Monday, January 30, 2012

Day session

Well I had a good day out yesterday went over to Marks to borrow some dvd,s we had a few beers at Spiddal in a couple of pubs while Angie did some shopping and swam the dogs, then we headed back towards Casla stopping for a wee at every pub on the way, Angie dropped us off at Carraroe and we had a few more till 8 pm when we went back to Derrykyle and she fed us curry and we fell asleep on the couches. Woke up at 0130 and went to bed. Cooked breakfast this morning and drove back to Marks and gave the dogs a swim again on Spiddal beach now I'm off to watch "tinker tailer soldier spy" and the "girl with the dragon tattoo" have a cuppa and put the fire on.

And the sun came out wooohoo.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Wintry day

Well there were clear spells overnight and the temp dropped so today is scattered with wintery showers and it's about 7c cooler. I put up a bamboo baracade to stop the dogs walking over plants on the slope outside the patio as they were flattened.

I finished typing out the translation for the advert so will have to get in touch with the local Gaelic paper and get it out there. I shall have to drive round and deliver fliers to all the bed and breakfast places, maybe have the Gaelic on one side and English on the other.

There's a wee free app called iTunesu which has open university material for free so I had a keek at that as they have a course on entrepreneurship and the like. SWOT is code for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opertunities and Threats and you put all your ideas through it to gauge if an idea could be rewarding. When I was in high school we used to say we were swotting when we were studying for exams.

Ohh thats my new letter header.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Bard

Well if he was still alive he would be 253 years old today, and a huge tourist attraction but unfortunately he isnt, I'm talking of course about Scotlands favourite son Robbie Burns. I'm a bit of a poet myself not that youd know it. Ok less groaning up the back there and sit up straight.

I would quite happily have haggis neaps and tatties for dinner but a. cant get haggis here b. Angie would whinge so I shall just make mince neaps and tatties and have a wee dram and toast the mince. My favorite Burns poem is about a mouse whos nest was exposed by a farmer ploughing his feild the first verse goes,
Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty
Wi bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
Wi' murdering pattle.

My Korean friend Andrew who I havent heard from in years would translate this as

Creeping, cowering, afraid animal,
Why are you panicking,
You dont need to run away,
as I wouldnt chase you,
and utter murderous comments.

It doesnt have the same ring ehh.
According to my weather station we have had 4.2 mm rain overnight and 26.1 mm since I installed the machine on the 15th. Its not unheard of to have 10mm rain in an hour in the tropics but my 26.1 mm seems to have taken 10 days of drizzle.

Today I shall do some more ceiling crack filling, listen to some loud music and recite dirges to myself in an attempt to ward off boredom.

signs that spring is coming

Snowdrops among the trees

The Camilia is starting to bloom and I have a couple of huge Hydrangeas that are about the same size one is blue the other pink.

I got my pal Keith,s wife Marett to translate an advert for website design into Gaelic for me, sort of "you need a website cos la de da" it's about 5 paragraphs long and she hand wrote it, I,m having to type it out and a lot of the Gaelic has accents over vowels so you have to go to special characters in the menu and it's taking me ages to do. I,m finding it hard to get motivated this year probably because the house sale is taking so long and I,m not sure if we will be here if it collapses. The like of getting cards printed with the new address is all expense anyway what will be will be.

I have about half a trailers worth of peat left which is good as the whole trailer only cost 40 euros and it's been over three months since I got it. The shed with the peat in it has a load of rubbish in it that I need to dispose of so I can put the bikes in there so that's another job I,m delaying till I own it. The shed will need a new door and also a lock on the other door if I have the bikes stored there, I have been chatting with the local shop owner and he will let me leave two bikes outside his place with an advert. I,m hoping my Mom and Dad get across for her birthday in April and we may have a visit from sheana in February. There was a boat left here by the owners which would be fine for fishing out of come the summer and it will take a 6 hp engine if I can get my hands on a second hand one. It will also make a handy tender for the yacht.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

ICD checkup

Well I was in Galway today for an ICD checkup at the university college hospital and instead of charging over 100 euro it was free which is always nice, they also registered me with a cardiologist in there who is free and the instal of a new battery is also free so that takes a weight of my mind as I wasn't sure how to get it replaced and how much it would cost.

