Sunday, September 27, 2009

Saturday 26th September, Galway Auction, Coole Park

Galway Auction Rooms

We took a trip to the Galway auction rooms today as they are selling loads of curtains - and we need lots for the new extension. Sadly, none of them suited. They were either very old and smelly or wild colours or the wrong sizes.

We did have fun, however, looking at the over 1000 lots that are up for auction on Monday. Best of all was a 6' wide 4 poster bed. Sadly it's too big for our bedroom, but it was magnificent. I was also taken by a stuffed crocodile and an elephant's foot!! There was a stunning desk too, but it's going to be too expensive. We'll probably go along on Monday just for the fun of it.

Coole Park

On the way back, we stopped at a garage and bought some fresh rolls, ham and butter and headed to Coole Park, our favourite dog walking spot. We made our rolls and eat them then took Buster for a walk down to the lake, eating an apple each on the way (I must lose some weight). Jim was in charge of the camera and took a few photos:

The lake has receded with the recent dry weather, and we were able to walk along the side of it a little. Me and Buster.

The view in the opposite direction with my head on the left!

Me. Hair as wild as ever!

Buster had a quick paddle and a drink.

We had a lovely walk around the park and Buster was quite well behaved. He enjoyed the attentions of several people who all thought he was 'cute'. They should follow him home....

The Deenery

Back in the car, we headed off towards home. We decided to drive up the road on the hillside opposite The Deenery and take some photos, as it was quite clear today.

The Deenery with the digger at the back! You can see the flat roof of the extension and the barn behind the cottage, although the distance between the barn and cottage is foreshortened in the photo.

Can you spot The Deenery in this one? Click on it to enlarge the photo and it's on the left near the top. You can see more of Lough Graney in this shot.

This is a panorama that Jim took. Please click on it to see it properly and spot The Deenery again.

We went home and I changed and headed out to the garden for the last hour of light, then lit a bonfire, coming back in just in time to see the dance off in Strictly Come Dancing!

Jim made dinner and I scrubbed the carrots, but I thought this one was just too difficult to cope with:

What a weird thing!!

And its other side!!

Tomorrow I will be grouting the bathroom tiles, such excitement!

On Monday, Jim and I are flying to the UK for 4 days. I have a visit to the dentist planned and it will be the first time I have seen Sonny, my new Grandson. I will also have a chance to catch up with Poppy. Jim has a meeting on the Tuesday and will be out all day, so some shopping might just be called for.

Happy Sunday everyone.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Goodies through the post - Post!

A Good Read Award

I mentioned that I had been given this award from Pam's English Garden and I forgot to pass it on. I would love to nominate Mildred of Mildredsmenagerie at Nalley Valley. Mildred lives in North Georgia and always has lots of interesting things to chat about including her 'menagerie' and some great photos of the area in which she lives. It's certainly a good read. Mildred, you also have to write 10 things about yourself. This is the address of Mildred's blog:


I did a swap with Soulbrush of 2 Artist Trading Cards. Here are the 2 super ones I received from soulbrush in London:

A lovely collage of 'Autumn Leaves'.

I love the green and white background and the razzle dazzle leaves sewn onto this ATC.

Thank you so much soul, they're delightful. Soulbrush also enclosed some bits and bobs for me to use:

Our ABC/ATC Group has now reached the letter 'S'. Teri, the group founder, sent me this lovely S for Sand Dollar made using acrylic paint.

The ATC was enclosed in a pretty pop up card:

Giraffaway from Raph G Neckmann

I entered one of those give aways more in hope than expectation and - guess what - I won! Anyone who knows Raph's amazing blog will realise he is from a family of giraffes! He has just started a new venture, selling his giraffy cards and I chose four of them which I liked the best. As the winner, I received all 4 cards plus the card from Raph.

The very strange thing is that the card Raph wrote in has a picture on the front of a giraffe eating Salix matsudana 'Tortuosa' or the twisted willow tree. In our front garden, we have the very same tree, about the same size as the one on the card. Sadly no giraffe though. Spooky.

This is the card to which I am referring above.

Here are the four cards I won in the giraffaway!

Title: ' Durham Goes Giraffe'

Title: 'High Altitude Toothpaste'

Title: 'Giraffe Among Tall Raspberries' (The Giraffe Method of Stress Release)

Title: 'Awakening'.

