Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Thinking ahead....

I know this is not what you want to hear right now and we are still only in October but, if I don't say it now it will be too late. On my radio show for this Saturday (Natural Instinct on Bcradio.ie 2-3 pm) I have decided to talk about gadgets and Christmas presents...Urg! ...well yes, I suppose it is too early but I have trouble finding Eco friendly pressies and last year was the first time I tried. I did manage to get a Trevor Baylis radio online for me and the parents and in laws, which was a great success. A wind up radio with infra red torch and an ordinary torch. No batteries or mains required. Lovely. Happy days but, here I am again as I need to get ordering before everything is sold out and remember I need it delivered in time. Some shops do sell Eco friendly stuff but not many and I usually end up purchasing online. Ideally from within Ireland too if possible, and I was very disappointed when I realised the the Eco shop in Dublin had closed down. So back to work I went and found a few other shops, one in England and one in Ireland. I will leave the links below. So if your looking for a good stocking filler or even something a little more expensive read on ...........

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

A Sweet Review...

A cheerful and welcoming Dan Linehan

What an absolute delight to find this sweet shop up in Shandon in Cork. I met Dan Linehan today who owns this shop and it has been a family tradition for years. A once very busy area near the Butter Market and the Firkin Crane. Now a lot quieter but Dan is keeping the candle burning still. I mentioned in a previous page that we all need to support our local shops and markets and once again today I was reminded of the importance of this. How lovely to enter a shop where people are interested in how you are and what you have to say. How lovely is it that they want to tell you all about the history of their shop and its workings because they are so well crafted in what they do and are delighted to spend a few moments socialising with you. Yes they are salesmen and women but being interested in their customers is just as important. Many shops these days are polite and efficient but not too many even have the time to stop and spare you a minute. This is the sort of shop where you can almost step back in time. I have already decided that I will get a few jars of sweets as Christmas presents because the people they are planned for will instantly be reminded of their childhood in a very good way. Sweets are made in this store and so you know where the produce is coming from and Dan takes a swift look behind the counter as he serves me to check that everything is in good running order. If you live in the city of Cork then you really should go and investigate Linehan's.
 Within walking distance so no car journey or costs, a lovely historical trail of buildings to see on the way and supporting your local shop. If you live outside of Cork I suggest you find your own little piece of heaven before it's too late and these little shops are lost forever and if anyone of you reading this abroad ever comes to Cork City in Ireland for a holiday then you must ask for directions or take a tour that will include Linehans.Sweets that are very well priced and you can buy your bag of Bruss (the bits of broken sweet that are left over) for 30cents. Its perfect.
All I can say is I'll be going back again so get a few bags of sweets ready for me Dan!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Hubble Bubble toil and trouble....

Not one of my better pictures thats for sure but what a great night we had last year for Halloween! I hadn't dressed up in years  before this but I would highly recommend it. I couldn't get the green face paint off for days!!! But its that time again when the little ones are all excited and half terrified but love it at the same time and some of us grown ups are just as bad. So why am I writing about it here in this blog? Well we can do this with the environment in mind too and so I thought I would put a few pointers out for those of you who might be interested.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

A taste of home...

The English Market, Cork, Ireland
I have had a great week this week and as part of college our class went to look around the English market in Cork City. I go to my local market every Saturday unless I am away and love getting the fresh local produce. No travelling too far to do the weekly shop and even better, the food hasn't been travelling too far either! No preservatives or any nasties put into it. Just pure food, the way it should be. I must admit I never really go into the English Market when I am in the city but our trip really made me think twice. A market full of stalls containing fresh produce, butchers who know exactly where the meat comes from and prepare it from scratch unlike at supermarkets where with some products we probably cross our fingers and hope we are getting the best we can for our stomachs, but can never be too sure. Yes I know a lot of supermarkets are great and I'm not saying otherwise, just that knowing what farmer or farm the food comes from is a huge plus.

Saturday Farmers Market in Charleville, Co.Cork
Along with all of this healthy eating and local support, it  brings us back to a time when we actually spoke to and got to know our local butcher, baker or candle stick maker! The people at the English Market really went out of their way to help and educate us about their products. It wasn't all about making a fast buck. Ultimately of course they are there to make a living but if you wanted to learn about some other type of fish that you haven't tried etc, some of them will even go as far as telling
you a great recipe to put together. How nice is that? The same thing happens at my local market but it's on a much smaller scale. Have you noticed how the little, farmers markets are cropping up everywhere? Maybe it's because of the recession and our interest in growing our own or supporting locals, but either way its a great thing and it helps the environment whether we know it or not. So the next time you are out shopping take a look around your local farmers market. You dont need to do the whole weeks shopping there but you might learn a thing or two, enjoy the fresh taste of local food and make a few friends while your at it. If you go to the English Market you will be adding your 10cents worth to its history too and helping to keep it going for generations to come.

Take a look at the Slow Food website too: Click Here

Watch this American documentary if you can get it, but it is long. Failing that watch the trailer attached. It could really open your eyes to what can happen if we allow others to think for us. Click Here