Sunday, January 20, 2008

We've had some really wet weather, last week there was bad thunder and lightning, and a house in Brandon was struck and badly damaged. There was more this week, and I was speaking to a delivery driver who had to pick up some computer equipment from that house. He said that next door had taken a hit as well, and it had blown the dishwasher through the wall! All the knives and forks were fused together - amazing. He also said that lightning had struck the road just ahead of his van: there were flames, smoke, and a smell of sulphur. I think I would have gone home straight away....
I did manage to get into the garden a couple of days ago, and planted about seventy native trees along one side of the garden. This will help shelter the cottage from the winds that blow up the valley. I got the trees from Ian at Gortbrack, so now we have a great selection of birch, beech, wild cherry, spindle, blackthorn, hornbeam and oak. They all got a good helping of home produced compost and a layer of cardboard, newspapers or magazines, covered with wood chippings to stop the grass taking all the nutrients until they are established. Should look good soon.
Had a lovely evening at The Phoenix restaurant last night with Mark, Laura and Padma. The food there is all organic, and is home grown by Lorna. She had the place extended in the summer and it's now a lot bigger, and has been really well decorated - the atmosphere is great, really chilled.

Monday, January 7, 2008

On Sunday we took a trip out to the Gap of Dunloe - its almost deserted at this time of year, so you can drive to it. The roads are really narrow, and usually you'd walk it or take a horse and cart, or there is an old fashioned bus. The views are spectacular: mountains, lakes and streams, and you never quite know where the road is going to turn next! You carry on to the Black Valley, and then to Molls Gap, so you take in all the views across the National Park. Today Rachel went horseriding on the Maharees: O'Connors Trekking stays open all year round so she had a lovely ride along the beach, and managed to miss any showers!

Sunday, January 6, 2008

A Happy New Year to everyone! Ours started quietly, as we stayed in - Rachel had a bit of a cold, so sat in front of a roaring fire for the evening. The weather has turned colder, and there has been snow around the country: Limerick, Clare and Galway, as well as further North. England has been much colder, but we have escaped it all! I've posted another picture from last winter so you can see what it could be like. It's still pretty cool, and its been windy so have had a few windsurfing sessions. It was great down at Fermoyle just after Christmas, windy and mast high waves. Had to dodge some hailstorms at Gowlane on Friday - it felt like somebody was throwing golf balls at your head! Must be mad.....