Tag Archives: cows calving


Only a few more cows left to calve telling me that soon it will be my turn. I feel a lot of empathy with my heavily expectant counterparts; the slow and laboured march to the water trough and the constant grazing. Like their own calves, my two little boys are full of teaspach (a local term used to describe the exuberance and spirit of young calves when new straw is scattered around them or on hearing the familiar splash of creamy milk reaching their bucket, a wholly bucking, jumping, break dancing show).

Teaspach to the heavily expectant mother is the most challenging. While one doesn’t want to break their spirit, a mother has to use up some of the battery life on some exercise that ensures everyone in the farmhouse gets a full-nights sleep. I find living on a farm helps; obviously, there are safety concerns that young cowboys have to adhere to but the farm is a veritable childhood obstacle course designed (in my mind) to help the farming mother harness some of that exuberance.

There is no shortage of adventures. Provided with a knapsack that includes a biscuit, toilet roll binoculars and a fascination for any insect/rodent/small animal or bird that moves; little boys can safely tour the perimeter of an adjacent field in full view of their mother. And every little find provides a relay back to the same mother to show their findings or perhaps a little kiss for a nettle sting. Spirit in tact, they wander back on their expedition.

Bringing the cows in for milking is another luxury in the world of heavily expectant mommying. There are few calls as welcome to a mother who has just prepared the dinner and washed up as ‘Boys, do you want to bring the cows in for milking?’ Oh yes they do! Suitably attired they walk out the door behind their father as I flick on the kettle for my real cup of tea; the ‘cows come home’ cup. An utterly bovine experience that allows me to sit for a moment while my ladies in waiting chew the cud outside the window in harmony.

A Quick Run to the Village…

The labour ward is filling up, with two cows currently occupying the stalls, it’s a busy day in Hearthill. Our Chief Gynocologist came in to grab forty winks (long night in the labour ward too) and I decided to run to the village for supplies. Here is what I love most about the village.

  1. I get the local gossip. I have little or no interest generally in gossip but other peoples’s fortune/misfortune is currency in rural Ireland! (I’m sure there will be more of that anon – stay tuned).
  2. People in the village love my children too. They know where Philip got his name and knew the Philip that came before him. They’re interested in how they’re growing and it feels somehow like they have a vested interest in my boys.  In the words of Hilary Clinton, ‘it takes a village to raise a child’.
  3. I grew up in the city and didn’t know many people. Here, I’m the Corkwoman. A quick trip to the village means a guarenteed chat for this naturally chatty girl.  My escape means I get to chat to other adults(!) about any subject under the sun, once we’ve dispensed with the obligatory weather talk that is.
  4. I feel part of a community, that I am among friends and know where there is a network of  support nearby should the need arise.

People often ask me ‘How do you like it around these parts?’ While there is much that I miss of my life as a city girl and there are the days when living in a rural community is trying,  honestly, I can often reply; ‘I like it very much.’

Back in Hearthill, our farmer, despite being pounced upon by two small boys during my absense, needs awakening.  He’s back out into this lovely March day to care for the two cows bellowing in the haggard. Another fine Spring day.