Thursday, March 26, 2009

Kitchen makeover

Hey, I'm back. I know it's been so long since I last wrote. Ireland won the GRAND SLAM..... yeah....!!!! Rugby of course. What a match, I thought I was going to have a heart attack.

I have been redecorating my kitchen well, actually I wanted a new kitchen but, environmentally, that's not a good idea as the structure of the one I have is perfectly sound. The doors and surrounds are dark oak melamine yeuch !! it makes the whole kitchen look dark and old fashioned.
So, I painted the whole lot pale grey. I'm getting a new sink and mixer tap and a new worktop and tiles. Mosaic, bright green, €2 a sheet in the sale.... the whole lot will cost around €400 not bad for a complete new look kitchen.

When it's done I'll put a photo on my blog.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


What a glorious weekend, Happy St Patrick's Day to one and all.

It's gardening time now, time to be digging and raking and weeding. Planting seeds in trays ready to plant out in a few weeks time. Cutting grass too, where once we cut grass up until the end of September, now it seems to go on almost all year round, when it's dry enough.....

I went off a couple of weeks ago and got a trailor load of dung from a local stud farm to dig into all my vegetable plots to give them some growing goodness, but, unfortunately, it is too fresh to use so I have to wait until it rots down and that probably means next year. So what will my poor veggies do this year? I shall have to look for some rotted stuff, somewhere.

I am going to plant, leeks, courgettes, peas, beans, onions, swiss chard, lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, peppers and maybe squash. We have tried a few things over the years and have had to rule out certain plants that either don't grow very well for us or that we end up not eating or we don't have room for in the garden.

Can't wait til' we have our own veggies for meals again, tho' we still have a few leeks left in the garden and the onions only ran out a couple of weeks ago, so that isn't too bad.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I have been sooo sick, I haven't been able to write the blog at all... so much for Blogwoman.. I had visions of a superwoman type in knickers and tights and flying cape.. yeah right that's me all over... NOT...

I moved my son last week. He was living in the tiniest village in the south of Ireland, beautiful, right on the coast, but not a job to be had anywhere. He studied there as a Outdoor Education Instructor for two years but has now decided he doesn't want to teach kids, so now he has moved to a city in the west and is, I presume, actively looking for work along with the other 16000 people who make up the dole queue there.

Do you know, I am constantly worried about him... I know he is clever and articulate and has a good head on his shoulders but I just don't know how he will survive. €750 per month rent on a fairly minute flat, electricity, food etc how will he do it?

I understand that this is the life for mothers, worrying about their kids. I mean, I did what he's doing only I moved from England to Ireland so it was a new country and I had £70 and an old British motorbike.

to be continued......

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Busy week

Well, Ireland won the rugby, in a not so easy match against the Italians. Scotland, unfortunately, did not.

I have had a very busy week. It started on Monday... as weeks usually do... I can't remember what I was doing... oh yes, we borrowed a power washer and in fact, it was Sunday I started to wash around the house. All the tarmac had grown moss and it looked .. still looks, in parts, a complete disgrace. So, Monday was day 2 and I managed to get down the drive before running out of steam (me) and hose (the washer). It took me six hours to get that far and three the previous day. The postman commented..."you're an all rounder, aren't you " I wasn't sure if he was being rude . I have lost three stone in weight in the last couple of years. It turned out he wasn't as he told me that seeing me had inspired him to get his own washer out of the shed .. only to find that it was broken. He has now got it mended !
Anyway by the end of six hours, non stop... I was jaded so I took a hot bath to ease me muscles and flopped in front of the stove (woodburner) I haven't finished the tarmac yet.....

The next day I organised myself to get a load of manure (horse) (for the garden) at a farm a few miles away. I had to borrow a trailer. (the first time I had pulled one)
I had physiotherapy first for my neck problem at the local hospital 12 miles away, then went for lunch at a friends house.
Later in the afternoon I drove to the farm where they loaded the trailer with a huge helping of manure. The tyres were so squashed I wasn't sure I'd get home. I did. Then I had to fork all the manure into the wheelbarrow and barrow it to the veggie beds. About 20 barrow loads. Then clean out the trailer with the hose and a brush.
I worked with special needs adults all day Wednesday doing screen printing and stayed in bed til' 10 am this morning.
I have just made a huge pot of veggie soup and two loaves of soda bread and now am going to light the stove and relax.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Six Nation's Rugby

The Six Nations Rugby is on, I love it..... Scotland are playing France in the Stade du France, Paris. I really hope Scotland find their form they weren't great last week against Wales.
Ireland beat France though, it was a brilliant match, all the pre match thoughts were that France would be the victorious ones but Ireland completely turned it round and fought the French all the way. Fantastic.... They play Italy in Rome tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

I remember as a kid watching the rugby with my dad he used to be a very passionate watcher and we'd end up screaming at the telly. We both supported Ireland whenever they were playing in spite of being born and brought up in England.

My uncle is the keen one in the family now my dad is no longer around and he will always send me a rugby card for my birthday (Our birthdays are on the same day), the day before Paddy's day so we have some things in common except that he has always supported England and cannot understand why I support Ireland.
I have lived here for nigh on thirty years.

Friday, February 6, 2009

marmalade and mums.

Still not sure what I'm doing here, but I equate it to making marmalade. When it goes wrong I ring my mum, when this goes wrong I email Alana...
As for making marmalade, this is the season for Seville oranges used for making that wonderful preserve. I spent all day yesterday making pounds of the stuff.
I started on Tuesday when I de-pipped and sliced kilos of oranges and put them in a large stainless steel preserving pan with loads of water to soak overnight. This softens them prior to cooking. In fact I had to leave them for two nights as I was working on Wednesday and was too wrecked to start into making marmalade when I got back from work.
So, yesterday I started the cooking process, starting very gently so that the tough skins cook simmering then until they are soft then, simmer till half the water is gone. That, according to the book takes an hour.

That's where it all started to fall apart.

I bailed out a couple of pints thinking I had put in too much water then I added the sugar and heated gently til' it was dissolved then boiled it, the book says for 15 mins.
Well it wouldn't set, of course... so eventually after a couple of hours I was left with 6 jars of orange stodge... not the usual sort of marmalade that you get in the shops.

At this stage I rang my mum....

She said to tip it all back into the pan, add water and sugar and reboil it. I moaned a bit... but duly did what she said and after an hour or so I had 12 lbs of great marmalade....

Thank goodness for mums!

Monday, February 2, 2009


First post, new blog. Should have called it something more original than Polly Donnellan. I had decided to call it 'Blogwoman' but it was too late, my mentor had already set it up for me.... under my instructions of course. Thanks mentor Alana.

Ok, but in reality Polly Donnellan is entirely original. There are NO other Polly Donnellan's on Facebook or Flickr. I have never met another Polly Donnellan in the whole of my life. 52 years old and still original , it has to be a record. If there are any genuine Polly Donnellan's out there will you please drop me a line. Really, I mean it I want to know you.