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The Beast from the East came and stopped spring for a few days. We treated it as a special occasion. We had to. We couldn't drive out for a couple of days. So we fed and watered the animals, checked on guests in the cottages, thawed the pipes that needed thawing, and took a lot of photos! You can see a selection of snaps here. It was also a good excuse to stoke up the fire and enjoy a quiet evening or two at home ... ;-)
Yoga, yoga, yoga. It was never my thing. In fact I've always thought it was a bit weird since it didn't seem to actually be exercise and took a lot of time. Living with a yoga guru meant that I got a bit of an inside look and started to appreciate its challenges. I even did a couple of lessons over the past two decades which were both cathartic. The philosophy of yoga, at least as I've picked it up, has always appealed. At its essence it is about unity and the oneness of existence is an idea that has great appeal and increasing foundation in science. But I never really tried yoga. Until last November when Pam launched Yoga for Men as part of Movember. I let the beard grow a bit and joined the class. It has been good for me.
I don't need to mention relaxation because that's what everyone loves - shavasanaaaaa!
So I'll definitely encourage yoga for everyone. If you're a guy you might be more comfortable with more men in the class so you might prefer Yoga for Men, but you can go to any yoga class. BTW, there are women in the Yoga for Men class.
I feel lucky that we've got such a dedicated, experienced teacher in our midst. I would have served myself better by trying it sooner, but better late than never. Check out the class options here.
The fishing usually opens on 10 March, but it was pretty quiet here. We haven't operated the salmon syndicate at Ballin Temple for some years now owing to deteriorating riparian habitat. The regulations for fishing for salmon are on the Eastern Region Fisheries Board website: http://www.fishingireland.net/ Salmon fishing is restricted in numbers and size, so we won't encourage it. (Get your salmon fishing license here.) Trout fishing is usually good on our beat and is a pleasant way to spend a summer's evening. Please get in touch if you would like to fish here.
St Patrick's day was special this year. Ireland beat England to win the Six Nations Championship. You can imagine how quiet it was in the afternoon. The St Pat's parade at 2pm in Tullow was only 20 minutes long - it used to be a couple of hours. Then after that few people could be seen in the streets, unless you went in to the pub. Here's the crowd at the Tara Arms:
And the snow began to sprinkle down, so that the following day there was a gentle white blanket covering the countryside. We ventured in to the woods and explored parts I've not walked in years. It was magical. We quietly found our way to the "pulpit" and "altar" overlooking the river. (You may wonder how this sanctuary got its name.) Many trees were down, which is sad, though more will grow. There is plenty of work to be done removing them and if you would like timber for the fire, please drop a line. And if you would like to reconnect with nature and enjoy the ancient woodlands, please join the club, drop me a line and ask for a tour ...
The weather even brought down timber in the garden. A huge cedar dropped another branch under the weight of snow and wind over the St Pat's weekend. We started to clear it and then decided to trim the whole tree severely. We did that on Saturday after I guest hosted a slow chat on Nature vs Artificial Intelligence which reinforced the benefits of exposing yourself to nature. (Storify archive here.) There's a brief article about that little logging experience here:Nature’s the Teacher, including a video some of the cutting. (BTW, please be cautious about climbing trees and using tools, especially a saw.)
The cold weather in March slowed things down. I've only planted a few garlic and germinated tomatoes. Hopefully I'll catch up this week and put in the potatoes, onions and broad beans... So much to do, so little time ... :-)
Looking forward we'll probably have a walk on Easter Monday so watch out for that. And if you want to escape the city for a while, check out our cosy cottages for a holiday - clean air and water, plus nature, included free!
Equinox has passed, the days are longer, enjoy!
Tom and Pam