Learn to Kayak in KIlkenny

Have you ever wanted to try out or learn to kayak?

Kilkenny Aqua Canoe Club are running two ‘Learn to Kayak’ weekend. These are non commercial / not for profit costing less than half cost of most places to try make them as inclusive as possible.

Below is from their website www.kacc.ie

Learn to kayak

During our  two day course we will bring you from never having sat in a kayak before to being able to paddle a safely and competently on flat water without being led. Our professional instructors foster a fun, friendly and inclusive environment to give you the best learning experience possible. We use the latest equipment and teaching techniques to fast track your pathway into paddle sports.

On completion of your ‘Learn to Kayak’ course you will have gained the skills in line with Canoeing Ireland level two kayak skills. Your course fee also includes free membership of Kilkenny Aqua Canoe Club for the remainder of the year and use of KACC equipment and facilities at no extra charge.

We run regular trips for our club members and guide them on their own personal paddle sports journey.


We are running two ‘Learn to Kayak’ introduction courses both consisting of two full days instruction.

26-27 April

10-11 May

What you need:

Kilkenny Aqua Canoe Club will provide all technical equipment  needed during your course. You will need to bring foot wear such as old runners as clothing you can wear on the water. If you have a wet suit please bring it with you but it is not necessary.

You do not need to be an excellent swimmer but you need to be comfortable in the water. This is an adults only course but we will be advertising out kids and teens very courses soon.

Of course don’t forget your sense of adventure and a fun attitude.

About us:

Kilkenny Aqua Canoe Club is a not for profit organisation, any moneys made from our courses goes back into updating and maintaining equipment for our members us. Our ‘Learn to Kayak’ adult courses are run by a Canoe Ireland Level 3 Kayak instructor, all of our instructors are Canoe Ireland qualified, hold current REC 3 First Aid certificates . All of our Instructors are trained by the Sports Council in working with children & venerable adults and are Garda vetted inline with Canoeing Ireland’s guidelines.

How to book:

To ensure your place on either of these ‘Learn to Kayak’ courses contact us on 087 332 4774 or learn@kacc.ie , the full course fee of €100 per person is required upon booking.

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Super easy (lazy) sausage rolls!

How to make sausage rolls.

Give up your auld detox

It’s the first few weeks of 2014 and my social media time lines are full of people professing all sorts of detox regimes from the silly to the dam right ridiculous. I won’t be in a hurry to start juicing everything green any time soon that’s for sure. Right down to brass taxes and the reason for this post is a very simple how to make sausage rolls. Bit of a strange link from detoxing to how to make sausage rolls but I have some sausage meat in the  left after Christmas I wanted to make use of.


What you need:

  • 450g sausage meat or if you like you clan split open actual sausages.
  • 1 medium size onion.
  • What ever herbs you have or a couple of tea spoon of dried mixed herbs.
  • 150g breadcrumbs / enough to lighten the mix.
  • ready to roll puff pastry.
  • Salt / Pepper to season
  • 1 egg

How you do it:

Pre heat your oven to 190 deg and it will be at the right temp by the time you are ready to put your sausage rolls into the oven.

Peal and finely dice your onion and sweat them off in some olive oil until they are translucent. If you have never cooked before just use a medium heat for about 5/7 minutes.20140108_113322

In a large bowl mix up your sausage meat, breadcrumbs, herbs and onions. You want to make sure everything is well mixed. It easiest way to make you you get a good mix is just to your your hand. It may feel weird but trust me it is the best way by far.


Flour your work top and and roll out your pre made puff pastry, I have done this before not bothering to toll the pastry and have found it to be just a little too thick but by all means if you don’t want to do this step knock yourself out.

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Spoon the sausage meat mix on to the pastry but less is more at this point or else they become far too big and messy.


Using your beaten egg wet the edge of the pastry and fold over the far side as in the photo below.



Now all you have to do is trim the excess pastry and crimp the edge of your sausage roll. they don’t have to look pretty it’s only a sausage roll after all.  I also put a couple of slits just across the top of each sausage roll. Looks like the ones in the shop then and also helps steam out during the cooking.


Cut your long sausage roll into four equal sizes. Place them on a non stick baking tray and brush them with your egg mixture.

