Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Hare today.....

 Haring along the road

We left home this morning to travel to a nearby town to do some messages for Mrs H.  Within a couple of hundred yards from home we met this fellow running along the road just in front of the car. Very quickly I grabbed the camera whilst Mrs H continued driving. I pointed and clicked not knowing exactly how the photo would turn out. 
Eventually Mr Hare made a sharp right turn and ducked under the bottom of some wrought iron entrance gates and up someones driveway. A good decision by him for a minute later we met a large tractor coming towards us.

Of all the Game that there is to be had I have never eaten hare and doubt that I ever will. 
The reason is that within my pagan tradition The Hare is seen as a shape shifter and might  be the incarnation of a dead friend. 

Some of you may very well be inclined to eat a hare so here is a recipe for Jugged Hare, so called so because the chefs of old would cook the skinned and jointed hare in a jug. Today a casserole will suffice.

Hare on plate

• 1 hare. 
• 1 teaspoon of vinegar. 
• Olive oil. 
• Seasoned flour. 
• Game stock. 
• 1 onion, studded with cloves. 
• Bunch of thyme, marjoram & parsley. 
• 1 bay leaf. 
• Pinch of nutmeg. 
• Pinch of mace. 
• 2 tblsp redcurrant jelly. 
• 150ml (5floz) port or claret. 
• Salt & pepper. 
• Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4. 
• Joint the hare, saving the blood & liver. 
• Mix the blood with the vinegar to prevent it congealing. 
• Heat some oil in a pan, dust the hare pieces with seasoned flour and brown them in the oil. 
• Transfer to an ovenproof dish and pour over the stock to cover. 
• Add the onion, herbs and spices. 
• Cover tightly and place in the oven for about 3 hours. 
• Strain the liquid into a pan and return it to the boil. 
• Add the redcurrant jelly. 
• Pour a little liquid into the blood and stir until smooth. 
• Add the blood to the gravy and cook to thicken, but do not boil. 
• Add the wine and season to taste. 
• Arrange the meat on a dish and pour over the sauce.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Return to Fore in Co. Westmeath

St. Benedictine Priory circa 1200

Amazing what a change of light has done
to this shot of the priory

In the foreground the pre norman structure of St Feichin's Church
pronounce Feichin as Fekkin.

The building with stone tower further up the hill is the anchorites chapel, which is an extension to the hermits cell which was occupied up until the 17th century

For further information please visit


Septembers's sun is almost done.

There you are alliteration and a rhyme all in one line this is my gift to you.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Oink, Oink !

Oh  dear !

I love little piggies

 British Bacon.....

A ghost from the past comes back to haunt
the Pig Master-bater
the Eton/ Oxford
Dead Animal  Lover

Bath Chaps: sometimes referred to simply as "chaps" this food is a pig meat speciality, originating in the British city of Bath, that is served as a snack or as an ingredient to be combined with other foods such as potatoes or eggs. Bath chaps, which are quite fatty, are made from the meat of either a pig's cheek. The meat is salt cured or pickled in brine, smoked, then boiled, and coated with golden-tan colored breadcrumbs. It is then ready to eat and is served as cold meat, tasting much like cooked ham.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

No Silence !

When I first moved here all those years ago it was the stillness which washed over me and the peacefulness of my surroundings that drew me here.  Then, as now, I simply stand outside  my small front door and consciously absorb the peace, looking up into the sky at the birds.
The swallows are still here, swooping down collecting their last meal of midges before sunset. 

Will they still be here tomorrow? Ah’ who knows.

At the time I arrived here there was no phone, no computer and no TV, still no TV. 
My only entertainment was a Bush music centre which connected me to the events going on in the world. At other times I was able to play my CD’s one in particular is still a favourite, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 Pastoral.
When I first played the piece the cattle in the field next to me, galloped up to the fence and stood listening to the music. Seemingly entranced, they stayed until the end then walked away. 

During the times of not working on the cottage I would read what ever books my friends would loan me. One kind friend was a retired missionary priest who had spent most of his working life in Kenya. Like me he was an avid reader, unlike me he was an Irish Scholar having been educated at Blackrock College, Dublin. He encouraged me to use and adopt the Irish-English idiom and from him came the loan of books about the history of Ireland. I learnt about Ireland’s past from the late 1800’s to the founding of the State and on to 1948.
My other friends supplied me with lighter reading matter such as the books of Walter Macken whose work I devoured.

