Tuesday, 31 December 2019

A Knitting We Will Go,

Click, click, click click.

What?

Click, click, click, click.


Why is the female of the species so talented?

The knitter who does reside in our house knits all through the dark nights of Autumn and Winter.  Making cardigans and jumpers...


I click with the television remote control.

Hope 2020 is much better than 2019.  Perhaps we will get some sunshine?

Thanks for reading my posts and a special thank you to those who regularly leave a comment or two!

Happy New Year.

Sunday, 29 December 2019

A Few Minutes Looking At The Ocean.

We had a run out yesterday morning and ended up at Inchydoney beach near Clonakilty.  It was bitterly cold and the Atlantic ocean and the sky had both taken on a leadened grey appearance.

 The carparks were full of cars and we saw lots of hardy souls going walks along the sandy paths, roads and beach.  We didn't stay long and made our way back to the warmth of the motor car.

My old mental jukebox started to play an All About  Eve song.  One of my favourite Gothic rock bands from the 1980s and 90's.  I once saw them at Manchester Apollo and at Glastonbury Festival.  I love their gipsy goth look.   Enjoy the video.



Bingo Creature.

Bingo was originally an Italian Lotto in the 15th century.  It eventually became the game we know today  and introduced to Britain in the nineteen twenties.

Growing up in the northwest of England I often witnessed people playing this game,  particularly in amusement arcades in places like Morecambe, Blackpool, Scarborough and northern social clubs.  One person I remember very well was Bingo Creature.  I hope you don't take offence with my compositions?  They are only a bit of fun!
This is a strange creature predominantly made up of the female member of the species.  It is the curse of the social clubs of Great Britain and Skelmersdale. 
Old and not so very old ladies, buy a book of bingo cards and attempt to win the grand sum of two pounds.  God forbid you be the person who happens to be stood at a bar talking when the numbers are being called.  
Little old lady wearer of the purple rinse and polyester slacks suddenly changes into bingo creature.  If you’ve seen the possessed girl in the Exorcist.  Well you are now about to meet her mother, bingo creature.  
Did you happen to speak during her game of bingo?  You’re worse than the man who announces:
 “Order, order.  Can we have order please?  The pies are ready”
  Hell hath no fury on a bingo ladies scorn.    Imagine preventing some-one from winning TWO POUNDS?

Saturday, 28 December 2019

Last Night's Television.

We watched two episodes of the fabulous Mortimer and Whitehouse's Gone Fishing.  Wish I had a friend like those two.  So incredibly intelligent and yet so very funny and incredibly philosophical on life.  I am really enjoying their book too!

Then we turned to Really and watched Antiques Road Trip.  This programme always caters for our inner Womble and it's always surprising what the experts choose to take to auction.  I always see things behind them that I like.  But that's  why I am not a antique dealer.  I can only buy what I like.

We switched over and watched a programme about the comic genius Les Dawson.  I love his dark and bittersweet and sardonic humour.  If you ever met someone from the Manchester or Liverpool area, you will know what I mean.

Even my Prog Rock hero Rick Wakeman appeared on the show.  Showing how not to play the piano.  I saw him play properly with Yes at the Night Of The Prog Festival in Loreley in Germany 2017.

A great nights telly viewing.

I found this video of Rick playing , nursery rhymes, famous composers and Les too.  Enjoy.


Friday, 27 December 2019

Some Of My Angling Tales!

 ANGLING TALES.
Dunno if I have I have posted this before?  But here goes:
This is another pastime frequented by all different kinds of people.  You get the small kid who just wants to catch a fishy on the lishy.  He is happy catching sticklebacks and sharing his mum’s sandwiches with the local wildlife.

 Then there is the trout fisherman who only uses the fly and disapproves at the common Coarse fishing angler.   Trout man spends all his time trying to imitate a May fly and thinking of interesting tweed jackets.   He is often seen at a private stocked troutery, fishing for Triploids (had their sex organs electrically removed so they resemble bullocks) that  have had about two dustbins of trout pellets a second.  Trout man is really chuffed when he catches one of the Leviathans and proudly shows off his catch!
I spent a lot of my youth and early adulthood Coarse fishing.  Every stream, flooded quarry, canal, mill pond, river, reservoir and lodge was fished.  All just so that I could catch a fish and let it go again. 
Oh what joy it was to look down at your maggot box and see a big brown rat eating the bran.  I am terrified of rats (shit scared) and they soon helped me pack up my tackle and run home!  I think my rat phobia goes back to my childhood. 
I once went out the back street one winter’s night in my stocking feet to let my beloved dog Tess back in after her ablutions and a good bark.  A great big greasy looking sewer rat type very kindly decided to walk over my feet.  I turned and fled and unofficially broke the world 100 metres record.  
Anyway I digress.  I spent many a happy and not so happy time fishing.  I enjoyed my time sitting fishing with a keep net full of Thwaites beer and half bottle of whisky to keep me warm.
 I can recall breaking ice with a stone and spending TWO hours shivering and feeling sorry for myself.  I never caught anything but what’s better than a bit of hypothermia now again?