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Stick them into your pre heated oven for 20 minutes until golden brown / well risen.


Stick them on a plate to serve, or straight into your mouth if you can’t wait.


Personally I love them with this awesome ketchup from Lidl, never mind it’s organic it taste savage.


Right there you have it, I don;t thing you could really call it cooking or baking as it’s more so just putting stuff together. I may find some time in 2014 to get back to doing actual recipes but until then let me know what you make of these or what I should try cook..

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This is a HTML 5 Web app that I designed and made a rough working prototype for trackandtrail.ie some time ago. In the end we decided not to go ahead and develop it much further than this protype stage.

To me it was a fantastic concept on two separate fronts, firstly using the latest advances of HTML 5 web apps over the native experience and breaking the shackles of the various app stores. Reducing development time and ensuring users are always using the most update version of your app.

The second and best thing about the app was that it was appealed to a wide user group, it provided a service that was needed and for free. It allowed people to share their location across most of the social platforms including tagging the service of tract and trail. growing awareness of a new Outdoor Adventure company. Also it used geo location to advertise local services ( Restaurants, B&B’s etc).

It had a lot of potential and I think there is still a huge gap in the market for this kind of service offering something extra than Foursquare like trails routes.


I really enjoyed the technical and creative process behind it all and it confirmed for me that when done correctly the importance of bring digital and social sharing services to your clients both existing and potential.

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Best beer batter onion rings ever…

Molson Beer Batter Onion Ring Recipe.

Molson Beer Ireland

Beer batter Onion Ring Recipe

The beer from ‘The Big Country’ has found its way to my part of the countryside. Ever since its launch in Ireland earlier this year I’ve been really keen to try out the latest beer to make its way to Irish fridges. Wanting to give it the best chance possible on the tasting front I decided to wait until I could get some bottles over cans.  I’m no beer sommelier, but I do know what I like. Recently I have been enjoying German style pilsner – I like the slightly bitter and stronger flavor which is pretty much the opposite to Molson Canadian beer. Molson describe their beer as ‘crisp, clean and refreshing’ which is exactly what it is. I’d almost liken it to a mix of Budweiser & Coors Lite, but without the metal after-taste.

I liked it, and having a chilled one in the sunshine on a sunny weekend evening is pretty special. After my first taste I knew that Molson Canadian has the potential to make some an awesome beer batter, and that’s what brings us to this recipe.

Molson Beer Batter Onion Ring Recipe

  • 1 chilled bottle Molson Canadian beer 330ml
  • 330 grams of self raising flour
  • 7 grams of salt (1 teaspoon or there abouts)
  • 7 grams of white pepper (don’t use black as it looks weird)
  • 1 large fresh egg
  • 7 grams of baking powder

Molson Beer Batter Onion Rings Recipe

Weigh out your dry ingredients and sieve them into a large bowl. If you’re not familiar the sieving helps make the batter lighter and mix together better – though if you don’t have a sieve it isn’t the end of the world.

Molson Beer Batter Onion Rings Recipe

Pop the cap of your Molson and pour it into the bowl, all the while stirring with a whisk. Don’t worry if it foams up, just keep stirring until it becomes a firm batter. You now need to loosen up the batter with a few drops of water. The trick here is less is more. Keep stirring the mix while adding the water. You are looking for the kind of constancy shown in the photo below, where it runs off the whisk and holds its shape for a few moments .

Molson Beer Batter Recipe

That’s it, you’re done! Cover it and place in the fridge for an hour. Batter is always better when rested.

As your batter is resting you can get the rest of your BBQ / Hot wings (or what ever you want) together and prepare the onions.

  • Two large / Spanish onions 
  • Flour for seasoning approx 100 grams
  • Smoked Paprika / Salt / Pepper  to taste.

Molson Beer Batter Onion Ring recipe

Peel and slice the onions as thick as you like them, about 5mm is good for me. In another bowl add the flour and seasoning. Coat the onion slices in the seasoned flour.

Molson Beer Batter Recipe

Now we’re at the business end of proceedings. Unless you have a massive fryer you will need to do these in batches. If you haven’t got a fryer you can use a regular large saucepan and enough cooking oil to fully cover the onion rings.

