Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The Bloody Bridge

I've been working in Kilkeel today, the 'Capital of Mourne' - and my birthplace. It was a lovely day so I took Charlie, in the hope that we might get some time to go for a walk.

At lunchtime I went for a stroll down the Kilkeel river from the old Bridge Bar to the Rooney Road - I can recommend it - urban, yet with traces of the old field walls and hedges along a burbling brook. Very nice.

On the way home (later than planned, as ever!) We came up trumps with a walk along the Mourne coastal path at the Bloody Bridge. A favourite spot since childhood, and for good reason.

bluebells everywhere

a dizzying drop

rock flora - I need help with identification!

the remnants of the metamorphosed shale which overlayed the Mournes granite intrusion

looking South, towards Kilkeel


Charlie on the coastal path

not sure what this is either

the old Bloody Bridge, from below the new

Charlie takes a drink

a violet nestled in the undergrowth

any clues?

stuck! Charlie could not get through (had to take him via the gate!)

path to the old Bridge, and up the Brandy Pad

the Bloody Bridge River

the old road to Newcastle

the new road and bridge is much higher

babbling stream

the old road to Annalong

Monday, May 20, 2013

Greenhouse Wrangling: Part Two

After weeks of snow, rain, gales and floods, a few 'better' days have enabled us to get back on to putting up the greenhouse kindly donated by Mary & Gary.

We plan to use it to extend the vegetable growing season. It seems likely that we'll be experiencing similar kinds of weather up here for the foreseeable future, so extra help in terms of heat and shelter will only help!

As with all things, we must start at the bottom:

first the hole - a lot bigger than first planned!

plenty of nice soil though

one greenhouse kit!

the plinth - for stability, and to weigh it down!

is this level (answer: no it is not!)

these guys are waiting for a new home

and us

growing s started now, the pressure is on

plinth finished

the slope was also greater than expected!

building day one - the first upright piece

the first gable - all smiles!

"reckon it might work you know"

looking good

major structure is up

sorting out the strengtheners

what a team!
So we're now more or less complete with the frames, just some angle supports to add - they were added as an extra by Gary when he put it up, and will be vital here too!

In the next few days, we'll be ready for the glazing.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

A Little Gem near the Long Stone

in the 1970's an eccentric designer and inventor (I can't remember his name I'm afraid) built himself a house near Annalong in the Kingdom of Mourne. He wanted to build it on a turntable, so that he could align it to the sun as it moved through the day - very New Age, and a great idea! Unfortunately practicalities precluded this - (as did the realisation of his 'concept aircraft', where lift and descent were determined by the clever positioning of bales of straw!)

He built his house on stilts instead.

On a stunning sunny evening last week, I found it again. 

Roofless, sad an empty, it still resonates with eccentric charm - and beauty

peeping out - a wall pillar

above the door 'The White House Annalong'

decorated round window

detail of window surround

despite the lack of roof, remarkably intact

looks like he's just stepped out to to a message

living room fireplace

the back kitchen, with salt - and roof timbers!

living room- and intruder

small change, still sitting on the mantelpiece



front door detailing

living room window - note the sea through the other one

painted doorway

I have no idea what this is!

positively Mediterranean

no garden is complete without a concrete kangaroo.....

or two!

our very own Gaudi!!

I think this should be preserved for posterity

thanks to Google, here's a picture in happier times - with a roof, c.2008