Tuesday, July 31, 2007
I was mean about Swisser and Jazzer too. I do love them and they love me - it's just that they love Bert more. He is much more lovable than me, not being prickly and moody and stuff...
And I had a shitty day at work on Friday which spoiled my (lonely) weekend so it's little wonder I took to the licorice and the wine.
Then I went to the FlabFighting weigh-in and didn't lose an ounce which was a bit of a bummer. So I went home and ate an entire chocolate cake. Did I fuck! I went home and jumped on my bike and went on a three mile ride. Well - I say ride. About a third of it was downhill, a third of it fairly flat and the remaining third was hills and I have to confess I walked up a good part of those. Still it was more intense exercise than I'm used to and it was a start.
Did I ever tell youse that before I met Bert I regularly went on twenty mile bike rides? Occasionally longer runs too. God I was fit then. And did I ever mention that it wasn't until I met Bert that I started smoking regularly. Spliffs of course - but that got me started on tobacco. Then when I gave it all up, over three years ago, I piled on the weight. A couple of people told me that after two years my metabolism would steady and I'd lose it again. So I ate like a savage for two years and just kept getting steadily fatter. It took another year for me to decide to do something about it. You see I was very anti-diet, fat being a feminist issue and all that. Hadn't attempted one since my early twenties. But fat is a serious health issue when your tonnage is well into the teens of stone.
Did that bike ride again this evening, still walked up most of the hilly bits. My aim is to cycle the hills eventually. I think I can do it.
After the bike ride Bert and I did a bit of digging and weeding and raking. Then we had dinner. He had pie and I had chicken and vegetable stew. He had chocolate buns and I had melon. He drank a Guinness and I drank tea. I'm getting so strong I think I could beat him at wrestling. Especially after he'd had Guinness and pie and a spliff. And if I fought dirty. Yes. It should be easy.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
But not me. I knew I hadn't any close female friends. Swisser and Jazzer are more into Bert than they are into me. And both of them drive me mental a lot of the time. There are other work-based friends but they're into painting themselves orange and going to vile night clubs and that's just not me...
I haven't got anybody, apart from Bert, that I want to go away with. And it would be just so sad to go away on my own - or would it?
For instance, when I added it, the number of chickens was set at 10. Two days later I had to change it to 8. Foxy got one of my new half-game pullets and, it appears, Little Orphan Andy. At least I think it was Foxy. Bert has other ideas.
Foxy definitely got one of Clint's geese, a big one, and two young roosters. Alber' was hired to come lamp Foxy. Alber' shot two. A big daddy and a young one. So we can assume that there are quite a few more stroking about.
Bert said we cannot be certain Foxy took Little Orphan Andy. He says it could have been a buzzard, or a rat, or a weasel, or even..........
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Friday, July 27, 2007
Last night I dragged it out of the attic and started looking for interesting colour plates to upload to Flickr. I was diverted by a very interesting article on our own wee country. Last weekend Ploppy Pants really annoyed me by spouting some Orangeman rubbish about how the Scottish planters civilised County Down and County Antrim. Apparently it was a wild and tangled forest before the Scots came, cut down the trees and showed the savage Irish how to be farmers.
As I'd been looking for some killer facts to refute Ploppy's argument, I started to read. And was utterly diverted by these fascinating paragraphs about the people of this country.
The Three Types of Irishmen
There is a very primitive type still to be met with in the west. It is the one that was formerly used in Irish caricatures by unfriendly observers. The forehead is low, the mouth and lower part of the face are large, there is an inclination to a squat figure, and the general effect is that of a survivor from an early period in human history.
Then there is the tall, often blue-eyed, engaging Irishman of easy address and good-humoured air, who would wile a bird from a bough by his fluent tongue, ready for adventure anywhere.
