Friday 26 October 2018

Jack o' Lanterns

Lidl 'special' pressure washer.
Friday and we are winding down a bit on the Help-X volunteer labours. When we get this close to the end (penultimate day) we let the help choose tasks, particularly if they have been as good as this pair and steamed through all the 'to-do' list. I needed them to clean up the chicken-poo encrusted 'junk' we had evicted from the Tígín earlier (ladders, cat baskets etc) and then put it all away in the shed.

It does a good job of stripping the algae from concrete.
Next we could break out the newest 'toy' with a clear conscience, a 'Lidl Special' pressure washer. No meaty Kärcher brand machine this one - it only cost around €80 and we spotted it in Lidl about a week before the drought stricken heat-wave country slapped a hosepipe ban on us all.

Pumpkin carving.
It has been in its box ever since but we decided the girls might enjoy un-boxing and assembling it. Being 'Lidl' it had instructions available in German and we soon had it put together and connected up. It proved to be very good at the little DIY jobs we had in mind for it. Mainly this was stripping the algal layer off our yard concrete. Across a couple of 'shifts' the girls worked their way round most of our paths. They got fed up with repeatedly getting soggy socks and work-boots, mind and, it being a mild day did one session in sockless Crocs and pairs of Elizabeth's 'rag-bag' jeans. At one stage I saw them using the machine to pressure wash their own feet and the Crocs!

Judith focuses on the knife-work.
Ireland goes absolutely enthusiastic mad for Hallowe'en and the parties, dressing up as witches and zombies and 'Trick or Treating'. Learning that there is some kind of kiddies' party on Sunday in the village, we volunteered to do some pumpkin carving, which turned out to be a first for Vicky and Judith. So we bought 3 decent sized pumpkins and sat down one evening with the appropriate amount of boards, knives, spoons and a bowl for the seeds and debris. We did OK. I cut one of my standard scary-face ones, Vicky did a very convincing pussy-cat and Judith a funny face with big round ears. The party is Sunday so these have all now been delivered to the venue. Much appreciated.

Robyn in elabourate costume
While this was going on we got a nice post on FB from Mrs Silverwood. The 'lower' schools (=Juniors?) also do parties for the end of the half term and have days when the kids are allowed come to school dressed up as if for Hallowe'en. Mrs S is famous locally for her elabourate costumes and we are sure her kids are the best dressed on the day. Here is a pic of our youngest niece, Robyn to give you some idea. This is just for school.... Mum has to do it all again for the real night!

Showery day. This picture taken by Vicky.
Today we let the Help-X away with any 'real' work as they were determined to take our 2 younger dogs out for long enough that they got really tired just the once plus they had offered to cook supper for us. I took them, with Poppea and Towser down to nearby bog "Silver-field" (Cloonargid) where I would regularly walk them for 2 different one-hour routes off the leads. The girls were going to do both, one after the other (hence we'd let older dog Deefer off and given her a short 'normal' 3-dog walk in the morning. It was a bit showery but they didn't get too wet. Back indoors we'd lit the range so they had a nice warm house to come home to. Supper, pizza, was superb, by the way.

Meanwhile, back in grown-up land, Ireland went to the polls today to elect a 'new' President and to decide (or not) to remove a reference to the crime of "blasphemy" from the Constitution. I say "new" President; in fact the 'old', very popular Michael D Higgins will almost certainly get re-elected to serve a 2nd , 7-year term. He very much looks the part - he is a tiny, dapper guy with a shock of white hair round his head monk-style and owns (and is frequently seen with) 2 superb huge St Bernard dogs. Amusingly he is affectionately known as "Miggledy Higgins" after a young school child's answer to a Civics test was spotted by a staff member and posted on Social Media. It went (as they say) viral and is now a common nickname where ever you go. There are 5 other candidates. That vote is going on now, till 10 pm and the count will be tomorrow. I'll let you know.

I think that is probably enough for this one. My next post will be my 2000th!

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