Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I Wonder...

I wonder what kind of grandmother I’ll be? I’ll never be like her. She’s around my age and that oldest one must be at least 10. Wonder what it’s like to have a granny with a bleached crew cut and tight jeans. Imagine having a tanned, tattooed granny in a vest top. She’s got four of them with her, the youngest in a pushchair. They’re a bit of a handful. She’s growling at them, warning them they’ll get no sweets if they don’t behave. They carry on regardless, not much heeding her gruffness. It is so obvious that they adore being with her; that spending the day with granny is the best fun. I’ll never look like her but I hope any future grandchildren I have will love spending time with granny as much as hers do.

Stop Making Sense

The telephone rings. It’s the Wee Manny. He is in his cups.

Hello. How are you? Is Bertie about?

No. He’s over at Clint’s. I thought he’d be back by now. How are you doing?

I’m fine. But I’m thinking of taking a lot of time off over Christmas and going over to see this property in SA and I wondered if Bert would like to come to give me a second opinion for you know how I value his opinion.

Christmas in South Africa? I’ll have to run that past him. You know he’s thinking of going to Indonesia early next year.


Yeah. To rescue orang utans.

Orang utans?

Yeah. Anyways how’s Khail doing?  

That poof? He’s doing OK. He’ll be doing OK if he doesn’t roll another car.

How is his graft taking?

It’s doing good. But the area they took the graft from is a disaster. They were hours picking bits of fluff out of it with tweezers. Somebody put the wrong dressing on it. He’s taking photos of it. He’s taking photos of everything. His wounds, the wrecked car. He’s not right in the head.

Oh I don’t know. Some people just like that sort of stuff. You think it’s a bit sick?

Sixth? Aye. Michael McGlone I went to school with was a sixth son of a sixth son. He knew everything the day before it happened.

Oh. Does Khail know everything the day before it happens?

Hardly. He’s not a sixth son.

Isn’t it a seventh son?

I don’t know! Are you eating?

Yes. I’m eating a tomato.

You shouldn’t! Tomatoes are terrible things. Where did you get it?

Off a bush. I’m eating another one. Yum.

You grew it yourself. That’s OK now. But you shouldn’t eat shop bought tomatoes. I saw it on the TV. There are some great programmes on in the morning. You should watch them.

Oh I couldn’t be bothered with them. What’s wrong with shop bought tomatoes? Are they rank poison?

No they’re full of…


No! Water! They’re full of water.

Look I’m going to have to go now. I’ve got things to do.

Then I’ll not tell you where you get the best tomatoes.

Oh go on then.

The Isle of Wight. They grow them hydroponically there. Now what about this trip to Africa?

I’ll run it past him. But if it’s over Christmas I shan’t allow him. After all it’s going to be our first Christmas in the new house.

Oh. [miffed]

Then there’s the orang utans…

Put down phone. Go to den where dearest is watching a film. Say to him.

You owe me. Big style.  

Being Matty

I picked up Matty this morning and drove her to Slatt where we test drove a wheelchair. Matty was in a bit of a mood. She was being dark and venomous about a pair of her fellow ol’ girls and was imagining scenarios where same ol’ girls might have done and probably said some very nasty things about another ol’ girl because as she sniffily remarked “I know the sort of them and the way they go on,” so I thought to myself somebody has miffed her quite a bit.

She was also in one of her nervous passenger moods. This is when she is constantly anticipating disastrous collisions. I look left, she looks right, and she sees red van and gasps in horror. I look right and see red van and reassure her that I had no plans to drive out before checking right is clear. Or again we are progressing down a country road at 30mph having just pulled out of wheelchair shop. A racing cyclist wearing all appropriate gear including yellow jersey pulls out of a road to the left quite a bit in front of us. She yelps in dismay. I reassure her that cyclist knows he has lots of time to get out and that even if he does collide with us the damage done to the Fiesta would be minimal.  We’d probably survive it.

Despite her moods and her ultra-nervousness we make it home intact. We survived it.

Later I drive Bert to Articlave to pick up a cast iron radiator. We play Being Matty to pass the time. Playing Being Matty involves giving exaggerated gasps of horror whenever you see another vehicle that might collide with you if the driver was struck by a meteor, suffered a heart attack, was suicidal, drunk, a chimpanzee etc. It’s a lot of fun.

Later again I delivered Zoë’s birthday presents and went for a walk. Still later again I received a phone call from my nephew Emmet who had just got off the Dublin train and was standing outside the Europa Hotel. I gathered him up and delivered him to Matty. Then I went home and wrote my blog.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


This post is a test to see how the Blogger attachment for Microsoft Word performs.

A few weeks back Matty told me that she hadn’t been one bit well the day before. I pricked up my ears at this as I knew I was going to hear some woeful tale of her doing something that she knows fine rightly she shouldn’t be doing.

Matty has angina and she hates the way it can restrict her activities. One of the things she can’t do without suffering the consequences is any task that involves prolonged bending down. An example would be picking things up at floor level.

So I asked,

What were you at?

Well I got this blouse yesterday morning in the sale at Bonne Marche. The girl told me it was well reduced because it had a button missing.

So how did this hurt your chest?

When I got home I started looking for my button jar. It’s usually in the bottom of one of the wardrobes or one of my bottom drawers but I looked and looked and I couldn’t find it anywhere.

How long did you look for it?

About two hours. To tell you the truth it left me that I wasn’t worth tuppence for the rest of the evening.

Did the button jar turn up?

No. I was that annoyed I pulled out some other old thing and cut all the buttons off it and sewed them on to this one. Then I got a quare gunk!

What happened?

I looked inside the new blouse and there was a spare button inside it the whole time!

Birthday Girl

Zoe has always enjoyed a bit of birthday cake.

Now that she's a (little bit) older she's pretty good at baking them too.

