I’m going to compete in the Irish Conker Championships

conkers...

conkers...

yes you read it correctly… 😉

This coming October bank holiday weekend sees the Irish Conker Championships, now in their 10th year take place in Freshford, County Kilkenny.

I spoke with Main Orgainser Brenda who explained to me that whilst some may find the event a little on the trivial side… there are those who do take it quite serious. I explained to Brenda I was one of the more serious. Brenda laughed slightly and asked how long I had been in training for….? hmmmm

The area where the competition takes place is surrounded by 52 conker trees so its perfect for the event. It is from here the local primary school, will start in about 2 weeks time collecting conkers every day after school and at weekends. In total about 25-30,000 conkers will be used.

conker - image courtesy of http://www.louieswords.com

Brenda also explained that to avoid any ‘tom-foolery’ all and only conkers supplied by the association along with leather laces supplied by local shoe maker Michael Rossiter can be used on the day.

The holes are then drilled by some of the 70 volunteers on the Saturday and then laced on the Sunday ready for the competition starting that day at 12pm.

I’ve formed a picture in my head of the 118 50 kind of Flahavans 1980’s type tracksuit complete with cotton sweatband of course…. I’m wondering also if I need a Rocky Balboa group of trainers to stand in my corner and a nick name for when I am announced entering the ring…. 

Either or… I’ve been off the competitive conker circuit for close on 21 years now and I need to get into training…. 😉

If you want to find out more visit the Irish Conker Championships website. Also on the weekend will be about ’80 musicians and the Kilkenny Flower Show along with the usual fares, stalls and stands. It costs €6 for an adult to enter and €1 to use the practice arena.

Any thoughts or advice for me – leave a comment. I need all the help I can get 😉

Could this be a nice opportunity to raise a little sponsorship for a good cause…?

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niall mellon township trust gardeners weekend

and what a weekend it turned out to be…. It was amazing.

To say I was blown away by peoples generosity is an understatement. Whether it was time, money or simply calling to wish only the very best  – thank you all so much. You really did and will make such a difference. From my heart thank you! The *thank you* list here could only be endless so… if I have forgotten to mention you please hollar… you really do deserve it…

The setting of the Garden Exhibition Centre was always a great start and the sun made a very welcome appearance. Saturday started really well highlighted with 2 garden lectures. One from myself and the second from nice guy and fellow garden designer Damien Keane. But Sunday left most mesmerised when The Riptide Movement played the second tier of the mountain side based centre. Kilquade certainly came to life 😉

But it didn’t stop there… Dawn Ashton was also there creating amazing mosaics with the children. These will be brought to South Africa and used to decorate the walls of the garden. The staff of the Centre and so many garden designers turned out in their droves simply to be on hand to give out free advice where necessary.

Isn’t it amazing when an entire industry arrives to support such an amazing cause. Even Dominic Loughran, head of operations for the Niall Mellon Township Trust turned up with his entire family – and he flying out to S.A. today!

I think the video summises it so very well…

to donate or to see how much was raised click here 🙂

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the NMTT gardeners family weekend line up

related posts worth reading:

garden-event-peter-donegan

i'll see you there...

getting to the NMTT family gardeners weekend

popjam niall-mellon-township-trust-peter donegan south africa peter-donegan-niall-mellon-township-trust

Have you read all about the event thats taking place this weekend at The National Garden Exhibition Centre. The one you have been donating to so kindly so you can have some peace and quiet in Ireland for a little 😆

Here’s how you get there

By DART
get the DART to bray and then Dublin Bus 184 from outside the DART station you will need to hop off at Burtons 4×4 garage and from there a 3 minute walk [approx] will bring you to Kilquade Church which is directly opposite the Garden Exhibition Centre.

By Bus
Bus Eireann bus number 133 from the City Centre will leave you a 1 mile walk away from the National Garden Exhibition Centre

By Car/ motorbike/ bicycle/ very long walk
If you  have a sat nav here are the co ordinates to the Garden Exhibition Centre.
53.111132,-6.090202

map to garden exhibition centre

map to garden exhibition centre

If you don’t have satellite navigation. Here are the directions. I took them with Dublin Airport as the starting point.

If you don’t live in Dublin Airport 😉 Just click here and add in your own place of departure. Time from Dublin Airport is about 41 minutes by car.

Dublin Airport
Co. Fingal, Ireland
1. Head south toward Swords Rd
75 m
2. Continue straight
0.3 km
3. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit
0.5 km
4. Slight left at Dublin Rd

Go through 1 roundabout
0.9 km
5. At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto the M1 ramp
0.7 km
6. Merge onto M1
1.1 km
7. At junction 1, take the M50 exit to N81/N4/N11/N3/N7/N2
0.4 km
8. At the roundabout, take the 3rd exit onto M50

Partial toll road
38.8 km
9. Continue on M11
3.7 km
10. Continue on N11
10.7 km
11. Turn left toward New Russian Village (signs for Cill Chomhaid/Kilquade)
0.8 km
12. Slight right at New Russian Village

Destination will be on the right
0.3 km
National Garden Exhibition Centre

If you can’t go – maybe you know someone who can or who could help out on the day. You can make an online donation securely [click here]. Or if you have a blog/ a twitter/ a FB/ a newspaper/ a radio –  you could repost this – it really is so very much appreciated :)

niall-mellon-township-trust-event

are you going...?

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gardeners weekend for the niall mellon township trust

the guide to the event:

and what a fantastic weekend its lining up to be…. please if you have a blog/ a twitter/ a FB/ a newspaper/ a radio –  can you repost this – it really is so very much appreciated 🙂

If you can’t go – maybe you know someone who can or who could help out on the day… to make an online donation securely – click here

are you going.....?

are you going.....?

Saturday & Sunday 12th & 13th of September 2009 sees some of Irelands top horticulturalists come together at the Garden Exhibition Centre in Kilquade to raise awareness and funds for Peter Donegan to travel to South Arica in what is his third year building community gardens. 28 stunning sample gardens, cream cakes and great coffee, pet arena, garden guest speakers with Q& A sessions and live music and a host of activities for family and children. All for the price of a donation.

Because of your 10 cents, your 10 euro or even your very much appreciated 10 minutes I have managed to go there for the last 2 years. This year, this November I’m going again. The event above is gonna be a jam packed family day out with soooooo much to do and plenty for the gardener, the non gardener or the wannabe gardener…. Take a look at what the garden of hope team managed last year….

here’s a taster of what will be on offer and a little information on the charity….

it’s going to be held in the garden Exhibition Centre in Kilquade which is already an amazing place here’s some of what they have to offer….

not only that…. but the very kind gentlemen of The Riptide Movement – a band that are booked to play support for none other than Fleetwood Mac in the o2 😆 are coming along on the Sunday to play some tunes from their debut album….

I’ll keep you updated here….. btw… you can also stick a big fat cheque in an envelope – donate your time or whatever you got going 😉 and or you can click here and throw in your few cents.

I hope to see you there. Thank you 🙂

PS: on facebook events – click here

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