Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Latest Pictures From My Smallholding In Ireland.

Japs.  My Winter onions finally planted in a bath.  There are holes drilled in the bottom and a few stones thrown in for drainage.  Nothing warms the cockles of my heart,  more than when I see my 'Japs' growing through the snow, that's if we get any?  I always thought a bath was for keeping the coal in!
That's Fido my trusted Jack Russell and tripe hound.  She's stood on top a pile of old corrugated sheets that I recently acquired   Behind the dog is a Fuchsia hedge.  This seems to be native to Ireland.  Yet in fact it really comes from Chile.  Perhaps the Spanish brought it with the potato?  More likely it came in the last Ice Age.  
Made the compost heap today.  The posts and the six inch nails are brand new.  The corrugated sheets aren't!  You can see the silage bales in the background.  Only until end of March/April and the bales will be gone.  That means that the cattle are in almost 6 months of the year.  At least they provide us with lots of compost and weeds!

30 comments:

  1. Great to see you're getting some exercise, Dave. Great picture of Fido, how about one of Waggles?

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  2. I get too much exercise Pat. Not looking forward to old age when I can no longer dig the plot over. If you want to be full of aches and pains live on a smallholding. Will try to get a pictures of Waggles for you Pat.

    Thanks.

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  3. Would love to have the chance to dig a plot over, Dave. Currently chained to the computer half the time, and being like a mole travelling on the underground the other half of the time. At least you're getting the good old fresh air, how I dream of it, but not very often see nor experience it.

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  4. Hi Pat, Pat the mole. That's excellent. Believe it or not I actually envy you living in a city in Europe, going to rock concerts and meeting lots of fascinating people. It would be great to experience rural and city living on a regular basis, wouldn't it?

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  5. Anything becomes boring if it becomes too much of a routine, including the best things in life, Dave.

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  6. Doesn't help if you have a broken back. Most people who use computers and people who garden and farm suffer from back backs. Oh too be young. I like living in the countryside but it's good to see people and watch a great band now and again.

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  7. Are you going to get a few mobile shots at the Eric Bell concert, Dave? When is it?

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  8. I will try Pat. Eric's got his own website: Eric Bell. There's a great You Tube video of him and Gary Moore playing 'Whiskey in the Jar' at the Phil Lynott tribute concert in Dublin.

    Glad to say we both saw Phil Lynott and Gary Moore even though it wasn't at the same time. The gig is on Saturday. Did you see Eric's version of 'Voodoo Child' on You Tube Pat?

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  9. I'll have a look at some of Eric Bell's stuff on Youtube tomorrow, Dave. You sound as if you're really looking forward to it, some good music, and a few scoops, you can't beat it.

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  10. Yeah I can't wait. 'Whiskey in the jar' and a few pints or ten of Murphy's stout. Eric is a legend and I have been listening to quite a lot of very early Thin Lizzy lately. Tracks like Eire (Emerald predecessor) are really bluesy.

    Are you looking forward to seeing Steve Vai Pat?

    Thanks.

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  11. Easy come easy go, Dave. Despite his technical prowess, I'm not completely mad on Steve Vai. Having said that, he's well worth seeing out of curiosity.

    I think your Eric Bell gig in a small intimate venue will be a corker. It just seems to have the making of it.

    I absolutely loved The Flower Kings at the Klub Progresja last Saturday night, a real 10 out of 10 gig alongside 200 or so other spellbound souls.

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  12. I think Steve Vai will be incredible Pat.

    The Eric Bell gig should be good. Also it's free so it will hopefully be full of characters.

    The Sharon Shannon gig was very similar with only 200 folk. There is a lot to be said for the smaller venues, especially when you can walk round and have a drink of 'proper' ale not the plastic, chemical stuff that they sell at the big arenas.

    Don't get to many gigs because rock bands only seem to tour the big places like Killarney (it isn't big I know), Cork and mostly Dublin. It costs too much for taxi's and drink these days. And the lack of public transport (think I have talked about that before , Yawn!)... At least the Eric Bell gig is free.

    Thanks Pat.

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  13. If you have a good few, then have a walk back to sober up, you don't need a taxi, Dave.

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  14. I wouldn't walk on our roads Pat at night. It's pitch black, there's no pavement, the hedges are all overgrown, the speed limits 80k and you have to walk passed the Abbey graveyard, which is said to be haunted by a Banshee, and she's supposed to come running after you. Also the other road is said to be haunted by an headless coachman. That's one of my tales for you, before I have even had a pint Pat!

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  15. If you get chased by the banshee, you'll get back faster, Dave.

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  16. Yeah but who would believe me if I lived to tell the story? You keep me going Pat - thanks!!

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  17. Have you heard the news about Emanuel Steward (RIP), Dave? One of the real nice guys of boxing. His training and mentoring of Thomas Hearns, and his later work with Lennox Lewis and Wladimir Klitscho will make him forever a legend. The guy worked with loads of other World Champion boxers as well (e.g. Mike McCallum), and will be forever remembered for his work at the Kronk gym in Detroit. A true legend has gone.

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  18. Isn't it so sad Pat? I was going to talk about it on your blog later. Was it forty five or forty world champions. Dear old Manny was a legend and owned the famous Kronk boxing club in 'Motor Town', Detroit City.

    I remember the legendary fights between Hearns, Hagler and Robinson in the 1980's.

    Do you remember Mr Hagler's famous miss quote of our lord?

    "It's better to give than to receive."

    Think 'Manny' was a father figure, and he was a truly a great amongst men. Don't you Pat?

