Category Archives: Ireland

April (nearly) Apres

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Things here are far from normal. I’d prefer not to go into detail, but hubby is again very unwell. Nevertheless, I found a way back into the gardening groove. I’ve done a lot in the last few days, without even getting near the years-old stash of seeds.

Wrong time of year, I know, but I planted the rest of the gladiolus hubby bought me last year (it might die, but it will certainly die if leave in the house another year). I also planted snakes-head fritillary, some ordinary lilies, three spider lilies, and about four other types of bulbs he bought for me last year. I’m almost glad he isn’t well enough to be shopping right now as I have hardly any room left! All these seed packets of potential life are kinda breaking my heart. I need about five more acres of land…

I have had a few happy surprises from older plants.


My peony has a bud! Just one, and it is soooo tiny. Today I saw that new shoots are coming up about 4in from the main plant, too. I think she is happy here!


I have an asparagus! One. Ah, well. 


Celeriac? I tried some from seed two years ago, no joy. This grew in a poor bonsai that himself bought me – bonsai died (one of the things I’m not good at). I dug it out and moved it to the Stupid Girl raised bed. Hope it keeps going as we have discovered that celeriac is delicious


Bluebells! Gift from his uncle. 


I am pretty sure these gladiolus are coming up way too early. Also shown is the world’s tallest gazania, still going strong. Tallest according to Ark, who should know; they are native to South Africa. 


The head of one of the red and black lilies I’ve had for years now. I love how they grow in an anti-clockwise spin. 


Ash tree that decided to grow in one of my containers. There aren’t any ash trees nearby at all! One of two I have. They take up a good amount of space, but I have a friend who wants them both for his very wooded property. He is welcome to have them – I figure if they like me, they will like him, too. 

My one and only tulip. You can’t tell here, but this is about the size of the top joint of my thumb. It is wee! I dug them all out last year and planted them nice and safe in sunshiney pots… I got one. Oh well! There is always next year. 


Mystery things. Look orchid-y with the purple spots, but the stems are just a straight solid shoot. May be another blow in? Garden is now plagued (in a good way) with native orchids. 


Rosemary back to its flowering tricks again. Second most neglected herb I have growing in a pot. I’m afraid to let it loose after what the oregano and sage have become (triffids, I’m not kidding).


Who doesn’t love these?


One for Ark – I rarely see grasshoppers here. This one is so tiny, that white thing is a dog hair. Poor thing was also missing one vital back leg. I ushered it into the grass, maybe it will have a chance there. 

I Want to Stage a Catnapping

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Of Piggie Peggy, of course.

Last week there was a dead cat on the side of the road right across from my work. My heart dropped like a lead weight when I saw it, afraid that it might be Piggie: it wasn’t. The poor thing laid there for three damn days before anyone did anything about it.

Strikes one and two against the area where she lives. Busy road, and no one cares about cats.

She has a great fear of cars, but you know anything can happen. She could get chased by a loose dog, or by one of the many many kids that walk past to the school nearby.

Then, there is this. She is SO pregnant. Any day she is going to be a young mom, again.


Fat belly, and all her nipples are swollen four times the size they used to be.

The problem for me is that I’m off work until May 2nd. She won’t have anyone looking out for her, and she will be looking for me. I’m not going to be there when she has them! Not even nearby! I know I’d likely not see her for weeks while they mature, of course, but I’d still be trying to get a glimpse of her. Her probable ‘home’ is the shed out back of one particular house right on the main road. I’m nearly certain she isn’t allowed inside, as she usually smells of kerosene.

I can say that I’m the only one who shows her affection, because she has learned so well how to get me to love on her the way I want to (don’t sharpen your nails on my leg. No, I’m not going to play with you with my hands). She was very unsocialised before she learned that laps and face-scratches are good things.

Then the last, worst, thought occurred to me. These people don’t get her any veterinary care – what if they are the type of people who also drown kittens? It’s not that uncommon here, disgustingly.


