Saturday, December 5, 2015

Wild old night

We are having a good old blow here described on the weather as a“once in several decades” event for many parts of the State, and that there could be “several weeks” of flooding ahead. “It’s really exceptional,” the forecaster said. “We’re talking a month’s rainfall over the course of 36 hours, which could equate to 100mm of rain. Depending on what part of the northwest you’re in, that is a one in 20 or a one in 50 year event.

Its just starting to get light here and I cant see any trees down yet but that may be because its still dark Rob you silly sausage !!! Anyway if there are any down that are not blocking the road they can wait till tomorrow to be attended to. 

 Costa Rica is the happiest country in the world. That’s according to the findings of the Happy Planet Index (HPI), which ranks the extent to which countries around the globe produce long, happy, sustainable lives for the people that live in them. Australia is the 76th happiest place to live in the world and Ireland also in the 70,s I blame the Pollies. They cause me grief here with their flaunted bigotted old schoolboy attitudes and are as corrupt as can be, most of them have very small brains which is made evident  in their policy decisions. Australian Pollies are almost as bad as the Irish ones but they don't have the excuse that Leprechauns told them to do it. 
I see Mark Zucherburg is giving away 99% of his Facebook shares worth over $45 billion  with two central goals – advancing human potential and promoting equality – focusing initially on personalised learning, curing disease, connecting people and building strong communities. Some folks are complaining about his philanthropy, they are from America which is also a country in the Orange bracket of happiness. As far as I can see their pollies are pretty thick too I mean there are between 12,000 and 13,000 people killed every year and 51,000 gun related incidents and yet they wont reform gun control?      

Ok its light out there now I'm away to look for fallen trees.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Nurses car tax and other comments

92% of Irish nurses voted to have 2 strikes here, not for pay increases, that they almost definitely in my opinion should get, but for more staff to be employed. I suppose this could come under the umbrella of "conditions" and I remember when I was working on the docks being told that giving up conditions was far worse than giving up money in negotiations as conditions were a lot harder to get back.

Now I have been into hospitals here quite a bit and honestly A&E is a shambles especially in the public system, more staff and beds are needed desperately, and someone should be looking at the management as well, so, I think,  these nurses striking is actually for the good of everyone not just a play for an easier time at work. Good luck to them and the Government rather than giving tax breaks to score points in the upcoming general election, should be sorting out the hospitals in this country.

I have just had my Subaru Forester converted to a Goods vehicle because the road tax of €2700 per year was skinning me, it now costs €330 a year but sheeeze what a drama getting it done. First the car was in the garage for 8 weeks, yep 8 weeks to remove the back seats and restraints and put a floor in. Apparently most of this time was due to paperwork taking ages.

Anyway I get the car back then have to go through the paperwork part this involved trying to find a policeman or Gaurda as they are called here, finding a cop in rural Ireland is like trying to win Lotto. Eventually I contacted the main station and managed to set up a time to get my form stamped.

Rolled up to the car tax place which is only open a couple of days a week so the que is up the street with all my forms, Gaurda stamped form, Engineers report form, CVRT pass statement, completed tax renewal form, licence, proof of address, certificate of road worthiness. Ohh its also impossible to find on line what documents are required to do this conversion so I was going on the garage as to what documents were required.

The nice lady at the counter explained that she would need a weighbridge ticket and proof of insurance and would be charging me tax in arrears for the month of October, even though the car weight had been filled in by the testing centre on the CVRT form and the car had been off the road for the last 8 weeks. She explained that there is a form that should be completed before the car goes off the road, but I didn't know it was going to take 8 weeks anyway I went to the local port and got them to weigh the car again as the testing centre in Galway had never been asked for a weigh docket before as the weight is written on the form, it cost €30 to weigh the car, they would have done it for nothing but the printing out of the form cost the money.

The nice lady then asked for insurance details and I explained that I had just converted the car from personal use to a commercial one and the policy was expired, she said Ohh we cant tax an uninsured vehicle. Anyway I commented on how nice her hair looked and asked if she had been on a diet and that her lippy was an awesome shade of purple and she eventually gave me the disc.

The que was now back up the road to Spiddal 24 Gaurda had been drafted in from Dublin to control traffic and the fast food van was doing a roaring trade.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Stormy weather and a rant

Well its been a windy mild month so far with a lot of rain this last week. We have had gale force winds and a couple of storm force days chucked in recently and with torrential rain I'm surprised I haven't had more trees down. Saying that I just had one uproot itself this morning in a squall. I'm leaving the cutting of it until tomorrow as I've spent the morning brush clearing and am a bit tired, I don't use the chainsaw if I'm weary as the two don't mix you have to be fresh chopping trees I recon.

Not much been happening here apart from my usual gardening stuff, this time of year is good for reclaiming parts of the property that haven't been done yet as I'm not having to cut lawns and weed and yeah there are no midgies. I hope to get lots of reclaiming done over the Winter myself and will maybe get helpx folks to keep on top of things next Spring and Summer.

