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Life lessons, Spooky Samhain and a new Jenny on the block!

Updated: Nov 10, 2023

It's been ages since I wrote a blog and I know this is not my typical fare as it's more of a newsletter so to speak,

but I have so much news to catch you all up on and I know there are quite a few new subscribers on board so i feel you deserve an up to date chat.

So since I last 'spoke' to you all there's been a few exciting bits and bobs.

First off I was asked by a journalist from The Irish Independent (national newspaper) would I consider speaking to them for an article regarding Airbnb.

I wasn't sure exactly what it entailed but I had dealt with this particular lady before on an insurance for thatched buildings piece with no issues so I was happy to get involved.

I initially spoke with her over the phone for a chat and to make arrangements for someone to come take photos and then I was asked would I mind if there would be a video piece alongside the newspaper article.

I presumed this would just be video footage of the property!

When the photographer/videographer arrived he informed me they would need an interview piece, this I didn't expect and I was not prepared for but then I tend to work better under pressure without too much time to overthink!

Luckily i had a good rapport with the interviewer and we ended up having a bit of a laugh.

I was given one take only, one chance to say everything I wanted to within a few minutes(no word of a lie) which was a big ask but I think I pulled it off for the most part.

In fairness he did explain that it could be edited in such a way that it wouldn't seem unnatural.

When it was released I was surprised by a few things..

Firstly that I was the only Airbnb host interviewed for the article

Second that the video was as well put together and professional as it was

Third, unfortunately, that naively I didn't really realise what the article was about..

Turns out it was more about the negative side of Airbnb, comparing it to hotels which wasn't a great look for me as an Airbnb host.

I shouldn't have been surprised but i was disappointed to see my words had been used out of context.

The headline read "I do worry some hosts are getting greedy and will ruin it for all of us"!!

Of course I got some backlash over this and probably pissed off a few of my fellow Airbnb hosts.

What I had actually said (in the 'casual chat' with the journalist) is that the landlords/owners of mutliple buildings in the likes of rental pressure zones like Dublin, that were doing short term rental only on apartments and houses through Airbnb instead of long term rentals for families,

were giving the one rental small like hosts like myself and many others a bad reputation through their greediness.

Big Ron and Pawdy O'Shea peruse the article unimpressed by the lack of feline presence in the newspaper article 😆

As a woman in her forties I should know better but unfortunately I still expect everyone has the best interests at heart and I'm still far too quick to say yes to things and jump feet first instead of being cautious.

Newspapers will always want the most suitable headline and story to suit their agenda and though we all know media does this, most of us are still so quick to vilify people for things they may or may not have said, not knowing the context they were said in.

Anyway another lesson learnt and to be honest i got mostly positive and heartwarming feedback so i can't complain.

I was delighted with the video it was a lovely piece that I am proud of not only as it's a nice bit of advertising but to me more importantly I think I got to put across a few points about insurance and heritage that are close to my heart.

(See link for video below)

*Tap photo for video link*

Oíche Shamhna/Halloween 2023 has been and gone.

I love Samhain (apart from the stress of fireworks on my animals)

I love the magic of it, the spooky atmosphere, the folklore and the idea of spirits having a night to wander about through the thin veil between their world and ours.

There's a beauty in that, the true Samhan not the ridiculous horror show of modern times.

I will remember this years Oíche Shamhna as particularly special as I had my Irish/American friend Courtney Fox @thefoxandtheivy staying with me at the cottage to do the second of her fantasy photoshoots!

We had so much fun together coming up with ideas, themes, moods.

We both love 'Wuthering heights' and felt we'd create something based around it's dark gothic romance and wild nature which would tie in well with the time of year and the cottage surroundings.

We spent Halloween night dressing up in floaty dresses and corsets, hugging trees, carrying candles and running around barefoot in the grass in the twilight.

It was pure spooky magic and I had goosebumps for more reasons than the cold.

In time I will be able to show you the full edited photos but for now have a sneak peek at the photo/reel below!

So last bit of news might be the most exciting for a lot of you..

We have another new member of The Welcoming Committee joining us hopefully next week!! 🐾🫏🐴🐈🐕🐑

Since Breffni died in May both myself and his partner Rosie have been grieving but obviously its been harder on a daily basis for little Rosie especially as donkeys form extremely strong lifetime pair bonds.

My heart was not ready to get another donkey but I realised Rosie wasn't coping well and needed a friend.

Solas and SuperJet are company for her but it's not the same as they tend to stick together and leave her one her own.

Our Little Rosie girl having some seasonal pumpkin!

I've been quietly on the lookout and finally found a woman only a few miles up the road with a young Jenny (female) donkey.

She is two and a half yet much bigger than her parents!

I've realised since seeing her the first day that she is completly unhandled, which is not going to be easy to take on board but then again I've never had any straightforward animal!

Fingers crossed I can manage to find a way to get her separated and on a horsebox without too much stress and that her and Rosie take to each other.

The new Jenny on the block! (Name to be revealed soon 😉)

No donkey will ever replace Breffni he was a very special one of a kind soul, but I feel what the animals are trying to teach me is that life is short and we must learn to let go of grief and continue to love.

It doesn't mean we forget the love we had, that never leaves, but we don't help anything by holding on to sadness.

The length we grieve is not a measure of love, we can hold space for endless love if we are open to it.

So here's to new beginnings and happier days for little Rosie.

We haven't picked a name yet for the new girl but I did a few online polls and will announce the winning name very soon on my weekend waffle stories and hopefully an extended YouTube video.

So stay posted! 😁

In the meantime as I always say..

"Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, sending you all love and best wishes, from me, Áine

& The Welcoming committee

Slán! "👋

The 3 Muskahounds and Dogtation! A rare capture of all 4 of the dogs..Bobby, Bran, Banba and Brí

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3 commentaires

17 nov. 2023

Hi Áine, I stayed at the cottage the day that Breffni passed. I check up on your blog periodically to see how you’re doing, as I know from your writing he was a large part of your world, and certainly will always be. Happy to hear that you are getting a new addition to the committee, and I’m sure Rosie will love a new companion. Sending you and yours lots of love. Take care.



10 nov. 2023

You have such a beautiful place .. it’s lovely to read your blog and would love to stay there someday 😁

All of the animals are wonderful!

Cathy ❤️


10 nov. 2023

Nice catch up. Journalists never to be trusted but you put yourself out there so good for you. Hope new donkey settles in well. Cute picture of you and your cat. 4 dogs, 1 cat, 2 horses and now 2 donkeys. Sheep still with you?

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