Thursday, May 31, 2007
The Leitrim Sister was up this evening and she was very keen to go owl-spotting. We only saw one young one. Bert thought we'd spotted another peeking behind a big branch with her 'ears' on full alert. Next thing she took off. It was an adult. The little ones have a lot of wing development ahead of them. And they've still got fluffy bums.
I’m so tired and now I hear I have to get up at 4:30am tomorrow morning to travel to England. So I was really cranky and out of sorts last night and this morning. Hannah and I set off for work as usual (Hannah’s last day at Nixt! Hoorah!) And as always I was tootling along at my usual 40mph. It is a country road although you wouldn’t think it the way people race down it. A woman, fortyish, in a nippy little orange car overtook me pronto. I noticed a boy in a secondary school uniform sitting in the passenger seat. For some perverse reason I hate being overtaken by women so this annoyed me. Next thing she comes on another vehicle driving behind a tractor and cattle trailer. Hah! I thought. That’ll take the wind out of her sails! But no. The daft blade overtakes the heap on a blind bend! You can imagine how Hannah and I tutted to each other.
We drive on. At the Carniny crossroads we come on an accident. Three vehicles, one badly smashed, ambulance pulling away, police everywhere, the road covered in debris.
We thought of the orange car. She must have come upon the accident too. Hannah said,
I wonder if that made her think?
Monday, May 28, 2007
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Saturday, May 26, 2007
And can you guess which thoughtful husband this is?
Thoughtful Hubby: I bought Delilah a rabbit for her birthday.
Bert: What colour is it?
Thoughtful Hubby: Blue with silver balls.
Thoughtful Hubby: Aye. Now may be she'll lee me alone!
And now we've just had a phone call from Rodders who got the barbecue date wrong and wants to come partying tonight with a 'crowd of musicians'. Oh dear. And me in the middle of my revision schedule. I think Bert has put him off. I do hope so. When Rodders talks about 'musicians' he could well mean Californian punks or ruffians like that Fifty Cent chappie. I certainly don't want him here tonight. We'd have to lock away all the magpie shooters. Hang on a minute, aren't we supposed to....
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Every party has at least one defining moment. At Hannah’s party that moment came when Glen tripped over somebody’s bag, fell against the TV and sliced his cheek open. It must have been the shock (surely not the paltry few ciders he’d drunk) that turned him green and had him swooning like a girl. And so the cry went up,
He’ll need stitches in that!
Is he concussed?
Is he dead?
Who’ll drive him to the hospital?
Are you phoning an ambulance?
Did somebody hit him?
Och he’ll be alright. Let’s get him up!
We need bandages! Now!
Where’s the first aid kit?
Can you drive him to the hospital?
Get him up!
Feck! He’s down again. Catch him!
Don’t crowd him!
Sure there’s no need of the hospital. Do you fancy sitting eight hours in Casualty on a Saturday night?
We need steri-strips. You got steri-strips?
What’s that Glen?
I’m going to no fucking hospital.
And so we patched his wound up somehow. Jazzer played Nursie and I took photos. Glen said,
I hope you’re not for putting that on the internet.
Sure what odds? Aren’t you moving to
At the post-party discussions the first question was,
Where were you when Glen went down?
I gather the Kurt Cobain look-alike thought the Pete Doherty look-alike punched Glen to the ground.
I’m told Young Loveheart thought it was a whole lot of fuss about nothing. But then he would.
I hear that when the Pete Doherty look-alike expressed concern about Glen and asked where he was that Ploppy Pants told him we had him hanging by his heels from the banisters because that was the best way to treat a head wound. The Pete Doherty look-alike is supposed to have said, “I don’t think so mate,” and went off to check.
And what of Glen? See for yourself.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
We’ve a starling’s nest in one of the chimneys. Matty said, when she heard of it, that they’d fill the house ‘full of fleas’ but despite her dire warnings we’ve not lit a fire for ages for fear of singeing their little birdy bottoms. Then there’s the one that cheeps all night. At first we thought it was deserted in the nest and there was one night I was heartscalded listening to it and thinking of it starving to death. But it, or something, is still cheeping well into the night so I suspect it’s just a hungry hoor.
Aunt Lizzie heard it and wasn’t pleased. “If I got it,” she said, “I’d hit it a chap with my stick. That’d put the cheeping out of it! Them starlings is nothing but rubbitch!”
