Friday 22 January 2016

De-Cluttering The Smallholding Dwelling. ("You Can Go You're Own Way.")

Rain Stopped Play once again this week on the veg plot and grazing for the cattle.  Today is actually dry for a change.  But there is no way we can let them out or even dig over the plot.  It's been like this since September and the next fifteen days forecast is for more rain.  

So we decided to do some de-cluttering this week.  The front room (Computer room) is full of boxes of books.  Some we will keep and the rest can go to a charity shop or a car boot sale to raise some money for holiday to Portugal later this year.  This year we are planning on visiting Lisbon and the Silver Coast instead of the Algarve which we have visited twice.  

One day we plan to live there very soon.  Seriously.  We have had enough of the British and Irish weather.  We want a place in the sun.  A smallholding within walking distance of a village and with public transport and a pub or ten.  Oh to have a social life rather than living like a hermit.  Maybe even get to see some live music.

That's another thing I have been doing this week.  Learning myself how to speak Portuguese.  I discovered a wonderful word this week:  Cerveja.  Yes it's Portuguese for beer!  Anybody else de-cluttering at the moment?  I can't believe how much stuff we keep that we never use.

That's me sat typing this blog wearing my striped jumper that my brother gave me for Christmas.  I bought him a book about collecting antiques and their value.  Can't you tell we are both in our Fifties?  

Here's an appropriate song for my de-cluttering:

Good old Fleetwood Mac.  I love Stevie Nicks.

Friday 15 January 2016

One Of My Favourite Albums Of All Time.

Regular readers will know I love rock music.  Especially sixties, seventies, eighties and nineties heavy rock.  So for an occasional distraction from writing about the smallholding I will feature a few of my favourites tracks from time to time.

Are you still with me?  Thanks!  Today I would like to talk about Emerson Lake and Palmer and their canonical LP:  Brain Salad Surgery.  The title track is Jerusalem.  This is their version of the famous hymn composed and written by Parry and William Blake.  If ever there was a visionary it was William Blake.  Modern day historians dispute that Jesus never actually walked on England's green and pleasant land.  I find this sad.

The song is about Jesus and his uncle  Joseph of Arimathea coming to England and making a new Jerusalem in England's green and pleasant land.  It's a classic hymn and I think it should be the national anthem.  I chose this hymn for one of my father's funeral hymns here in Ireland.  It was rather surreal hearing it played in an Irish Anglican church.

Back to ELP.  I managed to get to see them at Manchester Apollo in about 1992.  For me they are probably up there in the top three best English rock bands of all time.  I will never forget Keith Emerson attacking his Hammond organ with a knife while playing it at the same time.

Enjoy the track.

Tuesday 12 January 2016

Getting Ready For St Patricks Day In January!

Sorry I haven't blogged for a week or so.  Not a lot happening on our smallholding in Ireland.  The Romans never visited Ireland but they named it: Hibernia, which means the land of eternal winters.  I think they must of been on their holidays here.  Anyway I have still not been able to dig over the veg plot or let the cattle out to graze and have their cows disco when we let them run, dance and jump about.

 We went shopping in Dunnes stores in Clonakilty on Saturday for Newcastle Brown Ale and food, yawn.  We were amazed to see that they were selling St Patrick's Day merchandise.  St Patrick was Welsh and was brought over to Ireland.  He founded Christianity here and is said to have drove the snakes out of Ireland.  One of my son's told me this joke:

What did St Patrick say when he drove the snakes out of Ireland?

"Are you alright in the back lads?"

England never celebrates St George like the Irish celebrate St Patrick.  I wonder why not?  

Watched the famous Manchester United v Sheffield United the other day.  Think they should start showing tiddly wink matches or train timetables on a  Saturday tea time instead..  Bring back wingers and attacking football please!!!!

Friday 1 January 2016

Happy New Year And Hoping For a Better 2016 Weather Wise.

I worked it out in the early hours of this morning.  That this Christmas is the first one in 22 years that I haven't been able to dig over the veg plot.  The weather's been pretty diabolical this year.  The year started in gales and ended in gales.

April was better than July and we managed to get to the Algarve for a week that month.  April is a great time for an holiday.  Far away from the madding crowds, 32 degrees in Seville (for the day) and only a couple of Euros for a pint of Super Bock.

We made hay in June.  Three days of worry and then we put it in the barn and took it out and stacked the small square bales on in the field because they started to sweat.  Three days later we took them back in and they turned out fine.

The summer was nothing to write home about but at least England won the Ashes.   We only sat outside drinking home made Sangria twice.  The Autumn turned into a bit of an Indian Summer.  Then for the last weeks it's been raining almost constantly and we have had six storms already this winter.

Cattle prices at the mart have started to drop and surplus feeding is going up country to help the poor farmers who  have been flooded out to feed their livestock.  Over the last few years we have been tempted to sell up and move to warmer climes like Portugal.  We are getting really tempted.  Here's to better weather this year and don't worry veg plot.  We haven't forgotten you!

Two Charity Shop Vases Full Of Feverfew.

"The 18th Century Aspirin Plant." I have this plant growing in my veg garden at the moment.  It is supposed to be brilliant for al...