When we were younger we were encouraged to travel, get out and see the world. Good advice you would think, travel broadens the mind and opens up new opportunities for young people. However, I don’t think that any of us contemplated that when my older sister departed for Australia in 2005 and the younger one in 2009, that they would never again live in the country of their birth. And so it happened this morning, our visiting Australians departed from my shell of a house (they were a contributing factor to this by the way), four children and their mother, and headed to their home in the heat and red dirt. We will all be bereft for them for a few weeks, and the silence of going from nine to four people will make the house seem very empty.

Although I feel this greatly, I am sure that it is even more painful for my mother, something I only realised when I had my own kids. For this reason I am very glad that the two of us will set off tomorrow for the Woman and Agriculture Conference in Killarney.