Sunday, 17 October 2021

Some Old Ironstone Willow Pattern Meat Plates From Another Carboot Sale.

 I have not thought of much to blog about the last seven days.   Then I remembered purchasing two

 Willow pattern meat places a few weeks ago:  

They were made by Staffordshire and Derbyshire potteries.  One of then is stamped Ironstone.  These were made around 1830 to cope with the demand for willow pattern plates from China and other parts of the Orient.  

Potters in Staffordshire realised the land was very heavy with clay which wasn't  particularly good for farming but excellent for crockery.  

The two plates are meat plates suitable for big birds like Turkey roasts.  I will probably get plate wires for them and hang them on the walls.  I love Japanese and Chinese Tea houses and their gardens.

It's incredible that they have survived over 100 years old, three or more generations and are still beautiful and could be used to serve the Christmas roast or a traditional Sunday Roast Dinner.

Sunday, 10 October 2021

Some Interesting Cushions In Killarney.

 Do you remember the birds nest cushions I recently purchased from a carboot sale?  

Well we spotted some more Christmas shopping in Killarney yesterday:

I think they're fab and would brighten up any drab settee or couch.

Isn't there some clever people who create these wonderful designs?

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Another Kindle Book To Read.

 The Jewel Garden: Monty and Sarah Don.

I purchased this Kindle book over twelve months ago and only read snippets of it.  

Travelling on a ferry half an hour a day and five days a week.  It's given me the perfect opportunity to read Kindle books on by dog and bone (mobile phone). In fact I'm  on my fourth book in four weeks. 

Monty Don is up there with my favourite television gardeners: Geoffrey Smith, Bob Flowerdew,  Geoff Hamilton and Carol Klein.

In the book Monty takes the reader around his Herefordshire garden created from fields and how plants self seed and care little about his formal garden plans.  He also talks about his personal business successes and failures and depression and how a day gardening refreshes him both mentally and spiritually.

There's some wonderful prose about how the exhausted swallows arrive at his Herefordshire homestead from South Africa every May and a fox howling in the distance.

I enjoyed the book and I like him and his wife because they use organic gardening methods.   I also find my polytunnel friend 'Portugal' and veg plot and herbaceous perennials borders cathartic and edifying to mind and soul.  We won't mention what it does to the back, especially  my back.

It would make a good Christmas or birthday present for any soil slave!😊

Sunday, 3 October 2021


 I took this picture this morning of the Nasturtiums flowering in the veg plot.  They self seed and come back with new plants every year.

We've been growing them in Europe since the sixteenth century.  They originate from South America and Central America.  No doubt they arrived in Ireland with the tobacco, potatoes and fuschia hedging that grows everywhere in the West of Ireland.

The Incas in Mexico grew Nasturtiums for salads.  You can eat the foliage and the flowers.

During WW1 Nasturtiums were used for a pepper substitute when kitchen table pepper was difficult to source along with Hoover bags and Sky TV remote controls and ashtrays on motor bikesπŸ˜€.

Nasturtiums also have medicinal qualities and they have been used in dressings to help heal wounds and blemishes.

Winter is approaching very fast and it's nice to see some colour in the garden at this time of year.

Friday, 1 October 2021

Miracles Out Of Somewhere. .

 I've got back into reading books again.  Well Ebooks and Kindle to be precise.  Every working week day I read my Kindle ebook on the fifteen minutes ferry to the island and back.  It's a good way to pass the time and exercise my brain.

My friend and fellow Kansas band fan in Poland recommended some Kansas reading the other week.  So I duly paid for and downloaded via Kindle Miracles Out of Somewhere by Kansas founding member Kerry Livgren.

It's  a memoir and full of life experiences and how a little Rock band from Topeka near Kansas who became Rock royalty and how he became a born again Christian .  

There are miracles like long lost guitars returning, pathos when Kerry and his wife have life threatening challenges through stroke and cancer.

For me a Kansas fan it was the tales about Kansas on the road and the writing of the all time Prog classic Dust In The Wind.  I really enjoyed the book and I feel I know more about one of my favourite if not my my favourite Prog Rock band: Kansas.

I am lucky enough nay blessed to have seen Kansas live in 2014.  I never saw Kerry Livgren but in his book I feel through his writing I have got to know him.

