The Last 3 Months

So. The last 3 months. Where did they go?!

The last 3 months have been the most intense, best, most self affirming 3 months of my life. They have been full on – intensely so – emotional, exhausting.. I have eaten more softly whipped cream, bread (oh hello there brioche..) and butter than I ever thought myself capable of. OK, bread is a lie – I always knew I was capable of consuming ridiculous quantities of bread. My liver isn’t quite sure what hit it, my jeans are definitely on the snug side of fitted and I have completely forgotten how to apply make up. I have cried over marshmallows, gotten emotional about salad, eaten my body weight in brioche, made cheese, eaten so much wild garlic, gooseberries and rhubarb my insides surely now resemble them, nurtured and diligently fed a sourdough starter (more commitment than a baby I tell you), helped milk cows, started saying ‘grand,’ ‘thanks a million’ and ‘I can’t cope/deal’ (thanks Sheena)… And of course met the most wonderful, eclectic mix of people and made friends for life.

I have never felt happier nor more confident. This year has been a year of changes; in March I drastically altered the course I thought my life was on, pulling the rug out from under not only my own plans but also my ex boyfriends. I had no new plan for the future – no career path, still living with my folks…

I arrived at Ballymaloe feeling quietly discontent with life, stressing about everything and feeling generally a bit flat. I have left with a renewed sense of purpose, happiness and energy for life. Even my skin is happier – I arrived with irritable, eczema prone skin and have left with the clearest skin I’ve ever had (I’ve got to hand it to Darina, an organic diet and raw milk has worked miracles).

I am excited for the future; I have so many plans to travel, to work… I won’t go into too much daily detail about the course – there are other far better blogs which do that (check out Miriam at But I will say this; if you get the chance to go to Ballymaloe, go. Don’t even hesitate. It is by far the best money I have ever spent. I have learned more than I can comprehend at this moment in time, from teachers whose knowledge, patience and sense of fun is second to none. I have eaten and worked with the best quality organic, local and free range produce and seen first hand the impact using such produce has on both your cooking and your own personal well being. I have left with so many ideas and plans for the future; not just dreams but actual real life plans.

Rory O’Connell (teacher at the school) sums up perfectly the whole ethos of everything I have learned in his book ‘Master It,’ writing: ”To cook well, it helps if you love and value food, as this is where it all starts. I cannot separate the cooking from what I am cooking. I feel bound to do well by the ingredients… By cooking them well I honour the soil, the waters, the air, the planet, the efforts of the farmers, fishermen, producers and purveyors – everyone who got the ingredients to my kitchen.” This is what the school is about and this, fundamentally, is what I have taken home with me; a renewed passion for food and its origins. Roll on whatever life throws at me next.

Granted I now need to sleep for at least a week, but Ballymaloe, you’ve been a blast – thanks a million.


Hannah x

6 thoughts on “The Last 3 Months

    1. My aim is to be far better with blogging so I’ll no doubt be on here to ramble about my plans – if I’ve written them down it may help me to stick to them. It means a lot that you read my ramblings, thank you! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It was really nice to read about your adventure, and the qoute about honoring the soil, the air and basically Mother Nature is just wow. Although I’m not living in a village anymore, I still support the small producers by buying veggies, fruits and ingredients by them.
    With such a start, your journey seems to be very promising in the future 🙂 Good luck for reaching your dreams!
    And don’t forget to sew in the meantime 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! It’s such a great thing to buy local as much as possible and support local producers – it’s something I was always conscious of trying to do before the coarse, but now I will definitely be committing to 100%. I’m looking forward to getting back to a bit of sewing now I’m home!


  2. it sounds lovely – I tend to cook very simply to the point I rarely will use dressing on salad as there is something so much more satisfying about simple foods. That ‘neck of the woods’ is a lovely spot indeed – Sounds like the tonic you needed! (I have not had ‘raw’ milk in years, but I remember having it as a child and even the preparation bringing to the kitchen had a lovely rhythm to it)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is such a lovely part of the world and was exactly what I needed – it’s amazing how stepping back from ‘real life’ for just a short while can really help to focus and shift perspective. I agree with you 100% – simple food is by far the best – if you’ve got good ingredients why faff too much with something which is already perfect?

      Liked by 1 person

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