I met a few nutcases on my fishing adventures.  I often  remember the one man and his dog that would stand behind you watching your float for about five minutes.  Then they would say:
 “Have you caught out (anything) mate?” 
I would reply yes or no and they would shrug their shoulders and walk off.  Thanks a lot dog walker for standing behind me and sending me paranoid.  Oh the times I used to think some mass murderer was going to kill me and make me into their dog: Rover’s dog food.   
 One time I joined a local fishing society.  I walked the two miles to my new fishing paradise and began to assemble my fishing rod.  A friendly neighbouring angler fishing on the opposite peg greeted me by saying:
 “Get to f8ck off there.  You’re not fishing on my peg”. 
I looked in front of my peg (a prostrate wooden pallet, precariously hanging over the water) and noticed the “friendly Fishermans” float.   I tried to protest that I was only fishing on a vacant peg and he threatened to give me good hiding. 
I was only 16 and he was about forty.   Friendly fisherman was built like the proverbial brick shithouse, and his cat had obviously urinated on their corn flakes that very morning.   So I picked up my tackle and left “friendly angler” to his half of the fishing lodge. 

Not all anglers are crazy though.  Some of them are well balanced, upstanding members of the community.  They have hobbies like Bingo!  

Thursday, 26 December 2019

A Fishing Book Christmas Present.

We went to Killarney last Friday and I chose a book in The Works for my Christmas present.  Mortimer and Waterhouse: Gone Fishing.  Ten Euros for an hard back book and a font that is readable.  When we got home the missus wrapped it up and put it away for Christmas.  Such is life.

The book is a spin off from their superb television series: Gone Fishing.

I opened the book yesterday and I ate (read) a quarter of the book last night.  It's  so beautifully written.  Full of silly daft humour and also pathos.

It reminds me of when I was young and I would read the Mr Crabtree Fishing book and Daily Mirror cartoon strip..  When he would take his nephew fishing.  Teaching him how to observe and fall in love with the water craft that is Angling.

I don't  think you need to be an active Angler to read this book.  You might be like me who use to spend summers in their youth fishing in mill ponds, flooded quarries and streams.  Remembering the laughs and failures and that man who told us to throw an Accrington brick under the water lilies to attract the Tench.  Then he picked one up threw it in the water with the
noise of a bomb and an almighty splash and we never caught one fish!

Any one who wants to recapture their youth and realize we are all living on borrowed time, I recommend this book.  Maybe I will even  get the mini digger to dig a fishing pond next year and start fishing again or even buy a fishing and campsite site in France or Portugal?

Tuesday, 24 December 2019

Brussel Sprout Picking For Christmas Dinner.

I went out to the veg plot with the bread knife this morning and came back with two big Brussel sprouts triffids.   They like firm ground and not too much nitrogen or else the sprouts blow.

They have had no cow plop or fym this year.  Just a sprinkle now and again of organic chicken pellet manure.  I love this stuff and you don't get a lot of weeds  like you do with 'cold' manure like cow manure and all the rain has supplied us with lots of free nitrogen.  Thankfully not enough to make the sprouts blow.

We had a few days of frost recently and it does help to improve the taste.  I saw an advert on the telly last night for Tesco carrots for 19p.  It really makes you wonder what's the point in growing your own doesn't  it.  You can beat the taste of fresh homegrown vegetables and we never use manmade chemical fertilizers or weed or pesticides killers on our veg plot.  So I  suppose it's worth growing them for that?

I would go round the bend if I didn't have a veg plot.  Living in the countryside next to the sea would be very boring.  Any way have a great day tomorrow and don't  eat too many sprouts!

Monday, 23 December 2019

The Three String Guitar In My Mum's Wardrobe.

I hope no little people (Leprechauns too!) are reading this?  Good,  Are you sitting comfortably?  Then I shall begin.

I must have been about ten and I had mithered (a northern word) my parents for my very own acoustic guitar.  So much so that they took me to town to be fitted out with my very own bespoke size guitar.  Then they made me give it back to the shopkeeper and me dad said: "We will think about it" and winked at the shopkeeper.

Every Saturday night my mum and dad would go out for some sherbet dabs.  One Saturday night exceedingly  close to Chrimbo, my brother and my good self decided to have a look for our Christmas presents.  We looked where my mum use to hide everything, her wardrobe!

Sure enough hiding behind one of her coats was the  little guitar I saw in the shop a few weeks earlier. .  So I took it out and started playing and started singing:
"Since my baby left me!"

THE STRINGS SNAPPED!

