Friday, February 28, 2014

Another mostly dry day

The hardest part clearing my fallen Cyprus trees is getting rid of the branches and greenery.
We also made the mistake of piling all the bits of log and branches on top of each other when we were clearing the driveway so its a slow process getting through the pile, anyway here are some photos I took earlier to show the progress.

 I had physio yesterday and the girl was a lot rougher on the ankle than she was the first visit to say the least but it is coming on nicely and the exercises I have to do this week (5 times a day) include 10 times standing on tip toes,  10 knee bends with feet facing straight ahead and balancing on the injured leg with the other foot off the ground for 10 seconds, sound easy ehh, well the tip toe one and the balancing are a challenge.

Angie was over with John in Dublin at his stem cell replacement interview so hopefully it went well. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

What to do

Well it's 0730 on a windy sleety morning in February in Ireland, there was a gale last night and yes you guessed it the electricity is out again. Stupid me forgot to charge my gizmos, phone, iPad and laptop so I guess I will not be able to blog for long.
It looks like it may fine up a bit this afternoon so I am delaying my outside work till at least it stops sleeting, I would watch the news but the tv doesn't work without power would read a book but it hasn't really got light this morning yet, I would Hoover but it's a bit like the Telly, would take a run in the car but that's still not allowed with my ankle, would walk the dogs but it's sleeting, hmmm has to be something I can get up to.

I,m going to clear all the seasoned firewood away from the shed and am getting a roof donated to make a lean to to store firewood under in the same spot so between moving the dry stuff and bar rowing down, chopping , stacking all the new stuff that will keep me amused for a few hours.

Miss chatting with my online pals and family but hope you are all well and have electricity.

Appointment for 0930

A pet hate of mine is to get given an appointment time then to be kept waiting for 3 hours in a waiting room full of 150 people with long faces all with an appointment time of 0930, so next time (in 6 weeks) I shall roll up at 1230 for my 0930 appointment. The woman who eventually saw me took one of the wedges out of the boot and told me to come back in 6 weeks, another six weeks in the boot ? I had to quiz her about that as my physio reckoned I have really good movement and the swelling is down and she thought I could be in a shoe with one heel lift. The woman said "ok then nip down to the cupboard at the end of the hall and get a smaller wedge that will go in a shoe" ( I should have asked her for money) anyway I took two and hid one down my waistband. So we had a full day out in Galway and the dogs had crossed legs by the time we got home.

It was a bonny morning but the wind is up again this afternoon and it is pouring rain again. Hopefully the weather is going to get better by the end of the week.  

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Apologies for no blogs

Sorry I haven't been blogging  this last week or so but I had a houseful of visitors, Sheana and Sacha came over from Scotland and after a couple of days in Waterford they came up by train with John for four days. John isn't well and learns this week if he is a good candidate for stem cell replacement or not, fingers crossed that they can do the treatment. I haven't been able to phone anyone either as we still don't have a phone line or internet connected and the mobile charges here are extortionate.

On the clear up front everything is going well, the trees at the front of the house are about three quarters logged and I have been chopping them as I go so my arms and back are getting stronger by the day, my ankle is progressing well I had a visit to a physio on Wednesday and she was really pleased with the lack of swelling and movement in the foot, she was also taken by my high arches and was asking if I was a fast runner when I was younger as the high arch in a runner gives an explosive start. The foot massage was a wee bit sore initially but you come out of there feeling like jumping in the air. I am leaving the tree stumps out the front quite high and aim to make them into sculptures with the chainsaw down the track and I also saw a great idea for garden beds
I might transfer one of my raised beds from the back of the house up to the front as it will be quite a talking point to have all these sculptures and a garden bed that looks like a real bed on a front lawn, it will look good too if it is filled with flowers.

It is pouring rain here this morning (whats new) so I am having an easy day. Tomorrow I have an appointment to see the heel man in Galway and I am hoping he lets me out of the boot and just gives me a heel wedge in the shoe instead which should mean I can drive again, it is a big pain relying on Angie to take days off work all the time to run me to Dr's appointments. Sheana and Angie managed to unblock the culverts under the lawn so the water is running down the burns instead of over the grass for the first time since Christmas which should let the lawns dry out a bit and Sacha gave me a wee hand chopping logs and stacking them even though he got bored and really wasn't into it after about an hour or so, still good going for a thirteen year old town kid. 

