Thursday, March 31, 2011

witches, dancers and a disgraced TD

Well today was dry again and bright for a while too, the forecast was for rain and it did rain a wee it overnight, it looks the same for tonight and dry again tomorrow, I could live with the overnight showers, mind you I'm not a night shift worker or living rough on the streets. Things are blooming here now and starting to grow like mad.

Ireland doesn't have a reputation for politicians resigning over scandals, in fact they cling on like limpets the newest one is Michael Lowry who has been found guilty of making money from insider dealing but he isn't resigning and they cant throw him out unless he goes bankrupt or serves a >6 month jail sentence.

Last night, President Obama's speech on Libya was actually scheduled early so it wouldn't interrupt 'Dancing With The Stars.' That's ridiculous. This is a major historical event that affects the lives of millions of people. I can't believe it was almost interrupted by Obama's speech

The intriguing tale of Ireland's last witch trial has been re-investigated ahead of the 300th anniversary of a case that saw eight Co Antrim women found guilty of possessing a teenage girl.

The story of the Islandmagee witches has generated little historical re-examination in the last three centuries.
But Dr Andrew Sneddon from the University of Ulster intends to change that with a reappraisal of the trial, which took place 300 years ago tomorrow.
After being convicted at a court in Carrickfergus, the eight Presbyterian women were sentenced to a year in prison and each put in the public stocks four times on market day

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

change in the weather

Well its another beautiful evening here, its been awesome weather all this last week, I put the boat back on the trailer and she is back in the garden as a change is on its way, the rest of the week is to deterioate and end up with gales and heavy rain. I managed to put the boat back on the trailer and drop the mast ect myself as Mark is suffering with the Flu, its a bit of a palava but not too difficult if you dont rush things.

I've taken off the bowsprit, because it was silly, it didnt serve a purpose, my self furler is anchored on the bow, so it doesnt extend the sailplan beyond the confines of the hull, if you come into a wharf its sticking another couple of foot out which can be a pain and also putting the boat on the trailer its support was getting bent on the trailer roller. So thats another modification lol. I got a wee lead to connect the GPS that came with the boat to my laptop, on ebay, I have digital charts for the Loch on the laptop so now I can use it like a chart plotter. I also got a car charger for the laptop so if I stay aboard I can use the laptop as a DVD player, a chart plotter and using a usb dongle connect to the internet to do my blog and chat to my pals.

Sheana and Sacha are coming for 10 days in April so I'm hoping we get a spell of good weather and we can stay aboard the boat overnight.  

Monday, March 28, 2011


Well I have had a cracking day boating on Loch Corrib, motored up to Cong and Ashford Castle, had a picnic, caught a Perch sailed back to Oughterard. Excuse the photo of the Perch as Angie has managed to take its only photo out of focus ,lol at least she got its head in the shot.

The boat sails in the lightest of airs which is what we had today but it was relaxing and a good day out.

The garden lawns got cut after I got home thanks to daylight saving.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

877 is not a lot

Well this is Ireland, I didnt get the more expensive bikes, they must have found some bikes in the world somewhere, anyway the last were delivered today by a lady that commented on the postcodes. I have stickers on them from the counties in Ireland ie Mayo, and Wexford, Galway and Dublin. This will help me keep a check on the individual bikes. My public liability is sorted out so I can now start trading, so far I have missed 7 hires due to not having the insurance.

Itsa Ma Bota is back in the water, Mark and I shall go for a sail after I have been for a second look at the house for rent down on the water, Angie will probably come for a sail on Sunday before she heads off to the UK next week for the whole week. The house on the water will not be available till August but that works out well so I dont lose my bond. The weather has been picture perfect this week. I took a lassie and her wee boy out for a wee sail as they hadnt been on a boat before that was my good deed for the day.

