Poking a Princess

It is a day for ducks not a day for the garden as the rain comes in virtually horizontal and the rivulets of water cascade from the drains and gutters. It is a day for sitting by the fire and telling stories so I will continue with my adventures of last Saturday.

I was just waving good bye to the Two Green Shoot team as I made my way back from Glengarriff to Bantry along some of the most scenic countryside to be found in Ireland. The peninsulas stretched out lazily into the Atlantic, I know they do but unfortunately the mist hid the horizon as the windscreen wipers cleared the road ahead.

I had two bags of trees in the boot of the car, one destined for the Mizen and the other for Tim’s small holding near Ballylicky. Tim has a quaint house with a turf roof, my kids were fascinated when we first went there for the annual rounders match and tasted the delights from a homemade pizza oven. There were guinea pigs scampering through the grass and wild flowers atop the house, geese in the yard, horses in the paddock and generally a rural idyll.

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Today it wasn’t such an idyll more like a drizzle and the puddles on the drive splashed as I arrived. There was no sign of Tim and the house looked empty so I thought I’d just leave the bag on the porch and take my leave, however Tim was at home after all, sensibly tucked up in front of the Ireland Vs Italy 6 Nations match and I was invited to join him. Not having a TV at home and being a lover of rugby I was quite happy to take him up on his invitation.

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Ireland looked pretty comfortable and so was I as half time approached. However a couple of Tim’s pigs and made a gambit and escaped to an adjoining field and another had got stuck in the new pig house and had not the  ware for all to move into reverse and was too long to turn round, literally a pig in a poke. I offered to help as pigs are one of my favourite animals and I was offered a pair of oversized galoshes which were in hindsight a better bet than my work boots. It wasn’t too difficult to persuade them to return once a bucket of food was on offer and the electric fence was readjusted on the other hand Princess, I think that was her name but we weren’t formally introduced, was less forthcoming about coming out of the shed. I say shed but it was actually a plastic oil tank with a hole cut out. A gentle prod had no effect and after a bit of head scratching we decided to try and lift one end of the tank and encourage her to slide out.

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Tim makes videos for his Youtube Channel and he remarked how this was just the sort of thing that would entertain his viewers and it probably was but thankfully his beaten up video camera remained on the kitchen sideboard and it has just been left to the imagination as to how we finally persuaded Princess to vacate her temporary home.

On the way back to watch the second half of the match Tim showed me his new project a plasma cutter. I had no idea what a plasma cutter was and it sounded like something out of Star Trek and basically it was! I gather it is a computerised machine for cutting sheet metal and he showed me some examples of what it can do, it is very impressive and soon to be staring as a feature on his video blog, well worth checking out.

We also had a look at his elephant garlic mulching experiment. Tim has planted quite a lot of elephant garlic and used a number of different mulches including sand, straw and sawdust. He is a great believer in mulches and hoes to only have to weed may be once or twice a year, I think the sand is his favourite but we will have to check out the results later in the year.

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The second half went ok and Ireland did win but the Italians showed some spirit at the end and Ireland seemed to fade. I stayed on to watch the England vs Wales match but my time could have been better spent and it was after dark when I said my goodbyes and headed off for home.

So what happened to my tree planting? Well that was accomplished without too much drama with my son Jimini helping to dig the holes required, saving my back and making the job pretty easy. The day after the wind howled but they all stood firm and I’ve been checking them every day as I suspect the hares will have their eye on a tasty bark nibble if and when they are discovered.

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The fire has burnt low and needs a bit more wood so I’m off to the shed for a barrow load and I’m sure you have better things to do. I hope you’ll come back, drop in anytime and we’ll be here, all the best from our way out west.

 

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