Saturday 4 November 2017

24 Years and Matching China

Happy 'newly-weds', 3rd November 1993.
Oldest niece (Kat) does the honours as
Flower Girl.
I have generally tried to keep these posts to a regular rhythm of posting on Tuesdays and Fridays and this one would, in normal circumstances, have come out yesterday. This weekend, however, two nice events conspired to shove me off course, Liz's and my 24th Wedding Anniversary and the Village Tea Party. In these days of Social Media (mainly Facebook) it is the done thing on Anniversaries to rake out some old pics and post them up on your "timeline" so that all your friends can chop in a suitable comment in lieu of posting you a 'Happy Anniversary' greetings card, though I must admit we never did send many of those out.

Liz and Kat in the limo looking drop-dead gorgeous
(in my unbiased opinion, of course)
An excuse, anyway, to dig out the old (pre-digital) photo album and remind myself (with delighted amusement) of how happy that day was and how drop-dead gorgeous was Lizzie in THE DRESS with her floral 'tiara', her basket of flowers and the signature pearls. Still IS gorgeous, of course.

In the Grounds of Malahide Castle
We are also remembering all the happy family and friends surrounding us. In some case with these we lost contact a bit while we lived in the UK and (as was normal) failed to write "snail-mail" letters or phone each other but have now happily made good friends again with each other and caught up since the arrival of Facebook. For me, FB came along just as I was leaving work and moving over here, so it has been lovely as a way of staying in touch with the UK side, as well as looking up all 'the Irish lot'.

Always good to let the OH know where you've vanished to,
 especially on an Anniversary
They are too many to mention but I will just pick out such as Billy Thuillier, who was my Best Man on the day and Kat (now Thackray), oldest niece, who is that sweet little Flower Girl in my pictures. She is, of course, still 'sweet' even though she is now all growed up and elegant and 'sophistimicated' an' all. A huge Thank You to all involved in that day and who have been such a support to us since and now are sending your good wishes to us through Facebook etc.

The Hall set out with all the posh new matching china and the
renovated kitchen, ready for the Tea Party.
The Village Tea Party, then, is an annual event held in the 'Village Hall' (sometimes known as the 'Memorial Hall' or by all manner of modern handles like "Resource Centre", "The Centre"). The Hall team lay on the facilities and all the groups in the village come along, bringing their own food and drink. These are usually the Active Age group, the Ladies' Club, The management and staff of the Pre-School, the Parent's Association of the National School, the Foróige (Youth Club) and is open to any clubs and Societies who want to come along - Drama Club, Irish Dancing, Yoga or what ever. They also set up a table for "waifs and strays" - anyone who wants to come but is not particularly affiliated to any group.

Tarte aux Blettes (Chard/apple/pine nuts/raisins pie)
When Liz worked at the Centre spanning across 2 winters, she was heavily involved in organising and setting up the 2015 and the 2016 ones and got quite a reputation as a genius organiser who thought of EVERYthing. This year the Centre has undergone extensive renovations including exterior insulation, a brand new, bigger, modern-design kitchen and, as there was money left over in the budget, a whole new set of 100 places of new crockery. Liz was very involved, too in submitting the bids and grant applications for all this generosity.

I love our pig area at this time of year with the pigs gone and
the beech leaves starting to fall.
They asked Liz to come back and organise this year's Party so she was very happy and proud to be laying out all the tables with the matching crockery from the lovely new cupboards in the pristine new kitchen. We even got a mention in the short 'Thank You' speech given at the end by Committee member Tom C. "....oh and before I close, there is just one more thing I need to tell you about. We have here tonight 2 people who are celebrating a Wedding Anniversary; their 24th! Take a bow Lizzie and Matt" (suitable red-faced stand-up and hugs).

Gorgeous George leads the charge but the geese are rather
confused by this new arrival in the orchard
That just about covers it for this one, but I have a few more photo's to use up, so I will sneak them in here at the end. First the geese investigating a left-over Hallowe'en pumpkin.

Next up  those young chickens, all coming up to 'make your mind up time' - do you want to lay an egg or shout Cock-a-Doodle-Doo? We love these three black and gold birds who are teasing us by being identical and also 50/50. We hope they are hens. Either way they are HUGE so we wonder.... big eggs or big oven-ready (rooster) carcasses?

Then there is this lovely tote-bag issued as fund-raising, promo, 'merch' (-andise) by the team behind the Irish Passport podcast which we love and which I mentioned in the last post.

...and my new favourite farming-garment of choice. I found this nautical-style sailoring smock brand new in the wardrobe, still with labels on. We are rather ashamed to say that we think it must be a gift but neither of us can recall from whom it came. Who ever you are, many many thanks. I love it. Especially as the weather turns cold, it is deliciously wind-proof.

Finally, one last pic of the bought-in ewe lamb 'Oveja' being the Spanish word for 'ewe'. She is standing on the right of this picture and we think she is now meaty enough, so she, sadly, is booked in on he final journey to see our friend Ignatius G (Victualler) of Castlerea on Monday morning. Her brother (Pedro) is as big but seems to be keeping to his side of my 'deal' - I told him he could stay if he got all my ewes pregnant and didn't start attacking me.

And that really is it. Good luck now.

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