From slang.ie :
Wagon. A cranky contary female / an ugly female. She\'s some wagon eh?
wagon. wagon - an awful woman. than one is such a wagon!
wagon. a woman thats a bitch. dat ones a right wagon.
Wagon. A cantankerous old woman.. Yer wan's some wagon, I asked her could I feed the seagulls and she lifted me out of it!
wagon. car or other mode of transport. i'll drive my waggon.
Wanderly Wagon. A much loved Irish children's TV program which ran from 1968 to 1982
Friday, 30 September 2011
Tuesday, 27 September 2011
I just don't "get it" when people say "I love the autumn" - well up to now anyway. This year I am revelling in the wild harvest that Autumn is offering us, and I'm developing a new affection for this season!
I've been growing vegetables in a very old manure heap for a couple of years now, pretty successfully.
My Facebook page has been enhanced with various shots of me hiding behind giant vegetables.
There was the giant squash (dressed up like one of the kids from Southpark):
The giant broccoli :
The giant sunflower (I'm not tall enough to hide behind it) :
And now, Autumn 2011 brings us the giant mushroom :
These started appearing about a month ago, buried in the nettles at the back of the veggies. They're called Shaggy Parasol Mushrooms (a friend of Anne's identified them for me) and they are very edible and very delicious.
I was a bit sad when the original four died back, but lo and behold, they have gone forth, increased and multiplied! They're filling up a 15 foot stretch of the boundary at the rear of the veggies now.
|The little white spot is a silvermint to give perspective!|
|I stuffed the one on the right and "souped" the other two|
By the time I'd finished the carrots and the stuffed mushroom, I was a stuffed Martine with no room for potatoes.
There's also the odd field mushroom popping up in the paddock :
These are much more modest, and less shamelessly "mushroomy" in flavour. If I find a few of these while I'm skipping out the paddock, I bring 'em in and fry them up for brekkie. Yum.
Did I say I like mushrooms?
I mentioned spotting damsons before I went on holiday. Sadly, I never got around to picking them until today, and I reckon I was about two weeks too late. By dint of stretching enormously past my 5'3" limit, and using a forked stick to pull down branches so I could reach them, I collected about 2lbs of fruit, but a fair few of them were past their prime.
I went through the jam-making steps, noting that it smelled very alcoholic at the stewing stage, before I added the sugar.
Winemaking might have been a better idea, but I managed to make about 3lbs of fairly tart jam anyway. I bet Denis likes it!
There are still plenty of blackberries - I've been scoffing them as I walk the dogs most days. The dogs love them too, although Cookie had to be shown what they were. Now herself & Cinny pick the low ones while I pick the higher ones. Poor ol' Molly can't see them anymore, so I always pick a few just for her.
Friday, 23 September 2011
Thursday, 22 September 2011
Why Lanzarote? Ehhh, because we live ten minutes from Cork airport and we could get a direct flight from there to Lanzarote, of course. And we seemed fairly certain to get good weather there. So other than "sun" we arrived into Lanzarote with no expectations whatsoever, other than that I'd previously spent a week in the neighbouring island of Fuerteventura and was fairly unimpressed.
|My favourite pic from the holiday!|
Thankfully, our expectation were well exceeded, mostly thanks to a visionary artist/architect called Cesar Manrique. Back in the 60s, he spotted Lanzarote's tourism potential, and managed to convince the powers-that-be on the island not to allow high rise development, such as has marred so much of the coast of Spain. Many of the attractions on the island were also designed by him - Mirador del Rio, a beautiful viewing spot at the North of the island, the guest centre at the heart of the volcano park and his own residence, which is designed so the lower floor is made up of bubbles in an old lava tunnel, to name but a few.
Some of Manrique's works on the island:
|Jameos del Agua - an underground cave system, built into|
lava tubes. Based on an idea by Cesar Manrique
We unwound pretty well - ate way too much, drank way too much, watched Ireland annihilate Australia (woohoo!) in a lively bar at 9.30am, walked a bit, swam a bit and lolled around a bit.
