“Biddy from Sligo”

by ESP on December 1, 2012 · 6 comments

I thought this week I would start off with something a bit different, like a wee tune on my practice chanter just to put your nerves on edge. Someone told me recently that the chanter (a learning and practicing instrument for the highland bagpipes) sounded like an old Atari video game!

A keen observation.

“Star Raiders”…one of my favorites…oh yes, it had…radar.

The tune is a 6/8 jig by P/M G.S. McLennan called the “Biddy from Sligo” and I believe it was adapted from an old Irish fiddle tune. Sligo is located in the northwest of Ireland, about forty miles from the border with Northern Ireland.

And if you are unsure what a “biddy” is, it is a woman, usually a garrulous old one, a great word – garrulous.

Note to self:  You really must work on developing a circular breathing technique.

Cold fronts have brought with them some amazing sunsets this past week.

Calm down Alex, they are just street lights!

And the ominous green glow I am sure is not a competitor Mr White…

….though they were on campus…everybody, calm down.

No sooner had Thanksgiving day arrived, the “can we get a Christmas tree now Pa, can we?” (repeat x14.5 more times) started. The .5 interruption was for a “oh for heavens sake…YES, lets go and get a Christmas tree!”

Okay there was no “Pa” involved in the conversation, but it seemed like there should have been.

Returning with the tree, I had the usual scrummage to get it into the house and supported in its incredibly annoying (too big for the tree) base. Clawing and orbiting away underneath it for some time, turning annoyingly short screws into the trunk and finally giving an annoyingly dense lower canopy water, I emerged triumphant…covered in sap and needles, sarcastically humming in a twisted key:  “tis the season to be jolly”.

I trudged off in 80 degree weather to get the decorations from my shed.

They wasted no time getting reacquainted with some shiny old friends.


Kumo is also getting into the spirit of the season,


I hear him every day practicing his choir solo.

Moving ridiculously along:

“Throw another…

…on the barbie mate.”

And what a great display the langoustines have put on this year.

A shrimp-plant cocktail.

Justicia brandegeana


A great plant for vibrant shade color, drought tolerant, tough and slightly eccentric, shrimp plant is supposedly one of the best hummingbird plants for shady areas, although I have yet to see one on mine.

I really enjoyed this stock tank for a while,

but recently a chunk of the horsetail reed died, the Persian ivy looked like a moth-eaten old rug and well the whole scene had started to generally grate on my nerves.

Digging out a stock tank employs the same strange physics as Doctor Who’s Tardis, it is amazing how much earth comes out of a small tank. I also resurrected a whole bunch of old flagstone and bricks and rocks that I had forgotten about that I had “conveniently” swept under the carpet / tank some time ago. Argh.

I will spare you a description of all the unmentionables that scattered around my ankles as I pushed over the now-emptied stock tank, but I will say this…Brrr.

I believe my impromptu highland dance performance would have won a trophy if under adjudication.

Here is the area all cleared out awaiting a fresh top-dressing of decomposed granite and possibly a future archery target.



How about this for a celosia seed head!

Thanks for a great day at the Ranch J&W, we all had a blast.

Stay Tuned for:

“Jings, Crivvens, Help ma Boab”


All material © 2012 for eastsidepatch. Unauthorized
intergalactic reproduction strictly prohibited, and
punishable by late (and extremely unpleasant)
14th century planet Earth techniques.

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1 Cheris December 2, 2012 at 10:22 am

Great shot of the kids decorating the tree!

Hi Cheris and thanks, they loved decorating it. I personally struggle decorating a Christmas tree in 80 degree weather! Bah…humbug.

2 Desert Dweller / David C. December 2, 2012 at 8:01 pm

Eventually, I’ll grasp this entire post…until then (or when I get hauled away to the asylum, jail or congress…whichever comes first), I shall ROFL. Michael Landon & Little House gang, kilts (William Wallace attire), shrimp plants, the doll strapped into your car and your son’s priceless look, and Alex Jones all in one post…YES!!!

Hi David.
Yes, quite a bit going on in this episode, I had a hard time keeping up with it myself :-)
Mike Myers is ridiculous in that first image.

3 Bob Pool December 2, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Archery target?


4 Charlie December 14, 2012 at 7:07 pm

Your bug and plant photos are absolutely amazing. I love detail, texture, and color so I am really drawn to them. Thank you.

5 Charlie December 14, 2012 at 7:13 pm

Your plant photos are amazing. I went back and forth over them several times to see all of the detail. Thanks again.

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