Thursday 31 October 2019


No I am talking about not politicians!  I find Comedians amazing people.  Especially  watching one live.  They are like Evangelical preachers, footballers like Best or Ronald or Alchemists.   They can get up on stage and  can make people laugh and smile and forget their troubles for twenty minutes or so.

One of the funniest Comedians I have ever seen live was Billy Pearce at the Gateway Theatre  in Chester.  Keith Harris and Orville the duck was the support.  It was strange hearing Orville swear.

Billy Pearce was amazing and literally brought the house down when he started to dance to Bangra music and the speakers blew up and he fell to the stage like he was shot.  Thanks for a brilliant nights laughter Billy.

Who is your favourite comedian?

 WHY don't they put them back on television on a Saturday night?  I am watching Bobbby Davro from Minehead on You Tube today.  That man is a comic  genius and his impressions are uncanny.

Wednesday 30 October 2019

Keeping Warm.

I took this photo last night around six o'clock.  It was nearly time to switch the light on.  The range is filled up with solid fuel and logs and the doors and curtains are shut.

We don't have street lights here in the countryside.  So it's not safe to walk along the country lanes with cars appearing from nowhere.  All we can do is read a book, knit, watch the television, check the blogs we follow or perhaps answer an email.  Maybe have a drink or eat some cheese and crackers?

It's time to think about Christmas, next years holiday or maybe a rock festival or two.  Time to look at seed catalogues and plan the vegetable garden.

Wish we had a bus to take us to town or lived near a pub.   Soon be Spring.

How to you pass the long winter evenings? 

Monday 28 October 2019

Down On Your Luck.

We watched the excellent Americas programme on Sunday night presented by Simon Reeve.  In one part of his programme he visited Los Angeles.  He went on a tour of Hollywood and showed us the shop where Brad Pitt worked, the Hollywood walk of fame and Beyonces house.  

Then he showed us the opposite side of the coin.  People who are homeless living in tents pitched on the pavements and a lady who lived in a concrete railway bridge with her dog.  She seemed very articulate, self educated and listened to David Attenborough podcasts.

Homelessness seems to be everywhere these days.  Be it urban or rural.  I have often said that if there was a major disaster like a city being destroyed by natural disaster or by war or terrorism.  The governments would find the money to rebuild the city with infrastructure  and homes.  Why can't  they find homes for the homeless now?  America appears to be a land of haves and have nots?

When I visited Kent this summer.  I saw people sleeping in shop doorways at seven in the morning.  When I was young you would see an odd elderly tramp but there weren't  people of any age sleeping in doorways.  

In Ireland.  People often say good luck when bidding goodbye.  I believe in luck.  Good luck and bad luck.  Some people are just down on their luck.  

It will be interesting if there is a general election which parties will build council houses and establish credit unions to help people to buy and renovate houses?  

Time for a Thin Lizzy song me thinks:

I saw them on the Renegade tour.

Saturday 26 October 2019

Potting On In The Polytunnel..

It's been rather a washout here in Ireland this week.  I only managed half a day gardening outside.  Yesterday we bought three bags of potting compost and I spent the afternoon and this morning potting on my cuttings.

It's always a joy to see if they have grown roots.   There are hydrangea, dog wood, hebe, rosemary, fuchsias, cotoneasters, sedums, nepeta, pelargoniums, lavender..   Lots and lots of new plants.  The majority are shrubs with  a few dozen perennials.  Most perennials can be divided but I like to make cuttings too.

A glimpse inside the polytunnel.  There are lots of newly rooted cuttings, kale plants and potato stalks emerging from the polystyrene packaging.

Hardwood cuttings  can start to be taken now.  I tend to make lots of cornus or dogwood cuttings  at this time of year.   You can make your own little shrub nursery and plant them directly  in the soil in the veg plot or grow them in large pots in a cold greenhouse or polytunnel.  Just water them if necessary.   Next Spring they will start sprouting leaves and roots.

Have you had much success with cuttings?

Thursday 24 October 2019

Still Eating The Vegetables From The Veg Plot.

I picked two small swedes and some more  kale from the polytunnel this very morn along with some  beetroots and a young leek from the veg plot.

The beetroots will go in a pan of water and boil away on top of the range when its lit later today.  The vegetables will be made into a beef stew.  Organic beef mince is on offer at the German garden centre and supermarket (Lidl) this week.  So it's our second stew of the week.  We always say to each other:

"It's  not what you want.  It's what you need."

It's  just the right food when you have been outside and its wet and cold.  Yes it may be boring but it's full of vitamins and it's not been sprayed with weedkillers or grown with chemical granulated fertilizer.

I remember when me and my old friend went in a pub in Doolin last year and we both ordered the Irish stew.  It was excellent and went up to the bar and said to the barman that I would like to pay for two Irish stews.  He replied:

"Were you hungry?"

We both laughed.

What do the Police have for their dinner?

Irish stew!

" I  arrest you."

Get it?

Do you know any stew jokes?  Do you know any jokes?  Could do with a laugh.  

Monday 21 October 2019

I Am A Cider Drinker.