And there is the business man, chiefly from the north, who carries in his speech and form and features signs of being a stiffer and less pliant breed, as from Norse, Scotch, or English forefathers. (Arthur Mee: The Children's Encyclopaedia, Volume 5, p3061)
Ploppy is definitely a mixture of the first and third types. For he has a simian appearance, a dour outlook on life and couldn't wile a bird from a bough if his life depended on it.
Here are some modern examples of the three types of Irishmen -
From left to right, the squat primitive, the silver-tongued charmer and the stiff Scottish type.
So what type of Irishman or Irishwoman are you?
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Nelly: What age were you?
Matty: I was thirteen. D'ye know what I wore?
Nelly: Tell me.
Matty: I had on this green jumper I knit myself and a sort of sleeveless gymslip thing over it.
Nelly: You never! What sort of a gymslip?
Matty: Well it wasn't really a gymslip. Just the shape of one. It had been a sailor dress but I took out the sleeves and the collar and stitched it into a vee-neck. I was always fixing up clothes. Hand sewing too.
Nelly: What colour was the dress thing?
Matty: Navy blue and the jumper was bottle green.
Nelly: Oh my God! What a combination.
Matty: And d'ye know what I wore on my feet?
Matty: A pair of wellington boots.
Nelly: (screams) You never! What colour were the wellies?
Matty: Black. And you know this - I was danced off my feet.
TEN THINGS I DON'T DO EVERY DAY
I donned a hard hat and hung around a building site.
I washed a hen’s feet in warm soapy water and applied Benzyl Benzoate.
I heard who died in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
I laughed out loud at Big Brother.
I persuaded my hypochondriac mother to make a doctor’s appointment.
I ate a tomato that I pulled off the vine.
I told a caller, No. We don’t actually have a
I started reading a SF paperback by Poul Anderson.
I fantasised that I was choking Peaches Geldof in front of a delighted and cheering audience.
I blogged about ten things.<><><><>
TEN THINGS I DO EVERY DAY
Listen (reluctantly) to Bert playing the clarinet.
Read something other than blogs.
Just be generally lovely and sweet and adorable.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
I uploaded a few pictures over in Flickr.
It was a very owly Saturday. Ballymena's Tower Centre had a Harry Potter themed day and one of the 'attractions' was a display of owls from a local school of falconry. I don't think the owls were Potter fans for they didn't look too delighted to be there.
So I suppose loads of you, besides Ed, bought and read the latest of those damn books that have made JK Rowling, Daniel Radcliffe and the rest multimillionaires. I shan't be reading it just yet. Maybe if I'm ever serving a jail term I might get round to it. Despite my reluctance to read it I'd like a private email telling me what happened and who died.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Personally I find it offensive, when I'm obliged to ring someone up, to hear, instead of a perfectly sensible ringtone, the downright gayness of that ubiquitous dross.
Has he no shame?
But then what would you expect of a man who acts the complete maggot just because I touched the bumper of his BMW with my dented Polo.
Danced with aggressive rage he did.
Later when I was speaking with him and arranging to pay for the damage done I remarked to him that he was a sight more civil now than he was when the incident occurred. He said that if it had happened the other way around I wouldn't have been too nice either.
I don't think so mate.
Friday, July 20, 2007
We've had the bantam rooster for a while now and have not named him. There have been a few attempts but none stuck.
Since Dede's dog Pickles had the tail feathers trailed out of him the other day he has presented a bedraggled backside to the world. This morning Bert referred to him as 'Little Plum' after the incredibly non-PC character from the Beano. Why Little Plum? Because, like Plum, he's little and he's only got one feather!
Of course, now that he's got the really great name, Foxy's bound to have him.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
She's mad. Imagine wanting to slaughter the beautiful, clever fox for the sake of a few manky hens.
How I've changed my tune! Foxy got Bernie today. Again! And now her little chick is an orphan.
Bring on Alber' and his lamp and his .22 for war has been declared on the vulpine horde.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
After I’d spent three miserable years at
So it was off to
At lunchtime we could actually leave the building and go into town. And sometimes if we got chatting to boys in O’Neill’s Café we didn’t bother going back in the afternoon. Of course, being painfully shy, I didn’t chat much to boys. But I liked being around when chatting was going on.
