All the fun of the feirm

By the end of the month the majority of the family will have spent some time on a farm. If we were in an episode of the late lamented House the team would have great fun trying to work out which one of us had been exposed to badger.

The elder Nippers are both going to farms on their turasanna scoile. Nipper 2.0 has spent the day today on Glenroe Farm and his verdict is “Awesome!” His favourite part was “touching the guinea pig and the rabbit”. What more could a boy ask for?

Nipper 1.0 will be heading to Greenan Maze. We actually visited this farm last August and I only hope Nipper 1.0 has better luck with the weather this time.

And I spent an extremely pleasant morning last Saturday on Ballindrum Farm in Athy, Co. Kildare thanks to the good folks (Amanda and Gina) in Avonmore. Why you might ask? I wondered that myself. Could it be I am now considered a tweeter of some influence? It certainly not due to my blogging efforts. I suspect it might be because I’m a mum that converses with other mums online much to The Meyler’s chagrin.

Why question these things? Never look a gift cow in the mouth I say and off I took myself with a lovely gang of pop culture and food bloggers (Okay I probably fall right in the middle of those two groups. Lovely to meet and make the reacquaintance of @backpedalling @thisispopbaby @ModernFarmette

@likemamuse2bake @Smorgasblog @cakeinthcountry

@ismiseadam @Culch_ie @PopCultMonster

@mushypea007  @anthonymcg)

The raw material #peakfreshIt was a fascinating and filling morning. We were fed like kings and queens by Mary Gorman, entertained by the golden voiced Joseph Gorman (Mark my words- that kid will be a star!) and then Vincent Gorman showed us around the farm. Despite the inclement weather it was beautiful. How lucky we are in Ireland to have such luscious gorgeousness never more than an hour away. That very lusciousness (read rain), we were told, is a major contributing factor in the production of Ireland’s delicious milk. But even Vincent said you can have too much of a good thing (read rain). I have been on dairy farms before but it was really fascinating to see how technological and traceable the farming is. The farming practiced by the Gorman’s is good for the cows, good for the land and ultimately good for the consumer of their dairy products. The farm was spotless and everything was in its place.

5 day old calf @juleser #peakfreshWell nearly everything… Vincent did admit that for all their watchful care of their cows that a few months previously there had been some shenanigans among the youngsters of the herd and well, nature took its course. This meant we got to see some super cute calves though so no complaints from us!

All the Bó lined up for judging #peakfreshWe rounded off the day with some Make and Do – always a big hit with me and I think our friends in Avonmore were surprised by how seriously we all took this part of the day! I took it embarrassingly seriously. Basically Avonmore are running an online competition to celebrate the fact that one million glasses of milk are drunk in Ireland a day. (Yes! One MILLION! A DAY!) In order to encourage me to write about this they sent me (along with my invitation to the farm) a litre of milk, a glass and a kit to make my very own Bó.

My finished Bó #peakfresh #bocomp I didn't win. The guy who got someone else to knit a hat did. I'm not bitter...Now I have to say I was a little dubious about this but after seeing the way those bloggers got stuck in I’m thinking those Avonmore ladies have their heads screwed on! It’s perfect timing with the summer holidays rolling in and the appalling weather with it. You can get your own kit and find out how to enter the competition over on the PeakFresh website. You will even see my little entry over there (I did mention I took it a little seriously) If it keeps your kids half as quiet as those bloggers then you are onto a winner.

So yes this post may be proudly sponsored by Avonmore and based on what I heard and saw on Saturday I have no qualms recommending Avonmore products to you. Will I be purchasing Avonmore products myself from now on? Well with a 50c difference in price between this and the Irish produced own brand in our local supermarket, four 2 litres of milk, adjusting for holidays, means a €100.00 saving per year. Economics trumps warm fuzzy feelings every time. Sorry Avonmore.

A meeting of minds and big, big bodies

After a quiet evening in watching Sex and the City with Himself (he loves it but would only admit it if asked if he loved Will and Grace more) on Friday the weekend definitely ramped up on Saturday.

It was so hot! I cycled into town to meet some other Eumoms in the Westbury, to put some faces to the pseudonyms. We had a very pleasant couple of hours talking about all sorts of stuff that only expectant mothers can find interesting. As it was my idea to begin with I was quite nervous that it wouldn’t go well but it was great and we hope to meet up again in a month or so. Ready made playmates for Frisky – hurrah!

