The Road to Tahilla….and England and Scotland

I always wonder, as I take the last turn to Tahilla, what it will feel like when I spot the the red barns in the distance. Eight thousands miles (from Saigon to Boston) is a long way to travel for the love of a farmhouse down a dirt road. Will I feel a sense of dread for buying this house on a leap of faith or will I feel the pitter patter of excitement again as I make my approach? I always wonder…

With a sigh of relief, I can say, hand on heart, I felt the same as as I did on my previous visit. On this trip, I spotted the mountain in the distance, the last days of a winter scene, before a cast of spring green fills in the outline. I never cease to be amazed by this little corner of the world. 

Over the past week, I have taken the days as they come. My bags are unpacked, the cupboards are full,  I have set my feet to all corners of the property letting the jetlag slip away. It has been a process…a quiet one and not without wonder. You may think I am crazy, but I swear….there is a bit of magic playing about in our fields…truly.

At first I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. I set up our telescope just to be sure. As I tightened the lens into place and focused my eye to the view, I heard it..children laughing, calling out to me..."Come Outside!" "Watch Me!" "No, Watch Me! "Look What I Can Do!" "I Can Do It Better!" Then a fit of giggles as they rolled and tumbled along.

I wasn't human children, it was stones behaving as children and they could not have been prouder, as they perched themselves into curious shapes and spaces. Am I crazy for seeing magic in stones? Well…I have the Irish in me and our house is called Tahilla Farm for a place in County Kerry, Ireland. A bit of malarkey? Did I kiss a Blarney stone in a past life? Ahhh…now where would we be without a wee bit of magic in our lives? It would be a dull life indeed...

I mentioned a few weeks back that we were having our stone walls rebuilt and were fortunate to enlist master stone craftsman, Dan Snow, to carry out the task. Pictures were sent as the work was in progress and they looked beautiful. Standing before them today is another story…every time I approach they draw me in and tug at my heart. I see past travels to the English Lake District, to Grasmere, the home of William and Dorothy Wordworth in Cumbria and to the The Spittal of Glenshee  in the Scottish Highlands. But it's the playfulness that has endeared me. I wrote my first impressions in my daily journal...

They tumble and roll and stop to talk and roll on again.

 It is like seeing a group of joyful children at play, 
reminding me of the days when my own children would call out 
from the highest point on the jungle gym...

"Mom- look at me!"  

"Come watch this!"

"Bet you can't do this!"

To which I would look on with surprise and amazement…
loving every act of confidence in their beautiful little bodies.

Fast forward many years and the memories come rushing back, 
whether it is a glimpse from my kitchen window 
or strolling alongside the beautiful shapes of stone.

I wrote to Dan to thank him for bringing magic to Tahilla. Every time I look over at a wall, I find another surprise and can't help but smile. It will keep me happy for a lifetime, I am certain of it, and I imagine the fellow travellers who will follow in my footsteps, will feel the same way.

As always, I thank you for following my tales.
I know they are crazy at times..but I just can't help myself.
It's the Irish in me..I'm sure of it!

At my front door..a baskey of whimsy.

On my last post, I joined in on a blog hop by way of an invite from 
Katrina Kenison. I was asked to pass along the request and am 
delighted to share the wonderful responses with you. 

Katrina Kenison:

My post: 

Heather @ Lost in Arles:

Michelle @ The American Resident

Pamela @ From the House of Edward

And above all, 
watch with glittering eyes
the whole world around you 
because the greatest secrets
are always hidden 
in the most unlikely places.
Those who don't believe in magic 
will never find it.
Roald Dahl

Jeanne xx ;)


  1. Well done, Jeanne! I feel like I was introduced to your friends. I look forward to seeing them through the seasons.

  2. I wish that you could see the smile on my face having absolutely been swept up by your magic and Dan's talent. Just lovely. And thank you again, so much, for asking me to participate in this blog hop. One of the writer's that I asked, the extremely talented Suze at Subliminal Coffee has already posted her response and nominated three writers in turn...and so it goes on, rolling like the stones...

  3. Wonderful stonework! Thanks for sharing your gorgeous photos and putting a dialogue to them :)

  4. Beautiful posting as always. I love all you share. I always leave smiling and happy.

    "Friends... ❉
    they cherish one another's hopes.
    They are kind to one another's dreams."
    ❉~Henry David Thoreau ~❉

  5. A beautiful post, I love your stones. he has done a great job.

  6. The walls are lovely Jeanne, you will never regret taking such good care of them, and they will return the favor by being low maintenance for a lifetime of viewing.

  7. Your Tahilla Farm Jeanne looks so peaceful and beautiful. Definitely, your happy place. I agree with the quote from Roald Dahl. I went for my walk this morning and so happy to see the birds right beside me and the flowers blooming along the way.

  8. It's all very beautiful .... I would spend the whole summer there as well. Have a great time, it's just so special.

    Karen in VA

  9. I know I'm late, Jeanne.
    But it's up now!

  10. I loved sharing this whimsical moment with you Jeanne. Tahilla is so beautiful. I really think that you have found each other and that you will be very happy there.

  11. Hope you got my previous comment.

  12. So good to know that you are safely and happily at your beautiful Tahilla. Your stone walls are indeed magic. I love them. Such beautiful stonework, a source of enjoyment for years to come. You are going to have a wonderful spring, summer, fall. I look forward to hearing more.
    Farm Gal in VA

  13. You didn't only write your first impression wrote your first fairy tale. Imaginative Jeanne...enjoy every
    day on your farm and keep watch to fairies and dwarfs.

  14. How magical.......the stones speak!Of course, they adore them as much as they adore YOU!I am so HAPPY for you!You are living my dream........I have always wanted to live in a farm house.Especially, in ITALY!It was not meant to be as those farm houses in ITALY are just too expensive to own now.I adore fact I would have been just fine with a barn anywhere!I now get to live the life of a GENTLEMEN FARMER through your eyes.......and visits!How many more years in VIETNAM?I adore your tales...........keep going PLEASE!XXX

  15. I love your stone walls too. Perfection.

  16. Jeanne, I am so enjoying watching the progress at Tahilla. And that quote from Roald Dahl is perfect. I had never heard it before and will now file it away with my favorites!
    xx Sunday

  17. Your team transforms Tahilla Farm to a beautiful place. The art of stone arrangement takes time. To walk in the forest and gaze at the mountain is enough to calm a soul.

  18. This was one of my favorite posts. I adore dry stone walls. Thank you Jeanne for the lovely postcard. I will treasure it .

  19. Jeanne,
    Your stone walls are simply amazing...the way you describe them, it's as though they have life. That quote really is quite perfect. I can imagine what that felt like as you were approaching your property...


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