Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Winter wonderland

Woke this morning early Angie got out of bed and let the dog into the bedroom where he promptly jumped on me. Now Gus has rules and limitations as he is in training to be the best dog in the world, anyway at the bottom of the stairs there is a gate which is closed when we go to bed and he stays downstairs at night. He had opened the gate and was lying outside the bedroom door. Angie heard this noise thought it was him and got up and he got in, well he didn’t get his usual morning welcome as he hadn’t been invited upstairs and he tried hiding under the bed, if I had let the dog stay up then tomorrow morning at 0400 he would have been scraping at the door so he got a slipper thrown at him under the bed and he went tail between the legs downstairs. Anyway tried going back to sleep and there was this scraping noise again, I got up a wee bit annoyed as I thought it was him at the door but it wasn’t he was downstairs so I went down and let him out to the toilet anyway then went back to bed, about 5 mins later the scratching started again but it must be an animal of some description stuck in the wall cavity maybe a moose, its quite large and maybe has its horns stuck.

Got up and it started snowing Smile so here are some photos from our wee excursion this morning


One of the neighbours houses, they have a really loud dog which barks as soon as it sees us going for a walk, I have tried different ways to quieten it to no avail.




Our house with Gus’s playing field in front.









The back veranda. Looks good for a barbi.

First job

Well I have my first job tomorrow at 1400 I feel all nervous lol. I had a lot of trouble understanding what the heck the guy who booked me was saying but I think he has two computers a pc and a laptop and they are connected wifi to a modem. The PC started this morning but now has no lights showing and no display, the monitor displays “no signal” which means its ok so its probably an unplugged computer or a dicky power supply. Ohh and the computer is Swedish and operating system is in Swedish, normally I would have talked him through checking cables and how to change the language over the phone but I’m desperate for some income.

Its freezing here hasn’t got above 0 Degrees today, mind you I had a look on the internet to see what weather Inverness was getting and they have minus twelve with a high of minus 4 and the A9 North is closed due to snow. We are meant to have really cold weather all week and I hope its not bad next week as I have to drive to London to pick Jessy up.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cold snap

Well we have had a cold weekend here but no whining as it was dry and sunny. Went for a decent walk yesterday and collected holly and sticks for bows and arrows. I noticed when we have been walking in the woods lately how many nice straight sticks there are around but the woods had a mountain bike event on this weekend so we went to a different place for our walk. I showed Sacha how to make a bow and arrows and he also made a mosaic cat, I think I have competition.











It was sub zero but Gus had his swim regardless.







I went and had a look at this boat on Saturday before we picked Sheena up, I am looking for a trailer boat that I can use in the shallow waters of the loch to go exploring I’d have loved a yacht that a night or two could be spent on. 1st option was a Loch Corrib fishing boat which is an open 19ft dingy they are a good size for the chop on the loch and most have a 6 or 8 hp engine and are fiberglass clinker effect. A good one is about 4k.

imagesCAP69A19Anyway I saw this boat, She's 26ft trailer boat with 6 ft. standing room inside. Now George will hate this boat as she is also a speedboat, lose the water ballast lift the centerboard and rudders and she does >20 knts under power. The boat is flat bottomed so can be beached and the mast is really easily lowered / raised. Also because she is light she trailers better than any other boat in her size range. There's loads of accommodation and an enclosed head. Good sails including a self furling headsail and a 50 hp Tohatsu outboard. I don’t want a sailboat I have to leave moored down at the coast as I’d be worried about her in blows and I probably wouldn’t get a lot of use from her but if this one is in my yard look out Loch Corrib and the Aran Isles and maybe even a drive to Port Rush and a quick hop across to Islay and up the sound of Jura.



Saturday, November 27, 2010

Stone age Tortoise


I didn’t have my camera with me this morning as I was just doing the same walk as usual, bad mistake there were photos all over the place and I had to use the phone camera, so sorry for the quality of the shots. This is a tortoise carved by stone age man or a subtle ploy to attract tourism to the village by me.



This is another stone age carving this time of an earless lion done by Roibeard OFlathery or another ploy. I wonder if people entering “Stone age” into google will find this blog lol, my readership could shoot up. Also Robert Farty could become a cult hero.







There are hardly any boats left afloat in the river they have either sunk or been pulled ashore. I’d like to get hold of a second hand Orkney long liner before next spring I was hoping prices would be low this time of year but haven’t seen any real bargains yet.IMG_0106

This one reminded me of a tree we used to swing on at primary school when the weather was good enough to get out at lunchtime. I will have to check and see if any petition to keep the Luing primary school open is in existence or any plans for one.


