Thursday 31 August 2023

Rock Bands Inspired By Mr Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

 I got another follower yesterday - thank you!

I think only JayCee (Diary Of A Nobody) and Linda (Local Kiwi Alien) commented but nearly 400 people viewed my last post.  Thanks for reading it anyway.  I still can't join your blog JayCee.  Put it down to me being thick!

I was on good old You Tube yesterday.  I have been trying to let my blistered paws recover after all the walking with tents and rucksacks last week.

Two Rock inspired songs/videos for you to watch and listen to.  First Xanadu by Canadian Rockers Rush.  The song is based on Coleridges Kubla Khan.  I have been privileged enough to have seen Rush twice.  Sadly the drummer Neil Peart is no longer with us.  He was a lyrical and musical genius.  If you want to read an excellent motorbike travel memoir by him read Ghost Rider.

Being  a Prog Rock band the track is over 11 minutes long.  It's also called Cerebral Rock music.  You can't beat some Prog can you? Incidentally Xanadu is off their Farewell To King's album.  Recorded at Rockfield Studios in the Wye Valley in Monmouthshire in Wales.  I never got to Symonds Yat again to see the CS Lewis Shadowlands locations.  Yet again no public transport available.

A other Coleridge inspired band: Iron Maiden.  More metal than Prog.  East London's finest.  I saw them back in 1987.  Here's The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner by them:

"Water,water everywhere and not a drop to spare".

I think this track is only 14 minutes long.  Can you think of any Coleridge inspired Rock songs?

Wednesday 30 August 2023

A Country Saunter Over To Olfaxton Castle And My Poem About The Wordsworth Tree.

 I finally got my 100th follower yesterday, thank you it's  only took me 13 years to reach my century.

On the Saturday  morning  we followed the voluntary litter pickers instructions and after having to walk along two very fast car running roads we got to Nether Stowey.  Here's some more photos for you to look at:

A bridle way come boreen/ walkers path.  The same path that Samuel Taylor  Coleridge and William and Dorothy visited each other on shanks pony and horseback and horse and carriage.  A few days later we would be wild camping on a very similar bridleway in Wales.  That is for another days post.
We walked over a corn stubble field.  Lovely brown soil but not a weed in sight.  No doubt sprayed with weed killer, sadly.  We could see the sea and the new Hinkley Point nuclear power station in construction with its giant cranes.  It's costing Billions and China is the biggest investor.

An hanging tree.  You could see were the bark had been rubbed away on the branch by the hanging rope.

Chocolate box cottage.  Reminded me of Dorset which we visited in 2017.

The rear of the thatched cottages.
An ancient dog Pound.

A memorial seat to a couple who use to sit there and watch the deer.

A lonesome horse with it's waterproof coat.

At last.  Alfoxton Park.  Once home to the Wordsworths.  Much grander than the hovel that Coleridge lived in.
Now a Buddhist retreat.  There's some excellent You Tube videos on Nether Stowey and Alfoxton Park.  They are in the process of restoring the buildings and grounds.  If you can help them in any way financially or practically like donating your labour please do.  They gave us water and allowed us to look round.
I spotted this ancient stone summer house.  Surely the literary three must have sat there? 

The outer facade of Alfoxton Park.
The 900 year old Wordsworth tree where they actually sat and probably the exact spot where Samuel Taylor Coleridge probably  firstrecited his Rhyme Of The Ancient Mariner.  I felt honoured to have been in the place where they sat and read their poems.

A window into a walled kitchen garden.
Old clay tiles from one of the potting sheds.
A door to the walled kitchen gardens.

I have composed a few lines called:

 The Wordsworths Tree.

In Quantock hills no Golden Daffodils.

Underneath the Wordsworths Tree.

Tuesday 29 August 2023

Searching For Coleridge and Wordsworth in Somerset.

Old Somerset mile post.
Barn conversions.
Nether Stowey  Parish Church.
In love with all mankind. 
Beautiful altar.
Memorial list to the Great fallen.  Every village and town have such lists in Britain and Ireland.
The greatness of God.  Well he kept us safe on our travels.
Old Toll House.

Lilliput Lane?
A pleasant pub.
Red telephone box.
Another fingerpost. 
Coleridge Cottage. Once an hovel.  Then a pub and now a museum. 
It didn't open until eleven so we never got to go inside.  Instead we stocked up in a Grocers on Somerset pasties and Lucozade.
The Ancient Mariner pub across the road.  I wonder if they serve Laudanum?  
Side of Coleridge Cottage.

Day One.

 I flew from Knock to Bristol.  Typical  Brian Hare.  Moved from Shannon to the West of Ireland.  It was a very early start and a long drive for Mrs Northsider.

I met my friend at Bristol Airport and we caught a really cheap bus to Weston Super Mare.  Caught a train to Bridgewater after being told by a chatty man no-one wants to live there.

It's a bit down and out in parts but it looks like it was a former market town that made its trade from the river.

We waited for a bus that took us to a cemetery a few miles before Nether Stowey.  It was tea time and we started walking along an extremely busy A road.  

We attempted to walk on grass verges but it was very dicey.  A young man  pulled up in a Volkswagen Golf and insisted he gave us a lift.  His friend had his back broken walking along the same road last December.  These dangerous roads were going to be a feature of our next few days.

The motorist took us to a camp site.  They wished for card payment but eventually after a telephone interrogation accepted cash.  