Have yourself a wonderful birthday Zoe.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Three Days in Lafayette

I've just been watching the Hurricane Katrina news coverage from Louisiana. Scarey stuff.

Several years ago Bert, Clint and I were in Louisiana when a hurricane struck. We spent a day and a half stuck in a motel room in Lafayette. It was a mixture of exciting and boring. We watched the winds peel the roof off the Lebanese restaurant where we'd eaten the previous evening. The hurricane we experienced wasn't even close to the strength of Katrina but it caused a lot of disruption and made a big mess.

Late summer/ early autumn is not a good time to visit the Gulf of Mexico states.

Willies Everywhere!

Straightaway the title subtly clues y'all in to the fact that opening links on this post may not be worksafe. So mind how you go there.

Now I'm happy to say that I am not the sort of person who receives dubious emails so when salacious pictures are widely reported in the press I have to seek them out for myself. Thanks then to Holy Moly for giving me the opportunity to glance at the picture that everyone else has probably seen already. Jude Law. He's got it all. He possesses fame, fortune, talent and a beautiful girlfriend who'd forgive him anything. There's just one little thing troubling him. Poor Jude. You can't have it all. And soon Sienna will leave you forever and then you will go bald.

Holy Moly has offered up another little prickture. This one is my favourite.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

And Still She Wished For Solitude

Earlier this evening in Gillie's Bar
The Attraction of Opposites I am the eldest of seven children. I love peace and solitude. I dislike prolonged periods of having too many people around. Bert is an only child. He's a sociable being. He loves company and a bit of a stir. I like company too but I like it to be mixed in with plenty of quiet time. Too much company sets my teeth on edge. The Perfect Guest We have just left Mikey to the airport for his Edinburgh flight. He has been a lovely houseguest. He is amenable, easy-going, interesting, undemanding and he has the sweetest manners. So this might seem a funny time to be writing about my love of solitude. Rest assured Mikey that this outpouring has nothing at all to do with you. It has been a good weekend. We were quiet on Thursday, we had the buffet supper on Friday and last night we had the Banjo Master class. Which I did not enjoy. I'll return to my feelings about that. Today my sister and I went for a walk while Mikey and Bert went to Gillie's Bar to see Banjo Man and the fellows. Then Bert and I left Mikey to the airport. The Last Straw Now to provide a bit of a back-story. Next weekend is the annual Omagh Bluegrass Festival (stifles yawn) and practically everyone we know goes to it. But this year I'll be working five days from Friday and will not be going. Bert is planning to drive Mrs Banjo and the kids to Omagh. Banjo Man and the fellows, including Ian, are playing in the park and will be travelling separately. The plan was that after driving Mrs Banjo and the young Banjos back they'd stay at our house. It'd be a squeeze because we're a bed down since the last bonfire but it's just for one night so hey ho.... Then on the way back from the airport Bert told me that Mandolin Man is staying too and I have become enraged. Now I do like Mandolin Man a lot. He is a sweet guy. But where's he going to sleep and do I really want three adults and three children staying when all I've got is one spare single bed and two sofas ? Do I want to get up on a work day to a madhouse with people sleeping everywhere and nowhere to chill until it's time to go to work? I don't. I was in a rip last night about this sort of stuff. Because Banjo Man was painting at our new house Ploppy Pants arranged that BM would give a Banjo Master class in our house. Nobody asked me if this was OK. I tried to be fine about it but as the evening progressed I started to feel more and more annoyed about it. I stomped off to bed at 11pm giving out ominous warnings about keeping the noise down. Questions Bert is cross with me because he thinks I am very unsociable. I think he might be scared that I'll drive everyone away and then we'll have no friends. I'm pondering burning the spare bed. Is there a happy medium? Is sobriety affecting me adversely or do I drink to cope with the hordes of people that hang out in Nelly's Garden?

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Sobriety Test

These pictures were taken about 30 minutes ago. They feature our Saturday evening guests. Four have drink taken and two are stone cold sober and intend to remain so. My challenge? Who are the sober two.

I invite opinions on who looks drunkest.

Nelly's Birthday

At 9.30 tonight Nelly's Garden will be one year old.

Thanks to everyone who has encouraged me by linking and commenting and generally humouring me.

Best wishes to you all from The Oldest Blogger in Cully.

My Gleaming Halo

I went to bed last night feeling rather pleased with myself. The buffet supper went well. Mikey and I excelled ourselves in the kitchen and the food was pretty good. The cheese was awesome.

There was one dodgy moment while we were all tucking in. Swisser decided whis would be a good time to discuss Harry de Cat's recurring worm problem. But we all told her to SHUT UP. Especially Zoe. And eventually she did.

There were a couple of notable absenses. Ploppy Pants didn't turn up because he and Swisser have had a row about her loving Bert 'too much' and Ian wasn't there because he's rehearsing for the Omagh Bluegrass Festival next weekend. Get him.

But the best thing of all was that I entertained, I did it well and I did not drink. The only thing I yearned for was a wee drop of Laphroaig but I resisted the temptation. It's not as if it's the last bottle on earth.

Zoe and her beloved are going boating today. She says that no one is going overboard. I hope she keeps her word.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

An Accidental Stalker

As CyberScribe's link illustrated having a cyberstalker can be an unpleasant and sometimes a very frightening experience. Thankfully I don't have one of those. But as I recently referred to a stalker in a light way I thought I'd better explain as real stalkers are no joking matter.

It started several weeks ago whilst at work. Ever vigilant I spotted a man apparently prowling around the back of the building. He was knocking at a door wherein lived a woman who was in the habit of entertaining male strange hours. Not liking such unpleasant goings on I nollered him. "Excuse me! Can I help you?" calls I in my strictest I'll-be-taking-no-nonsense-from-you-oul-fella-me-lad tones. I was very surprised when he turned and replied, "Declare to God, Nelly it's yourself!" Turned out to be ultra respectable Paddy Diamond from the home parish. Paddy Diamond ex-altar boy, practically a priest he's that holy and whose even holier brother helped bury me da. Not the sort of fella atall to be calling on one that's no better than she should be. Turns out he's got this post-retirement job doing surveys at random addresses in selected areas. The address he was after was for an empty flat so he had a bit of a chat with me about country matters and off he headed.

