Monday, 26 October 2015

New Arrivals On Our Irish Smallholding.





"It's my bed not yours."  
These two bundles of joy arrived on our farm last week.  The wife and number 2 son brought home the Border Collie and Number 1 son brought home the Jack Russell (Parson Terrier) one night.  

We talked about getting another ratter because our terrier is getting old and we didn't want a big void when she goes to doggy Heaven.  Fido will also be to train them up.  We have called them Bell and Scamp.  Don't think the terrier pup will need training up.  She's a right nowty so and so.  

This will mean another two dog licences (twenty Euros each) to buy.  I might do my Monty Python impersonation and go the post office and enquire about a licence for Domino our cat:

"I'd like a licence for my cat please."


Thursday, 15 October 2015

Our Smallholding Calves Have Their Horns Removed.

It was de-horning the other night on our smallholding here in West Cork, Ireland.   A friend we know helped us de-horn them in the cattle crush.  I have read that cattle have horns mainly for divining water and not jut for protecting themselves.  Some breeds like Aberdeen Angus are naturally polled and the Irish often refer them as the 'Black Polly'.  

Our friend came with his hand held gas de-horner.  He said it cost him 270 Euros and it runs off a 7 Euros gas cyclinder.  This burns the horn buds and they will (hopefully) no longer grow back.  The cattle marts will not allow them to be sold if they have horns.  Any way the de-horning went succesful and here's the boys a girls a week later.  They don't look any worse for wear.  





The next job for the boys will be the 'clampsing'  or making the bulls into bullocks.  This will be done around Christmas and before the lads are fertile enough to jump on two heifers.  

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Our Old Turf Fire.

Most of the blogs I follow seem to be having Autumn themes at the moment so why I don't do the same?

We did travel once again last week over the Cork and Kerry mountains for some retail therapy and to pick up fifteen bags of machine dug turf (peat).  My wife remembers many years ago (sixties) getting off the boat with her Irish family at Dun Laoghaire and smelling the turf fires.  She said they knew they that were back in Ireland.  



Just 3 Euros a bag.  That's about two pounds twenty two pence per bag.  We go through a bag of turf a day/night at the moment.
Our Stanley Mourne number 7 range burning logs and turf.  We cook on it, get our hot water from it and it heats seven radiators.  

We were talking to an elderly farmer the other day.  He said you should only light a fire once in Autumn and you should never let it go out until Spring.  My grandparents used to stoke their range with turf at night, close the door and it would be lovely and warm in the kitchen in the morning.  

Here's an appropriate song for you:



Sunday, 4 October 2015

"A Chimney For Every Month, A Door For Every Week, A Window For Every Day Of The Year."


I thought I would show you a really impressive ruin in West Cork.  It's called Coppingers Court.  It was built in the early 17th century by Sir Walter Coppinger.  He was said to be a money lender and he gained considerable estates by mortgage.  He is remembered as someone who lorded over the district and he hanged anybody who disagreed with him from a gallows on the gable end of the court.  


Coppingers Court had two silver gates.  They were thrown into a small lake in Glandore.  In the same year that it was ransacked in 1641 and partly burned down.  It's been derelict since.  This is near Roscarberry and Glandore.  Not far from Drombeg stone circle.  Carol Vorderman used to have an holiday home near here..

It was so impressive a building.  That it had a chinmney for every month, a door for every week and a window for every dasy.  We took the photographs from the lane next to the field.  We were told the landowners didn't really like people trespassing on their property.  So we took these pictures from a distance.









Thursday, 1 October 2015

Do You Have A Local Pub?

One thing I really miss living in the countryside is being near a pub.  My ideal pub would be an old stone pub with rough plaster walls, oak beams, flagged floors, real ales, and serving regional food from all over the British Isles.   

One thing about a local pub is the camaraderie and people are more their true selves when they have a drink or more.  You also get to know what people can do and what they have for sale.  Dare I say it?  You may even feel like you are part of a community.  Or is that just a myth?  

When was the last time you went in your local pub?  Is it modern or old fashioned?  Do you stay in and buy your beer from the supermarket and watch the telly sat in your scruffs?  Well I do, sadly!  It's a lot cheaper to drink at home but you don't have a social life do you?  

When was the last time you went in a pub?  Do you have a local?