Sunday 31 July 2022

A Rock Banshee On The BBC.

 What a treat was Kate Bush at the BBC last night.  I have been a fan of hers most of my life and she  is such an original Rock Queen.  Bexley Heath's  finest.   

Like myself her father was Irish and her mother was English.   It was a great nights viewing and can we have repeats of The Old Grey Whistle Test and Rock Goes To College please?

Incredibly coincidentally Kate and Emily Bronte were born on the same day.

In my young adulthood I spent many a day drinking in the pubs of Haworth and visiting the Parsonage and Graveyard and walking up through the Wuthering Heights and to the ruin of Top Withens where Emily got the inspiration for her classic novel.

I read the book many moons ago and like the Kate Bush video the love/hate story goes beyond death.  It's Yorkshire's oldest soap.  Written long before Emmerdale.

Last week I discovered the Gothic version of Wuthering Heights by Kate Bush.  I honestly don't remember seeing it do you?  You will find it if you go over to good old You Tube.

Friday 29 July 2022

A Kitten Plant Wrecker.

 Wifey took this photo of Tiger Kitty attempting to destroy one of the plants in the Conservatory.  

I heard someone shout: "Little swine!"

Tiger Kitty is into everything at the moment.   I think she will make a good mouser.

Wednesday 27 July 2022

A Nine Mile Walk On A Wednesday Morning.

 I went for another walk on my own again this morning.   I only saw one passing motorist who waved at me.  I ended walking 19,653 steps according to the Health app on my mobile phone.  That's  9.30 Miles of old gas metres.  I think that's 14KM? All the road signs in the Republic are in Kilometres and Miles in the North and Blighty.  I still think in miles do you? 

It only tried to rain but it never materialised and I didn't get saturated like I did last Saturday.  

That's 21Miles walked since last Thursday.  Will probably walk another Greenway section some time in the next few days.  

Here's some photographs for your perusal: 

Blue sheep.  Are they City fans?
The ruggedness and panoramic views of Dunmanus and Bantry Bays.
One of the hand built stone cairns that you pass when hiking.
The Sheepshead Way and Peninsula is a beautiful place to walk when it's not raining.   The Enerald Isle is great for getting away from it all.  The Emerald Isle is also worth visiting!😊🐑

Monday 25 July 2022

Solar Powered Phone Charger.


I bought this yolk last year from the German Garden Centre and Beer Providers.  They also sell food I do believe.  I never got to use it with Covid and now August will be the month that I will see if it works.  Did I tell you that I am finally going to see Steve Hackett this year? Not forgetting a certain Clannad who I recently saw in Limerick.

Last time I went to Blighty in 2019 I would go into a pub and ask if I could charge my mobile phone in your electricity socket because I am sleeping under canvas (a tent) and some buxom barmaid would say: "Only if you buy a drink".  "Only one?" says me.  I am not one of those people who would go in a pub and not buy a drink or a packet of pork scratchings.  Are you?

It really is a worry when your phone battery needs charging and there is nowhere to charge it.  I would gladly pay if there was a place to charge my phone.

I will probably take a phone bank but they only last a couple of days.  Have you ever used a solar power charger? Have you any other suggestions like how to win the Euro Millions and I could afford to get some digs and they have electric sockets and coloured television?

Problems, problems, problems!

Sunday 24 July 2022

A Walk In The Rain With The English Lady And The Knight.

 I walked six miles on Thursday and another six miles yesterday.  Yesterday was a day of downpours and I donned my waterproofs and set off along the road that leads to the hills over looking Bantry and Dunmanus Bay.

The road is very dangerous and cars speed past at 80km.  The hedgerows and verges are vastly overgrown in places  and I had four close misses from passing cars and was glad to leave the main road and walk up the boreens that lead up to the top where you can see the bays.  It was very misty and it felt like I was in the clouds.

I often listen to music on Spotify on my mobile phone while I am walking for company and helps me forget about the hills and the relentless rain.

