Four weeks ago we launched our book A Year on Our Farm. After that we were interviewed by Damien O’Reilly for RTE 1 Radio 1’s very popular CountryWide programme. Then it was on to the Ploughing where we sold 330 books and about half those who bought mentioned that they had heard us on CountryWide.
So there I was on Friday night when I noticed that CountryWide had posted a link about Damien being interviewed by Trent Loos, the Voice of Rural America whose Loos Tales programme is aired on over 100 stations and who has 3m listeners on air and on-line. Thinking that it would be interesting to hear Damien on the other side of the table as it were, I clicked the link.
Damien did really well talking about Irish farming and our grass-based beef production and the thought was running gosh, wouldn’t it be wonderful to get a mention in this company when suddenly I nearly fell off the chair …. Have a listen !!!
Every year on the land is different and no year goes by without its challenges. Last year, it was the seemingly never-ending rain, this year it was the drought, in Spring, again in Summer and, amazingly, once more now in the middle of Autumn. We have had a blast of Indian summer over the past couple of weeks, strawberries and roses are back in flower …. As to where this means we are going and where it will end is another matter entirely, lets just enjoy it for now.
Ballacolla has always tried to claim that the Ploughing came of age on its first visit here in 1995 … and it did … but Ratheniska now has the honour of hosting its biggest ever attendance, of over 100,000, on the Wednesday. What a testament to the NPA but more so to the people of Ireland, to their resilience and enthusiasm and zest for life.
Business was done, friendships were renewed and new ones made as the harsh national economic realities were parked for a few (“short” is the word which sounds like it should be used here but they were far from it) days.
For our own part, the Farming Independent allowed us to set up camp on their stand to sell our book A Year on our Farm. Loads of people had heard us interviewed on RTE1 radio’s Countrywide programme with Damien O’Reilly or seen the fantastic review on the Farming Independent. While we were delighted with the sales what was even more heartening was the goodwill shown to us; Irish people do not give praise lightly but, when they do, they mean it. One woman had kept a daily diary for over 30 years, another couple had been taking in students for just as long; these and other stories were a joy to hear.
Sarah (pictured) took a day off school to join us on the stand while six-year-old Ruth did likewise … though she was far more interested in spending money and the array of goods was never ending. I just wish I could go back when it was all a bit quieter; still I did manage to get a couple of gorgeous scarves for myself and some early Christmas presents.
The nights are now starting to draw in and everyone has returned from whence they came, with pockets depleted but spirits enriched.