Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Until We Meet Again

I wrote this wee song last year ... a wave, a thank you and a hello for all the friends we've made on our travels, both literal and virtual.


Best wishes to you all.

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Rumbledethumps

Isn't that a great word ?   Rumbledethumps ... makes me smile every time I say it?

Well, this is the reason ...
Turnip or Swede?


Whether you call it a turnip or a swede (here it's turnip, over in England it's a swede) ( I think it's also called Rutabaga ) this is a staple root crop at this time of the year and in our organic veg delivery we get one at least every other week.   And I get very bored with it.   So today I went in search of something else to do with it and came up with 

Rumbledethumps 

 .. a recipe by Sue Lawrence on the BBC Food website
It sounds like something out of a fairy tale forest.

Basically you just boil potatoes and turnip, separately cook some kale or curly cabbage in butter, then add to the spuds and turnip and mash together.   Season, top with some cheese and put in the oven for 30 minutes covered and another 15 minutes uncovered.   

And it was yummy.


Have you any other nice suggestions for this?  

Thursday, 11 January 2018

A day to be outside


We had a full day of fog yesterday - it's ages since I've seen that - everything was very damp and closed in.  But then today was glorious.   Proper gorgeous Winter weather.   The mist was still hanging around the sea though and not quite getting away.



I love the way the sun shines on the rock pools and the jagged rocks.  Not quite frozen today


 It was good to be outside



How's your start of year shaping up?   Are you getting any time outside? 

Sunday, 7 January 2018

My Fiddlers Green Challenge

Yesterday was Nollaig na mBan - Women's Christmas or Little Christmas .  I wrote about it here a few years ago.  It's a great way to finish up the holiday and I spent not one but three evenings in succession in the company of women friends.  

After all of that it was time to get out for a good walk today.  

My breathing is still recovering after the bout of pneumonia last spring and during the Christmas pageant I was really struggling singing as we walked up the hill.   So I'm on a mission to improve my fitness this year.  I've challenged myself to walk up to Fiddlers Green at least once a fortnight and do shorter walks in between.   

Fiddlers Green is a clearing half way up the the oak forest and it's a real hike to get to.   I thought I'd need oxygen lol ....   So Him and Me headed out this afternoon.   And we made it and I'm delighted with myself.   Mind you the legs and thighs are complaining mightily.

Fiddlers Green is the name given to Fisherman's Heaven.   John Connolly from Grimsby wrote a great song about that.  The chorus goes:

Wrap me up in me oilskin and jumper 
No more on the docks I'll be seen 

Just tell me old shipmates 
I'm taking a trip, mates 
And I'll see you one day in Fiddler's Green 

Fiddlers Green clearing
It's thought that our Fiddlers Green was a crossroads at one time and perhaps the fishermen met there.   Our annual folk festival is named after it and starts in the clearing there, and many local songs have been written about the place.  

Anyway, we struggled up the hill 
I love mossy logs


It was a beautiful afternoon and lots of folk were out and about, well wrapped up.   It's freezing cold, perfect winter weather.  


Beautiful blue sky

Looking down to the Lough from Fiddlers Green
 We decided to come down another way - at least I thought it was all downhill, but lo and behold, more climbs ... And cyclists ... There are lots of cycle trails in the mountains and they're not supposed to be on the walking paths - Don't say anything, mutters Tom, knowing me far too well ... but I kept quiet for once.
Afternoon sun

We came back down by the Glenshee river - which translates as the valley of the fairies - or the Fairy Glen. The water was running hard and beautiful.  



 And on a side note - this is my first attempt at Brioche Knitting - delighted with the result.  The model was taking another video.  The scarf is the second brioche one.

What a surprise to see some blossoms

And new life already on the way

So once we were down again this was the reward ...a beautiful sunset on the lough. 

So this is where we were - half way up there - in the middle of the oak forest.   
Maybe in a few months I"ll be heading up to the top. 