I made Mum up a diary with photos I have taken of this area through a company  called photobox who have an online diary creation page. It was pretty easy to transfer the photos and it has a photo per week for the year.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


My neighbour, Eoan was chatting to me over the fence and mentioned that he had been watching Waxwings eating berries off a tree in front of the houses, he had never seen them before in this part of Ireland and when I checked on the internet their distribution is on the below map



The birds come from Scandinavia and Eoan is convinced its because a bad winter is on its way, that we are seeing them here,  I think its because we are going to have a great dry sunny winter with hardly any gales or rain, but I’m an optimist. Parts of Northern England and Eastern Scotland are under snow today and it looks like its going to be cold for next few days




Map picture


The waxwing is a plump bird, which is slightly smaller than a starling. It has a prominent crest. It is reddish-brown with a black throat, a small black mask round its eye, yellow and white in the wings and a yellow-tipped tail. It does not breed in the UK, but is a winter visitor, in some years in larger numbers, called irruptions, when the population on its breeding grounds gets too big for the food available. I’m turning into a Twitcher ohhhhhhhhhhhh nooooooooooooo.

I’m not sure what sort of tree would be best for Christmas, a real one looks and smells great but drops needles all over and only lasts three weeks and an artifial one can look ok and has no mess and lasts for years but costs more. It’s a pretty hard life when deciding which tree to buy is my biggest decision lol.

Microsoft Live Writer


Well I’m using Microsoft Live Writer to do my blog today and its actually given a good first impression  I can  put my mumblings down in it without being online and it connects and posts to my normal blog account with a single click.

P1010322I’m not sure if everyone has visited my website its at www.robbos.ie and I’m mentioning it as I need support for my Charity Bear, at the moment she is jetting her way towards London where she has a photo shoot at Twickenham Rugby Stadium  with the new statue of the lineout jumpers.


Talking about rugby, this weekend has some cracking games and my pal Mark has chipped in so we can watch Australia vs France on ESPN as I wasn’t subscribing to that channel. So its NZ vs Wales, Australia vs France, England vs S Africa, Scotland vs Samoa, Italy vs Fiji and on Sunday Ireland vs Argentina.

I just beat Mark at chess for the first time  which I’m chuffed to bits at doing as the first three games we played he hammered me.

I bought Charity the bear in Sydney and she has flown to LA , Iowa, Scotland and now England  clocking up so far about 13,000 miles, her next stop is Galway then Kingston Ontario where she is visiting my pal Lynne and from there who knows? at every stop she has her photo taken and they are posted on the website , her last stop was on Luing http://www.robbos.ie/luing.htm  at the end of the year hopefully she will have clocked up enough miles to be a bit of a celeb and she will be auctioned off for charity. The charity the money goes to will be chosen by a poll and there will be a wee prize for the best photo.

I’ll be rooting for Wales, Australia, England, Scotland, Ireland and Fiji , but Wales and Fiji are longggggggggggggggggg shots.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Edward Woollard,Wils, the Eurozone and a carnation

Edward Woollard, 18 pleaded guilty to throwing a fire equishtinguisher from a rooftop at police below, he should now go to jail, his solicitor said he was very sorry for his actions, well he will be even sorrier when he meets his new boyfriend.

Is the Eurozone going to die a death? I think so. Ireland is certainly in a worse state today than it was yesterday, the bailout here means Ireland owes yet more money so its credit rating has been cut by another two points, this makes it harder for the country to get good loan rates, the government announced the four-year austerity package made up of €15bn of spending cuts and tax rises.

The rationale behind the austerity measures is clear: Ireland has a budget deficit of 32 per cent and its national debt has gone from 25 per cent of GDP in 2007 to almost 100 per cent. But here's the rub: if and when it becomes clear that the austerity package will reduce economic growth, the market will quickly lose confidence and the cost of borrowing for the government will rise yet again. As the cost of borrowing rises it becomes even harder for the government to meet its commitments, which leads to still higher borrowing costs. Its like an endless circle, the circle of doom and gloom ehh. Anyone coming to visit me dont buy your Euros yet as they could fall even more.

Will Wils and Kate choose Westminister abbey as their wedding venue? well they dont have to as they are a "modern" royal couple. I remember when his Mum married big ears its still the most viewed royal wedding of all time probaly the most viewed wedding full stop, anyway I hope they are more lucky in love than Di was.

