Tuesday, August 30, 2011


I was hoping to get brambles this year for jam but the crop seems very poor, I'm not sure what the best weather for them is but it hasnt been a wet year so maybe tht has something to do with the small fruit. Angie made chutney a month or so ago and there were still a few jars left over.

My Real Estate bloke has offered to winter my bikes free of charge in his building and also lend me a chainsaw on a pole for pruning those high up branches of which I shall have many lol the pole saw reaches over 30 ft up in the air. I am not really keen on borrowing stuff normally, apart from from Paddy but he is a bit far away now (Australia) anyway I think I will do the man a website for free in way of repayment. Barter rools ok.

The Australian city of Melbourne has beaten Canada's Vancouver to the title of world's most liveable city for the first time in almost a decade. Overall, Australian and Canadian cities did well, capturing seven of the top ten spots. Harare, Port Moresby and Dhaka occupied the bottom of the table. I wonder who does these surveys? I would have thought Sirte may have been up there in the least livable cities considering its a battleground.
Ahh ok Mercer's Quality of Living Survey is released annually, comparing 221 cities based on 39 criteria. New York is given a baseline score of 100 and other cities are rated in comparison. Important criteria are safety, education, hygiene, health care, culture, environment, recreation, political-economic stability and public transportation.The list is important because it helps multi-national companies decide where to open offices or plants and how much to pay employees. That explains why Carraroe didnt get top spot.

Now I enjoyed visiting New York, it was like the Hong Kong of the West, place didnt seem to stop, you could go out at 0300 and buy a pair of Levi's for a song, which is grand if your jetlagged and canny sleep but would i want to live there? na no thanks, like a lot of big cities people seem scared to look each other in the eye when they pass in the street, everything has to be locked up, na not for me.

Toronto came third on the best cities in the world to live in itonly had 10228 assaults and 32 murders so far this year, woopee doo, Oban had one and that was actually a mistake as the guy fell over a sheep.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Oughterard Show and some antifouling

Well its a bonny day here for the Show "Horses, Ponies, Performance, Cattle, Sheep, Domestic Arts, Donkeys, Poultry,Cats & Pets, Dogs" they also have sheepdog trials, I should have taken Gus and my crook and he could have chased sheep around for the craic. Next year I will enter him in the dog show.

Nextdoor Mark was judging the sheep, actually he was writing down the scores the judges were giving out, I had a look around for him to see how his head was as we were out on the randan or rendan if your posh, until 0200 this morning, but couldnt see him. Next year I shall take Gus and my crook and poke the cows to blend in. I'm not sure why Mark was judging the sheep but he did used to have a girlfriend from Dunedin.

When we got home I decided to antifoul the bottom of the yacht which doesnt really need antifoul as its on a trailer but the last owner left half a can so it was applied. I had my shirt off while I was painting and got a shock when I passed a mirror in the hallway as I was that white I thought  it was Casper the friendly ghost passing.
I bought myself a safety helmet with visor and earmuffs for my chainsaw which is awaiting me online somewhere, maybe ebay, I was checking out the husquavarna 236 which is their smallest petrol saw and would probably do fine.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

J.Bruce Ismay and the Rose

Well a year ago I was sitting in a wee apartment in Galway wondering what the heck I had done, had just arrived in Ireland and the Rose of Tralee was on the TV http://robertshairp.blogspot.com/2010/08/rose-of-tralee-host-daithi-ose-was.html The host (Daithi O Se)  is back on again, just as smarmy. This time all my furniture is packed away again lol so it seems like everytime the Rose is on I am destined to be sitting on the floor with packed boxes all around.

I told my neighbour Eoin that I had bought a house down at Costello and he passed me later in the street, stopped his Land Rover and proceeded to tell me about J Bruce  Ismay and how he deserted the sinking Titanic by wearing a womans dress.
After the sinking he kept out of the public eye for most of the remainder of his life. He retired from active affairs in the mid-1920s, and settled with his wife in a large 'cottage', Costelloe Lodge, near Costelloe in Connemara.
Actually he wasnt wearing a dress. Ismay occasionally accompanied his ships on their maiden voyages, and the Titanic was one of them. During the voyage, Ismay talked with chief engineer Joseph Bell about a possible test of speed if time permitted. When the ship hit an iceberg 400 miles south of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and started sinking on the night of 14 April 1912, Ismay was rescued in Collapsible Lifeboat C. He testified that as the ship was in her final moments, he turned away, unable to watch his creation sink beneath the waters of the North Atlantic.
After the disaster, Ismay was savaged by both the American and the British press for deserting the ship while women and children were still on board. Some papers called him the "Coward Of The Titanic" or "J. Brute Ismay" and suggested that the White Star flag be changed to a yellow liver. Some ran negative cartoons depicting him deserting the ship.Also there was a poem "To hold your place in the ghastly face of death on the sea at night is a seaman's job, but to flee with the mob, is an owner's noble right."