My Subaru Forester has now been in the garage for about 8 weeks, there was nothing wrong with it but I decided to get it commercialized to save on road tax, the road tax here is unbelievable €2700 a year for a 2.5ltr petrol AWD. I just cannot afford to pay that and noone would want to buy the vehicle with that much tax yearly. The commercial tax is €330 per annum but the back seats have to be removed and seat belts welded up / back windows blacked out. We have a Ford station wagon as well as the Subaru so if anyone is visiting they can be run around in her. 8 weeks to do the job doesn't seem to faze anyone when I tell them, hey this is Ireland and paperwork here can take forever.

My good friend in Canada is giving me her, surplus to requirements, Samsung S2 as mine went on the blink, she has just upgraded hers to a newer Samsung and there is nothing wrong with the old one. Anyway I rang Canada the other day to talk about the phone and I get the call free as long as its less than an hour, the call lasted about 8 mins and I thought nothing more about it until a couple of days later I went to ring my Mum in Scotland and the wee icon on the phone showed it was still connected SHEEEZE checked my bill and no worries it hadn't been connected for 50 hours solid PHEW.

Terrible the murders in Paris last weekend my thought go out to everyone involved there and also all over the World those that are dead and maimed by this most recent religious conflict. Led me to research ISIS a bit further than what is broadcast in the general media.

ISIS differs quite a bit from al Qaeda in that it It wants to establish an Islamic caliphate, or state, stretching across the region. ISIS imposes Sharia law in the area it controls. Boys and girls must be separated at school; women must wear the niqab or full veil in public. Sharia courts often dispense brutal justice, music is banned and the fast is enforced during Ramadan. Sharia law covers both religious and non-religious aspects of life.

I found it interesting that: 
Percent of Muslims who favour making Sharia the official law in their country (source: Pew Forum Research, 2013).

In many countries where an official secular legal system exists alongside Sharia, the vast majority of their Muslim citizens favour making Sharia the official law. For example, while the Egyptian military may have blocked the Muslim Brotherhood's efforts in this direction, 74% of Egypt's Muslims still favour it.

Even in Jordan, Indonesia and Malaysia - Muslim countries with progressive images - the relatively secular ruling elite sit atop Muslim masses, 71%, 72% and 86% respectively of whom want their countries to be ruled by Sharia.

And in Iraq, where the United States shed blood and money for over a decade to try to plant democracy, 91% of its Muslims want to live under Sharia.

According to the Sharia law:
•  Theft is punishable by amputation of the right hand 
•  Criticizing or denying any part of the Quran is punishable by death.

•  Criticizing or denying Muhammad is a prophet is punishable by death.

•  Criticizing or denying Allah, the moon god of Islam is punishable by death.

•  A Muslim who becomes a non-Muslim is punishable by death.

•  A non-Muslim who leads a Muslim away from Islam is punishable by death.

•  A non-Muslim man who marries a Muslim woman is punishable by death.

•  A man can marry an infant girl and consummate the marriage when she is 9 years old.

•  Girls' clitoris should be cut (per Muhammad's words in Book 41, Kitab Al-Adab, Hadith 5251).

•  A woman can have 1 husband, but a man can have up to 4 wives; Muhammad can have more.

•  A man can unilaterally divorce his wife but a woman needs her husband's consent to divorce.

•  A man can beat his wife for insubordination.

•  Testimonies of four male witnesses are required to prove rape against a woman.

•  A woman who has been raped cannot testify in court against her rapist(s).

•  A woman's testimony in court, allowed only in property cases, carries half the weight of a man's.

•  A female heir inherits half of what a male heir inherits.

•  A woman cannot drive a car, as it leads to fitnah (upheaval).

•  A woman cannot speak alone to a man who is not her husband or relative.

•  Meat to be eaten must come from animals that have been sacrificed to Allah - i.e., be Halal.

•  Muslims should engage in Taqiyya and lie to non-Muslims to advance Islam.

•  The list goes on.

If you ask me the bombing should stop, the refugees should all troup back to their countries where they can happily chop bits off each other, and live under their Sharia Law without the West meddling in their affairs.  

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Nice November weather

No I'm not being sarcastic it has been a nice month so far. There have been some nice sunsets but they are behind a clump of tall pines now when I look from the house, in midsummer the sun sets over the mountains to the west of us about 10-15 degrees further North than at the moment. 

Technically speaking, the Sun rises exactly in the east only on or near the two equinoxes (around March 21st and September 23rd), everywhere on Earth except at the North and South poles. At other times of the year the Sun does not rise due east, but some distance to the north or south of due east. The "some distance" gets bigger the further you go from the equator and the closer you get to either pole. Above the polar circles, the Sun can even rise in the north or the south, and doesn't rise or set at all during a period of time that grows from 0 to 6 months as you travel from the polar circle to the pole.