In my opinion old women shouldn’t be allowed to have sticks. They’re always waving them about, trying to hit people and chapping wee innocent birds.
Then Lizzie goes and leaves her stick in the van when Bert left her home. Pearlie was vexed and made Bert bring it into her house to ‘keep it out of harm’s way’. Bert says to his ma,
Sure what harm would it come to in the van?
Ye’d only loase it!
How would I lose it?
Oh – ye’d likely be kepping bastes way it or chapping something way it.
Sure what would I be kepping? D’ye think I drive about the country looking for bastes to kep?
Well ye might be hemmering something way it and break it!
Later Bert says to me,
Can you just see it - I’m wanting to drive a nail and I say to myself, ‘Now will I use this hammer here or will I just use Aunt Lizzie’s stick?’
And it turns out that the cheeping starling is actually a short eared owl. I saw it this evening! I wonder if Lizzie will still want to chap it with her stick?
Monday, May 21, 2007
Saturday, May 19, 2007
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Blogging will be lighter than usual over the next four weeks because I will be working in my garden... and studying for an exam.
There is also a party to be organised next weekend for Bert will soon be 48 and Hannah is going to Thailand... and I have an exam in June.
Then there is our visit to Norfolk. Zoe, Katy and I will be visiting the English Bowyers, Mick and Katy and their partners Linda and Mark.... it will be a welcome break from studying for my exam. Which is the second week in June.
Oh! And I mustn't forget about teaching practice. I've that to get out of the way....before my exam. In June.
Then Bert is going to Northern Spain for a week and I will have sole responsibility for dogs, cat, hens and Pearlie. That's a week before my exam.
So I'm going to be busy. Revising for an exam.
Friday, May 11, 2007
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Well I don't know about the rest of you but my mundane life will certainly be brightened as I think of her doing jail time.
Dry your eyes Paris! If you can't do the time then you shouldn't a done the crime.
I'll bet she gets off anyway.
Tuesday, May 08, 2007
And what of Spiro the Spider? I scooped him up in a plastic glass and laid him on a tea towel to dry out. When I checked later he had scuttled off.
To take my mind off the arachnoid assault I watched live coverage of the events at Stormont. Tony looked smug and happy. Bertie looked sleekit and happy. Ian looked stern and happy. Martin looked grim and happy. And Gerry looked shifty. But I don't think he can help that.
And in the parlance of Ulster-Scots I noticed there was a quare ween o' they wee dafties aboot the place.
Monday, May 07, 2007
Bert's Aunt Nessie keeps, among other things, every loaf wrapping she's ever had - in case they should come in useful. Now if I were to list all the things that Nessie hoards I'd be here all day. Enough to say that there is just one narrow path through her house that is filled to the rafters with stuff. It is a blessing unto God that she never goes out to get more stuff and a further blessing that she only spends about three and sixpence a week so the amount of stuff trickling into her house these days is very minimal.
It must run in the family because Pearlie is also a hoarder. She still owns the box that Bert's first feeding bottle was packaged in. Actually she's got a bit of a thing about boxes. When she was on her feet a bit more she spent many a happy day sorting through her boxes. The idea was to get a box that fitted snugly inside another box. You'd get some great yoke of a box that once contained a television set and inside it would be a box that a vacuum cleaner came in. Inside that would be a microwave box and so on until you reached the little box in the middle which once held a bottle of eardrops or some other small thing.
Pearlie also hoarded scraps of fabric which she'd use to patch her aprons and knickers. She particularly liked silky labels and she'd often stitch these to her knickers so she'd know which way round to wear them.
But me? I never hoard things. I only keep stuff that is truly useful. Like all my old assignments from university. You'd never know when they might be needed.
Then I caught myself on. They're in the blue recycling bin as I speak. Obviously I removed them from their shabby presentation folders because you never know when one of those might come in handy.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
1. I know all my times-tables up to 13. This is thanks to my primary school teacher Cassie who, literally, battered them into us.
2. When I was ten I read a book about a pious child called Elsie Dinsmore. This inspired me to fantasise about scenarios in which I led Elsie into all kinds of mischief and evil. In my imaginings Elsie would cry piteously as I encouraged her to do all kinds of wicked things. I don't think this was the effect that the author had hoped for.
