Sunday, April 30, 2006

What Kind Of Looter Am I?

What kind of looter am I? You decide!
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My Report To The Management


A Report by Nelly Moser

Berkheya purpurea

A fast-growing, long-lived perennial, Berkheya purpurea has a long, single taproot and forms a dense clump of very prickly foliage tight on the ground. The large green leaves arranged in a rosette are up to 250 mm long with wavy, very spiny edges. The upper surfaces of the leaves are almost shiny, whereas the cobwebby undersides are covered with long, soft, white hairs. Smaller leaves are produced along the single flowering stem; these leaves diminish in size upwards and their bases continue down the stem forming broad spiny wings running down the stem-an interesting feature of Berkheya purpurea.

The strong flower stem is produced in summer in the centre of the plant, and it can stand up to a metre tall. They are protected by large, spiny green bracts which fold open with the flowers to form a flat shield at the back and close again after flowering to protect the seed heads. Each flower lasts a few days and a single plant can have up to 15 flowers open at one time.

Every part of this attractive plant is spiny and is capable of inflicting a lot of pain on the unwary vandal. I would recommend its planting in the raised bed in the courtyard and in all the beds surrounding the building.

Ruta graveolens (Rue)

Evergreen perennial bush with yellow flowers and blue-green attractive frondy foliage. Also known as Herb of Grace (repentence) due to its bitter taste. It was believed hundreds of years ago that Rue would guard against witches, and innkeepers would give some to travellers for safety. Grows to about 3 ft (92 cm) high. Very aromatic. Makes a strong disinfectant and insect repellent when leaves are strewn across the floor.

Dioscorides recommended it for the treatment of snakebite, as he reckoned that weasels ate the leaves before fighting snakes. He also claimed it had contraceptive properties. Plant Rue round buildings to keep out snakes. In Medieval and Tudor times it was one of the main ingredients for exorcism. Juice has been used for earache.
Plant in a sunny site and cut back by half in spring to keep it compact. Plant lasts longer in poor, dry soil than good soil.

CAUTION - SEVERELY TOXIC TO SKIN WITH SUNLIGHT (the sap may render the skin excessively sensitive to strong sunlight resulting in painful blistering, so handle with care)

This plant has a multitude of uses. Insects, snakes and witches are repelled. Its disinfectant properties will be useful, as will its properties as a cure for earache as this is a frequent hazard in our work. It should also prove to be vandal-resistant thanks to its toxic properties. I recommend planting it all round the building and also in window boxes to maximise its snake and witch repelling properties.

Pyracantha coccinea ‘Red Column’ Firethorn

A vigorous plant with small evergreen, oval, dark green leaves. Bears corymbs of tiny white flowers at the end of spring, which are followed by long lasting scarlet berries. Best grown in well-drained soil in full sun or part shade. As its name suggests it’s a thorny plant. I would advise training it up walls to discourage visitors and clients from entering and leaving the building through windows.

Berkheya Purpurea


Like So Totally Random

random (adjective) happening, done or chosen by chance rather than according to a plan

I’ve been hearing ‘random’ a lot recently. It seems to be mainly used by young women and used in the same way that ‘totally’ or ‘like’ are used.

This morning whilst buying Sunday papers I overheard one young girl say to another,

“I’m just like randomly swapping jobs.”

The other day at work G said,

“That’s just like our Shona to be telling her life story to some random stranger.”

So is ‘random’ where it’s at these days? Or am I behind the times?

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Rooster Tales

It looks like Clint has gone rooster mad for he has acquired not just one but two new cocks! There is a bit of a story behind the second one.

The first one is a very handsome Sussex rooster and was bought from a man who specialises in rearing Sussex and Rhode Island fowl. This fellow has had a happy corn fed, free range start in life. The other rooster has had a much tougher time of it.

The Sussex Rooster is a very handsome fellow

Battery chickens go through a lot of checks before they are squashed five or six into a cage. First of all they’re sexed at a day old and all the males are killed and the females sent to be reared up to laying age. They’re sexed again at 16 weeks and any male that gets through the initial checks is disposed of. This fellow survived both these checks and spent a year in the cages. The farmer knew there was a rooster in there for he could hear him but he never did find out where the rooster was. It would have been like looking for a needle in a haystack. Eventually after 13 months, the end of that particular lot’s productive life, the lone rooster was found. The farmer took pity on him and decided to let him live until the whole lot were taken for slaughter. Before this happened Clint heard the tale and offered him a home. Lucky the Rooster has survived four brushes with death.

And it’s just as well that Clint is an early riser for two cocks crowing in the morning would be very hard to listen to.

This boy is a bad looking brute. And the rooster isn't much to look at either.