Had a nice afternoon in the pub with Sheana on Friday afternoon which is the first time I have imbibed for a while and when we got back there was a game of Pictionary and the drawing reflected the amount of lateral thinking caused by rum and coke to such an extent that nobody guessed an answer yet. 

Well it dried up here this afternoon so I was out logging again for two fills of petrol in the chainsaw. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The new improved logging boot

It was nice and sunny yesterday and a bit warm for wearing oilskins so I had to adapt my boot to stop the sawdust sticking to the insert.

I went for the go faster yellow and blue foot and got comments from passing pedestrians. The ingenuity of mankind is breathtaking ehh.

We had a huge day yesterday, I started about 8 am and was just going to work until I started feeling weary anyway after I had been cutting logs for about two hours Michael and his two boys arrived so I think we did about 8 hrs by the time we finished. Michael was cutting the logs and I was chopping them with the axe into fire size bits that will dry quicker due to being split and his boys were taking them in the barrow and filling up my trailer. Angie was feeding branches into the compacter and one of the boys was tipping the mulch for her. A hot shower at the end of the day was bliss and today we just did about 2 hours and are having an easy afternoon infront of the box.

Sheena arrived in Waterford yesterday and is coming up on Tuesday and Angie is off for the week while she is here. The house needs a good clean before they arrive.

I wasn't the only person to suffer damage from the storm the whole of the SW of Ireland got hammered there are still folks with no electric today.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

some forestry photos from my front yard

Mum if you are reading this don't worry I shall take my time clearing them up and it takes me back to my youth, reminds me of my time working in the forest. One Christmas I came back to the same sort of scene after a big blow. 

 The front drive was completely covered with trees

There is a house in there somewhere


Imagine climbing through this in an orthopaedic boot lol I guess I will start on the outside of the pile

Even the post box didn't survive.

snow and rain squalls today

Well I managed to do two fills of petrol today in the chainsaw clearing and stacking as I went, I put a strong plastic bag over the boot insert which keeps it dry and the sawdust off it and had my waterproofs on and the chainsaw hat with earmuffs and gloves so was pretty cosy even though it was snowing. Sometimes it can be warmer when the snow is falling. Anyway I made a start and haven't tired myself out too much it will just take longer to clear everything than it would if I was 100% that's all. 

 More than 75,000 customers in Ireland were still without electricity after Wednesday’s storm I must give ESB a rap along with the water board boys for getting us back with electricity and water as quick as they did I wish Eircom (the telephone mob) were as good I still don't have a telephone line.

I have been watching the winter Olympics when not chopping logs and the snowboarding especially the slopestyle events are awe inspiring. Sheena and Sacha are meant to come for a week from next Tuesday and if John is feeling up to it he may come too if Sheena does come it will be a working holiday lol I have plans for them to be stacking logs and clearing/ shredding/ burning branches for the time they are here.

Friday, February 14, 2014

How wrong could I be

Well I was wrong about the low pressure passing us it came through with hurricane force winds again, the trees in front of the house came down this time one blocked the drive completely and two others took down the electricity line so we had no power here till half an hour ago, also the water main was ripped up with a root bowl so we had no water. Michael and Angie took the day off work today and we knocked down about 10 trees today.  Now there are no trees standing between the gate and where the electric cable comes in near the wee gate. Will be lots more light in the morning now at the front of the house anyway but it will take me ages the get the trees logged and tidied up.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Todays storm

Well todays storm looks as if has passed south of us here and it is not as bad as was forecast, I think the UK and Wales are getting a hammering with hurricane force winds infact they are saying it is the worst storm this year. Saying that the wind has just piped up to about force ten now so maybe I jumped the gun lol.

Eircom and their contractor found the telephone line and uncovered a manhole on the roadside :) I thought this was good news and I would get my phone line back on but they came in yesterday and said they would provide me with a pipe which I should run from the manhole to the house and bury underground. Its about 300 meters and when I explained that I couldn't run the pipe never mind bury it in my present condition he basically shrugged and walked off saying it wasn't his job. I couldn't be bothered arguing as the whole affair is getting me depressed. Eircom are required by law to provide every house with a telephone line and if they don't mark the thing on any map or by markers on the kerb how on earth are we meant to know where they are. The contractor I got to put up a fence along the roadside had to use a few scoops of soil to level off the area as the road had subsided into the garden so he must have broken the line then. I went and checked out house prices in Tasmania for the rest of the afternoon.

