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Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Parades, a thief, and a loud Cock-a-doodle-do

Tynwold Day
The annual outdoor sittings of Tynwold, the Manx Parliament, (and Manx National Day) is held on 5th July on St’ John’s Hill, and dates waaay back to when the Viking's first settled, in the eighth century.

It remains largely unchanged to this day, and provides a platform for new laws to be proposed, and for older ones to be revised.  On this day, Citizens are also invited to air any grievances, or to even submit their own Bills for consideration, should they so wish to do so (and isn’t that something?)!

vikings

‘Course, much of it is mere pomp and ceremony, but it’s truly a sight worth seeing.  Once the speeches and fanfare dies down, we have marching bands and parades go by.  Later, the green spills over to games, events, numerous displays, and a huge fair, replete with stalls, tents, burger vans, and bouncy castles.  

It’s certainly the place to be on a National holiday, especially if the sun is up!

crofters1


Crofter’s display the olden skills of weaving and wafting, Celtic bands play live, out in the open air gardens of the surrounding Pub’s and local Inn’s, and generally a fine and happy time is to be had by all.


police


(I always think our police look a bit of a tit, wearing that on their head.)

It felt odd not having the girls come with us this year (they still being abroad on their respective school trips), but Sam, as ever, graced us with his presence (unlike his big brother, Matt, who is far too cool to be seen out with his parents, well certainly not in broad daylight).


sam and me


Sam and his dad had just arrived home from Ireland the night before, and we were still officially celebrating his birthday (which he’s shamelessly eeked out for over almost two weeks now).  When we returned home, he was just set to blow the final candles out on cake number 5, when..


cake number 5

..we had to briefly postpone it, for Matt to catch up with our thieving mutt. 

That’s Little Stevie there, Matt’s friend, laughing in the background.  See, Jake has this annoying habit of running off with mobile phones, and he’s just stolen Matt’s one from off of the counter top.  Thankfully, the idiot hound doesn’t chew or damage them, but he isn’t adverse to hiding, or better still,  burying them -  it’s a kind of warped game of his.  The last time he stole Matt’s phone, the poor lad had had to excavate it from out of the “poo patch” (a task far from pleasant, believe me)!

However, this time Jake didn’t get too far (smile).

Later, I took my camera and myself down for a wander through the glen.  We’ve had a lot of ruckus going on in there as of late; a bunch of young neer-do-well’s have been marauding about on our property during the wee small hours, keeping not only us, but half of the neighbourhood awake.  So, when I  heard them up to their old tricks again, I sprinted out down there, in the hopes of finally catching them red-handed.

cockrel

And sure enough, there they were!

There must be at least six wild rooster’s (probably more) living the good old life out here, with their harem of lady-folk.  It's been nothing short of, “Cock-a-doodle-do” here, and, "Cock-a-doodle-do" there, from late evening dusk, ‘til the early morning dawn.  So much so, there has even been talk of the council rounding them up to be either re-homed, or culled.  I sincerely doubt it will actually come down to that, well, I certainly hope not (they’d need to get through me first)..!  

Noisy as they are, I find I've grown quite fond of them. 

Gorgeous, aren’t they?  (Grin.)

pheasant in my veggies!

Returning back to the house, I found this pheasant lurking around in our veggie-patch.  I presume he’s one of the family of pheasants that hang out together at the bottom of the garden.  

Pheasants, bonny as they are, are thick as two short planks, they must be the stupidest of birds in the entire feathered population – I’m amazed folk even feel the need to ever shoot them, since they’d  quite happily allow anyone to simply step on them, at will.

Least that's what I've found, um, not that I've ever stomped on one you understand, no, no, no, well of course not, no, let me make this perfectly loud and clear; I am not a pheasant stomper, never have been, never will be - I'm simply saying, is all..

Anyhow's, seriously, they saunter up the drive without a care in the world, I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve had to exit the car to shoo them all out of the way, even beeping the horn doesn’t get them to shift!

