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Autumn Village |

A change is as good as a rest. Or so they say. As my limbs were weary and my bones heavy from a summer of growing, harvesting and preserving, I took myself home to the motherland for some much-needed rest and recuperation.

Two days of driving and an overnight ferry might not sound like a great start to a holiday, but from the moment I sat into the car I felt relief. I had spent days getting organised, picking the last of the ripe vegetables before digging over the beds for their own winter rest, weeding the onions and cabbages that are still growing and preparing enough food for the long journey ahead. I even found time to pack a few clothes. When the time eventually came to leave I sank into my seat with a satisfied sigh. I’d done it. I’d dug and planted and weeded and harvested and foraged and filled my freezer and pantry with fruit and vegetables to get us through most of the winter. Now it was time to relax – finally.

Autumn Tree |

The autumn sun warmed the car and made the countryside shine as we drove through Poland, Germany, Belgium and France before our ferry trip back to Ireland. As the big ship heaved its way into Rosslare harbour the smell of the sea and the squawk of the gulls reminded me of one of the things I miss most about our little island – fish. Oh, how I miss fresh fish. Growing up literally within sight of the sea we’d practically been reared on herring and mackerel, which were often only a few hours out of the water. When my dad asked what we’d like for our welcome home meal I had no hesitation. Fish.

We ate lots of fish over the course of the holiday – pan fried cod, smoked haddock and tomato bake, crispy deep-fried hake, golden fillets of plaice and a delicious salmon gravalax. We also had some wonderful sushi, served with a miso soup that was brimming with chunky salmon flakes.
In between all that fish we did manage to eat some other fabulous Irish food. Roast beef on the bone, tender and juicy. Wexford lamb, succulent and oh so sweet. We were invited to meet some blogger friends, Margaret and Mona, who I had previously only known virtually. Margaret prepared a most fabulous lunch using ingredients from her garden and her own free-range, outdoor bred pork. We started with a courgette (zucchini) scarpaccia, followed by a pork larb that packed a real punch from ginger, lemongrass and a dash of soy sauce. Dessert was prepared by Mona and was utterly delicious, with the pecans and crumbly digestive biscuits providing a perfect salty balance to the baked cheesecake filling. Food with friends, whether old or new, is always good, but this meal was particularly memorable.

Autumn Leaf |

Between the bloggers’ lunch, my 20 year college reunion, dinner with an old friend and a family get-together it was quite a hectic trip, but one I enjoyed immensely. But was this trip the change of scenery that would rest and rejuvenate me? Well, no. With late nights and perhaps one too many glasses of Guinness I came home almost as tired as I was when I left. I’m more relaxed, definitely, but I’m still knackered.

The change I’m looking forward to is the one that’s just beginning now. The browning and tumbling of the leaves, the crispening of the air, the shortening of the evenings, the first frost and then the heavy winter snow. I intend to do like the hedgehogs in my garden – to roll up in a ball on the couch and hibernate. I have a stack of reading and writing that I’m so looking forward to getting stuck into. I have homemade damson wine to sip when the real cold sets is. This change is most welcome. Bring it on. I’m ready.

Autumn Road |

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26 Comments Post a comment
  1. Your story as well as the photos were lovely. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    November 8, 2015
  2. longchaps2 #

    Summer comes and goes so quickly. It’s hard to believe you’ve wrapped up your garden. It seems like just a moment ago you were eagerly awaiting your first fruit. Sigh….Glad you had a good trip home to see your folks and touch base with friends. You needed it. Now you can slow down and get that energy back and we can look forward to all the recipes you’ll create with the goodies you stored up. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    October 12, 2015
  3. I’ve only just caught this … wow you make me homesick for Ireland – I wasn’t born and raised there like you but I did partially raise my babies in West Cork and those tastes, those fish, meats, veg and things scavenged on the way … it’s different here. Sometimes a bit of remeniscing is good for the soul (and a plan of a trip back next Spring, praps) …. as for Autumn … oh I love it – the misty mornings, the bluest of skies or the greyest and all highlighting those glorious turning leaves. Thank you for a lovely post. Really – I loved it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    October 5, 2015
    • Thanks Osyth. I hadn’t realised you’d lived in Ireland. The food there is pretty special. You’re so right – a good reminisce every now and then is good for the soul. Enjoy your autumn!