Well only three of them.  I quickly put it back.

A few weeks or days later.  It was Christmas Eve.  I went to bed early because Father Christmas was on his way.  I heard my mum and dad coming upstairs and they were shouting "shush" at each other.

Then I heard the handle turn  the door into their bedroom.  My dad must have took the guitar out of my Mum's wardrobe and he shouted:

"What the bloody hell!"

I awoke to  find a 3 string guitar at the bottom of my bed.

Rudolph and Santa must have been having a sing song?

Have you any Christmas Eve tales?

Sunday, 22 December 2019

The Grand Piano In The Posh House.

I worked has a jobbing gardener when we lived in that leafy Cheshire village.  I just put an advert in a newsagents and I soon had a little gardening round.  I was never short of work unlike here.

Once I went cutting a Leylandi conifer hedge for this lady who lived in a big posh house in the countryside.  She insisted I came in for some liquid refreshment.  So I doffed my cap, pulled my forelock and took off my welly bobs and went inside the house.  She was called Lady Chatterley and...  Dream on Davey lad.

I knew it was posh because they had fruit in a bowl on the sideboard and nobody was ill.  The old one's are the best.

Any road or any way.  I drank my "nice" cup of tea (I don't  even drink it!) and unwrapped TWO Club biscuits and I noticed a "baby" grand piano in the front room.  I recognised the piano because  I come from a musical family.  My mother  owned a Singer sewing machine!

I asked  Mrs posh lady if she had a budding maestro concert pianist in the family?  She told me it belonged to her daughter and she only bought it her for the discipline.

"If she can master music she can master any language or subject."

I went outside and mastered picking up the hedge trimmings!


Saturday, 21 December 2019

The Allotment In The Nice Village In Cheshire!

In 1998 I resided in a little village in that Southern county up North called Cheshire.  

The village  was famous for being the home of Manchester United and Manchester City footballers, Coronation streets actors and allegedly a few gangsters.  I think they call them nightclub owners?  

We worked in the village and decided to rent an allotment.  This was privately run and the word democracy did not exist.  Prospective allotment committee members were co-opted and “head hunted on to the committee”.  I think the person who dropped the least aitches was seen as the most suitable candidate.   

I once told the Allotment committee chairman that we used to hold work parties on the allotments I used to rent back in North Manchester.  He reminded me of Mr Peter Allis the golf commentator, if he had an allotment near  Manchester Airport in Cheshire.  
“Young man”, he said. 
“I don’t give a stuff what they do in Lancashire.  They do what I say here!” 

It was lovely to see democracy in action!

A Close Shave?

I spotted this entrepreneur in a car park yesterday.  The back doors of the ambulance were open and the barber was playing his trade.  It looked busy too.  I have seen old ambulances made into camper vans, but never into barbers.   I remember seeing an old  yellow Telecom van being used for a door to door vegetable delivery van.  Have you seen any other uses for a van or ambulance or a railway carriage like Uncle Morts Allotment Castle/Shed?

Like Colonel John "Hannibal" Smith from the A Team used to say:

"I love it when a plan comes together!"

Here's  some more Irish telly that you may or not be familiar with.  Enjoy and join in!


Friday, 20 December 2019

Organic Baked Beans.

I have seen the future today and it's not garlic bread.  May  I present:  Heinz Oganic Beans.  Even the tin will decompose in a few hundred years.   Anybody tried them?  What they like?  Do you still need to cover them in HP sauce or Tommy K.  They call it "Red" sauce in West Cork.
They are like yours truly.  Fifty seven different varieties. 

Are you in the mood for a song?  Good.  Well it is nearly Christmas.  Here's  the Lancashire Hotpots.  Enjoy and join in.

Does anybody know a finer meal?

Thursday, 19 December 2019

A Slap Up Meal For Twenty Cents.

We are having vegetarian chilli con carne and minced meat chilli con carne for us supper tonight.  Why have I gone all Yorkshire?  Wait a minute that doesn't make sense.   Doesn't chilli  con carne mean: Chillies with meat?  So how can you have a vegetarian one?

Yon lass went to our local garden centre and supermarket (Lidl) and did find the above meals for 20 Cents each.  We also got 24 cans of Liffey water or Guinness for 20 Euros.

We are going to watch Funny Cow on Netflix tonight starring Maxine Peake.  I will let you know what what we thought.

Who needs to go to one of them posh restaurants where they light candles and somebody says to the waiter:

"Put ten Bob in leccy meter"?

You don't have to put on your best clobber and cover yourself in that erotic (exotic) after shave called TCP  and jump on charabanc to the flicks.  Oh no.

Just sit there in your scruffs and switch on the old fish tank in the corner and tune into Netflix.  Well I  am tonight.  What are you doing or having for your supper?

Wednesday, 18 December 2019

The Allotment In Winter.

