Saturday, October 30, 2010

Stomping Donkey

Was out for a walk this morning and a lady stopped me and informed me that donkeys stomp dogs and she made this motion with her leg which was quite scary. First thing I thought about was a title for a new Irish movie "Donkey Stomper" a bit like the movie "Romper Stomper" but with asses instead of skinheads wait a min that's the same thing, eh. 
The river has been netted to stop the leaves getting in the loch which seems a bit strange but they have no postcodes here so strange isn't unusual really.

That last photo of the boat is like a one man fishing dingy, for anti social chaps, and was like a x between a canoe and dingy


I have been doing some paintings this week

Friday, October 29, 2010

Primary School closures

I went to Primary School on a wee island called Luing on the West coast of Scotland  and look how brilliant I turned out, ok maybe that's not a glowing recommendation  but I see that my school is one of 26 facing closure as the council struggles to cut costs. Small schools and small classes where teachers and students know each other well seem to encourage learning. It's much easier to find out how a child learns and what makes them tick academically and in every other way when you can get to know them. Another advantage is that small classes permit more academic ground to be covered. The child is exposed to more information and learns more because they receive more individual attention.

The school on the island is one of the reasons people with small kids choose to live there, without it I think the community would lose some of its population. The existing children would suffer by having to travel over a ferry and four times as far as they do at the moment. I really hope the Scottish Eduction Department reconsider their attempt at saving a few pounds.

We had a gale here on Tuesday night but I think the gales down here aren't as severe as the ones up on the West coast of Scotland it will be fun comparing notes with my Dad later in the year, he keeps a weather diary religiously.

I just paid the road tax on my Subaru and need a slap for importing it, I should have done more research lol its just cost me for 12 months road tax E$ 2100 and that's not a typing mistake !!! I have to keep it for a year before I can sell it too. That's a crazy amount of money. OH well easy come easy go and its certainly easy watching Angie working, much easier than it would be if I had to do summat myself.

I need a joke to cheer me up ok Two Irishmen were working for the city public works department. One would dig a hole and the other would follow behind him and fill the hole in.They worked up one side of the street, then down the other, then moved on to the next street, working furiously all day without rest, one man digging a hole, the other filling it in again.
An onlooker was amazed at their hard work, but couldn't understand what they were doing. So he asked the hole digger, 'I'm impressed by the effort you two are putting in to your work, but I don't get it -- why do you dig a hole, only to have your partner follow behind and fill it up again?'
The hole digger wiped his brow and sighed, ........
'Well, I suppose it probably looks odd because we're normally a three-person team. But today the lad who plants the trees called in sick.'

I need another An Irishman takes his goldfish to the vet and says 'I think my goldfish is epileptic.'

The vet looks and says 'He looks fine to me.'
The Irishman replies 'Hang on, I haven't taken him out of the bowl yet!!'

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Well halloween is just round the corner so I made a pumpkin lamp, hung the skeleton, put batteries in the cackling witch thinging and burnt a load of scary songs to a cd. Now I'm scared to go down to the basement incase Jason or Mike Myers is waiting for me down there. I'm sure I'm missing a kitchen knife.
Some folklorists have detected Halloweens origins in the Roman feast of Pomona, the goddess of fruits and seeds, or in the festival of the dead called Parentalia, it is more typically linked to the Celtic festival of Samhain, whose original spelling was Samuin (pronounced sow-an or sow-in)" The name is derived from Old Irish and means roughly "summer's end". A similar festival was held by the ancient Britons and is known as Calan Gaeaf (pronounced Kálan Gái av).

Snap-Apple Night by Daniel Maclise showing a Halloween party in Blarney, Ireland, in 1832. The young children on the right bob for apples. A couple in the center play a variant, which involves retrieving an apple hanging from a string. The couples at left play divination games.The festival of Samhain celebrates the end of the "lighter half" of the year and beginning of the "darker half", and is sometimes regarded as the "Celtic New Year".
The ancient Celts believed that the border between this world and the Otherworld became thin on Samhain, allowing spirits (both harmless and harmful) to pass through. The family's ancestors were honoured and invited home while harmful spirits were warded off. It is believed that the need to ward off harmful spirits led to the wearing of costumes and masks. Their purpose was to disguise oneself as a harmful spirit and thus avoid harm. In Scotland the spirits were impersonated by young men dressed in white with masked, veiled or blackened faces.Samhain was also a time to take stock of food supplies and slaughter livestock for winter stores. Bonfires played a large part in the festivities. All other fires were doused and each home lit their hearth from the bonfire. The bones of slaughtered livestock were cast into its flames.Sometimes two bonfires would be built side-by-side, and people and their livestock would walk between them as a cleansing ritual.
Another common practice was divination, which often involved the use of food and drink.
The name 'Halloween' and many of its present-day traditions derive from the Old English era.
The word Halloween is first attested in the 16th century and represents a Scottish variant of the fuller All-Hallows-Even ("evening"), that is, the night before All Hallows Day. Up through the early 20th century, the spelling "Hallowe'en" was frequently used, eliding the "v" and shortening the word. Although the phrase All Hallows is found in Old English (ealra hālgena mæssedæg, mass-day of all saints), All-Hallows-Even is itself not attested until 1556.

