Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Water restrictions

Thousands of households across the country will be without water or face serious restrictions in the days ahead.The restrictions have been introduced in order to restore reservoir levels in the worst affected areas. Local authorities are mobilizing crews to fix burst water mains caused by the thaw.

My electric problems and subsequent sewage in the basement problems were caused by a frozen exit pipe from the basement which made my macerator pump trip out, the basement toilet never gets used but the pet rabbit was down there over Chrissy and the sink got used which ended up filling up the loo and the shower as it was slightly higher, the washing machine overflow was because the pump for it was turned off to try and work out what caused the tripping electric, anyway I managed to work out what had happened and everything is back to normal.

I’m not sure if the rabbit made it safely home or not, but if it was not I think I may have heard something. In order to catch a rabbit, you must hide behind a tree and make a noise like a carrot.

If you are planning to overindulge this New Year then it would be a good idea to stock up on bread and honey as well as booze. Scientists claim that the natural sweetener is a great way to help the body deal with the toxic effects of a hangover. The Royal Society of Chemistry claim that the fructose in the honey – which is also found in golden syrup – is essential to help the body break down alcohol into harmless by-products. The reason why hangovers are so painful is that alcohol is first broken down into acetaldehyde, a substance which is toxic to the body, claimed Dr John Emsley of the Royal Society.

This is then converted – using fructose – into acetic acid which is then burned during the body's normal metabolic process and broken down into carbon dioxide which is breathed out of the body. Serving the honey on toast adds potassium and sodium to the meal which is also helps the body cope with the alcohol. Dr Emsley said: “The happiness comes from alcohol. The hangover comes from acetaldehyde. "This is the toxic chemical into which alcohol is converted by the body and it causes a throbbing headache, nausea, and maybe even vomiting.

"The hangover disappears as the acetaldehyde is slowly converted to less toxic chemicals."


Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas dinner

Well we had a great feed, scallops in a cheese, wine white sauce with garlic asparagus for a starter then the Turkey, ham, roast spuds, celeriac, piggy's in blankets, honey carrots, Brussels sprouts, bread sauce, gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce then trifle. Ate so much we all stopped drinking which considering the noise and amount consumed the night before was maybe just as well.




We couldn’t even start on the Christmas pudding or cheeseboard, unfortunately I fed the dogs far too much turkey and rich food and this morning there was a huge accident, the dogs came bounding up the stairs all excited it was too much for Jessies constitution and she made it to the ensuite before kersplat all over the tiles aghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh first job of the day was cleaning it up.

Cant get much worse than that ehh, wrong there's a blocked pipe in the basement and the toilet waste, well its come up the shower and at the same time Angie had done a washing and the water from that well it flooded the laundry. So after the sewage clean up I only had to mop out the laundry.

Happy St Stephens day Rob lol.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Tuesday coldest day ever recorded

Merry Christmas to you all.

Daytime max temp was –9.4C which was the coldest since records began in the 1800’s, the Owenriff is frozen solid and there were some blokes out on the ice (not the wisest).


The dogs have tinsel on to Celebrate Christmas



The turkey is in the oven and I think it’s a 4 hour roast.

Ohh this is the Irish way of wintering an outboard motor so its ready to go  next springtime.





Well I have to go now and do some cooking and better still some EATING woohoo my fav pastime, hope everyone has a great day xxxxxxxxxxxx

Alexander and Jen

My nephew and his intended arrived yesterday from Scotland, and I felt like Paparazzi snapping them when I dragged them out for a walk.



Jen is doing photography at Glasgow Metro College and Alexander was on the same course a couple of years ago but “got fed up “ and went and got a job instead.

For my nephew here are some more “Gus” shots






I’d say he was still enjoying himself a bit.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Stunning frost

Well today was the most stunning so far, we had a real hard frost again with no wind so every single branch is frosted the photos dont do it justice but I’ll post a few anyway. Last night got down to –15 in places. My pal Mark had a burst water pipe which had a waterfall cascading through his kitchen ceiling everything got soaked and he cant use lights etc till it dries out, perfect time just before Christmas.

A couple of years ago our cooker went on the blink and we had no cooker for Christmas week so we used the Barbi and a gas ring Paddy lent me, that cooker from Kleenmaid was expensive and a disaster , I shan’t buy from them again, you wont be able to Rob as they are bust m8, oops there I go talking to myself again. The service engineer who came about six times to fix the dang thing was a real wally tramped around in tackety boots through my house, left rubbish everywhere, didnt turn up on time, and was always whinging, he rang up when kleenmaid went belly up as he had gone self employed and he wanted to keep the work, it took me about 5 mins to explain to him that I would rather invite ORielly from Fawlty Towers than get him.








Alexander and Jen are driving down from Glasgow to Stranraer, catching the ferry and driving down from Belfast through Dublin to here today, it could be a long trip as Dublin has had more snow again, and everywhere has been well below zero, hope they make it ok and i have a huge pan of soup on as we speak.

snow mound discovered

Well I awoke this morning to the prospect of seeing the first solstice moon eclipse in 2000 years but unfortunately it was snowing, anyway that was quite exciting in itself so I dashed outside and proceeded to build a snow man or “snow person” if you have a hang-up about that sort of thing, anyway I was progressing well until I started shivering and looked down and I was in my shorts, silly billy. ANYWAY, I decided to make a snow mound instead of the snow wateva thing and I think you may agree it came out rather stunning.



