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Six-on-Saturday – Seachtain na Gaeilge

I’ve been kept busy caring for my seedlings and I’ve a path worn from the propagator in the utility room to the glasshouse. It was also a week for some good cycling, albeit in circles within my 5km zone.

6th March 2021

Only in Ireland, I’d imagine! We have an annual Irish Week that goes on for a fortnight, in the run up to two special days. Seachtain na Gaeilge is popular among some who like to promote the language, and attempts to convince the general population that they do indeed know more Irish than they think. It runs for the first two weeks of March, preparing us for Saint Patrick’s Day and Mother’s Day. To mark this special week fortnight, my contribution changes to Sé Ar An Satharn.

We’ve had an unusual week here on the SE coast. It’s been very dry, but the temperatures are down a bit because of a light easterly wind combined with almost no sunshine.  I’ve been kept busy caring for my seedlings and I’ve a path worn from the propagator in the utility room to the glasshouse. It was also a week for some good cycling, albeit in circles within my 5km zone, but I do miss the fun of a group. Anyway, enough. What about my choice of Six this week?

My focus this week is very definitely on the past as most of my selection bring back memories of times gone by. I invite you to join with me, in the hope that some of your memories will rise to the surface too.

1. Birthday

I’m celebrating with my daughter who has grown to become a fine young woman. We celebrated her birthday breithlá during the week, not with our traditional restaurant meal, but with a delicious take-away. Back in the day, we made good use of seed trays as furniture. Reading was not just for bedtime. She read to us whenever the opportunity came along. International Women’s Day is on Monday.

2. March 2018

During the first week of March 2018, Ireland and much of Europe experienced extreme cold conditions as the Beast from the East brought the country to as standstill. Here on the South-East coast we rarely get snow sneachta, and any that does come our way does not stay for long. I’m sure you have your very own memories of severe weather events.

As I look at this photograph, I realise how much the garden has changed in just three short years. Correction: two short years and one incredibly long one.

3. Daffodils

Our great neighbour Joe gave us this stone pot many years ago, and for the past few years it’s been on the step near the front door. This part of the garden is in full shade all day, except for an hour or two late on summer evenings. There’s a while tamall to wait yet for that, but in the meantime these delightful daffodils are enough to bring a smile. Once again, the daffodils are in a pot within a pot, so I’ll remove them to the Invisible Place when the blooms fade and I’ll plant something here for the long summer ahead. Have you been given a garden item that holds special memories? Let’s be hearing from you…

4. Heather

There are seven heathers here, planted in 2016. There were nine. I suppose its a bit unusual for heathers to die. They seem to be almost everlasting. At one point, a few years ago, I had a notion that they combined together to look like a heart. Nowadays, if I look at them from just a certain angle, they remind me of County Waterford. For those of you familiar with the shape of the county, do consider turning your device rather than doing yourself a neck injury.

I think I am repeating myself, as I have a vague recollection of describing the clump of heather in such a way last year. It’s all this cycling round in circles. Has my head addled, so it has.

5. Glasshouse Thermometer

Last week I purchased cheannaigh mé an inexpensive  accessory for the glasshouse. It’s a bluetooth thermometer. It reads the temperature and sends the data to my phone. I have an alarm set if the temperature drops below 2°C and I am prepared to run quickly and put the fleeces over the seedlings. I’d even jump out of bed, if necessary. The only problem is… that the glasshouse is too far away from my phone, and the bluetooth isn’t sufficiently blue. Therefore, no alarms will ring, no data will transmit and no quick running will be undertaken. Jumping out of bed was never going to happen anyway.

On the positive side, all the data does transmit when I bring the phone to the glasshouse. The data for this week is shown above, and I’m sure I’ll find something interesting if I keep looking for long enough.

  • Week high: 25.8°C
  • Week low: 1.8°C
  • Week average: 8.1°C

I would be very interested in getting a Weather Station, but the cost is putting me off. For the same price I could buy plants or bike parts.

6. Field of Dreams

Ireland is not known as a commercial producer of daffodils. However, in 2017 this field, which is about 5 kilometres away, was planted with bulbs. I’ve noticed them every year since while cycling. This year, my cycling is limited to the exact distance which allows me to cycle past, and on my spin last Wednesday, I stopped for a closer look. Harvesting is now in full swing. Daffodil Day is an annual fundraiser for the Irish Cancer Society and Mother’s Day is next week.

Such Amusement

I’m delighted that so many good folk out there take the time to comment on my weekly articles, whether here or on social media. I very much appreciate it. I’m also very amused at the content of some spam comments, usually computer-generated by bots. I think I’d like to meet one of these bots! Here’s one from a few days ago:

Ϝastidiօus replies in return of this query with real arguments and
explaining all about that.

Yep, it’s all happening in bot-land! I discovered that for $38 I could auto-generate eight hundred thousand unique comments per week. Would that be a great way to promote Seachtain na Gaeilge? Perhaps not.