And then there are the scars. Both ears, her nose, and her shoulders are always a bit scabby or balding from injuries.


What a face! 

So, I’m seriously tempted to go and steal her away. The problem is: what I would do next? Obviously a vet visit straight away. Then what? We can’t take another cat, especially a pregnant one, into our house. She’s an outdoor cat in any case and would hate to be inside with the dog and two male cats twice her size. Not to mention that himself would kill me, we have enough troubles going on.

The only shelter we have outside would be our shed, which is a disaster of junk, tiny, and none too clean. Not really a step up for her, at all. And not a place for kittens.

Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I should go and knock on doors to see what the situation is? Offer to help rehome the kittens and get her spayed? What would you do? I know this sense of responsibility is my own fault, for making friends with her. I can’t help but feel that someone has to act responsibly. 

Some Flowers (Dinner-safe viewing)

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Oh wait, there is a bug also, but it’s not pooping.


The honesty is going absolutely crazy. It does look like a pretty weed, however. 


Not flowers. Yet. But this is my first peony and I just love it! All along the back are self-seeded digitalis, and a few weeds (oops). But isn’t the peony just lovely, stems and all? I hope she blooms this year, but as I’ve said this is a bought plant and I have no idea how old it is, so maybe not this year as she might still be a teenager. I don’t care, the foliage is beautiful, too. 


Purple hyacinth. A bit out of focus, sorry!


Pink hyacinth. Dirty because this one was flat on her face from the wind a few days ago, and it hasn’t rained much since to wash off the muck. I’m happy that she came back to stand tall again.

I’ve not seen many bees yet this spring, but I have seen hoverflies. They like to warm themselves right by my front door. Freaks himself out as he thinks anything that looks like a bee is going to attack him. I’m working on that.


The steel rods were in the recycle bin at work, so I brought them home to hammer into the ground as supports for my raspberries. The ground is so rocky and hard here that I can’t get a bamboo cane deep enough to be a proper support, unless I start a major excavation. Here is to hoping that these will work. When I get around to it…

A Lot Of What Is This?

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It’s been warm, mostly. I’m talking hovering right around 10 deg C or 50 F. Heat waaaaave!

My plants think so, anyway.

The azalea is small, but blooming like a mad thing. The pic I took was a blurry mess, so I’m not sharing. The peony seems to grow an inch a day, and is such a lovely dark reddish purpleish maroonish that I think it needs a colour named after it instead of my awkward description.

The bleeding heart that hubby bought last year is very small, but in flower.


It has just the one stem, and very minimal leaves, so I don’t think it is so happy in the current location. We will see, next year I expect.

The columbines are going beserk right next to the bleeding heart, now that the not-sweet-pea’s mess of dead vines have been cleared out.

But what I really want to know is… what the heck are these?


This was taken a couple of days ago, and there are many more flowers now. This/these were given to me by iDJ’s uncle last year and they did SFA then. This year? Going crazy.

And what are these? 


Also accidently came over from the Gardening Uncle. They are in pots he gave me, that were meant to be just bluebells (the long narrow leaves). I have no clue.


I should know what these are, as himself bought them for me last year as ground cover. I’m sure that I posted then what they are, but I’ve forgotten now. They are starting to do the intended job, at least.

Paddy’s Day Tunes 2017!

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A very short one this afternoon, as in about an hour we are going to the pub to watch the parade!

I wanted to share the link to hubby’s internet radio show and his St Patrick’s Day Special. All Irish musicians picked and played for you by an Irishman in Ireland!

If you are looking for some good music to get you in the celebratory mood, please have a listen!


Photo by the DJ, taken in our town the day of the Paddy’s Day parade, 1988.

Edit: now with a playlist!

