Sunday, 23 April 2017

A Day Out On The Slea Head.

We went to Dingle on Friday afternoon in County Kerry, Ireland.  It was its usual bustling tourist spot.  It reminds me of Cornwall but yet it's still got its own unique feel about it.  We heard many different accents (English, Irish, German, American) and an elderly American lady came in the chip shop ("chipper") and asked if they sold 'fresh' fish.  I treated the missus, number two son and myself to a bag of chips each.  Well you have to splash out sometimes.   

We then went for a drive along the incredible Slea Head Drive.  The scenery is stunning and it's been used in films like: 'Far and Away' and 'Ryan's Daughter'.  

We saw lots of quaint cottages, holiday bungalows, ancient Beehive huts and stopped at The Slea Head Famine Cottages.  See pictures below.

 Beehive Hut.  These ancient dry stone walls structures are round like a bee hive and used from ancient times to 1200 AD.  
 A Thatched farm house.
 A cement mixer having a day off and looking at the stunning scenery.
 The Beehive Hut in the background.  Brambles are busy camouflaging this building.
 A mannequin farmers wife. 
 Same house/picture.  From a distance.
 The stable for the donkey and cattle.

Ancient treadle powered sewing machine

Ireland is an incredible beautiful country.  The Dingle Peninsula is the most Western point of Europe.  If you ever want to see some incredible beautiful scenery.  I would recommend you visit Ireland.  

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Two Fish Plates Bought At A Car Boot Sale.

We saw these two wonderful fish plates at a car boot sale the other week.  They have Johnson Bros stamped on the back of them.  I think they were made in the nineteen sixties.  I Googled them and found that they were a Staffordshire pottery and went out of business in 2003, resulting in the loss of a thousands jobs and production went to China.  

If you look carefully you will notice they have holes drilled through the plates.  Me (we) think they are cake stand plates and we need to buy a metal doings, thingamajig metal holder for them.  Do you like them?

I paid 15 Euros for them both.   I have seen one on it's own for Forty Euros on Ebay.  Not a bad mornings work/ shop around the car boot sales.  

I particularly like the Perch.  It takes me back to my Coarse Fishing days when I was much younger than today.  Don't think I will sell them.  We are turning into Wombles/ Hoarders.  Perhaps you will see us one day on that programme on Channel Four?

The weather is still fantastic here and the potatoes are pushing their shoots through the soil every day and I am using my trusty Azada (hoe) to cover them up with soil.  I am also busy weeding everywhere at the moment.  

Hope you are all well and enjoying the sunshine.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Chris De Burgh At Killarney INEC.

We went over the to Killarney on Saturday to see the legend that is Chris De Burgh at the INEC.

Up in the gods looking at my wifes hero.  I like him myself especially when he sings his hits.  He's very articulate and incredibly talented like his amazing backing band.  The lead guitarist (Neil Taylor) made his guitar cry, laugh and sing.  He's one of the best guitarists I have ever seen, honest.  The keyboard player and the drummer and bassist were superb too.

Some pictures taken from the mobile phone.  Chris De Burgh is a superb show man and "Border Line" was so appropiate for the time we live in.  I stood up at the end of the song and gave him my own standing ovation.  He's playing Blighty this week.  If you get the chance go and see him.  It's great to see somebody who makes songs and stories come to life and still believe in Jesus on this Easter weekend.  Thanks Chris De Burgh you made our weekend.  "High On Emotion" was another cracker.  My next rock gig will be Kansas in July.  Have you seen a live band lately?

Monday, 10 April 2017

The Last Of My Algarve Photographs. Honest!

I think we brought the nice weather back with us to Ireland.  The last three photographs you will be glad I bet?

Amazing sand sculpture in Armacao De Pera.
A real cart on a roof and the donkey is a photograph.  
Donkey and cart and people driving passed a petrol station.  Wouldn't it be great if we went back to horse (donkey) and carts?  

We also saw a donkey and cart full of grass that looked like Italian Alfalfa grass.  I didn't have my mobile phone at hand to take the picture because we happened to be riding a long in a taxi at the time.  I said to the taxi driver lady with the lovely painted finger nails (dark blue with diamonds):

"Are they gypsies?"

She replied:

"Si they are gypsies."  

Hope you enjoyed the photographs?  Have you any holiday plans?

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Even More Photographs From The Algarve.

I hope you are not getting bored with our holiday pics?  There is  or was nothing worse than when somebody would show you their "holiday" pictures.  It would go something like the following:

"This was Mrs Jones who shared the same table at the boarding house every breakfast.  Her husband liked his bacon well done.  This picture is their son Jonathon.  Says he's going to be a test pilot for Airfix...."

Yawn!  Sorry for my attempt at humour.  

Do you remember when you use to go to Boots the chemists and drop your film off to be developed?  Three or four days later, you would pay the chemist ("anything for the weekend sir/madam?") and immediately open the folder with your new photographs.   You eagerly paid for 22 blurred photographs and 6 good pictures of your finger tips.  The good old days hey?

