Friday, 20 May 2022

Two Bargain Tables At A Carboot Sale.

 See why I go to carboot sales?

Some of my hundreds of perennials that I have propagated myself and hoping to sell instead of just buying stuff at a carboot this very weekend.

Thursday, 19 May 2022

A Bitter Rather Like Some I Have Sampled In Kent.

 You can't get bitter in Ireland these days.  There's beer from all over Europe but not good old bitter like they have in Blighty.

Perhaps the Irish don't like bitter like Newcastle Brown Ale?  My favourite off licence in Kerry says Brexit and import taxes makes it too expensive to source from Blighty?  

I never wanted Brexit and it's made our economies very  expensive.

I am always trying new beers stuff and a lot of it is like chemical soup or ditch water.

The other day I was in the German garden centre and supermarket and beer providers and found a bottle of bitter.  So I took one home to try. It's an Indian Pale, 6 percent ("Yep"), a craft beer made by The Crafty Brewing Company and specially brewed in Ireland for Lidl.

The beer is very fruity and hoppy and reminds me of the bitter I have drank in Kent in 2019 when I last saw some Prog Rock bands.  It seems like a life time ago.

The photograph was taken in the Lidl fridge not ours! It's better than you commercial lagers and I bought six of them to try after sampling the one above.  I drank it at home not in Lidl I might add.

I think it costs 2 Euros 39 a bottle.  It's a lot cheaper than paying 5 Euros for a pint of gassy lager in a pub isn't it?

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

A Bucket Full Of Dandelions.

 No not yet another name for a Prog Rock group or even a concept album title. Remember that tv drama 'A Bouquet Of Barbed Wire'?  I love brilliant titles. Not forgetting Susan Penhaligon.  What about Julie Christie in Billy Liar or Far From The Madding Crowd? 

A bucket full of Dandelions.

You know you have lost the plot when you find yourself hand picking Dandelions.  No I am not making Dandelion wine or Dandelion and Burdock.  

Oh for Blighty stuff like Dandelion and Burdock and Barrs 'Strike' Cola.  We use to call them minerals back in the day and we would take back the empty bottles to get our 10 pence deposit back from the newsagents or chippy.  They call it "the chipper" here in Hibernia.

Which nineteen fifties pop group is still going today? Ben Shaws! That's an old joke.  They are from Huddersfield.  

I picked the Dandelions for my piggy wigs and they loved them.  I suppose in yuppy pubs  they would serve Dandelion salad?  "Cassandra did you sprinkle them in Balsamic vinegar?"

Do you make Dandelion tea, wine or eat the leaves or feed them to your livestock?

Remember this:

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

New Chicks In The Vivarium And Browsing In Skips.

 More creatures arrived at the smallholding last week.   We put them in the vivarium over the snakes and other reptiles and they are warm and doing very well.

All we have to do now is  build a chicken coop and pen for them.  

We went to the recycling centre in town yesterday to get rid of our plastic and cans and bottles and wifey noticed some rolled up green metal fencing mesh.  I was a bit peeved because she saw them first and asked the people who run it how much they wanted for the mesh? Luckily we have an estate car and we made two trips with the rolled up mesh.  They gave us the mesh for free! 

We were happy bunnies and the chicks will be when we make their coop.

Monday, 16 May 2022

Guess Where We Went Shopping Yesterday Morning?

 Yep you're right. We went carbooting again just for a change.

The Darling buds of May were blooming and the sun did shineth and biblical multitudes and the world and his wife had decided to set up stalls and people shopped in verdant pastures of a Dairy farm near Mallow in County Cork.  

So what did we buy? Starting from left to right: a cottage teapot biscuit barrel, two sugar cottage pots and the green cottage butter dish and plate.  I bought them for the wife's ever growing cottage teapot collections.  I would say they are 1940's  and would make good money in a antique shop.  Look them up on Ebay!

I bought myself two brass M 80 mortar shells and a Lidl carrier bag full of brand new work gloves. Plus a poached egg plant and another plant I can't remember it's name.