The campsite had a lot of caravan residents from the nuclear power station Hinkley Point.  It's the areas main employer and even provides bus transport for the workers.  This service is not available to walkers like us sadly.

I have never been so close to a nuclear power station and having voted Labour all my life would never agree to having such places. Hey Mr Starmer do you agree?

Day 2.

Next morning we got up early and left our tents pitched and set off to find Coleridge Cottage.  We met a lovely lady picking up discarded motorists litter out of the goodness of her heart.  We put the world to rights and had a chat and she told me she was a smallholder like yours truly.  She also gave us an excellent mental map of how to get to our literary destination. 

Monday 28 August 2023

In The Land Of Poets And Seeing Blue Oyster Cult Again.

I'm tired and a bit emotional.  Last night put the tin hat on it with my flight from Brum being delayed from 9.30 to us actually leaving at 12.55.  I got home in West Cork at four this morning.  Rants about cheap flight companies and Travelodge not making the beds or changing the towels for 3 days  are for another day.

I got to see some Coleridge and Wordsworth places in Somerset and Wales.  We saw John Cale in Stroud and visited Slad and Laurie Lee's favourite pub and his grave.  On Saturday we saw a Lancaster Bomber fly over us and saw some heavy Rock bands like Black Star Riders and one of my favourite bands Blue Oyster Cult.  I last saw them in 1988.  We have all aged considerably but they are like a fine wine or malt whisky  that's matured with age.  You rocked BOC.

I have some super blisters and swollen feet.  Hope you're all ok? 

Some photos for your perusal tomorrow.

Wednesday 16 August 2023

Butterflies And Buddleia.

June was fabulous weather and many farmers made hay in Cork and Kerry.

July was very disappointing weather wise and hopefully August and September will make up for it and there will be an Indian ☀️ Summer.

Meanwhile out in the garden the old painted ladies and red admirals have been feeding on the nectar of the Buddleias in the gardens around our smallholding.

Today is my last day of work and tomorrow I will pack my rucksack and set off on my journey to dear old Blighty.  I'm meeting an old friend and we are visiting some famous literary haunts and walking, using public transport and watching some Rock icons and drinking so fine real 🍺. 

I hope to take some photos for the old blog and write down a few tales for your perusal.  

Happy days!


Sunday 13 August 2023

A Ride Over To The Puck Fair.

 We went for a ride over to Killorglin in County Kerry on Saturday to visit the famous Puck Fair.  It's said to be one of the oldest fairs in Ireland and every year a male puck goat is crowned there.  

The car park attendants wanted ten Euros for parking so we drove and parked along a main road and walked back to town.

Lots of stalls.
Some Diddly Dee music.
A blue Geranium that I need to purchase for my garden.

Street art.

The Puck Fair sign.

We didn't see the Puck goat but we had a good walk round, bought two bags of chips, a mobile phone case and a screen protector.  

Anywhere is worth visiting after lockdown.  Even on a showery afternoon.

Thursday 10 August 2023

A New Kitten On The Block/Smallholding.

 Meet Minnie Mouser:

A drink of milk pop.
Flower arranging.

Another new addition to the livestock that lives with us on our smallholding on the Irish Riviera in West Cork, Ireland.

She's been named Minnie Mouser.  A bundle of fun and full of mischief and devilment.

That's 4 cats 🐈 in total: Domino, Kitty Tiger, Minnie Mouser and Midnight lives in the other house next door with a ginger 😸.  I'm wrong that makes it 5 feline creatures.

Minnie Mouser is a fan (like me) of the England Lionesses.  Millie Bright is our heroine.  Well done lasses beating Nigeria and I hope to see you lift the World Cup when I am in Blighty.

Monday 7 August 2023

"I've Just Bagged A Bargain. Going Back To My Carboots."

It was our first carboot sale in a month due to the rain.  Not selling plants but buying stuff.
Twenty Euros for the cottage ware   They are from the nineteen thirties and forties and most old ladies had one or two of them in their glass cabinet or Welsh Dresser.  

The man even wrapped them in newspaper and gave me a free shopping bag.  

The newspaper took me back to chippy teas on a Friday in Lancashire and there was always an old lady asking the chip shop proprietor to keep her bowl warm on top of the fish range 

Cds.  Brittany Spears (she's a French lass, Britney evenπŸ˜€), brass bands and Prog Rock. I have very eclectic music taste.  Don't ask me to be the DJ at your knees up or 'Do'.  I'm going to a do at the weekend".  "Potato pie and mushy peas?"  "Happen!"
I bought this vaze or vase for 3 Euros.  It's labelled Wicklow Vale.
Me myself and yours truly picked Daisies and Montbretia from the garden borders 
I couldn't resist buying this title.
Here's some more for your perusal.

It was a good day out and I am forty Euros lighter.

You can't walk past a bargain can you?


Sunday 6 August 2023

A 22 Year Old Butterfly Bush.

 Last week was our 22nd anniversary of moving to Hibernia and residing on the Irish Riviera.

We brought a wheelie bin full of perennials and shrubs with us.  One of the shrubs was a newly rooted Buddleia cutting that I had took and succesfully got it to strike and form roots and shoots.

I have made many more plants from this shrub and I have never cut it back heavily like you are supposed to do in March.  

There is always an abundance of purple flowers and πŸ¦‹ at this time of year 

A Bus man's Holiday To See Some Pigs At Balmoral Show.

You know what a bus man's holiday is don't you?  It means going on holiday and doing the same thing that you do at work.  Or on the ...