A great wee country

Hectic – holidays at Blogstead Na Mara set a cracking pace. It’s the social round, the gardening, the reading, the crossword, the piano.

Two strands of Irish life catch my interest. The Rose of Tralee competition finished last night with victory for the New York Rose. The Irish Times conducted a rather sniffy discussion about whether it was taking place in a dome or a ‘tint’ – tent to you and me. Whatever the venue, it remains one of the more distasteful fixtures in the Irish calendar – deeply patronising because it seems to invite highly intelligent young women to act as if they were stupid. May Ireland’s new maturity bring it to an end soon.

I should have mentioned the Fastnet Race as it went by – out from Cowes and round the Fastnet Rock off West Cork. Visitors to my Facebook profile will see the picture of my visit to it while sailing down the south coast of Ireland with friends. It is a splendid and wonderfully spooky place. We sailed out there on a calm day – what it must be like in rough weather I cannot imagine. We visited the memorial – on Cape Clear Island – which marks the tragedy of the 1979 Race in which 15 sailors died.

Tried to buy trellis in the garden centre today.

‘Do you keep trellis?’

‘Yes of course’

‘Could you show me where it is?’

‘We’ve run out’

‘Will you be getting more?’


Only beaten by my conversation in the power cut with Andrew in his cottage:

‘Andrew, do you have electricity?’


‘Is your electricity working?’