 Snow mounds like this are only rarely seen in Ireland and I’m hoping this one may attract tourism to the area.



I have another grand Idea this time its how to convert a barbeque into an outdoor fridge basically just follow the instructions below (its quite easy)

1. Take your barbie to Ireland

2. Leave it outdoors


My neighbour had an appointment this afternoon so I’m awaiting a delivery of a new washing machine at his place, I’ll let the delivery guy in, and then his belongings arrive from Australia so I shall let the removalists in. I cant wait as he has a squillion DVD movies (all legal Gail) that I am going to borrow.



Running around this morning in my shorts is closest I’m getting to the solstice nekid dancing, its just too cold.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Lunar eclipse and feral cats

My pal Mark's car had to go to the garage today so I offered to run him across to catch some home less cats he has been feeding during the cold weather, he managed to catch one with my help. (I stayed quietly in the car), and he is going to try and get the second one tommorow, it was a bit younger and looked healthier. The first one is in at the vets tonight getting the snip.

The skies over Britain will turn a dark shade of red tomorrow morning as the moon moves into the Earth's shadow in a rare lunar eclipse.
A total lunar eclipse occurs when the sun, Earth and moon are almost exactly in line, with the moon and sun on opposite sides of our home planet.
The alignment will cause the full moon to appear much dimmer than usual, but sunlight passing through the Earth's atmosphere will give the lunar surface a deep reddish hue at dawn.
The eclipse is due to begin at 5.28am, as the moon enters the lightest part of Earth's shadow, known as the penumbra. In this early phase of the eclipse, the moon will appear yellowish in the pre-dawn sky.
A more significant dimming begins as the moon enters into the darker part of Earth's shadow at 6.32am and becomes completely eclipsed at 7.40am.
Unlike an eclipse of the sun, star gazers do not need protective eye equipment to observe a lunar eclipse.
For the first time in nearly 400 years the lunar eclipse coincides with the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. In addition, both sun and eclipsed moon will briefly be visible above the horizon – cloud cover permitting – in an unusual event called a selenehelion.

Hey if you see a spaceman tommorow, park in it man. Did you hear about the Irish spaceman? he was an astronut.

Hundreds of passengers are facing a third day stranded at Heathrow airport and long queues have formed at London's Eurostar terminal as the big freeze continues to wreak havoc with Christmas travel plans

Monday, December 20, 2010

Icicle dog

Well Gus had to go swimming and his coat froze on our walk, did over 3.5 miles today again and then went shopping for groceries, I have a turkey ordered and bought a ham which I’ll bake with marmalade and cloves. This kitchen has a big range with 2 ovens so it will be great for cooking Christmas day. I don’t have a microwave unfortunately but I may get one before Christmas.
One good thing about my forest walks here is that there are no snakes or bears in the woods
polar bears
lough Moore

I just had a long hot bath, I thought googleing "why is a hot bath so satisfying" ? might direct me to information on how it reverts you back to how things were in the womb or summat but nope it just gave me, "Generally, heat quiets and soothes the body, slowing down the activity of internal organs. Cold, in contrast, stimulates and invigorates, increasing internal activity. If you are experiencing tense muscles and anxiety from your stress, a hot shower or bath is in order. If you are feeling tired and stressed out, you might want to try taking a warm shower or bath followed by a short, invigorating cold shower to help stimulate your body and mind.When you submerge yourself in a bath, a pool, or a whirlpool, you experience a kind of weightlessness. Your body is relieved from the constant pull of gravity. Water also has a hydrostatic effect. It has a massage-like feeling as the water gently kneads your body. Water, in motion, stimulates touch receptors on the skin, boosting blood circulation and releasing tight muscles.

Friday, December 17, 2010

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.

It snowed last night here, not inches and inches but enough to have Jessie puzzled as to what the heck was on the ground, being Aussie she probably had not seen snow before. They had great fun running through it early on.


The sun came out when we were on our walk and we met the next door neighbour Eoan and “Maggot” and a lassie called Monica and “Sparky” and four other dog owners with their respective buddies, When you are walking with a dog its like having a big notice round your neck “ this bloke is ok he likes animals” and folks always say hi. Remove the dog and you could be an axe murderer or worse.





The forecast is for snow and freezing temps again but being on the west coast we will probably miss the worst. Hopefully it will be a white Christmas, would be awesome for the first one back in the Northern hemisphere, but not Too White for my visitors to make it here on Christmas.

I’ve been using my home gym the last couple of days too and my arm seems to be handling it ok. Between the walks and the gym thing I’ll be healthier for our move anyway. There has been no work for me at all which is a worry but on the bright side it would be better to be healthy and skint than loaded and unwell. Come the spring and summer maybe Ill make a bit hiring bikes out.

