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Showing posts from August, 2011

I Wish I Had A Kerry Cow

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So I get up, weather's a bit drizzly, milk's a bit off, hair's looking dodgy, too much stuff needs filing. Dammit, I could be anywhere. What happened to the vibrant, joyous bit of this joyous, vibrant lifestyle?
Cup of tea, shower, good intentions about going straight to the computer. Open West Kerry Live instead. And there - illustrated by a cartoon of a cow chomping on dollar bills - is just what the morning called for.
Camp Cash Cow - Sunday 7th August 1.00 - 6.00 pm
Camp's a village on the Dingle Peninsula. The event's a fundraiser for the local sports field. The ad in West Kerry Live lists the attractions ..... Tug-o-War, Dog Show, Horse Rides, Fancy Dress, Barbecue ..... 

..... so far, so ordinary ...
... and then it gets to the Cash Cow. It's sheer genius.The sports field's marked out as a grid of 500 squares. You buy a square for twenty euros. Then, throughout a tense, nail-biting day, everyone watches as a lone cow wanders the field, happily grazing. The…

Growing Spuds The Irish way.

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In some parts of Ireland these are called Lazy Beds. Round here they just call them ridges. First you collect your seaweed, at the start of the year when the Atlantic storms have thrown it up on the beach. Then you spread it on the land and wait for it to rot. Then, when the weather's right and the land's ready, you mark up your ridge with a length of string you've tied between two sticks. 
And, working backwards, using a spade, you cut a straight line through seaweed and sod along the length of the string, from one end to the other. Then you go to the far end again, and work backwards again, along the same line, cutting and turning sods to form the start of the ridge. The men here work with the minimum of effort, sliding the blade of the spade under the heavy, oblong sods and flipping them over with a turn of the handle; their long-handled spades are perfectly balanced. They move backwards in unbroken rhythm, breathing to the swing of the work. 
When you finish that stage o…