My glass doors in the sitting room are now flexing half an inch in the gusts of wind and I wont be surprised if even more trees come down this afternoon.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Death by a thousand lineouts

What can I say, my team were woeful, they lost most of their lineouts and you cant compete in the 6 nations losing your own throws. Dave Denton was our best player and apart from Laidlaw the rest of the team were pretty ordinary to say the least, sorry boys but if you don't want the wooden spoon you will need to put some heart into it. Ireland were the total opposite, they showed real guts and determination to totally play Wales off the pitch, well done Ireland. The coach also played brilliant tactics.

What about that snowboard Slopestyle wooooohooo riviting stuff. So much more entertaining than the downhill races for me anyway mind you the speeds they get up to are impressive. The British contestants did really well to get into the finals. The Russians made a great job of the opening ceremony one of the best Olympic openers I have seen.

Its raining again today, nothing new there, but there are bits of blue sky every so often and its not blowing a gale, I will have to try and have a walk round the garden to see if there are any snowdrops out yet but walking on the rough ground isn't easy in the boot and I don't want to get the insert wet.


Friday, February 7, 2014

Lovely morning

Well the sun is out at last, Paddy said yesterday that I should use the holes left from collapsed trees as a swimming pool and I think I said ohh yeah I could use that the one day that is nice in the year, well this morning is nice. I can actually see my neighbours through the lack of trees now to the North is the wee village of Doire Choill and one neighbour to the South who is in the township of Derrynea, I,m just on the border. How fickle am I, I like Ireland when the sun is out lol.

You might be able to see how full the river is in the bottom pic, it has actually overflowed onto the bog and has been like that for months now.
Scotland were pretty ordinary in the second half against Ireland in Dublin last weekend but I have my hopes high that they will give England a hurry up this weekend at Murrayfield. Ireland play Wales first up which should be a good game.

My potato patch covered in seaweed.

Still no phone or internet yet but hey it could be worse the electricity could be off too, it may well be off too if the storm that is forecast comes through this weekend lol.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Bliddy Eircom and bliddy bliddy Meteor

Eircom technician after 9 days or so has given up looking for my telephone line? and is outsourcing the line reconnection to a contractor, hopefully he is a foreigner. And Meteor well what a joke they are, (Meteor are a mobile provider here in the land of leprechauns). Angie invested in a "dongle" usb modem and had it connected to the Meteor network so I could at least get emails and do the blog while Eircom did their thing looking for the landline, anyway you have to top up the sim card with credit and then get a pass to access data online, sounds easy enough ehh, well its not, the tel number you call to top up is 1740 according to all the paperwork that comes with the card BUT (and I found this out after 3 hours) if you ring from a mobile on any other network you get put through to the automated answer machine for the other network and it says "the mobile phone number you typed in is not a mobile number" so you retype it, a few times then you get connected to someone in India who hasn't a clue why you rang Vodafone when you are with Meteor. so they give you the Meteor number to call 1747 so you ring it and get connected to Vodafone again. Why not use the landline Robert?, cos Eircom cant find the bliddy thing, so you think I could try and do it online but you cant as you have no internet so you call directory of enquiries and talk to someone in India who gives you a totally different number 1890818085 so you ring that and type in the telephone number and your credit card details and the expiry date then it transfers you to a live person wooohoooo, they then ask you all the same questions but they cant connect you as you are not the person who bought the dongle initially. So you hang up, redial and put on a squeaky accent tell them your name is Angela and eventually they take your ten euros. Then you have to get a 7 day pass which they deduct off your 10 Euro leaving you with about 5 mins online before you have to top up again. Ohh I forgot, the Meteor live person gives you an incorrect number to call Meteor customer service to activate the 7 day pass so you get to talk to the nice girl in India who works for Vodafone again. Apart from that my day is going well.

The weather was ok today and my neighbour Geofrey ran me down to the cafĂ© in Carraroe to use the wifi there for emails and have breakfast, I was approached by a charity to do a website  for a talent show they were organising last week so was worried I was missing emails, anyway after I have registered the URL (and paid for) they wanted and come up with a design (which they loved) she phones me this afternoon and says someone else is doing a talent show and they have changed their minds about the whole thing lol. Thankfully this happened before my chats with India. Apart from that my day is going well.

:) Things could be worse I could have no view, or no dogs for company.