A big-shot businessman had to spend a couple of days in the hospital. He was a royal pain to the nurses because he bossed them around just like he did his employees.

None of the hospital staff wanted to have anything to do with him. The head nurse was the only one who could stand up to him. She came into his room and announced, "I have to take your temperature."
After complaining for several minutes, he finally settled down, crossed his arms and opened his mouth.
"No, I'm sorry," the nurse stated, "but for this reading, I cannot use an oral thermometer." This started another round of complaining, but eventually he rolled over and bared his rear end.
After feeling the nurse insert the thermometer, he heard her announce, "I have to get something. Now you stay JUST LIKE THAT until I get back!"
She left the door to his room open on her way out. He cursed under his breath as he heard people walking past his door laughing. After almost an hour, the man's doctor came into the room.
"What's going on here?" asked the doctor.
Angrily, the man answered, "What's the matter, Doc? Haven't you ever seen someone having his temperature taken?"
After a pause, the doctor confessed, "Well, no. I guess I haven't. Not with a carnation, anyway."

I forgot to mention the Turnip and the fact that we are in the grips of a drought here, the turnip I bought earlier is a toughy, infact it is so tough I'm thinking of calling the army as they may be able to incorperate it into under vehicle armoury (UVA) I'm cooking it for 4 hours in the hope it may be edible in the stew. Ohh the drough I nearly forgot, its been ages since it last rained so I washed my car as that always breaks a drought and I'd hate to see the farmers suffer.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Reflections snoitcelfer

Well another bonny day saw me taking shots of the reflections in the river

Until HE WHO MUST SWIM decided he would drop his ball in the water.

So then I took photos of a wet dog and dreamt of how my couch was going to smell later.

OH I was going to mention as well about the Oughterard Steel head fish, well actually he's a steel fish

If I win lotto I shall have another commissioned for my pal Paddy in |Ozz as hes a mad fisherman.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Frost and a full moon

Well it was frosty and a full moon this morning in fact it was cold enough to have frozen my garden hose as I tried spraying the car and got nowt. I took a couple of photos but they didn't come out well I should head out with the camera when Angie leaves for work and I'd get some good frost shots this winter. The bird feeder is the most popular place in Oughterard and a few Doves have discovered it so I'm going through half a hundred weight of feed every two hours.

I have to sit down and write some Christmas cards, the Aussie ones will have to go soon, Angie was saying that there was no rush but its nice to get cards prior to Christmas day as they can be part of your decoration. I'm all set to put my decorations up here but ain't allowed yet. I was a wee bit hungover yesterday but took Gus out to the woods regardless, he ended up covered in those seed pods that stick to anything, wait Rob you may have mentioned this yesterday pal. OOPs. He has stopped hiccuping anyway.

I'm home alone till Wednesday night but shall try and resist the urge to have hamburgers and chups both nights.
Above is my latest mosaic offering, this week I have to finish the painting I started with the Corrib fishing boats pulled up on the riverside, it has the potential to be good.

scotland rugby revival

Well Scotland redeemed themselves by beating South Africa at Murrayfield just a week after a woeful game against New Zealand. Ireland lost to New Zealand but put up a decent effort for most of the game. Australia got hammered by England who played the best I have seen them play. So its been a higelty pigelty couple of weeks in rugby and this weekend coming has Australia vs France, Scotland vs Samoa, Wales vs New Zealand and Italy vs Fiji and on Sunday Ireland vs Argentina. I think I may find somethinjg to watch out of that lot. Sheena and Sacha will arrive on Saturday and we aim to make Holly wreaths as there is lots of the stuff around the place.

Jessy arrives in Heathrow on the 9th December at 0525 so I am planning the best way to get her back here, at the moment it looks like going from Galway at 1600 on Tuesday 7th to Dublin and catching a night ferry across to Liverpool 2130 - 0530, driving down to London and staying with Aunty M on Wednesday night then picking up the dog about 1000 on Thursday and driving to Hollyhead , stay the night in a dog friendly b and b then catching the ferry at 1200 Friday to Dublin and geting home about 1800.

Gus got covered in those burr seed pods so I've had to crop his tail to get them out and he was sort of hiccupping as he must have been swallowing them trying to clear them himself. Unfortunatelly I'm as good at dog grooming as I am at Latin so he has lost some of his good looks, around his tail anyway. What can you do ehh.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

disaster strikes

Major disaster stuck today when Gus's last ball was lost over a wall, we started out with 5 tennis balls and the last one had survived, well it must have survived a good 20 miles worth of hedge rows, lochs, long grass and forest walks. Unfortunately today saw its loss. The plan is to buy another 5 as the replacement one doesnt float, its solid rubber and I though wow this will go for miles, but seeing Gus is half seal and it doesnt float its a recipie for disaster, thankfully I did the float test  in the kitchen sink before heading out with it.

