Saturday, December 31, 2011

New years honor list

Well I was scrolling through the honors list and found James Bond,I was chaffed to bits that I actually knew one of the people, well not "knew" rather had heard of, turns out he is a foster carer, Essex CC and ltly chair, Fostering Network, for serv children and young people. Apart from James I didn't recognize another name ;)

This looks like it may be the quietest New Year here since Barney Rubles dinosaur broke down and the beer didn't get delivered to Freds bash, anyway I,m sure the tv will have a fireworks display on somewhere. We had the bells under Sydney harbour bridge one year, on Georges yacht, when the fireworks were going off, that was rather special. I don't think there will be any here as they are illegal here in Ireland. I may go outside throw the torch in the year and yell BANG just for the hell of it.

The weather has been dreich this month, roll on springtime. There are primroses popping up here and it's December what a weird year this time last year plants were dieing in artic type weather. We exposed another boulder at the front of the house yesterday, it was hidden under moss, old heather roots and weeds. The exposed rock makes a nice feature. Just noticed a heron checking out the Lilly pond, they have some concentration so they do.

Anyway Bliana a bha ure everyone have a good new year slanthe.

Friday, December 30, 2011

A thick white blanket settled gently on the seaside town of Cleveleys near Blackpool on Wednesday, but this was no seasonal dusting of snow from above.
The Environment Agency dispatched officers to Princess Promenade to gather evidence as gobs of foam blew in from the sea and smothered streets, cars and houses. The foam is whipped up by strong winds once or twice a year along the town’s seafront and vanishes soon after, a spokeswoman for the agency told the Guardian.
Lab tests on samples collected in earlier years have found no signs of pollution. Decomposing algae is the prime suspect for the mysterious lather.“It appears to be naturally occurring. When the tides and winds combine to churn dead algal matter up from the bottom of the sea, it produces this foam, which is quite dramatic,” the spokeswoman said.

It was quite a year ehh, I started to buy a house here and moved in, seems like months, hmm it is, since the move, and the money is still in our bank instead of theirs. I have this nightmare they phone up and say the house is off the market and we have to move. The Queen and the US president with the name that sounds like a terrorist visited Ireland. The Arab world imploded starting in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Lybia, the Ivory Coast, Yemen, and Syria, with leaders deposed and regimes broken. The euro zone is in crisis, a fun time to decide to move cash to Euros with weekly massive shifts in currency values. There was a huge Tsunami in Japan, mudslides in Rio, severe flooding in Thailand and Pakistan, And the Philipeans had a tropical storm that killed thousands. William and Cathrine got hitched, bin laden was killed and Samoa decided to lose a day this year so it could have fireworks earlier come New Year. Hopefully 2012 will have fewer disasters, the house sale will go through, so I can start improvements to the house, the Eurozone sorts itself out and things start to improve here and everyone I know has a healthy happy year.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas

Well I,m blogging from my new toy :) and fine it is too. Have had a good day and am as stuffed as the turkey was earlier, I shall have to do some blinking gardening to work this off. Dinner was a great success and I,m glad I prepped so much yesterday.

I got the iPad for christmas, have been playing on it for hours and the battery is still over 57% full, the graphics are awesome and applications open fast and run well. Probably my only gripe is that most of the apps are pay for and not free like they were on the iPhone. So far I have got 2games and Skype, Evernote, Facebook, iBooks, and a poker app.

Everyone is chilling watching tv here with a nice fire on and full bellies things could be worse ehh. I hope everyone has had a good day and this coming year brings us all good health and happiness. Slanthe

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Nearly time for Santa

Well its almost Christmas again, I hope all my avid readers have a very merry one and a great new year of course I shall be sharing my euro lotto millions win with you all, when I win. Just to give you an idea of just how much fun it is here in Derrykyle I took a photo of John which says it all

Actually I have been quite busy, I cooked the ham today with a mustard and honey glaze, made individual trifles as I'm the only person that wanted sherry in mine lol droothy, I also made a cranberry sauce, devils on horseback and parboiled the spuds for roasting. I only have a small cooker in this house so was doing as much as possible today. The menu for Christmas lunch is scallops with blackpudding and apple followed by Gravlax which is a side of salmon that has been marinading in brown sugar, salt, chilli, tequila and the juice of a lemon since yesterday with 12kg of weights on it. Then main is turkey, ham, roast spuds, devils, red cabbage in cranberry sauce, brussel sprouts in bacon and shallots, bread sauce and gravy. Then I made trifle for desert.
After eating that I should imagine John might look like this

Last Christmas the dogs got far too much leftovers and Gus had a wee accident which wasnt nice to find on boxing day with a wee bit of a hangover.

What was that !!!!! thought I heard a sleigh bell in the distance, better got hang my stocking up and hope theres an ipad in it tomorrow ehh.

