Monthly Archives: July 2016

Home Made Pizza Manifesto

Being an idealist gets you into all sorts of trouble. You might with little time to spare decide to make pizzas from scratch or indeed, even marry an Irish dairy farmer. If you are a romantic with that idealistic streak, well, you know yourself, those rose-coloured lenses often need replacing. Throw into the mix the socialist hangover from your youth and you end up with a big grin with people saying ‘isn’t she lovely’ while really meaning ‘more that a bit naive and she’ll definitely buy it.’

What is more, being an idealist leaves you often susceptible to all sorts of anxieties as the world and humanity throws you curve balls from its tennis ball machine as it assaults your conscious and better nature from all sides. But what protects you, if you insist on continuing to be an idealist and are steadfast in seeing the good in humanity and the world, no matter what, is your absolute conviction that people are good. And well, that people are the same. Really. Just the same.

You and I are really just the same. We may have different access to broadband (you may not have to stand on the roof to get coverage for example), we may view the world differently, pray to a different but the same God, drink coffee in a different manner but we are both the same. Our bank balances may be different, our children though beautifully individual are just the same. We pretty much can only eat three meals a day (with some snacks). We farm differently but have the same end goal of producing food in mind. Naive bless her.

So as an idealist, I’m not buying this new threat to humanity, one of hate and racism thinly masked under a thin veil of populist manifestos across the world. I’m just not buying that. Because we’ve had that. It continues to bob it’s menacing head throughout the history of humanity and is unkind and toxic to the human condition. Remember World War two anyone? Bosnia? I will not believe what you have to tell me, I will continue to be good, a do-gooder (you said it) and try and steer my children in that direction too. Try stopping me.

So, if you don’t mind my silly grin, I’ll continue to be my sunny idealist self, loving my dairy farmer despite his long work hours and low milk prices. And you must excuse me, for I haven’t yet torn the fresh basil for the top of that home made pizza. Champagne socialist moi? Somebody’s got to be. Think goodwill, kindness and compassion if you will. Why not?



There are three little heads all in a row. They ran to bed in troika; from the bathroom, to the toybox, all the time fighting it but to sleep. They spend their summer days indoors in this weather, looking out at the Irish rain. It howls over their little heads as they drift off to sleep. An adventure awaits them and they dream oh such innocent dreams. For those they remember they will retell over weetabix, as they fight for their mother’s attention. One drops off, then the other all the while negociating a trip downstairs, then the third, the littlest who uses his limited vocabulary to talk himself to sleep. At peace. The world to them is at peace. Hush now world, hush and like the young children, be at peace.

Goodies and Baddies

On our usual Friday morning outing, we visited our local library, a cafe and the park. It was hard to avoid the news. Hard to the move the librarian onto changing the subject. Difficult to switch the children’s attention from the blaring news on the radio in the cafe. The news was bad. And try as I might to put a brave face on when a terrorist attack happens, today I couldn’t. It has happened too many times in France over the last year. They are resilient these French people but to attack on Bastille day is is, well, there are no words.

I turn the children’s attention to the smartie cookies in the cafe, I spill my own coffee, ‘silly mommy.’ They smile their usual beautiful smiles and I know how good they are. Naturally, they are absolute rascals, just ask the librarian about the terrible two tantrum she witnessed as books flew from shelves this morning. But nonetheless, they are good.

Everything in life, teaching, farming, parenting is a walk on the line between good and evil as you guide your children on the good side, as best you can, so they don’t stray onto the bad. Unfortunately, you can’t fix the world for them. So we continue to walk them along that path until the day we have to let go of their hand as they walk into the world for themselves. There are always goodies and baddies I tell them, or they tell me. In their stories the goodies always win. I wish that it were so.

Courage, mes amis. On t’aime.