Wifey purchased me The Concise Guide To Self Sufficiency by my smallholding guru, hero and writer John Seymour.  I don't think anyone's inspired me more than that man.  Well apart from Linda Carter when she played Wonder Woman that is!😊  I have big copies of the book but not a concise one.  I must have read that book numerous times.  It really is the self supporters bible.  It inspired me to grow my own and rent allotments and end up with a smallholding.  Also to write about such things.

We also bought the Antiques Source Book by Martin Miller.  I will probably give that to my brother.

It was well worth the run out and we are well on our way to appearing in Hoarders very soon.πŸ€”

Sunday, 15 May 2022

Shoat Treasure Hunters.

 Number one son bought me a gardening trowel a few years ago and I some how mislaid it and thought I would never find it ever again.  

It was made by Gardena and quite expensive.  Not one of those cheap ones that bend and snap when you hit a stone. 

Like most things you lose they usually turn up again some time. I once lost wire cutters down a field and found them encrusted in rust five years later.  A spray of WD40 and they worked perfect again.

Any road or any way.  I went over the feed our pigs the other day and noticed my blue trowel had been rooted up and lay there waiting for me.

I have been planting some Parsnip plugs with the trowel today where the rogue potatoes grew.  It's a bit rusty and encrusted but perfectly functional.  What clever pigs to find a tool for a fellow digger.


Friday, 13 May 2022

The Last Of The Rogue Potatoes.

Freshly dug.
Straight from their colander bath.
The 'Rogue' potatoes I found growing in the veg plot and I replanted them in the polytunnel if you remember?

Their foliage was turning yellow and starting to die back.  So myself and number one son decided to dig them up today on Friday the 13th of May and find the buried hidden treasure.  There wasn't a lot but still.

I see The Libertines are touring this Summer.  Wish they where touring Hibernia.  Killarney or Cork or even West Cork.  

If Pete Doherty had an allotment he would probably change his lyrics to my blog title hey?

Thursday, 12 May 2022

"Lucky Man"

 I have been reading another autobiography over the last couple of weeks on Kindle.  

Lucky Man Greg Lake's  personal story of how he was born in a working class home in Poole in  Dorset and got a guitar for Christmas and had guitar lessons and wrote 'Lucky Man' when he was a lad and went on to join a group of home county solicitors (Emerson, Lake and Palmer) or even surely the most magnificent Prog band to come from England.

Prolific blog writer Yorkshire Pudding saw the Nice and I think he saw ELP at the  Isle Of Wight Festival in 1970?  I was lucky enough to see them live at Manchester Apollo in October 1992.  Well so Professor Google informs me.

I will never forget Keith Emerson sticking his SS daggers (Lemmy from Motorhead use to source them for him according to Rick Wakeman) into a screaming organ.  Was it a Moog? Whilst hanging precariously off the edge of the stage.  ELP were truly awesome.

The book is very good and Greg talks about the amazing concerts when they played in exotic places like Madison Square Garden in New York and when they played Wigan.  At least they would have got some decent meat and potato pies there.🎸😊.

One festival they played was in front of 500,000 people and he even saw Elvis Presley play the compere say: "Elvis has left the building".

Sadly Greg and Keith went to play the greatest Rock festival in Heaven but their videos and records legacy live on:

Did you ever see ELP?

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

It's Not A Long Way To Tipperary To Visit Swiss Cottage.

 Somebody told me of a chocolate box thatched cottage in Tipperary.  So yesterday we drove to Cahir in Tipperary.

We parked in Swiss Cottage carpark and walked along the river walk and along the old coach lane meandering like a river does to Swiss Cottage.  Here's some pics:

Heron statuesque like fishing.
Swiss Cottage.  Exquisitely beautiful in our humble opinion.
Lilac tree.
Wisteria growing on the cottage. Below Mallards talking about the price of fish.
Designed by the famous architect John Nash.  It is said to be one of the finest examples of a 'cottage ornee'.  Built for an holiday home for gentry where they could pretend to be peasants and dance and entertain guests.   We have all pretended to be poor at some time haven't we? 😊

 It was well worth the visit and it is was free to walk the grounds.  The cottage is closed to the public at present.  There are some good videos of Swiss Cottage on good old You Tube for your perusal. 

