Monday, October 31, 2011

bog walk

Well we took a stroll down to the river across the bog which is harder work than walking on soft sand or snow. The clocks changed last night and tommorow is a public holiday for Halloween, The practice of dressing up in costumes and begging door to door for treats on holidays dates back to the Middle Ages and includes Christmas wassailing. Trick-or-treating resembles the late medieval practice of souling, when poor folk would go door to door on Hallowmas (November 1), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls' Day (November 2). It originated in Ireland and Britain, although similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy.

I found my skeleton he was in a cupboard as I had thought, now has pride of place in one of the glass side windows at the front door. I also made a pumpkin head for a candle to go in and have been sharpening my axe, kidding there. As a kid we were always dressed up for the halloween party and back then all the costumes were hand made not store bought. My parents were great at coming up with great costumes and I wish digital photography had been round back then so I would have had a record of all them. Its the same with photos of my dogs, I think I have one photo of Kerry, a handful of Bochan, who came after I got married, and progressivly more of Roory Ishan Jessy and Gus.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Prop forward runs out of steam

It looks like my favorite candidate may be running out of breath, he is still stumbing towards the try line but every step looks laboured, even with the abscence of hair the air drag may be too  much for him. The new leader in the race is Michael D Higgins a veritable greyhound although a prehistoric one. He is the subject of the song "Michael D. Rocking in the Dáil" by the Saw Doctors, they are a band not a power tool repair company by the way.

It was a nice morning but this evening has gales and rain forecast again, its a long weekend so probably the rain will last till Tuesday, I'm not sure if I will get any Guisers here as I'm in the Conemmara wilderness and a fair hike from the closest civilization actually the closest civilization is probably Wales. Anyway I shall have to look out my skeleton, hes in a cupboard somewhere and maybe buy some sweets :) just in case, you know.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Irish Presidential Election

I found my second closest neighbour today when I was taking some photos of the mountains, I think it needs insulation. Was a bonny day today and I hacked into some scrub with the weed wacker, I uncovered a drain which was all blocked up so I cleared it and hopefully that may help dry up that patch a bit, the area was thick with reeds and fuchia bushes which have gone wild. It will take me ages to get even the top couple of acres looking good but it is all good excersise I suppose and I shant overdo it.

Its the Presidential election today and the favorite looks like a prop forward, which I'm all for, he is also folically challenged which wins more points in my book, unlike Australia you dont get fined for not voting.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Field Mouse (An Luch Fhéir)

Well we spent almost 3 hours thinning out branches and clearing today and Mark found a nest in the wall probably a mouse but it could also be a stoat or hedgehog there are also foxes and badgers around, with all this manual work right enough I'm passing out about the time they wake up for their nightly roams. The island's population of badgers is still among the highest in Europe - an estimated 250,000 adults.

Angie has just decided to go to Cork this afternoon so she should get there around 2030 tonight and back home by 1700 tomorrow. I have the place to myself tonight thankfully its not halloween yet lol. Last year there were loads of kids round dunking for apples instead of getting sweets but I doubt I shall see anyone this year and if I do buy sweets I'd have to eat them myself.

I had made Chilli con Carne for dinner but it wont harm for keeping for 24 hrs and I'll just make something else for myself tonight.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Well we missed out on the flooding that has affected Ireland thankfully although we have had a lot of rain since we moved in. FLASH flooding battered Ireland yesterday as more than a month’s rain fell in just a few hours. Torrential downpours caused nationwide havoc, inundating shops and homes, bursting riverbanks, blocking roads, disrupting air and rail travel and bringing rush-hour traffic to a shuddering halt.
Met Eireann had issued a severe weather warning with Leinster and much of the East coast the worst hit. A spokesman told the Irish Daily Mirror 90mm of rain fell in parts of the capital, adding: “The average rainfall for October is 70mm. Anything over 4mm an hour is considered heavy so this was well beyond that. “With more rain expected for tonight there could be an extra 20-30mm on top of that.”A major rescue operation has been launched in the Wicklow Mountains after a garda was swept away by a swollen river as he tried to direct traffic away from a dangerous bridge. He didnt survive unfortunately.

My pal Mark is coming over tomorrow to give me a hand, I cut the grass at Owenriff this morning and returned the keys, spoke to a really annoying Indian at Eircom to have the phone turned off, took me all my time to control my temper, they can wait for the last months payment after that and if they ask me why I'll tell them they need to address their customer service.

Got the patio powerwashed and the weather is nice today even had a blink of sunlight :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Seals and a bog ride

Well I put the bike on the back of the car before it was light this morning and went up to the Bog road at Cow Corner or Bóthar Portaigh an Bo coirnéal if you fancy a tounge twister, I havent a clue what the right name of the place is but there was a cow there about a week ago and its on a corner and theres a bog. anyway the dogs had fun running alongside until we ran out of road about a couple of miles up the hill.