Here's  Kerry with Kansas.

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

My Michaelmas Daisies.

 Yep it's  Michaelmas tomorrow the 29th of September.  It's the time of year when the Asters or Michaelmas daisies come into flower.

The Anglican/Episcopalian and Roman Catholic churches all celebrate the feast of Saint Michael.

It was traditionally the day for paying rents, hiring staff and eating goose.  A lot of goose fairs like Nottingham were held around day.   

The next big feast was Martinmass or November the 11th, Armisstice Day.  This was the day when animals were slaughtered and smallholders decided which farm animals to keep for the long winter and hunger gap.

I think we best order some logs and coal.

Sunday, 26 September 2021

Another Trip To The Carboot Sale.

A lovely jug featuring Welsh ladies in their national costumes.  They originate from the 
 Dragon Pottery in Rhayader in Wales.  I think the Veg Artist would like this?  Three Euros. 

Price Kensington  Apple Sauce face pot.  From the 1950s for 8 Euros.   They also made  the Cottage teapots the wife collects.

Two bird and nests cushions for one Euros each..

I also picked up 6 CD  albums for 30 Cents each.  Not a bad mornings shopping.

Saturday, 25 September 2021

Mince Pies In September?

 Yep.  We happened to be in Iceland  looking for Blighty culinary delights like Vimto and Hollands pies (Lancashire delicacies) and doner kebabs and stuff for my nosebag: dinner on the island across the bay.  

We noticed mince pies and:

Yes less than fourteen weeks before Christmas Day.  

It seems to get earlier every year doesn't it just?

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Rescuing A Young Snail Crawling Along The Top Of The Kitchen Sink.

 Call me soft but..?  I picked a beetroot from one of my raised bed old baths yesterday afternoon.    I brought it into the kitchen and placed it in the sink.

A few minutes later I was summonsed to the kitchen and asked to remove a young snail from drowning.   

Believe it or not I felt sorry for old Snaily and dutifully carried  it out to the garden and gently placed the beetroot leaf and snail in the herbaceous borders.

I know one day it will grow big and devour my veggies but for now I let it go free. Perhaps I should have painted it's name  Snaily on it's shell? Then next year when I see it in my cabbages we can reminisce and discuss how I saved it's life?  But if it doesn't  leave my brassicas alone I will not be a happy bunny ..

My newly picked beetroot lying prostrate and looking forlorn in my polytunnel.  Do you think it would make a good still life photo? I do.

Sunday, 19 September 2021

I Found A Miners Lamp From Wigan At A Carbootsale In West Cork.


We got up this morning and  went to a carboot sale here in West Cork.  It's great to see things getting back to normal after the Covid lockdowns and restrictions.

I  bought a few things, just for a change! I spotted the silver and brass miners lamp.  It's 1940s and JH Naylor Ltd Wigan is engraved on it.

I've put it next to my brass M&Q safety lamp made in Ecckles  1977.  I have been looking for another one for a while and never expected to find one here in West Cork.

You never know what you might find on a carboot sale do you?

Thursday, 16 September 2021

More Pastoral Pictures From The Carboot Sale.

 We went for a ride out to a carboot sale on Sunday.  Just for a change of course!

I obviously found some carboot treasure: two old sheep and cattle prints in relatively modern gold frames.

We took out the prints and they're not signed but I would say they are around turn of the twentieth  century.

Wifey says she'll touch up the frames with gold paint and I'll find a wall to strike a nail or two in.

This weekend I'm supposed to be selling some of my Sedums perennials.  Suppose I could always mosey on down around the other carboot stalls and see if I can find  something else to collect?πŸ€”

Monday, 13 September 2021

Visiting A Antarctic Explorer's Village In County Kerry.

Tom Crean's picture and pub sign looking through the Hydrangea.

We had a run out on Saturday.  We went shopping in Tralee and then we stopped in Annascaul.

Tom Crean's pub.   It was closed when we visited.

A warm Penguin welcome!

A stone from south Georgia.

Tom's bronze statue of him and his pups.

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Shopping For Japanese Onion Sets And Henry Vacuum Bags.

 Tiz the time of year when I go shopping for my onion sets.  So we went in Woodies in Tralee and I purchased two packets of 'Electric' red onions and 'Shenshyu' onion sets.  

