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

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

a wedding and a book

family wedding now on Thursday, so tomorrow Wednesday I will be getting the last bits in town, like a pair of shoes for me, as I realised only today that the pair I have are too small for me.... sigh.... getting us all dressed for a winter wedding is a bit of a chore, but I'm sure we'll have a great time once we just get into the car on Thursday morning...
I'm a bit stressed trying to make sure we remember everything for all eventualities, as we are staying overnight in the hotel, eg, we need spare clothes, warm coats, overnight bags etc, it'll be up to me as Mother in this house to ensure all children and husband have what they will need, gulp....
Just finished a book today by Mikael Niemi, Mannen som dog som en lax, The man who died like a Salmon,
i enjoyed it very much, a crime thriller, but thankfully not too much of the gory details and not too much cruelty, Niemi instead painted his characters well, so I got very interested in how the plot would unfold for them, and there were a few unexpected turns in the story.
A good read, med andra ord...!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Nollaig Shona faoi mhaise daoibh go léir!

Nollaig Shona faoi mhaise daoibh go léir!

God Jul till er allihopa!

Happy Christmas to you all,

i hope that you all have a peaceful and happy Christmas,
stay healthy, well and warm this Christmas and
ta god hand om era själva och de dina, take care of yourselves and of your loved ones.

The Julbord has been eaten and now we are off to Mass in the local Catholic church.
Better round up the troops!!!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

the shortest day, or is it?

I always thought that today, the 21st December, was the shortest day in the year, I mean, the Winter Solstice, with the least amount of daylight hours in the Northern Hemisphere. Today I read on the RTE website (Irish TV), that the Winter Solstice occurs officially tomorrow morning the 22nd. Nevertheless today is the day that people usually think of as the Winter Solstice. So today I told my pupils about the Solstice and about Newgrange Tomb, where the rays of the rising sun on the Winter Solstice enters a roof-box over the door of the passage way and the rays then proceed to illuminate the entire passageway and hit the back wall of the inner chamber.

Read more about it here on the RTE website

Imagine that early people knew enough about the sun and about building to be able to construct such a tomb which unfailingly is illuminated on just the few days around the Winter Solstice. Well, unfailingly, if the skies aren't clouded over and sadly today was a cloudy day.

Here is a link to Youtube, to make up for the lack of real sunlight...

it's a short excerpt from RTE News, less than 3 mins, where a professor talks to the reporter about the passage tomb, and they show a simulation of the light entering the roof-box. If you visit Newgrange as a tourist in the summer season, you can enter the tomb and part of the visit will include this simulation whereby they use artificial light to show the visitors what the rising sun would look like on Winter Solstice.
Only one more day left at work, then blessed holidays....

Saturday, December 17, 2011

to borrow or not to borrow that yummy photo from the web...

just a short comment today,
a friend in Sweden tells of her friend Enannan's experience, whereby Enannan was fined almost 700 euro (yes seven hundred euro ) for borrowing a photo from the web and using it in her blog...
so just to warn you all, maybe especially if you live in Sweden, don't borrow a photo from the web, without the photographer's express permission.
I have now gone and removed any photos from my blog which I did not take myself, I have also gone through my Flickr account and my Ravelry messages to ensure the only photos on both of these are those which I have taken myself.
Just sayin'.....
(Enannan is not a name, it just means An Other, like we say in English , A.N.Other).
On this topic, is there anyone using a programme that puts a digital watermark on their photos on their blog, to protect the photos? Any suggestions on this please?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Snö! Snow!

Woke up this morning to a White Wonderland, it had snowed during the night. Here are a few shots of the snow in our garden this morning.

We all got to school and work with no major difficulty, and tomorrow will be a bit milder so the snow will all be melted by tomorrow lunch. That's what we are used to...

Friday, December 9, 2011

2 böcker (2 books) och en stickmaskin som inte samarbetar...and an unco-operative knitting machine

Hej allihopa,
nu undrar ni hur i allsin dagar har hon på Irland tid att blogga 2 gånger under 3 dagar!
Det får jag förklara för er, jag har nämligen varit hemma några dagar sedan jag blev väldigt förkyld i tisdags och var då tvungen att åka till läkaren, rösten var alldeles hes och lät så konstigt, inte kunde jag fortsätta att undervisa utan röst och utan energi...
så jag har varit hemma och bara vilat mig... jag sov 3 timmar från kl 10 till kl 1 första förmiddagen, vilan tydligen behövdes.
Nåja, förra helgen läste jag en rolig bok som hette Mitt Liv som Pingvin, av Katarina Mazetti, den var så rolig och tänkeväckande, jag ville bara streckläsa den, ville inte lämna den ifrån mig. Den var en mycket rar och fin berättelse, jag tyckte mycket om den. Jag tror att mitt intresse för svenska deckare har avtagit, nu vill jag helst läsa något som uppmuntrar mig och belyser tillvaron, istället för grymma deckare som får mig att rysa, usch...

En annan bok som jag läste nu när jag har varit hemma, är en bok på engelska, As far as my feet will carry me, av Joseph Bauer, den sanna berättelsen om hur en tysk soldat Clemens Forell, rymde ifrån en rysk blygruva i Siberien och gick i 3 år genom Siberien för att äntligen komma till Iran och komma hem till Tyskland.
Det var spännande, tyckte jag, den kunde inte jag lämna ifrån mig heller, jag ville så gärna streckläsa denna bok med.