The plumber rolled up and put an outside tap in for me, when I took the dogs for a swim at high tide down at Casla Pier I met a Bodach who turned out to be the plumbers Dad, I'm getting quite good at quizing the locals and he was quite supprised when I asked him if he had a son called Paul then told him he had just done some work for me hours before. Its a small world to be sure. There were a couple of seals very interested in my dogs who were barking for the ball to be thrown they came close enough for me to nearly reach them with the ball when I threw it.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Last of the cleaning at Owenriff

Well we spent a few hours cleaning the house at Owenriff again today so its pretty spotless, I just need to go across on Tuesday and mow the lawns and take the keys back to the Real Estate. I will be glad when its all done and we get the bond back it can go towards some of the work we need to here.

Its a driech day here or else I'd be out with the whipper snipper as we speak, one of my next jobs is to whipper snip the grass along the roadside out front so it doesnt look uninhabited also there is a fence that is down that either need taken away or fixed up I'll have a go at the later first. I put a post box on the front of the house the other day as the door doesnt have a mail flap. I'll have to drop hints to my Dad that a house name plate would be a nice Christmas pressy lol heheheh I just dropped it. Something with a salmon on it might be the go and painted would also be ok if carving is out.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Well its half four on Saturday arvo and the plumber never came lol I'm sure he said his name wasnt ORielly.  I was clearing some branches earlier and pulling them through the garden to one of my many branch piles my trousers slowly started to fall down, maybe the plumber was watching and saw someone else with plumbers crack and thought he had missed out on the job. I didnt want to drop my load so kept waddling through the undergrowth with my kegs getting lower and lower untill they eventually dropped to my knees, I sighed hitched them back up and carried on.

I pressure washed some more of the patio this afternoon and the sun came out to celebrate for a few hours, both my bedroom and the sitting room have dual aspect and its lovely when the sun streams in I suppose with them facing South and West the afternoon / evening sun will be bonny when it does break through the clouds.

There are multiple streams running through the grounds here that I shall have to clear as they are full of leaves and debris. Hurry back John lol.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Call centers

Well what a drama with call centers and staff who are trained to answer 40 questions but apart from the 40 answers they are bliddy hopeless, started off with the Bank in Australia or was it the insurance company err I cant remember but both were awful, so Angie got the job of sorting things out.
The Subaru insurance was changed to a new company and we couldnt find a document they insisted of having then they decided they wouldnt be able to insure the car as it was made for the Japaneese market not the EU, gawd knows why they think they know more than the Government department that let me import it and the insurance company that did it last year, anyway after two days of not being able to use the car they discovered they had made a mistake and all was well. The Bank had us ringing at <0600 every day this week to sort out transferring money 10 different people and 10 different ways to do it, was a joke.

Australia beat Wales at rugby but it wasnt a riviting game in the end, I was hoping for a classic game, I think New Zealand will romp home over France but then again I have been wrong before, one time in 1980 I think it was. I got a few more branches trimmed today and after the plumber fits my outside tap tomorrow I shall powerwash off the patio pavers. I put up the bird feeder the other day and they have emptied once already, its nice, as its just outside the big glass doors in my lounge and quite a show they put up chasing each other from the food source. After I get the pavers clean and have spread sand between them I shall take some photos.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Is that a new front door?

Yesterday I had a visit from Michael who used to be her Ladyships gardener for nine years until she caught him asleep drunk in his Lordships prize armchair with the tv on when he was meant to be clearing drains. I doubt he would try and get to sleep on mine as Gus is always on it when hes not swimming in a bog somewhere. He lives just a few houses up the road which is handy but he has had a hernia and likes a dram so I dont think he will be much good apart from maybe picking his brain. As soon as Michael left, Donna arrived, he was the replacment grass cutter bloke, he gave the lawns a quick cut which may well do them now for the year, it took him about 3 hours and he didnt do any strimming. They both commented on the front door Michael said "ohh nice new door" mind you he was drunk, and Donna said "that looks heaps better than the brown colour it used to be painted".

It was dry sunny and cold yesterday and today is less cold but overcast and there are clouds covering the mountains, the dogs had a swim at An Bothar Bui which is a coral strand beach near here.

In the summer there is a lifeguard employed but this time of year it was desterted, the land opposite is Goruma island and if you look out to sea you can see the Aran Islands, they protect this part of the coast from the big Atlantic swells.

