Friday 30 December 2022

G Is For Gary Moore.

Continuing with my A to Z of some of my favourite Rock bands/singers/ musicians.  

Probably one of the most talented guitarists I have ever seen or listened to is Gary Moore who sadly is no longer with us.  

Gary was born in Belfast and was a member of Thin Lizzy, Colloseum 11, Grand Slam and his own band and other collaborations.

I never saw him in Thin Lizzy but I have seen them (Lizzy) and I saw Gary Moore at the Garden Party in Milton Keynes Bowl in 1986.  It was a gorgeous summers day and it was a great day of Rock music with the likes of Mamas Boys, Magnum, Gary Moore's band, Jethro Tull and Marillion playing.  

Gary Moore was a brilliant Blues and Heavy Rock guitarist.  Here's Gary and other  Thin Lizzy members playing ' Black Rose'.  Such a great rock song full of Irish folklore and you will recognise a few ballads tunes all entwined in Black Rose: "Where the mountains of Mourne come down to the sea"....   Enjoy.

Wednesday 28 December 2022

Tight Wad 2023 Christmas Wrapping Paper Shopping.

 Tis the time of year to go tightwad Christmas wrapping and gift bow shopping.  You know where the place  we shop was selling off some of their Christmas stuff.  

So wifey pounced and came home with 8 rolls of wrapping paper for 2 Euros and a Euro fifty for two bags of gift bows.  Not a bad afternoons work.  

They will live for the next twelve months a the bottom of her wardrobe/Christmas 2023 cupboard.

Have you started shopping for Christmas 2023 yet?

You can't walk past a bargain can you? If they film 'Hoarders' in Ireland we will be featured I am sure.

Monday 26 December 2022

Domino Makes A Shoe Box ' Day' Bed.

 To paraphrase Paul Young: "Where ever I lay my box that's my home".

Domino doesn't really like the Christmas hustle and bustle and he preferred to make a 'day' bed out of a box what some boots came in.

Kitty Tiger likes to jump in a Carlsberg or Heineken lager box for a siesta.

When the kids were young they would discard their new presents/toys/plastic junk and sit in the big cardboard boxes that they came in.

What is it about cardboard boxes πŸ“¦ and children and our four legged friends at Christmas?  Well even BOXING day?

They call it Stephen's day in Hibernia.  In England it was common for Gentry to make up boxes of their unwanted prezzies and distribute or give to their servants.  "Anyone want a Pot Rice or a chocolate orange 🍊?"

Sunday 25 December 2022

Early Christmas Dinner Even Brekky

 Merry Christmas from all the livestock and the whomans that feed us and clean our stable.  

What you having for your Christmas Dinner 🍽?  Our whomans are having roasting beef and vegabulls and we have just ate πŸ₯• and hay and well water to wash it down afterwards.

Merry Christmas and don't drink too  much. 

Saturday 24 December 2022

A Glitzy Bobble Hat For Chrimbo.

 We probably won't be going to any parties this Christmas.  But at least Mrs Northsider can look rather posh and glamorous feeding the livestock and pet stock on Christmas Day.

We were shopping in one of the German discount stores the other week and she noticed Pom Hat Yarn for sale.  It's a ball of wool with a pom on the top.  The pattern is on the reverse side of the advertising paper attached to the yarn.  I think it cost 6.50 Euros.

A Glitzy Bobble Hat.

I think it's given old wifey a few ideas for Christmas presents next year. Who wouldn't want an handmade Christmas present?

Thursday 22 December 2022

Early Christmas Presents For Yours Truly.

 We went shopping in Kerry the other day and I saw those two beauties looking at me from an off licence shelf.  To my amazement there was four bottles of Newcastle Brown and two bottles of Theaktons Old Peculier.   I was an happy bunny.  

The shop proprietor told us that they come down from the North.   It is strange the little things you take for granted and you miss when you move to another country.  

Prog and Heavy Rock concerts are another joy of mine but I rarely see in rural Ireland.  It's a trip to Dublin or Cork if you want to see anything like that.  

It's so nice to be able to drink your favourite drinks at this time of year.   


Tuesday 20 December 2022

Mucking Out And Sleeping On The Hay.

 I was mucking out the livestock today and noticed Midnight the cat had decided to have a snooze on the hay bales while I piked the dung and barrowed it to my fym pile. 

It's a good mix of hens, ducks, pigs, horse, donkeys, goat and donkeys fym.  In six months time it should be well rotted and ready for the veg plot.

Anyone else collecting their fym for their allotment, veg plot?  

Living in the countryside next to the sea I'm going to start collecting seaweed over the next few weeks.  It's supposed to be great for spudatoes and the old slugs and 🐌  hate the salt.

I just need a few dry days to get clearing the weeds and digging over the plot.  Anyone else itching to get cultivating and digging the veg plot?

Monday 19 December 2022

Welcome To The Machine. Part 2. "What A Picture".

 Just before they left our humble abode the other day.   One of the washing machine  delivery men said they to needed to take a picture.  Wifey duly put her hand on top of the machine and posed like Madonna in her " Vogue" video.  He laughed and said: "I'm joking."

Then he told us he had said the same thing to a woman last week and she dashed off to her bedroom and she rushed back and said: " I just brushed my hair for the photo".