The weather is playing at silly beggars at the moment.  Rain and wind and Jack Frost and his family all thrown in. 

There's no chance of me digging the veg plot over its much too wet.  It makes me wish I had an allotment with my very own allotment castle,  a shed.  One of those with a corrugated tin roof and a front door from a skip.  


Or even an old railway carriage like my fictional allotment hero Uncle Mort.  His shed was an old railway carriage.  Do you remember I Didn't Know You Cared on the Beeb in the 1970's or 1980's?  It was penned by the late and great Peter Tinniswood. 

 He grew up over a dry cleaners in Sale in Cheshire.  A perfect place for any would be  writer to find his characters and people watch. 

We live in a beautiful place in the countryside next to the sea.  But I sometimes think I would like to rent an allotment again and meet characters like Uncle Mort.   

Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Remembering A Great Irish Television Programme I Use To Watch When I Lived In Blighty.

I often would turn on the television in the eighties and nineties and look forward  to watching a rural  Irish soap.  It would be  on ITV  in an afternoon and Glenroe would appear.  This was a fictious  rural area and Irish village in county  Wicklow.  Do you remember it?  It seemed so innocent compared to the soap operas we watch these days

Two characters who I really adhered to were the characters Biddy and Miley.   They had a courtship that lasted  or seemed for years.  Real characters with the intrigue of "will they or won't they" being the recurring theme.

In one episode Biddy got herself all dressed up and Miley took her for a special night at the LOCAL pub!  They hardly spoke a word all night and he just took an occasional gulp from his pint of the black stuff.

Eventually Biddy gets up and has an hissy fit and storms out of the pub.  Miley couldn't understand what was up with Biddy.  He'd had a brilliant night!

Here's  a few clips of Biddy and Miley's love and romance.

Monday, 16 December 2019

Soap Opera Thoughts? Just A Bit Of Fun!

 Apparently  there are over 350 million blogs in the world.    That's 350 million writers.  Imagine if Shakespeare had a blog would he have ever got published?   There's  a lot more competition and writers these  days you know!  

I penned the following a few years ago and some of the soap characters have changed but..?  

I think soap operas are made by the governments “ Ministry Of  How To Keep Them Down Department”.  We will show Joe Public and his wife that life is really crap on the telly, electric fish tank.  There is no chance of it ever getting any better.  So be content with what you’ve got and it doesn’t matter who left the top off the toothpaste, does it?  
Let’s look at Coronation Street for example.  Most of the character are promiscuous, a potential murderer, a hopeless cook and alcoholic.   Sounds like a pet rabbit I used to know?  Or was it a bar maid?
 Betty Turpins “Lovely Hotpot” is usually the staple diet, washed down with a pint of Newton and Ridley.  Nobody goes home to eat, they just drop into Roy’s cafe or the Rovers return.  Well after all, the characters do reside in the same street. 
The street is cobbled like all northern streets and northern motorways are supposed to be.  Even the railway lines.  Jack Duckworth even kept pigeons in his backyard.  They never show the ferrets and whippets though do they? Or the dolly tub and donkey stones!  Think on now script writers.
At the time of writing this piece (it’s been on the back boiler of my writing department for a few years ).  Poor Sally Webster had just been diagnosed with breast cancer.  What a lovely story theme for Christmas time.  It must be wonderful (or not), for anybody who is suffering or knows somebody with the dreaded big C.  Why does it always  have to be like the news, sad and thoroughly depressing? 
You can just imagine the following telephone conversation from the Samaritans call centre: 
“So you’re depressed and suicidal.  Is it because you are homeless and unemployed and recently divorced?” 
Caller: “Oh no it’s not that.  My problem is far worse than that.  I have just watched Coronation Street.”
The trouble is millions and trillions of people tune in at seven thirty and get their fill of soap opera doom and gloom. 
 They even cause an enormous electricity surge at 7.45pm.  Millions of people are putting on the kettle (it won’t fit them) and making a “lovely cup of tea”.  Before people sit down and wallow in the despair of the soap opera.   I have never recovered from Ken Barlow’s wife getting electrocuted (they never played the Cornet  at the  end of the programme) or Alan Bradley getting flattened by a Blackpool tram.  I think the council (in real life!)  have even put up a sign marking the spot where he was killed.  Poor old Alan Bradley!
This programme must be watched religiously three times a week, not forgetting the omnibus edition at the weekend.  God help anybody speak or want to watch the “footie ball” match on  the other channel.  Sky probably?
I think there is one way to solve the soap opera problem.  I will become a soap opera script writer. 
Shall I let you into a secret? 
Plot 1 Coronation Street.   Norris and Roy talk too much verbal diarrhoea resulting in a major gas mains explosion- no survivors!  End of programme.  Plot 2.  Eastenders:   Too many portions of jellied eels in Ian’s Cafe.  Yet another enormous gas explosion- No survivors.  Plot  3. Emmerdale; Methane gas from cow causes giant explosion- No survivors. 
Plot 4: Home and Away: Skippy the bush kangaroo farts while cooking on the Barbie, resulting in a massive explosion- No survivors. 

