Sunday 31 December 2023

My 2023 Highlights And Disappointments.

 Apart from late May and early June it's been very wet in Ireland and also very windy lately.  

Three Irish music stars:  Sinead O' Connor Christy Dignam (Aslan) and Shane McGowan     ( The Pogues) went to  Heaven.

I reached 60 this year and it's sign of old age when your music heroes and heroines are passing away.

My polytunnel "Portugal" finally gave up the ghost and I sold the metal frame to go towards a new secondhand frame and cover.  Oh what fun four of us had putting on the plastic cover on "

Algarve" my new polytunnel.

🐶 Puppies born.
Pigs 🐷 were born.

🥔 Growing in seaweed.

We went to Donegal to see Michael Schenker and his band and drove into northern Ireland to Dublin and back down to West Cork.

A Rock legend. Ballyshannon Rock Festival.

I was there and they rocked!

Stogursey Castle in Somerset. It could be a Constable oil painting couldn't it just?

I hurt my knee and I also hurt my ankle walking on the hills near us.  

I went to Blighty and visited the village in Somerset and surroundings where Coleridge and the Wordsworths lived.  

The tree where Coleridge, Dorothy and William sat and read out loud their poems.

My friend and your truly did lots of walking and I had blisters on the ball of my feet for weeks.  

Wild camping near Tintern Abbey.  No campsites around.  

We also found out again you can't book hotels, some campsites, buy a drink in some pubs if you don't have a card for your method of payment.  Cash is definitely not king in the South of England.

Slad pub where Laurie Lee drank.

We also went to Newark On Trent to Stonedead Rock festival and we saw several bands including Black Star Riders and I saw Blue Oyster Cult for the second time and over thirty years later.

Blue Oyster Cult.  They didn't disappoint.

Work was hard to find  after August but some how mainly due to our children's and their girlfriends kindness.  We managed to go to Tenerife the week before Christmas.

Lady in red bikini lying gazing at the Atlantic.  She looked so elegant and classy.  A proper lass /senorita.

War in Ukraine and Gaza rattles on I despair at mankinds inhumanity to each other.  

I never thought I would hear the leader of the Opposition praise Mrs Thatcher.  

At least Manchester United won a cup for a change.

I  hope to go on a sun holiday some time next year and see some Prog Rock bands again.

Hope you all have a prosperous 2024.

Saturday 30 December 2023

Puppy Buffet.

 No not the name of a Prog Rock band.

Debby (Life's Funny Like That ) asked me for photos of the pups and her wish is my command:

The ten German Shepherd puppies are self weaning on cooked minced meat and sliced ham and milk pop.

Poor old Heidi their mother doesn't seem to spend much time with them these days and she's knackered and her teats have been yanked too much for her liking.  

All their eyes are open and they walk around and yap and cry like puppy dogs do.  They will be 5 weeks old tomorrow.  How time flies and I never can get over the power of Mother Nature.

More new livestock photos soon.

Friday 29 December 2023

Scenes From A Weedy And Not So Weedy Polytunnel.

You wouldn't attempt to do any work on the allotment or veg plot at the moment.  

Fortunately Algarve my polytunnel is a place to occupy my yearning to get cultivating or even weeding.  So today I spent some four hours in the polytunnel weeding and listening to Michael Schenker on Spotify on my mobile phone.  Here's some photos:

It may be Winter but the weeds never stop growing in a polytunnel.  I either compost the weeds or give the pigs or poultry a few buckets of them.  The paths are old concrete pig slats that I bought very cheaply.  Think I paid ten Euros for a job lot of them.
Half weeded.  Tiger Kitty (Kitty Tiger) is sat on my over wintering bulb plants in pots.  She sat there for hours.  She must have seen a field mouse or a spider I suppose?  You need cats if you live in the countryside next to the sea like we do.
All neat and tidy again.  Must start look at some seed catalogues and look in Lidl for seed potatoes.  When the land dries up I will wheelbarrow and pike some fym into the tunnel.  I must go collecting seaweed again.  We had brilliant growing results and seaweed contains over 50 trace elements and it's weed free.  Anyone else polytunnel gardening or thinking of getting their very own polytunnel? 

