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 📦 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 🥕 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 🤔.   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 🔥  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:

What We Had For Our Smallholding Tea.

 The polytunnel and veg plot keeps on giving and we seem to be eating new spudatoes every day at the moment: Snowball onion, kale and new po...