End of all soap operas.  People rejoice and think about what we did before we had television.  Chemists talk of massive contraceptive shortages.   Tea  companies make massive financial losses.  No more "nice" cups of tea at a quarter to eight in the evening!

Saturday, 14 December 2019

When Elvis Sang Heavy Rock.

Imagine if Elvis the king of rock'n'roll had become the lead singer of that Scottish born Australian group ACDC?  You can't?


  Well watch this video and you might change your mind?  Hope it makes you smile?

Thursday, 12 December 2019

Time To Get The Hairbrush Microphone And Air Guitar Out Folks!

I was really  saddened to read the very sad news this week that Marie the Roxette singer had died.  Yet again that illness that takes one in every two people struck.

I never got to see Roxette  live but I  have enjoyed their videos and dances about in pubs when their records came on the jukebox in pubs.  I might have used a pool cue for a guitar and the wife's hairbrush for a microphone in the bedroom.  Are you a pretend rockstar?

Thanks Roxette!


Wednesday, 11 December 2019

A Talcum Powder Sprinkling Of Snow Over On Hungry Hill.

Brr...  It's  getting colder by the day here on the Irish  Riviera.  This is a photo of Hungry Hill taken from the back garden this very morn.  I reckon it's  time we ordered some more logs or "the blocks" has they call them here in West Cork.

People who often comment on the spectacular of Bantry  Bay and Hungry Hill and Sugarloaf  Mountains over on the Beara Peninsula.  I often quote my grandmother:

The view won't feed you!"

It's not bad though,  well on a nice day!

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

A Nativity Scene From 1974.

Some Mothers Do Ave Em must be up there with the Very Best of British comedies.  Written by Raymond Allen and stunts and acted by the wonderful Michael Crawford.  I think this is Christmas telly gold.  Enjoy!

Monday, 9 December 2019

The Lumpy Parcel From Over The Sea.

It must be nearly fifty years ago.  But I still remember the brown paper parcel tied up with string and the Eire stamp. The postman had struggled up the garden path and banged on our front door.

I would only be about five or six but I still remember the parcel so vividly.  I  think my mum made us wait until my dad came home from the mill before opening the parcel.

"It's from Ireland"

Said my mother.

One of the grown ups brought the scissors and cut the string and me and my brother ripped the brown paper.

We looked at the turkey, the headscarf for my mum, two pairs of leather boots for my brother and me, a pen knife for my dad and a Christmas card and a letter!  There was no internet or telephone, just dear old snail mail.

We wouldn't see our grandparents until next July but they had not forgotten  us and sent us all some Christmas presents!  We knew why the parcel was lumpy too.

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Domino Tries On His New Christmas Jumper.

Domino isn't impressed with Christmas and having to put on his Sunday Or Christmas best.  I know what he means.  It's easier not to bother having a shower and shave and open a few tinnies and watch the John Logie Baird machine in the corner or go out into the fields and catch a mouse or a rat and leave it outside for yours truly.  Good old Domino. If you would like to purchase your very own pet Christmas jumper.  Pop down to your nearest Aldi  store.  It only cost a few Euros!

Saturday, 7 December 2019

Starting To Play The Old Tunes Again.

When the kids were about ten and five.  We would have a get together for a birthday or Christmas Day.  We would all watch the kids rip open their presents wrapping paper and terrorize their grandparents crashing a remote control car or truck into their feet.  Then we would eat and my dad would always insist we helped him drink his bottle of Grouse whisky that we always bought him. 

Some time later I  would put one of my Pogues  CDs and play some tracks that we all loved.  My mum in particular use to pretend to pull her face when the lyrics contained some expletives or more.  This would give much merriment to the kids and certain tracks would be played over and over again.

Then in 2012 it came to an end and my mum and dad went to live with baby Jesus and I stopped playing those tracks.  Then the other day I was writing a blog about Whiskies and the mental jukebox started playing.  So much so that I played them all again on good old You Tube.

Here's one of the family favourite tunes that we use to singalong and tap our feet to:



Have you got an old tune you haven't played for a while?  Go on put it on the turntable and give it a spin.  I find it very cathartic!  

Friday, 6 December 2019

Yesterday And A Review Of The Cheap Malt Whiskies From Lidl.

Yesterday was very wet and windy and I lit the range and watched the snooker.  My hero Ronnie the 'Rocket' share the same birthday (yesterday) and it was a match that wasn't  to be.