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

A Drove Of Donkeys. "I'm Not A Tyre Kicker",

 That's the collective name for donkeys.

On Bank Holiday Monday we went donkey shopping.  We made the deal and said we would get the loan of a cattle box and collect our new equine pals. Two lady donkeys and a man donkey in total. 

I said to man I will leave a fifty Euros deposit for my bond that we were not 'tyre kickers' or time wasters and would return soon.  He refused the deposit because he said if we don't return he would have to keep the donkeys for a year and a day.πŸ€”

Number one son collected them  the other night.

We had spent a good few hours buying fence posts, knocking them in and fixing insulators and electric fence horse tape around the edge of the field.  We also plumbed a water trough and fitted a ballcock and it fills itself automatically.

Do you remember that nineteen eighties channel programme 'Scully'?   It was about a Liverpool lad who said he wanted to go on his holidays to the Donkey Islands off Scotland.  He was referring to the Shetland islands.

Any road that's three more four legged mower additions to the smallholding.   

Do you have donkeys?   They can live to the grand old age of thirty and they are pregnant for eleven months.

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

What do you call a three legged donkey? A wonky!

The wife wanted a fur coat for Christmas so I bought her a donkey jacket!

I'm here all week.😊

Monday, 9 May 2022

Seal Bars?

 We went in the other German garden centre and beer providers and supermarket store on Saturday.

We bought some chocolate bars called 'Seal Bars".  They are Penguins in all but name:

Clever bit of advertising or remarketing a chocolate bar me thinks?  

Perhaps I could open a fast food takeaway called Mc Trumps? or Burger Queen Or Underpass instead of Subway?

We ate the chocolate bars. There was nothing wrong with them.

Why do Polar Bears not eat Penguins?   There are no Aldi supermarkets in the North Pole.

Why do Polar Bears not eat Penguins? Penguins live in the South Pole and Polar Bears live in the North Pole.

Sunday, 8 May 2022

More Carboot Sales Shopping.

 We got up about eight this morning and went to a carboot sale, just for a change.

I bought a strong plastic flexi tub for weeding made by Gardena and I bought myself another miners lamp made in Eccles where the cakes come from.  I have two now and I gave my one I found last year to my brother for a Christmas present.  

Have you been to any carboot sales recently?

Saturday, 7 May 2022

An Abba Song That I Missed.

 I was looking at music videos on good old You Tube the other day and I found the ABBA video "So Long".

Some how it's passed me by by or I am getting forgetful but I honestly do not remember the track.  Do you?

ABBA were and amazing Swedish band.  Blessed with two gorgeous female singers and dancers and two very talented and gifted songwriters and musicians.  

Some people label their music genre 'Swedish Pop'.  I think 'So Long' is Rock.

Any road with out further ado.  I give you 'So Long'':

They the girls show they are dancing queens.  Especially  Friendly.  She is hot and so is Agnetha.  Their dance sequence at the end of the song is mesmerizing.   It's  a bit of a slow start but give it a bit of time and it soon gets going.

That song/video was made 47 years ago.  It's amazing.  

Friday, 6 May 2022

Allotments For Less Than A Euro A Week.

 We noticed a sign for parking and drove up the hill and parked next to some allotments;

How's that for an introductory offer?  You can tend and rent your very own allotment for only fifty Euros a year.

The allotments.  

I didn't notice any sheds with lumps of concrete holding down the roof  or polytunnels made from plastic water pipes and covered in builders polythene, onions drying in repurposed supermarket trolleys, miserable tight wads wearing knotted handkerchiefs on their heads, sat in wheelbarrows, drinking Special Brew and eating ferret sandwiches.😊

Donkeys years ago when I lived in England that last paragraph would aptly describe my allotment apprenticeship and the verdant landscape of my pursuit.  I told my mate Brandon that I was getting an allotment.  He said: "When are you going on a Saga holiday and getting a purple rinse?"  He was a wit and how things have changed.  Nowadays there are waiting lists for allotments and people of all ages grow their own.  Maybe they also grow vegetables?