Friday, December 23, 2011

26C warmer than this time last year

Well last year the country was freezing in minus 14C while today it was about 12C mind you last year it was great dry sunny days and this winter has been windy and wet. Today I cut down a tree that was dead and leaning on another and there are a couple of logs off it on the fire tonight and we exposed more of a huge boulder infront of the house, it had fuchia and various weeds growing over it and it quite a feature now I call it Ularu.

Having a steak on the barbi tonight with new spuds, onions and cauliflower cheese, the weber gas barbi came with us from Sydney and it gets a fair bit of use here as it has a lid and cooks like an oven if required so it doesnt matter if its raining.

Got an electric blanket for the spare bed so my next chore is to strip the bed, wash the bedclothes and put the new blanket on it, I think John may be coming up tomorrow for a few days. We popped in for a beer on the way back from the shops and had a chat with Aodhan the owner. There is music on there a fair bit over the hols and good craic.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

scafold planks

I got 20 good quality scafold planks online for E2.50 each, had to drive across town for them but they will make good garden beds next spring and seating around the garden. If the rain would slack off a bit I would go unload them. The scafolding company that sold me the planks were interested in a website. We will have company for Christmas, John is driving up on Friday and Sheana Russel and Sacha were going to come over on the 28th but that may be off now as he has to be back offshore on the 3rd.

I'm not sure what to do on Hogmanay but the local pub was a good craic last time I went with Mark, if John is still here it would be good to go out, first footing doesnt seem to be the go here.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

New curtains

The glass doors in the hall didnt have curtains so as well as being cold the hall was visible from outside so we invested in some and they look great.
It was a dry sunny day today and cold but that didnt stop the gardening,.

THE world's oldest distillery, Cooley, has been sold to the American bourbon whiskey giant Beam for €73m.Claiming to be the "Worlds Oldest Whiskey Distillery" based on the undisputed fact that a  seven year licence to distil dating from April 20th 1608 is attributed to the distillery. Located near the town of Bushmills in Co. Antrim The distillery has had its "ups and downs" including being destroyed by fire in 1885. It is now currently part of the Irish Distillers Group having been bought in 1972.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

badger poo

Well Jessy tried a new perfume today, Badger Poo if you havent pervailed of this scent before DONT its awful Gawd knows what this particular badger had been eating but one thing for sure it was dead. It meant she had to have a shower under the hose much to her disgust.

The day started with clear blue skies again and a bit of frost but I was talking to my mate Keith in Oughterard and he was saying the frost was severe there so it shows how living close to the coast keeps it warmer. By 1100 there was a change came through with sleety rain it reminded me a bit of a house we had in Lane Cave in Australia that looked south down the river from an elevated position, one day the temps were about 40C then a southerly buster came through and dropped the temps to 20C in a matter of a few mins with strong winds and hail.

"I thought the badger poo was a nice smell"

"Whats that smell"

Friday, December 16, 2011

Home alone

Well Angie is off jetsetting again, she has a couple of people she is interviewing for a job as her offsider, they will be based in England and hopefully it will mean less travelling for her, I think she gets home about midnight Friday night, last weekend it was 0200 before she got home.
 I shall have to get off my bum and get the Subaru commercialized, its due road tax again and costs 2200 Euros a year.

"I'm Descended from the Wolf and am thinking of attacking a human."

"Ahh heres a soft one I'll attack her."

"Quite tasty really"
"I prefer to just lie on my human and stick my tounge out"

 View over the bog today.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Change in the weather

Well instead of gales and rain we have gales and hail this morning  (Monday) :) its been awful weather here and not at all conducive to gardening I'm afraid. I suppose at least I havent got sunburn ehh. I dont mind not seeing anyone all day if  I am busy chopping down trees or ripping out brambles but I must admit to being a bit bored when I'm stuck inside.

Well we braved the elements, togged up in wet weather gear and did a couple of hours hacking and ripping and I feel better for expending that energy. The dogs will maybe be less ancy for a while too as they had a good run around. Gus is giving himself a wash down now and getting bits of brambles out of his tail.

Tuesday now and what a difference a day makes, this morning was sunny and calm and it reminmded me what I saw in this place, the mountains looked awesome with their dusting of snow and the dogs and I spent about 5 hours with the shredder getting a workout. The area down from my patio that used to be all overgrown with fuschia bushes and brambles is now all cleared and I'm thinking of putting a greenhouse down there its on the western side of the house and pretty sheltered by trees but nothing close enough to fall on it.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Huricaine force winds

I gave my Dad a weather station last Christmas and it didnt survive the Huricaine force winds they had yesterday they are also without power for the last 24 hours and the news had this to say "More than 70,000 homes and businesses are still without power in Scotland after hurricane force winds swept through the country. Some residents have been warned it could be Sunday before their power is eventually restored because engineers are being hampered by blizzards and ice."