Stickmaskinen? jorå, det är så här att jag har en stickmaskin som jag tog fram idag när det var lugnt hemma, men den krånglade, tyvärr, och jag som hade för mig att jag skulle börja på ett stickprojekt idag... pust... ibland blir inte livet som man har tänkt sig.

Hello everyone,
Now you're wondering how on earth herself in Ireland has time to blog 2 times in 3 days!
I must explain to you, it is because I have been home for a few days. I got a bad headcold last Monday and simply had to go to the doctor after work on Tuesday, my voice was quite hoarse and sounded so strange, I couldn't keep teaching without a voice and without much energy ...
so I've been home and have been taking it easy ... I slept for 3 hours from 10 am to 1 pm on first morning, a rest which was apparently much needed.
Last weekend I read a funny book (in Swedish) called My Life as a Penguin, by Katarina Mazetti, it was so funny and thought-provoking, I just wanted to keep reading it, couldn't put it down. It was a very sweet and nice story, I liked it. I think my interest in Swedish crime fiction has decreased, now I would rather read something that is heartwarming and brightens up life, rather than harsh crime fiction that makes me shudder, ugh ...

Another book that I read now when I was home, is a book, in English, As far as My Feet Will Carry Me, by Joseph Bauer, the true story of how a German soldier 'Clemens Forell', escaped from a Russian lead mine in Siberia and walked (mostly) for 3 years through Siberia to finally come to Iran and get home to Germany.
Another one I couldn't put down either.

And the unco-operative Knitting Machine? Well, I have a knitting machine which I tried to set up today when things were quiet, but it would not play ball, unfortunately, and there I was, so disappointed as I had imagined that I would start a knitting project today ... sigh ...
there's many a slip twixt cup and lip...

Monday, December 5, 2011

December 2011

My life has a routine at the moment, work, home, kids and husband, housework, laundry, same old, same old, it sometimes feels like....
Nothing unusual is happening and that's probably just as well, as sometimes exciting times can be very tiring.
Work goes on as normal, I am teaching my pupils the recorder (blockflöjt) which means I am also teaching myself how to play it. I used to play the Irish Tinwhistle, (tennflöjt?), but recorder and tinwhistle have different fingering, so as I teach the children, I am learning myself too. I was delighted with them all last week, they learned Amazing Grace on the recorder and a week later played this song in church at Mass with the older children! And they were good!
Now we are focusing on Away in a Manger and Jingle Bells, and I have a few more Christmas songs I may teach them. It's fun, but they do not always stop playing when I want them to, so I have a little bell to ring to get their attention.
Not losing my voice is very important, so I have purchased a small megaphone for Physical Ed class, especially outdoors, where my voice would just be so strained after 30 mins of giving directions in the big wide open. I have also just this weekend purchased a small portable voice amplifier from Maplin in Limerick, to help project the voice as I am getting quite hoarse after a few days teaching, last Friday I was very hoarse.
All is well at home, sports have died down a bit for now, and I am not constantly driving to matches with children. This time next year my eldest daughter could be driving as a learner! Isn't that a scary thought! She still has 2 more full years in school so I don't think she will be getting a car just yet, but maybe when she heads off to college, she may need one then.
Our weather is quite mild, especially compared to the last two Decembers when frost descended on Ireland and snow, and the cold snap lasted for weeks. Rain and wind at the moment, though from Thursday the forecast is for colder weather.
Let's see how it unfolds.
My spinning and knitting and reading and even walks have all fallen by the wayside for now, no time, sadly.
Bye for now, the pile of Maths exercise copies awaits my red pen!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

burning the midnight oil and candles at both ends...

what a naughty girl I am,
i really have to get to bed, it's sooooo late....
just finished the following tasks:
1. corrected 30 sum copies, about 6 pages each of lots of small multiplication sums, counting in 2's, 4's, 8's; lots of tiny sums and numbers to decipher and correct...
2. finished and submitted our online tax return; (Yippee, husband wil be proud of me!)
3. used the online curriculum planning tool for the first time to successfully create a Science plan for a very important staff meeting on planning Science tomorrow,
and now
4. i am in here just saying Hello! Hope you are all well,
it would seem to me that winter is already drawing in in places across the Northern Hemisphere, with temperatures of 0 degrees C in Karlstad Sweden as I write and possibly colder in places North of karlstad, there has even been some scatterings of snow, i believe.
The Irish media has lots of ads now for being Winter Ready! there are snow shovels for sale in the local hardware shops, as well as buckets of salt and grit, etc.

