A blog by an Irishwoman, written in both English and Swedish, depending on what humour is on me....
En blogg av en irländska, skriven på svenska och engelska.
Just scroll down to find the English bits among the Swedish, or vice versa.

Ta Gaeilge agam freisin, más é an rud é go bhfuil éinne eile le Gaeilge ag léamh mo bhlagsa.

Ich verstehe auch ein bisschen Deutsch, je parle un petit peu francais och klarar av lite norska med.

Wondering about the background of the blog? They're the Cliffs of Moher, in the neighbouring county, County Clare, 8km long, 700m high, and magnificent. Well worth a visit if anyone is around the West of Ireland

Friday, December 31, 2010

Gott Slut och Gott Nytt År, Enjoy New Year's Eve and Happy New Year

Happy New Year to you all,
here are photos of how green it is here today, thankfully.
and photos of my first and second attempts at spinning these past few days,
the olive green is very soft, the orange/yellow/brown has lots more character and has even been plied, just needs that final wash now...
also photo of what the original fuzzy wool looked like, before spinning.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

meds and spinning baby steps.

Got to the doc eventually and now on more medicine, hoping it works fully this time.
I opened the box that has been living in our study and unpacked my spinning wheel on Monday evening, and started spinning.
I managed to spin! and then the following day I managed to ply what I had spun, and now I believe I need to wash the yarn to get the twist to set and then I can knit with it!
all very exciting...
not really overflowing with energy at present, so no pics today, but tomorrow, I'll take some photos in sunlight, and hopefully have them up tomorrow.
be well

Monday, December 27, 2010

Spinning wheel nr 5

Spinning wheel_4819
Originally uploaded by liz65oconnor

oh and I bought a pair of Louet carders at the same time.

Spinning wheel nr 4

Spinning wheel_4820
Originally uploaded by liz65oconnor

B included some wool for me to spin too, and that's Angora in the bag at the back right of the pic

Spinning wheel nr 3

Spinning wheel_4821
Originally uploaded by liz65oconnor

close up

Spinning wheel nr 2

Spinning wheel_4822
Originally uploaded by liz65oconnor

here it is out of the box

Spinning wheel nr 1

Note: in this and the next 4 posts I am experimenting with using flickr.com
please excuse the repetitive nature of the posts....

from white to green, overnight!

So for the last 2 weeks or more Ireland has been in the grip of a cold spell which has meant record low temperatures, as low as minus 10 C for us, but as low as minus 17C in other parts of the country. This lasted up to and including Christmas Day, it was all white and frosty, the frost was so thick on the trees it looked like snow, see the photos in the previous post.
But then on the morning of St Stephen's Day (26th December), ie, yesterday, we awoke to something we hadn't seen in 2 weeks or more, green grass, green fields, the Atlantic air had once again worked it's magic on us. I like this kind of weather, I am not really so enamoured in snow and ice, especially when it comes to driving in it.
Admittedly, the roads in some parts of the East were still dangerous, as they had gotten most snow and the thaw spread from the SouthWest, so it took longer for them to experience the thaw, the compacted snow became worse before it melted fully. However here in Limerick, the roads were fine and I even ventured into town with 6 kids, 5 teenagers who wanted to go ice-skating and my 10yr-old daughter who had a burning desire to spend her Christmas money on a Wii game.
Ice-skating went fine, some shops were open for the sales and daughter purchased 2 Wii games and the traffice wasn't bad so I wasn't too stressed, so all went well.
However I think I probably wasn't really ready for that trip as regards my health, as my throat and chest got worse, but a good night's sleep has helped and I don't feel as bad today as yesterday.
Took it very easy today, plenty of web-surfing and bit of housework.
Two of the daughters are gone to a friend's house, so it's very calm here today.
Enjoying leftovers and homemade Christmas cake, so all is well with the world.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

God Jul! Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas to all out there in the ether...
God jul! (god fortsättning, borde jag egentligen säga..)
Hoppas att dagen gick bra för allihopa, att det åts och det firades osv.
Här har vi det ganska bra ställt, vi har vatten, (en del är utan), el (en lättnad efter elavbrottet igår kväll) och torra vägar, som det går att köra på, (en del vägar är livsfarliga att köra på just nu), så vi räknar våra välsignelser...
kommer med en liten redovisning av de senaste 2 veckorna.