Take the batter out of the fridge and give it another whisk, making sure there are no lumps and has a smooth consistency.


Things happen pretty quickly so get the production line in order – have a bowl or tray lined with kitchen paper to put cooked onion rings on after they are cooked. The sequence is simple: Flour > Batter > Oil  >Try > Enjoy. You are better off to use your fingers here as well. Cooking time is about 3 minutes, they’re done when floating and golden.

Molson Beer Batter Recipe

Molson Beer Batter Recipe

Molson Beer Batter Recipe

These are best enjoyed straight away. This beer batter recipe can be used with fish and lots of other things.

Molson Beer Batter Recipe

It would be rude not to wash these beer batter onion rings down with a nice cold glass of Molson Canadian. I got the glass free when I bought the box of bottles which was very good value at €20 for 24 bottles in Brennan’s Bottling Store Off Licence in Kilkenny City.

Give the recipe a go – it’s really easy and you’ll feel like a pro when the onion rings puff up when cooked. If you can’t be bothered cooking them at least give Molson a try. It’s prefect for summer evening BBQs. Their Facebook Page  always has lots of competitions and details of where you can try out Ireland’s latest beer.

As always I love to hear back if people try out any of the recipes I post.

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Don’t confuse Good Food Fast with Fast Food….Does Healthy Fast Food Exist?

Don’t confuse Good Food Fast with Fast Food….Does Healthy Fast Food Exist?

We are a just about a quarter of the way through 2013 and from what I can tell form my twitter feed, blogs and main stream media that the current big trend is that people are more interested than even in  not just eating healthy but also where their food comes from. Though I say interested perhaps concerned would be more apt given the Horsemeat Scandal swept across Europe earlier in year and continues to do so.  I would say that most of us have at least heard of the 2004 film Super Size Me by Morgan Spurlock

‘While examining the influence of the fast food industry, Morgan Spurlock personally explores the consequences on his health of a diet of solely McDonald’s food for one month.’

It pretty much confirms all of the bad stuff you would think most educated people would know about fast food. It would not be a huge stretch to say that the issues raised in the film carry over to the quality of lots of the processed foods that have made their way into our weekly grocery shop. What is concerning is that some of these processed foods being marketed to us as being a healthy option and perfect for our families.

 ‘The whole family are sure to love them. Yum’

Chicken Nugget Ingredients

41% Chicken, that can include skin, bone, fat

As I’ve said before I’m no nutritional expert so I’m not going to try lecture you or anyone about what the ingredients in a pack of Frozen Chicken Nuggets are, but I am sure there is stuff there you won’t find on the shelf in the average family home. The horse meat scandal has shown us that even we have reason to suspect if all of the contents of the processed food are listed on the package.

During the horse meat scandal there was a certain smugness by some along the lines you get what you pay for and if people don’t spend X amount on meat they can’t expect any sort of quality. This was in response it being reported in the media that people found fresh food too expensive and them having no option but to buy this poorer quality processed food.

Food Inc IMDB

At the weekend we were just flicking through Netflix and came across this film Food Inc,  it’s set in the America and how a small few corporations control how Americans get their food. Lots of it isn’t relevant to Ireland but the part where the poorer sections of society are trapped into having little choice but to eat fast food / processed food. We’re not quiet at that stage in Ireland but we are slowly getting there.

The thing is in Ireland there is no magic or complicated solution needed to redress the imbalance of reliance on processed food.  Maggie Griffin someone I follow on Twitter did a very good blog post about how to save some money by buying whole chicken. Now I’ve to hold my hands up here even though I cook most of our food from scratch but I would be a regular buyer of packets of chicken breasts. So when doing our grocery shopping this week I was picking up a three packet of chicken breasts for dinner that night and I just happen to glance at the price per KG vs that of a whole chicken.  At a very loose average  to buy breasts on their own they cost 350% more expensive than to buy a whole chicken.

That is an epic difference in price! I decided to give the whole chicken approach a go this week. I know people will say you are paying for convince and loads of people seam to have some issues about touching meat. The touching meat phobia is something I don’t understand but maybe give this a go once and you might see it is not near as bad as you think.  So from our whole chicken we planned to get enough for.