Cardinal Sean Brady has said the ruling by the European Court of Human Rights does not oblige Ireland to introduce legislation authorising abortion here. He then placed his head back in the pile of sand he had specially for this.

The finishing touches are being put on the Leaning Tower of Pisa as the eight-year restoration project to remove sea salt, pigeon droppings and tourist graffiti from the tower comes to an end.At just 12km from the Mediterranean shores, the tower is frequently battered by storms coming off the coast.

'You have to be really passionate about wanting to save the tower, or you'd never be able to make yourself get up at dawn and spend all day leaning,' said 41-year-old Marco Berettini. If he had quit leaning and done some work it may have been finished sooner, he must have been in charge ehh.

'The stones were in an appalling state, mainly due to air pollution, though tourists and pigeons played a part,' explained Anton Sutter, I can imagine the pigeons may have been crapping on it but the tourists well they should know better.The distinctive, yellowish stone came from the quarries of San Giuliano, visible from the top of the tower, which scar the green hills behind Pisa.'The columns are decorated with capitals: flowers, ghoulish faces, fantastical animals,' Mr Sutter said.

'But sea salt carried on the wind and rain water that collects in certain areas because of the tower's tilt have damaged many,' he added, explaining that the water could not drain properly because of the angle.'Legend has it the tower was begun in 1173 after a Pisan noblewoman left 60 coins to the city in her will to build a magnificent belfry.

Are you going to tell them or should I, its still leaning.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

dog perfume

Jessie rolled in something indescribable or close, so here goes she rolled in “agggghhhh noooooooooo, sheeeze that stinks, feck no not on the couch, I thought there were no skunks in Ireland, phew, I've got to touch THAT ? horrid yuk, worse than baby poo, crap” what makes them do that? 

The major theory why dogs will roll in smelly material is based on the relationship of domesticated canines to wolves. Wolves will often roll in decomposing carcasses or the feces of plant eating animals or herbivores. This would mask their own scent and enable them to sneak up on their prey without detection. It could even fool members of the other species into accepting it as one of their own. This ancient instinct may have carried over to domesticated dogs. she must have thought she was going to have to sneak up on her food bowl ehh.




It was a wee bit drizzly today first day in ages the sun hasn't been out. Angie is away to Lowestoft  with work so I have the place to myself, still no work happening here for me but I’m keeping amused doing the housework and dog entertaining. 



I should make a facebook page for the charity bear see if i can drum up some interest in her.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Well I spooked Jessie with the hoover and she ran behind the Christmas tree, you know the one with the distinctive decorating style, well it fell over. Took me about an hour to untangle everything apart from the dog who shot off like a missile. So it got revamped and I followed advice and kept the tinsel horizontal


I think it looks neater, thanks to Lynne in Canada for the new ornaments too.







I have yet more photos of trees today as the light was terrific when we were out walking.





Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has scraped through a crucial confidence vote in the lower house by 314 votes to 311, the 311 for him were all girls under 17 who he had given jobs in the government solely for their experience and IQ’s.

One day an Irishman, who has been stranded on a desert island for over ten long years, sees an unusual speck on the horizon.
"It's certainly not a ship," he thinks to himself. As the speck gets closer and closer, he begins to rule out the possibilities of a small boat, then even a raft.
Suddenly, emerging from the surf comes a drop dead gorgeous blonde woman wearing a wet suit and scuba gear.
She approaches the stunned man and says to him, "Tell me how long has it been since you've had a cigarette?"
"Ten years," replies the Irishman.
With that, she reaches over and unzips a waterproof pocket on her left sleeve and pulls out a pack of fresh cigarettes. He takes one, lights it, takes a long drag and says, "Faith and begorah! Is that good!"
"And how long has it been since you've had a sip of good Irish Whiskey?" she asks him.
Trembling, the castaway replies, "Ten years."
She reaches over, unzips her right sleeve, pulls out a flask and hands it to him. He opens the flask, takes a long swig and says, "Tis absolutely fantastic!"
At this point she starts slowly unzipping the long zipper that runs down the front of her wet suit, looks at the man and asks, "And how long has it been since you've played around?"
With tears in his eyes, the man falls to his knees and sobs, "Oh, Sweet Jesus! Don't tell me you've got golf clubs in there too."

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

15,000 santas

15,000 santas have paraded through the streets of Porto in northern Portugal in an attempt to enter the Guinness Book of Records for the largest ever gathering of the red faced alchaholic down and out Christmas figure.


Tonight hopefully the skies will stay clear as we will plough though a mass of large particles and there should be a terrific light show of shooting stars, people have been asked to record the number of shooting stars they see. I have some new batteries so will take the telescope out tonight if its clear.





Guess where I was with the dogs today, the above photos may help.

Put up a second Christmas tree today, this one is in the Snug

P1020238I must be one of the worst Christmas Tree decorators or maybe not maybe I just have a strange decorating style which could catch on. Maybe I should patent it I think an apt name could be the “Bourach” or messy style.





Charity the bear had her photo taken at the races and in Roscahill forest.