Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Very, Very, Very Weird

Back in February I wrote a post titled 'Lemon Jelly' in which I put the lyrics of 'Ramblin' Man', which consists mainly of a list of place names.


Killing time this afternoon before going to work I'm perusing Site Meter when I see that there has been a Google search that's turned 'Lemon Jelly' up. I look further and am shocked to find that it has been altered. There are lots of place names that have been added to it. Places I haven't even heard of! How can this be? Why should this be? This is scaring me.

Either someone has changed it or I'm going mad.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Why Roger Hates Cats

The Blog Muse has deserted me. Oh there are themes running around my head but they're not for the World Wide Web. They would get me sacked, arrested and disinherited.

In my last posting I forgot to mention that I'd given myself a black eye. I was very angry with myself and probably deserved it. It happened after I'd had another telephone encounter with those dreadful Toucan people. Straight afterwards I went out to my Bro's (hired and unfamiliar) car and violently yanked the door into my eye. It was God's way of telling me to let the Toucan thing go.

It appears that others are also seeking the Blog Muse.
Marc has used the title of a post by Ganching to get him started and Zoe has turned to recorded music to get her creativity flowing.

Inspired once more by my first-born I am going to do this. I am going to pick something at random from the shelf. My eyes will be closed. The ninth track will be my inspiration. I'm going to do it right now. Oh please don't let it be something naff that will make
Marc pity me.

I'm going RIGHT NOW!

I'm back and in my hand is a copy of 'Old & In The Way' featuring, among others, Jerry Garcia. It was recorded in 1996 and I bought it in Nashville a few years ago. I confess I've hardly listened to it. The 9th track is White Dove.... which has inspired me to write this.

Why Roger Hates Cats

When Roger was a boy his family kept fantail and tumbler pigeons. Every evening at pigeon bedtime the fantails and tumblers returned to their coop and someone would close the hatch so they would be safe for the night.

One evening the family returned late from an outing and found a large cat in the coop. It was licking its paws after gorging on pigeon. It was surrounded by at least 15 dead pigeons. The cat had just eaten its Last Supper. Roger has really hated cats ever since.

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Before this evening I'd never heard of tumbler pigeons. They're so called because they tumble as they fly. This is why.

Tumbler pigeons are bred deliberately for their epilepsy, a form of seizure that makes them tumble and twist as they fly. Apparently if you see a group of them doing it in unison it's very impressive.

Severely affected pigeons do not survive very long, but careful management of the breed perpetuates moderate seizures.

Information on tumbler pigeons obtained

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Things I Neglected To Tell

Near Buckna
Originally uploaded by NellyMoser.
There were a few things that happened during the past week which I haven't blogged.

I said goodbye to the bashed up Astra and said hello to a diesel Fiesta. One of its first outings was taking Matty and Kerry Niece to Glenarm where we called on Lord Antrim. He wasn't at home so we visited his walled garden and paid £9 for the privilege. I was rather hoping that there would be a concession for the elderly but, alas, Matty and I had to pay the full whack. For some reason Kerry Niece was charged as a child despite being a full grown woman of 20 so that was pretty good. The gardens were very fine. I got chatting to the gardeners and gave them our phone number in case Lord Antrim might be needing any clematis in the near future. Natch he'll be paying big money for them after the exorbitant rates he charged us for his oul garden.

And Vancouver Brother went back yesterday which always leaves me feeling a bit bereft. It's a long way away. We've still got Vancouver Nephew but he's decamped to Dingle which is also a long way away.

Leitrim Sister has been away, back and away again. She's off to Dublin tomorrow to work on the Lassie movie. She missed the first three weeks of it due to Daddy's illness.

Then Bert celebrated his birthday last night in the company of a few close friends. A nice wee night was had by all and the heads weren't too bad at all this morning. We are getting too old for hangovers.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Happy Birthday Bert & Kylie

line dancer
Originally uploaded by NellyMoser.
Happy Birthday Bert - Love you to pieces and thanks for everything.

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And it's also Happy Birthday to one of Bert's heroines - Miss Kylie Minogue. All the best to Kylie - hope you get well soon.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Midgets and Monkeys

One of the more tedious things about returning to work is having to catch up on all the notes, memos and reports that accumulate during my absence. Sometimes these can be amusing. Once I read a report that stated that a client had called on staff during the night because 'midgets were coming in her window.'