Today is the first Real Estate Inspection to make sure I'm not trashing the house, I hate the fact that they dont trust you and this mob want to come every 2 months, I'd much rather be in the owners rather than renters club but buying here with the present climate has as much appeal as sliding down a razor blade usings heels as brakes, I was going to say something else but this is a G rated blog, apart from when I start waffling on about Berlusconi that is. Silvio Berlusconi dismissed calls Tuesday to resign over his involvement with an underage Moroccan runaway — and even created a new uproar by claiming it was better to love beautiful girls than gays.

I'm thinking of renting bikes out here next season as there is no one doing it and a big potential market. Its quite flat around here and lots of the local attractions are just a wee bit far to walk to but would be well within riding distance. I phoned up Aviva to ask about insurance cover but they havent called back yet, lolololol, This is Ireland !!! you should have enquired last year if you need cover next Summer to be sure. I could give out instructions to get to the local points of interest, "take a right at the cow" "what you need more info?, its a brown cow to be sure"

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Aughnanure Castle

Well this is my latest effort at mosaic I'm getting there slowly.

I have the real estate house inspection tomorrow afternoon so should hoover and tidy but I cant be bothered today I'll do it Manyana, talking about manyana,Spanish singer Julio Iglesias was on television with British TV host Anne Diamond when he used the word 'manyana'. Diamond asked him to explain what it meant. He said that the term means "maybe the job will be done tomorrow, maybe the next day, maybe the day after that. Perhaps next week, next month, next year. Who cares?" The host turned to Irishman Shay Brennan who was also on the show and asked him if there was an equivalent term in Irish. "No. In Ireland we don't have a word to describe that degree of urgency.", replied Brennan.

I visited Aughnanure Castle the other day, it was closed.  It was built by the "ferocious O'Flaherties", masters of the whole territory of west Connaught, they built this fine castle in the early sixteenth century, possibly on the site of a thirteenth-century Norman fortification. It occupies a position of some strength close to Lough Corrib on what is virtually a rocky island formed by the Drimmeen River, separating into two branches and reuniting at the other side - a circumstance that gave rise to the old phrase "Aughnanure, where the salmon come under the castle". Now I think the "l" is dropped in the Flaherties name as there was a bloke called announced as Marty Farty at the commitee meeting (I started giggling) so this probably explains why they were so ferocious, probably going through primary school with that surname would do that.

empty house

Well my parents are away back home, dropped them at Galway bus station at half ten and they bus it to Dublin and fly to Glasgow this afternoon, its too late for them to get to the Island and catch the ferry so I booked them in a hotel in Glasgow tonight and they take the bus up to Oban tommorow morning. It was grand seeing them and showing them around Connemara and I cant wait till the next time now. The next visitors are Sheena and Sacha coming to inspect that their doggy is happy lol thats in 10 days time.

The day started out bright and sunny but true to the forecast a front has come through and its raining and blowing this afternoon, we were really lucky with the weather this last week.

The European Council has as President a Herman Van Rompypompy, or summat, and he is warning the European Union could collapse unless the debt crisis that is gripping the region is resolved.

With Ireland and Portugal both on the brink of a bailout, Mr Van Rompypompy or summat, warned that there is a serious risk of contagion spreading across the entire continent. Ireland's Prime Minister, Brian Cowen, said the country was confident it could cope with its problems and criticised ''inaccurate'' speculation and the Finance Minister of Portugal, Fernando Teixeira dos Santos, said his country was at risk, as ''we are not facing a national or country problem - it is the problems of Greece, Portugal and Ireland''. Does thast make sense? Greece. Portugal and Ireland are countries and your the finance Minister of Portugal. Ohh well seems to me that theres Scaremongering, a bit of head in the sand and an inability to speak the Engrish lingage priperly.

The Catholic church-backed National Conference for the Family began in Milan yesterday – with one noticeable absence. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, who had been due to open proceedings, was bumped from the schedule by officials who realised it would be like having Attila the Hun introducing a peace conference. Karima el- Mahroug – the 17-year-old belly dancer is to become the Italian Trade Minister and showgirl Nadia Macri may get the International Trade Portfolio due to her ability to sneak dope onto jets and get away with smoking up on said jet.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What kind of bow cant be tied?