It was a dry day here and I had a ball shopping in the supermarket with all the variety and stuff I can't get here in Conemmara. Tonight I,ll cook smoked cod on a bed of mashed pumpkin with baby chargrilled veg for a change. The dogs just had half hours frantic exercise as I cut 4 ft all round the dogwood bush near the pond and they are flat out recovering, Angie worked from home today and babysat them while I was out at the hospital which was better than them having to sit in the car for ages. She had a 50 euro gift card for tescos supermarket which I didn't take long spending.

It's almost half past 5 before its dark now and every week sees a difference in the length of the days, it feels like it has been a long winter with all the rain and wind we have had this year, last year was sunny and freezing but I much preferred that.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Scotland vs Ireland

I,m going over to Dublin on 10 th of march with mark to see Scotland vs Ireland at Aviva stadium which I haven't been to before so am excited about that, will take the bus over there and stay the night, boys day out woohoo. I have toothache today which is a pain litteraly, I have a wisdom tooth that needs taking out and two fillings needing done.
It was dry today but I didn't do much outside just mulched some branches and stacked some firewood, tomorrow also looks ok on the forecast so I shall take 4 ft off a dogwood bush all round as it has also gone and spread over a path things are starting to grow here and I have snowdrops and a Camilla flowering, the camilla bush is about 18ft tall by the same round and will be a tremendous show of flowers. Roll on Springtime.
Ohh I forgot I have an appointment to get my ticker checked in Galway tomorrow so he dogwood will have to wait.

It's been 5 and a half years since my heart attack and subsequent episodes and the battery in my device will need changed in the next year or so, hopefully tomorrows meeting will give me an idea if the cost will be covered as if it's not I,m not sure what to do, the medical insurance has it as an existing condition so they won't come to the party, I may have to pretend I,m living on luing and register with the dr there or something anyway what will be will be.

Monday is the Chinese new year this is the year of the dragon, In Sung dynasty manuscripts, the dragon is described as having the “head of an ox or donkey, eyes of a shrimp, horns of a deer, body of a serpent covered with fish scales, and a feet of a phoenix,” and it usually clutches a pearl symbolic of its supernatural powers bit like my stag head then ehh. Anyway the year of the dragon is going to be a good one I can tell these things.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Well now I have turned 50 I think I,m turning into a twitcher, don't worry Mom it's not a medical thing just I have started watching birds today's discovery was a reed bunting and a great tit, I got an app for the iPad with all the birds in Britain and Ireland and take a photo of the bird and refer to the program to ident it. Gone are the days of fast cars and faster women ehh lol.

John has headed back down to Waterford after his workout in the gardens here, was great to have the help and company this week.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Busy few days

Well John and I have had a busy three days, he is fast asleep on the couch as I type. We took down a tree the was over the driveway, the one I mentioned last post, it fell perfectly into the car parking spot on the roadside of the front wall exactly were I was aiming for and we mulched the branches, made a seat out of part of the main log and cut the rest up for firewood. We have also dug a drain, put up a fence to let some grass have some peace from dogs it was getting very muddy, cleaned out more of the pond and severely pruned the bushes round it, and chopped up another 3 wind blown trees. Doesn't sound much but we spent hours.

There were 5 fishermen lost here when their boat hit rocks Off west Cork, one was his first trip. The Adan and Eve rocks they hit we're only minutes away from the wharf which somehow makes it feel worse. Reminds me of one of our worst maritime disasters, the Iolaire was carrying sailors who had fought in the First World War back to the Scottish island of Lewis. She left the port of Kyle of Lochalsh on the mainland late on the evening of the 31 December 1918. But, at 2:30am on New Year's Day, as the ship approached the port of Stornoway, a few yards offshore and a mile away from the safety of Stornoway Harbour, she hit the infamous rocks "The Beasts of Holm", and eventually sank. The final death toll was officially put at 205, of whom 181 were islanders, but as the ship was badly overcrowded and there was a lack of proper records the death toll could have been slightly higher. Apparently the folks waiting on the wharf could see the ships lights when she grounded.

Monday, January 16, 2012

50 years old

Well I made it to 50 :) and just to prove that I'm really grown up and sensible I mounted the stag/boot/ dog head thingy in the garden behind a rock outcrop near the cave.