The Tech was where I first met and got to know Protestants. If there was sectarianism and bigotry around I can’t say I ever experienced or even noticed it. This was 1968 and the Troubles were just about to begin. We had a very enlightened teacher of Current Affairs and she grounded me in the background of
This wasn’t quite as bizarre as my previous miscomprehension of world affairs when, as a somewhat younger child, I’d thought that the Viet Cong had trained gorillas fighting for them and that the Americans, whilst very brave, hadn’t a chance of winning. I used to avidly watch the news hoping for a glimpse of these gorillas.
All this came back to me as a result of talking to my Aunt Maud yesterday. Maud’s brother Billy ran a café in Antrim that we went to occasionally. O’Neill’s Café was where the boys hung out but at Billy’s you could get rissoles. Those rissoles were so good.
I asked Aunt Maud,
Did your Billy tell anybody his rissole recipe before he died?
No. He never did.
That was a pity.
There was one thing he put into those rissoles that he never told anyone. But I think I know what it was.
What was it?
I think it was powdered onion soup.
Billy’s rissoles were made from carrots, onions, sausage meat and his secret ingredient. This mixture was shaped, dipped in flour, then beaten egg, then coated in batter and deep-fried. One rissole was enough for two people. Maud said that Billy never made much money of his most famous dish because he ‘made them too big.’ She also said he was very particular about his batter and ‘went mad’ if anyone opened the fridge door while it was chilling.
When I got home I got on the Internet and googled Antrim +Billy’s Café. I found this page and then spent hours looking at the whole site. Fascinating stuff for anyone who remembers pre-Troubles Antrim. I found myself looking at pictures of girls I remember from school, teachers from the Tech and staff from my time working in
Monday, July 16, 2007
That was two weeks ago. Tonight I signed in to be weighed for the first time since embarking on the weight loss project. Tonight it wasn't so bad. Tonight I was told I'd lost 7.5 lbs!
I was as gleeful as a gladioli and as chuffed as a chaffinch but.... being as realistic as a reindeer I know that I won't lose at this rate every fortnight. Just as well because if I did I'd be the same weight as Victoria Beckham by New Year's Eve. It's true! I did the projection. Then I'd have to become a footballer's wife and Bert would hate that. He can't stand soccer.
Sunday, July 15, 2007
They take control of barbecues. Of course this will often involve wearing sausages on their heads and waving dangerous knives about in the presence of impressionable children.
They build fences to keep the chickens in. They boast about how wonderful these fences are but don't have very much to say when the chickens fly over, wriggle under and step through their wonderful fence.
They make that garden seat I've wanted for three years now. It only takes three of them all day. Of course, after such a harrowing and exhausting day's effort, helping a woman to feed the dog pack and catch the chickens would be out of the question.
They amuse the youngest child. However when the women return from hunting and gathering to find the small child brandishing a real and very sharp spear and informing his mother that Bert says he can keep it 'forever' it falls to me to disappoint a small child by saying, 'Yes. When you're 18 you can keep it forever.' Then I get called a 'spoilsport'. By Bert.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Those worthy were Swisser, Nelly, Leitrim Sister, Erin, Bert and Ben.
Bert is always up for a bit of girly cake action and Ben helped to bake the cake.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
a big shit on our new landing carpet. Oh well. It was a firm one and easily enough cleaned. I laughed it off. Never mind.
But today she did something much, much worse. She had a go at our poor bantam rooster and left his tail feathers looking very bedraggled. Poor rooster had to go into hiding as he was so ashamed. He's got one tail feather left.
Clint says Pickles is banned from his property,
She'd make short work among my goslings!As Bert said, she's a gosherd's nightmare.
Clint arrived up this evening with his new chainsaw. Everything razed at his own place and still not sated!
