Being A Busy Bee

It has been a busy couple of days and that is not only me, the weather has been busy as well. We don’t really get the extreme weather that I read about in countries like America or in the Far East. One year Mair made a snowman, a lonely fellow who has never had any company as that was the one and only time she has seen snow like that in West Cork and she is now 18 years old.


Winter 2010

The temperature doesn’t really fluctuate much, my wife complains about the cold sometimes but I never put the central heating on and we may only light the fire a handful of times. I do get too hot but I get hot wearing a thick jumper in icy weather, 24 degrees is a rarity around here. I went to Malta with my son a few years ago and that got to 40 degrees and that I did not like, he loved it (just like his mum). Can you describe damp as being extreme weather? There again when a force 10 gale comes in from the Atlantic it gets pretty hairy and we have had a few trees come down, I love the wind, there is something exciting about it but only in the winter please as it can wreck the garden. So back to the last couple of days, nothing extreme in the weather department but it has been busy. Gentle rain, bright sun, heavy rain, hot and humid, torrential rain, misty, thunder and lightning and that is in half an hour! I also saw my first horizontal rainbow, I didn’t even know you could get them, I managed to take a photo but for the most part it just looked like a rainbow ball in the sky.


Rain at the moment but I managed to cut the grass before it started and I am very happy that the garden is looking at its best, even if that is from an upstairs window as that rain just keeps coming.


It wasn’t unexpected, the weather report on the radio has been very accurate recently and I used that information to spend this morning, while it was only a gentle drizzle, to clear some more of the ditches alongside our drive or boreen as we call it round here. We had some flooding last year which washed a considerable amount of its surface away and I am hoping I’ve taken enough precaution this year for that not to happen again.


I have been thinking about keeping bees, unfortunately I have been thinking about it for a long time and I still have not gone ahead and done it. In fact I’ve always wanted to keep bees and that might be my stumbling block, I’ve thought too much about it and that has left me dithering. I am going to do it, see I’ve put it down in writing now I’m going to have to do it. I know a bee man he’s called Tim and he is the one who does the Way Out West Vlog, I’ve mentioned it before and he was a commercial bee man. I have talked to him and I recently visited my father in law Chris, who I’ve also talked about before. Chris used to keep bees and he has lent me “The Art Of Keeping Bees,” which I am now reading, he says he might have a few bits and pieces that could help me as well and the third thing that I’m thinking about is going on a course for Beginner Beekeepers. It is quite far away and not until September but I’m making moves and wouldn’t it be great to have our own bees and some yummy honey, tiddly pom.


I have been fishing down at the pier, which is 5mins along the road. I don’t mind fishing in the rain and as long as the swell isn’t too much the pier is a great place to hang around. There is quite often a seal hovering about, sticking its head and those liquid black eyes above the water, it looks like he is just taking a look at some strange creature that has come to visit and is doing something quite odd while standing in the rain. I had hoped to snag a couple of mackerel but I was happy enough to come away with a couple of pollack. They are not the tastiest of fish but they are lovely smoked and made into a potato topped pie. After deboning them I like to simmer them in a little milk and add some hardboiled egg. My wife mixed some sweet potato in with the mash for the topping which was very nice. We had them last night with a selection of fresh veg from the garden.


I don’t really need to cook the beans and mange toute but just softened ever so slightly in butter they are divine. I also roasted some squash till it caramelised. I mixed some of the left over fish and potato with an egg and coated it in porridge oats and had it for lunch today with some salad. I just love cooking fresh fish straight from the sea, in fact it was so good I was back again for a couple of hours today. I saw no sign of the seal but there were Gannets and Cormorants diving off the rocks and I also spotted a couple of Black Guillemot feeding nearby.


We are off camping this weekend, yes I know I said it is raining and camping in the rain is not usually a lot of fun but we are going to a music festival, I say we, but I really mean me and the kids as Kate has to work. We have been since it started a couple of years ago and the kids love it as there is so much to do and see and they just love dressing up in their festival gear. Jasmine and Suki have had UV highlights put into their hair, it has rained every time we have gone and we end up sloshing around in the mud, which in itself can be fun for a couple of days. Thankfully it is a very friendly place and it is not that big or that far away and anyhow I won’t be able to do much work in the garden in this weather!


PS: I just gave Tim the bee man a buzz and he says we can have a chat about bees when he is not being busy, so there’s progress already.




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