Running a little behind schedule with September blog I’m afraid. I think this is what happens when you start thinking about Christmas before Halloween has happened!
Cast your mind back to a week of almost perfect summer weather. As someone who now spends a fair bit of time outdoors the weather and its patterns have turned into a bit of an obsession. Mostly because my Celtic complexion requires factor 50 at even the merest blink of sunshine. September is a month full of change with school starting back and the evenings noticeably shortening (not 2 of my favourite things!). My Granny, who had never travelled much further than Belfast once stated that the thing she hated most were the dark evenings. It made her want to move to Canada! This was enough for 5 of her grandchildren to pause their Friday night mayhem and seek immediate reassurance that Granny wasn’t emigrating. Thankfully, she stayed put in Derryogue despite the dark evenings.

The seasonal change in September is easy to spot as we have an abundance of blackberries, hawthorn berries, beech nuts and the hazelnuts start to appear. Mushrooms have been prolific in the garden and along the paths, they grow at an amazing speed. The trees have begun to change colour but the shedding of the leaves has yet to happen. The vibrancy of the summer green is now duller and golden yellow shades are growing stronger. We had 3 outdoor classroom days with one of the local schools and they enjoyed spotting the Autumn changes as they had a walk in the “deep dark wood” . Mostly they enjoyed a day of being outside and exploring,
For us as a family there was a change as our eldest daughter went off to University. She’s not too far away and we get to see her at the weekends but still a big step for her and a change in family life and routine. I think Mark was a bit worried I was going to have empty nest syndrome or something as he planned a bit of a surprise. The surprise turned out to be a bit more than he bargained for.

We now have 3 pygmy goats residing at The Green Holiday Cottages …nicknamed The Three Billy Goats Green. They are the cutest animals known to man. They eat grass and don’t really need walked which to my mind is a pretty perfect pet. They do however need a very secure pen. Originally we had 2 goats but as they were initially introduced to their new home one escaped. Houdindi as we christened him was AWOL for 24 hours, Mark was beside himself and couldn’t bear the bleating of the one who hadn’t bolted off. A third goat was located, purchased and rehoused at The Green the next day. Mark felt marginally better but not much. As luck would have it that evening our neighbour Geoffrey found our lost goat in his field and was able to entice him back. So now we have 3 goats who seem to have settled into life at The Green pretty well. Although I think that’s as far as our animal husbandry will be going for a while.

It was a quiet month on the guest front. This is always a little disconcerting but it did give us a little more time to think about activities that were happening before Christmas. For me planning Christmas activities in September is a struggle. It is however good to get a plan in place and have a few targets to aim for. Bookings have picked up as people start planning half term breaks and family weekends. We are looking forward to a few events in October especially our Dine and Stay weekend which is part of the Taste The Island event promoted by the Tourist Board. This is major 3 year initiative building on Northern Irelands global success as a“go to” food destination.
As a new month begins new opportunities arise and we do wonder what is in store for us each day, but being at The Green and hearing the river or walking in the trees is special and we enjoy seeing the changes that each season brings. I think autumn is the most dramatic of all. Enjoy it while it lasts as nothing stays the same for long.