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Our story

A picture of us
Here we are!

I was born in Manchester, England, where I studied Graphic Design before moving to London to work in Desktop Publishing in 1986. I'm very proud of winning the PIRA Desktop Publisher of the Year award in 1988.

Al was born in London and raised in St. Albans and Southsea. He studied computer engineering in London and we first met in 1989 when our mutual friend Rowena arranged for Al to visit me at work for some career advice. He must have impressed me as he left that first meeting with a job! Although we worked together for a while, we didn't 'get together' until 1992.

In 1999, when we made the decision to quit the rat race and move to Ireland, we were both working for large newspaper groups; Al as an editorial systems specialist and me as a production manager.

Al kept a journal at this time (on It covers the thought process behind our decision to move, our experiences in the first few years of our new life and lots of photos.

The postcard I kept by my bed shows the house we now live in and our land. That's Achillbeg Island in the background.

For a long time it had been my dream to move to Currane. I used to keep a postcard on my bedside table to remind me of this wonderful place.

The Currane Peninsula can be found on the west coast of County Mayo, Ireland. My Mother's family is from Currane and it's the scene of many happy holidays as a child. Al fell in love with the area the first time he visited.

From time to time we'd look at the postcard and say "one day, that's where we'll be...". We didn't dare to dream that the house on the postcard would eventually be our home.

We finally made the move in May of 2000. For the first few months we stayed with my parents who had retired to Currane a few years before.

The little cottage we lived in for the first 2 years.

In September 2000 we rented a little cottage.

We received a wonderfully warm welcome from the Currane community and set about getting as involved in community life as possible.

In October 2000, we launched, the Currane Community web site. We maintain and fund this web site ourselves, it's our gift to our community. As with many communities in rural Ireland, the population of Currane is rapidly declining and there are very few youngsters or young families. Currane people are spread all over the world so the web site is a way for them to keep in touch with home. has since developed into a huge photographic archive of life here.

Our house

We were planning to buy a plot of land and build a house when out of the blue, our dream house (the one on the postcard) came on the market. We've always liked this house. The position by the sea, the gardens and the small bar 'The George' had been the venue for many a happy Friday night out. So what else could we do but attempt to buy it?

It was never our plan to be publicans, although we'd both had experience of running bars in our younger days so the idea didn't frighten us at all. We ran the bar (which was only open at night) for nearly 4 years - until it became impossible to continue. We didn't expect to make money from it and we tried hard to keep it open for our local community but eventually we got to the point where our savings were subsidising every drink.

We were very sad to close the bar but the sale of our licence meant we could fix the holes in our roof. Our house is very run down and in need of some serious renovation and the once proud Victorian bog gardens are now overgrown and impenetrable. Remarkably, however, we do have ISDN and satellite broadband (the result of a campaign we launched to improve telecoms in the area).

We live very quietly, tucked away in our little corner of the world with Trudi the dog and our collection of chickens.