This year as always we hired a cottage. The Irish countryside is a mass network of, often unmarked, minor roads along which single storey homes huddle in expansive plots of land, which the sat nav recognised as separate villages with nary a single sign to confirm it. The Eircode postcodes were introduced in 2015, but we have yet to come across an address that actually uses one. Consequently we used the tried and tested list of directions: go through this village, turn right at that one, go down the road for a couple of miles past the so and so petrol station or pub and turn up a single track country lane. Despite our landlords dubious sense of distance and a couple of untended detours, we found our cottage and soon settled in.

A cottage kitchen