Sunday 27 September 2015

Scenes From The South Kerry Ploughing In Killarney.

We went over to Killarney today (Sunday) to the South Kerry Ploughing in Kerry.  It was a lovely day and hundreds if not thousands attended the really well organized event.  The only disappointment was that I couln't find the beer tent.  I don't think there was one.

Wednesday 23 September 2015

The Smallholding Tools Restorer.

There was an English shovel and a Irish shovel.  No this is not the start of a joke.  There was also a sledgehammer with no handle and 2 more hammer heads (not the shark variety) with no heads.  So what did number one son do?  He welded and cut new metal handles for three of them.  They were lying around and he decided to make them good again.

I brought the English shovel over with me nearly fifteen years a go.  Ireland and most of the world seem to like the long handled shovel.  This is often called the Celtic shovel and there are similar one's in England called the Devon shovel.  I have always been used to the bend your back t shaped English shovel.  I seem to use the long handled shovel more these days.  No jokes about council workers nipple rash from leaning on their shovels.

Two sledge hammer heads waiting their turn to be fitted with new handles.  I have since painted the tools and they look like new again.  

Sunday 20 September 2015

More Knitting Tales! A Aran Cardigan Made On The Smallholding.

Here is some more of the wife's knitting to look at.  Apparently it's an Aran cardigan.  These originate from the Aran Isles off Galway.  A lot of patterns were distinctive family patterns.  Not just for decoration.  It was surmised that they were used to identify missing fishermen when their boats had been lost at sea and drowned.  Some folk do not agree with this theory.  I think the Clancy Brothers, Grace Kelly, Steve McQueen and Val Doonican made the Aran jumpers so famous.

Here are the back and front of a cardigan my wife knitted 2 years ago.  Sadly it won't fit number 2 son any more.  I wonder if it will fit the terrier?

Can't think of any knitting jokes.  Apart from the old one about the horse that swallowed a ball of wool.  It turned into a fine jumper.

Friday 18 September 2015

Smallholder Knitters Of The World Unite!

I thought I would show you some of the knitting projects that my other half makes every night.  Picture the scene.  The calves have been fed, we have been fed, the range is lit and we are sat watching 'A Place In The Sun'on Channel 4 and the knitting starts:

Click, click, click."

This is repeated for the next four hours or so.  It's driving me to drink.  Not that I need any excuse mind.  Oh to live near a pub and to escape for a few hours.  The joys of rural isolation what!

Three lovely cardigans.  They are rainbow pink and rainbow blue and peach.  The wife knits them and gives them to any expectant mother she knows.  She's making five at the moment.

Wish I had a night time hobby other than watching the telly, checking and reading blogs and supping cans of Newcastle Brown Ale.
What do you do at night?  I mean in the living room or kitchen diner if you are like us.

Saturday 12 September 2015

Sunshine To Flood.

It's been mixed weather on our smallholding here in West Cork.  The last weeks been like an Indian summer.  I mowed the lawns, dug over some of the potato plot and spread half of the compost heap on top of the soil, strimmed, lots of weeding and trimmed the hedges for the fifth time this year.  

The calves have been grazing in the field and we have even started renovating one of the tractors.  The weather makes such a difference when it's nice.  

Yesteday (Friday) was quite a contrast.  We had a biblical like deluge.  Puddles became lakes and streams became rivers.  Tarmac floated down the roads and if it wasn't for living in between two bays (Bantry and Dunmanus) we would have been flooded out.  

Add caption
 A four inch deep puddle.  Makes you wonder why we pay our road tax doesn't it?

Saturday 5 September 2015

The Diary Of A Smallholding Blacksmith? A Wheel Tidy For A Van.

Number one son was busy making a wheel tidy for my brother's van the other day.  He made one for somebody who liked the one in the van.  Now he's making another for somebody else.  

The wheel tidy welded and cut and ready to be bolted (fitted) into place over the wheel arch.  No longer will the owner of the van search for the spare wheel or climb under it to unbolt it.

The spare wheel securely in place in it's new home.  

How much would you charge somebody for a product like this?  Perhaps this could be the start of a smallholding enterprise.  Suppose you could make it out of wood.  A lot of industries and businesses started on farms.  

Wednesday 2 September 2015

All The Way To County Clare For A Second Hand Wheelbarrow.

"Didn't we have a lovely time the day went to - hmm.. Clare!"

The ancient Chinese invented the wheelbarrow.  I Googled that fact.  So it must be true.   I didn't know we would be coming home with one.  

Monday was a day off from the farm.  So we went over the Cork ("there's whiskey in the jar") and Kerry mountains for some retail therapy in Killarney.  You know normal things like buying kecks (trousers) from Penneys (Matalan), trainers (they call them "runners" here in Ireland) and some hoodies for the two lads.   Which we always disapprove of and say they look like scruffy monks.  

We went in 'Dealz' (Poundland) for Vimto (Northern English cordial), deodorant, crisps, pens for school and wool for new babies.  Anybody want a cardigan knitting?  The wife seems to be making them for everybody in West Cork at the moment (another baby boom?) and the clicking of needles for me to endure whilst watching the television of an evening.  

Then we went to some of the garden centre's looking for me Japanese onions sets.  We were told:

"They will be in another fortnight."  

Back to Kerry in two weeks time, I guess?  So we did journey on to Tarbert and to the Kilmer ferry over the river Shannon.  This cost us 28 Euros return and I had a Mars bar from the tuck shop.  You don't get that on the Queen Mary, do you?  

On reaching land. We drove for a few miles or so and stopped at a second hand dealers who sold me a wheel barrow?  Fifteen Euros an't bad for a new/secondhand wheelbarrow is it?  

Do you remember this song?

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...