I'll have apple dunking here and maybe a treacle scone that used to be fun, my folks were always into Halloween and we often won prizes for the best dressed and made up, and none if it was bought masks either. Mum was saying they dont have prizes at the Luing Halloween party anymore which is a shame I think but probably my wee sisters kids were winning all the time lol. she was also telling me she kept photos of Colin and I dressed up as Spanish Dancing Girls thank gawd that one isnt on facebook.

Agghh where did those pictures appear from ? ohh theres my knife hey dude can I get it back?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Roscahill woods

Well Gus got a good walk through Roscahill woods today

And yes he found another swimming hole. There are heaps of tracks through the wood and we met a few other people walking their dogs, notably a couple with two muzzled rotties that wanted to eat Gus. Personally I am not fond of dog breeds that have been bred for their agressiveness but everyone to their own I suppose. Australia was full of macho dogs.

Cong and a circum navigation

Well we drove round Loch Corrib today via Maam Cross and Cong, very nice it was too and a brilliant Autumn day for it.
I think Cong would be the place to have a bed anf breakfast business as I can imagine it being very busy during the season, Ashford Castle and the Cong Monastry are huge drawcards, The majestic monastic remains that adorn Cong today are the relics of a monastery built by the High King of Ireland, Turlach O'Connor in 1120 for the Augustinians. The monastery continued as a site of worship and learning, until it was suppressed in the reign of King Henry VIII. There are some lovely walks through the woods there we followed the river down through the woods to Ashford castle.


I have my pal Lynne and her mate coming for a visit in May / June next year from Canada, and also ML and Di coming from Ohio and Belgium hopefully as well in the Spring so Cong is definately on the cards again, there is a ferry starts running from Oughterard to Ashford Castle in June so that may be a nice day trip.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


A newish sub ran aground at Skye she is 7,800 tonnes, equivalent to nearly 1,000 double-decker buses, and is 328ft long. Powered by nuclear means she will never need refueled unlike my Subaru. Shes called the "Astute" an adjective meaning  Having or showing an ability to accurately assess situations or people and turn this to one's advantage. Maybe a name change is in order, "Aground" has a cute ring. The Polish submarine sank when they forgot to close the screen door.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

slight frost

Well it was a clear night with a full moon or close anyway and it led to a slight frost early this morning, Gus needs more than hoar frost to stop him from swimming infact 3 inch thick ice may have a job,


Well I saw this headline earlier " Gardaí are investigating an incident in which an animal, believed to be a kangaroo, was released onto the dance floor of a hotel in Dublin on Saturday night." and I thought to myself  To be sure, do they not know what a kangeroo looks like ?
Theres a lot fewer leaves on the trees now a sure sign that winter is aproaching and it was black dark when I got up at 0700 this morning, the clocks will go back on the 31st at 0200 so it will be light in the mornings at least. I just put the washing out here and its started to rain lol typical, 5 mins ago it was bright sunshine and we will probably get hail later along with a heat wave and snow.

I have been designing a flier to deliver around the place.

and should write a wee story for the local paper "Once apon a time there was this balding Scottish PC repair man, who after holidaying in Australia for 19 years decided to move to Ireland, or maybe he just got lost cos theres no blinkin postcodes here" How on earth I'm going to manage to run a repair business here I havent a clue the phone will ring "Hello" "to be sure la di oughterard de da computer repair agus Glann road after the cow" Pardon? could you repeat your address please?" Ohh fine it is, after the cow to be sure, jis follow your ear and youll be hearing a big bang that will be the quarry no doubt no doubt" Perhaps I should change my occupation to something I dont need to leave the house to do.

I had a prospective prefered supplier visit on Saturday his name is Fin and he has had a computer business here in Galway since 1986, I wrote him a wee email suggesting a sort of "you scratch my back I'll scratch yours" type deal and he seems keen. we both have the same fast turnaround keeps the client happy ideal and he is into networking and companies and I prefer tuition and home computer repairs so it may well work out. I shall certainly buy new pc's and parts through him at 10% discount.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

clifden and connemara

Trish Archie and Katie have been staying since Friday and we went for a drive out to clifden yesterday via Roundhouse, was a nice run and the day almost stayed dry. I got myself a Bodran and am learning to play it, thankfully there are lots of utube videos on the subject as I wasnt off to the brightest start lol. I made the mistake of adding a bit too much alcahol and playing too loud.
The man who makes the Bodrans down at roundstone has a Ghanian wife and it was her that served me yesterday shes really nice and we had a great old chinwag about living a long way away from our homelands funny to have something in common with a lady from Ghana but there you go.