On nights when I was not reading I would in sit in silence alongside the stove, sometimes writing letters or poetry or even planning the next days work. It was during these times of inactivity that I would hear the sound of the electric meter humming away to it’s self. It still makes a hum and a whirr which ultimately is the sound of my money burning away.

Several years later I had the phone installed and then came my first proper computer, a PC.  Proper because I had a very early one, a Commodore or a Sinclair, in the late 1970’s and nothing at all like the one that I sit at today. 
I became aware of a constant buzzing sound. I would go to bed believing that this sound had got into my memory somehow, that it wasn’t real just a memory of the PC noise.

Later I realised that I heard the buzzing on the days when the computer hadn’t been used. Perhaps it was something else?
Finally I understood that it was tinnitus and I have probably had it for years. 
I spoke to a doctor friend of mine and asked if there was a cure for it that he could recommend. He told me that he had it too and if I stumbled upon a cure to please tell him!

That leads me back to the title of this blog ‘No Silence’ and yet strangely beyond the buzzing there is silence.

Walter Macken,  (born 1915Galway, Ireland.—died April 22, 1967, Galway), Irish novelist and dramatist whose tales combine an honest and often harsh reflection of the realities of Irish life with a love of Ireland and a compassionate respect for its people.
Macken was an actor and stage manager in Galway, where he became actor-manager-director of the Gaelic Theatre. He was also connected with the famous Abbey Theatre in Dublin. Macken’s novel Rain on the Wind (1950), a story of Galway life, was popular in Europe and in the United States. He later wrote a trilogy of historical novels, including Seek the Fair Land (1959), set in Cromwellian Ireland; The Silent People(1962), depicting the great Irish potato famine; and The Scorching Wind(1964), which brought the story up to the present day. As a dramatist Macken is chiefly known for Mungo’s Mansion, performed in 1946 at the Abbey Theatre and in 1947 in London as Galway Handicap. Macken also wrote Home Is the Hero, which was produced by the Abbey Theatre in 1952, published in 1953, and filmed in 1959.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Ollie starts Formal Education

Today marks the start of our grandsons' formal education and he will attend his father's old school in Leamington Spa. I have been learning from his mother just how very different his first year at school will be from mine; it seems as if I was educated in the dark ages for so many things have changed. Gone is corporal punishment and just as well too. The teaching is very informal, through play, although the focus is still on the three R's and I hear that there is a mud kitchen ?

It seems no time at all since he was born and I made a wintery trip across to the UK to meet Ollie and his proud parents. I thought to mark his special day of starting school I would share a pictorial history of Ollie's first few years.

Ollie a few hours old.

The inquisitive imp

Enjoying the sea.
A few minutes later he was swamped by a wave
and Granny leapt to his rescue.

Father and Son

Ollie gives forth words of wisdom while Granny listens.

Toby gets in on the photo

We wonder if he is thinking about taking a trip to Ireland ?

Ollie's mum Helen

Master Oliver ready for school.

We are looking forward to hearing about his experiences and how he progresses
throughout the years.

Friday, 11 September 2015

TURNCOATS - Strange goings on

"A person without principles is devoid of character: if he had character, he would feel he needs principles.
Nicolas de Chamfort 
April 06, 1741 - April 13, 1794”

Taoiseach Enda Kenny had rowed in behind the DUP and UUP calls for the Assembly to be adjourned. The Taoiseach met with the SDLP on Thursday morning to urged them to also support the proposal. The SDLP denied him his request.

At a meeting with Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan sought to persuade Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald that Sinn Féin should agree to adjourn the Assembly or to abstain from a vote on that issue. Sinn Féin denied him his request.


Taoiseach Enda Kenny

Minister for Foreign Affairs 
Charlie Flanagan
Then on their return to The Republic they have an about turn !

Irish news reports:

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has intervened in a last-ditch effort to prevent the Northern Executive and Assembly collapsing.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Charlie Flanagan said the collapse of the power sharing institutions would serve no useful purpose.