The white building at the end of the photograph is a car showroom and will soon be turned into an (unwanted) apartment building and old folks home - there's a lot of consternation about it as the Council planners turned down the application - not once, but 4 times - and still the councillors voted for the project to go ahead.   It will impact hugely on the forest as it will be more than 4 times higher than that building is now!!  Anyway, that's a story for another day.  

I hope you've had a lovely Sunday and that the first week back to normal will be fine.



 







Fiddler's Green

Author: John Connolly
Copyright: World, March Music Ltd


As I went by the dockside one evening so fair
To view the still water and take the salt air
I heard an old fisherman singing this song
Won't you take me away boys my time is not long

CHORUS
Wrap me up in me oilskin and jumper
No more on the docks I'll be seen
Just tell me old shipmates
I'm taking a trip, mates
And I'll see you one day in Fiddler's Green

Now Fiddler's Green is a place I've heard tell
Where fishermen go when they don't go to Hell
Where the skies are all clear and the dolphins do play
And the cold coast of Greenland is far, far away

Where there's always a breeze and there's never a gale
And the fish jump on board with a swish in their tail
and you lie at your leisure, there's nothing to do
And the captain's below making tea for the crew

when you get to the dock and the long trip is through
There's pubs and there's clubs, and there's lassies there too
and the girls are all pretty and the beer it is free
And there's bottles of rum growing from every tree

I don't need a harp or a halo, not me
Just give me a breeze and a stiff rolling sea
And I'll play me old squeeze box as we roll along
When the wind in the rigging will sing me this song

Friday, 5 January 2018

Resolutions and mobile phone

Calm sea this morning after Eleanor passed
I don't normally make New Year's Resolutions.

But this year I've been held to task ....

... about my Mobile Phone....

I hate the things - or should I say, I hate using them as a phone lol

I have an iPhone which I use to take photos, to listen to music, to do my voice exercise from, to record melody ideas and lyric ideas, to check my email, to keep a shopping list and a dozen other trite things throughout each day, especially when I'm on the move, or mobile (there's a clue in the name).

However, if you want to phone me and you call me on my mobile you have about a 1 in 10 chance of catching me.  Because the phone will either be in the other room, be on the charge, be out of charge, be switched off and in the other room, be in the bottom of my handbag ....

My take on it is if you want me urgently phone me at home.   If there's no answer then try the mobile because I may actually be out and have it with me.   If it's not urgent send me a text or an email and I'll get back to you.

So my new year's resolution is to give in and start gluing the stupid thing to my pocket and keeping it with me at all times.

There's one mailing list that I need to send a newsletter to from time to time - there's about 15 people on it.   Last time I had to send it via email, text, messenger and what's app and there was still someone didn't see it!!!   I give up.

How do you manage?   Do you still have a landline?  Does anyone call you on it?  I'd love some tips, because I'm losing friends by snapping at them when they say "you're hard to find" and I retort "don't phone me on the mobile!"   Oh dear.
The offending article.
Now that it's sitting here beside me, no-one will call, or text..
Typical.
Talking of telephones, I read a great book recently by a local Northern Irish writer, Bernie McGill.   It's called The Watch House and is set on Rathlin Island when Marconi's men were setting up the first trans Atlantic phone experiments.   Great read, well written and very well researched.  

Monday, 1 January 2018

Happy New Year

Oh the blank page of a brand new year ... and it starts on Monday lol
I love beginnings.   I've never really done resolutions, but this year I'm being more open to intentions and plans that may or may not happen... nothing set in stone apart from work commitments and some delightful tours to look forward to but lots of wishes.  The top of my list is energy and health - sometimes my head wants to do much more than my energy will allow and then it's much more appealing to fall in a heap in front of the tele - and that's the big thing that I want to change.

I wish you and yours a beautiful New Year filled with peace, joy, good health and happiness.

There will be lots of adventures, ups and downs, roads to travel and songs to sing.   Perhaps our paths will cross in the real world, but if not, then I certainly look forward to meeting up with you here from time to time.

Blessings and lots of love.
Fil