Wait Dave.  Wasn't it you who bought a Digital Camera in Argos in Killarney and asked the girl on the till: "What film does it take?"  

Time for some more pics:

The Billionaires/Millionaires model boat lake called Vilamoura Marina.  There was no recession here.  I thought I would see Simon Lebon or Wayne Rooney on one of the yachts.  Didn't see any bikini clad pop stars like Mel B sun bathing either, sadly.  Must keep buying a Euro Millions ticket.  
Elvis the Sailor Man?  Well, that's what  he looked  like to me.
I was sat drinking a large glass of Sagres reading this sign.  We weren't missing Ireland or England or any where else.  Well maybe my faithful tripe hound/ Jack Russell Fido.  

Friday, 7 April 2017

More Pictures From The Algarve.

That translates to Menu Of The Day.  The two lads chose this in the Algarve Shopping Centre on Sunday.  There are lots of high street stores and we even went in good old C & A.  It must be twenty or thirty years since I last went in one of their stores in Manchester.  Their clothes prices seemed reasonable too.

 Drinks at the hotel; wine, cider, lager (cerveja) and an amazing local brandy called: Brandy Mel.  I brought a couple of bottles back with me.  It was only a Euro and twenty five for a beer and two Euros twenty for the brandy.  Don't we get ripped off in Ireland and Britain?
 A statue of the famous chicken peri peri. in Guia.  Guess who sampled the sauce?  Portugal should put a rocket into space.  They have invented the fuel.
 Oranges for sale at the side of the road.  A Euro a bag.  Number one son walking a head of us oldies on our way to the Algarve Shopping Centre.

Albufeira beach Sunday afternoon.  Absolute scorchio and God was in his Heaven.  Albufeira was far from quiet and it was full of tourists and the Portuguese locals in the town.  But we captured these photographs on the beach and it appears deserted but it wasn't.

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Potatoes Growing and Azadas Having a Rest In The Algarve.

Some more pictures from the sunny Algarve.

Potatoes about a foot high.  I reckon they are eight weeks growth in front of us.  It's eight degrees in Ireland this morning.  It was 24 Degrees at the beach in Portugal on Sunday afternoon.
The council workers had just laid their Azadas down for a rest in Quarteira last Wednesday.  They were busy weeding out Ice plants.  Plants that you would love to grow in your garden back home.  One Azada is heavy and one is light.  You can buy the heads in hardware shops for 5 and 8 Euros.   Perhaps I should start importing them? I paid 28 Euros for my "Crocodile" Azada.  Chillington tools make them in dear old Blighty.  Why do they never say England on the news any more?  It's always:  "The UK".  

Must do some weeding with my Azada today.  Have you planted or sown anything yet?  It's still very cold here and we have only planted spudatoes and onions so far.

More Algarve photos tomorrow.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

A Week Away In The Algarve.

Things have been quiet here in Ireland because we went to Southern Portugal for a week in the sunny Algarve.  Great weather, food, drink and a family holiday was enjoyed by all. It was so to good to get away from our cold and damp Ireland.

In a town away from the Algarve coast. We noticed Sprouts growing in a border next to a drive.  I have never seen them grown like this before.  I know they like compact soil and not a lot of nitrogen or else they blow.  Have you ever grown them like this? 

A lovely display of plant pots.  Just shows you don't need a big garden to enjoy your flowers.

We came back to Ireland and mizzle like rain and we are wearing jumpers and I lit the range yesterday.  It's dry today and perhaps we will get a summer like sunny Portugal this year.  Hope you're all OK and will post more Algarve photos and catch up with blogs I follow over the next few days.  

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

A Cardboard Box Of Seed Potatoes And A Couple of Bags Of Onions.

Did you plant your seed potatoes on St Patrick's Day?   No we didn't either.  It's the first time in twenty plus years of growing vegetables that I couldn't get on the land to plant them.  I honestly think climate change is playing a big part in giving us milder and wetter winters.  Saying that there was sleet yesterday.  March is an exceptionally cold month this year.  There is nothing you can do, you just have to wait.

What seed potatoes are you planting this year.  We are growing 'Home Guard'.  They were first bred during the Second World War and are named after the Dad's Army "Local Defence Volunteers".  They are a first early.  Why are our new  potatoes always ready to harvest when it's too hot to eat them?  

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

A Des Res In The Country?

I found this postcard in the cupboard/press the other day.  Rural Ireland and parts of Europe have lots of such properties.  Properties for sale for under 50000 Euros.  I saw a ruin on the Internet in the Algarve for 16000 Euros the other day.  In Ireland I saw a cottage with an acre of land for 25000 Euros.

Could you live in a caravan and renovate such a property?  I think I could if it was somewhere warm like Portugal.  Or would you just buy somewhere already renovated?  My dream would be somewhere with a little fishing pond.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Characters That Make You Smile.