During my most recent vacation this was written in notes -

"I was later contacted by the PSNI to see if M___ had left a monkey in the office"
PSNI - Police Service of Northern Ireland

Thursday, May 26, 2005

More Worms

I've noticed that my post Worms comes up fairly often on Site Meter. At first I thought that there must be some perverted b'stard out there who just cannot get enough of the disgusting tale. So I investigated further. It seems that perfectly innocent Yahoo searchers wanting to know a little more about 'garden worms' are directed towards the revolting story of Harry de Cat and his amazing All-Dancing, All-Singing, All-Wriggling Tape Worm.

Be warned - if you are squeamish Do Not Look At The Post.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Healthy Living

Mark was enquiring recently how my healthy lifestyle plan was progressing so I thought I'd update you all on this as I may have been a little bit evasive in my answer.

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Wee Sweetie Mice

Woke up this morning at a quarter to eight
And said to myself 'I hate to lie late'
Then changed the alarm to a quarter to nine
Told myself another hour'd do me right fine

At breakfast I said 'It's porridge for me,
It's healthy and filling and practically free'
But then I considered that this might be nice
Croissants and coffee and wee sweetie mice

After breakfast I thought I'd go for a stroll
For the sugar and croissants were taking their toll
And what better thing than walking the dogs
Except spending all morning reading your blogs

At lunch I feasted on lettuce and eggs
And then thought I really must stretch my legs
So I planned to head out for a bit of a run
Then it started to rain and I ate an iced bun

At dinner I dined on a healthy baked spud
And virtuously refused the offer of pud
And stuck to my plan to fast after nine
Except for a bottle of really nice wine

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


Bert & Portrait
Originally uploaded by NellyMoser.
If Bert's mother feels strongly about something she believes in speaking her mind about it. She's not what you'd generally call opinionated except in matters of decor.

Of course in my opinion her taste sucks. She favours a cluttered look with masses of pictures and ornaments featuring cute animals, birds and flowers. Artificial flowers, hideous cushions and vile clashing patterns abound.

So it was pretty certain that she wasn't going to like Zoe's painting of Bert. But she didn't have to go on about it.

"I dinnae know why you put that oul thing in a frame."
"Because we love it."
"Huh! Will I dinnae like it. It lucks naethin' leck Bertie."
"Well everyone else likes it. It's greatly admired."
"Humph! I dinnae know why ivrybody thinks Zoe's so good at the painting. She can paint nane! That's naethin like Bertie."
"Huh? Everyone who comes in here knows straight away that picture is of Bert."
"Bertie's face wis niver that colour in his life! Sure she's painted him green!"

Not true. Bert's had a green face manys a time in the past. Usually due to overindulgence in alcohol and/or recreationals. But Pearlie never seen it because he always kept his head under the blanket on those mornings.

But I'm not the only one who has been insulted thus by Pearlie or had our flesh & blood held up to ridicule.

Recently Bert's cousin presented Pearlie with a framed photograph of her baby granddaughter. It was one of those snaps that are taken in old-fashioned garb and the baby was wearing an outsize pinafore and a mob cap.

"Oh I dinnae like that. Can ye no get me a nicer one? She looks like a wee frog in that."

Pearlie has taken the frog child's photo out of the frame and replaced it with one of Charlotte Church. The child's grandmother has not been back since.

We'll Never Forget You

It has been a long time since I've had a close neighbour and I've enjoyed that. Although it's not that isolated here; there is a small estate on the far side of the road and about six other houses dotted around. But the yard is private - or so I thought.

Before the house was built this property consisted of a rough lane leading to a derelict house. Some people living nearby would have used the lane for walking their dogs. While the house was being built a young fellow in his early twenties approached Bert to ask a favour. He told Bert that his dog had just died and asked if he could bury it near the old house as his dog had always enjoyed running about there. The following day Bert showed me where the young man had buried his dog. A piece of wood had been placed on the little grave and it was marked with the letters WNFY. We puzzled about this for a while but ended up deciding that the letters stood for We'll Never Forget You.

But that wasn't the end of the dogs and their walkers. Once when I was taking an early morning shower I realised I'd left my shampoo in the car. I grabbed the smallest towel in the world and partially wrapped myself in it. The combination of a small towel and my voluptuousness (or rotundity) did not make for a modest appearance but no matter - I was alone and the car was just outside the door. I ran out, opened the car and grabbed my shampoo. It was then I noticed movement to my left. The movement was from a small Jack Russell terrier. There was no movement from his owner. She stood there transfixed with shock. She'd a bit of a cheek bringing her dog up to our yard for his morning shite but the sight of dripping, naked Nelly put her off that notion for good.

