Tuesday 12 July 2016

Yellow and Blue

A sports fan? Well, maybe not.....
Go the Rossie Boys! When we upped sticks and moved from our old jobs to the 'Wesht' of Ireland, I seem to have come from one sport mad environment (the DHL/Sainsbury warehouse) to another (this whole country!). The local area is knee deep in fans of soccer and of the 2 GAA sports ('football' and hurling, use the 'football' word round here and everyone will assume you are talking about Gaelic-rules footie. The UK 'permiereship, Man-U and all that jazz is always specified as soccer).

A 365 pic from my "yellow and blue" period. 
All my friends and rels will know that we 3 brothers managed to get born without the 'football' gene strand in our DNA. We have had no interest in the game for our whole lives and what we know about it you could write in capitals on the back of a postage stamp. I have happily carried that on into Ireland and the GAA game but you'd have to be blind here to not know there was something going on.

The strawberry season is upon us.
The whole county is a-flutter with the yellow and blue Roscommon flags; cars, flag poles in front gardens, sheep sprayed in those colours. Roscommon has not, up till now been known for its sporting prowess but while all sporty eyes were turned towards an exciting run in the soccer 'Euro's' which took the national team to the final 16 for the first time ever, The (GAA) Rossie boys have been sneaking up on the final of the Connacht (province) championship. The 'Big Game' was to be against the heroic Galway team and 'we' were definitely underdogs.

Peas and beans from the polytunnel.
Liz had bought me the top for Christmas and had been talking to her boss (John, who is a genuine fan) about my hopelessness as a fan - all in good part, I have to say, and in fun. They had decided that I should wear the shirt for the main games in the run up as it seemed to be having a good and talismanic effect - they kept winning! With tongue in cheek, she also gave me some 'authentic' lines to say should I get asked any tricky questions (like "did you see the match?" for example). I am (allegedly) very happy with the season so far and also delighted that 'they' are finally doing up the (Douglas) Hyde ground because the surface has been unplayable all through the winter when ever it rains.

Summer fruiting raspberries
Well, underdogs or not, I wore the shirt as advised at the weekend and Roscommon drew with Galway, so there is a replay game on Saturday evening. My only other involvement has been that I thought it would be fun to do a series of '365' pics for the project during the intervening week, based on the Rossie colours blue and yellow, so I have been wandering about looking for anything to shoot where blue and yellow are in conjunction and are the main colours.

Coo. There's a whole exciting world out there!
Meanwhile, back in real life my dozen Marans eggs have now 'cooked' in the incubator and have started hatching but in an unusual way. Normally 12 eggs set on the same day in an incubator will almost synchronise their hatching - the theory is that they all feel each other moving within their respective shells, rocking about and hear each other cheeping, so they all get encouraged to greater efforts. You get a great surge of pipping and hatching and so few in the 'tail' end that it is not really worth keeping the incubator going in case of stragglers. Well, not for us this time, it seems.

Early Bird
We got 2 really early birds on day 17 (should be 21), followed by a pause, then a burst of 3 more on day 20 and only one today (Day 21). 6 chicks now, then, and the remaining 6 eggs all quiet with no signs of even any pipping. We are guessing that the strange spread is due to how the eggs were stored before we got them - they have managed to sneak in 4 days of early development before they ever went into our incubator so possibly they were kept warm.

A first try at mould-pressed, matured, harder goats cheese
I will give the final 6 eggs till tomorrow (Day 22) evening before I take them out and carefully open them (one at once, obviously) out at the compost heap. They may be sterile, addled or 'dead in shell', ones which failed to make it out of the egg. If any turn out to be alive (oops) I will put the rest back in and give them a few more days but I would be amazed if this is the case.

Blue the floofy cat in one of his more classy sleeping poses.
That's it for this one. I am afraid I have a cold and I am bunged up, fed up and not able for happy creative writing. Forgive me.

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