I had been listening to Steve Hackett and Clannad who I will be seeing in a couple of weeks and a song came on by Loreena Mckennitt.  She is Canadian and very much in the style of Clannad or their sister Enya.  I have never heard of Loreena Mckennitt before.  I think the following song amazing.  

I got home and I was saturated.  Even my boots had water in them.  I don't know why they say things are waterproof and my clothes were saturated in sweat caused by my waterproofs sauna.

At least I found a brilliant new artist to listen to on my walks.

Saturday 23 July 2022

"Are You Going Skinny Dipping In The Sea Tonight Girls?"

If I have told this anecdote or antidote before sorry but it's one one of my tales:

Myself and a friend were walking in Kerry and we walked into a pub in a village with a estuary river.  The pints of Guinness were very refreshing after our walk over the Conor Pass that morning from Dingle.  

We walked 100 miles from Friday to Monday and made our own route around and near the Dingle Way.  The highlight of the trip was discovering the Marahees and walking 12 miles along Ireland's largest beach.

The bar was pretty busy and there was a wedding party from London who were going to have a reception in the pub.   It was like Eastenders meets Glenroe if you follow my warped television soap opera imagination.

The language was colourful like your hear in any pub over here except there was definitely a London sound to the words and conversations:

One lad walked up to two girls at the side of me, holding and drinking his pint of larger (lager) and said:

"Are you going skinny  dipping in the sea tonight girls?"

They both pulled their faces and one girl said:

"No fack off!"

I found it amusing so did the lad and his mates.

Thursday 21 July 2022

The Kitten That Thinks Its A Puppy.

 Here is Tiger Kitty or TK with Heidi.  Heidi is a sleep and TK things German Shepherds are great to curl up with.

She is our fourth feline member of the family.  She is living up to the Tiger part of her name.

Remember this?

Wednesday 20 July 2022

The Chipper By The Sea.

On Monday we went to the chipper or chippy like they say in England again.

Near the Long Strand beach at Inchydoney near Clonakilty.

Regular readers will remember we have been here before:

Far from the madding crowds and work and I had a fish cake and a bag of chips and a cold bottle of seven up.  It was saying 27 degrees on the car dashboard.  It was just perfect.

Why do you need to go abroad when there is a beach and a chippy in West Cork?  

It was a great afternoon on the Irish Riviera on a Monday afternoon.  

Tuesday 19 July 2022

Three Wise Monkeys Bought At A Carboot Sale.

 I bought these three wise monkeys ornament for three Euros on Sunday.  It feels like it's made of some kind of plaster.  They about five inches wide and four inches high.

The three wise monkeys originate in Japan (more to add to my Oriental collection) and have been around since the sixteenth century.  According to Google they are a Japanese pictorial maxim: "See no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil".

Mizaru sees no evil and covers his eyes.  Kizaru who hears no evil covering his ears and Iwazaru who speaks no evil covers his mouth.

Apparently soldiers during ww1 carried them for lucky charms in their pockets.  Perhaps mine date back to then? They look old.

They are the like the old English north country saying: "See no evil, hear no evil and say nowt!"

A nice little find at the carboot

Monday 18 July 2022

A Walk On Our Peninsula In Between The Bays.

 I went for a walk where we live the other day.  It's far from the madding crowds and it's a hilly walk that is good for the body and also the soul.  

I met a few fellow walkers and cyclists on my saunter.  They all smiled and said: "Hi and Hello."

We live in the countryside next to the sea.  Well in fact we live between two bays.  The weather is unbelievable for Ireland at the moment.  It's supposed to be the hottest Summer in 200 years.  Will people finally realize that global warming is real?  We are going have to ditch the car and do more walking and cycling me thinks? My phone told me I had walked over 10000 steps.  So that's five miles at least on a very hot and sticky afternoon walking in the Irish Riviera.