I have started drinking cider because it's cheap and 5.2 Percent.  That's two litres for 3 Euros and 79 Cents.  We don't or can't get any English beer any more.  Don't know why.  I use to enjoy Newcastle Brown but you can't buy it any more.

I had a few attempts at brewing my own beer but we didn't like the taste of it.  Recently I have tried some of the Craft beers made over here.  I found them expensive and up there with my home brewing attempts.

When I  went to Canterbury at the end of July.  I would go in Wetherspoon's and order a pint of Cornish Doom Bar bitter for two Pounds a pint.  Then I would go in Sainbury's and purchase a few bottles of Newcastle  Brown Ale.  The cashier would ask me every time if I wanted a bag and if I  wanted a receipt.  Dear old Blighty.

Time for a sing song me thinks:

Friday 18 October 2019

A Day Trip To The Top Of Snowdon.

For Gwil.

About twenty years a go my wife and my two or three year old son and my self decided to go to the top of Mount Snowdon in Wales.  We traveled by car and then boarded the mountain train.  Its a very scenic railway line and also quite steep.  On the way up we passed some Gurkha's marching up Snowdon.  Yep marching, 

 We eventually arrived at the summit and the wife went into the cafe for an ice cream for number one son and a "nice" cup of tea or coffee for her good self.  

I decided to proceed a bit higher to the cairn at the very top of the mountain.  It's more of a place of where angels fear to tred.  I slipped and slid and was not an happy bunny.  In fact I felt rather frightened.  So I scaled down the rocks and entered the sanctuary of the cafeteria.

I looked like I had been dragged through an hedge backwards.  My hair was unkempt and my leather jacket was saturated with the relentless rain and mist and my slip on shoes were saturated too.  I looked across to my son who looked like he was having a shave with his ice-cream.  Then I noticed the Ghurkhas looking at my apparel in sheer horror.  It was like they were thinking:

"We've just marched 3000 feat to the top of Snowdon in full army uniform and he's walked and climbed up it in a leather jacket and slip on shoes!"  

They didn't realize we had got there by train and I had only walked to the cairn at the top..

Thursday 17 October 2019

"I'm Living In A Cardboard Box.."

Domino is on sentry duty in the kitchen today. 

It's easy to get cabin fever when it seems to never stop raining.  We did watch Ronnie win again at the snooker this afternoon.  Domino watches it too.  He looks round the back of the television when a ball is potted.

Apparently  the word Snooker is a British army word.   The game of Billiards was designed to be played outside.  The green baize is supposed to look like grass.  They took it to play in India.   Then the Monsoon season started and they took the table inside and the game of Snooker was invented.  I  think I have mentioned this before?

Think it's Monsoon season here in Ireland too.  At least there's Snooker on the box or you can even sit in a cardboard box.  Hopefully it will stop raining and I  can make some money.  Or else it's a day potting up rooted cuttings in the polytunnel.

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Phil Lynott Coin.

Not only is there a special edition set of stamps celebrating Thin Lizzy being fifty years old.  There is also a special limited 15 Euros coin being minted to honour Phil Lynott.

He would  be seventy years old this year.  The last time I saw him he was 31 and l was 17.  Where does  the time go?   The coin costs sixty five Euros.  There was a coin minted for Rory Gallagher a few years ago by the same company.

My birthday and Christmas are in December.  So I think l will leave a few hints about the coin.

Here's  a video featuring Philo.  It's  about Elvis but I often think of Phil.  Dire Straits guitarist and rock n roll hero Mark Knopler is also on the record.  I would love to visit Gracelands.  Anybody been there or planning  a visit?

Tuesday 15 October 2019

Electric Aeroplanes In 2019.

A company in Israel is making and selling electric planes.  They are only nine seaters at the moment.  But already American  airline companies are buying them.

Who knows in ten years time we could be all flying to our holiday destinations in electric Aeroplanes.  Our cars will be electric and so will our Aeroplanes.

Would you fly in one of these?  Do you think electric powered cars are the future?  What do you think of wind farms?  I would rather have a blot on the landscape than nuclear power.  Imagine if we could harness wave power too.  I think the protestors may no longer need to protest if we all go green.

What do you think folks?  Would you vote for the Green Party?  Why can't  there be a green alliance with other political parties?

Monday 14 October 2019

Bantry Bay And Hungry Hill On A Autumn Day.

I strimmed some of the garden today and around our pets graves.  Then l decided to go on a four mile walk along the boreens and on to the tarmac main road going west.  Cars and lorries sped past and I couldn't see around some of the bends because of brambles and overgrown black thorn stockproof hedges.  Sometimes it's a wing and a prayer when the vehicles come so close to me.

When I got close to the sea I took this photo with my mobile phone.  You can see Hungry Hill over on Beara.  Immortalised in book and film.  Old people would tell me that a cap of cloud on Hungry Hill means it's going to rain.  It did last night and probably tonight.  But it didn't  rain on my walk, thankfully.

 The dots/shapes in the middle of the bay are salmon rings where salmon live and are fattened.  Not quite wild but at least they live in salt water in the bay.