Wifey is very happy with her now working washing machine which is spinning at the moment.  It's even got a 15 minute quick wash like the old one.  The next thing will be to replace the tumble dryer.  There's always something that decides to give up the ghost or needs replacing isn't there?

Saturday 17 December 2022

Welcome To The Machine.

 Well they said it would arrive by the 16th of December and sure enough a delivery van reversed down Northsider Towers drive yesterday afternoon.  

Two really amiable and helpful lads carried in our new washing machine through the front door and over the freezer in the hall and into the kitchen.  They even offered to take away the polystyrene and cardboard packaging for us.

They said they were delivering to different parts of West Cork.  All the way from Dublin.
 That's probably why we had to wait so long?  I still blame Brexit though.

Here's Pink Floyd with an appropriate titled song.  I have never seen Pink Floyd the band but I have seen Roger Waters perform The Wall.  One of his guitarists was Snowy White who was a member of Thin Lizzy who I saw back in 1981.

Wifey is happy.  She is waiting for number 1 son to install the washer.  There's no way I am attempting to do it.  I might help lift it into place.

Friday 16 December 2022

F Is For Franck Carducci And The Fantastic Squad.

 I saw Franck Carducci and his band at The Night Of The Prog festival in Loreley in Germany in 2017.   It's only an hour and 35 minutes to Frankfurt Hahn airport which is nowhere near Frankfurt, like a lot of other artistic licence airport names that a budget certain airline uses.  A taxi drive later and we were there.  Well apart from a long walk up an hill. Next day we found out you could catch a bus there from the town.   We stayed in an hotel and instead of seeing "keep off the grass" (I hadn't been smoking) signs their said: "Verboten". 

The festival site is picturesque perched  high above the River Rhine.  The stone amphitheatre was constructed apparently for Hitler's WW2 victory celebrations.  Thankfully that never happened and these days great Prog Rock bands grace the stage.  We saw old signs for Scottish Celtic Rockers who had played there a few weeks before The Night Of The Prog. 

Franck Carducci is from France and he is based in Amsterdam.  I saw them at Loreley and found them to be a breath of fresh Prog Rock air.  

They remind me of early Peter Gabriel/Genesis with their theatrical like stage presence and Mary Reynaud with her dancing and singing.  They got a standing ovation by 6000 people including yours truly at Loreley.

They are playing A New Day Festival next August at Mount Ephraim Gardens at Faversham near Kent.  Regular readers will know I have been there twice but I am not sure about next year.  Time will tell.

Any way or any road enjoy the music. It's a ten minute track and ever there's a good reason to like Prog it's this band.

Like Max Boyce says: "I was there!

Me thinks next week it will be the letter G.  Not so much a Prog guitarist but definitely a Blues and Rocker.  Emerald Isle is a big clue.  Have you any plans to go to a Rock festival next year? I have got two plans up to now.  Hopefully.

Thursday 15 December 2022

Lady Chatterley's Bruvver. (2022).

 That's today's attempt at humour/humor?  Apparently he owned a chip shop in Nottingham.  It's got to be one of my best blog titles?

Seriously.  We watched the latest film adaptation of David Herbert Lawrence's book the other night.  It's on Netflix: Lady Chatterley's Lover.  

We probably have all read the book and seen the films  made about a loving affair between the social classes.

Do you think a Lady would have an affair with a Gamekeeper?   I would like to think that it could be possible.

The two lead actors are amazing.  Jack O'Connell played Mellors  the Gamekeeper and his Derbyshire accent really makes it sound like a character from where DH Lawrence was born

Emma Corrin who played Constance Chatterley is incredibly beautiful and reminded me of Lady Di in her facial mannerisms.    Apparently she played Diana in The Crown?  I haven't seen it have you?

Joely Richardson plays Mrs Bolton.  Her Nottingham/Derbyshire regional accent is very accurate and I remember her when she played Mrs Chatterley in the BBC adaptation thirty years ago,

I thought it was not a very good film ending but the passion and acting was first class.

Anyone else seen the film?

I love watching English Literature Classics  brought to life on screen.   If you are a believer in having a zest for life and Pantheism then this film is worth seeing.

Tuesday 13 December 2022

Draw Your Curtains Before It Gets Dark.

 I have been reading Sky News website today about: How To Keep Warm This Winter.  

I think Sybil Fawlty could have wrote my blog title which I used from their site.

Keep Moving About is another advice tip.

Do people not realise that we have seasons and it is Winter?   Imagine if it was 1947 or 1963 the year I was born?

My staple dinner time meal is 4 slices of Lidl's own sliced bread and their own 69 Cents version of tomato Cuppa Soup.  

Why don't they suggest we should win the Euromillions Lottery and buy a villa in the sun or become an hedgehog and hibernate for the Winter?

Monday 12 December 2022

Meet Rudolf/Rudolph The German Supermarket Reindeer


Wifey brought this fellow home from the German garden centre and beer 🍺 providers and supermarket the other day.

The plant is a Cyclamen I πŸ€”.   You don't need to put up all the Christmas decorations but you can still get into the swing of Christmas by letting a reindeer into your home.  

Sunday 11 December 2022

Health And Safety Comedy.