Hmn, I wasn’t going to do this, but I find I can’t help myself – sorry, but I can’t end yet without doing just a wee bit of crowing of my own (I always promised myself I would never, never, ever turn into one of those strutting mother’s, the kind who drives everyone demented, bragging loud and long about their boring offspring, but hey, c'mon,  that was waaay before I ever had any kids of my own, and discovered, unlike every other person's children, mine are so very, very un-boring-like, and as so, deservedly need to be advertised, such is my solemn duty to mankind, okay?).

My eldest’s  IB exam results arrived through yesterday, and he’s achieved freaking brilliantly, WAY, WAY above my wildest hopes rather good results.

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!  He’s sailed far above the required grades, securing his first choice place at Newcastle University.     

Certainly is shaping up for a wonderful summer over at the Shinky household  .. 

COCK-A-DOODLE-DO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

50 comments:

Paul C said...

That's a breathtaking shot of that friendly pheasant. They are very elusive in my parts. Its colours rival the peacock.

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

that looks like so much great fun.. and the roosters and pheasant are so beautiful.

Leslie: said...

I had a pheasant in my back garden last summer. I tried to direct it to the gate, but he cowered in the corner by the fence and finally flapped his way over the fence. They are delicious to eat, you know! LOL When I was a kid, we lived in semi-country and there were lots of them around. One day, we heard a loud THUMP at the front window. My Dad went out to see what had happened and it had been a pheasant trying to fly through. So he picked it up (broken neck), cleaned it all up and we had roast pheasant for dinner that night!
Lucky Sam to get so many b'day cakes! I firmly believe that you should celebrate not just your birth-DAY, but also your birth-MONTH! Keep the celebrations going longer...
Looks like you all had a great day out at all the festivities. This weekend is the "Tour de Delta" - a takeoff on the Tour de France which is on right now as a matter of fact.
Have a great day! We're in the beginning of a heat wave today - should go on for a while, but hope it doesn't get too hot.

Jazz said...

Those roosters are beautiful. So's he pheasant actually. Beautiful but obviously dumb. You'd think they'd have some sort of survival instinct...

Pat Tillett said...

This was my favorite post of the day (and I read a lot of them). Great photos and great narrative. I feel like I've just been on a tour! thanks....

Michelle H. said...

Congrats on your eldest IB exam! Your outdoor holiday looks quite engaging too. As for the wild poultry, the moment I saw them all I could do was think of barbecued chicken :)

Land of shimp said...

*sniff* *gasps back tears*

"Yes officer, that's the woman. Cuff 'er! She's a pheasant stomper, she is! Tried to deny it, but she slipped up. Check between her toes for feathers!"

Right, no pheasant stomping occurs, indeed! Doves rival pheasants for sheer stupidity, by the way. Oh, I know you're telling the truth about the dimwits of the avian clan, pheasants. I'm just saying, they have company.

Whoever decided Doves are the birds of peace felt sorry for the bloody things, and figured it was their only hope of survival. I found one the other day, trying to get in through the screen door, to escape a shower outside. Inside my massive, murderous, bloodthirsty cat awaited, alight with glee. His cohort the "Can I play with it too?" harmless Puddles stood and wagged.

The Dove thought these two were the better alternative to raindrops.

Happy birthday to Sam :-) I love your posts, you funny lady you. Even though you're reputation as a Pheasant Stomper is now carved in stone.

chewy said...

Ah-hum... (clearing throat) Them are the prettiest cocks I've ever seen.

Crow all you want over your eldest's score.

Jingle said...

what festive post,
love your smiles,
enjoy the little bird and the fresh looking of everything here.

Milton said...

Good for you Shrinky, of course offspring's promise is all to do with your nurturing!

And those cock-a-doodle-doos and so cutey-do-dah!

Let me get my claws into 'em.

Milt x

dykewife said...

having read that bit about what democracy should be, thomas and i have determined that we're going to move to the isle of mann as soon as we can. just so you know. are there jobs there for people who work with criminals who are trying to mend their wild and wooly ways?

Charlene said...

We had Bob White's back home; no pheasants. They are beautiful birds.

Great pictures too.

Shrinky said...

Hi Paul, coming over here as a City girl, I always get a thrill when I catch a close up glimpse of these lovely creatures, yes, isn't their plumage magnificent?