I got a few nice shots along the way yesterday below are a few.
My business cards arrived today and I shall print out some brochures for a letter drop this week and Gus and I can kill two birds and walk round delivering them.

Friday, October 15, 2010

barbi (may as well)

Well I had barbiqued seafood last Saturday and tonight I think I'll have another barbi seeing its dry and I can. My neighbour was debateing the different ways of barbiqueing he recons the brickettes are the way to go, not for me I love my gas barbi instant controlable heat. He was argueing that there is more taste off the coal ones, I disagree, sometimes you can even taste the petro chems they soak the bricketes in so they light easy. Anyway we had a fight about it and I won, kidding again.
So tonight I have some prawns that I'm going to marinade in garlic, ginger lemon grass and kafir lime then put them on skewers with mango and red / yellow capsicum. A choice of steak or chicken and a couscous, pumpkin, cashew and date salad. Should fill a hole.

It looks like it may be a bonny day tomorow so renting the boat again is on the cards, hopefully 4 adults one teenager and a dog will be ok, Mark next door may like to come too but he was saying he doesnt have much experience with engines so it may be a case of towing a second boat.

Heart specialist

Well I had a meeting with an Irish heart specialist this morning, he checked out my ears, kidding, and I appologise profusely to any Irish people who may have read that, and not got the joke, kidding kidding. Everything was fine, and apart from being a bit overweight he is happy, I suggested he go on a Jenny Craig diet, kidding again, sorry its me thats a bit overweight. I'm just so excited at getting my plates :)
Its like passing the driving licence again. I was passing the NCT office so just thought I'll pop in and see if they got the problem fixed and low and behold they had :) the plate numbers stand for 10 = 2010 model G = Galway 4802 = number of days wait required to obtain plates.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cybil Fawlty down at the NCT office

Well for my sis in laws benifit mostly, as she had a giggle at my last NCT post this is what happened today, I got a call about 1100 saying if I went back into the NCT office I could get my paperwork back and get plates for my car, I think she said her name was Cybil.
Anyway I drove in  and a very nice lassie looked over the car  "do you have PPS number?" yes "do you have the registration from Australia"? yes "do you have a bill of sale, a letter from the VRO, a letter of compliance, a declaration, completed form xyz, a, arrival notice from the container company, a proof of emmissions, a utility bill to prove address, driving licence YES :) ,
 Ok sir we CANT give you the registration today as theres something wrong with the computer and will phone you sometime in the next 10 days when you can traips all the way back in here and pick up the registration paperwork, from there you go to a tax department and pay them and from there to a garage and get plates made up, meantime you can park your car on your front lawn and pretend its a garden ornament. If we were in America she would have said have a nice day but seeing this is Ireland she said "Goodluck" and went home to eat spuds and turnip. It felt a bit like deja vu so it did, but I didnt complain just headbutted the door frame on my way out.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Well I went out with one dog and came back with three, we had our usual ball chassing session and a swim/ walk and were joined by 2 chocolate retrievers, not the smartest dog breed but also magnetized by the BALLY, anyway all was well until we reached the automatic gates they have a sensor which stops them closing until the area is clear, I couldn't get the blinking retrievers to vamoose so put Gus inside the house while they left, of course hes covered in mud and dogs like to shake themselves dry so now the walls in the hall are a nice dappled brown. Normally he gets toweled off before getting to go indoors. Ohh the retrievers pinched his bone as well lol. Joys of dog ownership.

Its been foggy here the last three days clearing to sunny afternoons but yesterday it was almost 1500 before it lifted, I used to hate the fog when I was at sea and we never really got much in Sydney and it would always clear early. One of the first jobs I had after emigrating to Australia was skippering a tourist boat on Lake Burley Griffin  in Canberra, some days it would remain foggy on the lake all day, the boat had a commentary on the way round some days it was , "behind the fog on our Starboard side is a great view of the Parliament house and on our port is the war memorial behind that other fog bank" "I'll stop here while you get photos of the fog"

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

pea soup

Well its 1315 and still foggy, I was hopeing it would lift as theres a nice day hiding behind it. Anyway has not stopped old gus and I again, although he is now pegged out
Reminds me a bit of another dog that will be here in a few weeks  who also has a partiality to my office chair.