It is still mild here, but we are bracing ourselves just in case we get another cold winter. I would really like to buy and install a wood burning stove in our house for the comfort factor and for the independence from the electricity which it would give us, but husband is not so keen, so we'll wait and see how winter unfolds this year.

best part about winter is the 2 week holidays at Christmas, when i get to stay home and spin and knit and blog and stay warm!
i have to go to bed now,
night night,

Thursday, October 20, 2011

popping by for a sneak peek when really i should be marking copies....

ooo, sneaking in a quick peek at the blog tonight, i hope all you folks are well out there and are warm in your houses.
Me, I am looking forward here 1. to the weekend,
to 2. an extra day off next Thursday for the Irish Presidential Election next week, and
3. to a whole week off for the October break!!! from 31st October onwards!
lots of little jobs planned, like decluttering, which will involve giving away or selling on books and toys and clothes,
spinning, walking in the damp autumn air and resting!!!! and knitting, and blogging, and enjoying and cleaning the house and just being free.....
sorry for all the exclamation marks, a good author shoule not have to use exclamation marks to bring excitement to their writing, but i just get so carried away at the thought of a whole week off.
anyway, time to head off to bed, i need my beauty sleep more than ever these days...
Hälsningar till allihopa, hoppas ni har det bra där ni befinner er, och att dem dina mår också bra, det är ju det som är viktigast eller hur?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

second last day of September

By the time I press 'Publish Post' on this, it will be in the early minutes of the second last day of September, 2011.
what have i done this month?
I taught English, Irish and Maths, and other subjects to a class of 30 pupils, 8 and 9 yr olds,
I've written a lot of Yearly Plans for the upcoming year,
I taught my 5 yr old son to cycle without stabilisers on his bike,
I bought a wonderful hammock from Ticket to the Moon, for my 11 yr old, and hung it between two birch trees in the garden and I've been in it! it's yummy!
I taught my class to play Hot Cross Buns and Mary had a Little Lamb on the recorder,(blockflöjt), while simultaneously learning to play the recorder myself, using my mother's old recorder and her old recorder book!
I have stayed up way too late doing all sorts of school plans on computer and have neglected my knitting and spinning...
I have managed to wash and tease some wool samples from Långbacken, in Sweden, oh the joy of the feel of the soft curly wool...
I have burnt all my midnight oil and both ends of many candles...sigh...
I have realised that Sunday is truly a day of rest and should be left as such! A day to meet people and chat, and stay home and swing on a hammock and push a boy on a bike!
I have been busier than I have ever been in my life, but it feels fine so far.
Oh and I have almost lost my voice...
Hope you are all well out there,
regards till same time next month,
now itäs off to bed for this little Cinderella (Askungen), at the stroke of midnight my eyes close and i have to hit the hay, fall into the loppelådan(Flea box!)

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

last day of August, last day of holidays,

It's 31st of August, the last day of the school holidays.
Tomorrow a new academic year starts.
I'm afraid to say that this will be my last blog post for a while, as I anticipate that my time online will be severely curtailed.
I am leaving the blog up online, and may manage to post a short update now and then.
I may even manage a photo or two, or a comment on your blogs,
but don't hold your breath waiting.....
The classroom awaits and with it all the other running and racing and ferrying and doing,
so Good night and see ye all soon-ish folks!

Monday, August 15, 2011

August tipping away, slipping away...

Vad fort tiden går!
Doesn't time fly!

We have had a visitor from Sweden for the past 2 weeks, and we crammed lots of sightseeing into the 14 days.
We went on several day-trips, eg to Fota Island Wildlife park in Co Cork, to Bunratty Castle, to Clare Glens and Glenstal, to County Clare and the Burren and Poulnabrone Dolmen and Fanore beach, to Dingle and Camp and Conor Pass and Slea Head and Gallarus and Kilmaelkaedar, to Ballina and Tountinna and Killaoe and Scooops Ice-cream shop and Lough Derg, to Craggaunowen and Knappogue and Quin Abbey, and of course to town, shopping.....
phew, I get exhausted looking at the list of it all, but it was great fun at the time, and a great opportunity to show my own children a bit of our Irish history and heritage and nature.
How I would love to have photos to show you all, maybe i can get a cd of the photos from hubby's camera and put some in here for you to see.
Now it's back to reality, I just spent a few hours at school tidying my old classroom. And I have almost finished the online Teacher's course i am doing this summer. Next planning and preparing for school for myself as a teacher, and for my children.
Then just to enjoy the last 2 weeks and hope the weather gets better, it's drizzly here, cool, overcast....

Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Here are a few photos from the past months,
just a few snapshots in time.

This wool came to me as a gift of fiber from a raveller, Stitchlily. The wool came from Kerry Woollen Mills originally, near Killarney. Here it is as spun by me.

Four donkeys in a field, beside Mr Binman depot, Ballyneety, Co Limerick.

Cows on the road being herded home for milking, near Ennistymon, Co Clare, photographed on my way home from a spinning Skills Swap, mid June.

More spinning, this time of Angelica fiber, purchased from a raveller in UK. This was supposed to be my spinning project for February or March 2011, but I didn't spin it till June.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

the Irish summer continues, den irländska sommaren bara fortsätter

so the Irish summer continues, ie, it is drizzly and overcast...
The difference between summer and winter in Ireland seems to be that in summer it's drizzly and overcast and a bit humid, whereas in winter it's raining and overcast and quite cold. wet and warm vs wet and cold.
I would not be able for hot temperatures anyway, so I do not complain. I like overcast days. I like the challenge of trying to get clothes dry outdoors in these conditions. I like the way one can think clearly in this weather. I do not like the way my brain melts in heat.

