Monica has become a mad forager and winemaker: elderflower, strawberry and bilberry brewing; rowanberry and bramble on the starting blocks. I’ve been scything the meadow and, today, collected a truckload of horse manure for the forest garden. Now I have to barrow it all up the hill. This week, we’re going to take cuttings from a beautiful lavender in the pigsty. We want to turn the one bush into a couple of hundred plants to put in front of the house. Dunno if they’ll like the field but they could make a dramatic impact at this time of year. The bees would love them, too.

No kids this summer. Archie has too many other engagements and Rowan can’t come while Neil is pissed off with me.

The recycling was disappointing in Enniscrone: they only took glass and drinks cans so we had to find a bin for the rest. Still, we had a fine week and a lovely drive back. The north coast of the island has world-class scenery. Highly recommended.

The Bear Coop in Tod has been bought out by the cafĂ© upstairs after the coop went bust. We’re on tenterhooks because it’s a favourite of ours. Saker’s bread gets us in but they didn’t have any yesterday. I might have to start baking again.

So, we’re enjoying our first proper summer, back in England. Looking forward to getting the fire on, though!

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