Did you see Amyl and the Sniffers at Glastonbury? I think they are brill and are a Punk band from Melbourne in Australia.  The lady lead singer wrote Hertz when we she was in lockdown like the rest of us and we lost 2 years of our freedom.  The lyrics" I wanna go to the country" really resonate with me and are a fitting sound track for this post.  Enjoy and get out walking in the countryside or near the sea this week if you can?


Friday 15 July 2022

An Old Ruined House, A Deep Water Sign, A Pier And Jelly Fish

If those walls could speak.  This old farmhouse is rumoured to have been left abandoned since the Great Famine in the 1840s.  I have never been to get over the number of derelict houses that there are in rural Ireland.  
Bantry Bay in the distance.

Gortnakilla Pier. This is situated West along the Goats Path a few miles or so from where we live.
We were going to take the dogs for a swim but noticed lots of jellyfish and decided not to bother.  Jellyfish are supposed to  be a sign that hot weather is on it's way.   It's supposed to reach 30 degrees here on Monday.  I have experienced 36 degrees in Krakow in August and 33 degrees one April in Seville.  It's  going to be hot, hot, hot.  Even Scorchio.


Thursday 14 July 2022

Lions, Witches And Wardrobes Inspired Prog Rock?

 Regular readers of my blog will know I love Prog Rock.  Bands like Kansas and early Genesis and other bands wrote concept albums and played songs over twelve minute long and wrote about fantasy and elves and Xanadu (Rush) and Stairways to Heaven (Led Zep) and so on.

I am going to a famous music festival in August and finally getting to see one of my Prog Rock heroes Steve Hackett. A founding member of Prog Rock royalty: Genesis.

I have been listening to him since my late teens.  I have been going through his tracks and found this cracker again yesterday.

It features Steve Walsh (vocals) and Phil Ehart (drums) from Kansas and Steve Hackett.  I saw the two Kansas lads play in 2014.  So in the following song we have an English/American super Prog Rock group.  CS Lewis inspired the song.  Enjoy:

Wednesday 13 July 2022

Time For The Flowers To Put On A Show.

 The Shasta Daisies have decided to flower this week.  Our gardens are full of them.  I started off with one I bought at a carboot sale several years ago.  I have propagated them by taking cuttings and by dividing them.  Now we have lots of them and I have sold many and gave them away.  

You know the gardeners mathematical solution don't you? "The only way to multiply is to divide!"

Don't our plants give us so much joy and put on a floral spectacle every year?

Tuesday 12 July 2022

The Inklings Books.

 I have just completed reading The Oxford Inklings by Colin Duriez.  I am also over half way through reading another Kindle book about the Oxford Inklings.

They were called The Inklings because the wrote about things with ink.  Probably their two most famous members were J RR Tolkien and CS Lewis.  

Myself and the good wife have a favourite film called Shadowlands that I have mentioned many times on here.  It's about CS Lewis and his wife and dealing with pain and joy.  Debra Winger and Anthony Hopkins are the stars.

We have seen the film at least 23 or is it 24 times? It's incredibly beautiful and cathartic and makes me cough and the tears roll everytime.

Back to the book: The Inklings met in the "Bird and Baby" or Eagle and Child and in college rooms.  They debated and read out loud and gave positive literary criticism and smoked cigarettes and drank beer and went on long hiking jaunts and stayed in village country pubs.  

If like me you are a big CS Lewis  or JRR fan.  I would recommend you read the book.  They both fought in WW1 and yet both believed in God.    I think dwelling on aesthetically interesting and beautiful things they became fulfilled and were incredibly clever and gifted scholars, lecturers and writers.

Next month I am going to Blighty to two Rock festivals and finally getting to see Mr Steve Hackett and also Clannad who I saw recently in Limerick.  Can't wait! In between the festivals it's a bit of a cross country literary itinerary trip and hoping to visit Laurie Lee country, Oxford and the CS Lewis, Tolkein tour and down to Dorset and Hardy countryside which I visited in 2017.

Sunday 10 July 2022

A Connemara Girl Portrait From A Carboot Sale.

