What I like about our second house

I like that Robin and I can go down to waterpoint playground whenever we want to. We have made some friends at waterpoint to play with. At our first house we had no grass to play on at our new house we have grass to play on. Our furniture is a lot comfier then in our old house. Robin and I don’t need to take the gravely path to get to waterpoint we can take the road. I like that the kitchen is bigger then our last one.

The walking man walks

We are doing a lot of walking. As we approach an almost normal routine (I have noticed that we are using the word “home” much more to describe where we are staying in Enniscrone) our trips and adventures are limited to a much smaller radius from … home.

This past weekend was the Enniscrone walking festival where a number of walking excursions were organized with guides to lead us around the beaten paths. We all went on a historical walk around Enniscrone on Saturday (the girls went on a walk with the local school on Friday for a walk down the beach). There was a moment on the walk where we were standing in the ruins of an old castle (mid-1600s) where the guide pointed a a spot about 500 metres away and mentioned that the pile of stones was a Bronze Age tomb. In front of that tomb about 100 metres was a Stone Age tomb. Turning about 45 degrees to the left and looking aback about another 400 metres was a circular living area–possibly for animals–from the Bronze Age. The castle we were standing in–having climbed under the electrified cattle fence and over the people-please-do-not-enter fence–was the second rebuilding of a castle that was originally built on a circular fort from the Bronze Age. We had to step around cow dung because this stuff is so common around here that cattle graze on 5000-year-old artifacts.

Coupled with this was the ability to track ownership of the land back well over a thousand years through church, court, and tribal records. I cannot remember the details of the history; it was too much for me to maintain when my brain was being awed by what I could see around me. You can get a bit more information by clicking on the image above. The picture has Valentine’s church in the foreground and the castle in the background.

One thing I did remember was that there was an old castle just beyond Land’s End that was falling into the ocean. The landowner would not let anybody view the castle on his land but it could be seen from the beach at low tide. When I eventually took my walk to see the castle I was rather underwhelmed. The only thing that looked made by humans along the beach was the bit of wall in the photograph above. Compared to standing on the hill in the ruined castle it was a bit of an anti-climax. For a quiet little tourist town where the houses all try to face the beach, this place has an amazing historical richness.

hurray it’s time for verbs!!!!!!!(1)

I think my class might be wondering why I’m so excited about verbs in French. It’s because I’m doing it on the beach. This time I’m going to wear my bathing suit(hehehe). I like doing my work on the beach. It’s a lot better then inside because you can play in the water outside. I also like doing my work at the beach because I collect shells.

I’m going to see if I can do reading at the beach, and perhaps art.

In part two of hurray it’s time for verbs!!!!!!! I will tell you what happened at the beach and if I get to do art and reading at the beach.

Romantic addressings

Yesterday at lunch we were interrupted by a knock at the front door. As it turns out, it was the mailman delivering a letter to

The Noye Family
(from Canada, living
back near Waterpoint)
Pier Road
C. Sligo

The address prompted a bit of a chat as he delivered the letter whereby I suspect he added us to the mental list of addresses he would storehouse until we left sometime next month.

The best part was that he was not at all surprised or in any way put out by the address. As I mentioned earlier, it is hard to know what the address of our house might be. The postmaster gave a couple of good guesses and my flippant remark about addressing a letter to the Canadians living near Waterpoint ended up working perfectly well. Notice that there were no numbers anywhere in the address.

The envelope and card inside were printed in a manner similar to the first sentence of Anne of Green Gables. If ever I were to fetishize printing and paper, this letter would the gateway drug into that dark world. After pouring over countless pages of laser-printed drek vomited onto dreary economical paper, I am taking a dangerous pleasure in cotton paper imprinted by an Adana Eight Five.

Shrek (2)

A few days ago my mother got Shrek (2) for my birthday. My favorite character is the Queen of Far Far Away, because she doesn’t make Fiona marry. All the queen want’s is for Fiona to be happy. Prince Charming want’s the same as the fairy Godmother does and Fiona’s father( The king of Far Far away,)they want Fiona to marry Prince Charming. At the end the king turns back into a frog because he was trying to stop a spell from going on Shrek and Fiona when it hits him, he turns back into a frog. My mother, Robin and my Father got Wheel of Torture from Shrek (2) (they taunt me by saying Wheel of Torture).

Robin by Night

Robin she is my boss at the clothes store.
We sell to the rich on Mary road.
I come in late on the w train.
She said “Darling make this your last time”.
But I like her, she is silly but amazing.

In the of hunting for a night cap.
I did not now what I felt.
Was my mom playing tricks.
Was there more to this robin then I realized.
I had to know so I walked her home
I could not speak my mind.