The wife went off down an aisle looking for Henry vacuum cleaner bags.  Unfortunately I am sad to say she found some.  What's wrong with a house brush and dust pan or even a Ewbank?  They don't use electricity and they don't make a noise!

I've been growing my 'Japs' for donkeys years.  You plant them now in the vegetables garden and they will be ready to harvest next June before the maincrop summer onions are ready.

Japanese onions are so resilient to the gales and snow and rain and they really are tough beggars.  They also have a good taste.  I might plant some in fish boxes in 'Portugal' my polytunnel like I did last year?  To be honest they don't mind being planted outside.

Anyone else grow Winter onions?

Saturday, 11 September 2021

A Japanese Mountain Print From A Carbootsale.

 Not sure if I showed you this picture I bought at a carbootsale for 3 Euros in County Limerick a few weeks ago?

Me thinks it could be Mount Fushi me thinks?  Oh how  I love Japanese tea gardens.  I have some Japanese pottery and have very fond family holidays memories in Scarborough visiting the Japanese themed gardens Peasholm park.  There would be model naval frigates sea battles, a man playing a Wurlitzer style organ and it seemed like the sun shone every day.

Not a bad find all for 3 Euros and the subject for a blog post!

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

"Keep on Carbooting In The Cheap World"

 If Neil Young was me he'd be probably singing my blog title.

It was a mizzle day in Kinsale and we stopped there and switched to Google maps and followed the road to our carboot destination.

Well one needs to satisfy their inner Womble don't they just?

Here's some treasure we found:

So what  have we got here? There's a pastoral scene picture in the middle of the table.  A book about Amy Winehouse by her dad.  That will no doubt be a blog topic at a later date.  More cottage teapots and I treated the missus to a salt and pepper and mustard cottage on a tray set.  They are from the nineteen forties and the collection gets even more abundant.  I also did purchase a wooden cow money box with a missing ear.  The tablecloth came from a charity shop recentlyand cost the princely sum of two Euros.

Not a bad mornings treasure hunting in the Irish mizzle.  We also went to Iceland.  The shop not the country!😊

Monday, 6 September 2021

Butterflies On Sedums.


I have never seen so many Butterflies than this year.  They fly around me when I'm working outside on the island and they're at home when I come home and look at my Sedums.  The honeybees quite like them too!

I have quite a lot of them for sale but they can stay here in my Butterflies haven/garden if nobody wants them.  If you want to  attract Butterflies or honeybees in your garden then plant Buddleias or Sedums.  

The sad thing about the Sedums being in flower is that it means Winter is not that far away.   

I love Sedums do you?

Sunday, 5 September 2021

Classic Cars At Gougane Barra.

 We stopped off at Gougane Barra last Sunday on the way back from County Kerry.  It's a beautiful lakeside setting and the home of the patron saint of Cork Saint Finbarr.  

There is a chapel and oratory there and couples often get married or just have their wedding photos taken there.  It's also got an hotel, pub, gift shop and forest and lakeside walks.

We stopped off to stretch our legs and give the dog a walk and a drink and she decided to cool down by jumping in a stream.

It was a red hot day and we bought ice lollies and noticed there were classic cars parked there after an annual memorial run.  Here's some pictures:

A taste of Anerica or even America.  Complete with a double front seat,  I  thought of the Fonz and Happy Days.

A reminder of Blighty.  This Rolls Royce is bespoke fitted with leather seats and walnut dash.  I think they only go nine miles to the gallon?  I suppose if you can afford one you can afford to pay for the motion lotion or petrol even?

Classic cars parked next to the lake and you can see the beautiful church  in the background.  It was a nice stopover enjoyed by  all.

Friday, 3 September 2021

A Ride Out To Fenit of "Feenit" even!

 I am often corrected when I pronounce Irish words.  For example Rory Gallagher one of my Blues Rock guitar heroes surname Gallagher is pronounced without the second "G" over here. I've always pronounced the second "G".   On Monday morning we discussed where we had been for the weekend with my work colleagues.  I said: "we went to Fenit in County Kerry and I was told "You mean Feenit".

 Spelt Fenit!