The wife picked up a nine inch pizza from town.  We have started to share portions now we are on the slippery slope to old age.  I find unless I have been for a long walk or been gardening, I don't  need a big pizza to myself.  Same with fish and chips.  One portion is big enough for the two of us.  More tight wad tips soon.


So we opened up two of the Ben Bracken miniatures last night.  I managed to pour two half whisky glasses out of each bottle.  They had the wonderful fudge, toffee and cherry aromas and one was smoky like leaves burning on old Reg's allotment in Autumn.  Three miniature malts for ten Euros!  A great stocking filler for that someone you don't know what to buy, me thinks!

Apparently there isn't  actually  a Ben Bracken distillery in Scotland.  Lidl buy it from other distilleries. 

 "Am I bothered?"

No I am not.  In fact I would now go and buy the bigger 70cl bottles of their own malt.  I believe Aldi have their own Marnoch malt whisky for sale too.  It just goes to show malts are affordable for all pockets and purses.  Just because it's cheap doesn't mean it's CRAP!  Can I patent that slogan?  You heard it here first.





Thursday, 5 December 2019

Three Miniature Malt Scotch Whiskies.

Another year nearer to Heaven this week.  Another milestone, my birthday.  My brother  gave me a bottle of Glenlivet, the two lads bought me a bottle of Hennessy Cognac and the wife went shopping in Lidl and brought me home three miniature Scottish malts.  Do you think they are trying to tell me something?

I will try one of them tonight and let you know what they are like.  I love Scottish malts, especially  Dalwhinnie.  These are a fraction of the more expensive ones.  Might be an idea for a Christmas  present for someone?  Any one else like malt whisky?  What's your favourite?

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Time For The Christmas Cards..

Wishing all blog friends old and new a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

 Like Margo said in the Good Life.

" Yuletide felicitations" .

  Come on bloggers let's see your cards.

We bought the card above in The Works in Killarney if you wondered where we got it!

Monday, 2 December 2019

Three Days After The Hiroshima Bomb The Trams Were Up And Running Again.

We watched the brilliant Guy Martin in Japan again on Sunday evening.  He reminds me of my eldest son.  He can turn his hand to anything.  Be it operating a lathe, welding, driving a machine or even forging a sword!

Guy also has the wonderful northern English gift of self depreciating humour and he calls everyone "me duck!", especially when he's purchased something.

In one part of the programme he visited Hiroshima.  We found it very sad and unbelievable what happened there.  Over 60000 people died instantly! Some civilian victims were literally vaporized.  Please God please ensure it will never happen again anywhere in the world.

I watched the election debate an hour earlier and was enormously impressed with the SNP leaders stance on nuclear weapons and how she would never press the button because she couldn't  kill millions of people.  You're right Nicola nobody could do that.  Could they? Would they? Well maybe Trump or Joe Swinson or Bozza Johnson.

He would be better off making the streets in his own manor safe first.  We can't all drive around in a bomb proof Jag with SAS bodyguards can we?  What did your last government do with those twenty thousand police Boris?  So much for the party of law and order.

I think what is even more remarkable about Hiroshima.  They had the trams up and running  again in three days!  To think I complain and moan about the lack of Public Transport in rural Ireland!

At least Ireland doesn't have any nuclear weapons.  I hope she never will!




Sunday, 1 December 2019

Amusing Funeral Thoughts.

These are the people who like a “good funeral.”  Some people get out a marker pen and highlight their television programmes for the week.    Funeral  goer looks in their local rag/ newspaper and scour the Obituary columns for their latest funerals for the forthcoming week.   He says something like the following:
"Isn't it strange how people die in alphabetical order?"
 “Lets see.  Tommy Teapot.   I’m sure I once new him?  I think my mothers uncle once bought a cat from his second cousin.  I think it got killed on the railway line.  Or was that my cousin Ernie?  I must go to the funeral.  He was a lovely man, always smiling and would always give you seccies or two’s up on his woodbine.  I see their having the do (Wake) in the White Lion.  I don’t think that I will bother.  They can’t make tongue sandwiches for toffee.”
I once heard a true story of a man who waited for a widow to return from burying her husband.  He offered his sympathy and said:;
“I wonder if you would sell Arthur’s tool shed?  He won’t be needing it any more!”   
Funerals are great places for funeral fans.  They can also get a warm a bite to eat and a nice cup of tea afterwards. 
You even get priest or vicars that make you laugh:  I once went to my aunt Nellie’s funeral.  The vicar, who had never met her.  Remarked on what a wonderful woman ELSIE was.  He couldn’t even remember her name.  It’s the only funeral I have ever been to when the congregation laughed!



Thursday, 28 November 2019

Christmas New Potatoes Progress.

Thought l would show you how the new spudatoes are growing.  The  haulm or foliage look very healthy and it's looking good for Christmas  dinner if not before.  It's  amazing what a microclimate is created with a bit of plastic.  God bless the polytunnel!