  • Kick ass Chicken Goujons
  • Chicken Chasseur
  • Stock from the carcass

Now I know I started this post going with the intention of talking about good food fast, and in all honesty you do what I did in about 20 mins.

Home Made Chicken Goujons

Here is where we’re hoping to end up… health fast food.

I’m not going to to a set by step guide how to butcher a chicken as Maggie already did a good one of those. There is just a glance of a few brief steps.


Boning a chicken

I took the legs and skin off first.

I will use the legs, thighs and wings for chicken chasseur later in the week so they are bagged and frozen until needed. I also took the skin off the breasts as I didn’t want to for my goujons.

Boning a chicken

All the meat kept on the plate & carcass for stock

All you need is a sharp knife and a tiny amount of know how, takes less than five minutes to get this far. I reckon I’ve done a good job but it is not my first time butchering an animal but with a bit of practice you will be tidy in no time.  Like all well meaning want to be cooks I had intended on making chicken stock but  got lazy and binned the carcass.

To make the goujons is pretty simple all you need extra are bread crumbs, flour and some egg wash. I always have bread crumbs since I back so much we always have left over bread and I stick the ends in food processor. You can buy yours , I certainly won’t judge.

Time for goujons

Get you things together before starting.

  • Slice your breasts into what ever size goujons you have.
  • Put some flour on a plate and season with salt, pepper, paprika or what ever you like.
  • Coat the meat in the flour.
  • Soak the floured chicken in the egg wash ( I use two of our own eggs with a splash of milk)
  • Once well soaked roll them in the bread crumbs until well covered and place on a tray.
  • Put he try in the fridge to chill before cooking, this helps the bread crumbs stick.
Home made chicken goujons

All this from just one chicken

If you like you can either deep fry these or shallow fry until brown and then finish them in the oven. I deep fried these , I know I was on about being healthy but not all frying is bad and as these are made from scratch you can negate some of the deep fry badness.

Home made chicken goujons

Served up with some sweet potato wedges

There you have it just one way to make a quick, tasty, affordable dish for the family. Out of that medium size chicken we got enough for two adults and two kids with some left over. These also freeze really well so you can make a large batch and then save them for another day. If doing this freeze flat and then bag them, defrost before cooking for best results.

I know I have meandered more than a little in this blog post but I guess what I am trying to get at is that we have allowed ourselves to become disconnected as to where our food comes from. We all need to take some responsibility to educate ourselves and put in a tiny bit of effort. The results are worth it in cash saving, taste, health and knowing where what you are eating. Not to forget that smug feeling you can get when you Tweet / Instagram / Facebook your ‘From Scratch Food’.

Seriously don’t just take my word for it give it a go, lord knows if I can manage it you certainly can. I’m just the average 33 year old from a construction background man who plays a bit of rugby and enjoys riding my bike the odd time. I’m also partial to a Sausage & Egg Mc Muffin but hey no one is perfect.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below or on twitter.


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My kingdom for a KitchenAid Artisan (…..horse)

My kingdom for a KitchenAid Artisan  (…..horse)

That title is about as close as anything I ever write will get to Shakespeare.

KitchenAid Artisan

It’s really very pretty

I’ve always enjoyed cooking and baking, more recently I’m near obsessed with baking bread and according to top quality website the Daily Mail it’s the next best thing to sex! That is all the validation this man needs.

I mix and knead all my bread by hand but for a long time I’ve wanted a Kenwood Chef. For the last couple of years my focus has shifted and  I’ve lusted after the style over substance bit of kitchen tech that is the KitchenAid Artisen Stand Mixer.

From what I read the Kenwood is more reliable, more affordable and in general just better, I care for none of that it’s pretty comes in loads of different colors that are just begging for a 1977 instagram filter.

I’m really not sure if I want to spend the best part of €600 on a mixer when I have to hands that currently do a bang up job making bread so far, not to mention you need to feel the dough to get it just right. Though I’m not against the idea of doing a Fundit / Kickstarter type campaign so others can indulge me by buying me one. .

The only thing that could say me from the ever so Pretty KitchenAid Artisan is something like this for sale on adverts.ie

Stand Mixer on Adverts.ie

You could make some serious amount of bread with this..

That’s all for now…. can you tell I’ve a little too much free time at the moment?