Any road or I digress:

Fenit is rather beautiful and is on the opposite side of Tralee Bay and Camp  where I recently posted  a blog about on here.  It was  a pleasant few hours walking about along the beach and the dog had a swim. 

Monday, 30 August 2021

Cricket In County Kerry.

What could be more quintessentially Irish than seeing a game of Cricket in county Kerry?  

Is there a more stunning backdrop/vista of Tralee Bay in the background? 

We drove from Tralee to Fenit on Saturday afternoon and passed through the village of Spa. We couldn't believe our eyes.  A game of Cricket was being played at Kerry Cricket club.

We talked to one of the Cricketers.  He said they play mainly 20 -20.  We told him about the new 100 format where each team gets 100 bowls at each other.  We were intrigued that Cricket was being played in Ireland.  He said there are Cricket grounds in all the Cities and they are very keen on it in the North.

It was a magical sight and that great Manchester band 10CC song started playing on my mental jukebox:

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

What's So Great About Great?

One thing I really like about working with people is the conversations we have.  Living in the countryside I can go days without speaking to anyone other than immediate family.  I think that's why I write and  compose blogs and comment on my favourite blogs that I follow.

I was talking to someone when I was working the other day.  He remarked that he couldn't understand why when people refer to the famine in Ireland it's called the Great Famine.  He said there was nothing great about it.  I agreed and said that the first world war is often called the great war.

I thought this might be a 'great" topic for a blog post.  So I looked up other examples of when great is used:

Great Wall of China.

Great Lakes.

Great Dane.

Catherine the Great.

Great Bear.

Arthur Ashe was a tennis great.

I am sure you have examples of the word great?

Do you remember Bullseye?  "How you doing, smashing, great!" 

Saturday, 21 August 2021

"I Just Don't Know What To Do With Myself".

 I've been working all week and going on my twice daily free cruise across the bay to the island and back.  Will catch up with  my favourite blogs soon.

A group/duo I would have loved to see in the early noughties would have been The White Stripes.  They consisted of Jack White on Guitar and vocals and Meg White.  They are from Detroit in Michigan.

I once watched then on Later with Jools on BBC 2 and Jools said they were a brother and sister duo.  When in fact they were actually married at the time.

Probably their signature tune is Seven Nations Army.  How many times have I heard number two son playing that tune on his electric guitar?

I'm not going to play that though.  I'm going to play a cover song by Mary Catherine Bernadette O'Brien or Dusty Springfield to be precise.  She was  born in West Hampstead of Irish parents.  Her mother was born in Tralee in County Kerry.  Dusty's ashes were sprinkled over the cliffs of Moher in County Clare.

I really like both versions of this song:

Sunday, 15 August 2021

Beetroots And Yellow Wellies.


"Oh they called them yellow wellies!"

That's me this very morning harvesting a very nice beetroot specimen in 'Portugal' my plastic polytunnel pal.

I sowed them and planted them in a polystyrene welder packing case.  They've had no chemicals just chicken pellets and some of my cow poo and nettles garden tea.  

Like the great comedian Frank Carson would say: " It's a cracker!"

Like the majority of our vegetables, beetroot originate in the middle east and are said to be a seaside plant.    They like a sprinkle of salt when they are growing and it also helps keeps the slugs and snails away.

Beetroot is very popular in Russia and central and Eastern Europe.  Beetroot is very good for cleansing the blood too.

The beetroot is now boiling away in a big pan with it's leaves still intact.  Brotherhood of Man recorded the following b side to the Eurovision song contest, honest!

"Beetroots for tea.  Save your beetroots for me...  "

Saturday, 14 August 2021

Rabbits Grazing In A Cemetery.

We noticed four rabbits happily grazing in a new part of a cemetery the other day:

The cemetery grounds staff keep the grass mown and the rabbits obviously enjoy the young and tender short grass.

Animals are so resourceful and don't mind using a cemetery for a dining place.

It's good to see rabbits grazing instead of us sighing at beautiful animals that have become casualties of roadkill.  I saw a beautiful badger dead in the middle of a main road the other day.  All it had done was to go for a stroll and a midnight feast.  There's no cemetery for those poor creatures.  

Wednesday, 11 August 2021

Wally The Walrus Hijacks A Boat In West Cork.

 West Cork attracts a lot of visitors some rich and some famous.  This week a Walrus decided he didn't want a staycation in his own country near the North Pole.