Först några bilder...

photos taken by the Swede yesterday and day before, along our road

12e december, det töade, som jag sade i ett tidigare inlägg
13e december, jag åkte till Dublin med 65 skolbarn och 3 kolleger, för att delta i en stor konsert, Hallelujah Konsert på RDS, där sammanlagt 3500 skolbarn deltog och sjöng. Det var väldigt roligt, men jag var såå trött dagen därpå, bussarna kom inte 'hem' till skolan förran kl 1 på natten, och sedan hade jag en vanlig arbetsdag dagen därpå. Frosten kom tillbaks samma kväll.
14e december, frosten och den stränga kylan kom tillbaks, även om vi i Limerick inte fick någon snö.
16e och 17e december, sjukskriven pga lunginflammation, åt penicillin och steroider, tog det lugnt även över helgen... kallt var det.
19e december, Äldsta dottern var med och spelade i en final i Schools Camogie, och de vann!! Munster finalen! häftigt!
20e dec till 23e december, tillbaks på jobbet, dock med en ny hosta som jag inte har blivit av med och nu har medicinen tagit slut, tyvärr. Frosten och kylan fortsätter...
21e december årets kortaste dag, om ni förstår vad jag menar, och en Lunar Eclipse...
23e december, halvdag på skolan, för alla av oss, Jullov börjar!
24e december Julafton, åt svenskt julbord med Wasa Husmans knäckebröd nyligen levererat av ett par hem från Örnsköldsvik
25e december Christmas Day, åt kalkon och skinka (och rester av svensk julmaten! en härlig blandning!)
Imorgon, ska det töa ordentligt sägs det... då löper vi risk för frysande regn och sedan översvämningar...

Happy Christmas to all.
Hope you are all well and safa and warm tonight.
Review of last 2 weeks:
12th Dec, the thaw
13th Dec, trip by bus to Dublin with 65 schoolchildren and 3 colleagues, to take part in a giant choir, in a show. Great fun, but sooooo tired following day... and the frost came back...
16 and 17 Dec, off sick with chest infection. The frost also got worse.
19 Dec eldest daughter was in the winning team at the Munster Schools Senior Camogie final!
20th to 23rd Dec, back at school, but coughing, meds are finished, so not much I can do right now. Still very cold, we have freezing fog and the trees are crystally with thick rimefrost.
23rd Halfday, all got holidays at last, yippeee! still very cold.
24th Dec ate Swedish Christmas food, freezing fog, no sun.
25th Dec ate turkey and ham dinner for Christmas Day, visited my parents house...
the sun shone but the frost was still here...

looking forward now to my bed, we were woken up by a determined child this morning at 4am, she was determined to see if Santa had come and left the presents yet, but she was persuaded to go back to bed for another while...
I'm not good if sleep deprived...
Enjoy the rest of the holidays,

Roll on the promised thaw tomorrow...

Sunday, December 12, 2010

det töade, the thaw came,

Det töade, nu är det slut med all snö och frost hos oss, inga farliga vägar nu, men, kylan kommer tillbaks imorgon, och det kommer att bli ännu kallare frampå torsdag...

The thaw came, the roads are fine again, and all snow and ice is gone, only thing is the cold is coming back tomorrow and it is going to get colder by Thursday.

Edited to add: I've just been over to Lily's Blog, Lily is currently in Minneapolis and has posted some amazing photos of snow in Minneapolis, from Dec 12th, as well as Christmas trees, even an Irish themed tree, here, and Lily pointed me in the direction of a site dealing with Irish weather, which is giving a Severe weather warning for Ireland and UK later this coming week...

The link below is to the site called Irish WeatherOnline, and it looks like absolutely terrible weather is coming next Thursday, ooooh, eck!
words like 'huge polar hurricane over Svalbard' and 'very strong Arctic outbreak' and 'very strong northerly of sub-freezing temperatures' and 'an epochal cold spell for Ireland and Britain in the next 20-30 day interval' make me shiver...
Severe weather alert for Thursday

enjoying a nice morning here, trying to avoid thinking about snow and shopping and the need to shop.... shudders at thought of Limerick and traffic and crowds...

hope you enjoy your weekend...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

a welcome day of rest

Today was a holy day in ireland and lots of the schools choose to close to observe the day, which unofficially has become known as Farmers' Shopping Day, it's when all the farmers and their wives head into the cities to do Christmas shopping.

