I have been asked to take Shane's place on the blog this week as he is away at a digital sports conference (I am sure he will tell you more about it in the next blog). Shane's blog is all about life in the remote west and the adventures he regularly experiences as part of that life. I am reasonably new to this part of the country (well 17 years new) so not having grown up here, it still has the power to amaze and delight me on a regular basis. Whether it is the stunning drive to work in the morning through the Doolough and Delphi valleys and along the shores of Killary Harbour or my lunchtime runs along the Western Way, I do not need reminding how lucky I am to have found this place.

 The pheasants on the side of the road that scurry away when I drive past, the baby deer I almost crashed into the other week and the sheep sitting on the middle white line in the early morning are all things that make life interesting. There are sunrises and sunsets like you would not believe, lakes that shimmer like glass and stormy seas that would leave you shaking to watch, and all this within easy reach.

However it is not all easy sometimes. This in-your-face kind of nature can prove too much at times and there have been days and weeks when I have thought that it was all becoming too much. Those are the days when the cloud is so low that you would not even know there was a mountain right beside you or when the road is so badly flooded you have to take a diversion for 20 miles out of your way just to get home. Days when I battle out the front door in the howling wind and rain and discover the wind has knocked the bin over and the rubbish is scattered all over the road. There is a certain toughness required to live here and it is something I did not have much of when I arrived from the east coast. It is something I am pleased to say I have acquired over the years since then. I find myself now coming home to a mousetrap with a mouse in it, opening the trap and grabbing the mouse by the tail, slinging it over the garden fence and re-setting the trap all before I have even shut the front door!

There are hard days no doubt but they also make the good days so precious and so stunning that you just never take them for granted and for me at least they make all the rest more than worthwhile.

Shane will be back next week.

Best wishes