Gus had a doo, the man who was grooming him was going fine until Gus got spooked by the air compressor and wouldnt let him continue, he told me he has groomed all sorts of big scary dogs but Gus took the biscuit and just wouldnt let him finish, I didnt get charged.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

bikes and yikes

Well I went into Galway for a pc job and called into Halfords to see how my remaining bikes were progressing, they aren't lol this is Ireland. Apparently there are none of the bikes he sold me left in the whole world ( wonder if mine are worth more now than 3 weeks ago)? anyway he has offered to give me the remaining 4 bikes in a more expensive model so I said kewl and rubbed my hands, was feeling great about getting more expensive bikes until I got back and got my quote for the public liability insurance sheeeeze 877 Euros a year with no 6 months deal, thats a lot. Ohh well I shall just have to rent heaps and heaps of bikes. Maybe I should approach Moycullin bike store ( next town )  and ask them if they want to rent bikes through my company ie on my insurance hhhmmm they have expensive mountain bikes.

The weather here is perfect again and tomorrow is the same, I just went and had a look at a house for rent for less money than we pay now, its in a perfect spot on the loch side, a 3 bed bungalow with 2 bathrooms and a wee jetty that might go with it, the garden is great with heaps of space and sheds / green houses. Just the inside is really grubby an old kitchen with a lovely aga that doesn't work ? (this is Ireland) the bathrooms are old and peach coloured loos etc yuggers, it has rising damp in one room at least. A lovely conservatory with water views, 2 open fires and one gas one and central heating. I'm going back down to show it to Angie, outside anyway, and will take some pics.

Monday, March 21, 2011

pc hard drive dies

Well my vista PCs hard drive gave up the ghost yesterday so I'm currently installing vista on a second hand 200 GB drive I had saved from another machine, its not costing me anything apart from time. Vista requires one disk for each machine and my disk is as old as vista so has been superseded twice ie we are on SP2 now so after loading the operating system there are 120 updates to be done and it takes hourrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrs.

Anywayyyyyyyyy, had a good sail yesterday on the loch with Mark his girl and Angie, boat flies even with just the head sail out and the weather turned blustery so I just motored back into the wind, apparently gentlemen don't sail upwind anyway, I didn't realise that. I was more concerned about having a relaxing sail downwind with not too much in the way of ropes to confuse my new crew. Raising the mast and rigging is a chore but I suppose my boat is safe in the garden here now till I go out again and I don't have to worry about gales or things being stolen off her I had two outboards stolen in Australia and two dingies. I believe in Karma so in that case the two dingies will have sunk leaving their theiving owners to swim ashore in shark infested water and the two outboards will have broken down on lee shores in near gales.

The Real Estate Inspection is today, one of the things I hate about renting is having someone come check on me at 3 month intervals mind you Sheila is nice and was real helpfull when we were looking for a place, I'd use her again. After she does her rounds I'll take the dogs to the woods as they havent been for a few days. I have a cold and dont feel too brilliant so it wont be a long walk.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


I was awake and up and about at 0330 this morning lol excited about putting my new toy in the water. Everything went well although I should have lifted the mast on the flat instead of on the ramp as the angle made it heavier. Had a nice leisurely sail downwind with the head sail alone to Inchagoil halfway up the loch then motored back into a strong S change. I caught the sun today lol or the wind.

I'm pleased with my new toy :)

Left her alongside at the pier tonight and will take Mark and his pal Katie out tommorow maybe as far as Ashford Castle.

Friday, March 18, 2011

No fly zone

Well Libya has a no fly zone and I have followed suit here with a no dog zone, the real estate come round on Monday to check I'm not destroying the place and I like to have it looking shmick and I may be out sailing all weekend so thought I better do the cleaning today, the no dog zones are the front sitting room the dining room my office this level toilet and all of the upstairs. Did anyone spot the wee dog pretending to be a lamb in the picture yesterday ? its one of Angelas best ever pictures she usually cuts either the head or the feet off people she photographs and normally the wee dog wouldnt have been in the photo atall.

A shower just came through here with a strong breeze but I'm hopeing tommorow will be nice, I have lowered the mast in prep for tomorow morning and will have to get up early and take her down to the ramp before the traffic as the mast sticks out behind quite a bit. I have to get some petrol today at some point which will mean taking out a morgage and will just take the bare essentials with me sailing tomorow.

St Patricks Day Parade

Well the village was packed with people between 2 and 3 thousand I would recon, I've had opne guiness and am heading out for another shortly, when I say another it may be more than one. anyway here are some shots of my float and a could of others that were in the parade.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Itsa Ma Bota

Well I got the boat home in one piece and have spent most of the day changing things on her, its handy having a trailer boat as you can work on it at your house and use power tools etc a lot eassier than when the boat is at anchor somewhere. I managed to drop and raise the mast on my own today, which I'm happy about as if I have someone with me it will be easier again.
The weather forecast is for good weather the next few days so hopefully I might get out on the water at some point. I'll need a hand launch her so hopeing I can talk someone into helping the first time I do it.

