Friday, 9 August 2013

The Green and Red of Mayo.

Oh the Green and Red of Mayo
I can see it still
Its soft and craggy bog-land
Its tall majestic hills
Where the ocean kisses Ireland
And the waves caress its shore
Oh the feeling it came over me
To stay forever more
Forever more

The lyrics there from one of our favourite songs by local boys, The Sawdoctors, "The Green and Red of Mayo" to celebrate the fact that our lambs are all from Irishtown County Mayo and therefore entitled, (Nay! Expected! Compelled!) to support Co. Mayo in the 2013 All Ireland GAA football competition. This is the nearest Ireland comes to an FA cup final, although half the country would say that actually the GAA All Ireland 'Hurling' competition is WAY more important. As well as being split into counties, Ireland seems to be split into hurling supporters and Gaelic football supporters and ne'er the twain shall meet. In the football side, Mayo are doing rather well, having creamed the defending 2012 champs, Co. Donegal a couple of weekends ago in the quarter finals, to make the final four.

However, readers who really know me will be smiling that I am even trying to write about sport when what I know about UK football after 56 years could be easily written on the back of a postage stamp. Once when Liz was extolling the virtues of Ryan Giggs, I said "If he's THAT good, why doesn't he play for England, then?" (It's because he's Welsh, apparently!). However, the locals round here LOVE their footie and hurling and flying your county flag is a big thing. Ours is the Roscommon flag, Blue and Yellow, but the 'Rossies' get knocked out in the early stages and most people have taken down their Roscommon flags. Mayo is now the thing and the roads are bright with green and red flags, bunting and even big elabourate windmill things with green and red 'sails'. We thought it would be a bit of fun to let our Mayo-born lambs join in the display.

We bid a fond farewell today to our visitors this week, Dave and Julie B, friends from Kent and my old barge-related life. We've had a real blast with them and they have been superb, ideal guests. They seemed to quite fall in love with the place and enjoyed the house, the 'farm', the livestock, the pets, our hospitality and the area. Julie was particularly taken with the pups and (eventually, when she deigned to approach Julie for a fuss), Deefer. Dave is more of a cat-man and made a great fuss of Blue, but also had a soft spot for our silly, one-ear-up-one-ear-down bunny in Padfoot's litter.

We've had some excellent times together and we are now sad to see them go as we dropped them to Knock Airport for their 3 pm flight home. I have since had a text from Dave saying they are safe as far as the M23 and thanking us for it all. Not a bother, Dave and Julie, it was lovely having you and you are welcome back when ever you like. I will be catching up with them soon when I visit UK and stay on board SB Cambria in Saint Katharine Docks as part of the Classic Boats Festival.

We counted the dogs, cats and rabbits after they had gone to make sure none had been smuggled out. We know what these Westie fans are like!

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