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.🤔

 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?

Sunday 17 April 2022

A Bit Of Prog At Easter.

 I haven't wrote a post about Prog Rock for a while.  Why make a record unless it's more than ten minutes?

One band who I  was mad on when Fish when was the lead singer was Marillion.  Script For A Jesters Tear and Misplaced Childhood were Prog Rock music Canons in my humble opinion.  People often called them 'the poor man's' Genesis.  But I think the Alex Harvey Band must have been a great inspiration and influence.  

Marillion were named after the Tolkein novel 'The Silmarillion'.  I saw them live at Milton Keynes Bowl at their 'Garden Party'in 1986 with Fish and in 2017 at 'The  Night Of The Prog' at Loreley in Germany with Steve Hogarth.  

Steve Hogarth composed 'Easter' when he was lead singer of the Europeans.  It's about the troubles in Northern Ireland and his band played there and he was warmly received and it's about how ordinary people just wanted to enjoy the music and their lives and WB Yeats poem ' Easter 1916' was a big influence. I love the lyric : "A time for the blind to see".

Enjoy your Easter and here's 'Easter' by Marillion:

Saturday 16 April 2022

An Interesting Moss Covered Ancient Drystone Wall.

 I took this photo of a moss covered dry stone wall on a saunter in the countryside next to the sea this very morn.  

Following on from yesterday's post it is another example of nature encroaching and I think the wall is like a piece of natural art.  To think that people long dead created this piece of beauty for a field boundary and to make it stockproof.

I would surmise that the stone wall style is herring bone basket weave familiar to the Cornish miners who mined around here in West Cork in the nineteenth century.

The Fuschia hedges  that grows here would be also familiar to them and remind them of back home in Southwest England.

Do you like drystone walls?

Friday 15 April 2022

Stone Digging And Watching Beetles.

 An observation post: 

I have been back working at the oil terminal this week on the island in the middle of the bay.  

The oil/petroleum tank farm is surrounded with massive over seventy feet high in places grass covered bunds  to take the impact of oil spillage  or explosion.  

Every Winter a big 13 tonne digger with a mulcher cuts the flora which consists of grass, gorse and Montbretia...? This week I have been stone picking and digging up small stones and boulders to prevent the mulcher having any breakdowns.

Hard graft and slipping and a sliding in the rain  and if you have a good day dreaming head like me a day in the park looking at the bay and the pheasants and hares and goats and seagulls and waving to the passing fellow workers in their work vehicles.  

There is also all kinds of flora living on the bunds and natural parts of the oil terminal.  Nature always encroaches and lichens live on boulders, a sure sign of clean air.

Now and then I was levering out stones with a crowbar  and underneath I noticed Beetles looking up at me and I looked back at them and the earth was bone dry and I thought those stones are little or big houses for the creatures. How resourceful of them to use a boulder to keep dry and for a dwelling place.

They don't even know what the expression "Living under a rock means".

They don't know there is a war going on in Europe or inflation is at a thirty year high at seven percent.  They carry on regardless like us all.

Perhaps it's only me who is daft to be like that Led Zeppelin record 'Fool In The Rain'?   Or perhaps I would never had this encounter with insects if I hadn't been stone digging and stone picking?

Perhaps that what writing is about.  Write about anything yet notice that everything is important.  Even the black scurrying creatures that live under stones on the side of oil tank bunds?

Zenith Energy should  give me a press officer job after me writing this post.

Thursday 14 April 2022

Easter Bunny Shop Window In Kerry.

 We noticed this shop window display  in Kerry last weekend.  It's been decorated with rabbits in human clothes for Easter.  Perhaps one of them is the Easter Bunny?

I love it when people/shopkeepers go to the trouble of decorating their shop windows for special celebrations like Christmas and Easter.  Have you seen the Easter bunny this year?

I am sure they attract customers into the shop and make people smile.

Happy Easter to you all out there in blog land!

Monday 11 April 2022

Polytunnel Potatoes In Growing Bags.

 Remember when we bought the potato growing bags at the carboot sale a few weeks ago? 

I quarter to half filled them with compost and planted chitted seed potatoes in them.  I regular water them and today I noticed their green shoots growing through the compost.

In a day or so I will cover them with compost and this will work in a similar way to earthing them up on a potato ridge.

It proves to me yet again that anyone can grow vegetables where they live.  You don't even need a garden or allotment to grow and enjoy  your own vegetables and especially new potatoes.

Anyone else growing potatoes this way? 

Someone was telling me on the ferry the other day that he knew someone who 'set' or planted their seed potatoes in JUNE and they had a whopper crops! So there is still plenty of time to grow some.

Sunday 10 April 2022

Four Bags Of Turf And A Turkey Plate Made In Japan.

Can you guess where we went again this morning?  No not Japan.

Yep.  Another car boot sale.  Usual walk around again a few times.  

Bought four bags of hand dug turf (peat) for  ten Euros.  I wasn't good at metalwork but me thinks that's 2.50 a bag.  Very reasonable.  Oh what pleasant aromas will leave the stove and chimney tonight.

