Saturday, November 16, 2013

111 Euros an Hour, nice work if you can get it.

Our van was due for it's NCT test this week, this is the equivalent to a DOE in the UK and ITV in Spain. I can't comment on the efficiency  of the testing system in the UK, having not lived there for well over two decades, but I can make a comparison to the Spanish system.
 Ex Pats in Spain always complain about the amount of red tape that there is in Spain in all remotely legal obligations, but, by and large this 'red tape' works well. Getting your vehicle ITV'd is no exception.
 You receive a phone call giving you an appointment, this is followed up by a postal reminder, you confirm your appointment and turn up to the state run testing center at the appointed time. You stay in your vehicle, driving through the testing conveyor, stopping at the various testing points, everything is computerized, at the end you are given your pass or failure certificate, if you fail you have fourteen days in which you can have a retest at a greatly discount price. The test takes a little over ten minutes and the cost is just 36. 78 euros.
No such efficiency here, although it is a legal obligation you get no reminders, it's up to you to remember that your vehicle is due for testing. Only certain garages can test commercial vehicles, and others can only test private cars. You can make your appointment, but the chances of the test taking place at that time is rather remote. Simon left the van as he was a little early for the test and in any case you do not stay with the vehicle, he returned an hour later to find the van was still being tested, in total the garage had it for an hour and a half, the cost ? A massive 111 euros. I wish I had had  a job that paid that well.
The weather has been changeable this past week, but it is still mild, trying to get some more bulbs planted I had to give up as the midges were biting, they should not still be around in November.
Wet days we always find something to do,
The green hills of Sligo in November.
this week we had  a trip to Sligo to buy bits and pieces for the kitchen which we are planning to revamp, we felt the trip was justified to take advantage of the voucher that we had been sent by the D.I.Y store. It's always an enjoyable trip to Sligo, we love to see the green hills, and there is so much colour in the trees.
This was a decanter but lends it's self well to a candle stick.
Other damp days I can spend time on craft work, last week I found a couple of nice shaped pieces of glass wear, just right for glass painting.
I find this a very relaxing hobby, and it's great fun looking for new pieces of glass to paint, as long as it has some useful purpose.
I could end up with so many  un-useful pieces, just gathering dust, I have plenty of things like that already, but vases and candle sticks always get put to use.
Pippa, the wayward donkey.
Pippa our female donkey decided it would be fun to escape her field and have a taste of some of our veg. She has never done this before, and has no need to, the grass is still growing, fortunately she did little damage, just eating a few of our precious turnips and pruning the chard, daughter Poppy didn't join her, but was looking over the hedge wondering if she should. It was a very windy day, so maybe that's what had inspired her to try something new.
We had planned on harvesting the last of the Hubbards this weekend, there are just two females remaining, they however had different ideas and have moved in with Pierre one of our La Bresse cocks who had lost his girls early this year when we had a mink attack, he seems very pleased with the company so we have decided that they can stay and we will try a cross of La Bresse X Hubbard, we had already decided to keep the Cornish game female. Crossing meat birds is no guarantee of getting a better bird, some crosses work well some do not, but it will be interesting to see what happens next year. We still have several la Bresse cocks to deal with,
the one we did today for tomorrows roast weighed in at five pounds, I guess we are eating chicken for most of the week. The one thing that we did notice with this bird is a slightly deformed breast bone, these birds were hatched from eggs that we had bought in hoping to get a different strain from our existing stock. We are thinking that the gene pool for these birds must be very small within Ireland, it would be nice to get eggs from further afield to strengthen the breed.


  1. A question for you-What is a NCT?

    Love Pippa. My daughter was sitting beside me when I read your post, and got all excited over seeing your black donkey. She has a mini donkey.

    Your painted vases look absolutely divine! I love the stained glass look. I would love a stained glass window. Somehow though I don't think the husband would allow it.

    Have a good weekend.

    1. NCT stands for National Car Testing, all cars when they are four years old must be tested for road worthiness and safety, also tested are the emissions to comply with EU regulations on Green House gasses, the test is very strict.It is a yearly test. I don't believe you have such a test in the US. Any car registered before 1980 is exempt.
      I also love stained glass and would love a large window made from it but they are very expensive.Glass painting is a nice hobby and does not cost too much.
      Pippa and her daughter Poppy are very sweet donkeys, they have never done anything so naughty before.

  2. Nice glass pieces, Anne. I particularly like the rectangular one. Also enjoying the rather guilty expression on the donkey's face!

    1. Yes , Pippa was very guilty, she knew she should not be there.
      It's nice to have some hobbies especially on damp grey days like today when you don't want to get cold and damp in the garden. Simon's in his work shop carving something for the garden I think.

  3. Tis no wonder we're known as rip-off Ireland. Great pic of that Donkey! Love the glass!

  4. Tis no wonder we're known as rip-off Ireland. Great pic of that Donkey! Love the glass!

  5. Love Pippa, SHe is beautiful. We have a car inspection system here. It cost 29.00 us and we get a sticker placed on our car windshield telling us what month to come in. No one reminds us and if we forget and the police stop us its a 50 fine. If the car fails we don't have to pay. Then we have a tax to pay every year, for our license plate. The government is always trying to get more and more money out of us. The middle class is dwindling in the states with more and more people having to depend on help from the government just to live.
    We are in a cold snap today and tomorrow too It will be in the 20s tonight . Love all the pictures