Sunday 27 December 2015

More Old Things For The Collection.

I think one day our little smallholding in West Cork will appear on that television series: Hoarders.  You know the one were you have to climb over a speed boat won on Bulls Eye, a Raleigh Chopper bicycle, a Bachelors LP, two boxes of Caramac and a myriad of different household items from way back when.  Yes we have been collecting again.  

We got these framed prints the other week.  They are illustrations taken from long defunct magazines like the: The Queen. The LADY'S NEWSPAPER AND COURT CHRONICLE____March 1st 1873.  

There is an even older one: The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine October 1861.  They remind me of Jane Austen and Bronte novels.  I think women dressed so stylish in those days.   They still do but not in the same volume of  way back then.  I sometimes think my wife and me lived in another age with horses and carts, copper kettles and roaring fires, stone flagged pubs with copper topped tables and frothing pints served in tankards.

If you could go back in time.  When would you have liked to have lived?  I would have like to have been in a Thomas Hardy  novel set in Wessex or a walled kitchen gardener in somewhere like Heligan in Cornwall.


Thursday 24 December 2015

Some Early Christmas Presents.

Merry Christmas to you all.  

Not a lot to report from the smallholding.  The bulls are now bullocks and the fields are saturated.  Another gale last night.  We treated ourselves to some early Christmas presents to cheer us up from this very wet winter.  Locals tell me they have never known it so wet.   

I remember when I was about eight, asking my mother if my pet goldfish was wet?  She laughed.  I didn't.  How would a goldfish know what it was to be wet?

 The wife treated herself to an early Christmas present.  She bought herself (and us) a kettle that whistles and doesn't need electric.   

 I treated myself to a bottle of malt Scottish whisky.  I couldn't wait until Christmas day and we have had two drinks already.  Happy Christmas!

Thursday 17 December 2015

A Smallholding Work Bench Made From The Back Of A Lorry.

 We went for a day out  Christmas shopping in Kerry yesterday.  When we came back number one son showed us his latest project.  He made a work bench from the back end of a lorry.  You can still see the hazard tape on the front under the vice.  

The bench from a different angle.  You can also see the trolley jack he repaired several blogs a go.  

The weather is still very mixed and the poor vegetable plot is a no go area at present.  I am hoping it drys out over Christmas and I can get some weeding and digging done.  

Christmas seems to be so drawn out these days.  We like to celebrate Christmas day and get back to doing something the day after: Boxing/Stephen's Day.  

Saturday 12 December 2015

More Smallholding Treasure.

It's been another week of wet and windy weather and they ("who are they?") are predicting gales right up to Christmas and beyond.  The cattle are going through hay like there is no tomorrow.  

Yesterday Number One son bought a Star root slicer.  To any anoraks or collectors, it's a No9.  It been in the back garden of somebodies and he duly bought it.  We lifted it on to the back of the pick up and brought it home.  It's got 4 carrying handles like the root cutter we bought a few weeks a go.  

Number one and number two (I sound like Charlie Chan) helped me carry it into the cowshed  and then I was sent for spanners and number one son duly loosened a few nuts and the old girl worked again.  We raided the wife's potatoes from the utility room and sliced a bucket of them for the cattle.  They were very impressed. The missus wasn't!

A very blurred picture of the cattle tucking into the potato slices.

Still haven't got any fodder beet yet.  Some farmer told me every rat in Christendom would visit the farm if we bought some.  The old terrier and cat would think Christmas had come early.  I have managed to get a ton of cow potatoes for around Christmas.  Should be happy potato slicing time!

Thursday 3 December 2015

Why Does It Always Rain On Me/Smallholding?

Sorry to paraphrase the Travis song. When we first moved to Ireland nearly fifteen years a go.  We would let the bullocks out into the fields for day grazing.  These days they never get outside due to the constant rain and wet conditions.  We believe that winters are getting wetter.  The fields seem to be getting more rushes every day.  It's not good for man nor or beast or the the human spirit.  Anybody for arthritis?

Things are a lot easier now though for us humans.  The old cow shed was taken apart and a rock breaker on the end of a thirteen ton digger dug us a mighty deep hole.  Then the tank was shuttered and concrete was poured and an articulated lorry from Limerick came with the concrete slats and number one son and me and a neighbour sheet-ed the shed and made feed barriers.  It cost a lot of money but it made life so much easier and comfortable for the cattle.  

No longer am I mucking out with a pike and a wheel barrow and my Ford 3000 and box.  It's all dry and clean and so much easier.  I need to see a rock band or plan an holiday next year when we sell the cattle.  Somewhere warm and cheap.    I would imagine it will be Portugal or Spain or even Canada.  Where are you going for your holidays next year?

Talking of rock music.  I discovered a French chapess on You Tube the other week.  I think she's only 16 and she's superb.  Here she is playing 'The Loner' cover made famous by ex Thin Lizzy guitarist  the late and great Gary Moore.  I once saw him  play at  the Milton Keynes Garden Party in about 1986.  Eighteen of us jumped into the back of a Luton removal van and traveled down the cobbled part of the M6 to Milton Keynes.  We could do with some of their concrete cows with all this rain.

A Bus man's Holiday To See Some Pigs At Balmoral Show.

You know what a bus man's holiday is don't you?  It means going on holiday and doing the same thing that you do at work.  Or on the ...