When we move I'm going to have to get used to having a neighbour again as Bert's mother will be living close by in her all mod-cons mobile home. I've said to Bert that I'll be calling her 'the trailer trash next door.'

Monday, May 23, 2005

Soon This Will Not Be Ours

Soon This Will Not Be Ours
Originally uploaded by NellyMoser.
It occurred to me on returning home one day last week that this lane and my daily journeys up and down it will soon be in the past.

When the lane was built our old dog Danny got stuck in the concrete which was very funny. He got rescued from that one but his paw prints are in there somewhere.

Rosie dog loves to get out of the car at the bottom and race me up it. She can top 30mph sometimes. She won't be able to do that any more.

Nor will I be able to watch the trees that Bert planted grow big.

Progress Report

1. Daddy's condition has stabilised. He should be with us for a while longer. Anxiety and dread is easing.

2. The house-selling is also progressing well. Offers have reached a point where Bert's stress is lessening and Gordon Brown is rubbing his hands together with glee as he awaits the Treasury's cut from the vendor, the purchaser and the agent.

3. The house-renovation is also coming along well. We should be in by the end of July if all goes well.

That's all for now.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

What's My World View?

You scored as Cultural Creative. Cultural Creatives are probably the newest group to enter this realm. You are a modern thinker who tends to shy away from organized religion but still feels as if there is something greater than ourselves. You are very spiritual, even if you are not religious. Life has a meaning outside of the rational.

Cultural Creative
















What is Your World View? (corrected...again)
created with QuizFarm.com

Found at
Baboon Pirates

Hannah's Answers

Despite having no blog (tsk!) Hannah requested questions and has answered them thus.

1. What is your happiest childhood memory?

Every Christmas morning cos we always got brilliant things and it was always nice waking up with all my family.

2. What do you like most about your job and what do you like least?

Best thing is working with interesting people and worst part is I don't get enough hours sometimes.

3. Where would you like to be in two years time?

Living and working in a different country and learning their language, maybe South America.

4. Describe in detail the best gig you ever attended.

Hole - Brixton Academy 1998. It was the first gig I went to all on my own. Zoe walked me to the queue and I made my own way back. I was sick on the tube on the way back to Ganching's but not from booze probably just the sheer excitement.

5. Who was Princess Margaret? Mo Mowlam?

I think Princess Margaret was the Queen's sister and Mo Mowlam was home secretary of Norn iron.

6. Favourite city? Why?

At the minute Amsterdam because of good memories including my 21st birthday. It reminds me of feeling completely independent cos it's the only city I've spent time on my own in.

Nelly's notes

Question 5 was a bit of a piss take. Hannah may well be one of the best educated people to have come out of her uni as, in the course of her job as a Student Support Worker, she sits in on on lots of lectures and seminars on a variety of subjects. She says she cannot help learning new stuff. However when she were a very young girl her grasp on current affairs was slim. She caused much hilarity with questions such as "Who is Princess Margaret anyway?" Ditto Mo Mowlam. Judging by her answer she still hasn't got that one completely sussed. And she cannot even spell Northern Ireland.

But way to go girl - your Momma loves you.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Mark's Questions

Here are the answers to some very reasonable questions from Mark
I enjoyed answering them.

1. What's the best part of your job?

Going home would be my glib and facetious answer. The real best part is when I hear that a former service user is doing well, is on track and sorted. It doesn't happen that often.

2. What's your fondest memory of childhood?

Playing in Paddy's Field near our house. Paddy's Field was actually four small meadows with a hazel wood and a good sized stream running through it. There was a wooden bridge, three cows and a little wooden gate just wide enough for a cow to pass through. The meadows hadn't been tilled in over a hundred years which meant it had every variety of wild flower. That sparked my interest in horticulture. The fields (and cows) were owned by Paddy, a great friend, who was happy to let us run wild in his fields.

3. How did you meet Bert?

I met Bert in a pub over 20 years ago. I had been on a daylong cycle trip and had called to the bar to see a friend who worked there. In walked the Wee Manny, his new South African bride and Bert. I'd known the Wee for years and he introduced us. Bert was doing a lot of travelling at that time. He'd just returned from living on an Israeli kibbutz and he was planning to spend a year in Australia. His hair was longish and sun-bleached and despite it being a warm summer evening he was wearing his grandad's out-sized tweed coat. I remember thinking he had a huge nose. I didn't meet him again for about two years. We got together some months afterwards and have been with each other for over 19 years.