It was great to see though.  I have my own private allotment/smallholding but I miss the camaraderie and the laughs and jokes that you have when you rent an allotment.

Thursday, 5 May 2022

Midweek Flea Market Bargains.

 We went to a flea market on Thursday morning.

It was my usual carboot walk around a few times procedure. You always miss something.

On the second time round I spotted an heavy nest of tables.  I would say they are varnished oak and were probably quite expensive new.  They will be perfect in our new/secondhand Conservstory: 

I paid ten Euros for them.  The wife bought some net curtains.  She will make two curtains for the front room.  The German Shepherd pup chewed a big hole in the last ones.  She paid five Euros for them.

A nice bit of bargain hunting on a Thursday morning.  Why buy new when you can buy secondhand?

Table collecting seems to be another thing to add to my list of hobbies!

Have you bought any bargains lately?

Tuesday, 3 May 2022

Four Paw Drive Weeders/Browse Grazers Arrive At Our Smallholding on The Irish Riviera.


I purchased two  nanny goats kids last week.  No kidding! 

The land needs an organic or natural way of tackling the brambles and ever encroaching scrub like Gorse.  

I have read that in Australia and New Zealand goats are used to tackle wild places.  Farm animals have tamed the countryside over many centuries and it's good land husbandry to use animals for grazing purposes. It is after all the animals that have made the countryside look like it is.  

I try not to use chemicals to spray but rushes in particular are a big problem in rural Ireland.  I think they like the acidic peaty and very damp soil.  I have read that rush seeds can live for up to sixty years in the soil and living on a windy peninsula like ours they spread very easy.

Any way here's my new four paw drive weeders/browse grazers:

They are eating their way through a bramble patch at the moment.   Number one son cut out openings in two old plastic heating oil tanks to make hutches for the girls and I made them straw beds inside the hutches. 

Goats like donkeys originate in Asia and do not have oil in their coats to protect them from the Irish rain.  The Roman's called Ireland, Hibernia.  Meaning the land of eternal winters.  They were good weather forecasters along with making straight roads and building sanitation..?

I have Christened them Beyonce and Gaga.  One is calm and one is a bit highly strung.  

We bought them a bag of goat food and it cost me fourteen Euros.  I wish I had shares in a farm store at the moment.  

Do you have an organic approach to taming undergrowth or would you clear it with a digger and spray the weeds? May be even lime and reseed?

Anyone else keep goats?   How do you deal with rushes? Do you spray them or do you top them before the go to seed?  Perhaps I could strim them?

More livestock photos soon.

Sunday, 1 May 2022

Sea Dogs Perhaps?


It's been fabulous weather down here on the Irish Riviera in West Cork.  We have had a barbecue, drank Sangria and took the dogs for a swim and a paddle about.

We live only a few minutes by car to the pebble beach.  You can see the girls having fun and Hungry Hill in the background over on Beara peninsula.

April has been a rather nice month!  These 3 photos were taken yesterday.  Today it's mizzle and rain.  At least the plants will get a much needed drink.  

Saturday, 30 April 2022

Picture Of Pets Around The Smallholding.

 Debby ( Lifes Funny Like That, blog) across the pond wished to see some more photos of our four legged friends who live with us down on the Irish Riviera.  Your wish is my command Debby:

Heidi and Midnight playing Kung Fu fighting in the Bamboo.

The tree is my Myrtle tree which I bought from St James garden fete in Durrus in a plant pot for 1.50 about twenty years ago.  It's now  fifteen feet high.  Sir Walter Raleigh brought them to Ireland with the potatoes, tobacco and his bicycles from Nottingham.😊

Midnight the cat sat on a fence post with the bay in the background.  

Little Miss.

Rosie the Golden Retriever Rapper and me wearing a Jimi Hendrix t shirt.

Not forgetting Domino sunbathing in his new secondhand Conservatory.

They are the domestic pals.

Wednesday, 27 April 2022

Sausages Sizzling On A Barbecue in APRIL!

Two posts in a day!

The weather is exceptionally good this week down on the Irish Riviera.  

