Park. Life.

I have been following the developments in Granby Park with interest thanks to an invitation I received from Springwools to donate to their yarnbomb in their park.

In their own words:

Granby Park, is an urban, ‘pop-up’ park in a currently vacant site in Dublin’s inner city. It is made from up-cycled, recycled, donated and found material and features some of the city’s most talented artists, architects, performers, planners etc. It will have an outdoor cinema, a theatre made by kids from palettes, an education zone, exhibitions, a play area, a café, art installations, and lots, lots more!

Situated just off busy, commercial Parnell St. it is in a prime city centre location surrounded by some of some of Dublin’s iconic Georgian houses, social housing from the 50sish and swish new apartments which should make it a very attractive place to live, full of diversity. But with this enormous hole right in the middle of the community I imagine it’s a little difficult. So somehow or other the local community has commandeered this wasteland and turned it into a wonderland.

#thingsifoundtoday Two bags of #crochet motifs. My next project!

Sorting out the #crochet motifs #thingsifoundtoday

I was really happy to be able to donate some of the motif’s I found in my godmother’s house when we were clearing it out last year and I think she would be pleased they found an amusing end. I’m only sorry I didn’t donate more. Maybe I’ll pop over and bomb some more onto the railings! I would highly recommend a visit: it’s open from 8am til 7pm Monday to Friday and 10am to 7pm weekends until September 22nd 2013. Word to the wise: the coffee shop hadn’t opened by the time I left at 10am last Monday. Below are some shots I grabbed of the Nippers enjoying the various installations and areas in the park. There is also a library – maybe bring a book to donate!

I have no issuus with this

I’ve been checking out for an article I’ve been working on. Issuu is a publishing platform that allows publishers to share their lovely print content in a digital form. Some of the content is samples but in some cases you can get hold of full publications. I came across this slick publication with an article on living outside/ camping which piqued my interest. It also made me realise that we haven’t actually gone camping this year and it hardly seems worth dragging all the stuff out for a weekend at this stage… We’ll see.

All the fun of the feirm

By the end of the month the majority of the family will have spent some time on a farm. If we were in an episode of the late lamented House the team would have great fun trying to work out which one of us had been exposed to badger.

The elder Nippers are both going to farms on their turasanna scoile. Nipper 2.0 has spent the day today on Glenroe Farm and his verdict is “Awesome!” His favourite part was “touching the guinea pig and the rabbit”. What more could a boy ask for?

Nipper 1.0 will be heading to Greenan Maze. We actually visited this farm last August and I only hope Nipper 1.0 has better luck with the weather this time.

And I spent an extremely pleasant morning last Saturday on Ballindrum Farm in Athy, Co. Kildare thanks to the good folks (Amanda and Gina) in Avonmore. Why you might ask? I wondered that myself. Could it be I am now considered a tweeter of some influence? It certainly not due to my blogging efforts. I suspect it might be because I’m a mum that converses with other mums online much to The Meyler’s chagrin.

Why question these things? Never look a gift cow in the mouth I say and off I took myself with a lovely gang of pop culture and food bloggers (Okay I probably fall right in the middle of those two groups. Lovely to meet and make the reacquaintance of @backpedalling @thisispopbaby @ModernFarmette

@likemamuse2bake @Smorgasblog @cakeinthcountry

@ismiseadam @Culch_ie @PopCultMonster

@mushypea007  @anthonymcg)

The raw material #peakfreshIt was a fascinating and filling morning. We were fed like kings and queens by Mary Gorman, entertained by the golden voiced Joseph Gorman (Mark my words- that kid will be a star!) and then Vincent Gorman showed us around the farm. Despite the inclement weather it was beautiful. How lucky we are in Ireland to have such luscious gorgeousness never more than an hour away. That very lusciousness (read rain), we were told, is a major contributing factor in the production of Ireland’s delicious milk. But even Vincent said you can have too much of a good thing (read rain). I have been on dairy farms before but it was really fascinating to see how technological and traceable the farming is. The farming practiced by the Gorman’s is good for the cows, good for the land and ultimately good for the consumer of their dairy products. The farm was spotless and everything was in its place.

5 day old calf @juleser #peakfreshWell nearly everything… Vincent did admit that for all their watchful care of their cows that a few months previously there had been some shenanigans among the youngsters of the herd and well, nature took its course. This meant we got to see some super cute calves though so no complaints from us!

All the Bó lined up for judging #peakfreshWe rounded off the day with some Make and Do – always a big hit with me and I think our friends in Avonmore were surprised by how seriously we all took this part of the day! I took it embarrassingly seriously. Basically Avonmore are running an online competition to celebrate the fact that one million glasses of milk are drunk in Ireland a day. (Yes! One MILLION! A DAY!) In order to encourage me to write about this they sent me (along with my invitation to the farm) a litre of milk, a glass and a kit to make my very own Bó.

My finished Bó #peakfresh #bocomp I didn't win. The guy who got someone else to knit a hat did. I'm not bitter...Now I have to say I was a little dubious about this but after seeing the way those bloggers got stuck in I’m thinking those Avonmore ladies have their heads screwed on! It’s perfect timing with the summer holidays rolling in and the appalling weather with it. You can get your own kit and find out how to enter the competition over on the PeakFresh website. You will even see my little entry over there (I did mention I took it a little seriously) If it keeps your kids half as quiet as those bloggers then you are onto a winner.

So yes this post may be proudly sponsored by Avonmore and based on what I heard and saw on Saturday I have no qualms recommending Avonmore products to you. Will I be purchasing Avonmore products myself from now on? Well with a 50c difference in price between this and the Irish produced own brand in our local supermarket, four 2 litres of milk, adjusting for holidays, means a €100.00 saving per year. Economics trumps warm fuzzy feelings every time. Sorry Avonmore.