4. Where's your favourite place in the world?

You mean apart from Cullybackey? The place that I have visited and would most like to return to is South Africa. That place got to me. I loved the heat, the dust, the big sky, the flora and fauna and the smell of it. Unfortunately some of the people I met there, the fairer skinned ones, were arseholes.

5. Still keeping to your keep fit regime?

That's gone a bit astray. I'll get back to it when my life steadies up again. Meanwhile I'm concentrating on keeping my mind and soul fit. The body will follow.

Questions set by

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Clearing My Head

Zoe reckons that clearing the roof space of years of accumulated junk will correspond to a clearing of my head. It had to be done anyways as we're selling the house. So that sweet girl came round this evening to help me with this task.

The amount of clothes and textiles both tat and vintage that we junked was unbelievable. At a rough guess it would probably have made at least £500 on Ebay. But who has got time for that? Not us. Instead we deposited a van load of it in a charity recycling bin in the village. I've lots for a bonfire and Ploppy Pants has requested some boxfuls of 'dacent stuff'' for his lodge's auction. He says he'll make a point of telling the brothers that they're receiving donations from the Catholics. If only Gerry and Ian could work together the way we do.

So now I've got an empty attic and it feels great.

Daddy is very comfortable this evening. He is still weak, still tired and still hardly eating. He received the last rites of the Catholic Church this afternoon. It appears to have done him some good.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


My father was moved back to Randalstown yesterday. The move was hard on him and last night he took a turn for the worse.

My two brothers and I sat with him throughout the night.

It was good to witness the tenderness those two men showed towards our father.

Eventually Daddy settled and we spent the night in quiet conversation.

I have learned (from Vancouver brother) the significance of the recent bid to take over Manchester United and all that it implies for British football. I look forward to impressing Bert and his friends with some pithy insights. Thanks Eamon.

I have learned (from Younger brother) the ins and outs of the bouncing game. When asked if he did it for (a) the money, (b) to score women or (c) kick ass he answered 'At various times all three of those.' He also said it's not about muscle or brute force 'It's all in the head Nelly'. I shall apply that lesson to my own occupation. Thanks Joe.

I also learned about the power the Rosary has to calm and pacify an ill man to a peaceful sleep. Even when that prayer is being said by a family who last said it together around 1969.

We're all in County Antrim now. All seven of us.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Strange Days

These are strange days. Eight years ago were also strange days. Bert's father was dying. Had he survived he would have been the same age as my father is now.

Thirty-one years ago there were other strange and dangerous days. Pregnant with my first child I was fearful of the world into which I was bringing an innocent child. Ulster was at war; the Ulster Worker's Council strike was in full swing. I remember walking up our road on a thunder-threatening evening feeling a sense of complete dread about what the future would bring.

The first horrific news was that a young man from Cargin had been abducted and murdered. Our family knew his family. My sister knew him personally. He was a student at Queen's and it was thought he'd been hitchhiking when the people who ultimately klled him lifted him. Daddy and my sister attended the funeral, which was huge as funerals of those who die untimely deaths are. Several of Daddy's brothers also attended. It is told that one of my uncles remarked to another mourner on the size of the funeral. He is also supposed to have said that he hoped not to attend such a large funeral again. Within days he and another of my father's brothers had been shot dead in their pub as a direct consequence of the Ulster Worker's Council strike. Their funeral was massive.

Bert's father was laid to rest on June 1st, 1997. He was a good man. The day he was buried was dry and hot. The Crinodendron hookeranium was in full bloom. I will always associate those waxy lantern shaped flowers with that day. I wish he could have been with us longer but there are so many people who have not had the opportunity to see their beloved fathers and sons grow older. That is why I'll always be grateful for this extra time we've had with Daddy.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Katy & Granda

Katy & Granda
Originally uploaded by NellyMoser.
Katy emailed this photo the other day. She said it's one of her favourites. It was taken on the farm about twenty years ago. She's about six, he's in his sixties.

He was fighting fit then, now he's just fighting.

Friday, May 06, 2005

The Gathering Of The Clan

Daddy is very ill. Everyone is coming home. I'll take a bit of time away from this. .