I never spoke to or saw anybody on my walk.  But at least l am keeping fit and l love walking.  Think I was a dog in another life.  I wouldn't like their dinners though.

Have you been on any walks lately?

Sunday 13 October 2019

On Top Of The World Or Even The Northside.

I went for a walk on the Sheeps Head Way yesterday.   It was a long my own designated walk.  Only part of it is on the official  yellow finger post Sheepshead  Way walk and the rest is along tracks and roads.  Walking and slipping and sliding and looking at Dunmanus Bay on one side and  Bantry Bay on the other side.  Perhaps it could be called Northsider  Way.  I christened another walk near Kilcrohane: The Dragons Back.  Suppose that's  how places get their names.  Somebody makes it up and it sticks. 

A concrete trig point on the Northside overlooking  Bantry Bay.

No radio or ear phones to today.   Just listening to the wind, gargling streams, bird song and a myriad of thoughts in my head.  Thinking of my ancestors walking similar routes and foraging for turf and loading it in wicker baskets strapped to weary donkeys.  This is my Ireland.  Forever accompanied with the weather but always aware of the emerald dress that she wears and dazzled by her beauty.

It's been very wet the last few weeks and my garden works dried up a little.  There's irony for you.    I have work it's just not been suitable for gardening work.  Anyone for a wheelbarrow rut in their lawn please?

About an hour into my walk the problems start to leave me and the landscape and me blend into each other.  We are one and the same.  Go for a walk and leave your troubles at home.  Makes you want to sing that Carpenters song:

"I'm on top of the world looking down on creation and the only explanation  l can find.."

All together now.

Friday 11 October 2019


When I went to my rock festival in Kent in August.  My friend  and I met a man in Fathersham (or even Faversham) who wanted to know which bus to board for the festival.  My friend told him that we were going there and we would show him which bus stop to get off.

We sat upstairs  and chatted about the line up and previous concerts we had been to.  I rhymed off seeing Thin Lizzy, Enerson Lake and Palmer, Rush, Blue Oyster Cult and of course when I  saw Kansas in Warsaw..., yawn!.  It was a pleasant bus journey with lots of rock n roll nostalgia and humorous anecdotes.

The man told us that he once went to see a legendary rock star at some rock festival.  The 'legendary rock star walked (stumbled) on to the stage. Clearly very inebriated and stoned.  He duly fell over a stack of amplifiers which crashed to the pieces. He was then heard to say:

"Eff it.  We will have to play the acoustic set now!"

Well it made us laugh.

 Have you ever seen some famous rock star rather the worse for wear?

Wednesday 9 October 2019

I Got My Thin Lizzy Stamps.

The good lady wife did purchase me two Thin Lizzy stamps this very morn.  The black rose on the left is the name and front cover of their classic Black Rose album.  The great and much missed Phil Lynott is on the stamp on the left.

They cost one Euros each.  I won't be using or posting the stamps.  We will put them away and hope they will be collectables one day.  Especially when it's commemorating Thin Lizzy's 50th anniversary one year early.

  • Hope you like them?

Tuesday 8 October 2019

A Stamp Dedicated To Thin Lizzy.

The leaflet that our postman delivered.  Do you like the Border Collie coasters?
An Post have just had two limited edition stamps Thin Lizzy stamps made to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the band.  I will be getting mine this week.  Who knows they might be worth something one day?

Thin Lizzy are one of my favourite Rock bands.  I saw them at Manchester Apollo in November 1981.  When I was just seventeen.  It was the Renegade tour and the belted out all their classics.  Phil Lynott was a big Manchester  United fan and he was only 36 when he went to Heaven.  Snowy White was also in the band and I saw him again in 2013 playing in Roger Waters band in Warsaw.  I also saw other former Lizzy member Gary Moore play at Milton Keynes and I have seen Eric Bell play The Mariner in Bantry twice.

Somebody recently pointed out that Thin Lizzy's 50th anniversary is not until next year.  But does it really matter?  Fair play to An Post for printing the special edition stamps and dedicating to Thin Lizzy.  Fair play for posting the leaflet too.

Here's an appropriate Thin Lizzy  video called ' Dedication', enjoy!

Monday 7 October 2019

Going For A Third New Potato Crop.

You can see new potatoes  sprouts pushing up their stalks in the polystyrene packaging case on the left.  

We have grown early new potatoes in the polytunnel which were ready to harvest in May.  Then we sowed some carrots in their place and we grew potatoes outside in the veg plot too. 

Stuff grown in the polytunnel was far more successful and quicker to harvest and it didn't have to contend with the very mixed weather, lots of rain and a field day for the slugs and snails.  Perhaps Ireland should see if it can apply to the EU for an enormous  polytunnel grant and cover the whole of the country?
My dad used to tell me that my grandparents always had new potatoes ready for Christmas.  So I decided to save some little ones and go for a third crop.  Hopefully the frost won't blacken the tops with them growing in the polytunnel?

Anybody else growing any out of season vegetables?

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...