We recently  watched  Alan Titchmarsh harvesting new potatoes in the summer and placing them in an empty biscuit tin and replacing the tin lid and planting them in the allotment until Christmas.  Sounds a good idea.  Anybody had success with the biscuit tin new potatoes planting method?

I know quite  a few readers have veg plots and I thought I  would show you how the spuds are doing.  The shrub and perennials cuttings are also doing well and you can still see KALE growing in the right hand corner of the olde polytunnel.  There's only me who eats it.  All I get is pull a face and "me not like" when I mention or bring it into the kitchen.  Think I won't  bother growing it again.

So what you having with the new potatoes on Christmas day Dave?  We have decided to have striploin steak and a all day buffet, "help yourself" menu with dishes full of sprouts and carrots and pigs in blankets, home made sherry trifle, sausage rolls, just general buffet stuff.  No Turkey though.  I hate left overs.  So what will you be eating on Christmas day?  Anybody growing new potatoes at the moment?  The Brussels are nearly ready too.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

My Saturday Night Telly Thoughts.

Thanks for your comments on the last post.

Saturday Night Telly Thoughts. ( Anybody under forty five may not remember some of the programmes on UK television!)

What ever happened to Seaside Special and The Grumbleweeds  Radio Show on Saturday nights?  They were fun when I was growing up in the Seventies and eighties.  Then it would be Starsky and  Hutch or Kojak.  Followed my the News and Match of the Day. 

I often fell to sleep waiting for my mum to bring back something from the chip shop.  I never understand why they always gave me a pile of newspapers?

 Once I remember my mum and dad coming back with my dad’s rather posh female cousin and her even posher fiance.  Posh fiance attempted to wake me up to eat my chippy supper.  

My father thought that this would not be a good idea.  I would turn into a wasp if I was disturbed whilst dreaming of Wonder Woman. 
“Nonsense”

Said posh fiance

"I’ve had lots of experience in my time dealing with children”. 
He tried talking softly in my ear:
“Come on Davy boy wake up”. 
I thought:
“Why does he suddenly have an Irish accent?”     

I was not rousing from my slumber.    Posh fiance begins to shake my arm.  I suddenly wake up sounding like a leprechaun with a Poteen induced hangover:

“Piss off, piss off leave me alone!” 

Posh guests were not impressed, and  they never visited us again.  But what’s that got to do with the X Factor?  Absolutely nothing.  But it describes my Saturday nights when I was young. 

I quite like the X Factor and Britain’s Got Talent.  Well apart from Mickey Most or is it Simon Cowell?  Remember the New Faces?  The idea of finding some new talent from the great “unwashed” is a brilliant idea.  They do find some remarkable talent like Susan Boyle and Paul Potts.  But your not telling me that it’s a surprise when a odd looking person changes into the Next Elaine Paige or Pavarotti?   

They obviously have lots of auditions before they meet the panel? No doubt picking out the most eccentric 'Turns' to appear on the programme.  Any body average looking or acting normal with talent.  Need not bother.  It’s car crash television.  A modern day equivalent of watching somebody in the stocks!    

An old friend once told me he was stood outside the pub having a smoke and he saw two women fighting last night.  It was: 

“You bitch, you slag”.  

They were pulling hair and scratching.  One even started to punch. 
"It was bloody brilliant!.”  

Who needs the X Factor?  Wonder what's on RTE?  Perhaps I should start going to the pub again on a Saturday night?  Fancy a pint? 

Monday, 25 November 2019

The Sheepshead Way In November.

I walked fourteen miles last week.  Not every day or in one hike.  I do it mainly for my back.  I hurt my back many moons ago doing somebody a favour.  Never never try to move a double wardrobe down stairs.  They weigh 500 Kgs and do a great job at crushing people.  Any way I have the war wounds and the Irish inclement weather is great for arthritis.  So to stop the back giving me jip I go on my walking gymnasium.







It's  good  to get off the country roads and the cars and lorries whizzing past me.  Sometimes I listen to Spotify to my favourite Rock bands like Kansas, brass bands or The Beautiful South.  Yep my music taste is very eclectic.

Other times I don't listen and just take in the surroundings.  I reckon God would make a very good artist because he did an excellent job making Bantry Bay.

Some times I get down with the weather and things on the news and then I go for a walk and I fall back in love with rural Ireland.  I am lucky to live in such a beautiful place.  I just wish it didn't  rain so much!

Saturday, 23 November 2019

A Song And Video About West Cork.

I always like reading and seeing photos of places where other bloggers live and explore.  West Cork is a beautiful part of Ireland.


A West Cork band have recently made the following video.  It even shows The Shruggs singing in Bantry Square.
Enjoy.



Thursday, 21 November 2019

Christmas Hamper Ideas.