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Super Easy Brioche Cinnamon French Toast Recipe

Brioche Cinnamon French Toast

It’s a Saturday morning, I’ve just had breakfast and putting together this super easy recipe for Brioche Cinnamon French Toast.

Ingredients for Brioche French Toast

Very little needed for this Classic breakfast.

Lads this is one to impress the other half and it could not be any easier ( It’s also just as nice to make for yourself or anyone else for that matter).

There is very little by way of special ingredients for this so it’s easy make on a whim or if you are buying everything at once it is pretty cheap. If you can’t get Brioche you can use any loaf or bread, a day or two older is even better. I used Challah bread I had left over which is very similar to Brioche. Here is what you will need for two large portions for two people.


  • Loaf or Brioche or any other loaf of bread you have to hand, a day or two old is best. Two slices per person.
  • 3 medium eggs, get the freshest ones you can. (~1.5 eggs per person if scaling recipe up)
  • 1/2 tea spoon of cinnamon per egg used.
  • 120 ml of fresh milk (40 ml of milk per egg used)
  • Knob of butter to cook
  • Icing sugar / golden syrup / maple syrup / crispy bacon or what ever you want to serve.

How to put it all together


Ingredients for Brioche French Toast

Use a bowl or what ever is to hand.

In a bowl / large glass beat the eggs with a fork then add in the milk and beat some more. Once that is done put the cinnamon in. If you want it perfect and lump free mix in a little bit at a time but as I’m lazy and like the extra intense taste cinnamon lumps I bung it all in at once.  It wouldn’t look pretty but don;t let that worry you.

Challah bread for brioche french toast

Some left over home made Challah bread

Cut two slices of bread per person but don’t be tempted to cut them too thick. For all you hipster types think of just a little thicker than your iPhone should be about right. Get a tray / Dish / What ever you have and pour your egg mix into it, then place slices of bread into it. You can do these in batches so don’t stress about not having something big enough.

Sliced Challah for Brioche French toast.

Don’t slice the bread too thick.

Brioche soaking in egg mix for french toast

Use what ever you have to soak your bread in.

Give the bread five minutes or so to soak up the egg mixture and then flip it over, it won;t take as long to the second side.

Soaking the second side for the bread for Brioche french toast

Don;t let the bread soak for too long or it will get too soggy.

Now is where it all happens, if you are having coffee with your breakfast now is the time to start brewing as your Brioch Cinnamon French Toast will be ready to eat in five minutes. Get your best frying pan and bring it to a medium heat and put a knob of butter on it.

Butter in frying pan for french toast

What size is a knob of butter, who knows? This much?

Keep an eye on the butter and don;t let it burn, it will be at the right temperature to cook when it’s white and frothy, kinda like this.

Butter at correct temp for Brioche French Toast

It should look kinda like this.

Depending on the size of your pan place the egg mix soaked bread into the pan and cook until golden brown on both sides.

Cook Brioche French Toast until golden brown on both sides

Be careful not to over cook it

When done, sprinkle with icing sugar, serve, instagram and enjoy.

Brioche French Toast.

It doesn’t look like much but tastes oh so good.


Of course I feel extra smug because I made this using left over bread I had baked myself and the eggs were from our own hens. But do’t let any of that put you off, hit up the shops and treat yourself to a very quick and very taste breakfast.

If you do happen to make this or have any suggestions I’d love to hear them so please do comment below or catch me on twitter @adrianshanahan .


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Baking your own bread is good for the soul.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted much here but that’s alright because it’s my blog and I’ll post when I want to .  To anyone who follows me on Twitter or knows me in person will be well aware that I love to cook, the way things work out in our house I cook most of the family meals. This isn’t because I’m any kind of special modern man but more to do with me being home before my other half for the most part.  For the last few months Carla my partner has being trying to cut sugar out of her diet and reduce the amount of processed food we eat. This isn’t a huge task for us as we cook pretty much everything from scratch, again this is not through some sort of made new age hippy ideals but we just find it as easier, not to mention cheaper and tastier. One thing we do eat regularly and has way more additives than you might think of is bread, even when you buy a crusty loaf that you’d think would be better for you than a sliced white pan it’s full of all sorts of additives. I’m no nutritional expert but I’m pretty sure I can do without the likes of  ,Emulsifier (Mono- and Di-Acetyltartaric Esters of Mono- and Di-Glycerides of Fatty Acids), E472e, Flour Treatment Agent. All commonly found in a comercial white sliced pan.