 If you work in the construction industry in Ireland you have do a Safepass one day course and sit an exam which most people seem to pass.  I did mine in August and paid 150 Euros for the privilege.  That covers me for the next four years.   Hopefully the course helps prevent injuries.   There's also common sense which doesn't seem to be to talked about much these days.

I found this comedian sharing his thoughts on Health and Safety, common sense and banning smoking ....

Hope it made you smile.

Friday 9 December 2022

E Is For Emerson Lake And Palmer.

 Continuing  my A to Zed or Zee of some of my favourite Rock  bands.

Rather like the new film The Railway Children Return.   Keith Emerson's mother was a refugee in WW2 and they moved to Yorkshire.  Keith was born in Todmorden in 1944.  Sadly his birth place was later demolished.

Greg Lake was born in Poole, Dorset in 1947.  Carl Palmer was born in Handsworth,  Birmingham in 1950

They formed a three piece super group playing Classical, Progressive Rock and Jazz.  I can't think of another 3 piece band in Rock other than Rush who were so multi talented and entertaining.  Can you?

According to Professor Google I saw ELP at Manchester Apollo in October 1992.  It was an awesome concert.  Keith Emerson played like a famous Composer and he tortured an Hammond organ sticking SS daggers in it.  Regular readers will remember I wrote about Lemmy from Hawkwind and Motorhead supplying Keith with them.  When I did a blog about Greg Lakes book ' Lucky Man'. Remember?

The ELP Manchester concert was one of the best gigs I have ever been to.  Perhaps Kansas could only top that? 

Did anyone else get to see The Nice or ELP? They have got the be the best Prog band to come out of England with a name like a Solicitors practice.  

Keith and Greg are sadly no longer with us.  But there music lives on for evermore.  Carl Palmer is still touring with his band.  A friend told me that he once saw him play in his new band and Carl kept doing drum solos.  One wit in the audience shouted in betweenthe drum solos. : " Give the Bass player a chance".

The video is  'Knife Edge' from back in 1970 in Switzerland when people knew how to Rock and literally let their hair down.

I wonder what F will be my choice next week? I think they could be French and quite contemporary.   

Thursday 8 December 2022

"We've Had Your Money You Will Have To Wait".

 The washing machine with the fourteen minute wash finally gave up the ghost last week.  I said to buy a new one local so if anything goes wrong with it you can go back and discuss your problem with a human being.

Other members of the family thought different.  They drove to Cork to a retailer that's name sounds like Asian  spicy food.  They chose a model that was reasonably priced and wasn't in stock.  So they paid for it and returned back down to West Cork.

One week later, today.  My wife rang a phone number on the receipt and she was put through to a none human automatic phone voice which said the washer will be delivered on the 16th of December.

Wifey is not an happy bunny.   Fortunately we have a washing machine in another dwelling.    Anyone else had an hissy fit recently?

Wednesday 7 December 2022

Piri Piri Chicken For Tea In West Cork.

 "What do you want for your tea tonight?"

That is something that I am asked every day.  Even at 7 in the morning some times.  

I opted for chicken Piri Piri.  It's a Algarve dish invented in the village of Guia which I took a photo of when we visited the Algarve in October.  Here it is served with sweetcorn and roasted new potatoes sprinkled with garlic salt.

We bought a jar of hot πŸ”₯  chilli sauce for six Euros when we visited the markets in Loule.   It's  very hot and only me, myself and i really like it.  However the others do have a liking for a less hot version.  If you wish to make Chicken Piri Piri please go to the BBC Food website.
Guia home of the world famous Piri Piri Chicken.  It was invented there in 1964.

It was good to have an Algarve meal in West Cork in December.  Anyone else like hot and spicy food?

Monday 5 December 2022

The Two Bottles Of Beer In Tesco's That Got Away.

We were in a Tesco's the other day and I thought I might treat myself to a few bottles of Speckled Hen bitter. I couldn't see any. Then I noticed a sign advertising them. So I got down on my knees and found two bottles at the very back of the shelves. I left them at the front and had a look on the shelves for any other English bitter. A man walked past me and proceeded to pick up 'my' bottles and walked away with 'my' Speckled Hen. I was like a kid who's rattle had fell out off it's pram. I told wifey about the Speckled Hen bitters that got away. She said you should have said to the bloke: "Hey put them down. They're mine!" She shook her head at me and looked very disappointed with me. I think the next time I go shopping I will walk around taking items out of their shopping trolleys and put them in mine. If anyone complains I will explain that they haven't paid for anything yet. Maybe not.

Sunday 4 December 2022

These Boots Were Not Made For Hiking In.

It wasn't raining for a change the other day. So I decided to blow away the cobwebs and go for a saunter over the hills and not so faraway. Six miles is no problem for me. I'm 59 this week and determined to keep active. Half way through my walk I looked down at my feet. My boots felt very heavy. I had only put my steel toe capped work boots on instead of my hiking boots. Perhaps I should change my blog name to Mr Magoo?

Friday 2 December 2022

D Is For Dio.

