Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Another pleasant evening

The weather was super last night again, which prompted another boating outing. The waves were fairly small, similar to the previous night, so we decided to go out round the cost a little.

We started out at the West side of the castlerock beach (furthest from the barmouth, nearest the cliffs) and headed out around the coast. It was pretty tough going, which was a bit of a worry because the breeze (you couldnt really call it a wind) was in our back.

When we got halfway to Downhill, right inbeween the two railway tunnels, a train went through! It was a pretty unique perspective!

We persevered on around the coast, landing at Downhill for a break. It was a bit worrying, because the waves at Downhill seemed huge, but we managed to land without incident.

After a short pause, we set sail again back towards Castlerock, and to our great relief it was a lot easier, the tide must have been with us. About 20 minutes later we were back in Castlerock, and the going was so good we decided to keep going. We got about half way along the beach, and decided it was time to turn, knowing that the tide was against us. So back we went to our starting position, and landed again, emerging from the water almost completely dry. (this is the first time I didn't get my hair wet!)

I did a quick plot of our journey on Google Earth, and it seems we rowed just over 3 miles! So pretty good going... and great fun!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Let the mid life crisis begin

I figure why wait. Why put off the mid life crisis until mid-life. In fact, why even have your own when you can piggyback someone elses?

My Dad has been in "mid life crisis" mode for as long as I can remember, but recently he has taken up canoeing, or more accurately kayaking. He bought a kayak a few months ago, and has been relentlessly visiting the beaches / rivers to play.

He has been saying that I should go with him, and when he bought a second kayak my excuse list diminished drastically. In the end I gave in. I went for the third time last night, and it was great!

First time was about 10 days ago, and it was fun. Dad said the waves were the biggest he had ever been on, which I have to say was fairly intimidating, but it turned out to be great. Then we went again on Friday night past. It was freezing and windy, and really not an aweful lot of fun.

Last night was fantastic, we were out for about 90 minutes - the waves were a goldilocks size, not too big or too small, just right. We canoed out beyond the waves and went out around the cliffs a bit - the tide was perfect, and the wind was only a gentle breeze.

No photos unfortunately, I havent dared take the camera yet...

Mum, SWMBO and kiddies went for a walk along the beach while we were out, when they got back we got the kids into the boats and pulled them over the waves. They had a fantastic time. We'll definitely be doing that again... (hopefully tonight ;)

Monday, June 19, 2006

Growing up

Just a wee garden update - all coming up nicely, loads of lovely rain and heat over the weekend. It also got a spread of fertiliser tonight :)

Tourist Destination : North Korea

A very interesting photo diary of a visit to North Korea, the best place in the world to live according to the local government, according to everyone else in the world, it is the worst :

Edit: Related news article : North Korea has a missile that can hit the USA & they can't wait to try it!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Rolling onwards

After last nights 1/2 completed rolling I got a more robust hitch mechanism made up and put the roller on behind the mower again.

It may have been easier and less effort to roll manually, but where would the fun be in that...?

The roller worked much better in the light, I could see where I was going - definitely a big advantage!

Got the remainder rolled, and its looking great - all we have to do now is wait for the grass to spring up....

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


Our expanse of field has now been sown out in grass seed for a lawn.

It was ploughed a few weeks ago, and didnt look all that beautiful with a lot of matted field grass showing even with the ploughing.

Last Saturday morning I hired a garden rotavator and set to work - a tough job with a ploughed field on a hill. Anyhow, I toiled for about 2 hours pulling up I would estimate around a googol of stones. At 10:30 it was time to do a 2-hour shift at the flower festival at church, so I went there.

On the way back I called with Mr Farmer who I had asked to come and help with his proper tools, so he told me he would be there later in the afternoon. It was a fantastic day, sunny all day, and roasting. I did a bit more with the rotavator, and then waited on the tractor arriving.

When the tractor started with the power harrow (or par-harra as we say here ;) it was amazing. In went poor quality, aweful looking soil, and out came beautiful, well worked soil!

After another googol of stones were lifted, and a bit of harrowing the ground was looking great.

On Monday when I returned from work at 5pm I went straight to the garden. My Father-in-law had been there during the day with the tractor and land-leveller which had removed the humps and hollows. All that remained to be done was raking the small stones away.

Raking took a few hours, and about 9pm we were ready to sow the grass seed. After sowing it needed another rake to cover the seed in soil, and again this seemed to take ages.

About 10:30pm it was raked and ready to be rolled. I managed to hook the garden roller up behind the lawnmower, and got about 1/2 of it rolled before giving up due to darkness and mechanical failure (of the hitch for the roller, leaving the comical scenario of me running down the hill after the runaway roller 8- )

Just before midnight I stopped. Job *almost* well done.