It’s not all writing, writing, writing

I have chosen to live in a beautiful, countryside village so that I can enjoy the wonderful natural surroundings and the warm sense of community. I love cities, but I love country life too, and after years of city living, I’ve happily adjusted to my life in rural Ireland.

Although writing is part of my everyday life, so is enjoying the beauty around me. I make sure that I take walks every day; I watch the patterns as seasons change, the habits of birds, the cloud formations. And I also try to make use of the space and resources the best I can to stay balanced and grounded in a world that’s full of technology and social media.

Since signing a book deal, watching the physical book take shape and the sending it out into the world, a lot of my posts have focused on my writing. So, seeing a sI think balance is so important, here’s a brief escape from words and a return to the natrural world.

country garden ireland

Plenty of seed dug up, ready for next year

gardening ireland

Outdoor lettuce looking healthy enough, along with rhubarb (& weeds!)

making apple cider

Lots of sweet apples, windfall & picked, for making cider. Currently fermenting…

gardening in ireland

The onions did well again this year – we have a whole wall to last through the winter

greenhouse growing

Lack of sun meant that the chillies and peppers are way behind. Just starting to fruit now! I’ll be amazed if we get any but I’ll keep trying 🙂

autumn leaves

Autumn is definitely here.

July in Photos: Cape Clear, Sea Trips and Spooky Walks

Out fishing: noisy visitors…

…and a hitchhiker!

Shooting shrimp pots (we got a haul big enough for three meals)

Lots of chillis on their way

Amazing Inshore Rescue training new volunteers

The first batch of blackcurrant jam

Runner beans doing well

Cape Clear lighthouse in the mist (I’m only a few metres away)

Wild walking ‘paths’, Cape Clear

Heading to the cliff walk in the mist (Cape Clear)

A haunting house – I love the way the tree mimics the roof

Garden roses in bloom

Another spooky walk…

Our first gherkin! (pickling season starts soon)

April in 10 photos

Sorry it’s a bit late folks, but with all the fun over at the Writers Week Blog, it’s taken me a while to sort through this month’s photos. April was a very busy month and it was difficult to select what to show, but here goes…

Building weather-protection for our mini-garden (real veg garden is a whole field)

We planted out runner beans & French beans (could be way too early; esp. with the freak winds – we’ve more propogating just in case).

Collected seaweed to fertilise our cabbages (plastic strips deter the birds)

This is where we collect the seaweed: some interested walkers came down to chat about what we were up to!

A fisherman friend brought us our first crayfish of the season

Created a river view: you couldn’t see the water before. It was all briars and dead fuschia. Now look at it!

And here’s some of the stuff we’ve planted on the newly-cleared banks (there’s monbretia and wild strawberries too). It’ll look gorgeous in summer.

I made a sign to help people get the message…

We built boxes for our tomatoes and transplanted them – this is where they’ll stay now until they’ve yielded all their fruit.

And I leave you with one of our beautiful, moody sunsets.

February in pictures…

As requested, here’s the last month’s round-up of activities in photo format. As a writer trying to be as self-sufficient as possible, I found that even though February was a short month, there was still plenty to do and lots of variety. Enjoy!

Submitted to the Bryan MacMahon Competition

Designed & built an ideas board

Cleaned the tunnel & all our pots

Planted seeds (cabbage, sprouts, tomatoes, chillis & peppers)

Wrestled with live scallops

Swapped to homemade bread

Trained on Social Media in Galway Arts Centre

As you can see, I’ve been busy. However, I don’t want this to be a one-way stream. Everyone leads an interesting life, whether they realise it or not, and I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to.

What surprises did February 2012 bring you?

She finally did it…

Taken on a local walk

Welcome to my new blog; a quiet place for me to reflect on my life as a writer.

As you probably know; I gave up a corporate lifestyle to concentrate on my writing. To do this, I’ve taken a few steps that probably most people would like to take, but haven’t yet had the opportunity. I’m one of the lucky ones.

  1. I’ve moved to the countryside for as much fresh sea air as possible
  2. I’ve become self sufficient – this means growing vegetables, fishing, making stuff.
  3. I started my own social media business – this means I get to hang out at literary festivals and call it work.

In short, I’m having a generally great time, with a few bumps along the way. Pop back from time to time, and you’ll see what I mean…