The Sound of Music

When I watch the Sound of Music I like watching it in sing-along mode so that I can sing. My favorite character is Maria because she teaches that if something goes bad, you can “follow every rainbow until you find your dream”. Right now I am watching the movie with sing-along and the first song is going to start.

There is one girl whose name is Lisel who has a boyfriend whose name is Rolf. At the end of the movie Rolf goes into the army. The Nazis were trying to get Captain Von Trapp to go into the Nazi Navy but he would not join, so they ran away to Switzerland.

Celtic Oatcakes

Celtic Oatcakes (cookies)

225g oatmeal
75g flour
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
50g butter
boiling water

1. Preheat oven to 225 ˚C/425 ˚F.
2. Put oatmeal, flour, salt, and baking soda into a bowl and mix.
3. Melt butter and stir into the oatmeal and flour mixture.
4. Add enough boiling water to make a stiff dough
5. Roll out the dough on a floured and oatmeal board to 1cm thick.
6. Use a glass to cut out circles, put on a baking sheet and cook for 15 minutes.

Robin and I took this Celtic recipe that Mom found in a book at the Enniscrone library and made them. This is how Celts made oatcakes many, many years ago.

I did not like the oatcakes. They reminded me of the story “Everything on a Waffle” because Miss Perfidy made mothball cookies and they probably didn’t taste good either. Next time we make oatcakes we will use another recipe.

Mom and Rose liked the oatcakes.

Going on a nature walk

Yesterday Robin, Mom and I went on a nature walk with Ellen and Rose’s school. Here in Ireland they call grades “classes”. My friend Ellen is in class 5 and Robin’s friend Rose is in class 4 which means Ellen would be in grade 5 and Rose in grade 4.

Climbing up the sand dunes was hard for me but with Mom’s help I got up. It was a lot of fun for me to walk on the sand dunes because you are not allowed to walk on the sand dunes back on P.E.I. It was a wonderful walk on the beach.

So Much Seaweed

Sarah, Robin and I took a few outings this week. Now that our car rental has gone back to Dublin (thank you Gordie!), our trips now involve walking. Our first outing was to explore the beach near our house to look for fossils. When we visited Céide Fields we learned that many of the very large rocks that were pushed up along the shores during the last Ice Age have fossils of shells and sea plants. On one of our morning walks, Gordie is now coming with me most mornings, I checked to make certain that I could find some fossils. There is no point dragging the girls out to look for fossils if there are no fossils! Sure enough I found lots near the old bath house.

So my lovely plan was to go find fossils… and we all know about the best laid plans and all that. The day before we went to the beach, was very windy with lots of big waves. The wind must have been blowing directly onto the part of the beach we went to explore. Normally the beach is pristine, barely even any shells to find, just kilometers of soft clear sand, but this day the part of the beach we were on was practically covered with seaweed. We spent most of our time looking at all the different types of seaweeds. I was amazed by the fun the girls had looking at and touching all the different types of sea plants. I was bombarded by a lovely chorus of “Mom, come see this!!!” and “Look at this one!!!” To the girls continued delight, there were also lots and lots of shells that came in with the seaweed. Robin collected snail shells of many different colours, shapes, and sizes. Sarah found very long razor clams and we all found shells we had never seen before that looks like a cross between a sand dollar and a sea urchin. Perhaps I would call it a puffy sand dollar. Very delicate and very beautiful.

I found a good site on seaweed by Michael Guiry. It includes a section on North Atlantic Seaweeds. From this site I was able to identify a few of the different seaweeds that we saw on the beach.

  1. Saccorhiza polyschides – (Sea Hedgehog) The girls were pretty disgusted by the bumpy (hedgehog-like) sack on the end of the plant.
  2. Alaria esculenta – We thought that this one looked like a long feather.
  3. Ascophyllum nodosum – We thought they looked like tons of green bubbles.
  4. Dictyota dichotoma – We thought these looked like fans or bouquets of rubber gloves.
  5. Laminaria hyperborea – this one was just lots of fun to swing around! It was pretty strong.
  6. Saccharina latissima – This is the one that reminded us of lasagna noodles. Apparently it can be used for kombu a seaweed that I have bought for making miso soup back home. I will have to look for this one at home too.

We found others that I can’t quite remember well enough to classify correctly.

Robin and I had hoped to find Chondrus crispus which is more commonly known as Irish Moss or Carrageen Moss which is used as a thickener for foods like ice cream. This moss is still collected in the western part of PEI sometimes still by horse and rider. Here is a link to a slide show on the harvest by the Virtual museum of Canada. We had watched a TV show in Ireland that show boiling the Irish Moss (it turns bright green!) and straining it to get the thickener and making a sea weed based mousse. We picked a bad of seaweed, but now that we have found the website on seaweeds we are pretty sure what we found is not Irish Moss. Sounds like we need to take another trip to the beach!