Well, of course the name is Castle Hackett House – but Happy seems to be a proper substitute. Happy certainly describes my encounter with this place and it’s people.
It is huge! Kind of to big to fit in a photo – so I’ll just show you a few bits and pieces here. Dating back to early 1700, rebuild in 1929 after a fire in 1923. So much built-in history – I’ll probably report more at some point.
It’s a generous building: Big windows, high ceilings, letting in the light and providing a good lookout. And it has a friendly feel to it: Good dimensions, an overall simplicity and excellent location, location, location. Surrounded by a pittoresk mixture of farmland and woodland with Knockma hill as the primary view to the souths. The hill provides a lovely 1 mile walk including beautiful views of lakes and hills. I am particularly fond of the old stand-alone trees, each of them an individual sculpture, containing so much history. And the woodland is equally characterized by years and years of growth and green-all-over.
And then here’s Joyce: An ever energetic bundle of activity, enthusiasm, laughter and visions materializing. Her husband Dennis is right here with her – equally alive and engaged, with a more ‘steady-going’ ambience. Their younger daughter Kiara & her puppet Chai are a delightful pair, adding to the lovely, playful feel of the whole bunch. Generous characterize the four of them: They are open minded and welcoming in every way. A brilliant combo of Irish & Australian, have made the move quite a few times, and likewise build and run several businesses. This is a BIG step – and I’m absolutely confident, that they’ll make it, and make it good.
Add to this a stream of helpX’ers, friends and family from all over the world, plenty of farm animals in the fields, the sound of swallows and a mixed bundle of wildlife … Hope you’re starting to get the picture of this unique spot of diversity & potential.
And there’s more: The stables, the ruins, the stonewalls, the remnants of an ancient greenhouse with an intrinsic hot-water heating system build into the ground and space & room & light & land for an orchard, berry-bushes, a vegetable garden etc etc.
It is enormous, and so is the amount of work that needs to be done, before the walls will frame yoga-classes, masterclasses in music, art exhibitions, Bed & Breakfast, Holiday Apartments and … who knows?
In a late, tired hour of the day, the building might resemble a monster or a dinosaur. And yet, always a friendly one, with a magic aura, holding promises of many amazing experiences ahead. – And I am right here, so glad and privileged to participate in the making! Consider this a tiny hours d’oeuvre: There is so much more on this menu :-).