Rosie put the kettle on

a farmerI mentioned in a previous  post that I was going to give a kettlebell workout a go. I’ve been to two classes and have enjoyed it. As well as being a toning workout, it also includes cardio aspects and builds your core strength. Obviously I have a bit to go before there will be visible improvements but it’s great to feel like I’m doing something! I always enjoy the social aspect of a class too.
Photo owned by wu_135 (cc)

It’s great to hear from Shane Nicoletti, our kettlebells instructor, that he has been given permission to run a twice weekly lunchtime course in St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin City Centre.  The classes will take place on Mondays and Wednesdays from 1pm – 1.30pm starting June 21st. If you are looking for something to set you up for an afternoon of work this is perfect way to re-energise especially as it takes place outdoors – a particularly fine way to exercise!

Check out the Kettlebells Ireland site for more details.

Croc na gCearc

In the forest on the way to the top of Carrigmaclear, Co. TipperaryEnglish below

Bhí deireadh seachtaine den chéad scoth agam i measc mo dhlúthchairde le déanaí. Bhí grúpa de haonar déag taghtha le chéile chun seanchara linn a seoladh i dtreo a pósadh a bheidh ar siúl i mí Lúnasa. D’eagraigh a péire bridesmaids agus na mná ar fad craic, ceoil, bia agus deoch do chách agus bhain na circ ar fad an-taitneamh go deo as an deireadh seachtaine ar fad. Bhí bia úr, blasta agus galánta againn déanta don chuid is mó ag Bittersweet Food Company: Seafood Bouillabaisse followed by Cress, Pear and Pecan salad and finished off with Karen’s signature chocolate fondant with creme fraiche and mixed berries. I hate to admit it but her chocolate fondant is better than my chocolate fudge cake. Agus neart cocktails déanta ag na Cocktail Queens!

Tá gach seans ann go mbeadh muid tar éis taitnimh a bhaint as an deireadh seachtaine cuma cá háit a rabhamar ach níl aon ceist faoin rud gur chuir an teach a roghnaigh na bridesmaids go mór mór leis an deireadh seachtaine. Croc an Óir i Mullinahone, Tiobráid Árainn a bhí ann agus má tá slua ban ann a bhfuil taithí acu ar “self-catering accomodation” (Bear with me I’ve an Irish Language spell checker that i not as bilingual as I am) is muidinne iad. Is dócha go bhfuil saoire caite againn in iostais féinfhreastail ar a laghad i ngach cúige in Éireann agus gach seans i ngach contae chósta in iarthair na tíre agus níl ann amhras go b’é seo an áit is deise. B’fhéidir nach bhfuil sé díreach chomh pictiúrtha ach cinnte tá siad níos saoire ná títhe Landmark ach leis an áiseanna céanna. Miasniteoir (great word!), meaisín níocháin agus triomadóir. Bhí sciana géara ann (annamh go leor in iostais féinfhreastail), bhí seomra codlata le en suite a bhí oiriúnach do chathaoir rotha agus dhá seomra folctha eile. Bhí spás a dhóthain do aonar déag agus bhí a teaichín beag féin ag bean amháin. Agus do na ceoltóirí atá ag léamh: tá seomra ceoil ann freisin. Chuamar ar siúlóid álainn ar an Sathairn agus lean roinnt dúinn ar aghaidh chomh fada le barr Carraig mo chliar. Bhí an radharc anseo gleoite ar fad.

Is léir go ndeachaigh muidinne i bhfeidhm ar úinéir an tí freisin mar dúirt sé an méad seo i r-phost le ceann de na bridesmaids:

“Many thanks for your kind words in the guest book. My Mother met the bus driver’s wife yesterday and she told her how impressed he was by you all. His previous experiences with hen parties had not been so positive. Tell the girls they left a good impression in Tipperary.”

Makes us sound kinda boring… he did call us girls though. Hooya! And I didn’t need his invitation to know I’ll be going back to Croc an Óir.

The view from CarrigmaclearHad the best weekend last weekend when 11 of my friends got together to send off one of our best friends before she gets married in August. Her two bridesmaids organised with a little help from her friends a great weekend of music, fun, food and cocktails. Amazing, tasty, fresh and elegant food from the Bittersweet Food Company: Seafood Bouillabaisse followed by Cress, Pear and Pecan salad and finished off with Karen’s signature chocolate fondant with creme fraiche and mixed berries. I hate to admit it but her chocolate fondant is better than my chocolate fudge cake. And plentiful cocktails from the Cocktail Queens!

Chances are we would have enjoyed ourselves no matter where we were but there’s no question that the accommodation that the bridesmaids chose definitely added to the weekend. We stayed in Croc an Óir in Mullinahone, Tipperary and if there was ever a group of women who know their self-catering accommodation we are them. We must have stayed in holiday homes in certainly every province of Ireland and quite probably every coastal county in the West. Maybe not as picturesque as Landmark houses but definitely cheaper and with all the same facilities: a dishwasher, a washing machine AND tumble dryer. One bedroom had an ensuite that was wheelchair accessible. (Actually the only negative thing I’d say is that this room also had an unneccesary skylight with no shade so we were woken at the crack of dawn. Definitely not good after all those cocktails.) There were two other bathrooms and one of the ladies had a little house all to herself. And for the musicians reading this: there’s even a music room. We went for a fun walk on Saturday and some of us carried on right to the very top of Carrigmaclear where we were awarded with stunning views and history.

As the quote above testifies we obviously made an impression on the owner as well!