Continuing with an A to Z of some of my favourite Rock bands. Today I would list Ronnie James Dio for my letter D choice. He sadly is no longer with us having passed away from Cancer in 2010 aged 67. He was born before Heavy Rock/Metal was even invented and use to listen to Classic crooners like Mario Lanza and developed his extensive voice range by listening to his records. Dio performed in Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath and his own band Dio. I was fortunate enough to see them play the Monsters of Rock festival at Castle Donington in Derbyshire, England in 1987. His voice was so powerful. He's been described as being five foot four tall with an eight foot voice. It's a very accurate description. Here's one of his songs:

Wednesday 30 November 2022

One Old AA/RAC Road Sign That's Had A Tough Life! ("Any old iron?")

 "One man's trash is another man's treasure!"

So the saying goes.  Well I bought something the other week from a car boot sale ("where else?") that people would probably sneer and laugh at and others would find it ethereal, nostalgic and beautiful in a strange kind of way like yours truly thinks so.

You have heard of Arthur Guinness.  Well what about half an AA/RAC sign? It's had a tough life.  Haven't we all?  I don't want a return ticket do you?

I reckon it's from the 1920s and it's  a mileage sign directing motorists to Limerick and Rathkeale. It says 2 and half miles to Rathkeale and 20 and half miles to Limerick on the reverse of the sign.

The AA and RAC are  road side assistance companies that have been going since Victorian times in Britain and also in the Republic of Ireland.

If the sign was intact it would be worth up to 500 Euros/Pounds.  I don't suppose it's worth very much in it's present state? But it caught my eye and I like it in a strange kind of way.  

I'm going to hang it on the front room wall and look at it and think about what it like travelling on the roads and boreens of rural Ireland way back when.  It must have been so much easier to see a mileage sign rather than stopping and asking the brown horse in the left field for the wrong directions?  That's an old joke.😊  The American tourist who was amazed that a horse talked to them. 

Monday 28 November 2022

A Saga Holiday In The Sun By Mistake And The Day I Met Bikini Lady In The Lift.

 In 2019 number two son paid and booked for me and his mum to stay in an hotel in the Algarve.   The taxi from the airport took us to the big hotel overlooking the sea.

We were both in our fifties (I still am) and seemed to be the youngest people staying at the hotel.  Apparently Saga Holidays use the hotel for some of their Algarve holidays destinations. 

There was even talk of a quiz evening and bingo.  I thought:" It will soon  be "Tie a yellow ribbon round the old oak tree." They certainly knew how to have a good time. "Any one for a bird watching excursion?"

Next morning we went down for breakfast and there was hot and cold food placed on tables for us to queue up buffet style.  We decided to go for a 'full' English breakfast and sat down amongst a lot of very elderly people.   

They seemed to be filling their boots before their coach excursions and we (mainly yours truly) began to start our typical Brits/Irish breakfast conversation about the Baked Beans not being Heinz and it wasn't like the "proper" bacon you get at home.  

You go abroad for the sun not the food.  That's my motto.  Perhaps my next holiday will be in Benidorm? Apparently it's like Blackpool in the sun! 

What's a Blackpool donkey get for its dinner? Half an hour!😊

We went out for a stroll and a couple/few of sherbet dabs and returned later that day.  We walked round the grounds of the hotel and there was a young man wearing shorts  and a woman in the swimming pool dressed in a bikini.  She was rather scrumptious and about 25 and I realised that we weren't the youngest people staying in the hotel.  

We decided to take the lift and Bikini Lady and her partner got in the same lift.  She was about two feet from me. I didn't know where to look.  Well apart from the obvious.  

The lift journey must have took a few minutes at the most.  Throughout the lift journey Bikini Lady just stared me in my eyes.  She was like Raquel Welch in A Million Years BC and she knew it.  

I bet they thought they had just shared the lift with two people old enough to be their parents.  We had shared the same thoughts at breakfast.

Have you ever been to Benidorm?

Friday 25 November 2022

C Is For Clannad.

 Clannad apparently means 'Family 'in Irish.  They go under the music genre Prog Folk.  I have seen them 5 times.  Twice this year. Once in Limerick and at Cropredy in Oxfordshire in front of 20000 people.  

Clannad originate from Gweedore in Donegal.  Sadly they a retiring soon.  I am sure they will still carry on with their individual solo stuff and still put on group performances at their local Leo's Tavern in Gweedore in Donegal.

They sing in English and Irish and a lot of their tracks are about Celtic folklore and  mysticism and spirituality and inspiration that they get from the beautiful Irish landscape.   I particularly love the harp.  It's an instrument played by Angel's and gifted mortals on Earth.

Clannad to me are like a fine wine that just gets better and improves with age.

Have you ever seen them live? The photo of the above video is very much like my Clannad T shirt.

Look them up on YouTube or why not buy someone an album for Christmas?  Harry's Game is another one of my favourites and we often listen to Clannad in the car.  Great travelling music.  

Next week is D.  Hmm..?πŸ€”  Do you like Devo?

Tuesday 22 November 2022

"It's Like Christmas Day In The Workhouse."

 It was an horrible wet and very windy night last night in the countryside next to the sea.

The leccy (electricity) went off twice for long periods of time and we couldn't watch the footity ball or use the WiFi.  I thought of my late mother's old saying when something went wrong or rather depressing:  

"It's like Christmas Day in the Workhouse".