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Bad Girl Rules

A young girl booked in recently after a big falling out with her Mama. A few nights with the Bad Girls scared her into making it up with Mama and going back home. Before she left she told us that she'd been given this advice from some of the inmates.

You'll do fine here as long as you keep to the rules. Our rules!

Which just about sums it up.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

The Man In The Wardrobe

The first time I searched the room I missed him. Afterwards she came downstairs, full of herself, boasting to the others, "She must be blind. He was hiding behind the shower curtain and she didn't see him."

I'll admit to a certain level of blindness (or distractedness), I'll also admit to not wanting to discover a cranked up addict anyway. But she misjudged the others badly. Within moments Brig was in the office 'touting' on her. With heavy heart I headed back up the stairs. This would have been a good moment to phone the police but suppose Brig had got it wrong?

The moment I entered the room I knew he was there. My first clue was her dismayed face, the second his discarded size 10 trainers. Yet another good moment to phone the police but still I didn't for he might have been an easily dealt with wimp.

Not under the bed. Open the wardrobe door. BOO!

There he stood in his underwear, well built and as confident as a man in a wardrobe can be. I ordered him out. He swaggered across the room. He was very high. I threatened the police but he was unperturbed. "Sure the peelers know me anyway. Give me five minutes."

I left the room and phoned the police. They came and escorted him out of the building. She left with him. The police left. I hope the scary Wardrobe Man doesn't come back. The police are only five minutes away but five minutes is a long time.

A Dream Holiday

I woke up far too early this morning and lay in bed thinking about the usual stuff - Daddy, selling the house, potential viewers, going back to work - but mostly about Daddy.

Then I fell asleep and into dreamland. I cannot remember my dream except it occurred on a bright warm day and featured two accquaintances called Muggsy and Cro. I wakened from it feeling all refreshed and contented and as if my brain had taken a holiday.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

For Sale

For Sale Sign
Originally uploaded by NellyMoser.
At quarter past four I was sitting here reading the Portadown News when Bert showed a potential buyer into the room. That felt strange but I live to tell the tale.

This house selling process is very odd. It does not feel like our place anymore. It feels like a self-catering holiday house where I am the maid.

We've had eight viewers so far and according to the estate agent (Arthur Daley) there have been several enquiries about offers. So far none have taken the plunge.

But that very pleasant man that has just been seems keen. He is a lot more interested in the land than the house which is good. Although the house is sound it's plain and a bit shabby. This potential buyer brought his wellies and had a good tramp around. Afterwards he asked some very land-savvy questions - a good sign.

Another couple are coming this evening for a second look. Bert said first time around they arrived in an open top Porsche. I think I'll go visit with Bert's mum when they're due. We'll watch Emmerdale together - or something. Meanwhile Katy and Mark are in the Grouse drinking. They'd better be well-behaved when they get back - at least until the Porsche driving couple are off the premises.

Today I hoovered upstairs and got enough dog hair to stuff a mattress.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Nothing Much To Say


Katy and Mark are here for a week

My mother, her two youngest daughters and her youngest sister have gone to Lourdes for five days leaving youngest bro and myself in charge of the visiting schedule for Daddy...

who is still in hospital but is comfortable...

whatever that means. He hasn't eaten anything for six days but doesn't seem hungry.

And lots of people have visited our house. No offers have been made yet.

And I am feeling deeply stressed with lots of strange and unpleasant physical symptoms...

Which is why I have taken time off work..

and I am thinking very hard about not working in the caring field any more.

Because I feel I don't have enough caring inside me to go around.

I know the name of this place I live in now.

It is called Limbo.

I'd rather be at home.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Introducing Tatchie

It's interesting what turns up when, in an idle moment, one uses the dreaded words 'Willie McCrea' in a Technorati search. May I introduce, for your reading pleasure, from Lisburn City - Tatchie

Where's The Gospel Music Then?

Your Taste in Music:

90's Alternative: High Influence
80's Alternative: Medium Influence
Punk: Medium Influence
80's Pop: Low Influence
80's R&B: Low Influence
80's Rock: Low Influence
90's Hip Hop: Low Influence
Adult Alternative: Low Influence
Classic Rock: Low Influence
Dance: Low Influence
Progressive Rock: Low Influence
Ska: Low Influence

The quiz was found here in Pirate Land

Swisser, Bert and Nelly Have A Night Out

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What can I say? I was entertained, moved, inspired, dammit - I was close to being saved.

These guys were way better than Willie McCrea.