Wally decided to swim to Clonakilty and go shopping for Barry's tea and Clonakilty Pudding, West Cork whiskey and erm, hijack a boat!

"Leave the car at home or catch a bus, but don't hijack the boat like a Walrus!"

Tuesday, 10 August 2021

Welcome To My World.


Imagine if you could find an old McDonald's restaurant and you could make it into your very own giant sized bungalow? 

Come the glorious revolution we will all have our choice of what we want.  I'd like my own dustbin wagon and my own ex Ronald McDonald restaurant, drive through and takeaway to convert into my very own mega sized bungalow complete with a full sized snooker table, jukebox, bar, cinema and library.  

I don't want much do I?  

What would be your perfect abode to make into your home?

Sunday, 8 August 2021

Living Next Door To The Atlantic Ocean.

We watched Atlantic: a year in the wild, on Saturday night on Channel 5.

The flora and fauna, water and landscape above and below the water was amazing.  

Richard Branson should explore under the oceans instead of outer space where nothing exists.

I recently watched My Octopus Teacher on Netflix and wrote about it on here.  If you've not seen that documentary please watch it! It's so beautiful and so incredibly poignant.

Regular readers know I can see the bay from our kitchen window.  This bay is part of the Atlantic ocean.  So it was very interesting to watch the programme yesterday evening.

Apparently the Atlantic stretches from pole to pole.  It's deepest bit is 37000 feet and it's waves can reach fifty seven feet and they can weigh one thousand tons! "Yoikes Scooby".

It was a great programme and soon it will be gale season on the Irish Riviera.  It's such a mild climate but it does get very windy and gets more than it's fair share of rain.

Here's a video of the wild Atlantic way.  Ireland is such a spectacular and beautiful country.


Friday, 6 August 2021

Peg Stop.

 I have heard of a Pit stop  but never a Peg stop.

There we were driving back to West Cork yesterday and the wife said:

" We'll  have to stop soon.  There's a  post office shop round here and I want to get something we need."

We were on a country road in the middle of nowhere and the car stopped.  My wife got out and went inside and came back with two plastic bags of PEGS!

" They're the ones that don't have springs and don't break".

" Oh I says".

Anything for a quiet life.  It could have been worse like Hoover bags!

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

She Took The Last Train Out Of My Heart..

 Yet more Rock band heroes have recently passed away over the last couple of weeks: two Cinderella members, the bass player from ZZ Top and the once former Kansas band violinist and singer Robby Steindhardt.    There must be one mighty Rock festival being played every day in Heaven.

It's a sign of your own mortality when your Rock heroes are getting old and achieving the ultimate freedom:  playing music in eternal paradise.

I remember me and my mates jumping in the back of a Ford Transit van in 1987 and setting off to Castle Donington "Monsters of Rock" festival in Derbyshire.   Cinderella  kicked off the festival about one o'clock in the afternoon.  They strutted their stuff and were probably one of the best ever bands I have ever seen to kick off a music festival.

Thanks to good old You Tube.  We can watch these favourite bands over and over again,

I discovered this gem by Cinderella lead singer  Tom Keifer.  I can't  stop playing it.  Enjoy:

Monday, 2 August 2021

Watching A Film Set In France On A Boring Irish Bank Holiday Weekend.

We stayed at home yesterday after our carbooting jaunt on Saturday.  We made some Sangria and I decided to flick through Netflix films and documentaries.  Sometimes I look in the British films and we won't watch anything with violence and it's  a struggle sometimes to find anything to watch.

Then somehow I found Under The Eiffel Tower:

It's  a wonderful film set in the French countryside full of vineyards and a female lead that would make anyone instantly fall in love with.  Yes the story is your typical strangers meeting on a train, sharing a bottle of wine made on a French vineyard where coincidentally the heroine works and jointly owns.

The storylines got some interesting subplots and a bit predictable ending.  But if you want sheer escapism and to gaze at an amazing French actress, beautiful food, wines, vineyards and rural gobsmacking countryside.  Give it a whirl!

Judith Godreche is amazing!

Sunday, 1 August 2021

Garden Plants For Sale.


We went carbooting yesterday.  I loaded the car up with my perennials the night before.