I am about to stop blogging very soon. Work will demand more of me this coming year and I will need to give more of my time to planning and preparation.
I have enjoyed reading your blogs enormously, and wish you all the best of luck in your endeavours. Thank you to those who have stopped by to comment.
Those of you who need to contact me probably already have my email address.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

back in Ireland again, hemma på Irland igen

Nu är vi hemma på Irland igen, sedan i fredags egentligen men det tar sin lilla tid att vänja sig vid att vara här igen, efter nästan 2 veckor i Sverige.
Vädret här på Irland har varit mulet, regnigt och t.o.m. kallt ibland! Idag har solen kommit fram men inte har vi blå himmel inte, nej fortfarande molnigt. Men det gör mig inget, jag klarar inte av varmare väder ändå.
Ja så nu börjar det vanliga sysselsättningarna igen: tvätt, dammsugningen, köpa skoluniform till de 4, köpa skolböcker till de 4, och sedan planera själv inför det kommande skolåret, nu när jag ska ha 3e och 4e klass måste jag planera en hel del.
Inte kan man ställa sig framför 29 barn på den 1e sept och inte vet vad man ska göra med dem!
Och så vill jag hinna att sticka och spinna en del med, innan det blir dags för skolan igen. Och jag måste visa er bilder på den fina garnvindan jag köpte på loppis i Sverige, samt ett par handkardor, en stor stark slända, och en Knifty Knitter loom, och den lilla disktrasan jag virkade när jag var på semsetern, min allra första virkade objekt!

Now we are at home in Ireland again, we're back since last Friday actually, but it takes a little time to get used to being here again, after almost two weeks in Sweden.
The weather here in Ireland has been overcast, rainy and even cold sometimes! Today the sun came out but we don't have blue skies, oh no, it's still cloudy. But it doesn't bother me, I can't cope with warmer weather anyway.
So now it's back to the usual stuff again: laundry, vacuuming, buying school uniforms for the four kids, buying school books for them too, and then planning myself for the upcoming school year, now that I will have 3rd and 4th class, I will have to plan a lot. I can't just stand in front of 29 children on the 1st of Sept and not know what to do with them!
And then I really want to make time to knit and spin before I go back to school again. I also have to show you pictures of the yummy wooden woll Swift I bought at the flea market in Sweden, and a pair of hand carders, also a chunky spindle, and a Knifty Knitter loom, and the little dishcloth I crocheted while I was in Sweden, it's my very first crocheted items !

Friday, July 8, 2011

sommarstängt! closed for the holidays

well, not really closed, but just wanted to say that I am far from Ireland this week, we are on our hoildays in Sweden! usually this would have meant no access to a working internet connection, but luckily this year we have internet access and so here i am on my holidays writing a blog post.
Weather: mixed, as in cloudy morning, bright afternoon, rain shower in the evening. So far so good, we have been able to go swimming every day since we got here (here equals Karlstad)
so we swim and shop and eat yummy food and swim and read and relax.
enjoy wherever you are this summer!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

växlande väder...., changeable weather

men mest regn, blåst och kyla....
så har juni varit än så länge.
nå, allt går vidare ändå,
dottern fyllde 16 och har gjort färdigt sina tentor, Junior Certficiate heter det, nationella prov.
sporten fortsätter, lite camogie, soccer och Gaelisk fotboll.
Lillpojken är allergisk mot någon slags pollen såhärårs, och behövde till och med, steroider för att svullnaden kring ögonen skulle gå ner.
Jag jobbar vidare, drömmer om garn och stickning om nätterna. har precis tagit den första av mina stickmaskiner till en kille som kan laga och reperera den, och jag kanske stickar nåt under helgen på den. annars fortsätter jag att sticka för hand som vanligt.
Jag åkte till Doolin i lördags och var med i ett Spinnträff, där jag fick mycket inspiration för spinningen och för färgning av ull. mycket intressant.
Nästan klar med skolan, dock inte förran den 30e juni.
Tyvärr måste jag byta klass på jobbet, det kommer att bli 3e och 4e klass nästa år för mig. Hoppas att jag får inspiration och stamina någonstansifrån.
Annars, så kör jag hit och dit, med Ulf Lundell på stereon, och med an sång i mitt hjärta, eftersom livet är verkligen så underbart.
'Vi ses, vi ses, i Connemara, där livet kan vara så underbart....' Ulf Lundell.

Swedish to English translation
Changeable weather, but mostly we've had rain, wind and cold so far this June.
Well, life goes on anyway,
Our eldest daughter turned 16 and has finished her exams, the Junior Certficiate, which is a state exam.
Sport continues, some camogie, soccer and Gaelic football.
Our little fella is allergic to some kind of pollen at this time of the year, and has had steroids to take the swelling around the eyes down.
I'm working at school during the day, dreaming about yarn and knitting at night! I've just taken the first of my knitting machines to a guy who can service it and repair it, and I might knit something over the weekend on it. Otherwise, I continue to knit by hand as usual.
I went to Doolin on Saturday and was at a spinning gathering, with 4 very experienced spinners, where I got a lot of inspiration for spinning and dyeing of wool. very interesting.
I'm almost finished with school, but not until the 30th June.
Unfortunately I have to change class at my job, I will teach 3rd and 4th class next year. I hope that I get the required inspiration and stamina from somewhere.
Otherwise, I drive back and forth to school, to training sessions, to matches, to the shops, with Ulf Lundell on the stereo, and with a song in my heart, because life is really so wonderful.
'Vi ses, vi ses, i Connemara, där livet kan vara så underbart....' Ulf Lundell.