3. Since childhood the song I loathe more than any other song ever written is 'I Dream of Jeannie with the Light Brown Hair.' I think I may have heard it scraiked by one tuneless Aunt too many. It didn't help that I have a sister with a name not dissimilar to Jeannie and who had a head of glossy, light brown hair. I wonder if my detestation of the tune stems from my disliking her getting a bit of the attention for a change. Bert is currently learning this melody and I fantasise hourly about doing unspeakable things to his clarinet.
4. The first time I ever went to the cinema (to see Seven Brides for Seven Brothers in Randalstown!) my sophisticated, urban cousin Kathleen did not explain to me or my sister that the cinema seats pushed down and allowed us country cousins to perch most uncomfortably on the edge of the upturned seats. Fair play to her she perched there too . Despite this I still enjoyed the film although my arse didn't.
5. I'm not much travelled. I was over 40 before I got a passport. The first place I ever visited outside the British Isles was South Africa. The last place was the USA. I've never even been to France or Spain.
6. Apparently I'm barred from working for the NHS. When I was an 18-year old student nurse I walked out of Holywell hospital after a row with Matron. She spat at me as I walked out the door, "I'll see to it that you never work in a hospital again!"
7. I was a breech baby and weighed 5 and a half pounds at birth. I stayed at a low weight for quite a while. When I was about nine months old I got pneumonia and was admitted to hospital. Matty signed me out because I got serious nappy rash. When I was about a year I got hold of the dog's worm tablets and dosed myself. Matty said I never looked back after this.
No tagging as is my custom. You canna if you wanna.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Bert: Is ‘uj’ a word?
Nelly: No. Say Swisser what do you think about Paris Hilton going to jail?
Swisser: I think it’s just terrible that they’re sending her to jail. Now what am I going to do with these two Vs? Is Scrabble supposed to have two Vs?
Hannah: Ours does.
Nelly: Well she did keep on driving even after she was banned for being under the influence. How long are you going to be?
Hannah: Here Swisser let me see…you could get ‘motive’ in there. That would get rid of one of your Vs.
Swisser: Excellent. Thanks Hannah. So Paris Hilton thought she could do what she liked? Maybe she does deserve jail.
Bert: Huh! Hannah just wants you to open up the board so she can get at that triple letter word.
Nelly: So? She’ll hardly beat you now not with that lead. Anyway I can’t see Paris Hilton doing jail time. She’ll get off somehow. It’ll give her a scare though.
Swisser: Why are rich and powerful people so corrupt?
Nelly: They’re not all like that. We just don’t hear so much about the ones who act decently.
Swisser: Well I was reading in the Times last week, maybe you seen it, about this group of rich and powerful German businessmen who organised so-called business trips with private jets, fancy hotels, cocaine and prostitutes. Then they’d buy £5000 trinkets to keep their wives happy.
Nelly: Hear that Bert? You buy me £5000 trinkets and you get to go with prostitutes.
Bert: Huh! What would you do with a £5000 trinket?
Swisser: More to the point Bert – what would you do with a prostitute?
Bert: Very droll. Nice one Swisser.
Hannah: Or you could use that extra V and make ‘votive’.
Swisser: Votive? That’s not a word.
Nelly: It sure is. But too late now. You’re not having it.
Friday, May 04, 2007
Earlier today I posted a particularly lovely picture of Bonnie to a German Shepherd group I belong to. And it was there I spotted this image. There were several things about the photograph that attracted me - namely the two dogs and the bookshelves. I liked echo9er's tartan pyjamas too and the fact that his dogs were allowed on the furniture.
But the most interesting thing on echo9er's Flickr was the series of self portraits. He is going for 365 self portraits over the course of a year. I found that idea scary and intriguing.
Is it an act of vanity to take a year's worth of self portraits? I think it is not. It might display a degree of self interest but is there anything wrong with that? And when a person is not in the first flush of youth and beauty is it not rather a brave thing to do? What do you think?
Thursday, May 03, 2007
I'm very busy these days.
Busy with my studies (or so I like to convince myself), busy in the greenhouse, busy playing with my new camera and busy at work.
In work I have two new responsibilities - I am in charge of Construction Schedules and I am in charge of Tubs & Hanging Baskets.
Yesterday I was only in charge of Tubs but my boss went to the garden centre today and doubled my workload in that department. I fear my thumbs are going to go untwiddled and my nails unfiled. Which is good.