Interesting ehh. 

Anyway I have been busy carving with the chainsaw again and have a sitting bear now out the front. The frog also got a coat of paint in passing.

 John might be coming up on Friday to give me some gardening tips and incentive to start more projects its good over the winter as there are no midgies and the grass doesnt have to be cut ever week, I did run the mower over a lawn yesterday but that was to pick up leaves rather than rake them as its easier. 

Have to go into Galway on Friday for a meeting with a website makeover job and have been busy perfecting an online booking system for the site that will be heaps cheaper for them than using the likes of checkfront.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

pink ladies and Fall colour

Well its that time of year when the garden is full of Autumnal colours one of my fav trees this time of year is below

Below is "tred bear"

Pink Ladies at the front of the house 

Cosmos have been great this year too a planter box on my back patio has been flowering for weeks and there is a patch of them where my dogwood/ bramble patch used to be.

Moved the wind vane recently

I've been crook with a chest infection since George and Gail left and also have an ulcer of something giving me stomach cramps which is due to be scoped later this month whenever I can get an appointment at the hospital. The chest infection left me a bit lethargic and I havent been doing much work but I'm feeling a bit better now and there seems to be fewer midgies so there are lots of jobs needing doing. 

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Perigee and apogee and snow on Mount Derrykyle

Its a really high tide tonight caused by Perigee (the closest approach that the Moon is to Earth) in fact this is the closest the moon has been to the Earth for 20 years at 221,756 miles, the furtherest it gets is 252,564 miles. Tonight's HW is 5.8 meters thankfully there is no gale of wind to push it any further ashore.

We have been having a good spell of weather the last couple of weeks, September turned out to be one of the better months this year. However mount Derrykyle has a snow cap and not to be beaten by Kilamanjaro it promises to last all year as well.

I have been industrious this last week with a new bear underway and I'm almost finished work on the Hippo, I think I'll call her Hanna. 

The Rugby World Cup has had some great games so far and they have been having good weather for it over in England too, My teams Scotland, Australia and Ireland are all going well and this weekend is a big test for both Scotland (against S Africa) and Australia (against a desperate England)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

German organizational skills

My German helper Baerbell hasn't had great weather at all for her stay but that has not stopped her hiking and cycling around the place after work and at the weekends. We managed to get the spare bedroom and en suite painted this week and my Jarra outdoor table and chairs got taken to bits, sanded and stained / varnished so they look as good as new again. I had to replace the seat wood with new stuff. The shed also got organized properly and you can actually find things now.

Baerbell leaves on Thursday or Friday and has two pals coming tomorrow night from Germany and they will travel around for a while until she starts at the next farmstay.
Some photos below from her travels round Connemara.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Summer colour

Well we haven't really had a summer this year but the flowers are still trying their best to put on a show.

The cornflower and wild flowers at the front gate have been great so I'm going to put them in three raised beds I have built next season, the colour has gone on for a good couple of months and I'll try and stagger early season bulbs like dafs and then the wild flower mix later in the season.

Got a trailer load of good soil from the garden centre at Moycullin the other day it was meant to be a ton but I think it was more like 2 tons, no complaints right enough.

John has been up visiting and helped make the rockery in the second photo from the bottom. My next helper arrives tomorrow afternoon for a few weeks then George and the clan descend on us for Angies birthday.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Omey horse races

Ian, Robbie, Angie, Gus and I were at the races yesterday, not the glamorous Galway Race meet where you have to don your best Sunday clobber this was at the Omey races. Omey is a tidal island located near Claddaghduff, a few miles from Clifden, in the western edge of Connemara. There is a route across the sand to the island and, at high tide, the water is deep enough to cover a car. The horse racing takes place on the beach and if the weather is good it would be a magic day out, yesterday the weather was anything but good but it was still well worth a visit even though we got soaked.

Angie won the first race after backing the favourite she took away €1.25 in profit my horse came second but seeing there were only three horses in the first race that's the same as coming second last. Anyway I,m not complaining as I won €100.

Will definitely go to Omey Races again if the weather is nice next year.

The day before we had a trip to Cong via Maam cross through Joyces Country a region in counties Galway and Mayo in Ireland. There are about 2,000 people living in the area. About 25% are native Irish speakers, in my part of connemara about 85% are native Irish speakers.
 Joyce Country lies west of the Lough Mask area, beyond the isthmus; a hilly region in the north of County Galway, extending into the southern part of County Mayo, traversed by green valleys and lonely roads which takes its name from a Norman Welsh family who settled here in the 13th century during the reign of Edward I. Many people with the name Joyce still live there. The writer James Joyce carries the family name. Infact we were laughing away as we drove through the area as every sign was like Joyces hardwear or Joyces garage or Paddy Joyce solicitors.

The weather has been pretty dreich for my wee sisters visit although we did manage out on the yacht for a fish the first day they were here, kids caught about 25 mackerel all in.