It’s about time I returned to the discipline of writing my monthly blog. I have made various attempts since May last year but none of them made it to completion. Maintaining our social media seemed to be enough over the past few months. When the first lockdown happened in March I don’t think I could have envisaged that we would still be gripped by it almost a year later. Thankfully a vaccine is in sight and we have hope that we can begin to get back to work, travel and socialising once again. Have you made your lockdown celebration plan yet? Mine is added to and amended on a daily basis.
Like many we have stayed close to home and have been able to continue to work on site up at the cottages and of course visit the goats. Spending time in the outdoors has always been important to us but no more so than in the past year. Being surrounded by the Mourne Mountains gave me the feeling of protection and security. At various times during the pandemic fear and uncertainty seem to overshadow hope and control. Being able to look out each morning and get a glimpse of tors on Slieve Binnian or walk on the beach helped to focus me on the things I could control and plan for.
I loved the slower pace of life lockdown presented – it has reminded me of my teenage years living in East Africa where life definitely had a more ‘go with the flow’ feel that I miss. There is also a collection of DIY projects that are in progress, Escape to the Chateau has a lot to answer for. As many shops were shut we did ‘make do and mend’ and restored furniture for The Mill which will be open for guests for summer 2021. This the biggest of our cottages and sleeps up to 8 people over 2 floors with an upstairs balcony overlooking the garden.
Mark however is not so keen on embracing a slower pace of life. During the last year he has built a new terrace area in the garden and extended the outdoor kitchen. There is a little cosmetic work still to be done but it’s a fantastic addition to the garden. He and our son Sam have established a woodland walking trail in The Meadow for our guests to enjoy. Currently, they are finishing off the on site office and reception area which I cannot wait to have completed. It will be great to have a proper area to store all the bits and pieces we seem to have accumulated for accommodation, events and weddings. They also completed our beautiful Meadow Barn – a quirky space for celebrating all kind of events.
Love Mark and Jenny