Then last night just back from work when a car pulls into the yard. Bert takes a look and says, "I don't like the look of this boy Nelly. He's got a clipboard with him." Clipboard Man appears at the door, "Hello Paddy," says I. "Declare to God Nelly it's yourself. Is this where you're at?" says he. Turns out we're his random address for the evening and he's here to ask us what we think of the crap bus service in Cully. But he can't because Respondent is known to him. So we spend 40 minutes discussing country matters then he's off home to his supper singing 'Easy Money' as he goes.

Permission To Shake, Sir?

I just remembered this morning that Mikeyboy (coming today) is allergic to cats.

I mentioned this to Bert.

Oh don't worry. Sure Harry de Cat always lives on top of the cupboard
when someone's staying who doesn't like cats.

But Mikey's hardly going to catch Harry in his teeth and shake him like
a rat.

He can if he wants to.

Reasons For Not Posting - 1,2,3 and 4

1. I did overtime at work.

2. My stalker called and that took up 40 minutes or so.

3. Then I went for my walk.

4. Lost was on TV.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Accidental Joiner

I was hoping that the most eventful happening of the day would have been my boss causing me to suffer bloggus interruptus. It was during my lunch hour but there was no way he could be sure as he wasn't there when the hour started. And I was in the middle of a really good reply to CyberScribe's spooky comment about Cully pubs. How does he know? Where is Greyabbey anyway? Oh Bert's just told me it's in County Down. So the muse deserted me and that's why my eventual reply was so lame Cybe ol' boy.

So that's my quota of italicised words used up for this post and from now on I will have to manage without them.

On returning home I decided to go and inspect the work going on in the new house. I was especially interested in seeing how the kitchen tiles looked and also wanted to see the flight of stairs leading to the attic floor. Seamus the joiner started on them yesterday and they were pretty much finished. There is a little health & safety type issue at the very top which I wanted to take a look at so I asked Seamus if they were safe to step upon. He gave the go ahead and I had my foot on the bottom step when James the electrician nabbed me with a query about the lights I headed downstairs to the room where Matthew was tiling. Matthew says,

"Where's Bert?"
"Down the road. What's up?"
"We've a bit of a problem here."
"Oh! What's wrong?"
"Bert's tin whistle has fallen into this bucket of tile cement."

We were just coming to terms with this disaster when the joiner's apprentice came in. He says,

"Where's Bert?"
"Down the road. What's up?"
"Seamus has cut himself with the electric saw."

And so he had. Apparently it had stuck and he was trying to dislodge it when it had jumped back and gouged a lump out of his knee. Both Matthew and James were urging me to take him to the local GP surgery. Feck's sake! These lads must think Dr Finlay practises in Cully. I said no for the first thing the local GP would say is, "you'll need to go to casualty with that" so that's what we did. Seamus was very stoical about the whole episode and says he'll be back at work tomorrow. They breed real men in Dunloy.

By the way that policeman is still reading my blog. He phoned me yesterday in his professional capacity and before he rang off he said, "Are you still off the drink?"

Monday, August 22, 2005

Let Me Entertain You

....on Friday at 7pm.

In honour of Mikey's visit Nellybert will be having a Buffet Supper. Oh get us.

So if you read this blog and are anywhere in the vicinity of Cully this coming Friday you are very welcome.


If you are somebody I hate (and you know who you are) then don't dare darken my doorstep.

Mikey will be in charge of cheese choosing as he is an expert. Expect great things.

And Swisser - get a grip. You know I don't hate you.

Musicians are particularly welcome.

Divers, Artists, Suspended Ceiling Technicians, Diesel Mechanics, Academics, Web Designers, Cheese Vendors, Craftspersons, Egg Men, Horticulturalists, Bloggers and Turkey Rescuers are also welcome.

If you want to avail yourself of the complete range of tucker get here early.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Everyone's A Critic

No Leitrim today. Matty was poorly this morning although she's OK now. Disappointment all round. We'll go again.

Matty's poorliness involved a visit to the doctor. He prescribed something from the chemist (Senokot) and something from the greengrocer (Cabbage).

So it's been rather a miserable day. Although Zoe was a star which cheered me a lot. She's a much better daughter to me than I am to Matty.

Bert and I have just returned from a hike around Portglenone Forest and that has cheered me up some more. I especially liked him getting tired before I did.

On the way back I played him the Pixies. This is what he said about 'Caribou'

"You'd think if he was going to write a song about reindeers he'd have wrote a nicer one. That's a shouting match."

To sum up his feelings on 'Caribou' -

Subject matter: Delightful
Delivery: Damnable
Final opinion: Diabolical

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Trevor, It's Time For Your Close-Up

Originally uploaded by NellyMoser.
This evening Bert, Clint, Rosie and I went to visit with Dee Mac and to see her new garden. A visit to Dee Mac's is always an interesting experience. It starts with a trip down the worst lane in County Antrim. There are just the two houses on the lane - Harold's and Dee's. It's a straight and manicured lane until Harold's then it turns into the scary lane from Hades. It is both overgrown and extremely narrow. There are two right angle turns which are almost impossible to negotiate in a large vehicle. Then there are the booby traps Harold sets. Like iron spikes in the hedges. Why? Dee thinks he does it for his twisted entertainment purposes. People are strange.

You know you are in the right place when you see the sign VISITORS BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Oh I wish, I really wish Bert would let me do that. Then there is the BEWARE OF THE GOATS sign. There are no goats.

