Monday, June 29, 2009


Spent the last 3 days on a trip to Northern Ireland. Barbara, my farm host, has built 3 holiday cottages attached to the 150 year old family farm house that we're just finishing and about to let out. Here's a page I put together for the cottages and for potential guests to check out.
We needed to completely furnish the houses before our bookings in just 2 weeks. Ikea was the place to do it but the Dublin store doesn't open till late July. So we hired a massive moving van and drove 7 hours to Belfast.
Stayed with a friend in Magherafelt that night then got up early the next morn and got to Ikea before they opened at 9am. Went over our gargantuan list while we downed some breakfast and coffee then spent the next 2 days meticulously raiding Ikea from open until close, a total of about 16 hours. We'd gone mad by the end of it and were dragging eachother out of there.
Northern Ireland was pretty interesting, having been in the south of the Republic of Ireland for the past 2 months there were many very noticable differences. For one there were Union Jacks flying everywhere, which I thought was fairly smug. The currency was sterling, which was a pain because we had to get our money changed over from euro. We didnt really have time to drive through Belfast city center but you could see a feel the torment that has hung over the city for ages. The people were really quite lovely though and I adore the accent. It's a queer blend of ancient Irish and Scottish. Very warm, light and melodic. Everyone sounds like there from The Secret of Roan Inish which I love. Overall I really liked the North and will be back sooner than later.

Our lovely Ikea associate that helped us with our mattresses.

Job well done.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Bicycle ride to Union Hall

Finally got my camera back from being repaired in the States, I now feel complete.
Went for a ride today, this is what I found.

Met the loveliest little girl at Keelbeg Pier.

Down the low road to Reen Pier

Up the high road to Ceim Hill

On to Castletownshend Cove

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Another good weekend

I need to catch up on the last 3 weekends, every one of them an adventure. There's another farm-hand that joined us 2 weeks ago from Oregon named John. Great guy and the two of us make a mighty fine pair for getting into mischief on the weekends. I'll just briefly outline this last one.

First the bad news. One of our chickens died. Not sure why? Think she might have been picked on by our crazy old cockold.

Hitchhiked up to the closest town with a movie theater about 35 miles away to see Terminator Salvation. Shitty little theater but the film was so bad ass!!! When the T800 cuts John Connor's face to give him the scar that he has in the flash forward in T2 was probably my favorite part. And Kyle Reese as a kid was a complete bad ass.

Met a leprechaun in Clonakilty.

Watched out for old people.

Went to mass.

As we were hitchhiking on the way back to Skibbereen these two brothers picked us up and invited us to a house party out in the countryside of Leap. It was one of their birthdays and they were quite pleasant characters so we joined them. It was at a professional soccer player's house, a new modern house with lots of windows and nothing but fields surrounding in every direction. I made some lovely friends, spun some fire, danced all night and kissed a girl from Galway. They write songs about Galway girls.
"If her hair was black and her eyes were blue
I've traveled around I've been all over this world
Boys I ain't never seen nothin' like a Galway girl"

I probably only got about 2 hours of sleep that night. Got a lift back the next morning then made some homemade pizza to finish off the weekend.

And that's just a summary.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Month 1

I've been here in Ireland 1 month today.

What I've learned:
Knackered means exhausted
Give over means cut it out
Crack - a great party or good time
Blight - a potato disease
Point of lay pullet - a chicken around 6 months of age, now a hen able to lay eggs
Hitch hiking here is practically a form of public transportation
How to turn soil, make raised timber beds, and plant new crops
Go raibh maith agat - "thank you" in gaelic, pronounced gurra mah aggut
How to wire a battery on a 100 year old sailboat
How to wield a pick axe
Irish dairy was sent from God
Tea in Ireland is consumed more than water
It's common courtesy to say "hiya" and wave when you pass someone on the road
Everyone knows everyone
How to live with and be a big brother for a curious, inquisitive, trouble-making, 8 year old chancer of a boy
Ireland is more beautiful than any picture you'll ever see on a calendar
I still can't pull off a legitimate Irish accent
And that I'm starting to call this home