The forecast isnt great again with more of a chance of rain over tomorow and the weekend, but as long as I get a couple of hours work done in the gardens daily it makes a huge difference at the end of the week. I was hoping John might get up but he has heaps of work on again next week.

I have a plumber coming on Saturday to instal an outside tap so I can get the pressure washer up and running, the patio pavers are covered in moss and weeds in all the gaps, I have spent a bit of time weeding the gaps as if I try powerwashing without doing that it turns into a mud bath.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Online at last

Well I have eventually been installed with satelite broadband and tv and all seems to be hunky dory, its a rather large satelite but the bloke has it well secured to the building for the winter storms. I get 4 out of 5 bars wirelessly sitting with the laptop in the lounge which is fine as it is cozy in here with a big fire roaring tonight.

Its meant to be a fine day tomorrow but colder again infact I think parts of Scotland are meant to have snow, until we get the house insulated it will take a bit to heat it but they recon the gavity insulation and ceiling bats gain 70% heat retention and also the new windows will help as well. Really pleased with my new hoosy.

I got 2 coats of white undercoat on the front door today and will chuck some gloss at it on the morn and I am on the lookout for a labourer to help me clear out my peat store which is a wee stone building across the road from the house, I shall hire a skip and empty it right out as it could well do as storage for my bikes this next year as well as peat.

My skypein number is now active (091 442 472 ) if you are calling from abroad I think the code is 353 for Ireland and you drop the 0 or of course you can use skype and it costs yilch to phone me. I have been slack recently so must catch up with some of my pals, moving house and renovating seems to soak up the hours so it does.

If anyone wants to pop across for a holiday there is loads to be done here.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Another day cleaning

Well the house at Owenriff is almost spotless all I need to do now is finish up washing inside cupboards and to give the garden a cut and get rid of leaves and hopefully the bond will be returned. I hate renting a place and we always leave the house cleaner than when we moved in. I have a nightmare that the deal here falls through and I have to repack again, sheeeeeeeeeeeze I have had it with moving.

I get my internet and TV on on Tuesday but the wee tv arial in the bedroom works ok so I watched the X factor last night for the first time in ages, one of Angies pals got us hooked last year when she was visiting and I regularilly have a wee cry when they either bottle it or do really well at the initial auditions lol what a silly sausage ehh.

Weather wise we had a couple of showers today but it was bonny between them, there is a bad forecast with wind and rain for tomorrow so I shall do some more unpacking here I think. Australia were beaten by New  Zealand quite comprehensively in the end much to my pal Marks joy but that means all three of my choices are out of the comp och well its only a game.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

more pics of the parts of the garden that need slightly more work

Glorious day

Well the sun came out and we have a glorious late afternoon here, spent the day cleaning Owenriff, hired a carpet cleaner and the carpets came up well, gawd knows why I didnt do them when I moved in but hey this is Ireland maybe I was doing things the Irish way. Got a wee bit gardening done this afteroon and cleaned the big sliding doors so the view is grand out of the living room and dining room there may even be a sunset tonight.

Bought a wee tv top arial and there is a picture on the bedroom tv so I shall be able to watch Australia vs NZ tommorow morning wooohooo I have tv withdrawls, Mark lent me a box set of "Londons Burning" which has been great but we are getting burnt out with firefighting stories.

If it is a nice day tomorrow the aim is to have a walk up the Costello river which is only a few hundred yards away from the bottom of the garden. I  have a couple of sheds over the road from the house, one is a pumping station for the local water supply the other is a stone peat store which is full of junk like old washing machines etc, aim is to hire a skip empty it leave half for a donkey or my bikes and use the other bit for getting a load of peat stored for the winter.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

blog drought

Well sorry I havent been online but I have been busy moving house and such, its been pretty dreich weather since we moved with only a couple of dry days where I can see the mountains from my office.
I also saw my cardologist yesterday in Galway and he was saying that with progress in heart and artery surgery that he thought that the "dead" part of my heart could maybe be salvaged with only a small stent operation and that 4 out of 5 cases like mine he has done have been a success, 5 years ago part of my heart that was pronounced "dead". I still have insurance in Australia so maybe I should look into that. My Irish insurance doesnt cover existing conditions unfortunately and the cost without insurance is vast.

Anyway here are a few photos of the garden and the work infront of me here.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

moved in

Well this is the first night in our new house and its really cosy, have a peat/ wood fire on watching a dvd and relaxing with a vino.

It was a nice dry day today for the fourth and final load of furniture and John has cleared away the front of the house which looks heaps better, all the furniture fits in great and Gus didnt even jump in the lily pond :) so all is well on the Western front.

I have no telephone on tonight but hope to have the internet on on Tuesday and the TV so skype will be an option.