I hope you agree that they are just superb. I love the giraffe print clouds in the last one.

You can buy Raph's cards here:

Do visit Raph's blog, it's well worth it.

This is his blog address:

I have tried to make links but they didn't work. Sorry.

Belated Birthday Card

Sam, my lovely daughter in law, is always spot on time with birthday cards and presents. Sadly, this time my cards and present hadn't arrived by the time I had to go off to the UK. When I returned, the parcel was there but 'Doorus' had been spelt incorrectly. Aha, that explains the more than usually slow delivery by the Irish Postal Service.

Jack, my adorable 4 year old grandson, had made me a birthday card:

Very subtle, I think you'll agree!! I was covered in glitter all day.

Inside, he had written his name himself:

Lucky me.


Jim brought home a super bunch of flowers on Wednesday. It consisted mostly of sunflowers and lilies and I added 2 gladioli stems from the allotment.

I made a montage of them.


What an endearing face he has.

He became interested in my sculpture 'The Woven' today. His head disappeared inside....

Then he appeared with the bee in his mouth! Luckily it was tied on with string, so he had to let it go.

BlackJack, feeling superior, was watching Buster from on top of the wall. He didn't realise how silly he looked with cobwebs on his head!

Here, Buster is trotting towards me down the path. I love the way he walks and runs as he hardly seems to bend his legs at all, unlike most dogs.

The Rest

Today the builders made a hole through our extension roof for the boiler chimney. I photographed them up through the hole they had made!

Joe came out a bit blurred!

Martin, always smiling! The boiler chap is coming to bring and fit our new pellet boiler next Friday. I can't believe we'll actually get it connected up.

Jim has done about three quarters of the tiling in the bathroom.

Buster wanted him to play ball.

That's it for today. I cleaned the old bathroom and then did some more gardening and watched Joe and Martin scratching their heads over fitting the boiler pipe!

That's all Folks!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A Mixed Bag with Photos, 23rd September 2009

A view of The Deenery from The Fairy Hill. Once an impossible photo to take as the now demolished barn was in the way! The flat roofed section is the extension.

Blog Award

I have been nominated for an award from Pam's English Garden. It is rather a splendid one and Pam nominated me, saying, 'I pass it to Gina at BT-The Crafty Gardener who writes VOLUMES about her life and gardening in Ireland. She is constantly entertaining as well as informative.' Isn't that lovely? I am flattered. I will attempt to put the award in the appropriate place when I've finished tonight's blog. I also have to write 10 things about myself. Having done a few of these, I'm running out of things you won't know but I'll do my best.

1 As a child, we had a cleaner. She was cleaning our bath and said 'I have to clean round the plugole', in her cockney accent. I piped up 'It's plug hole, not plugole'. Oh dear, what a precocious little thing I must have been.

2 I have been able to swim for as long as I can remember. I must have learned in the sea as my parents had a caravan from when I was a baby.

3 I was captain of the school swimming team and used to swim breast stroke and butterfly and take part in the individual medley where you had to swim 1 length of each stroke, the 2 above plus backstroke (which I was ok at) and crawl (freestyle), which I was rubbish at!

4 I love stationery. Pens, paper, envelopes. I can't walk past that section in a store without stopping.

5 My love of gardening came from my father. From an early age I used to help in the garden and had my own little flower bed. We had an allotment for a while and I would accompany my father there to help.

6 When I took my O level English Language exam, one of the choices for the essay was 'Gardening'. I couldn't believe my luck and achieve a Grade B. I bet I was one of the few who chose that title!

7 Even when I have lived in rented houses, I have always worked on the gardens. I built a steep rockery in one of them and seeded the front garden with nasturtiums. Passers by used to stop and admire the display.

8 If I see a neglected garden, I want to go and sort it out, it seems such a waste of space to me and a lot can be achieved with a little hard work, a packet or two of seeds and visits to gardeners who will often give you some of their plants for nothing.

9 I have one brother and one sister. My brother had polio at 18 months old, which left him with knock knees. My sister, brother and I all went to ballet classes and within a couple of years, my brother's legs were perfectly straight. In his true fashion of being good at just about everything, he then got into the Royal Ballet School! He ended up taking the academic route though and became a University Lecturer at Cambridge.

