Tuesday 12 April 2016

Nearly 60, You Know!

Liz is currently enjoying knitting with some pure wool. 
Regular readers will remember fondly with us, the late Diane Walsh (formerly Riches), a very good friend from our Faversham days. Diane used to regularly amuse us with stories of her friends and relatives from 'up North' - Stockton on Tees - from where she hailed. One of these was an elderly friend of her Mother. This lady, 'Ellie' was forever proudly telling all and sundry how old she was and how she managed with it.

2 Brown (Irish) Hares check us out from a safe distance after
we'd met them in a narrow lane. 
Her regular was "I'm nearly 84, you know!" which lasted from just after her 83rd Birthday and as quick as you like became "I'm nearly 85, you know!" within days of her year clicking over to the next year. Then she'd assure you that she "doesn't get out any more..... oh, except for Bingo...oh and when (Diane's Mum) takes her shopping.... and the Post Office to collect her pension... oh and the occasional car outing... etc etc" Bless her. She is still with us as far as we know, and must be way over 90 by now (Nearly 91, you know?).

All the logs in the front garden split and the machine lowered
into travelling position. I towed it round to the yard with the car.
I am cruising in towards my 59th Birthday in a few days and wondering if the day afterwards, I might get away with an "I'm nearly 60, you know....and I don't get out any more". I suspect that those who know me will tell me that this is because I love this place so much you have to pry me free with a crow-bar and, anyway, neither of us feel at all like we are either "nearly 60" or much much younger (depends on which of us you are talking about, he said carefully). Liz can't quite believe she is married to a bloke who is nearly 60, and I certainly don't feel that old, or see someone that old in the mirror. I find I have no reference point. I don't know anyone who was particularly 60 while I was watching.

Squawk, our 9-10 year old Cuckoo Marans, still laying those
dark brown spotted eggs.
Ah well. These things happen anyway and need celebrating, so as I write this I am a bit stuffed up with food and rather awash with the good Guinness. Not to a dangerous degree, I hasten to add. It was also very recently K-Dub's Birthday, so we adjourned to his local pub close to the Sligo house for a few (Liz drove us there and collected us later, nipping off to spend an evening knitting at Carolyn and putting the world to rights in the meantime). Then today a nice family tradition - the Birthday boy/girl gets to choose the menu and/or the restaurant and here I am happy to be a "cheap date".

Gorgeous George, the Gander
I do not need fancy restaurants or expensively 'foodie' fare - my idea of Heaven just now is the "bacon and cabbage" option at The Golden Eagle (Hester's) in Castlerea and 2 pints of Guinness. We had a nice salad starter and Liz had a pot of tea afterwards, but that was it. Nothing finer. I am stuffed with the food and a tiny bit squiffy from the beer. I will need no proper supper, but there is a lovely rhubarb cake sitting on the sideboard there and I have ice cream in the freezer. There is also some good cheese knocking about somewhere, so while Liz is off at knitting club I will not be starving.

The dog micro-chip certs are quite posh, serious affairs
on heavy paper. Impressed.
What else is a-foot? Our dog micro-chip certs came back from the database people at Fido.IE (Yes, I know!) and were impressive heavy-weight paper. I was expecting some aul' print out slip torn off at the perforations. I am not sure why you'd need such a posh certificate - I can't imagine anyone framing it for the office wall, for example. Impressive, none the less.

Baba and Marta (Myfanwy's lambs) enjoy the climbing pile
I have finally ploughed my way through the stack of tree slices  using the borrowed log splitter. I rescued a few rounds and built a mini pyramid in the East Field for the lambs and kid to play on, having seen how much they enjoy the grassy knoll further down the field. The youngsters have quickly adopted this and we can see them enjoying leaping on and off, playing 'King of the Castle' from the Kitchen window. I have seen mum-goat Nanny Óg up on it too with her baby. The baby goat tends to sprong up there on all four feet, boinging about like Tigger.

Guinea cock 'Apollo'. What a handsome fella!
The weather has taken a turn for the worse, reverting to freezing rain and bitter raw winds just when we were getting used to March's (false) spring. This has stalled the bumble bee surveying for the moment, killed all thoughts of opening our honey-bee hive to check for brood and stopped all outdoor gardening. Everything around field entrances is, once more, a soggy mess into which I am firing quantities of the shredded wood to try to mop up the sloppy wet. Back indoors, then, to light a fire and think about writing this blog. Have to look after myself and keep myself warm and dry. I'm nearly 59 you know!

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