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  19. I think Mr. Hagler viewed it as a sublime interpretation of the Lord's teaching, Dave. Hagler was one hell of a boxer like the other Middlewight legend before him, Carlos Monzon. Sugar Ray Leonard's win over Hagler was truly a miracle, I think.

    You're spot on, Dave, Emanuel Steward was the perfect father figure, and Thomas Hearns in particular was treated like a son.

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  20. Hi Pat. I am amazed how many boxers have religious beliefs and quite a few have become preachers.

    Ireland's Olympic gold medallist boxing champion: Katie Taylor is a Born Again Christian.

    I think Emanuel Steward saved a lot of people from a life of crime. He was a father figure, social worker and a friend.

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  21. I think Marvin Hagler was a practising Baptist, but don't know if he still is. The last I heard he was a film star in Italy.

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  22. Didn't know 'Marvelous' Marvin (changed his name) was a film star Pat? Couldn't imagine him playing the good guy. Think Leonard, Duran, Hearns and Hagler can rightly be called legends. Where's the charisma and exciting gone with boxing Pat?

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  23. There's still some great boxers: Floyd Mayweather; Andre Ward and Martinez (the Argentinian guy at Middleweight) immediately spring to mind, and the Klitschko brothers have been incredibly efficient. However, for me, there are a few questions about Manny Pacquiao, as too many of his main fights have been at catchweight draining his opponents down, plus the well dodgy decisions against Juan Manuel Marquez who is another great boxer.

    I just think boxing has been taken out of the limelight through not appearing that often on mainstream TV. This is a shame as Britain has some great boxers at the moment: Carl Froch; Ricky Burns; Nathan Cleverly; Tony Bellew; Kell Brook etc.

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  24. And I thought baths were for putting in a field to fill with water for the cattle.
    Just shows how wrong you can be.
    Looks like a nice deep bed for the winter onions.

    Turned bloody cold here.

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  25. I agree with you Pat that boxing has been taken out of the limelight these days. We both can remember the Ali fights and the Leonard, Hearns, Duran, Hagler..? People used to listen to the fights on the radio and spent all there time talking about them. The FA cup final used to be a special occassion also. Now it's ranked one notch higher than the league cup.

    I do watch 'Fight Night' on Sky but it doesn't seem to have the glamour of the eighties. Human beings are full of contradictions and I don't think people really like to see one person being physically hurt by another. I suppose it's down to the referee isn't it?

    Carl Froch is excellent.

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  26. Welcome back Cumbrian. The veg plot is divided into 2 parts. A big part for the spuds and swedes and the other part for raised beds and paths... So I moved the baths from the raised beds section to make room for next years spuds. Then I decided to half fill the baths with my home made compost/fym. Rather than leave them to weed over I decided to plant them with the Japs.

    Also God made everything on the ground didn't he? So the gardener with a damaged back (most gardeners!) needs to scratch around like a hen. It's far easier to weed and maintain, nay sit on the side of the baths.

    Absolutely fleeing (northern English word) here. Cattle got locked in last night (blowing a gale) with straw bed and silage in mangers. Going to see if they ate their beds.

    Thanks!!

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  27. Yes, it's a sad we have to bend down to do everything in the garden, suppose it would be nice to be able to reach the ground without bending. but until then it's bad backs for us.
    The local council did once make a gaden for wheelchair users, they built a series of brickwork beds about 6' x 4' and 2' high, with wide paths between. Good idea but the vandals couldn't leave it alone, so it's not there any more. Perhaps the stocks weren't such a bad idea, public ridicule and pelting with rotten eggs / tomatoes usually worked, they didn't often re-offend.

    Not a bad morning, blue sky, few white clouds, no breeze and cold, not quite freezing but close.
    Raggy cat sleeping on armchair, it's been out all night but feels warmer than me, they must have built-in central heating.

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  28. I think there is not enough done for the disabled and people who are int their Autumn years. A lot of people dream of retiring to the countryside and getting a smallholding. Yet they don't realise that they will soon not be physically strong enough to work it on their own.

    I damaged my back carrying a wardrobe down a stairs and I suffer fro m a crush injury. This means that I pay for everything I do, especially when I have mucked the cattle out or dug the plot over. Enough my problems.

    However the biggest problem with a disability or injury is the depression that goes with it. I am sure I don't need to tell you this Cumbrian going off what you have told me with your situation.

    Suppose what I am saying is you need to be physically fit, have others to help you, or better still enough money to pay somebody to do the work for you.

    Can't believe any one could destroy a garden for wheelchair users. Think I would be giving the culprits lots of nice work digging over wild allotments. Think the stocks could be used in Westminster and for the bankers. It would make better entertainment than the X Factor wouldn't it?

    Very cold here but dry. Still haven't found a cheap stove for Domino and the farmhouse to keep warm. Glad to hear Raggy Cat is doing well!

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  29. You're right, Dave, there'll always be an ethical shadow over boxing, because of its underlying purpose. Having said this, wonderful people like Emanuel Steward come out of the boxing world. It seems that quite often, a sense of gladiatorial combat can bring about humility and respect.

    For the above reason,I really like Ricky Burns who is a model professional in and out of the ring. Mind you, he'll have a tough job on his hands if he fights an American called Adrien Broner in the future. Have you seen much of Ricky Burns or anything of Adrien Broner, Dave?

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  30. I haven't heard of Ricky Burns or Adrien Broner, Pat. I believe Ricky Burns is a 'nice guy' and boxing does seem to bring out humility and mutual respect, like you say.

    Think boxing and mentors like Emanuel Steward saved a lot of young men from a life of crime. Marvin Hagler came from a very poor and hostile background yet he channelled his aggression through professional boxing and used to it become one of the greatest boxers the world will ever see.

    Thanks.

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