Posts Tagged ‘Donabate’

Life has been rather hectic around here for the past few weeks.  We have so much happening at the moment.

We had a fantastic one day festival in the village on Sunday with one of our pigs on a spit-roast.

We have the Tullamore Show – the biggest one day agriculture show in the country this weekend. We have taken a stand at it.  And the following weekend we have our second barbecue course. But more about those later.

Last Friday I travelled to Dublin for an interview, and had tickets to the new Aviva Stadium for the opening rugby match on Saturday.  So a weekend break in the big city was on the cards.

As I wasn’t sure of where I was heading for the interview I allowed plenty of time. Arrived half an hour ahead of the schedule time.  All going well so far!

Until the guy at reception hadn’t a clue what I was talking about!!!  Warning bells! Oh yes, I was early!  I was a week early!  Talk about feeling stupid!  But the nice guy suggested I look on it as being enthusiastic!  Thank you nice guy!

Anyway, now I had time to kill before I met with my friend, Sheena, for lunch.

So I decided to walk through Temple Bar.  I must have looked sweet pulling my overnight case behind me!  It is years since I’ve been around Temple Bar.  As I walked through Cow’s Lane I spotted Queen of Tarts which I have only read about. So still feeling rather silly and stupid, I thought I needed to stop and half a nice cup of tea!

I must admit it was a lovely experience.  Tea served in china tea cup.

China Tea Cup

And I really couldn’t resist a scone too! And what a range of scones and pastries they have to tempt!  I settled on a raspberry scone with cream – it was delicious!

Raspberry scone

It all helped to make me feel more human again!  And sustain me to continue on my journey out to Donabate to meet with Sheena.

Sheena bought my old house from me.  It is a strange experience the first time you return to your old home which is now full of someone else’s possessions!  This time around we had fun going around the garden as Sheena has only recently had her gardening eureka moment. So I was put to the test to remember what was planted where! Lots of advice and identification was done!

Friday evening was dinner with more friends at Masterson’s in Swords.  A great night of food, wine and chat.  The sizzling prawns starter were absolutely delicious!  I can still taste them!  And the Thai Beef Salad was also so good.

Saturday’s visit to Aviva Stadium was in true rugby weather – it lashed down!  We got drenched.

Aviva Stadium

No idea who these guys were… but they were willing to pose in the torrential rain!

The match was quite disappointing…. the Leinster/Ulster combination beat the Munster/Connaught combination 68 0 – white-wash really!

But the abiding memory of the afternoon the price of a burger and chips!  €10.50 each.  Can you believe it?  There is a wide range of food available – seafood, sushi – you name it but at those prices!

The plan hadn’t been for so much food!  Dublin is definitely more expensive than rural venues! The prices in Aviva were the worst. Generally speaking everywhere was much more expensive than I’ve gotten used to here in the country!

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You’d probably have to be half dead not to know that Bloom was on in The Phoenix Park this weekend.  Farmer Alfie and I have spent a day at Bloom each year since it opened.  This is it’s 5th year, and it has just got better and better each year.

This year I was doubly lucky.  Farmer Alfie and I were scheduled to go yesterday (Saturday), but then Yvonne at Hey Pesto! won two tickets to attend on Thursday and invited me to join her.  How could I resist?  So while Farmer Alfie tiled Yvonne’s hallway for her, the girls headed off to Bloom for a very civilised day out!

Hey Pesto! reporting from Bloom

Yvonne has reported on the food people we met, but I was blown away by some of the gardens!  Oh, to have such green fingers!

Since we’ve been here in Redwood, I have concentrated on growing vegetables and it is only in the past week that I have started a ‘flower’ garden!  When I lived in Donabate it was the other way around, all flowers and a few vegetables.  It was interesting to note that so many of the Show Gardens this year had incorporated vegetables extremely cleverly in their spaces.  Here are some of my favourite gardens….

RTE Super Garden winner

This was an urban garden that included a substantial vegetable plot and even a duck pond and 4 ducks!

More like my space!

This, I think, was the garden sponsored by Bord na Mona.  It was completely populated with wild flowers – foxglove, aquilegia, cow parsley… it was delightful!

An aspiration!

Could we have a water feature like this!

An end of the day space?

Now wouldn’t it be nice to have a space like this to chill out in at the end of a day in the garden?

Farmer Alfie and I were scheduled to head off to Bloom again on Saturday, but he wasn’t feeling well enough to travel so I headed off on my own and joined my brother, Seamus and his family at the show for my second visit!

Definitely going on a weekday is better if you really want to see the gardens. Saturday was busy.

But then it was a different day out as my two nieces were along (aged 6 and 8). They wanted to do different things – Daisy had daisies (of course!) painted on her arm.  Juliet had remembered operating the pottery wheel last year, so had brought along her snowman made of playdoh to show the pottery lady!  The pottery lady was very impressed and showed both girls how to make turtles which they were able to bring home with them!

On both visits the sun blazed down and we were able to have picnics on the lawn.

I resisted the temptation to purchase any plants at all on both visits…. but I did buy these silly ‘flower’ things that you attach to a hose.  One for here to water my vegetables while I go feed hens, ducks, etc. (Although, Farmer Alfie is suggesting it would be great to keep pigs cool on a hot day!)  And one for the girls – which they thoroughly enjoyed and had hooked up to the hose within 5 minutes of getting home!

Definitely two days out to be recommended.

Thank you to Yvonne, Seamus, Patricia, Daisy and Juliet!

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