Monday, June 23, 2008

Here's a picture of the new ducklings: they now have a small run inside the barn, and seem happy splashing in a bowl of water. No names yet, but I'm sure we'll come up with something appropriate soon.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

We have had another few good days here: at the moment we have John and Val visiting from Sheringham, Norfolk. They're here for two weeks, but had a night in Cork to see their son, Luke, who is driving Dolly Partons band around on her tour. They went to see the show, and said it was really good, and were well looked after.

I managed to get an excellent windsurfing session at Kilcummin the other day: light winds close to the beach, so hard work getting through the waves, but once you did get out it was great. Today was the christening of Mairt and Una's newest arrival, Oscar. It was a short and sweet ceremony, with lots of kids in the congregation which was nice to see. Then it was back to theirs for refreshments and a barbeque, but yours truly slipped away to Fermoyle for another quick windsurf!

We've had to give up the hatching for a bit, as the last lot of eggs did nothing but get smelly! So, off went Rachel to the mart in Dingle and brought back two ducklings. They are only 2 1/2 weeks old, so we have some more work to do until they can join the other ducks once they are bigger.

Monday, June 16, 2008

We we're pleased that our friend Madeeha phoned us, and asked if her father, Khalid Rashid, could stay for a couple of nights. Her Mother and Father were visiting to help look after the twins, who are now eight months old. He was our first visitor from Pakistan, Islamabad to be exact, and it was a real pleasure for us to meet him.
Mark phoned on Sunday to say he was going Windsurfing at Inch, so I rushed off down there for a quick blast - the weather was great again, with some small waves, and just the two of us out on the water. Laura was there with Padma and Jago, and her mum Philomena, and I also got to meet Great Auntie Sheila ( known affectionately as GAS I believe! ) Rachel brought Caitlin down for a run around, and of course, she had to rip all her clothes off and get all natural. ( Caitlin, not Rachel...) Corinne and Dan also came down, and then back to ours for Sunday roast ( Organic Chicken from Milltown Market, very nice. )

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Sunny again today, so a bit more work in the garden - we've been doing raised beds, so another three are now complete and are topped up with manure! Hopefully this will do the trick, and we'll be getting bumper crops!
We also have just seen the latest Lonely Planet guide for Ireland and we're listed in there - just a line or two, but it's still good....

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The vegetable garden is starting to take off as we have some sunny weather, with a few showers in between. Today we got some mange tout, cabbage, broad beans and some mixed salad leaves. We should have strawberries in a few days as well, so looking forward to that. We're full tonight in the B&B, with guests from Germany, Holland and France ( our own little Euro 2008! ) and it was really nice to meet Carstens nieces from Berlin, Sandra and Beata last night.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Another good couple of days! On Tuesday I had a great windsurfing session at Goulane; sunny, warm water, cross offshore wind and good waves. Wednesday began with a heavy downpour, but it was warm and sunny again by 10 o'clock, and then a little showery this morning - good for the garden, but sunnier in the afternoon. I went up to Gortbrack Organic Farm today to see Ian and Eileen, who were just back from Bloom in the Park in Dublin. Their garden was really well received, and got a mention in the Irish Sunday Times as being one 'not to miss' and were on The Den, the kids TV show. Best of all they got a silver gilt medal ( Diarmuid Gavins one only got a bronze ) so they were really pleased.
Still on the green front, we have just switched our electrical supplier to Airtricity so our electricity now comes from the wind farms. We also decided a couple of months ago to stop using the tumble drier. We always tried to dry washing on the line, but now if its showery we put stuff in the polytunnel - it dries really fast in there!

Monday, June 2, 2008

We continued with our mission of trying to explore more of the Dingle Peninsula today. We did a nice circular walk starting at the Gallarus Oratory, west of Dingle. We've been to the Oratory before, so we carried on up the road, and this soon leads you to a settlement of five stone huts within a ring fort called Cathair Deargáin. Its really well preserved with walls that curve in, low doorways between the huts, and superb views. Just down the road from this is the Chancellors House, Tigh an tSeansailera, which is the 13th century home of the Bishop of Ardfert. Its well preserved again, and apparently quite a large house for its time, but pretty basic. You can then walk down to the church at Kilmalkedar - this is Cill Maolchédair in Gaelic, coming from an Ulsterman who founded a 6th century monastic settlement here. The church has ancient stone crosses and an inscribed Ogham stone outside. The church is quite ornate compared to some structures nearby, and you can also see St. Brendans House, which is an old priests house, and another small Oratory further down the road. We then walked down to the small village of An Mhuiríoch, and along the beach. From there you can head back towards Gallarus via Gallarus Castle along the Way of the Saints. Actually, the only ones on this path were a large black hen and her brood of chicks! Its an interesting area, full of history, and the fields and hedgerows are filled with flowers at this time of year. Rachel and Caitlin did have to indulge in some apple pie and cream at the cafe at the visitor centre, so they were happy!
As an update on the fishing trip: Mark, Squinty and I went to see if there was anything in the lobster pots we put down. Pot number one contained two big spider crabs, a brown crab and a conger eel. The conger eel was desperate to escape, and we were hopping around the boat trying to avoid his teeth! We managed to catch him in the end, so on to pot number two, which contained another brown crab, and a bigger conger, who went straight back into the sea. The first one had actually bitten the claws off the crab ( head surgeon Squinty discovered this as he chopped up the eel...) We caught a few more Mackerel for tea, and then tried frying up the eel - it tasted OK, but had too many bones, so the bits went back into the sea. Some sort of justice there as the crabs will probably eat him.