Well it was a day of rainbows we saw about six as we drove Connemaras coastline, was a great run and we had it dry and sunny for most of the way.

If you see a double rainbow the dark band in the middle is called Alexander's dark band it is an optical phenomenon associated with rainbows which was named after Alexander of Aphrodisias who first described it. It occurs due to the deviation angles of the primary and secondary rainbows. Both bows exist due to an optical effect called the angle of minimum deviation. Light which is deviated at smaller angles than this can never reach the observer.

Monday, November 15, 2010

20 Euro to park a car

Mum and Dad arrived yesterday at Shannon Airport and we picked them up around 1430 and saw Irelands version of the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Theres a new motorway that goes halfway from Galway to Shannon, as this is Ireland.

Had a nice lunch in Newmarker on Fergus which gets the Egon Shairp star for quality, thats after Egon Ronay who unfortunately passed away, Egon Ronay (24 July 1915 – 12 June 2010) was a Hungarian-born food critic who wrote and published a famous series of guides to British and Irish restaurants and hotels in the 1950s and 60s. He was an innovator when Britain had little appreciation of foreign cuisine.

Well Ashford castle was wanting 20 Euro to park so we didnt bother but had a stroll through Cong abbey grounds instead. I recon 20 Euros is out of order.

Tommorow if the weather is nice we will have a drive round Connemara.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Christmas is coming and the goose is getting fat

Well its like a spring day again here now after last nights blow, I've been round and raked up the leaves again which is quite a good workout as there were about 6 million tonnes of them, "whats heavier Dermot a ton of leaves or a ton of feathers? ahh forget it" there are hardly any leaves left on the surrounding trees now which is ok cos I couldnt get my blower to work, could be water in the fuel. If the weather was to stay like this for a the next 6 days I'd be a happy camper.

I wrapped the first of my Christmas presents earlier and will get them in the post this afternoon, at the moment it looks like maybe Alex my nephew and Sheena and Sacha may come for Christmas and a pal Keith for New Year, I hope so anyway as I'm in the mood for a party. I wonder if the Irish  go first footing ? GOGGLE : Ireland is renowned for traditions and superstitions – many of which have surrounded the New Year's celebrations. Long ago in Ireland it was customary to begin a new year with a clean house, so houses were thoroughly cleaned as it was thought that a spotless house was to be good omen for the year ahead. Ok that shouldn't be a problem.  Another Irish tradition that was carried out to bring in the New Year, involved banging on the doors and walls of the house with the Christmas bread! It sounds daft, but this custom was thought to chase the bad luck out and bring good spirits to the household. HMMMM is that code I wonder? maybe Christmas bread = Head, that would explain the fact that there are no post codes here.
In a small fishing village in County Kerry called Portmagee they go against the grain and celebrate the Old Year! This is a very popular event and they celebrate everything that happened that year with music and dance. It doesnt look like first footing is as big as it is in Scotland.


A severe weather warning has been issued with forecasters saying stormy conditions are likely to lead to some structural damage and will be accompanied by high seas on Atlantic coasts.
Gusts of up to 120km/h are forecast, however winds could reach up to 140km/h in exposed parts of Connacht and Ulster. Its been breezy and heavy showers but if this is as bad as it gets its pretty tropical compared to Skye.
Gus is sulking as he didnt get for a swim / walk today, I'm going to go out and throw a ball for him shortly but dont tell him as hes cute when hes sulking we walked for about 3 miles or so yesterday not quite sure how far as i never turned the gps ap on on the iphone but we were walking for 2.5 hours and my wee legs felt weary so it must have been at least 3 miles. He was limping when we walked up to the shop in the afternoon so I decided to give him the day off. He's a bit wiffy for some reason which is strange as he has had a swim every day since he came.

Life lessons learned from a dog

If you stare at someone long enough, eventually you'll get what you want. Leave room in your schedule for a good nap. Always give people a friendly greeting. A cold nose in the crotch is most effective. When you do something wrong, always take responsibility (as soon as you're dragged shamefully out from under the bed). If it's not wet and sloppy, it's not a real kiss. Don't go out without ID.

I hope the weather is better for Mum and Dad flying over, the 5 day forecast looks woefull lol ohh well I suppose they are used to the wetstuff, may have to break out the Pictionary. Even if its like it is today with sunny intervals and torrential rain its not that bad.