Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A shower of rain

Well I was chuffed today, I had a tree that was leaning and weighted in the complete wrong side to where I wanted it to land but I managed to drop it perfectly in my flat cleared area. I used a Spanish windlass a crowbar and some wedges. Brains over brawn wins again. My plan with the area is to use some logs to make raised beds for my spuds next year, plant fruit trees and hopefully get a poly tunnel. I can move my existing raised beds to inside the polytunnel. The fruit trees will take a number of years to mature but it will be nice to have an orchard.

We had a shower of rain this afternoon and it is overcast this evening but the forecast is good again tomorrow. With this dry summer a lot of my timber has dried so I should cover the piles with tarps before the monsoon.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Another gorgeous weekend

Terrific weather again this weekend, September has turned out to be an Indian summer, have had no rain since August and most days have been bright and sunny. Last night the stars were amazing  I,m so lucky to live in an area with no light pollution to spoil my star watching.

I had a wee sail this morning and came back and felled a tree, logged all the branches and will do the main trunk tomorrow, we had another bonfire to get rid of the small branches and it was great to have a nice flat area to work in. Angie is flat out on the couch as she was working with me this weekend and she is jiggered.

The shots above are the marina my boat is kept in. As you can see there wasnt much breeze to sail in but it was nice to get out on the water anyway.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Mr Ceady

Well Mr Ceady came after all and did a grand job of removing the stumps for me, now I have a nice flat area to drop the remaining trees into and with a bit of a rake and wildflower seeds it should be bonny. To give an idea how it has changed so far I will put a couple of pics of the wind blown trees that were there and the area now it has been cleared.

 The photos above were taken last January.

I am going to fell the softwood trees to the right of my shed and the three or four in the top shot when the wind is in the right direction, at least now I have level ground to work on. The tree nearest the shed may have to come down in bits as it has a lean and a lot of weight wanting to make it drop over the shed.

One of the other jobs I did this last week was clean out the drain along the not so secret garden and I have put gravel in the bottom of it to try and get the level correct so the water runs off.

There has been no rain now for four weeks and I am glad he came before the rains start as when they do they probably wont stop till next April.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

spring bulbs

Well I planted over half of my spring bulbs this morning snowdrops, crocus and muscari.

The were over 200 bulbs in total and are in an area about 20 ft square, a border I made by cutting back some old bushes to the stumps, they should come back next season too but may not flower until the next year. Hopefully there will be a nice dash of colour January through May.

No sign of Mr Ceady and his 10 ton excavator to rip out my stumps, he was definitely going to be here before last weekend, lol bliddy Ireland. It would be good if he came before it rains as it has been dry and sunny all month and the ground has dried out a lot. 

Got half my grass done yesterday and will hopefully get the rest done today, another one cut will probably do this year, its a chore. I cleaned out the drains round the "not so secret garden" filled the low spots with rocks and put gravel down the length so hopefully the water wont lie in places but run off as it should. Have three trees partially chopped, they are in lengths of about 2 meters, I started cutting them into fire log sizes and chopping the ones that need it with the axe and stacking them all to dry out, there are another five or six to come down but I am waiting till the Ceady excavator clears the area first then I will have a nice flat area to work on, will burn the smaller branches as I go along with and roots that are left. The area after it is cleared I am going to sow with wild flower mix and leave to do its thing all season and maybe cut it when the flowers die off.

Today isnt a very great painting day, muggy and humid so the three benches that have been undercoated will have to wait for their fancy colours, did one yesterday yellow and blue. They will look quite good around the place, splash of colour again between the trees. 

Ohh well better get back to it, be safe and well.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Angies Birthday

Well it was Angie's birthday yesterday so she got to sit in the excavator for a special birthday surprise, normally she would not be let anywhere near it :) Some may say she is treated too well but hey it was her birthday after all.