 We bought this print from a carboot sale this morning.  We paid three Euros for it.  It's a copy of A Connemara Girl.  A early 1870s painting by Irish artist Augustus Nicholas Burke.  

It depicts a young girl or Colleen in traditional Connemara attire carrying seaweed and heather with her nanny goats.  You can see it in the National Gallery.

I think it's beautiful and a nice find at a carboot sale on a red hot Sunday morning.

Friday 8 July 2022

Paradise On Our Peninsula.

 I was sweating like I don't know what on the island wearing a boiler suit, safety glasses, gloves, helmetand steel toe capped boots on Friday.  I have been covering for work colleagues who have been on holiday. 

Meanwhile back at the ranch or down at the beach which is ten mins walk from our small holding or 5 mins drive by car.

Wifey and number two son took the dogs for a swim:

Here's  Rosie and Hungry Hill in the background.  We are going to the Algarve in the Autumn again.  This week I think the Algarve visited us.   The Irish Riviera is a nice place to live  when the sun shines.

Thursday 7 July 2022

A Cross stitch With An irish Phrase.

I saw this old looking cross stitch at one of our usual carboot sales haunts  on Sunday and asked the wife to price it for me.  Three Euros was what the lady asked for it.  This was a no brainer and we brought it back to West Cork with us.  

We bought other things like a big crow bar and a curry book but this  was our most interesting find.  

Tuesday 5 July 2022

A Walk Along Probably The Most Scenic And Newest Greenways In Ireland.

a walk along tarmac.

Underneath the arches of the bridge. 
An old castle.
We thought why don't they paint a white line lane  for cyclists?

 A little bird ot the old Tinternet and T'web informed me that a new Greenway had partly opened from Fenit to Spa in County Kerry less than a fortnight ago.

Regular readers will remember I have featured Kerry Cricket Club at Spa and Fenit before.  It's on the other side of Tralee Bay across from Camp, Castlegregory and the road to the Conor Pass and on to Dingle.

We found the newly tarmaced Greenway just outside of Spa and wifey dropped me off and carried on to Fenit for nosebag for us both. 

The Greenway is the repurposed railway line from Fenit to Tralee.  It's  tarmaced and already very well used by walkers and cyclists of all ages.  They haven't even got round to putting any signs yet.

For me the best thing I like about Greenways is there are no big hills to climb.  The sea views are spectacular and here are some photos for your perusal:

An old boarded up and abandoned station building,  It would make a great bunk house or cafe or bar?🤔

An old train station converted into a dwelling.
Looming over to Camp and Castlegregory and beyond.
Wonderful scenic views.

A bridge with walkers in the distance. 
A pub and watering hole in Fenit. Below Fenit beach.

It really is worth visiting and eventually people will be able to get off the train or coach at Tralee railway and bus station and walk or cycle all the way to Fenit.  

Sunday 3 July 2022

Two Oriental Stone (ish)Vases From The Charity Shop.

 I found two Oriental vases for sale in a charity shop the other day.  I think they are made of real concrete or reconstituted stone.  A modern term for things made out of cement and stone. Well I hadn't bought anything for two weeks.

Any road or any way.  I like them and they will live with my other Japanese and Chinese charity shop/carboot sales find.  I paid two Euros for them.  

We are on the look out for some artificial flowers to place in the vases.  It would be good if I could find some Chrysanthemums. They are the official flower of Japan.

More carboot treasure in another post.

Friday 1 July 2022

A Happy To Chat Bench,

 We spotted this sign on a bench in Kenmare in County Kerry and it made us smile.

Apparently a chat is informal conversation.  I am know to like chats myself and I have said on here before that if a scarecrow greeted me I would have a conversation with it or even have a chat.

The sign says: The Happy To Chat Bench.  Sit here if you don't mind someone stopping to say hello.

To me that is what I like about blogging.  You have comments and replays and  replys even and engage with people from everywhere.  

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...