It's no surprise that Dee has a lot of climbers growing. After all she works in a climber nursery. She has all Bert's varieties of parthenocissus growing up the outside walls of her house. The Veitchii is the most attractive but also, she says, the slowest growing. She grows myriad varieties of honeysuckle, clematis and other climbers on sheds, walls, hedges and fences. If she keeps this up the whole property is going to become buried in climbing plants. I think she might like that.

Dee has treated herself to a live turkey this past couple of Christmases. Then she keeps them as pets. She recommends turkeys and says they're 'great entertainment'. She also has a few hens, some ducks and a couple of drakes. Dee advises me never to keep drakes. I see what she means for I watched them tonight and it was not pleasant. If I were a duck I'd want to live in a duck nunnery. Drakes don't take no for an answer and their seduction skills suck. Frankly they're rapists and gangbangers.

I won't be posting tomorrow as I'm driving Matty to Leitrim to see Dede and Dmitri.

Progress Report August 2005

And what of the new house?

Well....we ought to be living there by now but you know Nellybert. We're the tomorrow people.

The electrics are close to finishing. Thanks James.

The plumbing has to be completed. My baths and toilets are all sitting there waiting to be installed. Come on Eric.

The general building work, plastering and joinery is 99% completed. Three cheers for Jackson, Seamus and the rest of the fellows.

Matthew is progressing well with the floor tiling.

Marty and Minty are doing a fabulous job of the painting.

Jimmy says the kitchen will be ready next week.

Maybe I ought to make a start on the packing.

There's just one rather big snag. The current abode is back on the market.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Ian's Challenge Update

On the 6th of August Ian challenged me to forgo alcohol for two weeks. My period of abstinence is due to end tomorrow at midnight but I intend to continue with it for a while. Whether this will be for a short or a long time I do not know but as I've noticed all my clothes are getting looser I think I'll keep to it for now.

[Pause to polish halo]

So I've given up smoking, and toking and drinking. Can anyone suggest a nice non-fattening, non health-threatening vice that I could adopt to replace these. Keep it clean. And legal.


You've done your bit. Time to rest now.

Marjorie (Mo) Mowlam 1949-2005

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Look Right!

To the right of your screen that is. Following sheepily behind Zoe and others (again) I've added a Flickr badge. And please to see my latest link. Dan Tobin. Who has linked me right back. Which deserves a recommendation. I like him. And he's besties with George W. Bush. Who turns out to be, surprisingly, a very funny guy.

Things Pearlie Does Not Like. Part 1

N. "Do you fancy a nice bit of liver for your supper tonight?"

P. (making screwed up scunnered looking face.) "Och no. I wouldnae like that."

N. "And I thought you'd like a nice wee bit of lamb's liver."

P. "I dinny like lamb's liver. I only like pig's liver."

N. "Did I say lamb? I meant pig's liver."

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

What In The Name Of God Is A Stray Toaster?

I was in that Mary one's car the other day and as soon as I was settled in and she turned the key this damnable noise blasted out and I declare to God I nearly took one of my bad turns.

"Sorry," she says, "I meant to have that turned to Radio 4 before you got in."

Huh! It's always happening. I get in the car, she starts it up and then this roar of noise has me jumping out of my skin. You'd think she wanted to finish me off. Where she gets her taste in music from I do not know. It's certainly not from me or her father. If she'd taken after me it'd be a bit of ceilidh, that Coulter boyo or a nice bit of Daniel O'Donnell. God knows it would be far more like the thing at her age. I'm sure I don't know any other mother who has a daughter over 50 running into HMV and coming out laden with a guilty look on her face. She tries to palm me off with the notion that she's bought just the one but I know rightly the size of them wee records you get these days and she never comes out of that shop without at least three or four of them.

Anyway I said to her, "What was that you were listening to anyway? Was it the Beatles?" So she tells me it's some Danish crowd called the Raving Nets. She says she's supposed to be reviewing them for Stray Toaster. So I asked her what in the name of God is a Stray Toaster. Is it a Danish group? And she says, "Naw Ma. Stray Toaster is a blogger." Of course I'm none the wiser. Young ones these days speak a different language to the likes of us ones. And they all mumble so you can hardly make them out anyway. So she goes on to ask me if I'd review the Raving Nets for Stray Toaster for she hasn't a spare minute and I said I would for sure it would put in an evening for me. So this is what I thought of the Raving Nets.

THE HEAVENS This started of not too bad but it was a bit whiney. Not my cup of tea atall.

SEDUCTRESS OF BUMS This one was about sex. I didn't like it. There were too many bad words.

LOVE IN A TRASHCAN That eedjit Mary is quare and fond of this one. I've had to hit her a slap a time or two for trying to turn it up while I'm in the car. As per usual it's all about sex which is all people ever think about these days. It's time that Mary one wised up a bit at her time of life.

SLEEPWALKING She likes this one too but I don't know why. The dinnle of it is giving me a sore head.

UNCERTAIN TIMES I hate that oul Eff-You-See-Kay word. There is no need atall to have it in a song. My head is getting worse. This one is going through my brain.

MY BOYFRIEND'S BACK I could nearly stick this if it wasn't for Mary singing along with it. God love her for she hasn't a note.

HERE COMES MARY Even without her name in the song this one reminds me of Mary when she was about 16 or 17 for she was dressed in black from head to toe and had an oul miserable face on her. Sometimes I think she hasn't changed much.

RED TAN I suppose it's them being Danish is why the words of the song are so stupid. They probably don't understand the half of what they're singing about. I know I don't.

TWILIGHT There used to be some TV programme started like that. I wish I could mind what it was. Dear God turn it off! My head is splitting in two.

SOMEWHERE IN TEXAS This is more like it. Oh no! I spoke too soon. They're going all whiney and girny again. Daniel O'Donnell could lift this. Though he'd have to change the words to something a bit more heartening.

YOU SAY YOU LIE Are there many more?

