Monday 31 May 2021

Two Beaches To Visit In County Kerry On A Sunny Day.

We visited two beaches in Kerry after the carboot sale in County Limerick on Saturday.

Camp church.  It's in Camp next to Tralee Bay and also on the Dingle Way.

The beach at Camp.  It's  incredibly long.  Over twelve miles.  I walked it all a few years ago.  Yesterday  we heard courting  seals talking to each other.  Amazing to hear:

  "How ya doing girl?"   " I've got to go for the messages boy".

Notice at Inch beach.  

Traffic cones on Inch beach.  You probably remember the beach in the horse race scene in Ryan's Daughter?

Looking out to sea.  The beaches aren't so full and they are free for everyone to discover and walk and swim.

Ireland is so incredibly beautiful especially when it's warm and the old currant bun in the sky is shining down on us.

I'm back on my free morning cruise today to the island for another weeks work.  I will reply to any comments tonight!

Saturday 29 May 2021

Another Teapot To Add To The Collection

It was beautiful this Saturday morning and so we went to a carboot sale.

Number 2 son bought his mother a Aga shaped teapot to add to her collection:

His mother was delighted and the cat 😸 looks happy too.

The ever growing Teapot collection.  

What do you collect?

Wednesday 26 May 2021

Wombling Again In The Charity Shops.


The charity shops are open again in Hibernia (Ireland) and being collectors we couldn't wait to have a look for something new the other day.

Six Claddagh wine glasses for the princely sum of FIVE  Euros!  

Wifey spotted them and we christened them with a bottle of German white wine.

The next mission is to start going round the carboot sales at the weekend.  One needs to satisfy their inner Magpie/Jackdaw.  

Do you like browsing around charity shops and carboot sales?

Sunday 23 May 2021

New Spudatoes From "Portugal" My Polytunnel.

 Here I am  lifting the first of our new potatoes this morning in our polytunnel.  I planted them in a soil filled fish box.  They are Kerr Pinks.  My friend gave me a bucket of them last winter and I decided to plant the smaller ones.  Kerr Pinks are a maincrop but they make an excellent early potato.

A bucket of new potatoes grown with fym, chicken manure pellets and some tomato fertilizer.  

Washed and ready to be steamed for tonight's tea.  I also picked one of my cabbages from under a polythene cloche.  J brought some cold beef from the supermarket and we'll wash it down with a bottle of German white wine.  Not bad for the 23rd of May and my 100th blog this year.

Are you eating your early new potatoes yet?

Saturday 22 May 2021

Donkeys Have More Sense.

I have never known  A Thursday in May like the one this week.  You wouldn't put a milk bottle out in that weather.

I caught the ferry and the bay was stirred up like a big jug of gravy.  Thankfully the ferry took the shorter route under the shelter of the bay and we arrived safely on the island.

It was freezing cold and I held on to my hat with my hand.  The six of us huddled next to a wall of a building waiting for the minibus.

I changed into my waterproofs and we jumped into the pickup and set off down the road to where we were working that day.  Two donkeys stood side to side with their backsides against the wind.

We took out our tools and the donkeys looked at us like we had two heads. Then they trundled off into the undergrowth of the fields and saying that we were stark raving mmm.. mad!

Imagine if someone had been on a staycation on Thursday?  Camping or booked a static caravan for the week?  There would of been no cafes open to get a warm drink or a hot meal or even a pub to get a pint.

There's a lot to be said for a sun holiday.

Wednesday 19 May 2021

Bantry Marina On A May Morning.

 I took this photo this morning while I was waiting for the ferry to take me to the island where I am working for a few weeks:

It could anywhere when the sun shines.  The new Marina looks great.  There are pleasure boats, fishing boats all waiting to go for a sail.

Supposed to be a gale on Thursday.  I like to live in the countryside next to  the sea.  But you are always conscious of the power of the elements.

Hopefully the sun will return along with the tourists.  

Will blog again in a day or two.

Sunday 16 May 2021

A Song That's Always Followed Me Wherever I Go.