Luckily I have pay as you go on my mobile phone so I could look at the Internet and read blogs and follow the football matches.  

I thought about the people long ago.  How did they manage without radio, WiFi or even television πŸ“Ί?  They probably knitted, played cards, read the Southern Star newspaper for the fiftieth time that week or maybe even talked to one another?

I believe people were much more sociable and neighbours came round for a few bottles and few drams from the bottle what lives on the topshelf in pubs. People talked one to one and not just by WhatsApp and other social media.

Maybe they played cards or even "spin the bottle"? πŸ˜€ No wonder people had such big families with no television. I am joking.  "Who's Joe King?"

It will be a long Winter if we get power cuts this Winter.  We might have to talk to each other?  Do you think we are becoming less sociable or is it just living somewhere with no amenities that makes me feel like this and need to write blogs so much?

Monday 21 November 2022

Knitting Season.

 It's knitting season at our rural abode in the countryside next to the sea.

Wifey is back in full swing knitting cardigans.  She gives them away to any one she knows who have recently gave birth to a baby.  Also to friends and relatives.

My night time  hobby/pastime  is reading and writing blogs and leaving comments..

I also like to be in full charge of the tv remote control.  Some nights we don't even watch television.  We use to always watch it every night.

Any road.  It's going to be a long Winter listening to ,"click click" so I dedicate this song to all knitters.  Enjoy!

Saturday 19 November 2022

Advent Calendars For Dog πŸ•s.

 No it's not another great name for a Prog Rock band.  It's what some one (not me) brought home from that other German garden centre and beer and food providers. 

 You know the supermarket where you pick up a 27 Cents tin of cheap baked beans and then walk up the middle aisle and pay 500 Euros for a 52 inch coloured television πŸ“Ί. 

So what tail waggingly mouth watering culinary delights will there be for our four legged Canine pals have to sample from December the 1st?  

Well.. There's Duck and Orange Bites, Lamb and Rosemary Strips, Meatballs With Turkey and Chicken Fingers With Carrot.  

They sound like mouth watering treats.  I might even try  them?  Well I have been known to have sampled dog biscuits and I can't resist Good Boy chocolate buttons.  They might even give me a shiny coat? Would you try them πŸ€”?

A man goes to a Psychiatrist and tells him he keeps wanting to be a dog.  The Psychiatrist says: " Ok jump up on the couch and tell me all about it".  The man says:"I can't jump up on the couch, I'm not allowed, I'm a dog".

Friday 18 November 2022

"Do You Want A Bag On Your Head?"

Carrying on from my self deprecating tale of me buying a digital camera in Argos yesterday.  Or how to be a plonker in one easy lesson. 

My mental jukebox and video recorder remembered a Not The Nine O'clock News sketch from the 1980s.  It's a bit dated in terms of it being a Hi Fi shop and Somewhere like Curry's or Harvey Norman would be more current.  But it still makes me laugh.  Mel Smith was brilliant and much missed.  Enjoy.

Thursday 17 November 2022

Irish Brussel Sprouts?


I saw them advertised in a Lidl brochure the other day.  

I suppose they mean they are Irish Brussel sprouts grown here in Ireland?  

Brussel sprouts originate in Brussels in Belgium.  Am I just nit-picking?

This is rich coming from me.  I once went in a Chinese Takeaway and didn't then know what to order.  So I looked at the Menu and heard myself say:  "Beans and Sprout" soup please".  I should have asked for Beansprout soup!

I also walked in an Argos store and purchased a digital camera and asked the girl on the till: "What film does it take?"  She said: "It doesn't it's a digital camera" and everybody laughed.

Have you ever made a plonker out of yourself out shopping?

Wednesday 16 November 2022

B Is For Blue Oyster Cult.

Continuing with my A to Zed or Zee of Rock bands I like and some I have been lucky enough to see play live.  Sorry I never mentioned  Black Sabbath or Barclay James  Harvest...

BOC were formed in New York in around 1967.  They have also used the band title Soft White Underbelly which they sometimes still use when they wish to play small intimate venues.

I was lucky enough to see them at Manchester Apollo in 1989 or was it 88?  It was on the Imaginos tour me thinks.

What an amazing Hard Rock band. Watching them play songs like 'Godzilla', 'Joan Crawford' and 'Hot Rails To Hell' had me transfixed.  It was a brilliant concert by a brilliant band.

You will probably know their most famous track: "Don't Fear The Reaper". It's supposed to be about drugs and being young and not fearing anything, even death.  

Like President Roosevelt once said: " There is nothing to fear but fear itself".  I think it's even on the soundtrack to the film "Helloween".

This track reached number 12 in the American Billboard charts and they have sold 25 million records or more.  I would be happy to be famous in Iceland or even Asda.  πŸ˜€Enjoy.

Tuesday 15 November 2022

Nettle Clearing And Feeding It To The Livestock.

 It's actually not raining yet today.  So I took the wheelbarrow on to the veg plot and pulled nettles and grass and filled it and pushed to where the pigs and hens and ducks are residing for the Winter.  

I of course remembered to wear some work gloves to avoid getting stung.

Some people say you should let the nettles wilt and dry before feeding it to your livestock.  But I just threw armfuls of the stuff.  One of the pigs used the McDonald's slogan:

'I'm lovin it!"

