Wednesday, 22 March 2017

A Cardboard Box Of Seed Potatoes And A Couple of Bags Of Onions.

Did you plant your seed potatoes on St Patrick's Day?   No we didn't either.  It's the first time in twenty plus years of growing vegetables that I couldn't get on the land to plant them.  I honestly think climate change is playing a big part in giving us milder and wetter winters.  Saying that there was sleet yesterday.  March is an exceptionally cold month this year.  There is nothing you can do, you just have to wait.

What seed potatoes are you planting this year.  We are growing 'Home Guard'.  They were first bred during the Second World War and are named after the Dad's Army "Local Defence Volunteers".  They are a first early.  Why are our new  potatoes always ready to harvest when it's too hot to eat them?  

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

A Des Res In The Country?

I found this postcard in the cupboard/press the other day.  Rural Ireland and parts of Europe have lots of such properties.  Properties for sale for under 50000 Euros.  I saw a ruin on the Internet in the Algarve for 16000 Euros the other day.  In Ireland I saw a cottage with an acre of land for 25000 Euros.

Could you live in a caravan and renovate such a property?  I think I could if it was somewhere warm like Portugal.  Or would you just buy somewhere already renovated?  My dream would be somewhere with a little fishing pond.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Characters That Make You Smile.

I saw this wonderful photograph in a shop window in Killarney last weekend.  The man in the photograph looks like a farmer who had gone to town on it's Fair Day.  We have our Fair Day (Bantry, today) on the first Friday of the month.  In Ireland it was the day when farmers walked their cattle to the town square to sell them.  Pigs and sheep were also sold this way.  

The man in the photograph reminds me of when I got my first allotment in England.  I use to load up Netto (dear old Netto) with carrier bags of our freshly harvested onions, potatoes, cabbage, carrots etc.  I would sway down the road with the bags nearly getting stuck in the spokes of the wheel.  

Did you ever move house with a bicycle or a supermarket shopping trolley?  Or do you carry things home on your push iron?  Go on lets have a laugh and a joke.

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.