So good in fact that we decided to have a barbecue yesterday evening:

Not the most aesthetically pleasing photo but definitely sausages cooking on our barbecue.

J bought some kebabs on wooden skewers from the butchers.  They weren't spicy enough for me.  J says I am made of asbestos.  They don't do hot and spicy in West Cork.

Have you had a barbecue yet or perhaps you made some Sangria?  

Enjoy the sunshine while you can.  This could be our Summer!

I have just looked at the weather forecast and the mizzle starts on Saturday.  Probably best to have a barbecue before then.

Tight Wad Pelargoniums Shopping.

 We went in Wasp and Snooker Cue (B & Q)  in Cork on Monday.  We were looking for some seat cushions to make window seats in our new (secondhand) Conservatory.  They hadn't got any in stock like most things coming from post Brexit England. Or the UK like they say on Sky News.  At least Tyson Fury did his ring walk to 'Jerusalem'.  Not the Emerson, Lake and Palmer version but it was good any way!

We walked round and were gobsmacked at some of the prices like 77 Euros for a wheelbarrow.  When i got married in 1995 it cost us 69 Pounds each for a four days coach holiday in Cornwall with days out and bed and breakfast and evening meal.  No jest!

Any road or any way if you were not  born up North.  We went outside to the Robert Plant (horticultural) section and I saw they were selling off plant plugs.  20 Pelargonium plugs for four Euros.   I duly paid the cashier and brought them home to 'Portugal' my beloved polytunnel friend.

I had almost run out of bought potting compost to repot them so I decided to find my builders trowel and scraped all the spilt compost from under my potting bench and polytunnel path.  I managed to pot up twenty pelargoniums.

Bob's your uncle or there you have it!

Tuesday, 26 April 2022

I Will Buy That Man A Pint.

 Do you remember when I posted the other day about the festival organisers not answering my emails?

Yo do?  Good!

Yesterday I received an email from a man called Gareth informing me that they had instructed the ticket agency to reimburse me my fifty Pounds and would I post them the camping sticker when I get it.

Of course I will. The email or blog is mightier than the sword. 

If I meet Gareth in August I will buy that man a pint! 

Nice one Gareth!


Monday, 25 April 2022

A New Second Hand Shovel.πŸ€”

 Yet another carboot sale purchase.  I bought myself a long handled pointed shovel.  Very common in Ireland and other parts of the world like America.  It's also called a Devon shovel and a Celtic shovel. 

I have English T shaped handle shovels which are used in Blighty and you have to bend your back to use them.

Many moons ago I was on one of those Community Employment schemes for the Unemployed (we called them "Digger Ditch" schemes) and some wit wrote instructions and swear words on the handles and blades on how to use them!

I bought the shovel and the wife bought some tea towels and a man gave her a vase because he said it was cracked and wouldn't hold water.  She brought it home and filled it with water and it didn't leak.

I am quite proficient in using any kind of shovel and don't mind using any of them.  The Irish ones are good for digging and for weeding.

Do you remember Eric Olthwaites shovel?

Often on our travels we see council workers leaning on them.  Do you think they have occupational health problems like Housemaids Knee, Tennis Elbow or even Council Workers Shovel Handle Nipple Rash?

Sunday, 24 April 2022

A Des Res For A Posh Pooch.

 I walked into a pet store and saw the following canine abode for sale:

It's got to be the plushest dog kennel I have ever seen.  You can buy one for 199 Euros if you like?

Do they grant dogs mortgages?  I am sure they will leave the bank a big deposit. Probably on the carpet!

Where would they reside? Barking perhaps!

Would they support Doncaster Rovers?

I was in Tralee the other day and I saw a pub called The Rovers Return.

Saturday, 23 April 2022

Real Ales From Blighty.

 One thing I really miss living in Ireland is English bitter or real ales. 

We called in a off licence and I picked up these beauties to try:

I couldn't wait to sample them.  

They were: Timothy Taylor's Landlord.  This is brewed in Keighley in Yorkshire.  It's a Pale Ale 4.1 percent.  The Fursty Ferret, Badger Dorset Breweries 4. 4 percent.  Timothy Taylor's Boltmaker 4. 2 percent and The Legendary Tangle Foot traditional golden ale 5 percent and nade by Badger Breweries.