Thursday 28 December 2023

On The Eighth Day God Made Malt Whisky.

 Uisce beatha "Water of life" is the Gaelic pronunciation  for whiskey in Irish.

Any road this morning the lads were clearing out the kitchen press/cupboard to make room to put a vent in the wall for the tumble dryer.  

Look what they found:

Only a bottle of my favourite 15 year old Scottish Malt whisky:  Dalwhinnie.  They hid it there last Christmas and we forgot about it.

The whisky is now 16 years old.

Aren't I lucky?

Wednesday 27 December 2023

Last Of The Tenerife Photos.

 Storm Gerrit visited us last night.  It felt like that house in Ted Hughes Wind poem or a ship on a stormy sea.  

I was wide wide awake thinking about my poor polytunnel and hoping everything would be would be ok.  Thankfully this morning it is.  Everywhere is just saturated.

I thought of the weeks holiday we had in Tenerife less than a fortnight ago.  If ever there is a time to take an holiday in the sun it's got to be in the winter.  Here's  some photos for your perusal dear readers:

Fish seller statue made of bronze.
I didn't know RTE had an hotel/bar did you?
Litter bins everywhere which say " Use Me".

Self explanatory me thinks.

Are they squashes or gourds?

Bougainvillea.  Lots of different colours.

Giant Elephants Ears tree with its roots in water.

Abstract art mural.
Local beer with Mount Teide picture.
"Lady in Red" bikini!

Tuesday 26 December 2023

Tenerife Indian Food.

 One night in Tenerife we found an Indian takeaway the and restaurant and one night we went for a meal to take back with us to the hotel.  We had a pint or two whilst our onion bhajis and shish kebab starters were made.

Next day we went back and had a meal sat outside the restaurant in the brilliant December sunshine:

Here's what we ate.  Onion bhajis and shish kebabs.  I didn't see Donna kebab.  It must of been her day off.  Anyone love Indian food? I love it!  The meal with drinks was only 39 Euros.
See the price of a pint of lager?

Monday 25 December 2023

Poinsettia Gardens.

How many times do we see Poinsettias in our supermarkets at Christmas or you are perhaps the recipient of one for a Christmas 🎁?

We don't have much look with them and they don't live very long.
We noticed them used for flower bedding displays recently on our holiday in Tenerife.   They must not get any frost there.  Saying that we haven't had much just more than our fair share of rain.  

Billy Connolly says in his book I have been reading 📚: there's only two seasons in Scotland: June and Winter!  I think this year must be the wettest we have ever known.  Thank goodness I have my polytunnel to potter about when it's raining every day.

Happy Christmas to everyone in blog land.

Sunday 24 December 2023

German Food.

 We were not keen on the look of Tapas and we don't eat fish unless it's cod and in batter. From  yonchipoyle.

Fortunately we found an excellent German cafe bar and here's some of the meals we tried:

Bratwurst in a curry sauce.  It's called Currywurst in Germany. I was looking it up on T'web and Tinternet  and apparently a Berlin lady traded spirits with British soldiers at the end of WW2 for Worcestershire sauce and ketchup and she came up with Currywurst. A British German recipe 😋 me 🤔 thinks.

   I was the only one to try this and J stuck to her trusty sandwich and chips.

Beef Goulash with red cabbage.  The meat was so tender.
Berlin Meatballs with mustard and a few vegetables. 
Chips in a basket and a ham and salad for wife and a pint of Dorado Tenerife lager for yours truly.  It was less than 3 Euros a pint and diesel ⛽️ was 1.22 Euros a litre.  It's 1.69 here in Ireland 🇮🇪.   