'See you, see you, in Connemara, where life can be so wonderful ....' Ulf Lundell.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

our summer, all in one day...

summer came and it was gorgeous while it lasted, all 48 hours of it!
back to windswept wet and cold weather now,
let's hope the summer comes again before last day of August!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

summer is coming, tomorrow!

yes, dear readers, you heard me right, summer is coming tomorrow, up to 22 or 24 degrees Centigrade is forecast for tomorrow, and sweetest news of all, i have the day off!
Our staff decided back in darkest November to take tomorrow off as one of our discretionary days, and now it feels great! tomorrow we will be off! and the sun will shine!
this Summer of which I speak, is forecast to last for about 48hours, so that's from 2pm today, when the sun came out at last, to 2pm on Saturday, so we are going to enjoy the good weather while we have it. It has been a long cold wet windy May.
Thank you to all the visitors who have popped by, from near and far, please do leave a little comment, it would be greatly appreciated,
regards to you all
from liz

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

so proud to be Irish today

A Uachtaráin agus a chairde,
Is féidir linn!

(with apologies to an Banríon, HRH Elizabeth and President Obama, oops, O'Bama)

translates as:
Dear President and friends,
Yes we can!

the above phrases are a combination of the phrases spoken in Irish, as Gaeilge, by 1. the Queen of England, and 2. President Obama, in this most momentuous week for Ireland.
No prizes for guessing which phrase was spoken by President O'Bama ....!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

the spring and some famous visitors

Well, you may all be expecting that I will say that the lovely warm sunny Spring weather we had during Easter break turned into a wonderful early Summer, but....no.
The Spring turned cold and wet and windy on Monday the 2nd of May, and it has remained cold and wet and windy since then. I had to dig out the winter type clothes again, as going to school and freezing in open-toed sandals and cropped trousers was NOT an option. I do not like being cold, especially when I am on yard duty. I really need to be warmly dressed those days, nothing worse than freezing out on the yard with 70 to 80 pupils milling around you!
Would you believe that we were on a beach on Sunday 1st of May? We drove to Barna, near Galway, that day to get some Boiled Linseed Oil to paint the wooden exterior of our (Swedish) Scandinavian house, from Lars, the Swede who owns Scandinavian Homes. After picking up the oil, we drove a short distance to the beach at Silver Strand. The kids went into the water, I didn't, but they don't feel the cold as much as I do. There were lots of other families there too, kids digging sandcastles and hopping in and out of the water. The tide was coming in, and when it had come up so far that it covered the sand, we left and drove home.
That was the last good day we have had this month, weatherwise. Let's hope that we get more summer weather soon...
Life here goes on, sports and school and study and housework squashed in between all the other activities.
The Queen of England came to visit Ireland today!! and she wore GREEN! I was so moved that tears came to my eyes when I saw her getting off the plane wearing green, I just think that's so sweet...
And President Obama is coming in a few days, aren't we lucky to have these famous visitors in Ireland this month.
Jedward did their best for Ireland at the Eurovision and we came 8th.
And our school got the Green Flag, what great news.
I will be going to Thomond Park, the stadium in Limerick which is considered the Home of Munster Rugby, on Friday to be presented with our Green Flag. WooHoo, never been to Thomond Park before, although my elest daughter has been there twice in the past year to see Munster play. Lucky girl! I gotta ask Santa for a present of Munster match tickets next Christmas.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

a beautiful spring day

it is a beautiful spring day here, 10.22 am and the sun is shining, the sky is blue, the breeze is warm, and we're all still on our Easter Holidays, what more could one ask for?
hope you are all well out there,

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

shopping, a match and knitting

So, my eldest daughter is going to a disco for teenagers on Thursday night coming, and of course, there was nothing to wear!!! Her cousin is also going and so I volunteered/was volunteered by my daughters to take my 3 girls and the cousin shopping for clothes today. Luckily today was a Public Holiday so my husband was off work, and he got some quality time with our son, while I went off shopping.
We came home about 5 hours later, wrecked and hungry, but there was no rest for the wicked, it was a case of eat up, and get sorted, because eldest daughter had a match in Gaelic Football, and as eldest daughter is a true Swede, being late was not an option! (none of this Irish 'no worries' attitude for her, no...)
The match turned out to be one-sided enough, our young ladies won, although it looked a bit scary in the beginning.
The knitting? well, i am now the very proud owner of at least 2 more knitting machines, (not saying how many really), I spotted an ad for machines for sale in the next county and I was very lucky to manage to buy the machines, one for chunky wool and one regular machine. The chunky machine is the one I will use first I think, just to get the time and space for it now...
Hope all's well with you all out there, the cherry blossoms are in full bloom here and my apple trees also, there are still primroses and cowslips to be seen, shy little violets have self seeded in a flower bed outside, and my lilac bush has come into bloom. I love plants.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Gaelic Football and Camogie

Kristie in Canada suggested that I explain a bit about the sports my girls play, ie Gaelic Football and Camogie, so here is a little snapshot of those sports.
Gaelic Football first:
Ladies' Gaelic football (Irish: Peil Ghaelach na mBan) is a team sport for women, very similar to mens' Gaelic football, and co-ordinated by the Ladies' Gaelic Football Association. It is increasing in popularity in other countries around the world, often by members of the Irish diaspora.
The game is very similar to the male form of Gaelic football, where two teams of 15 players kick or punch a round ball towards goals at either end of a grass pitch.
Although most of the rules of the game are parallel to those for men's Gaelic football, there are some differences. The main ones are:

* A player may pick the ball up directly from the ground, so long as she is standing
* All matches last 60 minutes.
* Kickouts may be taken from the hand.
* It is permitted to change the ball from one hand to the other
* All deliberate bodily contact is forbidden except when "shadowing" an opponent, competing to catch the ball, or blocking the delivery of the ball.

