Saturday, December 30, 2006
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?
Wrapping paper. This year I didn’t have to buy any as I’d loads left over from last year and I remembered where I’d left it. And I bought hardly any presents.
2. Real tree or artificial?
Real. We have thousands of the buggers growing in the fields. They are starting to get rather big.
3. When do you put up the tree?
Awfully close to Christmas unless some darling person, like Hannah, does it for me.
4. When do you take the tree down?
Holly de Cat is already working on the dismantling. I’ll finish the job next weekend. This weekend I’ve got the young Banjos coming to stay.
5. Do you like eggnog?
It’s vile beyond belief.
6. Favourite gift you received as a child?
My first tricycle.
7. Do you have a nativity scene?
No. I’m going to ask Zoë to knit me one for next year.
8. Hardest person to buy for?
Katy. Amazon won’t let me send her present.
9. Easiest person to buy for?
Bert. He’s happy with anything.
10. Mail or email Christmas cards?
I haven’t sent Christmas cards for more than ten years.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?
This is a public blog. I loved all my gifts.
12. Favourite Christmas movie?
Don’t have one.
13. When do you start shopping?
In a bad year the week before Christmas
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?
15. Favourite thing to eat at Christmas?
16. Clear lights or coloured on the tree?
17. Favourite Christmas song?
Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home?
19. Can you name all of Santa’s Reindeers?
Not without googling.
20. Angel on the tree top or a star?
The kitten chewed the angel so it was a star.
21. Open the presents on Christmas Eve or morning?
22. Most annoying thing about this time of year?
The commercial aspect of Christmas. People buying cruddy crap that nobody sane should want. Shopping frenzies.
23. Do you have Jesus in your heart this Christmas?
No. Too many people have preached at me this year and I’m feeling peeved with God-botherers.
24. What would you like for Christmas?
Exactly the same as
I shan’t tag anyone. Only if you feel like it.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
We fought our way through thick fog and high mountains to get there, some of us travelled from the far Northern regions (of America, London and Manchesterland), some of us got up at 4am that morning and worked the Nixt! Sale and still managed to attend. Some of us even had to bate our way past worried priests and anxious Mammys to make it to Johnny Joe's on time.
To those of you who couldn't make it - of course we talked about you. But it was all good.
*You really had to be there. Unless Katkins is reading?
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
Monday, December 25, 2006
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Bert was dispatched to the Christmas Tree Fields this morning and returned with a passable specimen. Apparently he was nearly crying when he cut it down. He'd have been crying even harder if he'd had to fork out 20 quid for a shop bought one.
I've just finished decorating it with some hindrance from Holly de Cat. I'm not one of those sophisticates who themes and colour coordinates the tree. Instead I hoke out the thirty years accumulation of decos and smother it so that the finished effect looks like I stood on a tall stepladder and poured tinsel and shiny things out of a bucket.
Meanwhile out at the old homestead Vancouver Brother is busy looking after Ganching and Matty who are both a bit poorly. Ganching has pleurisy and Matty has inflammation of the eye. Get well soon people.
Ganching should be recovered enough to make the Cushion Doll blogmeet but I doubt she'll be dancing on the tables.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
How did the teaching practice go?
- Neill’s Soda Bread Flour (200g)
- Butter (50g)
- Strong cheddar cheese
- 1 egg
- Salt & Black Pepper
- Dried mustard or paprika
Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles very fine breadcrumbs. (Tip: cut butter into small pieces for ease of breadcrumbing)
Monday, December 18, 2006
Update: The vet's opinion is that Holly has not been hurt. She thinks she has a stomach infection. She has received an injection, has been given medication and is to be kept hydrated. If she does not improve in the next 24 hours we are to bring her back.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
She said on the phone,
He's malnourished you know. Living on rice and pasta. I was eating a pear while I was talking to him on the phone and he said, 'What are you eating?' and I said 'A pear,' and he said, 'I haven't had a pear for months!'.So I decided to give myself a wee break from the studying and lesson preparation and do a bit of baking. There's nothing an ould doll like myself enjoys better than cooking for an appreciative (and hungry) young fellow. I baked an apple tart, a pineapple and coconut sponge, cheese scones and apple and cinnamon scones. I knew that Conor would go mad when his mother suggested calling in with us.
Mother! Nellybert is so boring! I want to get home!When Swisser saw the spread I'd made she said,
There will be cake. Nelly is baking us cake.
Don't leave it all out at once. He won't be able to control himself.I said,
Let him eat away. Didn't you say he was starving?He spilled through the door. He is six foot four. He is a man now although a man newly hatched. He ate and he ate and he ate. I packed more into a box and sent them home with him. For his brother. His brother will be lucky to be left a morsel. When he was leaving he said,
Thanks for the cake.The cheese scone was awesome so I made it again tonight. And I made curried parsnip soup. Apart from doing that I worked all day long at my studies. Then I decided to fall to the drink. Why not?
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Ganching and Sandra and myself and, possibly, the girleens Zoe and Hannah are planning to get together somewhere on the North Antrim Coast on the 27th December. And you can come too - if you think you're hard enough. Get in touch.
And Mr Bolan - you'll be with us in spirit.
It is said that men and women have very different approaches to work. Women are adept at multitasking while men focus on the task in hand to the exclusion of all others. Far be it from me to suggest that this rule applies to all women and men but it certainly applies to Nellybert.
squandering our inheritance doing a scratch card. By the time I got her home it was far too dark for a nice brisk sanity-restoring walk and I was just about ready to kill somebody. Bert?