The hedges up the side of thon lane's a disgrace and the morrow the Twelfth!I had to be firm with him because the tropaeolum speciosum is in bloom and I didn't want him devastating it. I allowed him a wee bit of a tidy up so when the Glenhugh Accordian Band walks past tomorrow morning they'll not be thinking ill of us.
Sunday, July 08, 2007
"Get out of my f***ing way. Don't you know who I am? I've been working all f***ing day and I need to get to my f***ing dressing room."
I just can’t see it. Can you?
Anyway we watched a bit more of this programme that featured Elton through all stages of his career. God! - he has been around forever. Bert says to me,
You have to give him this. He has written some good songs.
And I said,
Yeah. But would you ever deliberately go out and buy his music, or download it or even bother listening to it?
And he had to agree that this was so.
I don’t expect ever to own an Elton CD. Hell! I wouldn’t even buy one for 50 pee in a charity shop. But at least when you hear him he’s not as vile as……
I was out buying my papers this morning when my ears were assaulted by that woeful dirge, ‘Yellow’. I always thought that Chris Martin had a very unpleasant, whingeing tone to his voice but it was only today that I realised ‘Yellow’ is the most vile and hateful piece of so-called ‘music’ that I have ever heard in the whole of my life.
At least Sir Elton is good for a laugh.
Elton is determined to reach his recommended 10,000 steps per day.
*I was going to call this post 'Chris Martin Is A C**t' but I thought it wouldn't be very ladylike. Even with the asterisks.
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Friday, July 06, 2007
But Bert's day was atrocious.
He took a lot of criticism from various parties recently for removing all but one of Bernie's eggs from under her and replacing them with battery hen eggs. The one bantam chick hatched two weeks ago, two of the hen eggs were duds, one died in the egg and the surviving chick hatched today. It is a grotesque. So that was the first big annoyance of his day.
Then the Man from the Ministry landed in (as arranged) to examine plant passports. Yes Ed, some plants have to have ID cards already. Bet you didn't know that. Of course Bert had forgotten he was coming, hadn't hoked the paperwork out, and got himself into a terrible flooster.
Plant passports located, Ministry Man placated and Bert thought he'd have a nice relaxing toot on his clarinet. He went to retrieve it from the turf box (because that's where you keep clarinets, Acker Bilk swore by turf boxes) and raised it to his lips. That's when he noticed that it was covered with cat shite. Holly had evacuated in the lovely turf coom and all over the bell end of the claro. As Bert says, she's a bad wee bastard.
But more about me - If I'd a magic wand today I'd have magicked me up a plumber or two. They were scarce on site and very much in demand. I've never felt as stressed at this job as I did today. Happily I did not turn to comfort eating and have kept my healthy eating on track for four whole days now.
The best part of my day was making a little sex-film down at Clint's house. I'll put the link up tomorrow as I haven't edited it yet. Slightly NSFW but sure it's the weekend!
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Happy news to report. Bert's endless clarinet practice seems to be paying off. I can just about bear to listen to it now. My urge to ram the claro up his arse is easing. That's what happens when a boy buys a girl a well-chosen present.
At work the Best Site Foreman in Ireland was mightily impressed with Bert's present.
I've seen those in Montgomery & Murdock's. They look the part alright. Are they a good job?
An awesome job Best Site Foreman. Red up those floors in a quarter of the normal time.
Something tells me some other lucky lady is going to get a lovely surprise.
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
Now from Bert's point of view he'd be thinking that I should be delighted he even knows what a tea towel is for, let alone be using one. I'm supposed to be pleased he's using my clean (office) tea towel to take something out of the oven and clarry with grease.
So he has a bit of a rant in which the words 'whinge', 'girn', 'yap' and 'nag' are mentioned. And because my spoke was meant only as advice and guidance I couldn't help but get a bit upset and consequently went to bed in a big huff.
But he knew he was in the wrong and shouldn't have over-reacted so. And he must have felt a bit mean because he bought me a present to make up for it. He couldn't wait to get me home this evening to show me what he'd bought me.