There were only an handful of carboot sellers and we set up at 9.30 and waited for the world and his wife to arrive at eleven.  This never transpired.

We did meet some really nice people, the sun shone and we made twelve Euros after paying for our pitch.  Not a bad days takings from 9.30 to three.

I much prefer buying than selling!

Carbooting is like fishing. Some days you never have a bite.

Oh well!

Friday, 30 July 2021

"One Rule For One .. "


Do you like the dog cuddly toy?

Here's the brilliant Christian and Prog Rock band that went New Wave : After The Fire with a very prophetic song from 1979:

I saw them many moons ago at Greenbelt Christian Music Festival in Odell in Bedfordshire.  I also saw U2 before they had become famous there too!

Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Another Successful Rooted Cutting.

 The wife bought a Coleus or ' Painted Nettle " plant from the German garden centre and beer providers the other week.  

So when she wasn't  looking I made a few cutting and placed them in glasses of water and hoped they would strike roots.  They did of course so I potted two of them up and we have now started a Coleus collection:

They are a bit mard and don't like frost but they can also be used for an annual in the garden borders or hanging baskets..?

I think I might be giving some house plants presents to people I know for Christmas!

Tuesday, 27 July 2021

What's The Story Nature's Morning Glory?

 I saw this pink and white Convolvolus or Bindweed growing through a Laurel hedge the other day.  I was knocked out with it's  beauty and trumpet shaped flowers.

I remember white coloured Bindweed flowers when I lived in Blighty.  But I can't remember seeing pink and white ones.

Apparently they can be toxic to livestock if they graze them.

Incredibly they are related to the cultivated garden flower Ipomea or Morning Glory.

Perhaps the Gallagher brothers were inspired by this flower when they visited their ancestral home in Ireland.  The Bindweed flowers certainly inspired me.  Drop dead gorgeous wild flowers!

Monday, 26 July 2021

Carbooting Again.

Yesterday was 25 degrees and we went to two carboot sales.  One in county Cork and one in county Kerry.  There was a myriad of items for sale.  Even the kitchen sink.  I jest not!😊

Here's some of the things we spotted and bought:

A long nosed shovel or "Grafter" they call them in England. They're  great for digging narrow trenches, planting shrubs or even digging an old shrub out. I bought a sledgehammer too.
I even managed to capture my shadow.  I am definitely not a ghost.
A brand new hand knitted Aran jumper for yours truly.

Two hardwood elephants to go with the every growing collection.

Do you want to guess what we paid for each item? Go on don't be shy.  πŸ€”

Have you been to any carboot sales lately? What did you buy or sell?

Sunday, 25 July 2021

Daisy Time.

 My daisies decided to put on their annual show this week.   Daisies are said to be the most popular plant species in the world.  They are everywhere apart from Antartica.

Shasta daisies originate in north America and were named after the white snow capped Shasta mountains in California.  They were introduced to the rest of the world in 1901.

I have grown them from cuttings in the polytunnel and by division.  I have lots of them growing in my  herbaceous perennials borders. 

Neighbours call and ask me if I have any of "them daisies?" and I always find them some.

You can pick them for cut flowers or even put them in your hair.

Here's that Gypsy Goth band who I saw at Glastonbury festival in 1989 with an appropriate song:

I've seen Julianne and the rest of All About Eve twice.  What a band and what a lady.  She's a Colleen from Coventry.

Friday, 23 July 2021

The Butterfly Returns.

 Buddleia originated in China.  They are also called the butterfly bush.  If you want to attract butterflies to your garden, back yard or allotment plant a Buddleia.  Sedums attract them to.

The Buddleia was used to reinforce  newly constructed railway embankments with their roots.  I noticed a lot of them growing wild near Temple Mead train station in Bristol when I visited Dorset in 2018.  Perhaps their ancestors came from bomb sites in the second world war?  

I make cuttings from mine every year and you can also let the flowers go to seed and sow them next Spring.  I think they like to spend time frozen in the fridge to make them jolt into life and germinate.

Here's one I planted twenty years ago:

Can you see the butterfly?

Some Old Ironstone Willow Pattern Meat Plates From Another Carboot Sale.

 I have not thought of much to blog about the last seven days.   Then I remembered purchasing two  Willow pattern meat places a few weeks ag...