10 Blogging has changed my life. I love the fact that I now have a 'diary' and somewhere to post photos, photography being a great love of mine. I'm sure you all know that fact for sure! I love the blogging world and the friends I have made.

The Barn Demolition

Here, half of the roof timbers have gone and if you look carefully, the digger bucket is just about to take down the last few.
The roof starts to cave in.
The gable end collapses!
In a shower of dust!
The rest of the barn was demolished while I was in the UK, so I have today taken some 'after' photos.
On the left is where the barn was! They have left some of the remains, which we wanted, so it will look a bit like a ruin plus giving us a degree of privacy if we sit inside it.

The view across to the Fairy Hill and the sleeping shed, previously hidden behind the barn.

This is the view along the back of the cottage which now has a path along it, from the barn site.

The inside of the barn. The walls need a bit of adjusting. The floor was always on 2 levels and the builders have made good the step down, which was badly worn.

The cottage from the side view showing the new extension and the ex-barn!

The beam that was above the large door opening into the barn. I'd love to get its age checked. Must have a word with my brother, who's an archaeologist. It's amazingly heavy.

This is my lovely grotto! Now full of stone. We realised this would happen and removed any important plants, such as the ferns, to a new bed.

To the right of the barn site, this is our new wider road down to the arboretum and meadow.

We have loved the fact that the sun now shines on the back of the house for much longer, now that the very high barn roof has gone.

The New Bathroom

Just a glimpse through into the new bathroom now the suite is in! I love the suite, the basin has super lines and the loo is very neat. Jim has done more tiling today, round the bath. More photos when it's progressed further!

The Garden

September has been a lovely sunny month and the flowers in our garden are still going strong. Some of them, like the primulas, have had a second wind. Maybe they think it's Spring again.

This lovely plant, grown from seed, has grown taller and taller and is just covered in flowers.

A lovely primula which has burst into flower, together with the white one below.

The petunias have also kept flowering since Spring. One above and five below.

The Kafir lilies are putting on a wonderful display. Here, one vies for attention with a late flowering montbretia:

A dark red antirrhinum has just flowered with the pink of a mallow showing behind.

The Spring flowering perennial alyssum has burst into flower again.

Below are the cornflowers, first the blue, then the white. They have flowered intermittently all Summer:

This is the bed, in front of our porch, that I have re-vamped. I emptied it of all the primula 'Wanda' and other plants that had taken over and put the ferns from the Grotto bed in here. The hostas were already there. This is a very damp spot, so ferns and hostas love it. I did this before my holiday and it's looking good already.

Phormium leaves, so beautiful.

Other Garden Work

Above the 'new' rockery (now the only rockery), was an area covered in ivy, bramble and stinging nettles. I have cleared it in the last few days. The top of the rockery was crumbling away, so I put some more stones near the top and planted some of the primula 'Wanda' there, plus some other ground hugging plants, to knit the soil together.

This is taken from the top, showing the cleared site, or some of it and the newly planted ground cover plants.


Sandy and BlackJack posed for photos in the sunshine!

The Woven

Do you remember the 'Disintegration Project' where I hung a parcel in a tree for months, took it down and made my wigwam like structure? It has been in the garden ever since August and is actually doing rather well considering all the rain it's been through. Seth Apter instigated the whole project.

This is a photo of The Woven when it was first finished.

This is it today.

One of my Christmas Cards made with pressed leaves for The Deenery, taken early August.
This is how they look today. Somewhat weathered and with a distinct loss of colour.

Butterflies on the original Woven

The bottom of that section. Some of the paper has fallen out and the colours have faded in the sunshine.
Here is the original woven section of the photo of an ibis, taken when it was just finished. Below is today's photo, rather faded and the purple colour has gone. The purple lines of weaving above the ibis have changed to blue in the photo below.

I will leave it to suffer the Irish winter and see how it has changed by, say, January 2010.

The Red Window

This is in the remaining barn. The doorway didn't have a door, so Jim made this window recycling one from the cottage. Don't worry, there is another doorway. He painted it red and I think it looks splendid. Now he has the other door to paint.

Sorry this is a bit long but I had lots to write about. My next post will be about all the lovely things I've received in the post this week.