I will be on Loch Corrib a lot it is about thirty-five miles in length from Galway to Maam and varies in breadth from eight miles, as between Oughterard and Cong, to one quater of a mile, as from the Wood of Dun to Corran Point, where it narrows between the Joyce Country and the Iar-Chonnacht hills. Its general direction is from west-north-west, in a curvature, to south-south-east. In depth it varies considerable. It is in many parts full of rocky shoals, dry in summer; and even in the navigation course, having but six or seven feet of water in some places so I shall need to be careful.

Hope to have some photos of the St Patricks day Parade tommorow.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Concussion and a job on the chain gang

Well Angie had concussion through headbutting a boulder, the dog ran past her and she fell over backwards and knocked herself out. I have renamed the rock "Angie's Pillow" and there is pottential she could be offered a job on the chain gang breaking rocks with her head.

It was after 11pm before we got home as the electricity went off and they couldnt do any xrays, not sure why the emergency generator didnt come on but hey this is Ireland.

I bought myself a yacht :) its a Magreggor 26X 2001 model on a trailer and the one I had the sail on the other day, I got it for a couple of grand under the asking price with other bits and bobs like an inflatable dingy, wheel lock, etc thrown in so I'm chuffed. I'll hopefully pick her up tommorow afternoon and will spend the next week putting the mast up and down in my garden till I have it perfected. The boat comes with so mant extras I may have to tow a barge along behind with all them on. Hopefully I shall be so busy renting out bikes I shant get much of a chance to be out on her, ouch bit my toungue I had it in cheek there for a second, as you do, to be sure.

Angie bashing her head made up my mind to go for it as if the rock she had bashed her head on had been pointy she could well have been dead instead of propping up the couch today, so you only live once may as well have a yacht ehh.

The St Patrick Day parade takes place on Thursday and I'm putting a couple of my bikes on the trailer along with some flags and tinsel to join in, I was hoping to get a banner made but was too late so I have just printed out and laminated a few signs for it and the car to help drum up business. The local bike shop and toursit office have put signs up for me and I'll do a barter deal with the bike shop for directing traffic my way I'll help him set up an ebay shop.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Hospital waiting rooms

Well I'm in a hospital waiting room waiting for Angie to have X-rays on a head neck injury she got headbutting a rock in the forest. She was out cold for about 10 seconds and disorientated so I called the ambulance to be on the safe side. I had the lat long on my phone and mark came to the forest and took the dogs as they wanted to eat the rescue blokes. Funny how they wanted to protect her.
I'll blog more when I get home, more news,I'm sure she will be ok

Sunday, March 13, 2011


The changes may be imperceptible to most people, but the massive earthquake that struck off the coast of Japan Friday had a startling impact on the Earth, experts say. The 8.9-magnitude quake moved Japan's main island by more than two metres, in addition to shifting Earth on its axis and  speeding up its rotation by 1.6 microseconds,  it was considerably less than the quake in Sumatra in 2004. That quake sped up the Earth's rotation by 6.8 microseconds. I thought it was light earlier this morning. Poor souls in Japan affected by the quake and tsunami my heart goes out to them.

When I saw the size of the wave I was wondering if it would go as far as Australia, our house in Kurnell was only a meter or so above HW Springs and my pals Paddy, Troy and Howard and their families still live there.

I went and had a look at a second Magregor 26 X yesterday down in county Claire, she was pretty scruffy and not a patch on the one I had the sail on last week (Isa Ma Bota), I put an offer in on Isa last night but may have missed out as the owner was saying he has someone coming up today with a deposit for the full asking price and my offer is short, mind you he may just be playing the game lol. Ohh well what will be will be.

I wrote to the Real Estate to see if there was any worries keeping my bikes here and using the address for my business and they said its not allowed so I am looking at moving, I have a viewing this coming week of a property on the lochside which is smaller but apparently very nice and cheaper which may mean I could also rent a shop in the villagefor my various endeavours. If I leave prior to August I'd lose the bond but the difference in rent would pay that back in 4 months. It would be awesome if I could launch the yacht out front or even keep her moored there.

