Sunday 29 December 2013

More Adventures Of Domino The Smallholding Cat And A Poem About The Wind.

Here's our Domino busy tree climbing this morning.  Who needs a gymnasium if you are a cat?  That's a willow tree he's climbing in.  They call it the 'Salix' here in Ireland.  Which happens to be it's real Latin name.  They also call the airing cupboard the 'hot press'.  And (never start a sentence with and) they often say they are going for the 'messages' if they are going shopping.  It's strange and incredibly interesting the regional differences and words we have in the British Isles.

The two storms of the last week have been very frightening.  I have never known noise like the thunder and lightning storm we had the other Wednesday.  It sounded like World War Three.

I talked to a middle aged farmer the other day.  Says he had never seen or heard storms quite like them in his life.  The storms look like they are to be a regular visitor.  I often wish we had built a cellar when we built our little cottage in the countryside next to the sea. Somewhere to go in a storm. We live ten minutes walk from the bay.  Luckily we have cliffs above the sea.  Also it means that the land can drain via the streams into the sea.

I  remembered a poem from years a go the other night.  It's called 'Wind' by Ted Hughes.  He talks about the house being far out at sea all night.  Thanks to You Tube and the people who put these poems on it for our viewing.

Sunday 22 December 2013

Pictures At My Smallholding Tractor Exhibition.

I seem to be collecting prints of old tractors these days.  There are pictures of Fergusons and Fordsons.  People like myself have a few REAL tractors on the smallholding.  They all remind of us of by gone farming times.  

Here on our smallholding.  We love to watch television shows like "All Creatures Great And Small" and "Wartime Farm".  Thought last weeks Christmas special was quite magical.  Especially the Christmas Carol service.   It was quite moving to think that people were missing their loved ones serving overseas.  

A lot of people will be missing loved ones through bereavement this year.  This will be our first Christmas with out my parents.  It can be a very sad and numb like loss feeling for so many.  I hope there is a better place for all our loved ones.  

Many thanks for reading this blog over the last year.  Special thanks for those who make comments.  I wish you all a very peaceful Christmas and I hope you have a very prosperous year on your allotments, kitchen gardens and smallholdings.

Thursday 12 December 2013

"All Around My Hat". Another cap to wear around the smallholding.

A belated  50th birthday present arrived the other day.  It's a baseball cap from America with a picture of a Ford 3000 tractor on it.  I have a real Ford 3000 tractor on our smallholding.  So I couldn't have got a better present.  I seem to be collecting hats these days.  I reckon I have at least 16 hats these days.

Hats are great around a smallholding.  If I had a pound (or Euro) for the number of times a cow or branch or bramble took my hat off instead of damaging my head?  

Any road I reached the big FIVE 0 last week.  Fifty to be precise.  According to the adverts I can take out a funeral plan (free Parker pen), go a (wait for it!) over fifties holiday.  Perhaps I could get an allotment or a smallholding?  Already done that.  In my twenties and thirties.  I blame that self sufficiency guru:  John Seymour.  He wrote some brilliant books and inspired millions.  

Time for a song.  "All Around My Hat!"  Steeleye Span are currently touring Blighty at the moment.  Wish they were playing Ireland.  

Wednesday 4 December 2013

Digging Up The Drive With Our Little Digger.

"Number One" son digging up the front garden/drive.  Spot the silage plastic I used for a weed mulch under the stone?
We have been busy again this week putting our new digger to the test.  Here she (all machinery are female aren't they?) is digging up the drive in front of our dwelling.  We (me) never put proper grids or drains for the rainwater when built our 'des res' in the countryside, next to the sea.  That was way back in the last century (2003) and we decided it's time to finally put some proper ground works in.  I suppose a true smallholder/ self supporter would go to Aldi and purchase a couple of  them there rainwater collecting barrels with the hose attachments.  Living in the 'Emerald Isle' means that we never have a shortage of rain.  So I don't think we need to get any.

We reckon that the 'Smalley' digger is at least half paid for already in the first week.  No there's a lot to be said for your own mechanical digger.

What We Had For Our Smallholding Tea.

 The polytunnel and veg plot keeps on giving and we seem to be eating new spudatoes every day at the moment: Snowball onion, kale and new po...