You have to be 50 or 5 to appreciate it fully so I shall understand if it doesnt get rave reviews and make it into Modern Art of the year awards.  Angie gave me a weather forecast station for my birthday and I have mounted it as well, Dad had the same one and his disintegrated in the storms this winter so mine has been adapted for quick release if I have winds over 100 mph I shall take it indoors untill the weather passes mind you we are in the tropics in comparison to Luing so it will probably be fine, also the trees round about shelter us here, if they start falling around maybe thats the time to move it.

Hopefully John is coming up this week and we shall cut down some more trees, I have a huge limb over the drive at the gate which is in the way of high loads like my boat getting in so it has to go and her Ladyship didnt have any problems with me removing it, when it is felled it will go over part of the road so I will need at least one other person to stop cars etc and help me clear the road quickly.

Thanks everyone for the birthday wishes and cards etc.

Friday, January 13, 2012

my newest project

I know it looks like a cross between a dog a stag and a boot but hey I'm a ship master by trade. I have plans to make a totem pole out of a tree and plant it somewhere, maybe I shall nail the stag/boot head thing to the top of it.

Lady Harington ( the house owner) visited today and was impressed at all my gardening and quirky seats I have all over the place now. Hopefully the house will be ours by mid February, I was going to ask is that 2012 or 2013 but held my toungue. I'm 50 on Sunday wooohoo but it looks as if it will be a quiet one as noone is visiting, I was hoping John and Sheena may have been here and maybe Mark would come over but they are all busy.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bonny day

Well the weather took a turn for the better for a few hours so I had a wee bonfire of some branches I had cleared, 6 months of fine weather could see me manage to have enough bonfires to clear all the piles of debris I have accumulated lol. Lady Harrington is coming to check out the garden with her Gardner I suppose the place is still hers so I didn't have a problem, I hope she isn't shocked by the transformation as I have been pretty ruthless ripping dead bushes out and parts of the place look like a bomb has struck.

Lots of buds appearing on plants and a few primroses have popped up, hopefully there won't be a cold snap. Angie is away to Wales with work so I have the place to myself tonight and I won't have to watch Piorot infact I think there's rugby and darts on.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Well I had to go to the dentists today, had to get a filling and a wisdom tooth has to come out :( apparently they don't do anything bit like an Irish council road worker then. Angie recons the dentist bill will be my birthday present nice of her ehh. Other parts of the body that don't seem to do much are the intrinsically ear muscles, Male nipples, The appendix, Plantaris muscle in the foot, The coccyx and sinuses.

There is a chance tomorrow may be dry but I shall wait and see, this afternoon I repaired some cracks in ceilings in one of the bathrooms and the porch, they will need sanding and painting the next wet day I get.

Tonight's dinner is lamb roulade and potatoe gratin and pan boiled veg, don't you just hate those poncy food terms.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

RTE news now

I,m sitting here watching channel 5 on Irish tv free to air, the show is called Morning Ireland, I know cos there is a paper banner bluetacked on the wall behind the headphone clad presenter. It's a really strange show which looks like its made on a primary school kids pocket money, the camera shots are all from the one place in a ceiling corner in a small room with one circular table, like with a webcam. Anyway the weirdest thing is they will all just stop talking and there will be silence? This can last up to 5 mins, the first time I was looking around for the remote and had unplugged and replugged the sound system back in. Then a wee light will flash on on their table and off they go again. They all have HUGE headphones on and mics the size of a table lamp with bright blue foam rubber baubles. It's really annoying so I am turning over channels to "what not to wear" see if I can get some hints with what to wear.

Its blowing a gale here again and hail showers are gracing us with their presence this morning. The news had lots of trees down and electricity off for lots of the West of the country but we seem to have survived intact. I shall have to ring my parents as they normally get the same or higher winds as we get here only a few hours later.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Well this is my first post of the new year and the best thing is no hangover today this is probably the most chirpy I have been on New Years morning ever, well apart from 2002 when I was rolling around Bass Straight on a tugboat.

New years resolutions this year are to lose some weight and get my business up and running. I have a load of other things to do but they aren't really in the resolutions basket. I,m thinking of going to school to do an Irish course as its really the predominant language here.

It's not a bad morning here with sunny intervals and Gus is looking longingly out over the bog to the river, he is obsessed with water. I have to carve a deers head out of wood to mount a pair of antlers on, so I,m debating the best way to do it and I picked up a couple of round stones yesterday at the beach so am going to paint them like animals, maybe a mouse and a hedgehog.

Today we have prawns as a starter and roast beef with the trimmings for dinner.