is removed. So am expecting a big bill.

    Wonder if I can get disabled rates. I do envy you the peace that no near neighbours can bring. Also being able to dee the stars. No light pollution.

    sorry about spelling predictive text and can' t go back. Take care

    Dozy :) xxx

  • Goodness gracious Dozy! Have you woken up for a while then? :d xx

  • I'll bring my rods. Being Ireland you can't be far from the nearest pub. Love the black cats.

  • Don't know what fish you're clutching warickstag but I bet there are bigger ones in our river!

    It's the river Lung if you want to look it up and there's plenty of 'pubs...lol

  • It's a small (10lb) carp I caught recently. Used to love the craic in Ireland. When younger a group of us came over annually for a fishing holiday which naturally finished the night in the local bar, where the fish grew to massive proportions. We were usually based in Athlone for the Shannon and Suck fishing but I know Lanesborough well and Strokestown a little. Unfortunately this is long beyond my capabilities but the memories are some of the best of my life. A lovely country.

  • We live not too far away from Strokestown...an odd sort of a village with it's incredibly broad street...did you ever visit Park House?

    It's good we have memories to sustain us...even if it involves telling fishermen's tales about huge fish!

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