They Call Me Mellow Yellow

Your Blog Should Be Yellow

You're a cheerful, upbeat blogger who tends to make everyone laugh.
You are a great storyteller, and the first to post the latest funny link.
You're also friendly and welcoming to everyone who comments on your blog.
What Color Should Your Blog or Journal Be?

When I was a child yellow was my favourite colour. My sister's was pink and I thought this meant she was a sissy. I saw yellow as a strong colour because the sun was yellow and it was so fierce you couldn't even look at it without going blind.

My blog is blue with a dash of orange and that is just so me. I'm blue at the moment and I cannot shake it off. Maybe it's something to do with what was going on this time last year.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Pearlie Does Politics

Recently Bert has taken to bringing Pearlie with him when he goes out on deliveries. She enjoys getting a run out and seeing a bit of the countryside. She always brings a book with her to to occupy herself when Bert is unloading, chasing cheques and having long gossipy conversations about matters horticultural. On the way back she always has an ice cream. When I got back this evening I asked him,
What were you at today? Did a delivery to Bushmills. Did Pearlie go? Aye. Did she get her ice cream?
He laughed and said,
She did not. Oh. Why was that? Och I forgot about it until we were coming out of Ballymoney so I told her there was a shop in Rasharkin did good ice cream. Then when we got to Rasharkin I pulled up in front of the shop and she sees a tricolour flying outside it and says she wasn’t eating any ice cream out of that hole. Was the flag attached to the shop? No. I think it was flying from a telegraph pole but she held it was to do with the shop and was having none of it. I suppose it must be odd for her seeing tricolours flying in places they never would have been 30 or more years ago. Mind you she said she wouldn’t mind if they flew a Union Jack along side it.
Which is, I think, pretty broadminded for an 80-year-old DUP voter. More people like Pearlie and we’d have that Assembly up and running in no time.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Sleeping On The Job

Well chance would be a fine thing! Take last night - I trot off for my sleepover at 11.30pm and after a go at the Sudoku and a perusal of the news I drift off to sleep....

To be rudely awakened by the fire alarm. Get up, liaise with night worker, soothe ruffled feathers of clientele then back to bed where I drift off to sleep....

Brrrng! Brrrng! Night worker calls the sleepover flat to let me know that the PSNI want to transfer some noisy ruffian from their cosy cells to us. No vacancies. Try again tomorrow. I sleep....

To be jolted awake at 3.30am by that boom-boom noise that passes for music among the cloth-eared. I investigate its source and complain and am assured it will be turned off. I then toss and turn, try to ignore the slamming doors and loud conversations, worry about 'my' washing machine rental agreement, seethe a bit then finally fall asleep.

Then I got up and worked for eight solid hours.

Then I went home to find that Bert had not lifted a spoon for over 25 hours. I decided not to nag him.

Then a perfect opportunity presented itself. In a conversation about petted children Bert decries Swisser's boys as hopelessly spoiled because they wouldn't even wash a dish.

So did I continue to hold my tongue? Not on your Nelly.

Bert's excuse. He didn't know what all the stuff in the sink was. This was because a lot of it was Pearlie's sundae dishes, lemonade sets, ornamental glassware and other such foolishness rescued from the sheds. I'd been working on the Herculean task of washing it the previous day before I left for work.

So I told him what the stuff in the sink was. It was bloody dirty dishes - that's what it was.

Then I washed all the dishes and stupid Pearlie stuff so that I could donate it to Laura's carboot sale and while I doing this Bert went off on a jaunt to help Clint choose a new cock. I asked them to bring me back a bantie but they didn't.

I will post pictures of Clint's new cock before the weekend. According to Bert it's gorgeous!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

BoxStupid and Me

God I’m cross.

What’s the point of it all?

I suspect I just exist so that other people and institutions can make use of me.

Where’s the bloody fun?

Is this a rant? That’s not like Nelly’s Garden. So what’s pissing me off?
Let me count the ways.

  1. Old age

  2. The aftermath of the Big Girl’s Blouse Flu. I’m on antibiotics now.

  3. Teething troubles

  4. Mingerton

  5. People who sell me stuff on Ebay then up and die just after I’ve paid them but before they send the goods. Hah!

  6. Getting a letter this morning from BoxClever demanding a monthly payment of £45.90 for two washing machines purchased on behalf of my workplace in Spide City nearly 5 years ago.

So I phoned BoxClever. No getting out of it. Because the account was opened in my name I’m responsible for non-payment and as the company cancelled the Direct Debit and the washing machines no longer exist and nobody registered their death I’m responsible. That’s a carry-on is it not? The company actually sent a lorry to pick up these non-existent washing machines last week. Nobody was there, there were no keys to get in and anyway the washing machines are languishing in landfill somewhere.