ODE TO L.A. This is another one that Daniel would make a far better job of.

IF I WAS YOUNG If I was young I wouldn't be listening to this nonsense. Damnable

BONUS TRACKS Right! That's enough. I want a cup of tea and two of my tablets. The strong ones. And bring me some of those Marie biscuits. That Stray Toaster eedjit can take a chance on the rest of it. I'm done.

Khail And The Fox

Last weekend Khail van Niekerk, 19, from South Africa did his very best to avoid hitting a fox whilst driving back from work. The fox survived but the car rolled. Khail did a lot of damage to his left arm and is currently up in Antrim Area Hospital awaiting a transfer to Dundonald for a skin graft.

N. So Khail you're experiencing a lot of what Norn Iron has to offer including the NHS.

K: I could have done without that experience thank you very much.

N. I suppose the food is very good.

K. It is the worst food I've ever had in my life. I couldn't eat a bite of it. I'm expecting to lose quite a bit of weight while I'm here.

N: But I'm sure you're enjoying all the pretty nurses fussing over you.

K: Pretty! You must be joking! They're all ancient old women over 30 and they all waddle about. They're not a bit like nurses are supposed to be.

N. You'll be pleased with the Yazoo chocolate milk I brought you.

K: Indeed I am not. Next time can you bring me a big J?

Down Among The Wimmin

Many, many years ago when Marc was a little lad at primary school and Ed hadn't even been invented Nellytrish started a Women's (Consciousness Raising) Group in Ballymena. This was in the heady days of the feminist era when all intelligent and far-thinking women threw away their Jackies and their Woman's Owns and put in an order at the local newsagent for Spare Rib.

Which is how Trish and I started the group. On her advice we put an ad in Spare Rib. Imagine our glee when two big radical feminists responded. Imagine our thrill when we heard they were lesbians - in a relationship.

These women were serious stuff. She was a doctor up at the local hospital and Her was a musician. She came from an eccentric, middle-class Dublin family and Her was an ex-nun from Sligo. She (despite needing it) had discarded her bra and Her wore one that flattened her breasts. She had a little moustache and Her wore men's trousers and shirts and ghastly ties like your da would wear.

Many the happy evening we spent in their company. I remember one night in particular when we ate a delicious supper of undercooked lentils and sardines accompanied by one bottle of wine (between five) and then afterwards, for our entertainment, the moustachioed one read aloud from some radical US publication a treatise on how penetrative heterosexual sex was an act of gross betrayal against the sisterhood. Whilst glaring at me.

When the doctor's time at the local hospital came to an end she moved to England. Soon afterwards she split up with the musician who, strangely enough, was not too gutted. We remained friends with the musician until she eventually went to the States to become a roof tiler. Unfortunately we're out of touch now. But it was a relief to wave bye-bye to the doctor whose entertainment value was, frankly, zilch.

Years later I looked the doctor up on the BMA website. And lo and behold - Doctor Fidelma O'Flaherty, which was (not) her name, was now Doctor Fidelma Simpson and I'll bet she doesn't have the mozzy any more and that she shops regularly at Rigby & Peller.

And the Women's Group? It continued for a few more years before eventually ending in tragedy. But that's another tale for another place.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Why Miss Nelly, You're Beautiful

Bert has got a nice line in compliments. Here are some typical examples.

One on my personal style:

Nelly: "You don't think this outfit is too boring and sensible do you?"

Bert: "Naw. You could never look boring. Not with that mad looking face."

On my efforts to lose weight:

"You know I think you are losing weight. Either your waist has got smaller or your arse and tits have got bigger."

This is my current favourite which was uttered earlier tonight.

"You are losing weight. But you're still a wee puddin'"

Monday, August 15, 2005

Springer's Mingers

I don't usually watch programmes like Jerry Springer or Trisha. I hear enough tales of woe in real life to be bothered with them and I don't really get where the entertainment is supposed to be.

But passing through the TV room at work this morning my eye was drawn to the screen. There in the studio sat two women and one man and I think both the women were his exes and they were berating the poor fellow for laziness and poor hygiene. Oh Robin! You should have seen them. The three of them hadn't enough teeth between them to make one decent mouthful. He had the sweetest smile and not one toothy peg on the top row. I don't know about the bottom. He was also missing an arm poor lad. As he was being publicly humiliated I thought that even stinking, sans teeth and sans left arm he could still do better for himself than those two.

Blade one (the fat one) had roots six inches long and a mouthful of decaying stumps and Blade two (the hag) was ditto the decaying stumps and was sporting a ring in her right nostril that looked like it was purchased at the vet's for Ferdinand. Urrgh. If I was Jerry Springer I'd be wanting a shower straight after the show.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Not Another Sleepless Night

I've something on my mind. I've been keeping it at bay for most of the day but my shift is over now and it's time to turn in. I hardly ever sleep well at work and have been dreading another sleepless night.

There may be one person reading this who knows what is keeping me awake and for the sake of this person I cannot share. I wish I could.

But.... and this is the good part. I've just phoned Bert and he has been so reassuring, so sensible that I think I will sleep tonight. At least I won't have to listen to Harry de Cat playing tag with the dogs up and down the stairs at 3am. So nighty-night all!

Spotted While Walking

Spotty Cow Killycowan Road
Originally uploaded by NellyMoser.
There was this girl I used to go to school with who was a right spotty cow. And she never stopped eating.

I think I saw her the other day while I was out walking.

Male Bonding

Craig & Anthony
Originally uploaded by NellyMoser.
Is it just me or does Anthony (Bert) look a little nervous as Craig (Clint) nuzzles even closer towards him?

Saturday, August 13, 2005

No Comment

Stoned Dog
Originally uploaded by NellyMoser.
It wasn't me Officer!