One of my first proper Rock band concerts was  seeing Thin Lizzy in 1981 at Manchester Apollo.  I was seventeen years of age and I have been a Lizzy fan all my life.  

I have also seen former  Lizzymembers like Gary Moore at Milton Keynes Bowl and Snowy White again (I saw with Thin Lizzy on the Renegade tour ( in Roger Waters band performing The Wall in Warsaw.  I've also seen founder member Eric Bell play twice in Bantry.

When I was growing up in Lancashire I often drank in a Rock pub and Whiskey In The Jar by Thin Lizzy would always been playing on the pub jukebox.

It's  a song about a famous Irish Highwayman in the Cork and Kerry mountains.  Not far from here there is the tunnel road from Glengarriff to Kenmare in the Cork and Kerry mountains.  

There's also the mention of a  Molly.  Could she be the one who wheeled her wheelbarrow through the the streets broad and narrow...?

When we moved over here twenty years ago.  We often travelled in the car, my wife and the then small children would sing Whiskey In The Jar going through the stone tunnels on the way to the Kingdom and Killarney.

I've found two great videos of the Irish classic for your enjoyment:

My favourite band is probably  Kansas followed by Thin Lizzy.  I feel privileged to say I have seen them both.

Do you have a favourite Rock band or song that's travelled with you wherever you go?

Saturday 15 May 2021

Pictures From My Little Piece Of Paradise.

I got up this morning and went outside to see my beloved veg plot, polytunnel and plant nursery.  Talk about the darling buds of May.  All the rain and sunshine is doing wonders to make everything grow and flourish:

A fragrant Geranium in full flower.  It's perfume is incredible.  Bees love it.
My early potatoes loving the rain and sun.

Leeks growing outside in plastic modules in my old homemade Heath Robinson type cold frame.

Inside 'Portugal' my polytunnel pal.  I had just gave it's daily watering.
Elephants ears in an old wheelbarrow.  Behind them his my experimental container/plant pots garden.  You can also see my wheelie bin which I fill with water to fill my watering cans.
My ever increasing plant nursery.  I have hundreds and hundreds of perennials in plant pots.  If you  are starting a garden and you want some cheap plants that come back every year, I'm your man!
Onions in plant pots.  Much easier that making wooden raised beds.  They seem to love having a depth of soil and proof once again you don't  need a garden to grow things.

Hope you enjoyed your visit to my Irish potager on the Irish  Riviera.

Thursday 13 May 2021

Latest Pics From My Outside Greenhouse.

Remember last week when I planted up some perennials and they all looked forlorn and thirsty? 

Well.  Since all the rain in Hibernia (land of eternal winter) they have perked up and enjoying the Spring outdoors in their new positions in their plant pots.

It just goes to show you don't  have to a garden or a polytunnel or a greenhouse to grow your plants.

I'm  back working on one of the islands so I probably won't be blogging so much for a few weeks.  Besides there is very poor coverage on the island and the the Tinternet and Tweb is virtually non existant.

I will catch up with the blogs I follow and and answer any comments tonight.

Saturday 8 May 2021

Plants For Sale.

Regular  readers will know that my growing passion is propagating perennials.  I use to grow lots of vegetables and then I bought 'Portugal' my plastic covered and metal hooped polytunnel.  

Within one season nearly half of my veg plot became a plant nursery.  I seem to find myself making new plants and potting them up every week.  Every day even!

I sell them at car boot sales and to the odd neighbour.  My prices are incredibly cheap: a Euro for a small plant and two Euros for a large plant.  

Propagating plants is like farming.  You never put the price of your time and labour into the price of your product.

If it pays for a few cans of Guinness or some cheap compost from the local German garden centre and beer providers I am happy.  I would gladly barter too.  Or swap plants for different kinds of plants that I haven't got.

Yesterday I decided to have a look around a local market.  It's made up of market stall holders and car booters.  You can buy artisan food, work clothes, bric a brac and even plants.  