Now I’m no stranger to baking bread, it’s just some times I’m more motivated than others to actually do it. Carla’s quest to avoid sugar was just the bump I needed to get my arse in gear and back to bread baking. Here is an example of the some of my baking over the last few weeks.

Classic English Boomer

Classic English Boomer


Classic Irish Soda Bread

Classic Irish Soda Bread

Soda Bread & White Loaf

Soda Bread & White Loaf


Light Brioche Burger Buns

Light Brioche Burger Buns fresh from oven

Burger buns mid first prove

Burger buns mid first prove on a cold day

Home Made Pizza dough

Home made pizza, base cooked to perfection.

Platted bread Loaf

Platted bread Loaf

Selection of breads

A batch of bread and rolls I made on Sunday to do use for most of the Week

There you have it that’s some of the stuff I’ve baked and eaten over that last few weeks, of course I’m made bias but the taste is even better than you can imagine! I love a thick floury crusted bread with real butter on it. For me at least there is something about baking your own bread is good for the soul, it’s cheap, it’s easy and tastes savage. I will at some stage get around to doing a recipe or two but chances are if you are reading this you can Google a recipe as well, if you do I’d love to see your results. In case you think you can’t or need some fancy mixer etc I only have a couple of large bowls and a really crap oven.  Tweet me a photo @adrianshanahan .Out of all the breads above I’m not sure what my favorite is, they all have their own  merits.

I have to give credit to Sharon Ní Chonchui aka @sharondingle who re inspired me to get back to baking a couple of years ago after reading her blog.  Also a wee tip of the hat to Paul Hollywood of  The Great Brittish Bake off fame who’s new tv program as gotten me to challenge myself to be more ambitious in my baking.


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Paddlefest 2013 – Kilkenny. An event not to be missed

Paddlefest 2013 Kilkenny

This is for all the canoeist and kayakers out there, for those that might not know I have been known to to a bit of kayaking over the years. Paddlefest 2013 (the one which caters for adults) is being held in my home town of Kilkenny. It is shaping up to be an excellent event.

Canoeing Ireland and Canoe Association of Northern Ireland are proud to announce the launch of a joint Paddlefest event in 2013.  

paddlefest 2013 Kilkenny

Paddlefest 2013 will be run on the 6th and 7th April 2013 from The HUB, Cillin Hill, Kilkenny.  Please feel free to browse the webpages linked on your left to access event information.

The event hopes to build on the success of the annual CANI Paddlefest and the Rathdrum Junior Paddlefest to become one of the biggest training, development and networking events on the Irish Canoeing Calendar. The event is open to all age groups and abilities however as Junior Paddlefest will be running again in Rathdrum in September 2013 this event will move beyond basic paddling skills and focus on intermediate to advanced skills.

Greens Bridge – One of the locations to be used for Paddlefest

The event will be focused on providing workshops across a broad range of disciplines and key development areas. The workshops will be provided both in Kilkenny and at several locations within an hours drive of Kilkenny.  You can find a list of the workshops on offer here.  

We are endeavouring to get the best of best from across the country to help us deliver the workshops over the course of the weekend.  A list of attending instructors and coaches will be updated on the Canoeing Ireland Website here to keep participants informed.  Each participant will be able to sign up for up to 4 workshops over the course of the weekend.

The large conference centre at the HUB in Cillin Hill will be the central venue for the weekend.  Stands will be set up on site from all of the major retailers, providers and gear manufacturers for participants to browse.  Demo gear will be available for loan during the workshops. On Saturday evening food will be provided at the HUB followed by talks from a selection of guest speakers who will be announced here and wrapping up with a band to dance the night away.  You can find more detail on the evening entertainment here.

RSR course at Greensbridge were some of the workshops will take place.

Paddlefest Kilkenny 2013 is an event which will be supported by the collaboration of the two national Canoeing Governing Bodies; Canoeing Ireland and the Canoe Association of Northern Ireland.  The event is kindly supported by Waterways Ireland.  We also hope that the proposed event will be run in close collaboration with Kilkenny Recreation & Sports Partnership with the support of Kilkenny LEADER.  