The finest mop and bucket that Montgomery & Murdock had in the shop. I have to say I was touched. And the best bit was that he'd already road-tested it. See that shiny floor.
Monday, July 02, 2007
God! I’m so depressed. Tonight I joined WeightWatchers. I’ve been thinking about it for ages now. It was every bit as grim as I’d feared. You know how you sort of hope it won’t be like FlabFighters in Little Britain? Well it was. Apart from the abuse.
The class leader was rigged out in an outfit that I’d have considered dressy for a wedding. She had more glamour in her coral tipped toes than I have in the whole of my body. She started off with a welcome then a scold. Apparently, as a class, we collectively lost a little more than a stone. Unfortunately our collective weight gain was over four stone. I’m sure that was me.
Rarely have I been so bored. I know I’m seriously overweight, I know I want to do something about it, but talking about it is just so tedious and dreary. And the thought of no drink, nor chocolate, nor home-baked goodies for even a week just makes me want to cry.
I cannot bear to admit to my weight just yet. Just this….the last time I was even close to the weight I am now I was nine months pregnant with Hannah.
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Here's a comment from Leon Hale's post that I particularly liked. Especially as that is exactly the sort of office I work in. Not that the Moonchaser boys would ever litter. The Best Site Foreman in Ireland wouldn't put up with that sort of thing!
People being what they are, you'll never whoop this problem.
Half of the people in the world are builders, fixers, and cleaners. The other half of the "people" are destroyers. The old saying,"You can't have anything nice, somebody will come along and ruin it for you", is true. Park your brand new car in the parking lot at the store, and some brain damaged kid will come along and 'key' it for you. Build a new building, or fence, and some little darling, who's mother, and mystery father, are proud of his artistic talent, will paint it for you in the middle of the night, without being asked.
Two years ago, when they clear cut, except for a line of trees along the road, and turned the acreage across the street into a moonscape, to build a tight little bunch of McMansions, all huddled together, with yards the size of a postage stamp, we had the lunch wrapper along the fence expereance. Called the builder, like they care. Ha. No response. They're only responsable for the trash on their property. So 'Ol Miss Sandy started to collect their lunch trash in a trash bag, same as you did. Didn't take her long to fill the dang thing up. Then on a nice pretty Sunday afternoon, while the sales office was full of potential new home buyers, (who always wonder what kind of neighbors am I going to get) 'Ol Miss Sandy walked in and deposited all of that lunch trash on the salesman's desk. She took her bag back home for the next time. Now it was on their property, and they were responsible for cleaning it up.
Long story short, next day after lunch, they had one of their trained monkies cleaning up along the road. Ol' Miss Sandy is a joy to live with, just don't get crossways with her. Old folks, just have no patience. Used it up raising kids.
Posted by: Bob Windish at June 23, 2007 09:11 AM
Incidentally I have a cousin lives in Houston. (Hi Jo!) Do you think I'd like it in Texas?
Now and again I check out Technorati to find out what bloggers have been saying about the local neighbourhood. Sometimes it's just something as mundane as where the local lodge is marching this Twelfth. Then sometimes it's something interesting like people crunching their motors into gateposts. And immediately I'm in sympathy...
Apparently our new blogger is working her way through my site which is sort of exciting/scary. She's up to July 2005 and is a big Harry de Cat fan. Oh dear. Sadness lies ahead.
Anyway New Blogging Chum - welcome to Norn Iron Blogerati and Keep. On. Blogging!
Rathenraw's own Banjo Man photographed at the Dreen in June 2006. As you see he is wearing last year's Chav-in-the-Country look by Man At Primark. But it's the finishing touches that complete the outfit - in this case a bottle of Stella and a Panama Hat.
And here is Bert rocking his signature pared-down summer look. Jeans are by Pack Man, Panama Hat model's own. Photo taken in July 2006.
So what is the Dreen Look for this summer? Grab yours while stocks last. It's the next big thing!