Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Grace O'Malley, the Pirate Queen, sat in the back of a convertible waving in her leather jacket and tiara...

After all the guests had left, the house was a little quiet. Luckily it was also St Patrick's day so we drove down to the St Paddy's parade in Newport, our local town.  I had a green whippy ice-cream from Chamber's and the weirdest parade on the planet commenced. In the 16th Century, the Pirate Queen Grace O'Malley, or the Grainne Uaile, ruled the shores of the West of Ireland. Today she was the town's teenage beauty queen waving at us from a car.  The fat St Patrick (who looks like Santa Claus but wears green) followed and then a whole bunch of old Irish cars and then loads of sport clubs (mainly boxing and fishing), the vintage threshing club and then just some people who it seems wanted to drive in the parade.... The strangest thing about it was how quiet it was, these people just walked down the street to a little bit of clapping and the odd hoot but apart from that it just felt a bit awkward.

A couple of days later and Josh's parents arrived. On the first day we made them walk a bit of marathon but there were no complaints and the weather was amazing and stayed stunning until the day they left (today!). We did all the best things: went to the Beehive in Achill, had dinner at Felicity's, chilled by my (fantastic) fire, went to Nevins, unloaded Josh's brewery they had driven all the way from London! Nigel helped me de-mould the walls and unblock various sinks as well as helping Josh in the brewery and cooking a few stand-up meals and generally we all had a lovely time.

In the garden
I have finally started at St Brendans with my new favourite person James Brendan who is a massive fan of Monty Don so obviously we are bezzers. He also gave me to take back to my garden a grape vine, 5 corn seedlings and rhubarb. I have dug the roots of the grapevine outside the polytunnel and will be growing the stem inside the Polytunnel. I went on a pear grafting workhouse and now have 5 pears grafted and looking for new homes to be found over the next year. I put up a new little Polytunnel which I got free because the last one broke when it blew away (we fixed it so I have two), and have secured it super tight (I hope) and am growing one side as a no-dig bed and one side  as a dig bed as an experiment.

I also made a HUGELKULTUR! There was a lot of shlepping of logs and soil - we have no soil so I had to dig some up from the road side but it is looking pretty cool and I put my chives and leaf fennel which were looking very sad in it. The slugs have also started coming out and today's death count is 25.

1 - starting with some cardboard

3 - have covered with earth, is about 3 ft - fennel leaf and chives are on the top

Looking forward to mum and dad coming on Friday! Happy Purim xxxx

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