Monday, August 22, 2011

House bid is accepted

Well if the survey is ok we have just bought a house on 6 acres :)  The Real Estate agent said he would have bought it himself if he had the cash, lol I wonder if he says that to all his clients. Anyway I'm chuffed to bits as we got it for a fair bit less than the asking price and its going to be absolutely stunning when we have done some work on the house and fixed up the gardens.

Connemara is a really scenic part of Ireland that a large poportion of visitors to Ireland pass through, it is a bit behind when it comes to Internet connectivity, and alot of the bed and breakfasts and businesses dont have websites so I shall be targeting them all. Now I have to foster relations with the locals.
Ohh Rossaveal means the "peninsula of the whale " which is not me as I managed into a pair of trousers I havent been able to fit into for ages this morning.

It will probably be the end of October before we get to move into the house, as buying here takes ages, up to 2 months is quick, and we want to put in hardwood floors and new windows before moving. The house we had in Kurnell was refloored with parquetry and its a major upheaval, I had to move everything outside while they leveled the floor, laid the wood and sanded/ varnished it took about a week longer than they said it would. Thankfully the house had a veranda round it to store things under.

Weight loss progress

Well I have lost 4.8 kg since starting my dieting which I'm quite pleased with, its like not carrying around an extra five bags of sugar and my ticker should be pleased with the less work I suppose. I'm aiming to lose another 15kg over the next few months, its a high target but the more I lose the more active I get.

I have a real estate agent with the unfortunate name " Conn" hes a large fellow ( a Big Conn) so I had a look on Google, as you do, for people with unfortunate names, there are lots of Dicks out there. Hugh Jass, Andrew Ronald Sidney Hole, Christa Shanda Lear, Hamm Sandwijk, the list goes on, but at this juncture I would like to  thank my Mom and Dad for not giving me the Christian name Conn, or Dick or Notso, Notso Shairp hmmmm yeah deffinately not that.

Its been a nice weekend weather wise we had a drive around Carraroe and Rossaveal area yesterday and found a couple of really nice wee sandy beaches , one is coral and looks like a tropical paradise until you dip your toe in the water lol Its only about 10 miles across to the Aran isles and it was blowing quite hard yesterday but the island protect the coast well and there was hardly any swell running, Isa Ma Bota could make it across in an hour under power on a flat day easy and sailing back with a following wind :) wouldnt take that much longer.

We have to vacate here on the 9th September and we are still not sure where we are going lol all the furniture and boxes are packed and ready to go so all that isnt packed is the Snug, the Bedroom and some of my Office. The grass got cut today maybe another one cut before we move, wooohoo grasscutting isnt my favorite pastime, mind you the smell of cut grass is nice and it always looks better after being done.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Derrykyle house

Well I always get blinkin lectured about looking at houses for sale here due to Irelands bubble, the Euro and everything but I couldn't resist going to see this house. Its within two miles of Rossaveal which is the port that all the ferries leave from for the Aran Islands http://www.aranislands.ie/, I tried Googling how many visitors go across but all I can get is LARGE numbers of visitors. Its slightly less distance for Angie to travel to work but the roads arent as fast. The Aran Isles have a huge number of bikes for hire but I had a wee thought (imagine a thought bubble at this point) "Hey Rob bikes are allowed on the ferry why not rent them on the mainland so folks can dodge the crowds renting them on the islands"

Anyway back to the 6 acres of brambles here are some of the real estate agents comments, excuse me if I interject my own. "Derrykyle cottage is the former fishing lodge of the late Lord Harrington and is nestled on the most breathtaking 6 acres of stunning landscaped gardens, (Brambles) Already located in an area of natural scenic beauty the gardens were planned and planted with great skill and care over twenty years ago to and have matured beautifully. (Into Brambles) The gardens at Derrykyle are breathtakingly stunning(If you like Brambles) and a pure pleasure to spend time in. They have beautifully matured over 20 years to include several lawned "secret" (Bramble) gardens wonderfully enclosed by numerous (Brambles) shrubs, Oak, Beech and Birch trees.

The spectacular feature pond with mature waterlillies can be viewed from the paved patio area (Between the Brambles) which spans along the elevated rear of the property and incorporates steps to the gardens. Tall mature trees (And Brambles) line several walkways giving access throughout the garden and leading onto the private river bank which border the rear of the gardens". If I were a Real Estate agent I would tell the truth and say "look at one time these gardens were lovely, they need a lot of work but could be lovely again" At least then people coming to view the place wont expect the Chelsea Flower Show. The house is a bungalow built in the early 80's it has a really nice layout and feel but requires new windows and probably a new kitchen and ensuite down the track. There are 2 ensuites a family bathroom and a shower room / toilet. 4 bedrooms a nice size lounge, eat in kitchen, bootroom/ laundry and a garage. I really like it so it will be interesting to see if Angie falls in love with the privacy/ location/ potential.