Mind How You Go

Earlier today I heard that at least one police officer reads this blog in his free time. Obviously I have nothing to fear from this, as I am an honest and upstanding citizen who never steals, speeds, tokes or riots. Nor do I make a hash of renewing my firearms licence. But I thought I'd alert the rest of you just in case you should admit to some crime while on a visit to Nelly's Garden.

I must confess I'm flattered to hear of my new reader for like many older ladies I come over all a-flutter at the thought of an authoritative man in a nicely pressed uniform.*

And see you Ganching - we'll be having none of your PNIS jokes if you please. I'll have you know this is a respectable (law-abiding) blog.

*Obviously this does not include traffic wardens.

Why The Long Face?

A full week has passed without a drop of alcohol passing my lips. How's it been? OK really and I haven't had a craving since Tuesday. Tuesday? Anyone who is craving alcohol on a Tuesday has got a problem. Or is that my inner Presbyterian talking?

Upside of not drinking - should help with the fat arse issue.

Downside of not drinking - judging by four out of five of my most recent posts I seem to have become a bit sad and pensive.

Conclusion - I must have been drinking to forget my impending old age and death.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Drumack Road

I was out with Mrs Banjo and the young Banjos yesterday. They were shopping for school uniforms as Erin, the golden-haired one, is joining her older sister at Slemish College in September. Meanwhile Bert babysat the youngest Banjo - his godson Ben.

Sensibly Ben had no desire to go shopping with the girls and when I arrived to collect them all I found him looking out for me, hopping from foot to foot with sheer excitement at the prospect of a day helping Bert in the nursery.

Our shopping trip went well. Jazzer got the uniforms organised in record time and I bought sports shoes, (my first in over 20 years) as I have walked my sandals into juggins. When we got back Bert reported that the hard work had given Ben a tremendous appetite and that he had eaten two sausage rolls, a boiled egg, all the ripe tomatoes on the vines and a bun.

When the Banjos departed I tried out the trainers and found them fine to walk in. I had another go in them today and I think they give me a lot more support. I walked up the Aghill Road and along Drumack Road, then across the moss. Years ago Bert's father Johnny used to take turf from along the Drumack Road. We'd all go, Johnny, Pearlie, Lizzie, Bert, the girls, me and our dog Danny. Gathering turf in the moss was like being in a different world from the everyday. Mosses are magical places.

The moss hole that Danny used to love swimming in was still there. After swimming in the peaty water his coat was always so clean and smooth. There must be something in it that acts as a conditioner for dogfur. While Johnny and Pearlie loved working in the moss Bert and I used to hate the thought of it because of the hard work but we always enjoyed it when we got there.

Remembering all this about Danny (gone) and about Johnny (gone) I found myself becoming very emotional. Even as I write this I can feel tears welling in my eyes for missing that good man and that good dog. As I walked back I pondered on how short life actually is. Sometimes when I am walking on a long straight road I pick a distant landmark, a far off house or tree to walk towards. For ages it seems to get no closer then it does and suddenly I'm upon it. That's what my life feels like today. I was once a young woman with small children and our lives stretched out in the distance before us. That's behind me now. I've walked it. And can only retrace my steps in memory.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Nobody Wants You When You're Old

So said Pearlie when she heard we'd gone to the Sperrins without her.

But Pearlie you couldn't climb a mountain.

Sure I dinny need to be climbing mountains. I'd just sit in the car and read a book while ye were climbing mountains.

And it's true. She'd be perfectly content doing that. But the Fiesta is so small and Pearlie and Bert both have very long legs. I said to Bert,

See this new van you're buying - can you get one with a big double passenger seat?


For me and Pearlie.

Vans are all much of a muchness at the front.

You're just saying that. You're telling me that you'll be so busy finding one high enough to transport your trees and bushes that you don't care if Pearlie and I are all squashed up at the front.


But Pearlie was wrong about nobody wanting you when you're old for yesterday Bert had an errand to do at Swisser's. Now lately I've been a little concerned about Swisser. I know Swisser likes Bert a lot. In fact I believe she loves Bert a lot. But you can love my man too much. Which is why I suggested he take Pearlie with him when he went to Swisser's. Nobody wants you when you're old. Pah! Meet Pearlie - Chaperone Perfection.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Regrets, I Have A Few

Right now I cannot write about some of the things that are on my mind. Why? Because some of the things that are on my mind concern some of my known readers. So there you go. That'll get yez wondering guys. Clue for the rest of you - they are non-bloggers.

So here's some stuff that I can write about. Television. I rarely watch it but since I stopped drinking (five dry nights now and counting) I've been watching a bit more.

Hiroshima It was incredibly good although harrowing. Hiroshima has always affected me The first time I ever felt dread and terror was during the Cuban Crisis when I truly believed that we would not survive. Since then I have had a horror of and fascination for the effects of nuclear war. I don't feel that so much now. I suppose we get used to the fear of terror. What was incredible about Hiroshima was the scale of it all. But even when the fatalities are in tens rather than tens of thousands terror is still terror for those in the midst of it. Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the Enola Gay, came across as hard-hearted as he was hard headed. I was not convinced by the argument, put across by Mr Tibbets now and the American administration then , that the bombs were justified.

Coast As recommended by Ed. Very pretty to look at and a nice treat after the horrors of the atomic bomb.
The most interesting part for me was when they looked at and discussed the defaced monument put up in memory of Lady Londonderry. Well I remember my late Uncle Vincent taking us out in the car and stopping at the (then) intact and undefaced monument and giving us a political lecture about the perfidy of the English and their heinous behaviour towards the Irish. Being an apolitical and simple minded child I came away from this convinced that Lady Londonderry was a very evil woman.

Big Brother A parcel of shite since Derek left. Still I was pleased to see Eugene snaffle the 50 grand.

Lost Awesome. I'm a sucker for aeroplanes breaking up in mid-air. That bit where the guy got sucked into the engine - I wish I'd been recording it so I could watch it again. I'm going to love this. The guy who used to be in the Republican Guard. Very nice touch. And he is gorgeous.