A  oldish Turkey plate or platter with Japan printed on the back.  Before1921 Nippon was usually printed on the back of the plates.  I asked the lady how much for the Turkey plate? She said "fifteen Euros".   I told her I would think about it.  She replied : "Give me 12 and I'll put it in a bag for ye". The deal was done.

They go from thirty Euros upwards.  Google them and see what Antiques shops sell them for.  Some go for over 100 Euros/Pounds.

If that plate could speak? All those Turkeys and Christmas dinner celebrations and feasts it's witnessed.

Dunno where it will live.  But it's another addition to my Japanese pottery collection.

Another productive morning.  Wifey bought ten new tea towels for ten Euros.  She was pleased with her purchases.  Have you been to a carboot sale this weekend

Saturday 9 April 2022

Yet Even More Carboot Treasure.

We went car booting again this morning and this is what we bought:

An Oriental trinket vase.  No markings but I would think early twentieth century.  I paid 10 Euros for my antique.  Mrs Northsider says she's going to use it for jewellery.  However she put it proudly with her cottage tea pot collection.
The Irish RM printed by Faber and Faber in 1928.  I paid 50 Cents for it.  I Googled the book on a book website and I saw a similar book for 27 Euros.  Sommerville and Ross lived in Castletownsend in West Cork not very far from me.

Stella Gibson's Art Deco circa 1924.  I paid ten Euros and they go for 25 Euros/Pounds upwards.  There are no tannins stain in the teapot.  So I would surmise that it was never used for tea and it was kept in an old lady's China cabinet.

Finally two carved Elephants and hardwood bookends.  The hardback is The Illustrated Flora of Britain and Northern Europe.   Over 2400 plants, native and introduced, described and illustrated in colour.

Quite a productive morning.  Perhaps Channel 4 would like to film us in their next 'Hoarders' series? 😊

Friday 8 April 2022

A Yorkshire Funeral Wake Tale.

A lad I once worked with in Lancashire told me he once had to go to a  family members funeral in Yorkshire.

After the funeral they went back to a relatives house for the wake.  You know lots of beer and tongue sandwiches and pickles ..?

My friend noticed the beer supplies needed replenishing so he mentioned this to his cousin:

"Don't worry lad we'll go to the cope in a minute before it shuts".

So they set off along the cobbled streets and stone flagged pavements.  My friend couldn't fathom what this " cope" was?

Eventually they turned around a corner and he saw a big sign in the shop window and the letters C.O.O.P.

Well it made me laugh anyway.




Tuesday 5 April 2022

Scones In A Bottle.

Yes another baking post.

 6-8 beautiful scones from another bottle mix from our local German garden centre and supermarket and beer providers.

They were/are yet again delicious.

"On Wednesday's I go shopping and have buttered scones for tea".

Now the weather is turning to rain it's great to come home to some freshly baked bread and scones.  I even take some of my baked goodies  to my place of work.  

Monday 4 April 2022

An Ancient Irish Castle In West Cork.

We had a ride out on Saturday and  stopped when we saw Kilbrittain castle.

It's said to be the oldest castle in Ireland and built in 1035. These days it's an hotel and farm.

It's had some famous residents including Oliver Cromwell and more recently Roy Disney who was Walt Disney's nephew.

I found this great video on You Tube of the castle.  

It also features Clannad who I will be seeing on their farewell tour in May.  It will be the fourth time I have seen them and I will hopefully be seeing them again in  Blighty at a festival in August.  A great band and a magnificent castle.

Sunday 3 April 2022

Polytunnel Radishes.

 I pulled and tasted the first vegetables of the year that we sowed and grew this year in ye olde polytunnel:

Lovely Radishes freshly picked and grown without any manmade chemicals.  You can't beat fresh vegetables.   Their sugars had not turned to starches like so many of the supermarket vegetables.  They weren't peppery either and tasted delicious.

Have you harvested any vegetables yet this year?

Friday 1 April 2022

Bread Mix In A Bottle.

 If Sting made his own bread he probably would have composed todays blog post title.

J went to the German garden centre and food and beer providers and came back with a bread mix in a bottle.  🤔  Hmm..?

You just add milk and a eggy peg and you have got your own ingredients for a fine loaf of bread.  Here's the instructions:

We had in the words of Mrs Merton "a heated debate" how to mix a sloppy mix but not too wet🤔?  J said:  "I know what she means."  I said: " How do you know a woman wrote the instructions?"  "Well it must be a woman to make the bread."

Hmm..  Perhaps so!

Slice of bread or a jam butty if you come from up North like me.  Ken Dodd had jam butty mines in Knotty Ash.   Go on get yourself a bread mix and enjoy your weekend baking and scoffing.  Apparently the mixes shelf life is until February 2023.

Carboot Sale Plants Selling.

We drove over to nearby West Cork  town to a carboot sale on Sunday morning. The online info said we could set up from nine.  I am one of th...