1. Tom Morrison – Dunmore Lassies/Manchester Reel/Castlebar Traveler

2. Something Happens – Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello (Petrol)

3. The Four Of Us – Fool For Temptation

4. Power of Dreams – Never Told You

5. Ghost Of An American Airman – Honeychild

6. Forget Me Nots – So Good

7. Cypress Mine – Funny Street

8. The Would Be’s – Funny Ha Ha

9. That Petrol Emotion – It’s A Good Thing

10. Cactus World News – The Bridge

11. The Fountainhead – The Rhythm Method

12. The Blades – Ghost Of A Chance

13. Microdisney – Town To Town

14. Those Nervous Animals – The Business Enterprise (My Friend John)

15. Wilt – No Worries

16. Bawl – Older And Older

17. In Tua Nua – All I Wanted

18. A House – I’ll Always Be Grateful

19. Cry Before Dawn – The Seed That´s Been Sown

20. The Frank and Walters – Colours

21. NRBQ – It’s St. Patrick’s Day

22. Sack – What Did The Christians Ever Do For Us?

23. Stump – Boggy Home

24. Thin Lizzy – Emerald [BBC Session]

25. Rory Gallagher – Follow Me

26. Sultans Of Ping – Where’s Me Jumper?

27. Morrissey – Irish Blood, English Heart

28. Julian Cope – Cromwell in Ireland

29. The Waterboys – The Stolen Child

30. Kate Bush – Mná Na hÉireann (Women of Ireland)

31. Sinéad O’Connor – I Am Stretched On Your Grave

32. Kila – Leath Ina Dhiaidh a hOcht (Half Eight)

33. Damien Dempsey – St. Patrick’s Day

34. The Stunning – Brewing Up A Storm

35. An Emotional Fish – Celebrate

36. Toasted Heretic – Another Day, Another Riot

37. U2 – Bad (Live)

38. Jerry Fish & The Mudbug Club – True Friends (Autamata Remix)

Happy Piggie

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I was off work for a week and a day. When I came back, I searched every day and questioned my coworkers to see if Piggy had been around. All I could learn is that she had only been seen on the first Monday that I missed work – under a car. The weather was terrible the whole time, so it made sense she was sheltering somewhere.

I was back the next week on Tuesday. I looked for her and called for her several times a day – no Piggie. I started to worry, a lot. Did she get hit by a car? 

She finally showed up at half five on Thursday, after me panicking for two and a half days!

She had two new big scratches on her nose, which are healing now. Poor girl. She is going to look like a battered old tomcat pretty soon, with the lack of care and not being spayed. Grrr.

Today’s weather was gorgeous. Sunny, warm, calm – just perfect. Of course I went outside for lunch and yes, she came to find me!


Herself on my lap, enjoying the sunshine and the face scratches. I had my boots off, socks off, jeans rolled up to get that lovely sunshine on my furry legs!


Those so-very-narrow pupils tell the story of how sunny it was. So glad to have her back on my lap at lunchtime.

I’m a Bit Seedy Today

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March…I always seem to feel seedy in March! Hopefully, soon I’ll feel seedlings instead!

Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Hubby buys me gardening magazines because they come with free seed packets. He gets me about one a week. These are my prizes going only back to December:


Oh my!

Some of these are for seeding outdoors where you want them to grow. So no cineraria, lettuce, wallflower, cornflower or the big sunflower in the top row.

What I did start today:

Cherry tomato Lycopersicon lycopersicum

Morning glory ‘heavenly blue’ Ipomoea tricolor

Sunflower ‘sunburst mix’ Helianthus annus

Penstemon Penstemon hartwegii

Marigold ‘Kees Orange’ Tagetes erecta 

Hollyhock ‘Good Golly Miss Holly’ (no botanical name given, but says it is a brand new hollyhock named by Garden News readers)

Sweet pea ‘old spice mix’ Lathyrus odoratus

And the one I’m going to try hardest to keep going – French lavender Lavandula stoechas.

Wish me luck!

January Greenery

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Usually not much is growing this time of year. But this has been a warm winter, mostly, and my plants are jumping ahead of schedule.

