Friday, 21 June 2013

Fifty Miles To Tesco, A New Tractor Exhaust And Why Don't The County Council Cut Verges?

"As I was going over the Cork and Kerry mountains" (any one for a Thin Lizzy song?) yesterday.  I noticed how overgrown the hedges and grass verges are this year.  Perhaps its all last years rain?  But something needs to be done.  Why can't they employ smallholders like me to strim and cut back these dangerous road edges?

 I suppose it's all down to council budgets and the countryside wildlife legislation that doesn't allow for foliage to be cut during the bird nesting period - March to August?  So why are farmers allowed to cut silage or hay?  Does wildlife not nest and have young in the fields?  Hares don't make burrows and the Lapwing nests in grass do they not?

Apparently the making of silage instead of leaving the grass to go to seed and eventually become Hay.  That is said to be one of the biggest reasons for the decline of the bee.  There are not enough wildflowers for them to pollinate.  It's been mad busy in the Irish countryside with the farmers busy making silage (round bales and pit) and spreading slurry for a second cut.

Any road we got to Killarney and had an argument in Tesco's.  The usual one:

"What do you want for your tea?"


Twenty minutes later.  We bought a cooked chicken.  Food for us and the 2 dogs and Domino the cat.  Then we went to Aldi and bought one of those 'patio' furniture sets (4 canvas deck chairs and a glass (real plastic) table top and a canvas parasol.  We saved thirty Euros by buying it instead of a similar one back in the town near us.  Then we went in Home Base and looked at paint and wifey said:

"It's too hot for that.  You are not starting bloody painting."

Well I did offer to paint the bedroom.  Not that I would paint behind the wardrobe or even empty the room!

On the way back we stopped at a tractor workshop/garage and I bought a second hand windscreen frame for the Ford 3000 and a brand new (they say "Span new" here in West Cork) exhaust for the Ford 4000.  I think I could get into this shopping lark!


  1. .......I saw Captain Farrell and his money he was countin'.......

    Strange, the council here have been out in force cutting verges in the last week or two, that's the easy ones to get at with one of those cutters on an arm behind a huge tractor. Suppose the good thing is they leave the less accessible bits for the wildlife. Only on the main A roads though, some of the country roads are well overgrown, everything seems to be shooting up here, excellent growing weather. Hedges and trees especially seem to be going mad this year.

    Silage making hasn't started yet, but some of the fields look about ready, so we'll maybe see a hive of activity in the next week or two.

    No 2 son came this afternoon to cut the back grass, it would have made good silage, assisted by grandson (6) whose main contribution was eating crisps, drinking coca-cola and cutting up a few big cardboard boxes then soaking them in water to build a den.

    Sounds like an expensive day out, but at least Maggie will be like new. And a nice dinner without much cooking for everybody. Fish for us today, a Friday tradition, it was smoked cod with Jersey Royals and peas.

    Decent day here, started damp but got out warm and sunny, hence the grass cutting, a bit too wet still for a very short cut, but it's down to about 2" and looking very green. Cool breeze this evening, rain forecast for the weekend.

    Raggy cat re-appeared when grandson disappeared, been in and out all day, brought us a sparrow this evening, then ate it completely.

  2. Hi Cumbrian. I believe "Whiskey In The Jar" is about a famous highway man.

    The verges and hedges seem really long this year. It's not safe to walk along the country roads because the verges and hedges are so overgrown. This means that pedestrians put their life at risk because of the crazy road speeds and the lack of basic infrastructure like pavements, road lights and public transport. Some people say such measures would urbanize the countryside. I think it gives pedestrians freedom to get about.

    I have heard silage prices and hay (small) bales are very expensive this year: forty Euros for a round bale of silage and 5 Euros for a small square bale of hay. I have ordered a lorry of Barley straw and growing a field of Barley and a field of grass for silage. Used 55 big bales last year and over a ton and a half of beef nuts.

    Raggy cat sounds like Domino. He fetched us a mouse the other day.

    It's supposed to go really hot again next week.


  3. ...........I first produced me pistol and I then produced me rapier,
    Saying, "Stand and deliver for you are a bold deceiver."..........

    Think you could be right, probably the best-known Irish song, except maybe The Irish Rover?
    Think it may also be something about deceitful women? Or just a macho man Irish Guinness-drinking song? Suppose you could read a lot into some ballads if you think about it too much?

    Our local cycle way is getting out of hand, they created it a few years ago to make some use of an old railway line that used to serve an ammunition dump, cleaned it up, laid tarmac and dug drainage ditches. It's regularly used by cyclists and dog walkers (quite a few of them pick up their dogs droppings as well, wish they all did), safe from motorised traffic. But they never send anybody to do any maintenance, it's well overgrown and the ditch is so overgrown and full of vegetation it's not doing its intended job. The trees are also thriving, in some places forming a full arch over the tarmac.

    Last time I bought hay it was £1 a small bale, but that was a good few years ago, don't know what it would be now, haven't seen a small bale for years, the last baling machine I saw was in a scrapyard.

    Rain again this morning, cool wind and overcast, back to normal. Dunno about the hot weather next week, we live in hope.
    Raggy cat in early, a bit damp, just found itself a warm sleeping place.

  4. Thanks for that Cumbrian.

    A lot of folk songs tell of famous people and historical events. I often listen to the Dubliners and the Furey's. Once saw the Spinners at Scarborough. 'Ellen Vanin' was a remarkable haunting song they sang about the Isle of Man postal ship sinking during a storm. John Seymour loved to sing the ballads when he live over here in Ireland.

    It's good to hear you have cycleways Cumbrian. There is so much work that needs doing in the countryside and villages and towns. Yet governments won't create much needed jobs to do them.

    I was talking to a tractor engineer the other day. He's sold six second hand hay tedders this year.

    Showers and windy here. Dog and cat a sleep near range. Guinness stew and our new potatoes for tea.



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