Nettles will give them vitamins and add flavour to the eggs and meat.

There are many uses for nettles.  We've made a liquid garden tea, nettle tea and soup.  Army uniforms can be weaved out of it and you can even make rope with it.  Their seeds are supposed to be good dewormers.  It's also good for arthritis especially if you lie in a patch of them.  

The best thing about nettles is they are FREE!

Do you feed nettles to your livestock?  Have you ever made nettle hay?

Monday 14 November 2022

Observing The Japanese Onions Growing Progress In The Polytunnel.

 I had a look in 'Portugal' my polytunnel pal this morning to see how the Japanese onions are progressing in their new polystyrene cases that I rescued recently.  Well there's no chance of digging over the veg plot and clearing it of weeds and grass.  I would love a few days of no rain but I guess I will just have to wait a while?

The Pasedenas began to play in my mental jukebox: " I'm doing fine now".  Well if vegetables could sing I'm sure that's what they would say.

You can't beat growing vegetables in compost instead of the cold and saturated earth full of weed seeds.  

Sunday 13 November 2022

The Day Tiger Kitty Met A Young Tamworth Weaner..


What a confrontation.

"This place isn't big enough for the both of us".

"This is my house".

"I have only come in for a warm".

"Ok.'  "Would you like a 'nice' cup of tea 🍡?"

"I don't mind". 

The piglet was limping so we brought it in the house to clean it's foot and see if needed any medication.

Do you keep pigs or thinking of getting some?  Would you let them walk around your house?

Remember Pinky and Perky?

Friday 11 November 2022

A To Z Of Great Rock Bands.

I have decided to write an A to Zed or Zee  featuring some of my favourite Rock bands.  Some I have seen and some I still live in hope to see one day:

First one up is April Wine.  A is for a Canadian band who I have liked but never seen live.  I bought several of their vinyl records and watched them on Rock Goes To College many many times.  Do you remember Rock Goes To College on the beeb? It  was excellent.

If they ever come to West Cork or maybe Cropredy or A New Day Festival in England or some other music festival in Blighty or Ireland.  I would move Heaven and Earth to see them:

I don't get many comments when I feature Rock bands on here but I always get hundreds and hundreds of views.  

Thursday 10 November 2022

When The Lady Of The Big House Was Not Amused With The Vegetables.

 When I applied for a vegetable gardener role up at  the "big house" many moons ago. 

 The Head Gardener told me an anecdote that the Lord and Lady have a menu everyday  (like you do) and Cook sends a vegetable list to the Head Gardener with their vegetable requirements.

One day they sent some exotic and unknown vegetables to the kitchen.  Cook and kitchen staff prepared a slap up meal out of this newly found delicacy.

The Lady of the house was far from impressed.  She voiced her disapproval to the Cook and the Head Gardener was summoned to the big house.  He wiped his work boots and doffed his cap and walked into the holy of holies- Dining Room.

The Lady asked him about the new vegetables and said: "We haven't had those before have we?"

"No Maam"

"And we SHAN'T be having HAVING them again.  SHALL WE?"

Wednesday 9 November 2022

Overgrown Walled Kitchen Garden In Dorset.


I took this photo when my friend and I visited Winterborne Came near Dorchester in the summer of 2018.  

We were visiting the church and grave of Dorset priest and Dorsetshire Dalect Poet William Barnes. Pop over to You Tube to see William Barnes poetry.  I love the West Country accent.

I have had a thing about walled kitchen gardens for many many years.  Especially the one at the Lost Gardens of Heligan in Cornwall.  I (we) have visited several of them in England, Wales and here in Ireland.

Walled Kitchen Gardens were often built in stately homes to hide the dung heaps and general productivity and of course the gardeners:

  'Don't forget to doff your cap and pull your forelock".

The walls also create a unique microclimate and protect crops from wind and frost.

I love them and would love to restore one like the one in the picture to it's former glory.  The nettles are a sign of high fertility.  "Where nettles grow, anything will grow".  So goes the old country saying.

I can't get on my Irish plot at the moment with days and days and weeks of rain.  At least I can write about them though.

Would you like your own walled kitchen garden?  We'll all have to have a go on the Lottery this week.  Fingers 🀞.

Tuesday 8 November 2022

Dorset And Hardy Country Revisited.

I love this sign.  A sensible sign composed with a sense of humour!
 Gold Hill Shaftesbury. Film location of the Hovis bread lad on a bike advert and the two Ronnie's parody of the very advert.

Lulworth Cove.  We walked up the hill and down to Durdle Door.  Which was a location in the film Far From The Madding Crowd.

Allotments and canal in Dorchester.

Tess Cottage.  Picture postcard, chocolate box you name it   Thomas Hardy said this was the house where Tess resided.

Google photos reminded me the other day when I went to Dorset and Thomas Hardy country in 2018.  Sorry if you have seen them on here before.

If you go into my blog search and type Dorset you wild some of my posts about the visit.

I think it's  the one place in England I would like to live more than anywhere, Shaftesbury in particular.  

Hopefully I will visit Dorset again next year.  Do you have a favourite place that you would like to visit again soon?
Just found my Durdle Door photo.

