The Black Bull Threshing festival 2015

Although this festival has been happening for about 14 years, I’ve never gone to it! Another case of shame on me because it’s just a short drive from my house. This year, I wasn’t going to miss it so last Sunday I headed off praying that I would remember how to drive properly all the way to the Black Bull (the name of the area). This is an annual fundraising festival and in my mind, I would show up, pull my car into the side of the road and go into the festival area. Instead, I was stopped by stewards in high vis jackets and the whole thing suddenly started to feel like the ploughing championships! In the most Irish way possible, I drove my little Toyota Yaris across a field and parked it among the horse boxes and sheep trailers.

I didn’t really know what to expect from the festival but whatever it was got blown out of the water as I walked around. There was everything from sheaf throwing to mouse racing to dog shows. My favourite part was the mouse race. Great entertainment and you only need one poor mouse to volunteer as tribute!

I took the usual 1000000057373626272 pictures during the day but I have narrowed it down to just a few that I loved!

There were loads of vintage tractors…..



There were a few animals also. When I visited the ducks, there was a little girl telling them not to be afraid with that look in her eye that said she was going to pick one up and take it home!




Of course there was threshing and by the looks of it, this guy was flat out…..


This is a picture of the sheaf throwing. Such a simple concept and so entertaining!


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The sheep shearing demonstration was amazeballs. To be able to shear sheep 40 years after winning an International contest is an achievement. (That man is not actually Jackie Dooley but you get the drift)


The vintage tractors attracted the young children and these two look like they’ll have to be PULLED off these tractors!

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I don’t know what these lads were looking at but whatever it was looks interesting.


There was a lot of sitting around done at the festival…….



Am I the only one that has never seen a horse getting its shoes on? Well I saw it on Sunday and I couldn’t take my eyes off the man doing it.


My favourite picture of the day though is this one. Horse shoe throwing was one of the competitions on the day and I spent a while watching the young lads trying it. There was one chap, a little younger than the rest who looked like he really wanted a go but just watched the older lads doing it. After a while, the man in charge of the competition saw him and asked if he wanted to try it. He was so happy and literally jumped forward trying to pay the 2 euro entry fee. The older man waved it away and told him that this was just a “practice” so he didn’t need to pay. He then took the young lad and showed him how to throw and the best techniques and so on. He let him stand closer the pole and gave him all the shoes and repeated tries. It was the nicest moment I’ve seen since I came home.


If anyone knows any of the people in these photos, please let me know and I’ll send them a copy of the photo.

A day in Dublin

I only had one job to do in Dublin and I almost didn’t make it because I was so distracted by the photo opportunities that were everywhere! Unfortunately, the rain only got worse during the day and I went home early but here are some photos I took on my visit;

First stop Trinity College. The place was packed with tourists and locals and the grounds were as beautiful as ever.






Off to Stephan’s Green where people were out enjoying the park before the rainy afternoon.









Without a doubt, it is the great characters you meet that make you remember a trip. While walking through the park, I met this gentleman who was feeding the pigeons. I stopped and asked to take a picture. He obliged and told me how he rescues the pigeons and feeds them three times a week. Once he started talking, he wasn’t to be stopped and before I knew it, there were 4 or 5 people standing around having a great chat about the pigeons.


Over to the city centre.






Fleet street



Obligatory picture of the spire.


And then it poured rain and off I went.

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