Personal and undiluted views
The Old Country

7 days ago

Feck off Plastic Paddy Joe Biden

The President of the United States is one of those tedious Americans who insist that they are Irish because of some distant ancestor.  No Joe, you are a yank and your romanticised and ill-informed views of what many of us call “the old country” wrecked appalling damage  and great bloodshed on the British isles for many years.

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2182 days ago

Hello said my Dad… my name is Tom (in Gaelic)

My father and step mother are on a cruise… He starts treatment, to delay not cure, on his return but pro tem they have headed off on a boat to Iceland, via the Faroe Islands and – first stop – Donegal.

The last time my father was in Donegal was with me, perhaps fifteen years ago or was it twenty, as we paid a visit to the Cochrane ancestral home in Ballybofey.

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2415 days ago

Off to Ireland for the Weekend – Ballymaloe beckons

I have never hidden my admiration for Darina Allen, the High Queen of Irish cooking. As a cook and as a person she is pretty amazing and has borne certain domestic issues with a remarkable stoicism. It is perhaps her photogenic daughter in law Rachael who is better known but it is Darina who is the real deal as a cook and as a late birthday present for the Mrs we are off to see her this weekend in Cork, in the “The Old Country”, that is to say Eire.

It was Darina’s mother in law Myrtle Allen who started the phenomena that is Ballymaloe. It is a stunning country house – now containing an amazing restaurant – near Cork. Up the road is the cooking school which is surrounded by acres of organic gardens in the style of an old Country house. The fish comes in fresh from the sea at nearby Ballycotton and Darina is a champion of all things organic and locally produced. Natch that brings her into conflict with the regulation mad Evil Empire – Brussels edicts are the death of the small scale producers of foods such as cheese.

I’ve done a couple of courses there and one day shall shock you all

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