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Rick… thursday garden guest #6

dude...

dude...

If you’d like to know more about Thursday garden guest time – click here

For the moment writer #6 is Rick O’Shea. Everyone knows him as the man on 2fm that helps get us through the afternoon slumps. Without Rick’s help I’d have been giving someone a big pink Christmas present, luckily through his call across the airwaves we managed to find it a new home. Nuff said, ladies and gents I give you Rick O’Shea…

It was more than strange when Peter asked me if I’d write a guest post about gardening. To be honest my experience is practically zero, my hatred of the lawnmower practically legendary and I’ve destroyed one garden through incompetence in my time so my initial reaction was “I dunno about that dude….” But my other, contrary, voice in my head (there are many) said “Sure give it a shot, it’ll be a challenge” and when I came to write this it turned out to not be that hard.

I have a genuine love of gardens themselves, you see. I’ve spent more than my fair share of time idling away in summer and winter in places like the National Botanic Gardens out in Glasnevin, the Powerscourt Estate, Avondale and not just for the constitutional walks. When I’m allowed, the garden is one of the first places I nose around in when I’m in someones house for the first time. And by nose I mean just that, I smell, touch, root around in. I don’t have my own however and have had very few to call my own over the years.

I’ve moved around a lot since I left home first, so I was never given the time to grow green fingers. The exception was one time I was living in Killiney and I planted a tree I was given out in the highly manicured, fashionable and low maintenance tiny back garden of a house I was renting, I wonder if they ever noticed it when I was gone? I hope they let it be…

I lived in a house up until a year ago that had the most glorious of gardens to be discovered. When we were shown it first by the landlord the back garden looked small, no bigger than ten feet by thirty and hedged in on all sides. It was only when we walked out through the tiny gap on one side that we realised it swept on to a further garden with a path down the centre easily 5 times the size of the first one. A garden with hedges, bushes, flowers, even a compost heap! It was somewhere where that first summer meals were had in the broad evening sunshine, kids played, footballs roamed free and once or twice blankets were laid down and naps had.

I genuinely loved that garden even with the demands it put on me, ones I eventually fell behind on and had to get a professional in to look at before I destroyed it for good…

Someday I’d like to have somewhere to tend, a little patch I won’t move from where I can spend days getting dirty and on my knees begging things to work that may not first time but will on the tenth, twelfth, twentieth go.

That won’t happen yet, but someday.

casino royal, the pink boat & electric picnic

The casino royal boat has an amazing story. Why didn’t I use it, to my [possible] advantage? The boat was a ruin. Inside-less, sideless & due to be dumped. Could I/it ever have been fully restored – no.

It was next to consider could I give it *any* use other than a skip? yes.

The question now was how does one restore the boat – to a use. The timber replacing the gaping holes would never look right. Pink was the obvious choice. It was perfect. I wanted recycling to come out of the doldrums and to be seen by young an old as something not of a rhetoric ‘wellies and cabbage patches’ of The Good Life style tv days of old. We did that. Not accepted by the Judges of Bloom or the horticultural critics… but that wasn’t the intention [ie. medals].

The pink boat became a part of my garden design for Bloom 2008 ‘pour l’amour de jeux’. A fully recycled recylable garden. Something not for the cricket judges, but for the people – a ‘show’ garden.

The problem was we had no home for the boat after. We had no sponsor [this also upset the Judges, i’m sure]. We couldn’t afford to move it again and it would have been ‘immoral’ to smash it up and put it to landfill.

The pleas went out on 2fm courtesy of Rick O shea. It was never for the money as I think you can gather by now. Hence the name – translated as ‘for a love of the game’, the reason why I put an entire company almost to financial ruin. Some critics say attention seeking – I say it would have been cheaper to put my face on billboards all over Dublin City for a year… it would. Electric Picnic were all of the right answers. It was a boat I’d got free. They took it free. They gave 2 tickets to me and 2 to auction. I outbid the highest bidder.

The casino royal bit – I knew. All involved did. At Bloom, I met a lovely guy Bill and his wife Ann at the show. Bill was a boat builder by profession. He was contracted to rebuild ‘casino royal’ all those years ago. The name had to be erased. The guy who contracted Bill went broke and the boat stayed in storage already stripped, empty and getting worse. In the meantime the name had to be removed [legally] from the boat… and it was.