(Courtesy of Wikipedia, they say it so much better than I can manage right now!)
The kind of actions I see my daughters using in play include blocking down the ball, catching the ball, hand-passing it to another player, and defending by putting 'One hand in', as you cannot put both your arms around an opponent. You can also solo, which is running with the ball, every 3 steps you have to either bounce the ball to yourself, or do a little kick of the ball back to yourself hopefully, as the opponents will be trying to intercept the ball while you are doing this. It's a fast game, lots of running and quite physical, as there are lots of moments when you are face to face with the opponent, as opposed to depending on footwork as one does in soccer.
The aim of the game is to score as many goals and points as possible in the given time. In Gaelic football and in hurling/camogie, a goal (in the net) is equal to 3 points and a score over the crossbar and between the 2 uprights is called a point, and just gets one point. Hurling/camogie and Gaelic Football use the same H shaped goalposts, with the net for the goals in the lower part of the H, and a single 'point' being scored above the crossbar.
Here's the link to the official website for Ladies Gaelic Football in Ireland

Photos can be found on the web, I am no longer borrowing photos from the web for copyright reasons

Camogie next, Camogie is the name given to the game Hurling as played by ladies.
Back to Wikipedia again:
Camogie (Irish: camógaíocht) is an Irish stick-and-ball team sport played by women; it is almost identical to the game of hurling played by men. Camogie is played by 100,000 women in Ireland and world wide, largely among Irish communities.[1] Matches are contested by two teams of 15 a side, using a field 130m to 145m long and 80m to 90m wide. H-shape goals are used, a goal (scored when the ball goes between the posts and under the bar) is equal to three points and a point (scored when the ball goes over the bar) is equal to one point.
The rules are almost identical to hurling, with a few exceptions.[5]

* Goalkeepers wear the same colours as outfield players. This is because no special rules apply to the goalkeeper and so there is no need for officials to differentiate between goalkeeper and outfielders.
* A camogie player can handpass a score (forbidden in hurling since 1980)
* Camogie games last 60 minutes (senior inter-county hurling games last 70)
* Dropping the camogie stick to handpass the ball is permitted.
* A smaller sliotar (ball) is used in camogie - commonly known as a size 4 sliotar - whereas hurlers play with a size 5 sliotar.
* If a defending player hits the sliotar wide, a 45-metre puck is awarded to the opposition (in hurling, it is a 65-metre puck)
* After a score, the goalkeeper pucks out from the 13-metre line. (in hurling, he must puck from the end line)
* The metal band on the camogie stick must be covered with tape. (not necessary in hurling)
* Side–to-side charges are forbidden. (permitted in hurling)

Camogie players generally wear skirts or skorts rather than shorts.

The hurleys used are made of wood from the Ash tree, therefore the expression 'The clash of the ash', to describe hurling/camogie.
The aim of the game is to score as many goals and points as possible in the given time.
Fast and furious sometimes, especially when played by more able players, who can rise the ball from the ground with the hurley, and who can strike the ball with the hurley while running. At the level of my 10 yr old, there can be a lot of ground hurling, because the players do not yet have the skill to rise and strike the ball, nor are they able to carve out the space they need to do this.
Needless to say, helmets are compulsory in hurling/camogie, and it is also compulsory for child players to wear shinguards.


say what you will, but dandelions (maskrosor) have a lovely bright yellow colour!

wood-sorrel, Oxalis, growing in the dappled shade at the edge of a forested area in Glenstal

a view of the beach at Clonee, near Dungarvan, Co waterford, and a solitary wind surfer walking back along the beach after riding the waves.

my son standing in front of a very vigorous Rhododendron bush in Glenstal, and this photo is taken about a month ago, we had great weather in Ireland last month.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

a month has gone by

yes indeed, a month has gone by since last I wrote in this blog, and all I can say, is Mea Culpa, my fault, my bad, ...
the time goes very by quickly and i just don't have the time to sit and write for this blog, nor get the photos ready for posting in blogposts.
Potted history of the last month:

Eldest daughter was struggling with a hamstring injury, and had to drop all sports and training sessions, to allow it to heal. Glad to report that she is 99% better and has taken part in 2 matches this weekend.

School has been very busy, lots to do and lots to prepare/think about.

Matches have started again in Gaelic football for 2 eldest daughters and in camogie also for all 3 daughters. Plenty of training sessions and matches to drive to, leaving me little chance to grapple with housework.

House is like a pigsty at times, winter clothes haven't yet been packed away and some lighter clothes are making an appearance, so Spring cleaning is on the cards for the next 2 weeks. I need to sort out what clothes to keep and which have been grown out of and absolutely won't be worn again.