The event entry fee will be €60 for adults and €50 for students and €40 for juniors. The entry fee includes, 4 workshops over the two days, food, transport on site, any specialised equipment required, entrance to the talks and the after party.  

River Barrow when some of the Workshops will take place.

River Barrow when some of the Workshops will take place.

Please note that places on the workshops are limited and will be awarded on a first come first served basis, hence early booking is advised.  You can find the paddlefest booking form here.  Book your place before the 15th March 2013 and get a free event T-Shirt on the day.


This is an event that is not to be missed and I am really looking forward to taking part in it. Also I am looking forward to the small freestyle feature at Greens Bridge getting the exposure it deserves. I did a post on it years ago here, it really is the perfect place to introduce people to freestyle kayaking.

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Lady Gaga and Ziggy get a new home.

To some people who know me will be aware that we have what might be considered a smallholding, in real terms we are hobby farmers who have a small random collection of animals. Some who pay their way and others just because we like them or some sort of faith have brought us together.

Towards the end of last year I said to Carla that we were getting no more animals that we couldn’t  eat or that couldn’t pay their own way. This was all going to plan until last week some one sent me a link to the ISPCA website advert saying they were looking to re home two goats.

ispca advert

God only knows why but I have a weakness for goats, maybe because they often get bad press and sadly they are often miss treated. Goats get are really miss understood and are very difficult for the  ISPCA to re home.

We already had a small heard.

We already had a small heard who live a life of opulence.

I forwarded the advert on to Carla to see what she though and of course that means we were going to be giving Ziggy and Gaga a new home. From here on I’ll let the photos do the talking.


We loaded up the jeep and trailer.

We loaded up the jeep and trailer.

After a long long drive we made it to ISPCA HQ in Longford.

After a long long drive we made it to ISPCA HQ in Longford.




We didn't hang around long as we had quite the journey home. Ziggy loaded up

We didn’t hang around long as we had quite the journey home. Ziggy loaded up

The journey form Longford back to Kilkenny with a large trailer and two nervous animals takes every bit as long as you might imagine. When we got them to our place we decided to home them in one of stables for their first night to try relax them and give them a chance to get used to the wilds of North Co Kilkenny.

The first night in Kilkenny

The first night in Kilkenny

The following morning they could hear the other goats who are currently strip grazing the back paddock and seamed really keen to go socialize. We very little drama I put Ziggy and Gaga in the paddock with some of the others. They all seamed to get along and Max out bill goat who is still ‘intact’ was very welcoming to the newcomers which was a relief.

All of them getting along nicely.

All of them getting along nicely.

Gaga is a little bit light.

Gaga is a little bit light.

Gaga seams to be a Sannen cross and she has no horns, she is also a little bit light weight and not used to the wind we get up here. That combined with the fact she was not able to hold her own against the other females I decided to move her and Ziggy to a paddock on their own to give her a chance to get used to her new surroundings.

Jack give Gaga some treats

Jack give Gaga some treats

Max very interested in me moving things around.

Max very interested in me moving things around.

I’ve placed both arcs close to each other and they share a through, all going to plan as Gaga and Ziggy get used to their new home the other goats will become more accustomed to them and will make putting them all together a little easier.

The current living arrangements.

The current living arrangements.

For anyone wondering the goats get 24/7 access to all the natural grass they want to graze on and it is supplemented with coated rolled oats / barley and sheep nuts. Of course they have water as well. Goats unlike sheep need shelter so in out paddocks we use pig arcs made by these guys  which work really well for goats as well.  In each of our arcs I have raised the floor with pallets and then covered in WBP ply and covered in straw for bedding, it means they lead a very comfortable life.

In recent years it has become common for animals like donkeys and goats to be kept as pets with people buying and selling on websites like donedeal.ie, while they can make great pets please consider the long term commitments associated with animals like these and try get some advice from someone experienced before taking them on.

You can donate to the ISPCA directly if you feel like it here.

The ISPCA also are doing their 2013 Hay drive which you can help by just sending a test message.

Hay Drive






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