Thursday, November 27, 2014

Fishing and a friendly seal

My Helper Clement and I went fishing yesterday afternoon as we had knocked over the two jobs I had for the day earlier than expected. I borrowed my friend Ron's boat and we went out for an hour. Clement caught three small fish and the seal in Rossaveal was fed them in exchange for being a photo opportunity.

As you can see it was a glorious day for a scoot aboot on the boat although it was a bit on the cool side and the fishing wasn't exactly brilliant anyway it was a good excuse to give the boat a run as she hadn't been out for a couple of months. There is quite a bit of growth on her bottom so I shall maybe get her out of the water and cleaned at some point.

Clements friends in France had said to him before he left for Ireland to eat plenty before you go as the food there is awful so I have been dispelling that myth and he has me down as a very good cook, praise indeed from a Frenchman ehh.
Last night I made a fish pie, it has leaks, peas, onion, courgette and diced carrot sweated in butter while the fish ( Cod, Salmon, and Smoked Colley) gently poaches in milk, bay leaves and peppercorns. Remove the fish from milk, add a spoonful of flour to the vegies and then the three quarters of the milk which creates a white fish based sauce. Ohh remove the bay leaves as well.
 Add a pinch of medium curry powder and some prawns to the mixture and place in a pie dish with a lid of puff pastry, off course mine has a pastry fish or two for decoration as well :) brush the pastry with egg and it browns nicely.
I make a roux and with the remaining milk from cooking the fish create a thick white sauce.
Boiled mashed potatoes, green beans and steamed broccoli and a glass of white wine.

For the other meals this week we had Fettuccine Carbonarra ( bacon, mushrooms, garlic, onion in a cream sauce), Swedish meatballs in Vodka and cranberry (one of my favorites) with celeriac and caraway seed infused rice.   

Friday, November 21, 2014

Glorious winter day

Well today has been gorgeous, got my grass cut for the last time this year and various other tasks in the garden and it was a beautiful day calm and clear blue skies. There has been a patch of fog lieing in the glen across from us that you might see in one of the photos I have below, it has been there all day, at first light the river had a band of mist along it too as the water temp must have been higher than the air temp but that soon cleared.

In the picture below you can see the bamboo / cane now, it used to be behind a huge dogwood stand which we ripped out last week, the dark area on the ground is where it used to cover. I will let it grow back as the colours are nice in the Winter but will keep it small this time so the brambles don't grow through it.
Most of the leaves are down now and my pond needs to be emptied of them, good job for my next helper ehh.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014


Well my Spanish Helper got a job in London or I overworked him, anyway he left on Saturday and he was a nice lad so it was a good first experience with Helpx. My next helper is French and I will get him to come for a week or so. Today is rainy so I'm cleaning out wardrobes, each bedroom here has built ins and of course the first thing I did after moving in was fill them all up and not being a very neat sort of person filling them up wasn't organized.

My chimney got a sweep yesterday so we enjoyed really hot water last night and this morning, there is nothing worse than a luke warm shower, actually there is, being bitten by a large spider or poked in the eye with a blunt stick, would be worse, but anyway you get my jist. There was a hidden compartment inside the firebox that was really clogged up which was why it was leaking smoke into the room, now that I know about it I will be able to clean it out periodically. The flue for the stove is quite narrow too so it probably needs cleaning more than an open fire with a big chimney would, anyway its done. The guy gave me a price for cleaning the roof tiles too so if we have any cash next March I will think about getting them done as they have a lot of moss on them.

I,m saving up for a polytunnel, not very successfully right enough as the Subaru is in the garage with an oil leak, typical ehh it must not have heard I was saving for a tunnel. The one I am looking at is on ebay you can check it out by clicking on the link text. It will fit on top of the percolation area and I was thinking of erecting the skeleton of it and rebuilding my raised beds inside the frame then covering it after the worst of the winter has passed, will be a good job if I have a helper. I made a cold frame a few weeks ago with one of the old patio doors some wood and a couple of pulleys that were spare on the yacht, I am still left with 3 big patio doors that I would like to make into a small greenhouse so that is another plan. I chopped down a tree yesterday and have got some good long straight poles from it that might help. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

More paint on my helpr than the wall

Spent the day painting walls after a weekend off. The rugby was great over the weekend, most of my teams got up, Scotland beat the Argies, Ireland beat SA and Australia put paid to Wales. England lost to the all blacks but it was also a good game, Chris had not seen rugby before and I think he is a convert, he also had not seen cows sheep or horses beside the road before apparently either.

In exchange for his meals and a bed he is asked to work from 0900 till 1200 then 1300 till 1500, 5 days a week after hours he can go do his own thing. Tomorrow looks like it will be dry so we will attack the dogwood bush with a vengeance I think. I got the yacht out of the water over the weekend and have her cleaned off and under a tarp until the first gale when it will probably get shredded as the eyelets in it are not the strongest. 

Angie left on Saturday, had a couple of days in Inverness and is working in Lowestoft till Wednesday morning when she will travel back. I might tow the trailer across to Oughterard on Wednesday and get a load of soil off Keith  while I have the Subaru as it is the better car for towing.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Helpx and heavy rainIt's only 1630

Well Chris my Spanish Helpx guest arrived on Tuesday night, I picked him up in Galway off the Dublin bus and we spent yesterday cutting and burning dogwood, chopping and stacking logs and also managed to get the yacht mast dismantled and rigging stored for the winter. Yesterday was find weather and I don't think he believed me when I said " we may only get a couple of days like this in the month this time of year". Today poured rain most of the day so we stripped wallpaper off my bedroom walls after moving the furniture to another bedroom. Angie is away tonight, home tomorrow and away again on Saturday until next Wednesday, so I am hoping to get the room finished and painted by then. The walls need some filler and sanding and so does the ceiling so even if it is rainy we will have something to do.

It's only 1630 and dark here already, it feels really wintery, one of the men at the marina yesterday was saying he heads to Spain for December and January every year and misses the worst of the weather, sounds like a good idea to me.