A letter from Ann after the show explained:

Of course the name has been erased from the boat because of copyright. Once the film was made, it was then only permitted the use of “Casino Royale”

This is what electric Picnic says on their website:

11). ‘Casino Royal’ Boat – donated by Peter Donegan
The 1957 Royal Cruiser Mark II is reported to have been originally christened Casino Royale and allegedly featured in the James Bond movie of the same name in 1967.

Fast forward to 2008 Peter Donegan gives it it’s inaugural land trip to the Bloom Festival where it featured, freshly painted pink (“to make people smile”) in his fully recyclable garden that he designed & landscaped for the festival. Wanting to find a good home for it after the festival he launched a national campaign on 2FM which is when we heard of it and were happy to adopt it in exchange for some festival tickets which were auctioned for the Niall Mellon Township Trust www.irishtownship.com where they hope to build a Garden of Hope community garden.

That said it all still comes down to a very large list to whom I still say thank you.

All Posts related post and the Pink Boat Story can be found here.

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pink boats & the rick o shea

pink boat & the rick o'shea show

I will be forever & eternally greatful to Rick and his team for all they did for me & completing the pink boats journey. At the time, I did promise to publish a [massively] reduced top 10 list of those who offered to take the boat.

As you all know by now the boat is now part of the art trail in Electric Picnic.

… I tell you boys it’s harder than it looks but it’s a long way to the top if you wanna rock and roll

In the meantime I thank you all again, from my heart, but the deal was always the most fitting home and I feel it has found it. This post explains it best [click here]. For the moment I leave you with the top 10. Slán, beannacht agus arís go raibh míle maith agaibh.

1]Electric Picnic:
2] Interested to buy boat. Ann Marie
3]Texter says her brother would love the boat for his garden at the foot of the Slieve Bloom mountains
4]Texter says he’s interested in the boat to put on display in Arklow town.
5]Sister getting married next month and would love boat for the reception which can be held in garden.
6]Gary has 23 acre farm. …who said he would restore it.
7]Mark interested in it as a rememberance boat for all who lost their lives off Hook Head.
8]Greg runs a Safari Park in Mullingar. Theres a lake with an island on it iand that’s where he’d place the boat.
9]Mickey from Cahir wants boat
10]Lochlain would give boat good home on the Riverbank Restaurant and pub in Co.Monaghan

electric pinknic… picnic

electric pinknic

electric pinknic

not long to go now. This pic courtesy of ‘C’. Appreciated. See you at the picnic folks! Of course it all started on the rick show… As long as I’m not confused with the lead singer of Franz Ferdinand [great band by the way]… Darren [the legend.. with odd music tastes!] thinks I look like him… ?!

i look like this guy.. ?

i look like this guy.. ?

for all pink boat stuff – click here

the pink boat – the finalé

peter donegan.... wondering sometimes why I didn't choose an easier garden design

when I started this journey some people laughed. I was happy they smiled, how or why is irrelevant I suppose. Maybe some people thought I did this garden for some alternate reasons or other [?]. I didn’t. I had no sponsor. I had no money. I just had a dream to create. I still have. I also have the greatet friends who were willing to help me and drop everything just to see this journey complete. I call them the thank you so so much list and to you all, I am eternally greatful.

I just wanted to bring recycling to its ultimate level and show it didn’t need to be all dirty, muddy and somewhat hippy-esque to be involved in. I think I did? The response from the public was overwhelming! It almost made me cry I was so happy, because of their [your] response. It was also a child-like vision and like a sort of ‘drop dead fred’ style thing in my mind. I hope it never leaves me. But I still felt that the garden wasn’t really ‘accepted’.

I can’t describe the feeling when Rick spoke to me live on the airwaves. Not so much that but the response from the public, in their thousands. Thank you all. [I’ll publish this list after; it really deserves a post to itself].

And so it was narrowed down to one call from Siobhán from The Electric Picnic. She explained to me that the pink boat, my dream, would have a home for life where people could meet, a landmark of sorts. Respect and an apt retire had been found. A final resting place… and in my head I pictured this video… I think it summises the journey of Pour l’amour de Jeux from its creation and how it felt inside my mind at its journeys end… thank you.

UPDATE: siobhán has donated 2 VIP passes to ELECTRIC PICNIC. The money I will get for them will go towards my trip with the garden of hope & the Niall Mellon Township – make me an offer….. ?

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