Hello Jackie, aye, aren't they just? And as for Tynwald Day, it is a fine time on the island, the whole communtiy gathers together, both young and old.

Haha, oh Leslie, what a tale! I have to confess, I too, have also eaten the odd pheasant or two in my time, but hasten to add, none have ever come from out of my own back yard - well, not yet (wink)! Hubby is a keen cyclist, and avidly watches the progress of the Tour De France when it is on.. hope you enjoy the races!

Hi Jazz, how lovely to see you back here! I know, it's a wonder how the breed has survived thus far, with such suicidal antics.

Aw Pat, your visits never fail to add a skip to my step, what a smashing thing to say, thanks for wrapping a smile round my heart!

Michelle Hickman, keep your voice down and behave yourself, you wee sacriligeous heathen, you - we'll hear no such talk of any BBQ'd birdies around these parts, y'hear? (giggle) And um, yeah, thanks for that, appears the lad's done well (proof positive of the powers of a mother's relentless nagging, eh?)..

simon said...

I ate pheasant whilst in Cumbria- delicious! But the shot gun pellets were a bit hard....

mrsnesbitt said...

Oh yes - the mutt! lol! We always mention him when Jon puts on his bike glove! lol! Oh and the duck had a narrow escape too! So chuffed Sam had a good birthday - there will be something winging its way in the post after the weekend!

The Blue Zoo said...

Cracking up at your bit of a tit comment!! LOL

And congrats on the good exam!!

Rock Chef said...

What a great post!

Hm, I used to dress up as a Viking...

I think I would have been tempted to leave the phone in the poo patch...

Boast about your children - it is great to see proud parents!

Love your intruders - my instant thought was that you had teenagers playing garden hopping and smashing things - guess that reflects where I live!

My eldest son starts studying his IB next year - he is really looking forward to it.

Shrinky said...

Alane, (casually stuffing a pair of socks over my toes..) why, that's an outragous allegation, so it is! Pah, and a fine one she is in'all, to be casting any stones - she of the keeper of murderous, would-be bird of peace slaughterer's, namely Puddles, and that schemeing cat of yours!!

I tell you what, withdraw the spurious slander, call the coppers off, and I'll conditionally sit down and talk with you about this, see if we can resolve this misunderstanding.. tell you what, let's have dinner.. roast pheasant, okay? (OOOPS!!!)

Shrinky said...

Chewy!!! Go wash your mouth out with Carbolic soap, right this instant, young lady (giggle), I'll have none of your cock comparisons on THIS site, thank-you! (Shaking my head with a haughty, high and mighty sniff)..

Shrinky said...

Hi Jingle, thanks for the sweet words!

Milt, it was all going so well there, up until you penned that final bottom line.. (Chuckle) Eh, you're such a rascal, you are - just as well you are so cute!

Hey Dykewife, come on over, you'd love it - we've just built a state of the art, brand new prison over here!!! Clients a-plenty (grin)..

Hey Charlene, now I'm gonna' have to go and google, to find out what a Bob White looks like!

Shrinky said...

Haha, Simon, I hear tell many a molar has been broken on buckshot! I'm sort of partial to the meat, too - but I prefer not to know those I'm eating!

OMG, Denise, I still cringe over that glove incident (blush) - he's a little sod, isn't he? BTW, you made Sam's day on Monday, he's still talking about it! What, a surprise (toes curling)??? Oooooooooooh!!!

Hi there, Blue Zoo - well, you've got to call it as it is, eh? (Giggle)

Rock Chef, I can just picture you in your element in the midst of their mock-battles, I'll bet you made a fab Viking (grin). Oh, and we have been known to have the odd other sort of intruders down our glen, spraying the trees in graffiti and the like. I managed to befriend them in the end (hubby chasing them off never worked, they only came back to do worse). I offered them permission to come by any time they pleased, so long as they respected the place, and they've long since swapped their paint cans over for fishing poles (smile). Your son is taking the IB? Good on him, few schools offer this in place of A-levels, do they? My girls are also following suit - finger's crossed!

Akelamalu said...

I watched the reports on the TV about all this Shrinky - it looked (looks) like a great day - I love your photos!

