Friday, 24 February 2017

Tight Wad Polytunnel Gardening When It's Raining Outside.

The old vegetable plot is too wet to work at the moment.  So I decided to grow some vegetables in the poly tunnel instead.    I remember a bloke years a go telling me how his incredible harvest of spudatoes on his allotment  had been grown from potato peelings.  I think I called him: Tommy Hyberbole.    Anyway I decided the other day to have a go at my own kind of tightwad gardening;

Navan potatoes.  I made chunks though instead of potato peelings.

The potato chunks are in the little trays.  I made a new raised bed for the grand total of nothing and planted garlic (supermarket bought) and the root of two red onions.  I found a few broken plastic plant pots and plastic bags in my compost heap.  Perhaps we should go back to clay plant  pots?
We went to Lidl on Wednesday and bought some cheap vegetable seeds.  Now all we have to do is sow the carrots, onions and peas.  There is a lot to be said for a poly tunnel when it's too wet outside.  What are you up to on your vegetable plot?

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Money Up Front.

Years a go we would either come here to Ireland or go to Scarborough for our holidays.  When we went to Scarborough we would stay in the North bay side.  My mother said it was much posher than the South bay.  We would get off the coach and walk around looking for digs for the week.  Sometimes though my mum booked it before we left home.  We would get bed and breakfast and evening meal with 'Colour TV' and 'Coffee Making' facilities.  The following Saturday my dad would say to the landlord:

"What's the damage?"  

Then he would settle up for our weeks food and accommodation.  We were never expected to pay a penny until the morning of our departure.  Nowadays if you book an holiday, especially overseas.  They expect you to pay for the flight, taxi transfer and your accommodation up front before you even leave your own town.

There are some holiday booking sites that let you ("No prepayment needed") pay on arrival.  Do you think you should have to pay your money up front?  Why do no frills air lines never give you a complimentary drink or give kids a packet of crisps?  What's your worst holiday experience?  Was it a dive?  Did the other holiday makers keep you awake all night laughing and getting drunk?

Monday, 13 February 2017

A Chance Meeting On One Of My Hikes. .

I went for another one of my walks the other day.  I actually spoke to two people for once.  Of course the passing drivers all waved.  Do you remember Mick Dundee in the brilliant Crocodile Dundee film saying "hello" or "G'day"to everybody he met in New York city?

Any way I was walking near one of our beaches and I saw man gathering up plastic flotsam and jetsam and I helped him collect the rubbish for a few minutes.  We talked for a while and I said there should be litter bins and he said the councils won't provide them because people would fill them with household rubbish/litter.  They still drop litter though.

He says he wants to form a group for our peninsula and he was a member of the Green Party.  I said the council/government should create rural jobs and he agreed but he said they won't.  Unfortunately we never passed on our contact information.  

I hope we meet again and in our own small way we can make a difference to tidying up our little planet.  John Seymour said: "I am only one person."  He was right.  But if we all leave the world like we would like to find it.  Rachel and Heron both said on this blog a couple of posts back that they pick up other folks rubbish and take it home with them.  Perhaps if we don't, nobody will?

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

A Saunter At Gougane Barra.

I think we are getting old.  On Sunday morning. Number one son went repairing some livestock fencing for some body he knows and number 2 son went into town to see his pals. He didn't want to spend his sixteenth birthday with his parents.  

They didn't want a trip out with their parents to Gougane Barra Forest Park.  So it was just my wife, Fido our trusty terrier and tripe hound  and myself who drove to the sixteen miles to the forest park.  

Fido is fifteen now so we couldn't walk very far.  So we walked for twenty minutes or so in one direction and then turned around and walked back to the car.  We took photographs of some of the things we saw on the walk.  It was good to have company on a walk for a change.  My wife says she likes to walk on the flat and 'my' walks always become hikes.  The walk was on tarmac and it was a good way to spend a Sunday morning.

 Thatched WC.
 St Fin Barr's Oratory.   A picturesque place to get married.  
 There's snow on them there mountains.
 The walking routes 
 No Dogs Allowed.

 A moss covered ancient dry stone wall.
 Some of the fallen trees from when Storm Darwin visited West Cork.

 A fungi in February.  Anybody know what it is?
The lake and oratory from another angle.

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Back To Glass Bottles?

I haven't seen glass milk bottles for donkeys years have you?  

That was until today in a supermarket in Bantry.  A West Cork dairy farm is giving you 70 Cents back when you return your empty milk bottle. Do you think we should go back to glass milk bottles?   Glass decomposes naturally unlike plastic which probably take hundreds if not thousands of years to decompose.  


Monday, 30 January 2017

Where Are The Rubbish Bins In The Countryside?

Have you been watching the Sky Ocean Rescue programmes last week on Sky News?  More than eight million tonnes of plastic is thrown away each year and ends up in the sea and on shores.

I went for a walk the other day and noticed the same kind of rubbish on our peninsula.  I came back the other day and noticed the tide had took most of the rubbish away.  One thing what strikes me when I am walking where are the rubbish bins?  I suppose councils would say we should all take our rubbish home.  But you could say that about town centres.  

Even when I walk some of the famous walking routes in Ireland I see bins for dog poo but never a bin to put my plastic bottles or food packaging.  Not everybody takes their rubbish home.  Especially if they are camping and hiking for a few days.  

I think there should be rubbish bins every few miles.  I know people will still dump rubbish.  But if there is a bin for them to put litter in,  They don't  (won't)have an excuse not to use them. Will they?

Why can't we have old fashioned shops that wrap everything in paper that can be recycled or put in the solid fuel range?

I drink a bottle of water every day.  I wonder what the old people would have thought of buying bottled water?  We recycle what we can and burn fuel taking our cans to the (wasp pubs) bottle banks.  Then we find nowhere for the plastic bottles and warning signs of CCTV cameras and on the spot fines if we leave any litter.  Yet there is nowhere to put our bin bags or carrier bags in.  Could they not provide litter bins for us?

Why can't they employ people like yours truly to tidy up the beaches and countryside?  Do you agree?  Is it another case of towns getting all the amenities and the countryside getting nothing? 

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

The Rain That Gets You Wet And Measuring My Feet.

Sorry I have not been in a blogging mood lately.  I have got back into my walking routine again though.  Yesterday I walked nine miles along the north side (the name of my blog) of our peninsula in my rainy day suit.  I only spoke to one person on my saunter.  A middle age lady was busy shoveling leaves out of a road drain.  We both said: 


That was my only human communication apart from waves from passing cars.  The people in rural Ireland often wave to passing motorists and "fools in the rain", yours truly.  

It was a typical mizzle day in West Cork.  It was that rain "that gets you wet" kind of day.  But my new waterproofs (I bought them last summer) have given me a new lease of life.  I got home and my wife had made me some home made bread and some soup.  

A few hours later I asked her to measure my feet (like you do) for me.  I was informed that I am size eleven.  This was quite a shock for me.  I have been wearing size ten boots/shoes for nearly forty years.  I know feet swell when you walk and I was blaming Metric sizes being too small and why can you not get ten and half boots anymore..?  Must get some new walking boots.