Spring is well and truly here, the daffodils are fading now and the celandines too. The hedgerows are full of dandelions and their bright yellow colour is wonderful.
I have spotted some of my great favourites, cowslips, (which are gullviva? or is it vårviva?) growing along the roadisde too.

I plan to put up a few photos to make up for my prolonged absence from this blog, but not tonight, i can't keep my eyes open, good night to all!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St Patrick's Day!

Well, I wish a very Happy St Patrick's Day, to one and all, !
I had a lovely day, relaxing and invigorating.
Stayed home from the parades, did a bit of cleaning, hung out laundry, it was a great day for it, and then went to visit my friend K and her 3 children and hubby D.
We had a great laugh, and a great chat, and it was a gift to have an extra day off in the week, where there wasn't a tight sports schedule to follow, just peace and quiet. I usually don't get to see K that often, the weekends are so busy with sport.

Later in the day, I took out my new-to-me Toyota knitting machine and dusted it off and am now in the process of figuring out how it works. Takes me back to my teens when my mother bought a knitting machine and taught me and my sister to knit uniform jumpers for ourselves for secondary school. I got this knitting machine for free, along with a ballwinder from someone who had been given it, but who had no idea how to work it. I count myself very lucky to have been given this machine.

That's it for now,
see you all again soon,
Tack Lambergsfrua för hälsningen, precis i tid!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

sheep, Spring flowers and the President of Ireland

Today I met real sheep! (I’ve met sheep before, but not since getting my wheel in September, and starting spinning has changed my perspective a bit.)
Today at the petrol station where the pharmacy also is situated, a farmer pulled up his car and trailer, with 4 pure bred young Texel ewes in the trailer and 6 little lambs. My 4 old son was delighted and I spoke briefly to the farmer, that’s how I found out the breed. Made me all proud inside to at least recognise the breed name and understand the term ‘long staple’ !
anyway Mr SheepFarmer was taking the ewes and lambs to their spring grazing and on the way, picking up a prescription for antibiotics for the sheep…
I asked him about the wool, he said he sells it to the wool merchants, I didn’t ask to buy a fleece from him when that time comes, I was tempted but i think it would be too much for my long-suffering family to bear, ie sharing their bathtub with a big raw fleece come summer. The fleece looked really fluffy and thick and it’s only the 3rd of March! How thick will it be by the summer?!!
so that’s my news, photos below.

Come to think of it, if I wanted to I would be able to contact Mr SheepFarmer, as it’s the local pharmacy and I could leave a message there for him. I did mention to him that I had a spinning wheel, so he'll probably remember me from that detail.
Otherwise, Spring is here, photos of daffodils and primroses below also as well as the last of the snowdrops.

Also some roadsigns in the village where I saw the daffodils, it's called Doon, Dún Bleisce in Irish, "the fort of the chief Bleisce"
it's where my girls now go to secondary school, where I also went to secondary school as a boarder and where my mother comes from, so she went to primary and secondary school there, and finally my dad bought a small farm outside this village about 20 years ago, so all roads lead to Doon!
The road sign shows the name of two other nearby villages, Cappamore and Cappawhite, 'the big fort' and 'the fort of the de Faoite clan', respectively.

The President of Ireland? well she visited another local village recently, but hey, I've blabbered enough tonight already and so I'll give the President her own blogpost in the next few days...
Hoppas ni mår bra allihopa, det blir så mycket med jobbet och barnen och min nya favorit sajt Ravelry nuförtiden att jag knappt hinner att skriva alls i bloggen, ni får ursäkta min frånvaro...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I sponsor a sheep, How about EWE?

I now sponsor a sheep in Långbacken, Söderhögen, near Rätan, Jämtland , Central Sweden!
A Raveller by the name of Renee Darley (British originally) who now lives in Sweden has a group on Ravelry called Longbacken. She is a spinner among other things and had a flock of sheep in Denmark, before she moved to Sweden. Some of her sheep were with another person in Sweden for a while, now it turns out that person has let her down, the sheep have been neglected, the Swedish police had to take them. Renee discovered that almost 70 sheep were taken by the police from the other person, some mixed race, some a rare breed called Spelsau, an old Norwegian race.
The sheep were going to be put down by the police, unless somebody wanted to take them, and paid the police the cost of maintenance so far, and the cost of transport.
Renee lives 700 miles from the where the sheep are(were). All told the cost was high.
Renee told us, the readers in her Longbacken group, about her dilemma, whether to try to save the sheep or not. Amazingly, the word spread and people have helped financially by placing orders for fibre in Renees webshop www.thewoolbusiness.com also www.enuldenaffaer.com
and/or by contributing to Renee via Paypal to sponsor a sheep. All money paid in this second way will be repaid as fibre in a year, minus shipping costs.
The good news is that the sheep arrived at Renees farm last Thursday and the photos are up on the Ravelry group Sponsor a Spelsau Sheep.
Anybody wanting to read about the rescue can read more on Ravelry, www.ravelry.com at this group: Sponsor a Spelsau sheep.
If any of you spinners or knitters out there would like to support Renee in this, by buying fibre from her shop or sponsoring a sheep, it would be great. Every little helps.
I have myself ordered wool and paid a small amount of money to Renee via Paypal to sponsor a sheep.
There is a link to Ravelry in my sidebar, click groups and then search for 'Sponsor a Spelsau sheep', where you can read all about the amazing sheep rescue. Here's a direct link to the Sponsor a Spelsau group, I hope it works...