What colourful wildlife you have on your land, even if some of them are noisy. ;)

Happy Birthday to Sam and congratulations to your eldest on the exam results. :)

billy pilgrim said...

stretching out a birthday when young seems like an excellent idea to me. it makes up for old age when birthdays are best forgotten.

Shrinky said...

Akelamalu, I didn't know it had made it on the UK news (smile), what fun that you saw it!

Oh Billy, I couldn't agree more with the latter part of that - I'd be more than happy to lose any future birthdays!

Fen said...

I hung my I.O.M. flag up in my window on Manx National Day. In fact it's still up there now! I've sat on Tynwald Hill, but never been for the ceremony.

Rock Chef said...

It is good that they respected your diplomatic solution - much better for everyone!

There is only one school that offers the IB locally - a really good one that just happens to be across the road from the Uni I work at. I suspect that I will be buying lunch from time to time! We really liked the look of the IB compared with A Levels (he has already done a Maths A Level 2 years early).

Shrinky said...

Oh Fen, that gave me goosebumps! And to think, here you are living all the way in Australia - and despite both of us visiting each other several times, at the time neither one of us knew a) Your mother was manx, and that, b)I live on the Isle of Mann. Small, small world indeed, eh?

TechnoBabe said...

Sam is still enjoying his birthday. He looks great and growing up. Congrats to your eldest on the high exam marks. Wonderful news.

Shrinky said...

I wish you could see the broad grin on my face, Rock Chef, seems we have much in common! We both have had four kids, one with special needs, and it appears we both have also spawned a maths whizz in the family, too (Matt is off to take Economics at Newcastle).

Only one school on this island offers the IB, which is why we chose to send our kids there. It's not for everyone, I knew Matt would be fine, but in truth, I am slightly nervous as to how the girls will fare. It's commonly acknowledged the IB is rather more demanding than "A" level's, but I think the benefits it offers is worth the grind. Your son already sounds to be wonderfully motivated - to take his maths A-level AND PASS that early, speaks volumes about his capabilities!!

Buy him lunch as often as you can, it's worth keeping on his good side, he's obviously set to go far (grin)..

tattytiara said...

Being a mother means never having to restrain your enthusiasm - that's awesome! Gorgeous birds. The most fantastical thing we get round these parts are the ruffled grouse.

I so appreciate the festivals and traditions you folks have there. Here they're all invented and forced. But y'know, we go, because we know in two months we'll be holed up against the weather for ten more!

secret agent woman said...

Congratulations to your oldest! And that pheasant is amazing.

Shrinky said...

Hi TechnoBabe, thanks hon, life has been treating us well this month, I'm savouring it whilst it lasts (smile).

Hey there Tatty! Oh, yes, we have grouse squatting in our garden, too (smile). I can't believe the temperatures you guys are experiencing right now, it must sap the energy right out of you.

Hi Secret Agent, cheers for that (smile), and yes, I do love watching all the feathered visitors passing through our place.

Rock Chef said...

And we are both "nuts" and don't fight with our partners!

Worried yet? :-)

SabiSunshine said...

i love the shots and one of the pic is awesome of yours. Love the color of you top. It's quite festival you attended.

Love
Sabi Sunshine

Shrinky said...

Rock Chef, I reckon there's enough material here for us to book our own reality show, hell, we could even drag a few other bloggers in, what do you reckon?

Hi Sabi, thank you hon, I like that frock too (I stole it from becky..)

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Wonderful pictures by all means. Enjoy your weekend. ATHENS

Mushy said...

Loved the post! The photos weren't bad either!

Shrinky said...

Hello Phivos, I hope you have a great weekend, too.

Hi Mushy, nice to see you again, my dear friend, glad you stopped by!

Skunkfeathers said...

Go ahead and crow about any achievements; let the local chickens have their own "WTF?" moment ;-)

Shrinky said...

Ha! I like that image, Skunk (grin).

laughingwolf said...

yaayyyyyyyyyyyyyy for eldest!

like you need it, but enjoy! ;)

Cock-a-Leekie Soup


Tested Til Perfect

Have a steaming bowl of this chunky chicken soup.

