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Hi,sorry for the long absense from the blog and thank you all for leaving comments.
I have been busy and my computer was not turned on for days at a time.The allotment has kept me busy most days and the evenings were spent blanching, freezing,baking and jam making!
We have 2 nice pumpkins on the White Ghost plant.
I discovered blackberries hiding under branches when I tidied up the fruit bed, just enough to add to the morning cereal.
I was loud in my praise of cabbage collars recently and the proof is here to see!Two of the 7 plants which are coming on nicely had dead snails on the collars. They are impregnated with a slug deterrent which seems to be working.
The autumn fruiting raspberries, hard to see properly through the netting but there are a good many of them ripening .
Blueberries are ripe and juicy, these photos were taken before I cleaned up the bed and cut back the summer raspberry canes.
The lower branches of the blackcurrant bush were touching the ground so I cut off 6 of the lowest ones.They are much easier to strip the fruit off while standing straight!A fifth of the branches should be pruned each year and this is one way of doing it!
I paid my first visit west of the river Shannon and went to beautiful Connemara.Mountains,bogs and sheep surrounded us on all sides.
We woke up on the Sat morning to find a sheep market in full swing behind our hotel!
That was not our last encounter with the sheep, here they are being herded along the main road.Guess who gets right of way?!
Photo taken through my car windscreen as they decided to cross to my side of the road.
We visited the sheep and wool shop and museum in Leenaun and watched wool being carded, spun and wound from scratch. I was surprised to be told none of our sheeps wool is used for wool production as it is too rough!
The Aran islands, famed for their sweaters from Bainin wool no longer use home grown wool, it is mixed with imported Merino if it is used at all.
Wool was the major reason to keep sheep in the past but now the meat is the first consideration.
Our wool is exported to China and comes back to us as fibre glass and attic insulation!
The Connemara horse show was on the weekend we were there, the show was run on the Wed and Thurs and only the mart/auction was in progres when we visited.
It was fascinating none the less, with buyers from around the world.Buyers came from Australia, Canada, and most of Europe.The tough little Connemara is used for pony trekking around Ayers Rock in Australia.
All colours and hair styles!I am not sure if it is au natural or not!
Beautiful Kylemore Abbey, built by the Mitchell Henry family and in latter years an exclusive boarding school.Visit their website to read the story of the history of the Abbey both romantic and tragic.
The road to Maam Cross between the Maam mountains and bog as far as the eye can see.
The Quiet Man starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara was filmed around this area and parts of the films location can be seen, we were pleasantly surprised to find a replica cottage on the hotel grounds.
The Aran Islands in Galway Bay from the beach in Spiddal.There is now a ferry and
flights to the islands but up to recent years Islanders had to row over from the mainland.
Another event which kept me busy was being part of a committee which organized a benefit night of dancing which was a huge success, it is amazing to see that even in the middle of a recession people are so generous and supportive.
A friend's husband is going to Boston for major surgery for cancer, his operation is scheduled for Aug 30th in Boston as it is the only place where it can be carried out,he has to travel with his wife and they have to stay for at least 6 weeks in total.The medical bills will be covered by insurance and the health service but they have to pay all of their living expenses and flights themselves.
Please keep him in your prayers and thoughts on the 30th.