Renee herself will be at the Fårfestival(Sheepfestival) in Kil this weekend, say Hi to her there!
Hope you are all well out there, long time, no speak... my bad...

P.S. If you want to know where I've been for the last few months, I've been online on Ravelry... sigh...wonderful way to spend hours online...sigh... leaves me no time to spin or knit though...

Monday, February 14, 2011

snowdrops and daffodils...

daffodils coming up

more daffodils above and also below

Snowdrops on the roadside ditch beside the cottage where my father was born and reared, about a mile from where I live now...

"Snowdrops and daffodils,
butterflies and bees,
sailboats and fishermen,
things of the seas,
Wedding bells,
wishing wells,
early morning dew,
all kinds of everything remind me of you..."

This song was sung by the Irish teenager, Dana, aka Rosemary Smith, in the Eurovision when I was a child. Dana won the Eurovision that year, and we all were taught the words of the song, by our teacher, who incidentally was my mother!
The lyrics of this song spring to mind as soon as one says the phrase: 'Snowdrops and daffodils', which in itself owns a magic all of its own!
I love snowdrops and daffodils, love watching the patches of grass and garden from early January onwards to see if the spears are beginning to show and watching the flowers peep out and brave gales and wintry showers..
Here are my long promised Snowdrops, photographed Saturday 13th Feb, 2011.
At school in front of a south facing wall, we even have a few daffodils which have just come into bloom, but for some reason I can't transfer the photos from my phone just now, gotta wait till tomorrow till my teenagers can tell me what I'm doing wrong!

I love snowdrops!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

a wet and windy weekend

so we had a really wet and windy weekend here in Ireland,
some roads were flooded, nothing serious as far I've heard,
unfortunately it was too wet and dull to take photos of the snowdrops which are growing on the ditch outside the cottage where my father was born and reared...
Otherwise, matches were played and matches were won and lost,
and it was a sociable weekend, I met up some very good friends on Friday night and met other friends and acquaintances over the weekend.
Enjoyable, but in the end, weekends are too short!! another free day would be good, sigh...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

St Bridget's Day

First day of February and it's St. Bridget's Day, also considered the first day of Spring here in Ireland.
Here are a few photos from a walk on Sunday.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

almost end of January!

Where does the time go?
It's almost the end of January,
and I have allowed this poor blog to go unattended and unloved for weeks!
All is well here, if pretty much the same old, same old...
School, sports, dinners, homework, housework,
and weather varies between cold and dry and cold and wet...
We have no snow, we haven't had snow since the thaw came on the 26th December, weäve had some frost but not as severe as in December.

Spring is on its way, the snowdrops have begun to grow, but no flowers yet, also there are daffodil shoots coming up, but only a few inches high.
The evenings are getting a bit brighter and the mornings too.
It is comforting to know that we are past the worst of winter, and that we are heading towards brighter and warmer months.
I hope all is well with you out there, not much new to report here.
Ha det så bra!

Monday, January 10, 2011

last night of the holidays...

so that's it, Christmas 2010 and New Year 2011 well and truly over...
it's late on Sunday night here and we've all school tomorrow, we'll be up early around 7am and off to schoolbuses at 8am and back to get two small ones ready, and get myself ready and will we ever get there in time at all...
and once we're back it'll be like we were never away,
and all the homework and study and housework and training sessions and matches will start all over again, and I love it, and it wears me out, and I will keep on doing it and next thing you know it'll be February midterm break and the daffodils will be out...
but for now, a good night to you all,
and I'll let you know when the first snowdrops peep out, not long now...
another Spring around the corner, on this green damp island...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Little Christmas 2011

I've been blogging for over a year now, so I wrote about Little Christmas, Women's Christmas, aka the Epiphany this time last year in this post.
In practical terms, today for us is the day we take down the Christmas decorations. We can go to Mass if we choose to mark the day this way. And tomorrow would normally be the first day back to school after the Christmas holidays.
So we took down the tree and decorations today and it is wonderful to have that gone from under my feet!
However, we are not going back to school until next Monday, the 10th, that decision was made by the Dept of Education early last year and as it turns out it is just as well... The forecast for tonight is for snow and ice and frost in our province, Munster, and I am glad that I will not be worrying tonight about driving conditions tomorrow for the trip to school for all of us...
So I will rest and be glad of the extra day.
My chest has finally improved and I feel much better, although I still have a dry cough, but it would appear half the country has this problem too, so best to just get on with it! (In fact a lot of people have the swine flu, it says in the news...shudder...)
The daughter's chest has also improved, with modern medicine, and the son, who developed a double ear infection with temperature yesterday, is also imbibing his own little bottle of pink wonder elixir, also known as antibiotics, so we should all be good to go on Monday morning.
So in the meantime I am knitting and spinning and getting back on my feet, ie doing laundry, doncha know... also visiting my sister's house for 2 separate parties on 2 separate days. She and I even took our combined offspring to the Ice-skating in Limerick today.
All happy now.
Stay well and stay warm!