Sunday, December 21, 2014

December Daily Post, No. 21

Shortest day of the year. Yippee! Depth of winter on the turn.

Yesterday's day out was very enjoyable. Belfast very lively and sparkly, a wee bit Fleggy and, sad too say, there were more than a few folk settling down to sleep in doorways. It all seems a far cry from the olden days when the town died at night and only the security forces braved the mean streets. Back then homeless people would have been too frightened to sleep openly on the streets.

The ever-dwindling City Hall flag protest

Martha and Evie were here today and we fully intended that they should guest blog. As neither of them can write we decided to video blog and we made a very funny film with the iPad. There was ballet and everything. But we hit a snag, First of all, I was holding the iPad upside down so, until I find some way of editing it, a viewer must stand on his or her head. Then I couldn't find the connecting yoke that transfers stuff from the iPad to PC and it was too large for an email attachment so no guest blogging from Martha and Evie tonight.

To make up for it here is a rather poor picture of the girls standing in front of the tree that they trimmed all by themselves.

Preparations for Christmas? See above.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

December Daily Post, No. 20

As today is the day that Nellybert has the Big Christmas Outing I will post early in case I'm too tired later on. And by tired I mean toodled. And by toodled I mean strong drink taken.

Here's a thing. My last post might have given the impression that I do nothing but watch teevee so, to counter that impression, I'll tell about the book that is engrossing me. It is The Good Listener: Helen Bamber: A Life Against Cruelty by Neil Belton. It's an extraordinary story of a life and it is beautifully written. Recommended.

Looking forward to spending time with my darling grandchildren tomorrow. I may let Martha and Evie guest blog tomorrow.

Friday, December 19, 2014

December Daily Post, No. 19

I copped out yesterday with the photo grab from Instagram but I was so, so tired. Bert and I had been playing catch up with James Nesbitt and The Missing. We managed three episodes on Wednesday evening and last night, after having the girls, then visitors, then Bert having to help Clint with the turkeys (horrible job that he had been dreading, for Bert loved those turkeys) we managed the final two episodes. Of course that meant we missed the finale of The Fall so we caught up with that tonight.

What is it about Jamie Dornan anyway? I don't think he's that interesting looking at all. He is excellent in The Fall but I couldn't imagine liking him or anything. Especially as he is in that Fifty Shades thing which makes me feel cringey. I haven't read any of those and I'm not going to ever. Unless I find myself in a country where I don't speak the language and it's the only book in English available. Then I might read it. But I'd rather not.

We went to visit Bert's Aunt today and brought her a poinsettia. She is a traditional woman. Asked her for Christmas but she says she's not shifting.

That was my Christmas preparation for the day. We are going to Belfast tomorrow for a couple of Christmas drinks with friends. I'm hoping for a couple of glasses of chilled white wine. I haven't touched alcohol since my eyes went dodgy. They are not that great today. My prescription for Liquid Tears got messed up and I tipped this stuff into my sad een that was far too strong. It was like putting egg white in them. Then I topped it off with the eye ointment at bed time and it was three this afternoon before I could see properly again. At this stage I think it is the medication that is affecting my eyesight.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

December Daily Post, No. 17

Darn it! This daily blogging is very wearying. I don't know how Ganching has managed to post every day during 2014. Only another two weeks to go Gan!

Nellybert are catching up on The Missing. We watched three episodes tonight so only two more to go. I'm so tired I am thinking of  recycling a post from 10 years ago. It seems I've been having issues with my pretend teeth  for more than a decade now.

And speaking of pretend teeth - we paid a little visit to a craftsman in Magherafelt today and, I'll say no more, but Bert must have heard me singing All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth....

Where's My Tooth?
(A Post From December 2004)
I am a part-time worker (since February) and I work shifts. A typical shift starts at three, ends at eleven, has an eight hour sleepover, then starts at half seven and finishes at half three. Mostly I work alone. Mostly I work weekends. The hostel is situated right on a very busy main road. The trick is, if working weekends, to get to sleep before the pubs get out. Last night I didn't manage to do this.
I tossed and I turned. My feet itched and my duvet felt as if it was full of bricks. Outside revellers screamed, shouted and fought. The clock inched nearer and nearer to getting up time. By 4.30am I was so scunnered I just got up.
The thing is I get agitated in the wee small hours. My itchy feet were the first symptom of a pernicious disease of the blood. It's true! I read it in Take A Break, after I read the article entitled 'Oh Look! Grandad has Chopped Granny Up In The Garden Shed' and before the one called 'My Evil Boyfriend Ate My Twin!'
Amazingly I got on rather well. Gave my organisation hours of free Nellyness. But there was one snag. I lost my tooth. Being so tired I couldn't even remember removing it. The obvious place would have been the bathroom but it wasn't there. I searched everywhere, and as Saturday morning is cleaning the staff quarters day, I was terribly afraid I'd hoovered it or otherwise disposed of it. Nasty piece of pink and whitish plastic that it is, it would still cost a hundred to replace, not to mention going about for days looking like Johnny Rotten. Not a good look for Nelly atall.
Thank you God & St Anthony and St Jude. I found it. In the bathroom bin. A close thing.
Now it is evening and me, my tooth, Bert and Zoe are going to the ol' homestead to visit Jean, Jonny and Matty and partake in an evening of music & song. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

December Daily Post, No. 16

I haven't spent time with Martha and Evie for over a week and I am missing them a lot. I spoke to them on the phone yesterday. Evie told me she had been playing a game with her dog.

What were you playing?
We were playing The Baby Jesus.

I will be seeing the girls on Thursday and a couple of days after that they are coming for a sleepover. Can't wait! I'm also hopeful that they are going to take me to see the Paddington movie.

I took the van out today. My first drive in over a week. The eyes were up to it.

Preparations for Christmas? I posted three presents. Two to Kerry and one to London. Hope they make it. And I wished the woman in the Post Office a very happy Christmas. I thoroughly cleaned the scullery. That's festive. It's where I'll be keeping All The Food.

Monday, December 15, 2014

December Daily Post, No. 15

Today we attended Aunt Sadie's funeral in Cargin Chapel. The proper name is the Sacred Heart Church but, like our own wee Tannaghmore Chapel, it is always called Cargin Chapel. It's an interesting site as the old chapel stands beside the new. The old chapel (built 1821) is a listed building and cannot be knocked down. Unfortunately it is in poor repair and cannot be used. The old chapel is where my mother and all her family worshipped when they were young.

It occurred to me today as I sat in the packed chapel that Sadie, who never left her home parish, would have been baptised in that old chapel, made her First Communion there and then her Confirmation. She married in Cargin, had her children baptised there and thus the cycle began again.

I remember Matty telling the story of the September day when war with Germany was declared. It was a Sunday and she and some of her sisters, one of whom might have been Sadie, were coming from Mass. The heavens opened bringing torrential rain, Matty said she had never experienced rain like it. Two elderly women came down their lane through this downpour and announced to the girls that war had been declared. Matty would have been 13, Sadie 15.

It was dry and not too cold in the graveyard today. The last two family funerals were bleak, cold days. I remember when Uncle Desmond was being buried looking at Matty, Sadie and the youngest Clare, standing arm-in-arm, stoic, brave, freezing at his graveside. Aunt Josephine was alive then but too infirm to attend the funeral. She died that same year and now all we have left is Clare.

Sadie's son told me this story of a conversation between his late father and a friend. His friend said,

Y'know Charlie, there's very few old people about the place these days.

And Charlie said,

There's still plenty of us around Pat. We're the old people now.

 Old Cargin Chapel