We are delighted and have been amazed by the reaction to our book which was launched by Damien O’Reilly here on farm in Ballacolla, Co Laois last Monday night.
There have been phone-calls and emails and people stopping us the traffic lights in the village to say well done. I was really chuffed with Damien’s review (above) in Irish Country Living. My mum who died 20 years ago next month, having been widowed after just eight years of marriage and raised four kids on a mixed farm in West Limerick, would have been so proud to have something I had done described as “a service to farming“. And for me to be spoken of in the same breath as Sean MacConnell is just massive. Sean wrote about agriculture and the countryside with a clarity, honesty and impartiality that I envied and admired.
I know that most of the communications since the launch have been from our friends but among them are people whom I know do not dish out praise lightly. Its one thing to think that something is nice; its quite a different matter to say it.
One e-mail was from a lady who wrote about her experience of moving in with her farming in-laws on marriage and how, she like ourselves, managed to make a go of it. But she also wrote of how, shortly after marriage, she was hunted out of the yard by her father-in-law when she went to assist at a calving, and she never went back after that.
Several people have come back to order more books and some of these are being sent abroad.
I dropped five books in the local shop in Ballacolla on Thursday afternoon and, a couple of hours later, they were down to one; a further five went in the following 24 hours. Of course I know there is no way this pace can be kept up but we are enjoying it while it lasts. I think myself that the appeal is the honesty and frankness; its about something wholesome and positive, with all the animals and people in their “working clothes”. As for the photos, which were taken by moi, I am not a trained photographer. Instead I “sprayed and prayed” and perhaps my prayers were answered on a few occasions.
A Year on our Farm is on sale in Eason, Portlaoise, priced €18.99 or on our website talbotsofcoolefarm.com, for €17.99 & €7 P&P.