Needless to say with the weather and road conditions, I never even contemplated leaving home, certainly not to join the hordes in Limerick city, I do not like shopping in crowds, or trying to get home with traffic jams and queues.

It was a great day at home, the daughters helped to clean the house, sorting laundry and washing floors and washing dishes, and then the Big Treat, putting up the Christmas tree and our Swedish Adventsljusstake, (known as candle-bridges here).
So happily the house is relatively tidy, the Christmas tree is up and we are all rested after one sweet day off, one less day having to drive on dodgy roads.

It'll be cold again tonight, but the thaw is coming, thank Heaven! It may even get to plus 7 degrees Centigrade on Friday, oh please, Mother Earth, let that be so.

I really want to have our usual Irish winter back, bit of wind and rain and mild temperatures. However it looks like we will need to get used to cold like this, it looks like we could have more cold weather from the middle of next week. And who knows how long this weather will last? all the way till January? maybe...
hope all of you are staying warm and taking care out there,

Sunday, December 5, 2010

mince pies

Well, I don't unfortunately have the time nor the talent to be a domestic goddess, and cooking or baking isn't my strong point, but here's a link to someone who does a lot of cooking and baking and makes it all look very lovely and very easy.
It's Jaz on her Octoberfarm blog, and she has a new giveaway as well on this post:

Here's a bit of background to the origin of Mincemeat!

The origin of the word 'mincemeat' is often of interest, especially as it does not appear to contain any meat whatsoever. Up to Victorian times, the mince(meat) pie would have actually have been a spiced meat pie with some dried fruit. It has evolved to the point where the only meat in the pie is in the form of suet, an historical throwback.

The filling is nowadays made from fruit mincemeat (fruitmince to North Americans) containing dried fruit such as raisins, currants, cherries, apricot, candied peel; spices such as cinnamon or nutmeg; nuts such as walnuts or chopped almonds; suet; and some kind of alcohol, usually either brandy or rum. Although no longer a meat pie, the mince pie is suitable for vegetarians only if the suet is replaced by vegetable fat.

(Ref: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mince_pie )

Saturday, December 4, 2010

How well-behaved is your snow?

The so-called Big Freeze continues, but really, the coldest temperature measured so far is minus 16C, which is nothing compared to Sweden.
Funnily enough, Ireland in my childhood used to be almost always snowfree, or at least most of Ireland. We got well-behaved snow, which fell overnight, ensured schools closed the following day and then had the good manners to melt during the day so we didn’t have to worry about icy roads etc… oh and this all used to happen on one day a year in maybe February or March, at least in the Southwest of the country, which is where I live….
However, last year’s 'cold snap' lasted 3 weeks and caused chaos, if it wasn’t snow that was the problem it was the frost that froze the last of the snow and made us Irish sit up and realise the need for gritting roads, and insulating water pipes correctly!
Now this year the cold and snow has come even earlier than last year, and we are once again struggling to deal with it. Last Thursday Dublin Airport was closed 3 times in the one day, as the snow was falling faster than they could clear the runway. Dublin suffered a combination of thunder and lightning and heavy snowfalls, and other parts of the East coast were also badly affected. At least this year the local authorities probably have enough salt and grit, and at least this time it's not the Christmas holidays when it's happening, like last year which really messed things up.

Honestly, we rarely gritted our roads before this, and we do not use studded/winter/all-weather tyres, why would we need to, snow only ever lasted until noon, on one day in, say, February...
[edited to add for clarification: I sincerely wish we did have winter tyres, and enough salt trucks and grit trucks to go around, and enough sand and salt for every schoolyard in the country ...]
So how well behaved is your snow? and how do you deal with it?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

we are lucky so far...

Vi har faktiskt haft tur med vädret :-),
det råder snökaos i Europa och östra delen av Irland, men här i Limerick och Tipperary så har vi bara lite snö, och det mesta har smält bort nu, det var lite halkigt några mornar i rad på väg till jobbet, med det är inget emot det som Dublin och Monaghan har fått erfara denna vecka.
But i think our good luck is now coming to an end, the forecast for tonight is for a Low Pressure coming in from the Atlantic, that'll bring precipitation (nederbörd) and when the Low Pressure system meets the cold air over Ireland, then there'll be snow and this we cannot escape, we are right in the line for this...
So who knows what we'll be waking to tomorrow morning...