Here I had very strong gales yesterday and water got in my patio doors and soaked the carpet, it has obviously happened before as the wood below the carpet there has rot in it and the carpet has had a section replaced. I was cosy enough with a big fire going right enough. Tonight is colder and calm and I have hung some Christmas decorations up so it feels the part. Angie gets home around 0200 tomorrow morning so I shall try and stay up till she gets home. Mind you its only 1830 and I dare say by 2200 my eyes will be closing lol.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Cave exposed and a bear returns

Well I was giving the schythe a workout and stepped in a hole up to my waist, was an entrance into a wee cave the back entrance actually as I uncovered a bigger entrance later, the dogs were very interested in the smells in it but I didnt find any bedding or evidence of badgers. I shall do some more schything on Friday as tomorrow looks dreich on the forecast, infact there are more gales on the way tomorrow.

Charity the Bear has reapeared after a respite of a few months, I shall keep hold of her untill January and then she is off on more travels. My aim initially was to have her travel for a year but she has been lost a few times and there arent many photos yet so she will keep going a few months yet before being auctioned on ebay.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Well we got home at about half four this afternoon, left Cairnryan at 0700 and took the new Stena ferry across to Belfast its a nice ship and it was a calm passage. The bed and breakfast place we stayed in (Lake View) was nice and good value but the pillows let it down as a lot of these places do.

There was no snow in Ireland just a bit of the wet stuff and the temps are about 7C.

The budget was just released and its a lot better than I was expecting, the tax rate stays the same at least. Of course with any austerity budget there are a lot of whingers but that is to expected and I didnt hear any alternative ways to pay back the huge loan the country has.

Tomorrow Angie is away to London for a course and she gets back on Saturday so I will be on my tod again, she has had lots of travelling this last few weeks but is getting an offsider in the UK soon so hopefully she wont have to be over there as much.

Gus got a doo at the kennel so is smelling sweet and looks like a showdog, he didnt eat his dinner so I guess he has been eating Jessies as she was starving.
My Dad gave me a scythe so hopefully it will be dry enough to give it a test drive tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

heading home

Well we are in Cairnryan tonight on the way back home the weather has been pretty ordinary this visit to Scotland with gales,rain, sleet then snow but it was well worth the visit and excellent to see my old folks.

Their cat is called Delanach (lightning) but should really be Diabhal as she is a devil for grabbing your sock clad feet and biting them, that will teach me not to pack slippers.

The snow was thickest at Crianlarich on the way South.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The EU crisis

It is a slow day in Carraroe (a wee Irish Village). The rain is beating down and the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit. On this particular day a rich German tourist is driving through the village, stops at the local hotel and lays a $100 note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night. The owner gives him some keys and, as soon as the visitor has walked upstairs, the hotelier grabs the $100 note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher. The butcher takes the $100 note and runs down the street to repay his debt to the pig farmer. The pig farmer takes the $100 note and heads off to pay his bill at the supplier of feed and fuel. The guy at the Farmers' Co-op takes the $100 note and runs to pay his drinks bill at the pub. The publican slips the money along to the local prostitute drinking at the bar, who has also been facing hard times and has had to offer him "services" on credit. The hooker then rushes to the hotel and pays off her room bill to the hotel owner with the $100 . The hotel proprietor then places the $100 note back on the counter so the rich traveller will not suspect anything. At that moment the traveller comes down the stairs, picks up the $100 note, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, pockets the money, and leaves town. No one produced anything. No one earned anything. However, the whole village is now out of debt and looking to the future with a lot more optimism. And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is how the bailout package works. So Hienrick or Hans jump in your wee Audi and we will see you soon.

Its another wintry day here on the island but there is hope as I can see a glimmer of sunlight through the skylight of my bedroom, bit like the EU Crisis really ehh. Anyway I head off back towards Eire tomorrow and shall have to work extra hard to work off all the food my Mom insists on feeding me.

Luing in the wind

Well I'm visiting my parents this week on the Island of Luing, it blew a hooli last night and today had strong winds and wintry showers. A tag from a lobster pot that was swept off the New England sea floor two decades ago during what came to be known as "The Perfect Storm'' has washed up 4,800 kilometres away in Ireland. Oceanographer Curt Ebbesmeyer said the tag's 20-year drift is unusually long for such flotsam. He theorized it was buried in offshore mud before drifting and catching the Gulf Stream toward Ireland in between a few years of circling in a mid-Atlantic current.

The fireworks display in Oban this last week is a YouTube sensation as all the fireworks (that were meant to take 20 mins to go off) went off at once.