So I phoned Mingerton and spoke to the Wise One. The Wise One said I should phone the Finance Department of the old company.

So I phoned the Finance Department of the old company and she said she would look into it.

Ten minutes later the Finance Department of the old company phoned me and said she’d been in touch with BoxClever and they had offered to sell me the washing machines.

Right! I know I’ve bought some crap in my time but I draw the line at buying washing machines that don’t exist. Unless the vendor is operating on Ebay in which case I might be tempted. (See aggravation #5)

All this hassle has totally spoiled my enjoyment of redding out the shades. Then to top the lot with dream topping I held up a little pottery jam pot with a lid featuring a seated jersey cow and said to Bert,

“Should we put this in the box for Laura’s car boot sale?”

And he says,

“Och no. That’s a nice wee thing.”

And he takes it from me, turns it upside down and the lid falls on to a gorgeous plate featuring a vixen and two cubs and the wee cow’s left ear breaks off. Amazingly the foxy plate was undamaged which was just as well because if he’d broken that too I might have had to kill him.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Redding Out The Shades

Working in Mingerton

Feeling depressed

Discussing literature and Lost

Slagging the small man


Picking up scripts

Sowing seeds

Making dumplings and stew

Chasing the hens off the vegatubbles

Redding out the shades

More later....

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Old Fashioned Weans

Old Fashioned Weans
Originally uploaded by hootchinhannah.
Three Irish weans and three Canadian weans. Who is who?

The Lamentations of Pearlie

I'm a bit moody at the moment. Maybe it's a hormonal thing but more likely it's the aftermath of the Big Girl's Blouse Flu. It's my experience that viral infections leave me feeling drained and low in spirits. But yesterday was a lovely day and despite my return to Mingerton I felt pretty OK. At lunchtime I went for a walk in Currell's Avenue. It was actually more of a trespass by the riverbank where Bert and I used to take the children for walks. It was there that Katy fell in the river and Bert saved her life. It was a beautiful gladed place then and full of wildflowers. There were celandine, primroses, wild garlic and wood anemones. Later in the year there were masses of blue and white spiked campanulas, which must have been a garden escape gone wild.

There were three ponies grazing there. Two were in the meadow and another one was right by the river munching on wild garlic. The ponies have trampled down or eaten a lot of the vegetation but it is still a beautiful place and anyway horses are just as wonderful as plants. I wished I'd brought my camera.

After work the first thing that caught my eye was Attracta out pecking for insects and grubs in the evening sunshine. She looked so busy and intent on her task. This delighted me as she was getting the chance to live a proper hen's life at last. I'd been feeling fine before but seeing that wee chicken foraging in the sunshine upped my mood from fine to happy.


Soon afterwards Bert returned and he was happy too. He'd just come from the practice nurse after having his ears syringed. I know I never mentioned that he'd gone deaf for I was too preoccupied with my own woes and anyway it was a blessing in disguise for me for his (temporary) deafness meant no tin whistle or clarinet for a week. He plays by ear y'see. The evening being so fine he decided to get a move on with the vegetable garden. Pearlie came out to watch.

Pearlie and Penny oversee the vegetable planting

I was telling her about how happy I felt when I saw the hens starting to venture out. She said,

"Ye've little need o'them hens! They'll only bring the fox and he'll ate the lot of them. There's far too many trees about the country now. Farmers planting woods all ower the place! It only encourages foxes and then folk cannae keep a hen or two running about the place! There's nae need o' them oul woods a-tall!"

Then to lighten the subject I said to her,

"Isn't it great watching a man working?"

"Huh! He's only lossing his time at that oul carry-on. Them hens'll soon scrape that lot out when they get the length of this garden. It's naethin' but a waste o' time that!"

Thankfully a car arrived. It was my home girls and their boys. Hannah and Jamie were out to pick up their car from Ploppy Pants and Zoe and Dave were out to borrow Rosie to take on a walk with their pup Gracie. It was Gracie's first experience of chickens and she wanted to play chase. A bit of impromptu dog training took place but Pearlie didn't see the point of it.

"Och no matter what you do that wee dog'll only be after those hens to kill them. She has terrier in her and that's what terriers do. Kill chickens!"

"No Pearlie. She can be trained to let them alone."

"She's got terrier in her and it's bred into her! She'll kill those hens first chance she gets."


So there you go. According to Pearlie all our attempts at self-sufficiency are doomed to failure. The hens will scrape up our vegetables. We will be unable to console ourselves with a lovely fresh egg because Foxy will ate the hens. Should any hen survive Gracie will rip it to pieces. Because it's bred into her.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Yours With An Aching Mouth

I wrote this on the 10th April,

Can you imagine working in a place where, on the Monday before Easter Monday, you don't know yet if you're working it?