      Liked by 1 person

      October 5, 2015
      • I lived there 50/50 when the girls were small. Their dad still lives there. I will enjoy Autumn … it’s taking my breath away every time I look at the forest opposite. Different place, still fortunate to live where I do!

        Liked by 1 person

        October 5, 2015
  4. Love this post and your photos! I love fall too. It sounds like you could really use the winter hibernation time to relax and rejuvenate. Enjoy the much needed time off!

    Liked by 1 person

    October 1, 2015
    • Thanks Amy. I’m seriously looking forward to the down time.


      October 1, 2015
  5. Great photos, June! Everything is still very green here in Toronto, but I’m sure we’ll start to see the autumn colours soon.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 30, 2015
    • Thanks Nancy! Hope you’ve recovered from your little juice experiment! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      September 30, 2015
  6. You always make me hungry 🙂 Autumn hasn’t quite hit here yet so I’m still looking forward to that – don’t mention the W word – or the S word 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    September 30, 2015
    • It was lovely and warm in Germany and France when we were driving through so you probably have a few weeks left before autumn kicks in in earnest. And LOADS of time before Mr W!

      Liked by 1 person

      September 30, 2015
      • Here’s hoping! And a few visitors before then too 🙂 And then Xmas markets – it’s all good!

        Liked by 1 person

        October 1, 2015
  7. Just be\utiful!!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    September 30, 2015
  8. sbdagape #

    I’m glad you are back in LT and had a nice time. I, too, am looking forward to winter. The turkeys are about ready to be put in the freezer (before they eat me out of house and home). My canning was finally finished yesterday. This lifestyle is more work than I ever dreamed of, but definately has been worth it. Like you, I’m happy to see the cooler weather come. I’ve got some great home made honey meade. Maybe I’ll drop by and we can sip it in front of a roaring fire. Would be a fine reward!

    Liked by 1 person

    September 30, 2015
    • Sounds like you’ve been busy, Susan! Well done on the turkeys. I might try that next year. Veg alone was enough work for me this year. I don’t have a roaring fire to offer, but I do have a cosy sunroom with a fantastic view, so drop by with that meade any time you fancy!


      September 30, 2015
      • sbdagape #

        Sounds like a plan!

        Liked by 1 person

        September 30, 2015
  9. Anne #

    What a lovely story of your trip to your homeland. Your winter plans sound like mine, cheers to a snug, warm season, you can relax and enjoy it because you have prepared so well!

    Liked by 1 person

    September 30, 2015
    • Thanks Anne! Hope you enjoy your winter too!


      September 30, 2015
  10. You may be physically tired but mentally you are clearly in a better place than you were a few weeks back. The photos are self-explanatory and the idea of rolling up like a Hedgehog with a good read certainly appeals to me. ‘Knackered’ is a very descriptive Irish term but may need explaining to your readers and fellow Bloggers. It was great to meet up and to be honest I was a bit knackered myself the following morning! Roll-up roll-up and enjoy that book.

    Liked by 1 person

    September 30, 2015
    • Thanks Gary. It was so good to see everyone and catch up, even if it was for just one evening. I enjoyed every minute of the trip, even if it was a bit hectic in places. Yeh, “knackered” is a bit colloquial alright. Hopefully those who aren’t familiar with the term will get it from the context! If curling up with a book and a glass of damson wine while looking out on the snowy landscape appeals to you, you’re welcome any time. PS: I see you found your password, then! 😉


      September 30, 2015
  11. What beautiful photos. Am a sucker for autumn foliage 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    September 30, 2015
    • Thanks Simone! I love autumn colours, too – I find them soothing. Makes taking photos very easy!

      Liked by 1 person

      September 30, 2015

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