Apart from watching TV and not drinking? I've been walking.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

More Photobooth

Originally uploaded by ZMB.
And then they went nuts.

Sisters, Daughters

Originally uploaded by KatyKatkins.
I found this on Katy's Flickr pictures. It's a photo booth shot but wonderful for all that. Zoe is in the middle, Katy's at the right and the gappy toothed one on the left is Hannah. I'm guessing they were about 5, 9 and 13 at the time.

Oh Tempis Fugit

A Sunday Stroll Or Dicing With Death

Climb Ev'ry Mountain
Originally uploaded by NellyMoser.
On Sunday we went to the Sperrins. I drove while Bert read maps. It was a glorious sunny day which Bert saw little of - his nose being buried in Ordnance Survey.

We had a picnic in a little wood then went for a walk. I could have happily tramped around that wood for a couple of hours with my pedometer click-clicking towards my required 20000 steps but Bert had found another wood on his map and it had a little lake and he wanted to go there.

Driving there I saw what looked like a fairly accessible hill. For some reason I said, "I want to go up there." This was unusual for me, as I've been finding excuses not to climb hills for over ten years. Maybe in the light of Robin Cook's recent demise whilst hill-walking I felt that I too should dice with death.

It was tiring, it was glorious and it was worth it. On the way up I felt my heart practically trying to escape my chest wall. I just told it, 'way to go old pump. You can do it.'

The way down was more worrying. I was afraid I might slip and break or twist my leg. Funnily it was not the pain or inconvenience that worried me most but rather that it would keep me from going out walking - which has become my addiction. But we made it down safely and went to the wood with the lake, which was crap.

Meanwhile over on Trostan poor Dave did sprain his ankle whilst hill-walking. I hope you get better soon Dave and also that Zoe is being very kind to you.

Ed - I've figured out why culchies have strange uppy-downy walks. It's because they normally walk on uppy-downy terrain. Their legs are so used to it that they do it even when they're in town.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Things Bert and I Argue About

  • Who let the dogs out?
  • Which of our Mums is the smartest.
  • Him telling Banjo Man, 'you don't know the half of it Banjo. She's a horrible c**t.'
  • Him leaving the hot water taps running.
  • His firearms licence renewal form.

Bert's filing system is horrendous. Everything is mixed up anyhow and consists of piles of dog-eared paper stuffed in various drawers and cupboards. When he needs to find anything it is total pandemonium. A couple of weeks ago I offered to sort it out for him. One of the first things I found was his firearms licence renewal. It hadn't been looked at and it was due within days.

So I filled it in and took mug shots and printed them. I found him two respectable referees namely Dr Swisser Clever-Clogs and Mr Clint Childhood-Friend. Swisser put on her headmistressy spectacles and the two of them completed their bit of the forms. Or so I thought but I'd started drinking wine by that time and didn't care any more. The next day we discovered an important part of the renewal hadn't been completed but Bert stuck it in an envelope and posted it anyway.

I'm still filing and sorting his stuff and today I found a wee brown envelope into which his mug shots were to have been inserted. I said,

You made a right bollix of filling in that form.

No. We made a right bollix of it.


I said we made a right bollix of it.

That was my cue for Nellyrage, horrible c**tiness and throwing a file at his head.

This is what I think. A person who cannot even fill in a form to licence his own guns shouldn't be allowed to have guns.

And my mother is the smartest.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Harry de Boring Cat

Harry In Bed
Originally uploaded by NellyMoser.
Flickr's got a new category of interestingness. Naturally I wanted to know which was rated my least interesting photograph and it was this one. Bottom of the pile, dull as ditchwater, Harry de Cat - asleep. How droll.

A Culchie Day Out

It's a beautiful day. My best boy and I are going on a picnic. Bert and Rosie will also be tagging along. For our picnic we'll be having a nice bit of ham, buttered biscuits and Lucozade. When we get home we'll be aeting a big feed of spuds followed by sponge & custirt. We'll be driving to the picnic in the John Deere and we'll be listening to the Raveonettes, sorry, I mean Shania Twain. Tell you all about it later.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Remembering Molly


16 February 2004

Sad news to report. Molly the Spaniel was put to sleep this morning. She had had a lump removed from her breast about a month ago but over the weekend had been very sick. This morning she had a fit and Mary decided that Molly had suffered enough.

No more bad hair days for Molly the Spaniel.

The above appeared on Zoe’s blog when Molly died.
This is how it began. One thundery afternoon In August 2003 Bert and I were outside cooking a barbie under the beech trees. There was an ernomous crash of thunder and then this terrified spaniel appeared from the direction of the fields. Our back door was open and she ran straight in. I followed. She was really pleased to be indoors. She was shaggy and unkempt and looked as if she'd been outside for a while. She accepted food and water. She turned out to be very friendly and got on well with our two dogs.
I did try to find an owner. I called at various houses in the area and contacted the dog warden. I checked the paper and the notice boards in the village. I had planned to make a poster but decided not to in case someone claimed her who did not actually own her. In less than a week I had bonded with this dog and she in turn followed me everywhere. The warden told me that if she wasn't claimed within a week of being reported all I had to do to make her mine was buy a dog licence. Which I did.
She came on heat soon after joining us and turned out to be an awful tart. Our ancient dog Danny (16) took on a new lease of life and nearly wrecked himself trying to make babies with her. Fortunately nothing happened as Danny was unable to maintain wood. He had a lot of fun trying. We got Molly spayed.
I've wondered since if this was wise because the vet said she was very old, possibly 11 or 12. But nevertheless the vet did the op and all was well until Christmas when Molly started to get very frail. She was still following me around and doing her snarfling thing but she seemed to be dragging herself around. The vet said she had breast cancer. Once again she had surgery. And improved but only for a few weeks. I've often wondered if that operation was a good idea. Or did it cause her unneccessary suffering? Might it have been best for her to have been put to sleep then? Perhaps sentimentality played a part for me and maybe it was profit that motivated the vet to advise an operation. I don't know. A month later we had to have her put to sleep. She is buried in a beautiful part of the garden at our new house.
I will never forget her.