Both of these gentlemen played into the hands of those who wanted the Northern Institutions to fail. One can but wonder who are they serving  and that perhaps they need to understand the following quotation

"If you can forsake your fundamental principles for any reason then you are not the kind of person who can take the country forward.”
 Farooque Sheikh 1948 -2013

The Taoiseach is obliged to uphold the Good Friday Agreement and other agreements, and to defend the political institutions.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015


Queen Elizabeth II looks on at Waverley Station from the window 
of the steam locomotive 'Union of South Africa' 
on September 9, 2015 in Edinburgh, Scotland.
© Belfast Telegraph

Today Elizabeth II, Queen of England, who at this time of year is taking her traditional summer break at her private Scottish home of Balmoral, opened the new Scottish Borders Railway and took a steam train ride on the new £294 million railway with Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

A milestone was passed today when Elizabeth became the longest serving monarch for over a thousand years and surpassed the previous record holder, her great grandmother, Queen Victoria. Officials at Buckingham Palace have calculated that at 5.30pm she will have reigned for 23,226 days, 16 hours and approximately 30 minutes.

An official picture showing the Queen at work at her desk has been released 
to mark the moment she sets the new record.
© Ms.McCartney

The commemorative photograph is not a formal one but an image showing the Queen working from papers delivered to her in a famous red box, prominent in the picture's foreground.
Every day of the year - except Christmas Day - wherever she is, the Queen receives from government ministers, and from her representatives in the Commonwealth and other countries, information in the form of policy papers, cabinet documents, Foreign Office telegrams, a daily summary of events in Parliament, letters and other State papers.

It is perhaps easy to forget that most of her subjects at her age
would have been retired for twenty-four years!

This blogger tender his congratulations.

for further information please view :-

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Ireland of the Welcomes

For the latest news go here http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/09/austrian-aid-convoy-heads-hungary-refugees-150906142209841.html

CITIZENS across Ireland are "pledging a bed" in their homes to house refugees fleeing war and conflict as the Irish Government comes under increasing criticism for not doing enough to deal with Europe's refugee crisis. 

In a campaign initiated by UpLift Ireland, hundreds of people from across the island have signed a pledge to take refugees into their own homes.

UpLift Founding Director Siobhán O'Donoghue said translating public anger into action is vital in order to force political leaders to respond to the crisis:

"The massive response from people across the country really shows up our Government's inaction. We need Taoiseach Enda Kenny to step up and agree to welcome more refugees into Ireland".

UpLift is also holding a number of solidarity demonstrations across the country as well as calling on the public to donate to front-line charities working with refugees.

The public reaction came as the Irish Government continues to be non-committal as to how many refugees it would take although Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald told radio stations on Friday that the Irish Government would certainly increase the number of refugees it would accept from 600 to "thousands".

In the North, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness of Sinn Féin (pictured) said most people in the North of Ireland "would gladly welcome any moves to allow more refugees to come here."

Accepting refugees in the North of Ireland usually requires cooperation with the British Government, but the Deputy First Minister said he was looking into ways of taking unilateral action if moves by Britain's Conservative Government is not forthcoming:

"My Department has already been exploring the feasibility of how we can do that," he said, but added that cooperation with David Cameron's Government would be the "most effective" way.
 Find out more or pledge a bed HERE

Currently more than 12,000 people in Ireland have  pledged beds to the refugees.