Friday, March 11, 2011

A trailer joins the fleet

Well I invested in a tralier to transport the bikes around its 8'4" by 4'6" galvanised steel and a rugged construction, the mesh sides come off and theres a short solid back gate for if I need to carry sand or owt (like a dingy). So now the Shairp fleet consists of 2 cars 1 trailer 12 bikes a child trailer and potentially a yacht on a trailer soon. I have the fleet minus the yacht in the Oughterard St Patricks Day parade done up in bunting and adverts to use my bike hire, computer fixup, website design services.

Angies brother John is driving up this afternoon to help get the garden in order I think, either that or get drunk lol. So I'm away out to buy in some grub.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Update to my website

Well I put the bike hire on my website and thought hey wouldn't it be kewl to have a real time check on how many bikes are available for rent on each day, so I linked google callendar into my webpage to do just that, clever ehh. So now if you want to check if I have any free bikes on a certain date just go to  click on "bike hire" then on the link "bike availability" which will take you to  select the date you want and there ya go :) ok stop bliddy yawning I know I'm a nerd and you all want to hear about Berlisconi's most recent conquest rather than my scripting abilities.

I'm going to see "Itsa Ma Bota" afloat tommorow and maybe have a wee sail and see how easy she is to launch / raise masts etc. Mark will come along for moral support, I'm hoping the gps the man was throwing in can interface with my laptop as I have all the digital charts for the loch on it and it would be the same as having a 17 inch chart plotter. Mind you I wouldnt be able to get the laptop wet.

Its been terrific weather this last week dry and flat calm with most of the days sunny, I think tommorow is meant to be nice too and instead of walking in the woods tommorow I'm taking a bike and the dogs can run along with me. I did about 4 miles today with a 150 meter uphill stretch which is a killer, mind you coming back down was neat although a bit sore on my elbow still. I think I will have to buy a trailer to carry the bikes in as the carrier I got for the back of the car is fine for 2 bikes but thats about it.

Ok Berlisconni----- Italy's state TV network is facing accusations of censorship after it banned a trailer for a documentary critical of Silvio Berlusconi, claiming it pokes fun at the prime minister's late mother.

In a filmed interview used in the trailer, which was due to be shown on Sunday, Rosa Berlusconi asserts: "You will never see a photo of Silvio going around with women."

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Half my bikes arrive

Well I got 5 bikes today and helmets and locks and the other 5 arrive on Wednesday they look Shmick as they say in Aussie. When they were getting dropped off I got a call to see if I could hire out 2 bikes but I didn't as I hadn't got the insurance sorted yet, anyway hope to have that sorted by Wednesday too.

The weather has been great this last week and there are a few tourists around the place already. I may have to buy a trailer to deliver the bikes with as the car transporter thing for the back of the car is only good for two bikes even though its meant to carry three.

QUEEN Elizabeth is to make an official visit here in the summer, the first by a British monarch since the foundation of the State.The announcement was warmly welcomed by all of the political parties last night, except Sinn Fein, which said such a visit was premature
Already, dissident republican groups are planning street demonstrations and senior garda anti-terrorist officers have started drafting contingency plans for the queen's security.
The announcement by President Mary McAleese ended months of speculation and was described as a watershed in Irish-British relations. The queen's grandfather, King George V, was the last serving monarch to visit the country 100 years ago when Ireland was part of the UK. He spent six days in Dublin in 1911.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Give Mary the transport portfolio

THE red coupe was heading toward the exit, out through the big gate on to Kildare Street.

Around the car park it went, and then promptly turned onto the wide sloping ramp which leads onto the plinth of Leinster House -- that's the pedestrian bit with the benches and flowerpots and the short set of steep steps at the far end.
Good grief -- where was the driver going? Surely there would be a quick and sheepish reverse once the steps hove into view?
But no, Mary Mitchell O'Connor simply channelled her inner Daisy Mae Duke and proceeded to navigate down the steps regardless. Bump, bumpity, bump, bump.

What the heck am I waffling on aboot your say? well Mary was elected this last week to be a member of parlament here and promptly on her fist day drove down the steps at parlament house.