Wednesday, 16 January 2013

The Goat And The Horse In The Suitcase.

The brass goat and horse that my dad cherished.  Digital camera date is wrong!
The goat and the horse are in our house today.  No they are not the real one's.  These are brass ornaments that my dad bought in West Cork, many moons a go.  He bought them from a pub landlord and brought them back to England in his suitcase, on the bus, trains and boat.    Six years a go the goat and horse came back to Ireland.  I often said while visiting them, that I would love to own the goat.  My dad would often say:

"You can have them (horse and goat) when I'm gone."

Yesterday my brother brought over several bags of clothes, shoes, photographs, papers and the brass horse and goat.   I looked at the bin bags of clothes that we are going to take the charity shop.  The photographs such happy memories and of people who are no longer with us.  I thought to myself:

"It's not much to show, for your time on Earth."

Any way.  The goat and the horse, sit proud under the television cabinet.  Last night I raised a glass to my parents.  I have finally got the goat and the horse, that I always wanted.  Wish they weren't mine, and my dad still polished them.

Isn't life tripe?

Here's a great song by the Fureys.  "The Old Man."


  1. Handsome brasses, and something to remind you of your parents, good of your brother to remember and deliver them to you.
    I've got absolutely nothing from my parents, my sister and ex-wife stripped the house when my mother was taken in to a care home.

    We don't always leave much when we pass on, but memories live for ever.

    Keeping cold here, but the frost's gone for now, forcast to come back soon.
    Raggy cat continues its warm relaxed lifestyle, I haven't had a mouse for months, they must be hibernating or it's getting too well fed.

  2. Hi Cumbrian,

    Yes they are handsome brasses. They are about nine inches high and nearly a foot long. They are also very heavy. I would like to get a rubber mould made for the goat (is it called vulcanizing?) and make a few brass casts.

    Sorry to hear that you didn't get anything from your parents. Lie you say, memories live for ever.

    Seems to be a lot of high street chains collapsing in Britain. Does everybody buy just online now? I some times but cheap CD's from Tesco in Killarney or Cork. Can't remember when I last bought a 'charts' CD.

    Cold and wet here. Everybody I talk to agrees that we are going through climate change.

    Do mice hibernate? I honestly don't know. I know rats don't. I hate them. But I won't use poison because the local cats and my terrier would get poisoned. Read somewhere that you can mix cement with the duck food and they rats will eat it and go for a drink (newcy brown?) and the cement sets.

    What do you think about the 'horse' meat that they say they have found in the supermarket beef burgers? I always thought that Salami was donkey, any way? Is it unethical to eat an horse or is just unethical to use it for 'beef' burgers? We try not to buy pre-packed meat and ask the butcher to mince the steak for us, in front of our eyes.

    Thanks Cumbrian.

  3. Brasses are bigger than I thought, it would be nice to take a mould from them but I wouldn't have a clue how to go about it or what it's called.

    Do mice hibernate? No, I don't know either, maybe they just move in to buildings to try and keep warm? Your terrier and Domino probably keep them away to a certain extent.
    I know rats don't, and like you I don't like to see them, I've never seen one here where we live now, but I once read you're never more than 20' away from a rat in UK. Next door has a few chickens, so I guess they'll be about.

    High street chains can't compete with on-line free delivery things, we're all guilty of that, you can't blame people for getting the best deal they can, especially when money's tight.

    Doesn't bother me eating horse meat, most European countries do, I had it once in Berlin, thought it was steak. And probably in imported salami as well. But agree it's unethical to sell it as beef.

    How's Bracken and the goat managing in the cold?

    Keeping cold, Raggy cat been out, in again, getting warm for when it goes out later.

  4. Thanks John. It does you good to write down how you feel. Going through family photographs really disturb me. At least they show that your loved one's had some happy times. Life is so short.


  5. Hi Cumbrian, I sometimes see rats eating the ducks grain in broad day light. I think you're right, poultry attracts them. You can't get rid of rats on a smallholding, because you provide organic feeding (silage, cow dung, straw, hay, beef nuts etc) for them. I often spill a few beef nuts on the ground and we get a morning visitor(a beautiful pheasant) who gathers up the crumbs.

    I think we seem to all go for the price rather than loyalty or quality. A lot of our cheap clothes come from 'sweat shops' in Asia. Places where people work for a bowl of rice for wages.