That’s it for this week, a cháirde. Get yourselves over to The Propagator to find many many more weekly gardening stories. Also on Twister and Insta using #sixonsaturday. Probably TikTok too. Until next week, I hope that all will be well in your world. Slán go fóill.


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0 thoughts on “Six-on-Saturday – Seachtain na Gaeilge”

  1. Your daughter is truly Irish! Love that photo of her! I have never seen such tall daffodils! I’ll take a photo of mine tomorrow and sent it to you…….it is dark here now! How is Sweetie Pie doing?

    1. Low temperatures forecast overnight, so the fleeces went on early in the glasshouse. Those sweet peas are just aching to get out into the ground. The ones I sowed last month are still small but they’ll catch up!

  2. The heather heart strained my neck…your daugher is lovely as are the daffodils. Stay warm and I hope tthe snow melts before St Patrick’s Day Eirinn go Brach?

  3. On the subject of garden items that hold memories, I don’t have so much in the way of items. However, as a jobbing gardener, most of the plants in my garden (with the exception of my obsessive collecting of Corydalis) are begged, borrowed or stolen from my customers. There’s a fair few memories there!

    On another subject, what does Éirinn go Brách mean? There’s a gaelic football club just round the corner from me here in Birmingham called that. I’ve often wondered…

    Anyway, nice to see a few signs of spring in your garden!

      1. I’m in Erdington (not too far from Alum Rock) – we know quite a few people of Irish descent around and abouts. There are a lot of Irish folks in Birmingham in general – 3rd biggest St Patricks day parade after Dublin and New York!

  4. Morning Padraig, first I can’t find your SoS link on Twitter …. maybe a missing process?
    Nice stone pot with daffs and I also would like to know if you have power in your glasshouse ? If yes, you could add a wifi mesh to get your alarms ?

    1. Oh Fred, I’m conducting an experiment… I’m waiting to see (especially on Facebook) if people can find the link rather than having it presented on a plate! (BTW, it’s the top likn in the Smart Bio.
      No power in glasshouse. Probably just as well… I definitely would not go running if alarm goes off. If there’s even possibility of low temperatures (as last night) I’ll cover seedlings with the magic fleece.

  5. I like how you’ve offset your clump of heather with rocks. The bluetooth thermometer sounds like it has the potential to be quite useful, if functioning properly. While I can’t imagine myself jumping out of bed to take emergency measures either, it would be nice to be given the choice to intervene before disaster strikes.

  6. That is a great idea you have to interchange pots of colour for your front steps. I have a similar pot that might just fit the bill! The daffodils are beautiful and cheery – just what you need as a welcome. I just love the fields of daffodils. It must leave one awestruck seeing so many! The thermometer is a great idea; such a pity it is not working effectively. Have a great week!

  7. There are plenty of similar fields of daffs here in Cornwall; I’m wondering who’s going to be picking them now most of the Europeans are gone. I could see there being far fewer in the future.

  8. How wonderful to have a field of daffs nearby, within your circular cycling remit! Have you read Jonathon Coe’s The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim? There’s a hilarious bit on spam that the narrator takes quite seriously, your comments reminded me. Lovely pic of your daughter in the seed tray.

  9. What a shame your bluetooth thermometer doesn’t work quite as planned…but at least you can tell yourself the option is there even though you realise that the jumping was never ging to happen! Apparently I can buy extra bits for mine, so I could have a linked thermometer in the greenhouse which is meant to have a 200m range but I am not convinced the monitor would pick it up… That field of daffs must be amazing to see in peak bloom – thanks for sharing it with us, albeit digitally!

    1. I think I may just be curious to see the glasshouse temperatures recorded over time. I did read that it would be best to wait until March to sow tomatoes. I started last week of January, but realistically the temperatures are not warm enough yet to get real growth going.
      I’m tempted to ask the owner if I could just walk through the field. Maybe it’ll happen.

      1. I have found it gives a longer growing season starting tomatoes off at the end of january or into February. The temperatures it can reach in the g/h can be quite scary – over 40 degrees C sometimes. I did try shade netting one year but it didn’t seem to make much difference although it was a relatively cheap type so perhaps I got what I paid for ie not a lot! And do ask about walking through the field…

  10. That’s a pretty amazing stony pot! And the daffodils look lovely. Hopefully things warm up soon and all the plants can start to thrive outside (without blankets).
    I think the most special garden item I’ve been given is flat pot that now holds all my rooted succulent cuttings. It’s been perfect every time I’ve started a new batch, and has been in the family for more than a handful of years now. I’m just the latest one to hold onto it.
    Looking forward to the next Six on Saturday!

    1. Thanks for reading along, Scott. Indeed, we could do with a bit more sunshine and heat!
      You’re obviously getting great pleasure (and many new succulents) from that pot. Long may it last.

    1. Thank you, Violet! It’s a picture we all like.
      Daffs are in full bloom right now, but they are short lived unfortunately. Important to live in the moment! BTW, thanks for following.

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