I saw this wonderful photograph in a shop window in Killarney last weekend.  The man in the photograph looks like a farmer who had gone to town on it's Fair Day.  We have our Fair Day (Bantry, today) on the first Friday of the month.  In Ireland it was the day when farmers walked their cattle to the town square to sell them.  Pigs and sheep were also sold this way.  

The man in the photograph reminds me of when I got my first allotment in England.  I use to load up Netto (dear old Netto) with carrier bags of our freshly harvested onions, potatoes, cabbage, carrots etc.  I would sway down the road with the bags nearly getting stuck in the spokes of the wheel.  

Did you ever move house with a bicycle or a supermarket shopping trolley?  Or do you carry things home on your push iron?  Go on lets have a laugh and a joke.

Friday, 24 February 2017

Tight Wad Polytunnel Gardening When It's Raining Outside.

The old vegetable plot is too wet to work at the moment.  So I decided to grow some vegetables in the poly tunnel instead.    I remember a bloke years a go telling me how his incredible harvest of spudatoes on his allotment  had been grown from potato peelings.  I think I called him: Tommy Hyberbole.    Anyway I decided the other day to have a go at my own kind of tightwad gardening;

Navan potatoes.  I made chunks though instead of potato peelings.

The potato chunks are in the little trays.  I made a new raised bed for the grand total of nothing and planted garlic (supermarket bought) and the root of two red onions.  I found a few broken plastic plant pots and plastic bags in my compost heap.  Perhaps we should go back to clay plant  pots?
We went to Lidl on Wednesday and bought some cheap vegetable seeds.  Now all we have to do is sow the carrots, onions and peas.  There is a lot to be said for a poly tunnel when it's too wet outside.  What are you up to on your vegetable plot?

Thursday, 16 February 2017

Money Up Front.

Years a go we would either come here to Ireland or go to Scarborough for our holidays.  When we went to Scarborough we would stay in the North bay side.  My mother said it was much posher than the South bay.  We would get off the coach and walk around looking for digs for the week.  Sometimes though my mum booked it before we left home.  We would get bed and breakfast and evening meal with 'Colour TV' and 'Coffee Making' facilities.  The following Saturday my dad would say to the landlord:

"What's the damage?"  

Then he would settle up for our weeks food and accommodation.  We were never expected to pay a penny until the morning of our departure.  Nowadays if you book an holiday, especially overseas.  They expect you to pay for the flight, taxi transfer and your accommodation up front before you even leave your own town.

There are some holiday booking sites that let you ("No prepayment needed") pay on arrival.  Do you think you should have to pay your money up front?  Why do no frills air lines never give you a complimentary drink or give kids a packet of crisps?  What's your worst holiday experience?  Was it a dive?  Did the other holiday makers keep you awake all night laughing and getting drunk?

Monday, 13 February 2017

A Chance Meeting On One Of My Hikes. .

I went for another one of my walks the other day.  I actually spoke to two people for once.  Of course the passing drivers all waved.  Do you remember Mick Dundee in the brilliant Crocodile Dundee film saying "hello" or "G'day"to everybody he met in New York city?

Any way I was walking near one of our beaches and I saw man gathering up plastic flotsam and jetsam and I helped him collect the rubbish for a few minutes.  We talked for a while and I said there should be litter bins and he said the councils won't provide them because people would fill them with household rubbish/litter.  They still drop litter though.

He says he wants to form a group for our peninsula and he was a member of the Green Party.  I said the council/government should create rural jobs and he agreed but he said they won't.  Unfortunately we never passed on our contact information.  

I hope we meet again and in our own small way we can make a difference to tidying up our little planet.  John Seymour said: "I am only one person."  He was right.  But if we all leave the world like we would like to find it.  Rachel and Heron both said on this blog a couple of posts back that they pick up other folks rubbish and take it home with them.  Perhaps if we don't, nobody will?

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

A Saunter At Gougane Barra.

I think we are getting old.  On Sunday morning. Number one son went repairing some livestock fencing for some body he knows and number 2 son went into town to see his pals. He didn't want to spend his sixteenth birthday with his parents.  

They didn't want a trip out with their parents to Gougane Barra Forest Park.  So it was just my wife, Fido our trusty terrier and tripe hound  and myself who drove to the sixteen miles to the forest park.  

Fido is fifteen now so we couldn't walk very far.  So we walked for twenty minutes or so in one direction and then turned around and walked back to the car.  We took photographs of some of the things we saw on the walk.  It was good to have company on a walk for a change.  My wife says she likes to walk on the flat and 'my' walks always become hikes.  The walk was on tarmac and it was a good way to spend a Sunday morning.

 Thatched WC.
 St Fin Barr's Oratory.   A picturesque place to get married.  
 There's snow on them there mountains.
 The walking routes 
 No Dogs Allowed.

 A moss covered ancient dry stone wall.
 Some of the fallen trees from when Storm Darwin visited West Cork.

 A fungi in February.  Anybody know what it is?
The lake and oratory from another angle.