No surprise to see these fellows, though.


Snowdrops! Lots of them. I love how they spread and need no tending from me.


I’ve rather forgotten what these are. Bluebells, maybe? Hubby’s uncle did give me some last year.


Daffodils are really coming along, too. Ugh, so much clean up still to do!


For Ark – the cold hasn’t phased the monster gazania. For reference, that pot is about 45cm square. I couldn’t even get them all in the picture. 


I moved all my tulips last year. Or, I thought I did. Missed this sneaky one. Seems happy there, however.


Fall-planted garlic is going gangbusters, too.


As is the clematis in the grey willow.


And my azalea is covered in flower buds! I think it has sorted itself out, almost. Was it last year or the year before that it bloomed in November, the silly thing?

I’m Depressed Tonight.

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I have so much to share here, and instead I’m just…low. And I need to vent.

I walked into the canteen at work twice today, and the lovely big TV they got for us was on, turned to the news. Guess what dominated the news? Yep, the Cheeto President’s Inauguration coverage. I didn’t actually catch any of his speech. 

I haven’t had yet enough drink yet to watch it online, either.

Both times, I found myself starting to tear up. To actually cry at the evidence that this is really happening – has happened. Just because I am 3,000 miles away does not mean it doesn’t matter to me.

All reference to LBGT and climate change has already been removed from the Whitehouse website. ACA is under attack with nothing to replace it. There are no foreign-to-US diplomats anywhere in the world tonight. He’s nominated so many wrong (and rich) people for cabinet positions that my brain actually can’t grasp how fucked up it all is. 

I have family that isn’t white. I have family that are elderly and not financially well-off. I have family and friends with very young girls. I have family and friends that are relatively young but permanently ill. I have a lot of atheist friends and family. I have no Muslim friends, but I do have Hindu and Wiccan friends. I have gay friends, bisexual friends, transgender friends, polyamorous friends, asexual friends. I have friends with Asian heritage, South American heritage, Nigerian heritage.

All are targets now.

I fear for all of these people. Mostly because of how Cheeto’s supporters now think it is open season on ‘the different’ – meaning anyone who is not straight and white and has no discernible accent. Or funny clothing. I know it happens, every day. Not just in the USA, of course. My point is that his election lets some people think it is perfectly fine to discriminate now.

My husband has gotten into physical fights because he ‘looks gay’ with his beautiful long hair. Ireland. 

I’ve had guns pointed at me twice, because I dared to date someone with a different skin colour than my own. America.

Do you see the difference there? No one ever tried to fight me. They threatened my life, instead. This is not acceptable and this bastard has made it clear that white supremacy and violence are just fine with him. Expect more guns pointed at teenage girls in love.

I have two friends on FB who support Trump. One just liked his inaugural videos. The other? Posted some shitty meme about how no one ‘violently protested’ Obama’s inaugurations. Pretty sure that isn’t true… it also called people like me ‘snowflakes’. I’m somehow weak because I have these concerns? How does that make sense? No, I’m not crying because ‘I lost’ or ‘it didn’t go my way’. I’m genuinely worried for the state of not just the USA but how it will affect the rest of the world. FFS, two of the people behind the big housing crisis are now cabinet nominees! Ireland is FUCKED because of that! I couldn’t get a job for nearly two years because of that!

Right, I’m done. I’m going to go prepare my protest signs for the Women’s March in Galway tomorrow. Oh yes, we are going to one of several protests being held in Ireland tomorrow. Hubby made us some wonderful laminated posters, too. 

You might see us on the news.

Nollaig Shona Dhuit ó Lumi!

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Happy Christmas from Lumi, in Irish. 


Bit blurry but hey, he isn’t yet seven months old and is like a little furry rocket. Lumi-zoomie!

And he looks more like a clown than a Christmas kitten, anyway.

Happy holidays to all of you, whatever form they take for you. Love from Spiders, iDJ, Lumi, Lokii and Neko.