We opened them and drank them by the wine glass.  It's a trick I learned years ago at a beer festival when the beer was very strong like Frog and Parrot or if you didn't wish to buy a pint of pond/ditch water.  

Do you like Real Ales?  I never understood why they never took here in Ireland.  I wish I could drink them every week.

Can't wait for when go to England this Summer.  Wetherspoon"s here I come!

Thursday, 21 April 2022

Always Read The Frequently Asked Questions On A Festival Website.


I recently purchased  a music festival ticket and I paid an additional fifty Pounds for a camping sticker.  

My friend emailed me and asked me why I had bought a camping sticker when it's free for backpackers.  Had I not read this on the festival Frequent Added Questions on their website?

I checked it again.   See the asterisk at the top of the page.  I has only wasted ten pints of beer tokens for a sticker I don't need!!

"Oh you silly thing.  You have really gone and done it now": The Sex Pistols me thinks.

I have sent a few emails to the contact email for the festival asking for my fifty quid back.  But up to now they don't/won't reply.  What would you do? The wife suggesting phoning them.  I booked it through a ticket agency.  They won't be spivs will they? 

Oh well.

Have you any plans for any music festivals this summer time?  

Wednesday, 20 April 2022

A Woodland Walk In Kenmare.

 We drove up the tunnel road from Glengariff to Kenmare on Bank Holiday Monday afternoon.  We went browsing and shopping in Lidl and Aldi then decided to go for a woodland walk next to Kenmare Bay.  Here's some pics:

Even Dandelions look pretty at this time of year and the provide much needed nectar for the bees.

A Rhododendron archway.  I bet it's resplendent in colour when it's in flower.

We followed the sign to the park.

We spotted vegetables growing in raised beds and an enormous polytunnel. 

The tides out and a little boat waits for it to come back in.

A glimpse of a grand house with two wings.
A photo of a posh hotel in the distance.  Me thinks it's the Park Hotel.  5 star and looks very posh.

A Blackbird scurrying around for food like worms and nesting materials. 

The posh house again. 

The park was originally private and planted and made for the first Marquis of Lansdowne.  It's great that common folk like yours truly can now go for a saunter there and take in the views and breathe the sea air.

Hope you enjoyed the walk?

Monday, 18 April 2022

A Nice Water Colour Find At The Carboot Sale.


We picked this water colour painting at a carboot sale ("where  else?") yesterday morning.  The frame and painting look very old, probably Victorian or Edwardian?

In the right hand corner it says Killiney, M,M, cD.

Killiney is a posh area of Dunlaoghaire near Dublin.  Famous residents include Bono and The Edge.  Or two members of the band U2.  I saw them at a Christian music Rock festival called Greenbelt in Odell in Bedfordshire before they became megastars and I didn't think much of them.  Shows what I know.

On the back of the picture there's writing:

It says Miss  M M McDonald Exhibitor RA.  That's Royal Academy isn't it?

I decided to Google MM McDonald and found a Margaret McDonald Mackintosh who was born Margaret McDonald near Tipton near Wolverhampton and was a member of the 'Glasgow  four' who pioneered the Art Nouveau  Movement. Could our carboot sale find be one of this famous artist's paintings?

Or perhaps it could be by Madeleine M McDonald who is listed to have been a RA exhibitor?  The plot thickens.

A nice mornings work that only cost me five Euros!

Hey perhaps I could be on Fake or Fortune With Fiona Bruce?  Wasn't her brother called Steve and played for the wonderful MU? Imagine Fiona with a Geordie accent? "Why aye man!"

How would you research  an artist other than Professor Google?  Think I will email the RA this week.

This time next year we will be Millionaires and we will have our luxury villa in the Algarve.  

It's old so it's got to be worth a couple of hundred Pounds/Euros?

Two Bargain Tables At A Carboot Sale.

 See why I go to carboot sales? Some of my hundreds of perennials that I have propagated myself and hoping to sell instead of just buying st...