I checked out the plant prices.  Some of them were 6 Euros each.  Perhaps I have been selling my plants too cheap?  

Here's some of my ever increasing perennials collection:

When the powers that be in Dublin allow carboot sales to recommence.  I think I might have to put up my prices.  Can you sell something too cheap?  Especially when it's your hobby or a labour of love?

Thursday 6 May 2021

A Self Watering Greenhouse For Free.

Do you like my new greenhouse? 'Portugal'  my polytunnel is full to the brim with plants.  So I decided to make a new greenhouse for free or "nowt" or "nuffink".  It reminds me of how I use to propagate plants when I didn't have my polytunnel friend.

J  had gone shopping and I had run out of potting compost and I remembered I had a pile of well rotted fym which resembles soil.  It's also got a few stones in it.

Regular readers will know people collect plastic plant pots for me.  It's also stopping the plant pots ending up in the landfill sites.  So I half filled some plant pots with my homemade potting fym/soil  and split some of my perennials.  Then I topped them up.

You can see them in the picture above.  They look like they need a drink.  Don't we all.  Is it "tish" time yet? You know it is when you open a can of beer and it goes "tish".

You don't need a greenhouse or polytunnel to propagate new plants.  You can have an imaginary one for free like mine!

Wednesday 5 May 2021

Overgrown Hedges.

Dictionary Definition of an hedge: A hedge is a living fence made of closely planted bushes, which, as they grow and get trimmed and shaped, form a wall of green.

I only gave them an haircut in March.  Look how unruly they have become already.  

Talking of haircuts.  You can take your dog to be groomed and clipped but you can't  go in a barbers to get an haircut at the moment.  It could only happen in Ireland.😊

I USUALLY trim my hedges five times a year.  Living on the Gulf stream they (who are "they?") say we get ten months of growth.  I have decided to ask what you think on the matter folks.

The birds are currently nesting in outbuildings, nest boxes, trees and hedges.  I once found a Robin's nest in an old kettle that had no lid.  Do you think birds would nest in a roadside hedge?  I 'm not so sure.  

Do you think I should leave my unruly hedges until June or should I get out the petrol hedge trimmer and give them a trim?

I live in the countryside next to the sea.  Is it so important to have your garden manicured like a bowling green or a billiard table?  

Where do you stop?  Do we really need to mow the lawns every week? 

Tuesday 4 May 2021

(Butcher Counter Only)?

 Call me stupid but?  I was reading the above supermarket advertising leaflet this morning and I noticed (Butcher Counter Only).  Where else would you get meat from?

I asked the wife and she explained that it means it's not pre packed.  

Like a lot of men in Ireland I don't  do 'food' shopping very often.  If I go in Aldi or Lidl I dart to the middle aisle for walking, gardening and DIY stuff or maybe have a mosey at the drinky poohs section.  The wife meanwhile will go round EVERY aisle pushing her shopping trolley.  I sometimes wonder if she is programmed to shop?

At least she understands what (Butcher Counter Only) means?

Monday 3 May 2021

Posh House Revisited.

Yorkshire Pudding  mentioned Chatsworth House on his blog the other week. This rang a bell and reminded me of an anecdote I posted about the posh house on here in 2012:
 I once helped build half a golf course (the other nine holes already existed) close to the moorland overlooking Manchester and the Cheshire Plain in 1993 .
 I remember  saying one morning to a digger driver:
 “Did you have a good weekend Bill?” 
He replied:
 “Not really.  Me and the missus went to that posh house,  Chatsworth House in Derbyshire.   It was a Bank Holiday Monday and the world and his wife had decided to visit.  The traffic tail-backs went back for miles.  
We eventually got inside and it was full of snobs.  The house was full of old furniture and paintings.  She likes that kind of crap!  I wouldn’t mind there wasn’t even an effing bar to get a pint!” 
I just laughed and Bill said: "What are you laughing at?"
" I'm laughing at what you just said."
Then he started laughing.  It was a good start to a working day.

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 ...