This post is a long time coming - have hardly had time to sit still since getting back!
The trip to Ireland was my Mum's suggestion - she's been eyeing a plot of land near Dunmanway, Co. Cork, and asked if we'd go with her to give her our opinion. So we packed up the bus and off we went. I love travelling in the bus - we take our home with us and everything we need is right there.
We drove to Fishguard via Swansea, where we caught the ferry to Rosslare. We had a bit of a drive the other side, but thankfully we found a campsite to stop and break the journey up. Eventually we reached Dunmanway, and we parked ourselves at the nearest campsite in Clonakilty.
Determined to find this plot of land, we spent 2 days driving around looking for it! Cool Mountain is an area known to the locals, but very few can tell you where it is, but eventually we stumbled upon it and were able to get a good look around.
There's about an acre and a half, and it needs some work on it which we expected. It's on the side of the mountain, sloping down, hence those amazing views in the first photo. There's a brook or two running through the plot, although what's really there won't be known for sure until it's all cut back.
The idea is have a static caravan or maybe even a log cabin, and live off the land and be self sufficient - it's very do-able. Both myself and Tom liked the feel of the place, and how others around have worked their land and built their homes. No-one here has built bricks and mortar houses, they're all made from local materials or salvage or caravans or similar.
We went to see it on two different days, and took loads of photos and videos so that my mum would have plenty of food for thought. And she's just told me that she's made an offer on the land and it's been accepted!
As well as running around looking for fields, we took in some of the local sights. Dunmanway would be my mum's nearest town, so we spent a few hours there.
We spent an evening in Bantry (and failed to take any photos) and had a morning in Cork. Cork had much more of that city feel, yet hadn't lost any of it's local charm.
It was hard to have a holiday and enjoy ourselves when Aran, Tom and myself all had that rotten chesty bug, but we did our best. Aran loved running around on the campsite - he's such an outdoor little boy! Doesn't he look so grown up now? He's only 18 mths yet looks older than he is.
As we approached the end of our trip, we made a visit to see Stolen Stitches, which was great! We talked about design and yarn and boys and building houses - it was so lovely to be able to pop in and see a fellow designer! And if it all goes to plan for my mum, we could well be popping by again.
On the way back from Ireland, we stopped of for a while in Wales. Tom and his family lived for a few years in Llandewi Brevi - here are my boys outside the house they used to live in!
That was our trip away! As soon as we got back I took myself and Aran to the doctors as the bug just wasn't conceding, only to be told we'd both got a chest infection :( Aran really hasn't been well, and he's been very needy - poor fella had no idea what was going on. We were all sleep deprived, it's a wonder we survived at all. That's all cleared up now though, and we're getting ready to be on the move again. As I type, Tom's driving our car over to Italy. He'll fly back here on Tuesday and then we'll all leave together in the bus on Thursday. I can't believe we've hit October and we're still here - it is absolutely most definitely time to head for warmer climes!