February 2007

Buddy, our latest Border Collie Rescue foster dog, continues to prove a challenge. He’s VERY active and very smart, even by BC standards. buddy-003.jpg

Complicated Buddy suffers from deafness, so he doesn’t hear “NOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Bad Boy!!!!”. He does, however, know the scowling face that goes with the funny lip movements and that’s his signal to turn his head side to side, like he’s thinking “I know she’s trying to tell me something, but really, these people just can’t be trained how to speak. Sad, isn’t it?”

Today Buddy’s mission was to find & test out the strength of 3 different brands of knitting needles. You will see in the pics a AddiTurbo circular (“very soft metal, kinda squishy like a hotdog”), an old, not made anymore, Brittany (” Easy! snaps in half just like a dog cookie!”), and a custom needle, handmade, with a beautiful ceramic bead on the top (“this one was pretty strong but I managed to get it mostly broken. Will have to try again later after I gnaw on this bone for a while to build up my strength.”)

This occupied him for about 30 minutes. Telling him NOOOOOOOO means he will NOT go back & chew on that particular needle. However, as I have not yet told him NOOOOOOO about any OTHER thing in the house, the entire premises is open for the Buddy-Testing-Lab. Of course, he left the cheap-o Susan Bates plastic needles completely alone. He’s got good taste in needles….

bantry-house5.jpgbantry-house4.jpgbantry-house3.jpgbantry-house2.jpgbantry1.jpgI know you all are disappointed that we’re not going to the Blarney Stone to kiss it, along with the 3,000 other people in the parking lot that day, so I’m posting some pics of the Bantry House instead. Here’s the history from the website. We’ll be having a tour & lunch there. The gardens are beautiful & I’m sure you’ll love it.

Bantry House History
• 1750 Richard White (Councillor White) purchases Bantry House (then called Blackrock House).
• 1796 Attempted invasion of Ireland by the French, led by Wolfe Tone.
• 1797 Richard White created Baron Bantry.
• 1818 Richard White elevated to the peerage (1st Earl of Bantry).
• 1820 to 1840 Richard White, Viscount Berehaven travels extensively and creates his collection.
• 1840 to 1860 The Famine. Works on the gardens in progress.
• 1914 to 1918 First World War.
• 1922 Irish Civil War. During the war, the Cottage Hospital in Bantry, run by the nuns of the Convent of Mercy, was not large enough. The then owner, Mrs Leigh-White, offered the house as a hospital to care for the injured on both sides of the conflict.
• 1939 to 1945 Second World War. During the war years, the house and stables were occupied by the Second Cyclist Squadron of the Irish Army. See also the plaques on the north wall of the house to men and officers of the Royal Canadian Air Force who died when their plane crashed into the sea off the Fastnet Rock.
• 1946 House opens to the public.
• 1978 Egerton Shelswell-White (the present owner) inherits the house.
• 2001 Archaeological findings (conducted by University of Ulster) of a medieval Gaelic village and a 17th century deserted English fishing settlement on the west lawn.

Here is cottage #3. The 4th cottage is next door but I don’t have pics yet. It’s very similiar to this one. Each cottage holds 6 people. These 2 will be our ‘headquarters’ for the Kenmare week. I’ll ask Royal to help me this week figuring out who will go where. If you don’t like your roommates we can take them down to the sacrifical stone circle in Kenmare and take care of that problem for you. We aim to please!

Here is cottage #2. This will be where the 4 ladies will be staying. While the interior is the most modest, this is the only cottage that has it’s very own beach. Can’t you just imagine walking down to the ocean at daybreak with a mug of tea?

This is one of the 4 cottages we’ll be staying at when we are in Kenmare. It has stunning views over the Mountains & Kenmare Bay.