This recipe makes 4 servings


The ingredients have been scaled and recalculated for your automated grocery list.

The method still refers to the original recipe amounts.

RECIPES HAVE BEEN TESTED USING ORIGINAL AMOUNTS ONLY, SCALED RESULTS MAY VARY.

Click here to learn more about scaling Canadian Living recipes.
Nutritional Info

Per serving: about -
calories 320
protein 24 g
total fat 10 g
carbs 31 g

Ingredients

2 2tbsp tbsp(25 mL) (25 mL) vegetable oil
2 2cups cups(500 mL) (500 mL) sliced leeks
2 2boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed
6 6cups cups(1.5 L) (1.5 L) chicken stock
3/4 3/4cup cup(175 mL) (175 mL) long grain rice
1 1strip strip lemon peel, (2 inches/5 cm long)
1 1bay leaf
1 1tsp tsp(5 mL) (5 mL) salt
1/4 1/4tsp tsp(1 mL) (1 mL) pepper
2 2tbsp tbsp(25 mL) (25 mL) chopped fresh parsley

Preparation:

In large heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; cook leeks, covered and stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes or until softened.

Add chicken; cook over medium-high heat, stirring, for about 4 minutes or until no longer pink inside.

Add chicken stock, rice, lemon peel and bay leaf; bring to boil.

Reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until rice is tender.

Discard lemon peel and bay leaf.

Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into warmed bowls; sprinkle with parsley.

Shrinky said...

Laughingwolf, I LOVE Cock-a-leekie soup (big wide grin), thank you for this, I shall try it - and will keep you posted as to how it came out!

Shrinky said...

Hi SJ, blogger seems to be playing up, I received your comment via email, but it doesn't appear to have shown up here - no matter - you said words to the effect; "Most of life is pomp and ceremony, just enjoy!"

I try to hon, smile..

Tgoette said...

First of all, congrats for your eldest on passing the exam. Well done! I thought the post was marvelous and the pictures were awesome. Always great to get some glimpses of life from the other side of the pond!

Middle Child said...

What a wonderful post - One day I will get back to ireland and to the Isle of Man where some of mine came from (so i am told) mostly ireland though - This was in the 1840's/50's and I have never been there...but still think of it as "going back" although I am Australian the lands of my ancestors still have a pull on me -

wild roosters! You are kidding me...

I think some of our Top Knot Pigeons would match your Pheasants for brains!

Shrinky said...

Hi Tgoette, cheers my friend, it's always a pleasure to have you stop by!

Hey there Middle Child! Ah, I might have guessed there was some Celtic blood in you (grin). I have dozens of relatives in Australia (my mum was one of ten). Most of my aunts and uncles emegrated to your shores with the "Queen's shilling", in the 60's. I was lucky enough to visit Melbourne in my single days, and I completely fell in love with the place!

Middle Child said...

Shrinky - we used to call them "ten pound poms" and used to joke they weren't too keen on having showers - and they called us pig ignorant and we all got along okay

Anna said...

Shrinky, lol, as always enjoyed reading this one, so you never stepped on the pheasant, lol, thanks for the info. You said: 'I always think our police look a bit of a tit, wearing that on their head' - well my two year old who is still breast fed (more like chewing on my breast for the purpose to massage his gums lol), would say 'mommy booba'. Anna :)

The Kid In The Front Row said...

That first picture reminded me of a thing I hate. You know, when you're in London, and your friend is like 'Show me Buckingham Palace!', so you show them. And then all the guys in red are there with the black things on their heads, doing the bullshit of the guards thing, and then your friend wants to stay and watch for nine hours, as the guys in red with the black things on their heads march up and down and take the gun out of their left hands and put them in their right hands.

I hate that. From now on, you're showing my friends around.

Shrinky said...

Hi there, Kid in the front row (I just love that name) - don't get me started! Gawwd, folk camped out with us from near and far when we lived in London - I often thought if I had to face a visit to the Tower of London again, I'd happily take a leap off the top! Mind, it's a bit different since our move, not a lot goes off on this sleepy isle (but I have to confess, I don't linger over long at the pomp and splendour bit)..