Monday 7 November 2022

"There's Whiskey In The Giro".

 I have been a Thin Lizzy fan most of my life and saw them on the Renegade tour at Manchester Apollo when I was just 17 in 1981.  I'm 59 next month and I still love them.

I was also lucky enough to see Gary Moore at the Milton Keynes Bowl in 1986 supporting Marillion.  I have also seen founding Lizzy member Eric Bell play twice in West Cork.

Probably their most famous song is the folk ballad 'Whiskey In The Jar'.  It was composed in the 17th century and tells the story of a Highway Man or Footpad holding up a British Captain and spending all his money or ill gained takings  in the rub a dub dub, he loves his girlfriend Molly and she betrays his trust.  It's set in the Cork and Kerry mountains and we often sing the song when going along the tunnels Road to Kenmare.

An old Rocker friend use to sing: "There's Whiskey In the Giro".  Meaning you get a drink from your green government dole cheque once a fortnight.   Back in the days when so many of us had no employment.  The Thatcher years were truly awful.  At least the music was good back then.

Apparently Eric Bell and the Lizzy lads were in a pub and he started playing the ballad on his guitar and their record producer or manager asked them: ""What's that?"  He liked it and they recorded the song and it was number one in Ireland for 16 weeks  and it made the top then in the UK.

Are there any Midge Ure fans out there? Midge had recent replaced Gary Moore and he gets a mention at the beginning of the track.

Sunday 6 November 2022

New Ducklings In An Heineken Cardboard Box.


Two more eggs hatched in the electric incubator the other week.  

We cleaned them out today and put them in the cardboard box while we did it.  In the corner you can see some crushed Weetabix they say they are unbeetabix.

Have you ever hatched ducks?   

Saturday 5 November 2022

"Oh Your Hair Is Beautiful".

After I wrote yesterday's post I thought more about recycling and making costumes from rubbish.  Atomic began to play in my mental jukebox (Neil Peart expression) and it was nineteen eighty all over again:

Here is Debby Harry.

Dressed up in a black bin liner and doesn't look trash.  Quite the opposite in fact.  

The wife wanted a fur coat for her birthday.  So I bought her a donkey jacket.  I wonder if a bin liner dress would do for Christmas?😊  

Maybe some ripped fishnet stockings even?

Friday 4 November 2022

Halloween Thoughts A Few Days Later.

 Even Halloween is a fashion and money making venture these days.

No it's not the nineteen seventies with 3 day week and power cuts.  Just Halloween on the Irish Riviera.   A 20kg bag of smokeless fuel is 21 Euros this week.  "Yoikes Scooby!"  That is scary. 

My generation was brought up or even dragged up watching Magpie and Blue Peter and you would make your own costume out of a black card or paper rolled into a witches hat held together with some sticky back plastic and perhaps you would make a tunic out of a black bin bag or even be a ghost if you wore a sheet off your single bed?  Happy days!

Life was so  less complicated and you didn't expect your parents to pay an arm and a leg for an Halloween costume did you? Says the one who's wife bought pet Halloween costumes from Lidl.

Thursday 3 November 2022

Growing Onions In A Polytunnel With A Torn Plastic Cover.

 Number one son bought a span new (brand new) table saw last week that came in two polystyrene boxes.

"Hmm..πŸ€”"  Thinks yours truly.

They could be repurposed and used for growing vegetables in. Off to the wind torn polytunnel I did go:

Poor Portugal my polytunnel pal.  We've repaired it a few times but it's getting to the end of its days.  I'm still using it though. In fact the rest of the tunnel is fine.   There's no point replacing the plastic until next spring when hopefully the gales will have gone on their holidays?

I had two polystyrene box sides.  Operation bread knife to make drainage holes. I wonder how much we actually pay for packaging?

Look how well my Japanese onions grew in the compost in the plastic modules.  Ignore any weeds!

I turned them upside down so you can see how the roots have developed.  I find it's the best way of growing them instead of planting them in the very wet Autumn soil where they are prone to rot.

Bob's your uncle.  All planted up with my Japanese onions.

Wednesday 2 November 2022

More Car boot Sale Clutter Or Not?

 We went to a carboot sale on Sunday morning.  It was almost a wash out with the relentless rain we're having at the moment.

The car boot sale organiser didn't even charge us our one Euros admission each. 

 There were about twenty or so brave souls selling stuff like clothes, vegetables, hens, ducks, tools, work wear and bric a brac...

We noticed from a far a pot lady duck resembling Jemima Puddleduck  looking at us with puppy dog like eyes saying: "Take me home, please!"

We walked over to the table and asked the seller what he wanted for Mrs Duck?

"She's an egg holder.  You lift her head off and put your eggs in her.  I paid ten Euros for her but ye can have her for five Euros"

We didn't haggle and handed over our five Euros note.  She was ours!

I think we will all have webbed feet if this rain and wind keeps up. 😊

Tuesday 1 November 2022

Somewhere Outside Tokyo Invented Time.

Sunday night seemed to drag forever after the clocks went back at two on Sunday morn ing.  It was time for my twice a year speech: 

'This time yesterday it would be seven o'clock now.  But it's only six."

Somebody would reply:

"Yes we bloody know.  You say this every year".