You can see the nice newly painted shed in the top photo with a roof leaning against it,  I am going to make a lean to for storing wood against the shed and use the roof for that I took a couple of scoops of ground out of the area to make it flatter.

I was given a E120 dinner voucher for the Twelve West Restaurant

2014 Sustainable Restaurant of the Year -Restaurants Association of Ireland Food Oscars  

Two Star AA Rosettes Awarded for Culinary Excellence                                                                    West has been judged Galway's Top Restaurant - Georgina Campbell Top Irish 100 Guide                

It is in Barna as a thank you for cleaning the bottom of a fishing boat a few months ago and we went there last night it was very good. Home made breads came first, brioche, soda bread and pumpkin scones with local butter. Then there were two Chinese spoons with pickled cabbage and a seafood sausage which was  lovely. For my starter I had a lobster dish, there was a lobster ravioli type dumpling, lobster meat, saffron potato cubes and sage as a decoration and a lobster bisque pored over the dumpling ohh and a pickled swirl of seaweed.  Angie had mussels from Killary harbour with  Spring Onion, Flat Leaf Parsley and Chardonnay Cream Sauce. I had a 21 day dry aged Hereford steak with Organic Kale, Caramelized Onion, Shallots Confit, Lemon Thyme and Peppercorn Cream for the main and Angie had Pork belly with Aioli, Apple, potato cake and vegies. Topped off with an Argentinian Malbec wine. I resisted the urge to demolish the cheese board as that would just have been greedy, next time I will have two starters and the cheese board. Will have to save up right enough as it isn't cheap.

Sheana had sent flowers to the restaurant so that was another nice surprise.

Spent today gardening and painting a couple of my outdoor seats, they are very hip now the bench is sort of 70s flower power and orange is the new black apparently so I painted the seat orange. 


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Midgies and a red cattle dog

Wow its been ages since I blogged, whats been happening? well I got my ICD replaced on the 27th August and the wound has healed up fine and the bruising dispersed. The weather has been good infact today is too good to get anything done outside as it is glassy clam and the midgies well they are just unbelievable, I have been working through them all this week but the breeze has kicked in by 10 am and I have been having bonfires which also helps but today is crazy. Since I couldn't do anything in the garden I took a jaunt down to the yacht with a tine of undercoat and painted the doors to the accommodation, if the breeze doesnt kick in by this afternoon I shall pop back down with the gloss finishing coat.

My garden shed got a makeover with the same colour paint as the house and a post office red door, I would show you a photo but would be eaten alive taking it and the shot would be full of wee black, oops almost swore there, insects. Gus gave me a hand with the door undercoat, when i turned my back he went and lay against the red paint so he looked more like a red cattle dog than a Scottish Collie for a while till the white spirit came out.

Angie's Brother John was up for 7 days and he sort of gave me incentive to start work on a part of the garden I had been ignoring, the trees that came down over last winter had left huge root balls of soil and roots and I was hard pressed to come up with a way to get rid of them apart from hiring a 10 ton excavator which I cant really afford, he suggested having bonfires below the root and over time they will burn away. I have been chopping back all the bushes round the secret garden and some down the driveway and burning them below the roots and it is going well, A lot of the bushes were really old and woody so they will get a fresh start and the brambles got ripped out too so they will be easier to control. One of my fires smouldered away for 3 days after I stopped feeding it thanks to the amount of peat in the ground here, its a nice smell but I kept having Aussie bush fire dreams.

I shall attempt to get a photo of tonight's moon as it is just past the full moon which coincides with being closest to Earth, or perigee, it is called a supermoon. Might get a good shot with it rising between the trees here this evening. It was so bright out last night you could hardly see the stars even the plough was hard to see and that was with clear skies. This sort of weather was great when I was skippering the puffer glassy calm seas and moonlit nights, I miss the Sea a lot of the time. Mind you I don't miss it at all when its blowing a howling gale with sleeting rain and monster seas, no sleep and the worry that something will happen to the engine as this here shore is a Lee one.