Cool as… Saturday evening we went off to the Radio Star’s house-cooling party. It was still really warm and we had a really nice evening chatting, listening to eclectic tunes, eating and drinking (ginger ale for me – my latest tipple)

Dundalk, haigh! Sunday – a nice lie-in and then an amazingly short hour and a quarter drive to visit Himself’s big sis and family in Dundalk. His eldest niece isn’t so well but hopefully is on the mend today. It was really warm (very unusual) and great craic (as usual) with all the Stanleys.

A rose by any other name

So the name game has reared its interesting featured head a couple of times recently, in real and online life. I met Deda for drinks (ginger ale for me, Guiness for her) last Thursday and it came up in conversation. Understand it is not the first name of our child that is causing difficulties, it is the last name. It also came up on the Eumom discussion board.

I think we have come up with a happy medium. The child has to have a surname. I have a problem on principal with just accepting the status quo of the father’s surname but Himself has gone through life thinking (a) he would always have the same surname and (b) his children would have his surname. This is fair enough – why wouldn’t he think otherwise? I expect if asked that most Irish and indeed European men would admit same if answered truthfully. Likewise it was only later in my life that it occurred to me that I could keep my name. (or as the saying goes “a feminist is a woman who keeps her father’s surname”) And it was still later that it occurred to me that there was no longer any logical reason why my child would not have my surname in some form.

What’s in a name? But why is Smith anymore relevant to me than Murphy? And how are either of these names relevant at all? My surname, smith, obviously once described my family’s work: the closest any of my relatives ever came to that kind of work was my grandparents’ tannery and that’s stretching the similarities a lot. Murphy is an anglicisation of an old Irish name and comes from the patrinimical system of naming (son/ daughter/ wife of). Both interesting historical signifiers. Funnily enough both of Himself’s surnames refer to invaders/ colonialists settling in his part of the country: one comes from the french for an enameller or chain mail maker (now if that isn’t belligerent) and the other comes from Wales in both its English and Irish forms. His surname is very peculiar to his part of the country.

So how important is it to continue recording this history? Surely now that tradition no longer holds sway we can start making up our own rules? As Deda pointed out on Friday, it doesn’t matter anyway because women’s names prove that no name is set in stone and women understand that from an early age. One of the Eumoms remarked that consistency is essential for the child and also from a legal, pen-pushing point of view. My suggestion of give it a first name and leave it at that will make it’s life a misery if it doesn’t rock stardom as a career.

We have come up with a solution. As I mentioned himself’s surname is unusual and rather nice. Let’s be fair the surname smith though useful in its anonymity ( only if coupled with John or Mary) will hardly set any pulses racing. So for history sake this child will have my surname as a first name and if and when our families increase we will use the other 2 surnames as firstnames too. My mother did this in a way with my eldest brother too soreally we are not all that original.

D.C. Yields To Parents On Babies’ Surnames: City Ends Restriction For Married Couples


Killing some time before I go to meet Himself to go and see The Matrix Reloaded. Slightly worried that he might be a little more excited about this than the sprog 🙂 He’s a late convert and they are always the most zealous.

I remember the day myself and the Travelling Wiblette went to see the Matrix. We went on a Saturday afternoon not knowing much about it really. I have always been a bit of a sci-fi fan being the keeper of 3 brothers so I suspect it was on my initiative. We were so impressed. I remember leaving the cinema. It was bright day outside. We got our bikes and cycled west but it was a really strange cycle that took us along all these really narrow alleyways. I can’t remember where we were going. I think it might have been Hanberry Lane. Maybe it was when the Travelling Wiblette was involved with the Bollix…

So all set for the Joooon Bank Holiday weekend. All plans are go. Only glitch so far is that DG won’t be able to accompany us on the “Wee Daniel’s Cup of Tea Tour 2003”. Well that’s the only glitch if you don’t count the fact that Dinners is making our dinner for Friday night tonight and freezing it thus letting us all know her true colours. The colour nerd is somewhere between brown, orange and grey. Dins your true colors 🙂 Only kidding!!

Right gotta go catch a movie. Smell yis later