I hope the pair of them get on well I can always get another chair. All my dogs have been cuties apart from wee Roory, and he did have that one cute moment when he was recovering from a tumour opperation, ohh and when his tail wagged his whole body did too that was kinda cute, ok he was a cutie too.
I got gifted an iMac at the weekend and have it up and running in the office connected to itunes radio 4U Classic rock channel which has some tracks I havent heard before and a good mix. It took me a wee while to get it connected to my internet router but is working fine now. Ordered some business cards online today and printed out a couple of signs for the local shops, my printer needs yellow ink and I'm sure I packed it but am having problems locating it, (the huge house search is on again). I'd have an apple computer, but I have to have PC's to keep on top of the technology and the repair costs are enormous for apples, the shop in Sydney was charging A$189 an hour where the PC shop was more like A$35. I approached them at one point to ask if they would give me a commision on work I put their way but they just grunted. Maybe I can learn enough fluffing around with this imac to do some repair stuff on them I shall see.

My next chore will be to do a letter drop with company fliers to see if I can drum up some work here, playing host to 8 folks doesnt come cheap lol. Ok I'm off to continue the hunt for printer ink.

Monday, October 11, 2010

blue skies

Well tis a fine day to be sure, the sun is out the sky is blue but Gussy and I arent we are having a ball. So far there as been walking, ball chassing, swiming and some more ball chassing then meeting the other dogs in the square here, then some ball chassing then a lie in the sun and some ball chassing. Ohh and we built a wee lean too to keep the bikes out of the weather.

I had a huge housefull of people this weekend, Inlaws or were they Outlaws its hard to remember through all the grog induced haze lol, anyway it was lovely to play the host and they were all raving about the hospitality so I guess we did something right. Had 8 for dinner two nights and 7 slept over.

I hope the weather is like this this weekend as Trish and Alan and their wee girl, who could quite easy be 30 yrs old time passes that fast, are coming to stay. I'll need a trailer to take all the bottles to the recycler at this rate. Ok back to the washing while the suns out :)

Friday, October 8, 2010

VRO, Gas fittings and the like.

Welllllllllllllll, my neighbour Mark and I went into Galway to sort out my car rego, I needed support lol. It was all going well initially I picked up the letter from the VRO that should have been posted weeks ago so was all prepared for the VRT inspection booked in for 1545.
Meantime with some time to waste we went looking for a gas fitting for my barbi as the Irish gas bottles are a different fitting, we visited numerous places and some salesmen that had me buying 50 Euro fittings then hacksawing them and using jubilee clips? anyway the last place we went to the guy (whos shop was closing down )swore blind he had nothing that would do the job but he was holding this adapter in his hand and screwed it onto my gas line, I asked him what was in his hand and he said "an adapter" I asked "can i buy it" ? he said "to be sure" it was weirder than something out of fawlty towers, then he commented about my lack of hair so I wished him the best of luck in his new employment.

It was now time for the VRT so I rolled up with all the paperwork and a very nice lassie looked over the car and told me I could be liable to pay VAT on it "you are ( I almost said feckin at this point) kidding me" I paid over 3000A$ in GST which is same as VAT when I bought it, anyway she had made a mistake so I stopped sweating and we got back to the paperwork, "do you have PPS number?" yes "do you have the registration from Australia"? yes "do you have a bill of sale, a letter from the VRO, a letter of compliance, a declaration, completed form xyz, a, arrival notice from the container company, a proof of emmissions, a utility bill to prove address, driving licence YES :) , ok sir we cant give you the registration today and will phone you sometime in the next 10 days when you can traips all the way back in here and pick up the registration paperwork, from there you go to a tax department and pay them and from there to a garage and get plates made up, meantime you can park your car on your front lawn and pretend its a garden ornament. If we were in America she would have said have a nice day but seeing this is Ireland she said "Goodluck" and went home to eat spuds and turnip.

Apart from that it was a nice day out in Galway.

Monday, October 4, 2010

more photos from Inchagoil

Its quite a magical place, especially when there was no one else on the island, add 350 screaming wains and it may well lose some of that. in the middle photo theres a wee fire pit and barbique area. Angies sister Sheena is off to Australia in four days so i'm trying to organise how to get her dog here, hopefully Russel can get to the Stranrae ferry and we can pick them up at Belfast. I really like having a dog companion and hope he settles in here ok. I plan to take him to dog training in Galway on a Tuesday night and when Jessy arrives it would be great if I can talk Angie into taking her at the same time, Jessy got to level three in Sydney but no doubt she has forgotten a lot.

Just had the fuel oil tanker fill up the central heating tank here so at least I shant have to worry about my wallet being to heavy to carry for a while, it was a choice fill up the tank or buy a small plane. My car is still a garden ornament I still havent recieved the letter from the VRO so I cant drive it yet. Probably the letter is in Tipperary and they wont answer my calls to chase it up lol. Pretty soon I'm just going to make up my own plates and stick them on the car "ROBBOS" might be the go.