Thursday, 30 August 2012

Ulster Covenant Drum

With the Centenary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant less than a month away, I came across this drum in Carrowdore Co. Down - owned by Mr. Magee.

The drum marks / commemorates the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Ulster Covenant in 1962. I have not seen this drum out playing.... ever, nevertheless it is always great to see that the drum is still in excellent condition.

It is intended that the drum will be on display at the much anticipated Ulster Covenant Exhibition, that will be on public view in September at the Town Hall Newtownards, then throughout a number of venues throughout the Ards Peninsula in the Autumn - List of venues to follow.



New PC

HPE h8-1375ea Desktop PC

After a couple of months of computer problems, break downs, crashes and frustration I have decided to buy a new PC. I am off to PC world to by this new hp pc, new monitor, wireless sound system, Microsoft office and wireless printer.

I have the loft converted and was intending to use it as an office / chill out zone - then enviably it became a toy room and scaletrix race track - well I reclaimed 1/2 it back last week and bought a new desk and chair, then cordoned off my 1/2 of the attic.

Looking forward to catching up with a number of projects I have been planning - but needed a computer, well a working computer at least !

So peace and quiet will prevail...... perhaps not - time shall tell.


The Light - Proclaimers

Every now and again a song comes along and grabs you...... well, this happened to me recently.
I listen to all kinds of music, but the Proclaimers were not one I had listened to much until I heard this!


Sunday, 26 August 2012


Sorry to all the folk who take the time to look in from time to time on my blog - I am of course very grateful to each and every one of you.

Sadly I had a second computer crash, therefore I had been offline for quite some time now and unable to blog etc.

I will be purchasing a new PC in the coming week or so, therefore more time for bloggin etc. I have a lot of matters I need to catch up with which includes updating my blog.

Keep lookin in !


Sunday, 12 August 2012

11th Night Drummin

On the '11th Night' as usual, the local lambeg drumming fraternity met 'Under The Arch' in Newtownards - 14 drums and quite a few more drummers turned out for this annual event.

I am trying to gather up a few more photo's of the night - give me a day or two and I will post more, however I was sent this photo through FaceBook and although I am not a vain person, I thought I would post the photo - it is of such good quality.

This is me playing my drum 'Prudence' - it is in Black and White, you can see that it had been raining with the wet ground.

This photo was taken as I approached the drummers at the arch, Regent Street in the background.

Thanks to Adam Shaw and Andrew McCullough for the photo.


Ulster Scots Boy's Day Out - Fishing at Portaferry

Friday was a glorious summers day here in Ulster, therefore what better way to spend an afternoon than to go on a day's fishing.

Mark Thompson, Graeme Thompson, Darren Gibson, myself and 4 of our weans, departed Portaferry harbour and headed off into the Irish Sea - this in itself was a great experience and a very scenic voyage.

Thoughts of the first Ulster Scots Settlers, the 1798 Rebellion etc, entered my mind as we sailed through the entrance to Strangford Lough and out into the Irish Sea.

The sea did not give up too many riches, however we did catch quite a number of fish, although we did throw quite a few back, nevertheless we still caught enough to encourage us along the way.

Highlight of the day was watching the weans using the 'Priest' - a small club type wooden stick used to kill the fish, usually with one blow, however sometimes it took many blows from our 'blood thirsty weans' to put the fish out of their misery!!

Here are a few snaps of the trip: -


Ulster Scots Language

The Ulster Scots language is an integral part of the Ulster Scots Culture, just as music, history, cookery, art etc are. I am not an Ulster Scots native speaker, however being from Newtownrds and spending a lot of time around the Ards Peninsula I have a some degree of the language in my vocabulary.

One local exponent of the Ulster Scots language is Darren Gibson who now hails from Londonderry, however is very much an Ards Peninsula man, having been born and bred in Ballyfrenis, just outside Carrowdore - Darren regularly writes a piece in the Belfast Newsletter.

A few days before the 'Twelfth' Darren wrote a piece in his column about The Lambeg Drum........ have a read.

As I have mentioned before the Lambeg Drum is a unique musical instrument, it belongs to Ulster and is in my opinion our National Musical Instrument - therefore should be promoted, enhanced and developed on an equal footing as the bagpipes, fiddle, flute..... etc.

I think it is vitially important that writers, poets, storytellers, authors, and others include the lambeg drum in books, newspaper articles, poems, etc - 'Don't be afraid of the lambeg drum it to has a story to tell'.


Friday, 10 August 2012

Adagio for Strings

Some great music to ease me back into bloggin - it has been quite a few weeks, but I have a few bits n pieces to upload, this wonderful piece of music will smooth the path.


Thursday, 9 August 2012

Back On Line!

Thankfully the technical folk have sorted out my Laptop, so time to get bloggin again - look out for a few bits n pieces in the coming days!