Sunday, June 28, 2009

Happy 50th birthday to John Coakley!! John threw a big party for his birthday yesterday, complete with marquee, all on a 50's theme, with fantastic food, and some great outfits. There was a bit of a last minute rush to get things ready, so we went and helped out a bit, and then had to improvise costumes a bit ( I wore Rachels leather jacket and jeans - a bit tight! ) There were a few Elvises around with outrageous wigs, so we all got to try them on as the evening progressed. There was a collection for John, and this is being put towards a laptop, and as a last minute thought, some chickens! As we didn't have time to get a henhouse organised we just had a guest appearance by two of our chickens, who behaved very well in spite of the noise and crowds. A special mention goes out to Eamonn who you can see in the photo with the two Elvises, dressed up in a wig with two balloons up his t-shirt!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The girls have returned from their trip to Plymouth after having a great time visiting all the relations - everyone enjoyed themselves and the weather was lovely there ( and here too! ) Thanks to Mike and Sue, and Julie and Robert for putting them up. As you'd expect, no sooner than they were through the door, and they were off for a barbeque on the beach! I'd been quite busy looking after the B&B and I don't think Anna and Thalke from Germany actually believed I had a wife and daughter as they were never around! They enjoyed their stay, even after being a bit sore from horseriding on the beach, and loved seeing the ducks, chickens, cat, and also Paudie's donkeys, Pedro and Lefty in the field next to us ( and they enjoyed the carrots....)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Thomas, Claire and Ryan threw a big barbecue at their place just down the valley from us on Sunday. They've been working really hard on their land in Gleann Na Gealt, with three polytunnels up, and loads of trees planted: the place looks great and should be producing loads of fruit and veg for their shop Manna in Tralee before too long. Ryan and Mark had done a bit of fishing for the barbie and had caught 82 Mackerel in just one hour - not bad going! The weather was a bit strange - thick mist, but still warm, and it was interesting finding our way home. Claire's Mum and Dad and sisters came and stayed at the B&B. I think they preferred the idea of staying at ours to the alternative which was an old ambulance down on the farm....

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Our guests have been enjoying the lovely weather here. We've just had Janette and Maurice staying, all the way from Bannockburn, New Zealand, lovely people! Janette runs Aurum Homestay, which looks like a beautiful place to stay with gorgeous gardens, and Maurice is an artist with a gallery in Bannockburn. Just to prove what a small world it is, Janette met someone from the same town in a shop in Dingle - bear in mind that they only have about 400 inhabitants at home! You can see some of Maurice's work at the Antarctic Visitors Centre in Christchurch, and he was fascinated to visit the South Pole Inn in Annascaul, which was once owned by explorer Tom Crean, who was on some of the Antarctic expeditions with Scott and Co. and to learn some more of the history of the place. Congratulations also to their daughter Ingrid who had a baby boy, Bram, whilst they were here. Nice also to welcome back Mark, after his walk around the Dingle Way, tired but delighted with the great weather.

Friday, June 12, 2009

With immaculate timing, John and I managed to return Paudie and Nuala's trailer which we had borrowed just as Paudie returned from a fishing trip in Ventry, so lovely fresh Mackerel for tea! This went well with some pickled Cauliflower that I made just the other day - although Caitlin said it wasn't very nice - my harshest critic.....

Sunday, June 7, 2009

All action here today - we let our three new ducks out to join the rest of the gang, and they seem to have settled in fine, no dramas! We have also seen our first frog in the pond - I'm sure he had a tail this morning....
Rachel did a lot more work in the polytunnel, so it's looking really good. You can see the size of the cauliflowers in the photo.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

It's been really hot all week, and you really wouldn't want to be anywhere else when it's like this. Today is the first day it has cooled down for days, so we can't complain. Rachel has been delighted as the cauliflowers she planted in the polytunnel have produced some beautiful caulies - we began to think that there were just leaves ( like elephants ears ! ) Les helped me cut down a load of overgrown willow trees at Niamh and Con's caravan down the road and Rachel and I have then planted lots of willow rods as the start of a willow tunnel in the garden - hopefully Caitlin will enjoy it. Pictures to follow once it has grown a bit!
Congratulations to the crew at Gortbrack Organic Farm who won a Gold medal in the Engaging Spaces category at Bloom in the Park in Dublin, a fantastic achievement.
We also have one broody duck, who has a little nest in the middle of one of the hedges - at the last count she was sitting on seven eggs, but we're not too sure that it will lead anywhere as she wandered away from them last night.....time will tell...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Wow, superb weather for a few days now, and even better as it's a Bank Holiday weekend. It was even warm, sunny AND windy on Friday, so was out windsurfing at Drainpipes - excellent logo high, clean waves. The girls were at the beach on Saturday, with Cara, Dylan and Chloe, and then we managed to get some time in the garden tidying up, and planting, in between messing around with Caitlin in her paddling pool. We were joined on by Phil, Jess and Molly on Sunday, who loved the pool as well. Today was really hot and sunny, and the polytunnel reached 42 degrees. We've had strawberries in there for a few days now - they're about two weeks earlier than the ones outside, and really juicy and sweet. We also had cauliflower and potatos from the garden with our dinner. The field is full of Brendans sheep and lambs at the moment, they're enjoying the grass and sunshine, and so is the cat...