Austria & Germany accept Refugees

Long lines of buses have left Hungary's capital Budapest packed with people bound for Austria, which says it has agreed with Germany to let them in as Hungary gives in to crowds, including Syrian refugees, that had set out on foot for western Europe.
Hungary's government said on Saturday about 100 buses would pick up thousands of people camped in front of Budapest's main railway terminus and another 1,200 striding down the main highway to Vienna led by a Syrian refugee and chanting "Germany, Germany!"
Austria said they would be granted entry, regardless of European Union rules. Smiling refugees boarded the buses, waving goodbye to Hungarian volunteers and aid workers.
"Because of today's emergency situation on the Hungarian border, Austria and Germany agree in this case to a continuation of the refugees' journey into their countries," Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann said on his Facebook page.
 Viktor Orban, Hungarian prime minister, a man full of fear has had to back down and let the refugees through. Which proves that his crackdown on the refugees and his diabolical trickery of cancelling the trains the other day was stupid and deceitful.
The individual countries within the EU have to readjust their sights and policies in regards to this dreadful situation. For example Ireland needs to increase it's present allowance from 1,800 refugees to 5,000  and more.
President Michael D Higgins has said the UN has failed to deal with the conflict in Syria and it must be addressed by heads of state and government.
President Higgins told RTÉ News at One the EU has also failed in not having being able to agree an adequate figure, with an implementable regime, raising the issue of a voluntary or compulsory compliance.
He said EU countries are going to have to talk about the number of refugees they are accepting, saying it is more likely two to three times the figure that was originally suggested to them.
President Higgins said racism and xenophobia are re-appearing in some EU member countries.
He said that people should not be afraid of an influx of refugees, saying they are people fleeing persecution, slavery and smuggling.
The President said that the Irish people have to do what is right and share the responsibility of a human tragedy unfolding, adding that families in Ireland are willing to make a contribution.
He praised those in hardship who are reaching out to those in need.
President Higgins said the UNHCR has said that the EU should be discussing a figure of 200,000, but the EU figure is, as he understands, at 120,000.
"The figure of 120,000, which opens the EU ministers discussions, if that figure is revised in terms of the UNHCR's figure of 200,000,that obviously doubles the different indications that countries have been making. And that is a matter for government.
“Different member countries are going to have to talk about two-to-three times the figure that was originally suggested to them."

Thursday, 3 September 2015

A Dirty Trick or lack of consultation?

Thursday 3rd Sept.

Hungarian police halted a train packed with refugees bound for the Austrian border and tried to force them to disembark in a town with a detention camp on Thursday, a confrontation that has become a focus of Europe's migration crisis.

After shutting refugees out of the main train station in the capital Budapest for two days, authorities played a dirty trick by giving false hope to the exhausted and confused people to board a westbound train. Hundreds crammed aboard clinging to doors and squeezing their children through open carriage windows.

But instead of proceeding to the Austrian border, the train was stopped just west of Budapest in the town of Bicske, where Hungary has a migration reception centre, and police ordered the passengers off.

Police cleared one carriage, while five more stood at the station in the heat. Fearing detention, some people banged on windows chanting "No camp! No camp!"

One group pushed back dozens of riot police guarding a stairwell to fight their way back on board. One family - a man, his wife and their toddler - made their way along the track next to the train and lay down in protest. It took a dozen riot police wrestling with the man to get them up again. 
"We need water," said a Syrian man who was still on the train and gave his name as Midu.
"Respect the humans in here; no respect for the humans.We want to go to Germany, not here," he said in English.
There then followed a curtailment of news reporting when baton wielding Hungarian Police forced
international journalists out of the station and declared it an operation zone.
The questions that are uppermost: what are Hungarian police afraid of or are their intended actions going to be so terrible and inhumane, that it must be kept secret from the rest of Europe ?

Report by Marton Dunai Reuters +Activist editing)


Bob Geldof has said he is prepared to take in four refugee families to do his part in helping to deal with the growing migrant crisis.

Speaking to Dave Fanning on RTÉ Radio One, he said that he looks at the crisis with profound shame.  

He said he understands the economics and the politics, and that the root cause has to be addressed.

However, he said we are in a period of fundamental shift and when people are poor they move.

"It is a monstrous betrayal of who we are and what we wish to be, we are in a moment that will be discussed and impacted upon in 300 years time, a fundamental shift in the way the world has worked for the last, say, 600 years.

"If there's a new economy there needs to be a new politics. There isn't and it's that failure of new politics that has led to this fucking disgrace."

The aid campaigner and singer said he would open the doors to his family home in Kent and his flat in London in a personal response to the shocking scenes.

"I'm prepared - I'm lucky, I've a place in Kent and a flat in London - me and [partner] Jeanne would be prepared to take three families immediately in our place in Kent and a family in our flat in London, immediately, and put them up until such time as they can get going and get a purchase on their future."

Geldof also said that he himself is an economic migrant as Britain accepted him and he said it is the same for thousands of Irish people living in England and Australia and in countries across the world.