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

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!