My dieting is going well I have lost over 4 kg now and I dont THINK about hamburgers with bacon and cheese on a toasted bun and a large portion of well cooked chips please, very often, well actually I do but I shall wait till I have lost 10 kg and treat myself.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

boxes, have to love them

Well I saved all the wrapping materials that were used on our move from Australia last year, there was plenty space in this house to save things, I had a whole room sized cupboard under the stairs filled with collapsed boxes and bubble wrap/ cardboard. Most of it has been reused to protect the furniture for this move.

I had a job came in yesterday, kaput laptop that required photos / docs to be saved to a DVD disc, if the drive is accessible its an easy job, I just take the drive out of the laptop and put it in an external hard drive enclosure and usb link it to my PC. The drive was a SATA and the enclosure only had a 4 pin power lead, well I know I have an adapter somewhere, ahh yes its in the top drawer of the filing cabinet OOPS the top drawer has been packed.
Well I moved all the boxes till I found the "top drawer" box and opened it, the adapter wasn't there so I had to open a few more boxes, like 50. Eventually I found it infact as soon as I did I found a second one too, damned if I know how they got in a box labled "Angies socks".

I did another job Yesterday and part of the payment is the use of a cattle float for a week to move my furniture so that saves me renting a truck :) I shall move the boxes and small stuff myself and will get a couple of blokes to help move the big furniture.

I used to have a tidy front room lol.

Another Bog Body has been found human remains found in an Irish bog could be up to 3,000 years old, according to archaeologists.The body, thought to be that of a woman, was discovered by the driver of a turf-milling machine in the bog near Portlaoise.

Football - Scotland : 2 -1 : Denmark, blinkin heck

Rugby - Scotland :10 Ireland 6

Andy Murray, oops lets not mention Andy this week.

I got drenched walking the dogs yesterday which made me google rainfall in Ireland the average in January is 69mm we had 29mm, looking at the rest of the year so far apart for Ferbruary and June its the same story with lot less rain than normal. I was expecting wet and windy weather when I moved here but it has been drier at least.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

moving house, riots

Well we are moving house, shame, but the owners here wouldnt reduce the rent, anyway the new place is a lot cheaper and in a lovely spot, it even has its own wharf. Portacarron is about 3 mins drive out of the village. It has three bedrooms, a bonny garden, a ride on mower and open fires as well as OFCH.

I will have to do some fencing to keep the dogs in and may make a dog run initially, because its on the water no doubt Gus will want to go swimming all day every day. Nothing new there.

The UK riots, “There is no higher purpose, you just have a high volume of people with a history of impulsive behaviour having a giant adventure.” Great for them having their wee adventure just the poor souls that lose their livelyhoods and property that I feel for.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Blah Blah

It has been reported that NAMA is entering debt forgiveness talks with a number of property developers.
The Sunday Times has reported that around €37.5bn worth of loans given by banks to these developers will never be recovered. This means the developers will escape from up to 60% of their liabilities. You can not hold directorship of a company if you are a bankrupt..... if debt forgiveness is introduced, you are forgiven of your debts and BINGO!! no longer bankrupt.... why would this be beneficial to NAMA? Why would they even bother? Whats in it for them???
Well, who else is going to BUY BACK all of the properties they are stuck with? BUY BACK with a huge discount? ... and I know the developers can't deal with NAMA, its in their rules....BUT... a Company can...and guess who the directors will be? All set up to make MORE MONEY while the tax payers pay more and more. Oooops was I ranting ?

People from northern parts of the world have evolved bigger brains and larger eyes to help them to cope with dark, long winters and dim skies, no wonder  I felt so clever in Australia. I miss Australia I nearly always caught fish when I went fishing I'm struggling here to catch fish in the Loch. We went out for half an hour or so again for a drift but I need my mate Paddy here to give me advice.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Oughterard Reggata was on today so we popped along to that, next year I'll take the yacht moor her off the finish line and take a few beers. I had two ducks in the duck race as I didnt go to the Galway races.

Sacha had a go on the bouncy castle but at 11 you can see he is just on the cusp of being too big, the average age is probably about 7.

A Currach is a type of Irish boat with a wooden frame, over which animal skins or hides were once stretched, though now canvas is more usual. It is sometimes anglicised as "Curragh". The construction and design of the currach is unique to the west coasts of Ireland and Scotland, with variations in size and shape by region. It is referred to as a naomhóg in counties Cork and Kerry and as a "canoe" in West Clare. It is related to the Welsh coracle, but can in fact include craft far larger than the Welsh vessel. The plank-built rowing boat found on the west coast of Connacht is also called a Currach or curach adhmaid ("wooden currach"), and is built in a style very similar to its canvas-covered relative. A larger version of this is known simply as a bád iomartha (rowing boat).
The Currach has traditionally been both a sea boat and a vessel for inland waters.

St Columbus
In scores of curraghs with an army of wretches he crossed the long-haired sea.
He crossed the wave-strewn wild region,
Foam flecked, seal-filled, savage, bounding, seething, white-tipped, pleasing, doleful