Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Ludicrous !

New Speed Limit Sign for Minor Local Roads
A Speed Limit is the maximum legal speed, but not necessarily the safe speed at which a vehicle should be driven. It is the responsibility of a driver to obey a Speed Limit and to ensure that the vehicle speed is appropriate for the prevailing circumstances, even if that speed is lower than the Speed Limit applying.
Ireland’s road network is extensive and inconsistent, which means that a ‘one size fits all’ solution for Speed Limits for the 99,100km of road network is not possible. Additionally, Local Authorities (in conjunction with the National Roads Authority in respect of National Roads) are able to amend and set Speed Limits as appropriate and in accordance with Guidelines on Special Speed Limits for different sections of the road network as required.

Arising from the recent Speed Limit Review the Working Group recommended the introduction of a new ‘Rural Speed Limit’ sign for Local Roads, a generic sign that does not display a numeral value, to replace the 80 km/h signs on minor local roads (boreens). This new sign is a ‘black circle with diagonal which is in use internationally under the Vienna signage convention and which was used in Ireland prior to 2004. The new sign means that drivers must use their own judgement but must never exceed 80km/h in any case.

In my opinion the decision to introduce this sign was a dereliction of duty by The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar TD, who launched the new sign on 19 March 2015.
It is in itself a misdemeanour, especially when one considers that most towns have an inner speed limit of 30km/h. 
This could easily have been made common for all local roads which in a lot of instances are very narrow with blind bends and are frequented by pedestrians and farmers moving animals.

The speed limits on the edges of some towns are bad enough already, when on leaving a town's outskirts with a 50km/H limit and on approaching  roundabout the speed limit goes up to 60km/h! 
If common sense were applied it would stay the same or even go down.

Once again we shall be made a laughing stock by the rest of the world for the lack of professional comprehension by our political leaders!

Monday, 27 April 2015

" And Now The Weather " - Agus Anois An Aimsir

The other day a small package arrived in our letter box. I could say that it was a surprise but that is not strictly true for a good friend gave me fair warning to expect a copy of his latest CD in the post.

Recently we put aside the mundane and gave ourselves time to listen to the music of
Colm Mac Con Iomaire's new album "And Now The Weather" which I can best describe as a medley of melodies whereby the tidal movements of the Celtic Sea carry the listener to experience audible depths of beauty that stir the emotions.
It is magical.

The CD comes in no ordinary packaging for it is well designed and tactile. One can feel and see the waves of the sea on the cover. The golden image of a boat was inspired by the one the found in the Broighter Hoard, Co. Derry and it is considered to be a votive offering to Manannán Mac Lír, the sea god.

The inside of the gate-fold cover complements both the front cover and Colm's music
with two small gold discs similar to a pair discovered in the roots of a tree at Tedavnet in Co. Monaghan and dated as Early Bronze age.

Under the CD lies a surprise for there is a large gold disc created by the covers' designer, artist Sheila Mac Nally.

 "Agus Anois An Aimsir - And Now The Weather" is truly a delight both musically and visually.

Card and front cover of
And Now The Weather
Agus Anois An Aimsir

Inside of cover

The man himself and his music

Please visit the links below

Saturday, 18 April 2015

A Bronze Award.

It is really good to be asked to do something which you enjoy and watch a project go forward to become a success. I was asked by Dr. Jenny Butler, a Folklorist at UCC, if I and my druid grove would be interested in taking part in a documentary film that Tile Films of Dublin were proposing to make. 

I sounded out the members of the Owl Grove for their views and a majority decision was made so we contacted the film company. 
About a month before the filming was to start two members were unable to take part. As I had set the number at twelve participants I approached an old friend of mine from years back who was living down in Co. Waterford, as I knew she was a druid. Fortunately for me she agreed to take part and bring along one of her sons who is a fluent Irish scholar. The rest is history.

Today, I am delighted to be able to congratulate the executives and staff of 
Tile Films who were awarded a Bronze World Medal for their 45 minute documentary film Sacred Sites: Ireland.
Not only is it a great achievement for Tile Films, based in Dublin, it is also great for Ireland.


The Owl Grove members who took part were:

Áine-Maire, Claire, Colin, Flynn, Fred, Jane, Majella, Mel, Patsy, Rita, Siobhán and Vinnie.

To view film Sacred Sites : Ireland

You can read my posts about the filming HERE and HERE

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Banjaxed and Blooms

We have had four good days of idyllic weather. 'Too good to last'
I thought, so I took myself and the electric hedge cutter to trim 
the spruce hedge of the north drive as it had not a trim for a couple of 
years at least and possibly longer. 

Things started to get embarrassing last winter when my log man complained 
about his old truck getting scratched by the briars etc. The damned 
ivy, had climbed over the gate so it could no longer be closed, which
meant it was now seriously attached to the hedge.

The trimming went well and I took frequent rests, for I am at the age now
 where I am not doing much manual work and I do like to smoke my pipe and review the progress and what needs to be done. 
Actually there’s nothing new in that as frequent breaks are also customary to my character!

Nearing the end of job I stopped laid down the trimmer and stepped back
noticing as I did so a line of blue smoke rising from the motor.

" Oh B***ger it’s effin' Banjaxed !" I said quietly to my self. 

As I repressed the switch only to see that the reverberating action had 
drastically slowed to almost nil. Well at least the gate is now fully operational.

So this morning we took ourselves into town to purchase a replacement for
the sixteen year old JCB trimmer. Being the sort of store that it is we also
returned home with thorn proof gardening gloves for Mrs H and a bright,
trough-like planter for the strawberries. If all goes well we will be provided  
with a bumper crop - hopefully. (wink!)

The trough planter.
We live in hope that the fruit of these strawberries will tingle our paletes.

A macro shot of our the plum tree blossom

Plum tree blossoms for the first time.

Hawthorne coming into leaf

Blackthorn blossom by the studio

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Hot and Cold

I am not really a gadget person, though from time to time I do get a hankering
for an item which I see as useful. 

Quite a few years ago a friend treated herself to a new car a Yaris and I was quite
taken with the thingy that gave the outside temperature - brilliant I want one
So when browsing in Lidl the other day I saw a gadget which would show not only 
the outside temp but also the interior temp too and being in a reckless mood 
I bought it and installed it yesterday.

So here it is >

Fortunately there was an available short blind shelf just beneath the radio
into which I placed the gadget. Note the temps 21.1C interior and 12.6C
outside at 8.1pm last night.

I fed the long cable around the dash on the passenger side hiding 99% of it
out of sight and free from being interfered with by rambling fingers or wayward feet.

Following the advice of a friend I have relocated the sensor to a void within the inside of the wing as it gives a more accurate reading and is not effected by the heat from the sun.

Saturday, 4 April 2015


I just had to share this!

Fire warning issued for rural areas.

at Saturday 4th April 2015 - 07.59 AM

A warning has been issued by the Fire Service and Bord na Mona on the risk of fires in the countryside this weekend.

The organisations said the chance of fire is much greater at Bank Holiday weekends as there are more people enjoying outdoor activities.

Bord na Mona is urging people not to light fires outdoors and to dispose of cigarettes in a safe way.


It is not as if we have had a hot dry winter followed by a rainless Spring. Yesterday I noticed ponding on the sides of the roads as water from the fields was spilling out on to the highways.

The bogs too must be inundated, peat is known for water retention and therefore I can only assume that the moron who issued the publication of this notice has yet to go out and walk in the countryside.