We went there four times and the food and drink was excellent.  Rather like when I went to Germany in 2017 to the Night Of The Prog Festival and saw lots of Prog Rock bands and Marillion for the second time.  I also talked to the German cafe bar owner about Michael Schenker and The Scorpions.  

Saturday 23 December 2023

Watch Out There's A Christmas Tree Thief About.

A break from my holiday snaps today. Don't worry I have more to show you.  

 I found this old 1962 video on good old YouTube.  Hope it makes you smile?

Remember to report any Morris Minor cars with Christmas trees in the back.  I suppose it's a job for Special Branch?

Friday 22 December 2023

A Walk Past The Hotel Where Agatha Christie, Churchill And The Beatles Stayed.

View from our hotel sun roof terrace of the extensive renovations going on at the hotel Tauro in Tenerife.  Agatha Christie, Winston Churchill and the Beatles all stayed there but not at the same time!
Behind the hotel is the Parque De La Sotra.  It's where gentry would relax and enjoy the exotic plants.
Old donkeys knees (me) spent and hour on the hotel sun lounger sunbathing.  The wife read her latest Margaret Dickinson book and I drank a cup of flat beer.  I was getting very bored.

I left wifey in town and climbed many steps and took in the view and the photographs.  It was very nice.

Mount Teide in the distance.  Apparently it's the third highest mountain/ volcano in the world.  It didn't look much higher than Snowdon.
Hotel Tauro in between the palm trees.

I noticed a cafe on my walk and thought I would get some liquid refreshment.  The lady cafe worker said that it wasn't open until 10o'clock.  I said: " What time is it now?" She replied: " 9.30".   Blood and stomach pills.  

I took many photos and a good hour was spent plant gazing with me, myself and I.

Thursday 21 December 2023

Bananas, Bananas.

 It was the first time I had been outside Europe last week.  Yes technically the Canaries are Spanish islands and their currency is the Euro like we use in Ireland 🇮🇪. 

Tenerife is about 150 miles *ish* from Africa.  We saw many exotic trees and flowers, walked past banana plantations and even saw bananas 🍌 growing on trees there.  

We bought bananas and they tasted sweet and sugary and nothing like the weeks old ones we eat at home.  Our supermarket bananas are like eating a raw 🥔 potato or parsnip compared to the  Canary ones.  Obviously their sugars have turned to starches?

It was wonderful to see 'real' bananas growing in front of us.

Wednesday 20 December 2023

Tenerife Outdoor Christmassy Decorations.

 I often think when I see people's houses decorated with lit up snowmen and Rudolf and Christmas lights and decorations:

" Do these people have shares in the electricity companies?"

It was nice to see these sensible Christmassy decorations on buildings in Tenerife:

Canarian restaurant with 3 Kings statues.

Nativity banner displaying the baby Jesus.

I found them to be very sensible and not ott.  What do you think dear readers?

Tuesday 19 December 2023

Exotic Canary Plants Not Furze and Rushes.

 On the Tuesday we set off walking for the Botanical Gardens in Puerto Del La Cruz.

It was quite hilly walking and very very hot and the wife started to moan about her sore leggy peggies.  But we found the gardens which have been there since the late 1700s.  Admission was 3 Euros each.

Now a days you hear the soft dulcet sounds of bird song and cars unfortunately.  It must of been heavenly when their was just the sound of donkeys and horses and carts carrying people to see the exotic  flora.  

Here's some 📸 for your perusal dear readers:

I noticed how useful leaves are for a mulch and compost to feed the plants.

Pond to die for.  Full of Koi Carp.

I took lots of photos but hopefully you have got a glimpse of what we saw?

I thought the tree fern was a Dickonsia  from New Zealand or Australia but it originates in Africa.

We saw lots of plants and I was in my element.

Rosette Winning Piglets.

 Our cup runneth over.  Yorkshire Pudding awarded me with the Irish Blogger award in 2020 and now we are champion pig breeders in  County Co...