Ian's Challenge

Ian (teetotal) has issued me with a challenge. He's said this before and he said it again tonight - since my father was ill and since he died, I've been drinking more than I normally do. Ian has been a friend for teens of years so he's allowed to say such things.

Those bottles represent a fortnight's drinking at Nellybert's and the other picture is Nellydrunk (taken a week ago)

I gave up nicotine 17 months ago and soon afterwards I gave up cannabis, as smoking it with tobacco was the only way I could handle it. I don't miss nicotine or cannabis at all. I'd been a habitual dope smoker for over 20 years and of course the nicotine addiction followed from that. I got fat after I stopped smoking but I've been addressing that. I eat a very healthy diet these days and I walk at least 25 miles a week. But as my good friend Ian pointed out I have replaced smoking with drinking. Hence his challenge. I've accepted it. Teetotal for two weeks and Ian reckons that if I stay off the wne for two weeks I won't resume. We shall see. Here goes.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Bert Clematis-Grower and his Amazing Racing, Jumping Hounds

It has been a while since I posted a picture, or mentioned Bert, or Paddy and Rosie. So as a lot of my recent posts have been about sad people with problems, here to inspire you, is a cheerful picture of an ordinary man and some over-excited dogs.

Bin Bag on the Ground

Come and look out through the window
The midday sun is shinin' down
Tell me now don't it remind you
Of a bin bag on the ground

Remember back when drink first found us
We'd go slippin' into town
And we'd drink beside the river
On a bin bag on the ground

I'll get a bin bag from the kitchen
And we'll go drinkin' once again
To that spot down by the river
Where our drinkin' first began

Just because we're never sober
Don't mean we can't drink outside
So let's walk out through the sunshine
And lay the bin bag on the ground

Do you remember just how plastered
We used to get drinkin' cheap wine
That old Buckfast was our buddy
And the beer was very fine

Now you know drink still excites me
I know you love it just like me
Just once more I wish we're drinkin'
On a bin bag on the ground

I'll get the bin bag from the kitchen
And we'll go drinkin' once again
To that spot down by the Braid
Where our drinkin' once began

Acknowledgements to Miss Billie Jo Spears

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

More Pain

Pregnant Lassie: You'll never guess what happened last night.
Sympathetic Person: What happened?
Pregnant Lassie: I walked in on my boyfriend and you'll never guess what he was doing?
Sympathetic Person: What was he doing?
Pregnant Lassie: He was with another girl!
Sympathetic Person: Oh dear.
Pregnant Lassie: You'll never guess what he said.
Sympathetic Person: What did he say?
Pregnant Lassie: He said, "Go away. I'm enjoying myself."
Sympathetic Person. Oh dear.


Pregnant Lassie: I've got this pain at the bottom of my stomach. Should I go to the hospital?
Sympathetic Person: Why don't you rest for a while? It might go away.

Ten minutes later.

Pregnant Lassie: That pain is still there.
Sympathetic Person: Why don't you rest for a while? It might go away.
Pregnant Lassie. But you see, the thing is, I went out to use the phone box and it wouldn't work so I kicked it. I got the pain then. Do you think I should go to the hospital?
Sympathetic Person: Try resting. It will probably go away.

Ten minutes later.

Pregnant Lassie: The pain went away.
Sympathetic Person: That's good. [Thinks - No it hasn't. It's still standing here in front of me.]

Tuesday, August 02, 2005


I am so tired this evening. I've spent nearly all day Helping The Aged. Three times I was in Boots in Antrim looking for Matty's tablets and once in the health centre and they were her Very Important Tablets too. But we got them in the end.

In among hands (whatever that means) I've been going to very many tile vending emporiums, picking floor tiles and asking for quotes. I never noticed before how many places sell tiles. Also very tiring.

When I got home I could only manage a 3.8 mile walk. For my dinner I had a baked potato, cheese , raw cabbage, raw onion and raw carrot. I was already farting before I'd finished (Hee hee. Shall I file under Too Much Information?)

Now I'm going to indulge myself in a hateful vice. Big Brother here I come.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Like A Flipping Lemon

Don't you just hate the way some Norn Ironers use mini-roundabouts? I found myself driving through the Ballymena rush hour this evening with Pearlie, Lizzie and Pepe aboard. After waiting a decade to get a chance to come off the Cullybackey road I was thwarted by some blade who stopped and dithered just in front of me. Naturally I vented my annoyance by roaring 'Get out of the way you flipping lemon!'

Then Pearlie said,

Quet that oul sweering you!

I'm thinking. I'm going to have to have a long, tedious debate with her about how lemon is not a swear word.

I start,

I didn't swear

Ye did so! Ye said fucking!

I did not. I said flipping.


She told me a filthy joke as we drove through Harryville but I didn't understand it and was too embarrassed to ask her to explain it. She's never told me a filthy joke before, although Matty has, and I've now discovered she's been watching Big Brother in secret.

After dropping Lizzie and Pepe off we called in with Matty who was watching the local news on mute. Ian Paisley was ranting on about something. I can't lip read so I don't know what was agitating him but I could probably guess. I wonder if he'll still talk about Sinn Fein IRA. Or will he move on to I Can't Believe It's Not Sinn Fein IRA. I called Pearlie in saying her favourite person was on the TV. Matty remarked,

He's well mended up since that time he wasn't well.
Pearlie agreed Paisley was looking just fine. Matty said,

Aye he's quare and fresh looking yet.
I suppose she had to say something like that seeing as she was drinking tea with his number one fan and the pair of them are in their 80th year as is Big Ian.