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Lots of bits and pieces this week

This has been a strange few weeks. We’ve had no coherent events but rather lots of bits and pieces. Some of them are the culmination of weeks (or months) of work and some are just little events that have impacted in some way on our lives. I guess the description of “life as a tapestry” is still an accurate one, especially for us at the moment.

We have finished the back porch/grooming room where the troublesome Belfast sink is finally plumbed and working thanks to our lovely friend. We gave up on finding the official bits and pieces for this and with the aid of some Sugru and clear silicone finally have it working. If you’ve not come across Sugru by the way it is magical stuff. It rolls out and can be moulded like plasticine when warmed, then sets as it cools. We’ve used it to fix broken shelves in the fridge as well as the overflow – and it comes in eight colours! As for the sink, well I think all the dogs will be getting a bath in the next few weeks, but don’t tell them.

Perfect for wildlife

For those of you who are curious about the mammal gates, here’s a picture. Nicely constructed and matching their surroundings, the animals have found them already as there are tracks in the wood again. Hopefully the fence and undergrowth will deter other would-be visitors including dogs and fly-tippers. We have enough bits and pieces of our own without any more appearing. One sudden arrival is an old ploughshare that appeared behind our back wall. It must have come from the field as that’s the only access. Well, this we love and we are planning to polish it up and add it to the little “monument” in the wood soon.

I’m sure these are Triffids
First round to me!

Speaking of the wood, the recent rain has set everything growing again. When I went out to add to the compost bin I could scarcely see it through the weeds. I say weeds but I was wondering if we had Triffids – strange, wet leafy things almost five feet tall. And armed with the most vicious spines on stems, leaf backs and top, as I soon found out. I grabbed the long handled shears (and gloves) and hacked away as they were mixed in with equally large and ferocious thistles. An on-line app suggested these are giant teasels so I will need to be on guard as they spread very fast. If they manage to develop a seed head we are in deep trouble. And just when I thought the return on the bindweed was bad….

One happy bit this week was the registration of our little red mopeds. Derek Madden once more helped us get them down to the VRT office in his van and was indispensable, watching over the bikes and helping move them on and off as needed. One interested passer-by asked if they were for sale so out of badness he said yes, for 3,000 Euro each. Apparently the man was still interested! It’s a good thing I wasn’t there as I might have been tempted.

The VRT person was wonderful – helpful and constructive, and we paid the grand sum of 9 Euro to register each bike. That’s what I call a bargain. We are now in the next stage of Irish bureaucracy. The bikes need to be taxed but can’t be until they are insured. Most companies demand a valid tax receipt before they offer insurance. I think we’ve been here before….

Someone’s watching us

Life is going on all around us with many birds, including the returning swifts, and the trees flowering and putting out leaves. The geese that were scared away by the dip stick back in March have begun to return. I hope they are safe, though I think hunters might have got some, despite it being closed season. Some mornings I open the back door and it feels a bit like that scene from “The Birds”. Either the field behind is full of rooks or the starlings are staring in through the back windows. It is a constant battle with the weeds and predators like ivy, nettles and bindweed but we are picking away. Even if we don’t win this year I’m hoping to play a draw. And all my work this week has been in bits and pieces as my favourite cycle race has been on. Guess which one?

Tee shirt weather for a few days

I can’t believe this is my 52nd post. I am truly an over-achiever as Jacqui says. I’m recording two episodes at a time with Southside Broadcasting podbean so if anyone wants to hear them they are all available on https://southsidebroadcasting.podbean.com/category/tipperary-tales/. We record alternate weeks with this blog and the later episodes are in with other interesting bits and pieces.

So, there we are. Thank you for reading and enjoy the next few weeks.