We were in a charity shop here in West Cork the other week.  The wifey picked up two wicker baskets and we both said out loud: "Hampers"!

For the princely sum of 2 euro a piece.  We purchased the two baskets.  For the last few weeks or nearly every day supermarket trip.  We have been buying "A little  bit of what you fancy".  You know: jars of sweets, bags of fudge, tins of biscuits, English Cheddar, Christmas pudding, peanuts.., you name it.  We haven't  missed them either.  Just a Euro or 3 or four.  Two Christmas hampers for next to the blink of an eye.  That's  two presents off the list.  All they need is some sellophane.

We started making our Christmas Hampers about twenty two years ago.  I was watching one of those Park hampers television adverts and remarked that I would like one of those.  We couldn't afford one though so the wife made her own Christmas Cupboard.  She started this in September.  Every week she would go in Netto and buy extra items like a bag of sugar or a jar of pickles and they would go in her 'Christmas Cupboard'.  The house rule was you can use them if you have to but they have to be replaced or "put back"!

Now it's evolved into making our own Christmas hampers.   Anybody else make or thinking of making a Christmas hampers?  You could even make your own and fill it with Watneys Party Sevens, Caramac and Maynards wine gums?  Go on have a go.  It's still not too late to make a Christmas hamper or two!



Wednesday, 20 November 2019

I Miss My Allotment. Thoughts About Rural Isolation.

We will have lived in Ireland  nineteen years next year.  I was thirty eight when we came over to live here.  So I suppose we have lived here half my life?  Well not half my real age of 55.  I was 38 when  we came here.  So that's  19 isn't  it..  Eh?

One thing that I really miss is watching live football, cricket, heavy rock concerts, public transport, pubs that sell real ales,  being able to buy English cans or bottled beer from the supermarkets, massive  car boot sales and also allotments.  That's ten things Dave.  I should have took off my socks and shoes and used my toes to count.

Allotment people are the salt of the earth.  They are friendly and share a common bond in cultivating the earth and growing vegetables and fruit.  They may even have a shed to escape from the missus, read their dog ears copies of "Big Girls Weekly"  or drink a few tins of beer or home brew?

I like having my own patch of Gods earth here in Ireland, especially my polytunnel.  But gosh it can be a twee bit quiet at times.  Allotments are places where you have a laugh and a joke , put the world to rights and tell people  how they are doing it all wrong.  Well they were twenty years  a go.

I wish I could paint a picture for you of a typical allotment that was next to mine: home made sheds made out of plywood, corrugated roofs with a rusty patina, lumps of concrete hold down the sheets, polytunnels made out of old plastic water pipe tubing and covered in polythene, supermarket trolleys with wheels that have a mind of their own and now the trolleys are full of drying onions, vegetables sown in lines like army regiments, an old front door for a gate..?

Rural isolation is peaceful and there are no rules or regulations or an allotment committee telling you what to do.  But there is a lot to be said for the camaraderie and mickey taking of an allotment.  Which would you prefer an allotment with other like minded gardening comrades or a patch of land of your own in the countryside where you are on your own?   Wouldn't  mind an pub like Wetherspoon's that serves real ales.  Suppose the grass is always greener on to'ther side  of  the fence?

When its rainy nearly every day and cold the rural isolation can get to you a little bit.  Thank goodness for television, radio, books, the internet and for blogs and country walks.  I have walked ten miles already this week.  The veg plot and the gardens are too wet to do anything at the moment.  Suppose one could find some potting on to do in the polytunnel?

Sunday, 17 November 2019

A Jug Of Punch.

We decided  to make a pan of cider punch the other night.  It's really cheap to make and easy.  We bought ours from the German garden centre and supermarket (Lidl) for 3 Euros and seventy nine Cents a bottle.

Chop apples and oranges, star anise,  a few cloves and a pinch of ground cinnamon and a tablespoon of sugar.  Mix it all up and add to the cider that you have poured into a pan.  You could add spirits if you want to make it really strong and need to reach for the Paracetamol for that hangover cure in the morning.

Any road or anyway.  Warm it up and pour it into a cup or glass with an handle attached.   It's  very.  Any hot punch recipes please?

I was looking at some more of the old records again the other day and I  found one of my dad's old Clancy brothers albums.  When I  was growing up in Blighty my dad would often play them and his The Seekers records on the radio gram.  One song that often plays in my mental jukebox is the following.  Enjoy,

Friday, 15 November 2019

Webster's Yorkshire Bitter Adverts.

Another one of my favourite television adverts for you folks.  You can always join in and post some of your favourite adverts.  Wish I  could get some of that bitter.  I am making hot cider punch today and watching Gogglebox.  Cheers!



Tanacetum Parthenium Or Feverfew Even!

The Feverfew self seeds in the veg plot and in the herbaceous borders.  It is a member of the Daisy family and originates in Asia.  It...