Turf’s Home

Well all around here is a hive of industry with the farmers working so hard and long to harvest the hay and the silage for the winter feed. At the same time they are hoping for a milder winter and spring than the last two.

Feverish activity on the bog is going on to dry and get the turf home. For so many this is the main fuel for heating and cooking so a good season is essential. Some of my turf from last year is still damp. Because of my “inconvenience” earlier this year    I am unable to get my line of turf this year but a neighbour and his grandson has offered to do all the necessary work and bring it home for me. What wonderful people

By the way a line of turf is 100 m long and 10 blocks wide

Turf Cut (Last Year) begining to dry

One line of turf cut
The turf on each side has been “footed”

There’s a saying over here “when the turf is home and the hay is set then you can go to the Galway races” well the Galway races are in mid August so it looks like there will be a good crowd there this year.

Our Australian visitors left this morning to go further south as they intend to “do” the Ring of Kerry. They said that they had enjoyed their stay here and had really explored County Mayo. They had also brought with then some glorious weather

After they left we had a leisurely breakfast and Maggie started on the preparation of the chalet for our guests who are expected to arrive after 6 o’clock, meanwhile I cut the lawn.

I have increased our flock of hens by 4. I got them really to replace those who have died (with some extra) all Rhode Island Reds. They are all at point of lay in fact 2 are laying already, small ones of course but that will improve Of course we’ve got the settling in process going on establishing the pecking order and so on.

Oops I’ve let this alone for a while. The guests arrived and the good weather stayed so all is well. Our new people are enjoying themselves and in particular the country life.They were especially fascinated by the hay harvest in the field next door.It was cut and turned and bailed (big round ones) and wrapped in black plastic all within 2 days.

I went to see my surgeon on Wednesday for a check up. He is very pleased with the way I am recovering and has said that I can now do anything I want to and can do. Great news. This time last year I wasn’t even diagnosed.

We got back and Christie and Christopher have brought home my turf and even put it into the turf store. Such a wonderful pair

I have at last finished and launched my website http://www.stjosephcottage.co.uk

Well until next time Toodle Pip

Prize Money or Knighthood?

So a Scottish chap wins at Wimbledon.What does he win? 1.2 million prize-money the title “Wimbledon Men’s Champion” and all the revenue he can eat from sponsors and advertising.

Why should he have a knighthood? In my mind this is making a mockery of the whole honours system. Surely the honours system is for outstanding work for others. I suppose it could be argued that his achievement has given pleasure to others but isn’t £1.2 million enough? Most people will never see that amount let alone have it. All this is happening in a country where old age pensions and benefits are under threat, Day centers for the aged and handicapped are being closed and nurseries are also being closed..

I see that during the 2012 Olympics Mr (Sir?) Murray won the gold medal for Men’s singles tennis. Woh! hold on! Wasn’t the Olympics supposed to be an amateur games. I know that there is no prize money but it seems that the amateur status rules have changed. My sport, in my youth, was swimming and water polo, and on occasion I read of people who had won a cash amount, maybe only £5.00 but that was enough to finish the amateur status and therefore they were banned from competing in amateur events.

The Olympics are, to me, the pinnacle of amateur sport but is it not unfair to find that you are competing against Professional people and there support teams?

Fires and Firemen (Firefighters)

What a disastrous week for firemen (Firefighters). 19 killed in a fire in America attempting to stop a “wild-fire” from the most dangerous position, from the teeth of the fire. What must those last moments have been like? Oh! they had shelters to protect them but nothing would have saved them from the intense heat and that fire would have taken the available oxygen for itself. (and still the “Clever People” say “that’s what they are paid for”)Fire is a greedy enemy and would take it all! That is why it is not advised to jump into a pond if surrounded by a forest fire.

And then there was that spectacular fire in Smethwick at a reclamation plant. This was presumably caused by one of those chinese lanterns. I don’t know much about these like how long that candle will burn and how far it will travel.I feel that the only way these may be safe is if they are “flown” from a beach with an off shore wind and so go out to sea. But then the “Clever People” would decide that they are different and the rules don’t apply to them. 10 firefighters injured because of irresponsible manufactures (for making them), wholesalers (for stocking them), retailers(for selling them) and the public (for buying and using them).

When I was working as a Fire Prevention Officer a colleague of mine claimed that there were only 3 causes of fire – Men, Women and Children  but not necessarily in that order. He was bound to be right. Things we do but shouldn’t; things we shouldn’t do but do and down right carelessness  or stupidity.

To be honest when we were at a fire we didn’t dwell on the dangers we were facing, of course we tried to take care, but we always remembered that there was a job to be done and we got on and did it , much the same as now.Yes sometime it was frightening, in fact show me a firefighter who says he has not been frightened and I will show you a liar.

The “Clever People” still cry “did we disturb your game of snooker?” another favourite was “you took your time we called you ½ an hour ago” we would get on the radio and check the time of call and the time of arrival for them usually a matter of 3 minutes. Sometimes we would reply to their statement ” you took a long time” with “did you call us?” to receive a confused look and “well I thought someone else did” If everyone thought that no one would call the emergency services.

The other one that used to grate was when someone would ask “what do you do for a living?” ” I’m a fireman”  then they would smile and say “Oh! Do you slide down a greasy pole?”

I am proud to have followed in my father’s footsteps into the fire service and it gave me some friends who were more than friends more like brothers some of whom I am still in touch with although we have moved throughout the world.