Why do they change clocks and make the Autumn nights even longer?   We are not first world war ammunition workers who need extra light.  That's why they  changed the clocks in the first place.

Songs like Cher's "If I could turn back time" come to mind in my mental jukebox.  I wonder who invented time?

My grandfather in Ireland could look at the bay and the tide and tell you what time of day it was.  He needed no watch.  He was a fisherman and a farmer and the seasons were his visual calendar.

I never understood why school children need to get up early on a Winters morning.  Why can't they start school at 9.30 or 10 even?

Regular readers will remember I finally got to see Hugh Cornwell at A New Day festival in Kent in August.  He was a member of the Stranglers who were a favourite band of my youth along with Thin Lizzy and Kansas of course.

I use to play their  Black and White album religiously over and over again and the lyrics became like poetry to my ears.  When I play them today I can remember all the lyrics. Here's one of my favourite tracks about time and my blog title;

Monday 31 October 2022

Midnight The Sentry Box Mouser.

 Midnight seems to have adopted an old cupboard or press like they say in Ireland.

Even the airing cupboard is called the "hot press".   

Midnight sits in there and waits for a field mouse 🐁 to walk past and he pounces on the unsuspecting creature.  

He's not daft and all the animals are good at repurposing stuff, cupboards and cardboard boxes a speciality.  

Chip off the old block?  I've been repurposing stuff all my adult life.  Found anything good in a builders skip lately or at a carboot sale?  They never sell car boots do they?  

Sunday 30 October 2022

The Firewood Pile In The Old Stone Shed.

The ever dwindling firewood pile in the shed.

 You can never have enough sheds can you?  I keep this stone building with a corrugated sheet roof just for firewood.

Already it seems to be dwindling but I will use every bit until we buy some more firewood.  The old building keeps the firewood dry and it easily burns.  Damp firewood struggles to ignite and gives off very little heat.  

Do have a shed for firewood?  We still haven't turned the oil heating on yet and Ireland is a very wet climate but also very mild.  

Do you harvest your ow own trees for firewood or do you buy it? How much is a trailer of logs this year near you?  I have been known to buy logs or "blocks" even in 'manure'  or fertilizer bags even.  The cheapest I have paid is 2 .50 a bag.  I know someone who paid 6 Euros a bag  last week.  Think we are all starting to feel fuel poverty?

The Irish monsoon season is getting us a bit down at the moment.  We watched Paddington 2 on Netflix yesterday and he cheered us up.  Have you seen it?  

Thursday 27 October 2022

The Devon Village That Washed Away.

Regular readers know I love my Prog Rock.  These bands write albums with themes and the tracks can be over ten minutes long.

In August I was lucky to see Kaprekars' Constant at two festivals in Oxfordshire and in Kent.

Kaprekars Constant at A New Day Festival in Kent.

I had seen David Jackson who is in Kaprekars Constant at Loreley at The Night Of The Prog Festival in Germany in 2017.  He was playing in the David Cross Band and was a former member of Vander Graaf Generator.  Who formed at Manchester University.

Any way Kaprekars' Constant recorded a song called Hallsands.  It's about a Devon village washing away due to dredging.  It's four minutes long and well worth a listen.  I think it's a masterpiece.  Please give it a listen and let me know your thoughts about the song or the ill-fated village?  Thanks!

.Bunty Annual Award to me for saying it was a Cornish village when it was really in Devon!

Wednesday 26 October 2022

Halloween For Our Canine Friends.

 It was time for the two dogs to try on their Halloween πŸŽƒ  costumes the other day.

We spotted them in our local German garden centre and beer 🍺 providers.

I like the bat costume the best but the skeleton one is OK. 

Sunday 23 October 2022

Night Time In The Countryside Next ToThe Sea.

 The nights are really drawing in now and the clocks change next weekend when it's a Bank Holiday weekend in Hibernia.

Feeding time at the zoo or even kitchen.  
Like children on Christmas Day.  Tiger Kitty loves a box to play with.  She says the cardboard box is better than the beer.  Oh for a pint of Doombar in a Wetherspoons.
The fire was lit at four yesterday.  We are only burning wood at the moment.  One thing about living in the countryside means you still keep warm with a real fire.  Do you live in a smokeless zone or do you have a stove like ours?

Friday 21 October 2022

Black Cat Camouflage.

 No it's not the name for a Prog Rock band it's our Midnight the cat sitting on my arm chair in the front room.  

I think he blends in very well with the surroundings. Black Cat Camouflage would be a good name for a band wouldn't it?  I invented the name first so if you use it please remember me.😊

Thursday 20 October 2022

The Dignity Of Labour.

I was sat outside an "Oirish" pub in Portugal πŸ‡΅πŸ‡Ή on Monday.  It was 28 degrees and the barstaff were Portuguese.

We ordered small full breakfasts and a couple of pints/ Canecas of Sagres lager.  Well it was ten o'clock in the morning after all.

We noticed a council refuse lady jumping over the walls and retrieving plastic and bottles and other detritus.

She noticed us watching her work and could tell we were impressed with her diligence and dedication to her work.

She looked up smiling and said: "Bom Dia".

My mental jukebox started to play a Deacon Blue song in my head:

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...