We also rented a car and did some touring around. There's loads to see, and even though it takes at most an hour to drive the length of the island, we found that after having the car for three days, there was still stuff we hadn't seen.
|View at Mirador del Rio|
I'm always interested in agriculture in different countries ('cos I'm a country girl, I guess) and boy do they face challenges on Lanzarote. Wind, sun and lack of rain combine to make their lives difficult. Everything they grow has to be given shelter from the elements, and they do this by building little individual windbreaks out of lava rock around their plants.
|Ploughed fields, covered in moisture retaining lava gravel|
|Individual stone walls for plants. And they think they have it rough|
on the Aran Islands!
Add into this the fact that the ground is covered in volcanic rock of some sort, and you'd wonder how can anything survive, yet they produce an award winning goats cheese, there's a large area with lettuce & other greenery and there's a thriving (& unique) wine-growing region. This last one was what most grabbed my attention!
Pruning and picking are are also done by hand and are made even more difficult in that the farmers have to slide down into each "dimple" to work on each plant, so Lanzarotean wine is not cheap, but I can personally testify that it's excellent. Our favourite was the Malvasia Secco from the Stratvs vineyard - there's not much of this around, though, but there's plenty of El Grifo wine available, and it's pretty drinkable too.
They also seem to be growing corn. I'm not sure how successful this is. Maybe it's intended as fodder for the goats?
Great fun, but Health & Safety would never let them away with it here!
|The dining room at Stratvs Bodega|
We were getting reports from home that doggies, horses and cats were all fine, until I got a slightly worrying text from Denis on the last day, saying he was on his way back from a walk with Cookie and
"it may be a case of too little too late. You will appreciate the import of the above when you see the state of your back kitchen...."
Gulp. We weren't sure were we facing major toilet mishaps or what. Thankfully it turned out to be "or what" :
|The result of a leaving hyperactive young terrier|
alone for long periods
She had unpacked all of Tansy's horse-gear boxes and had cleared every shelf she could reach of every item. Thankfully, she's a disorganiser, not a chewer, and no lasting damage was done. I think she is aiming for Scampy's "Naughtiest Dog" title. She could indeed be a contender!
Monday, 19 September 2011
Fri. Sun/showers H14 L9
Sat. Sun/showers H12 L8
Sun. Sun/cloud H14 L9
Mon. Rain H14 L8
Tues. Sun/cloud H12 L8
Weds. Sun/cloud H13 L9
Fri. Sun H27 L14
Sat. Sun/cloud H28 L16
Sun. Rain H21 L10
Mon. Fog H21 L9
Tues. Sun H24 L9
Weds. Sun/cloud H24 L11
Post on the joys of Lanzarote coming soon!
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
We always said Scamp was part cat. She had cat-like independence – she was not an overly affectionate dog. She rarely gave kisses. She was never 100% comfortable sitting on a lap – she’d hop down after a few minutes like an embarrassed teenager who's been hugged in front of their friends. She had (at least) nine lives – in fact the way she hung on to life at the end speaks volumes.
She's resting under the tree in the corner of the field where she used to sit waiting for Frank every morning.
Monday, 12 September 2011
|The earliest photo of me on a horse.|
Taken on holiday in 1975.
I'm on the right
I did my best to make up for lost time, and got very involved in the Cork riding club scene for several years, competing regularly and organising competitions for my club.
|Flurry & me, just after I bought him|
Friday, 9 September 2011
Thursday, 8 September 2011
Summer arrived for about six hours today, and Anne & I headed out for a quiet hack from home (mine, not hers, GiGi is staying with us for a while)
It had just started to cloud over when we set off, which made it very pleasant riding weather. We did a short road hack :
Tuesday, 6 September 2011
|Ann Mckenna with Tilda, Anne with Roxy, and Martine|
|New kid on the block|