    China rules the manufacturing world unfortunately. Europe will never get out of recession until it starts manufacturing it's own products.

    Horse meat must be very similar to beef, because we have never noticed it before? I stay clear of 'pre-packed' meat, because I know all the old pigs, sheep and 'dry' cows and bulls end up being sold in the supermarket fridges. You get what you pay for, don't you?

    Domino is still inside the farmhouse. The goat doesn't like the rain, because goats are from Asia originally and they don't have waterproof oils in their coats. Bracken is 'flying it' (West Cork phrase) at the moment. The Shetland pony doesn't care seem to about the inclement Irish weather. He a tough fellow.


  6. We had a pair of pheasants visit the back garden last two years in spring, hope they come back this spring.

    Yes, sadly cost seems to rule nowadays, there's a few people left who put quality first, but not many because quality comes with a higher price tag.
    Loyalty doesn't seem to count for anyting any more.

    I used to have a sign on my desk so clients could see it.
    "I do 3 types of job - Good, Cheap, Fast - Pick any 2"
    Some of them needed it explaining.
    If it's Good and Fast it won't be Cheap
    If it's Good and Cheap it won't be Fast
    If it's Cheap and Fast it won't be Good

    Chinese goods seem to have progressed from the "cheap and nasty" image they once had, to manufacturing goods for many highly-regarded global companies, there's a lot of them and they work very cheap and are un-demanding in the work-place, putting up with hours, conditions and practices we wouldn't be allowed to. Unless it's changed in the last few years.
    Cheap goods in the short term, but short-sighted, I think long term it means exporting all our jobs, and eventually ownership of just about everything else.

    The old adge rings true "You get exactly what you're prepared to pay for"

    Pleased to hear Bracken's doing well, the Shetland Isles are probably even more inclement than South West Ireland. I'm sure you've got the goat somewhere dry to shelter when it's too bad.

    Bit warmer here this morning, no frost, dry and no breeze.
    Raggy cat in and toasting itself in front of fire.

  7. Dave, when I was in Britain, I found it soothing when I used to listen to 'The Late Junction' (Medieval; Renaissance; Folk; Ethnic; Ethereal; Bjork-type Scandinavian music etc.)on Radio 3. I think you can also listen to the programmes on the 'Late Junction' website.

    Might be worth having a listen, as, to a certain degree, music can have some therapeutic effect that is often missed by interaction and deep thought. Just letting the music seep in may just help to soothe things over a bit.

  8. Totally agree Cumbrian. I often hear about people with 'holiday homes' Loading up their cars with cheaper supermarket shopping, rather than paying for limited choice and over priced goods in the village shops. The pubs are far too expensive but they won't (or can't) drop their prices. Then they wonder why they close down. The UK and Ireland are far too expensive countries to live in. I heard the other day of somebody renting a one bedroom bedsit in Dublin for 1000 Euros a month. That's about seven hundred and fifty pounds - "ouch!"

    The Chinese are even buying farm land in Australia now. There will be no high streets soon. Online shopping or shops like Argos will be the norm.

    The goat lives in the barn at night and when it's raining. It sits on the round bales, eating the straw. We built Bracken the shelter. But I never see him in it. I believe they graze the heather in the Shetland Isles, during winter. I moan when I get wet through cleaning the cattle out.

    Dry here, but wet. If you know what I mean? Terrier fast asleep on sheepskin rug. It's a dogs life. It's not bad really. But I wouldn't like their dinner.


  9. "The Late Junction" sounds just my cup of tea, Pat. Thanks. I also play my brass bands CD's quite a lot. They are just the ticket. Music is like a 'mental radox' bath. There's also some great spoken poetry on You Tube. One of my favourites poets is RS Thomas. Are you familiar with his work , Pat?


  10. Only know RS Thomas in passing from you years ago, Dave. Would really like to sit down and seriously read some Gerard Manley Hopkins, but can never find the time (been saying this for years).

    'Late Show' is where I discovered 'The Red Book of Monserrat' and some incredible Renaissance music by Ensemble Doulcis Memoires (it all sounds very grand, but it's just beautiful listening process)

  11. I spent an hour reading about Gerard Manley Hopkins today Pat. He was an Anglican high church convert to Roman Catholicism and a Jesuit. He was only 44 when he died in Dublin. There's a documentary about him on You Tube.

    It does all sound very grand. You can't beat a bit of culture, can you?


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