Have you never sorted out those banister rails yet? I don’t know how you can live with yourself! I’d not rest until I’d three coats of varnish on those!
Bert laughed it off to Bap’s face. But it was only a day or two later he got stuck in. And he’s been doing it for ever now. And he’s so smug about it. Thinks he’s a helluva fella. But it is all he does. Cares he not a bit for filthy floors, empty grates, starving kittens, menopausal women or Christmas. He just leaps joyously out of bed every morning at around 10 and sands and varnishes and sands and varnishes. Then he plays the clarinet all evening.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
During the time I worked in
Then there was Neville. He dressed like a tramp but he was a successful businessman with a bookie’s shop and a pub. He drove a Mercedes and kept the glove compartment well stocked with cigarettes, cannabis and sweets. His modus operandi was to make friends with the older women first, win their confidence, and then access their younger friends or their daughters. He was known to the police but nobody had ever complained.
I heard the stories about the parties and the young girls he shared with his sleazy friends but there was nothing I could do.
You’re sitting on a goldmine girl!
The saddest thing was that the likes of Neville would often get an older girl to chat the newbies into it. He'd provide the lift. But if there was any trouble he'd just drive off and leave the girl or girls stranded. And if those young women were lucky the police found them and brought them back and when that happened it was me or my colleagues who listened to them as they told us the stories of what had happened, how scared they were and how little, if anything, they got for what they did.
Of course it's the current news from Ipswich that has got me thinking about this. Joan Smith of the Guardian has a good perspective on the way the media is dealing with the story.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
She is every bit as feisty as I'd hoped. It's fun to watch a tiny little kitten take on a German Shepherd.
They still need supervision though, at least until Holly is a bit bigger and stronger.
That's all for now folks. I have so much work to do right now.
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Young Loveheart is always saying that Young Rooney should get out more. The fellow hadn’t been out the door since the night he was mysteriously transported from the Countryman’s
But Rooney’s luck did not hold. While Loveheart was otherwise engaged the brother of Rooney’s ‘bird’ took exception to a remark allegedly made by Rooney and commenced to ‘beat him up.’ It’s said (by Young Loveheart) that Rooney then took to his baters and outran his assailant. By the time Loveheart realised what had occurred Rooney was two miles down the road but not quite the length of
Friday, December 08, 2006
Oh yes - tomorrow we're getting a kitten.
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Do I have all my own teeth? Unfortunately, tragically not. Tonight some of my teeth are still in my mouth but the remainder of them are with the dental technician. Tomorrow I am to lose my rickety bridge and gain four extra teeth on my plate.
I have to keep telling myself that it’s only teeth. Only teeth. And that I still have all my limbs and digits. My facial features are in place and all my other bits and boobs are where they should be. And when the technician (false teeth maker) has done his bit my smile will be intact again.
But I’m really very, very sad about it. Then of course there is having to hide in the house all day. After he nabbed my removable teeth that crazy dentist actually asked me if I’d be going Christmas shopping later.
Crithmath thopping! Are you inthane? With thith witch-hag maw?
This hellish toothlessness continues until 3.30 tomorrow. Then I’ll be able to say,
All my own teeth? But of course. All bought and paid for.
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Night class tonight and the discussion turned to methods of teaching and the long term effects a harsh teacher can have on a pupil's self-esteem. For that reason I'll never forget Miss Dwyer. Old school she was, taught mathematics, wore a dusty old gown, green with age and, as far as I can remember, appeared to hate humanity and girls in particular.
Nor will I ever forget that dreadful cold afternoon in first year grammar as I sat shivering in the Assembly Hall while Miss Dwyer droned on about some mathematical concept. My nose itched. There was a ripe old booger up there. I did what I had to do. Suddenly her voice rang out!
Nelly Moser! You dirrrty, dirrty girl. Get your finger out of your nose! Now go and wash your hands you dirrrty, dirrrty girl!
I think it took me the best part of twenty years to get over the humiliation. And the mortal blow to my self-esteem all but eroded my interest in maths. Funnily enough though the shame didn't stop me picking my nose. It just taught me to be more discreet.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Bert's encounter was with the on-duty variety and just outside Armoy. Firstly he accused Bert of driving through the village faster than the required 30mph. Knowing Bert, this was unlikely. He was more likely to have been driving under the speed limit as over it. However it was no matter as the officer had no means of judging his speed and Bert was, as is advisable, most affable and polite to the officer.
And where are you coming from sir?
Yes. I was camping there last night.
Camping? Do you expect me to believe that?
Yes. I was camping with a couple of friends.
And who are these friends? And where are they now?
It's Marty M..... and Brian I don't know his second name. They're sitting in Ballycastle now at a big fry and if you wait there they'll be along eventually.
Please step outside the van sir....
Saturday, December 02, 2006
So we got our bits and pieces and split up at the checkouts. I'd more stuff than Matty so took a bit longer. When I was through I looked about but couldn't see her anywhere. Then I bumped into George, my old colleague from Tinkerton. We chatted for a few moments and I mentioned I was looking for my mother. He said, "Oh mine follows me around," and I looked behind him to see an elderly gentleman smiling benignly whilst leaning on a trolley. "You're lucky," I said, "Mine wanders off."
I found her eventually. She was furtively scraping at a scratch card. The minute my back was turned...
I'm home alone tonight as Bert has gone camping with his West Belfast friends.
Camping? In this weather? They were planning to go to Murlough Bay but they must have forgotten to listen to the weather forecast. It's very wet and VERY windy.
Methinks they'll be camping in the Marine Hotel, Ballycastle.