After that posting I phoned my workplace and found out that I was off at the beginning of the week and not working until the Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I was a mixture of glad and mad.

I was glad that I had Easter Monday off. And glad that my requested day off (today) had been granted and then I was mad that I was being expected to work for a third weekend in a row.

But life gets in the way and I had the Big Girl’s Blouse Flu and didn’t work last weekend so no opportunity to check the rota for myself. Today I had two dental appointments, the first at 8.30am and the second at 3pm and yes, you’ve guessed it, another tooth has gone. I’d been waiting nearly six weeks for this appointment and had asked for it off as soon as I started the new place.

So this evening I phoned work to double check my hours and guess what? I was told that I was supposed to be working this evening.

As Richard Meldrew would have said, “I just don’t believe it!”

I Will Survive! Briefly.

Running Target
You are 42% likely to survive the end of the world.
You might know a few things, but that's about it. You likely survived the initial catastrophe, but not for very long. Your death was slow, and extremely painful, but only because you weren't stupid enough to die immedeately. Don't get too cocky though, you weren't bright enough to survive.

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 0% on sp
Link: The Apocalypse Survival Test written by ci8db4uok on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

Found at Ed’s

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

To lose one seller, Mrs Moser, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness

I wrote this the other day,

And speaking of Ebay – I’ve been stroked twice. The last time I was Ebay-spreeing I got everything I paid for and now this time two vendors have not sent the goods. You might put it down to the post or whatever but these sellers didn’t even answer my numerous messages. Perhaps they died? I suppose that could happen. But it would be odd if the two of them died so close together just as I’d made a paypal transaction for them.

Well you’re not going to believe this but I heard today that one of them is actually supposed to have died! On the day before I paid her on Ebay. And there was me left negative feedback too. The message was supposedly from another Ebay seller and the spelling and grammar was appalling. I don’t know about you but poor literacy is the first thing gets me thinking it’s a scam. Might this indicate that I possess racist tendencies?

That negative feedback is staying. If the seller is dead she’ll hardly care. Funnily enough though her name turns up two sites that list Ebay scammers. I don’t know what to think.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Two Foxes, A Badger And A Lying Toad

The Wee Manny is a great believer in the old adage,

Early to bed and early to rise,
Makes a man healthy, wealthy & wise

It doesn’t seem to be working for him, as he’s none of those. But still he persists. Off to bed at 9-9.30pm and up again with the lark

The Wee Mannys plus dogs stayed here the other night. Next morning The Wee is up at sparrow’s first fart and he and his dogs went off for a walk in the fields. This is what he told us.

“It was great. You just wouldn’t believe the wild life I saw.”

“So what did you see then?”

“I saw two foxes and a badger.”

“Is that so? Where did you see them?”

“The foxes were in among the trees and I saw the badger crossing the lane.”

Hmmm. Call me a sceptic if you like but I’ve a feeling the only wildlife The Wee Manny spotted the other morning was the lying toad in the bathroom mirror.


Despite my advancing years and genteel upbringing I like a bit of ‘sex’n’violence’. Obviously this only applies as long as I am not personally involved in said sex or violence. So I enjoyed reading this story about a happy slapper who got slapped right back

The guy who hit back was rumoured to be a Scouser. Go Liverpool!

Here’s the footage


It wasn't easy turning in last night knowing that Paddy was lost.

I tried not to feel bad about Bert even though it was his fault (again) that they'd got away. Nine times out of ten it's Bert's fault and when he's in charge I just know they be watching him all the time for that golden moment when they can escape.

Bert asked me to wake him at eight so he could resume the search. In the event he did a preliminary search at six but no sign of the hairy fellow. I went out at seven and as I trudged back dogless I thought I'd check the sheds just in case he'd been in one when Bert closed them the previous night.

The first was the bantie shed. There were plenty of sleepy chickens but no Paddy. Then as I turned away from closing it I saw him dandering over the yard. I was so pleased. Said hello to him and brought him in to the house. He's up in bed with Bert now and I shouldn't be surprised if both of them have a lie-in.

We're beginning a stricter regime today. Dogs are going to take turns being tied to the leg of the coffee table. They'll have sofas to lie on and the lead will be long. The untied dog will be allowed to roam the yard at will. They are going to hate it but it has to be done.

In case anyone was wondering I did say the Memorare for Paddy's safe return/painless death/whatever. That prayer is always answered.


Those scunging devil dogs managed to escape early afternoon. Several scouting expeditions failed to bring them home. Rosie returned bogging just after 9pm. Paddy is still missing. This is getting silly. We've been out scouting and shouting ourselves hoarse but there was no sign of him. Now it will have to wait until morning. I'm worried.

Then we lost Attracta this morning. I thought Foxy had nabbed her but then she was found in the big shed where we store all the 'stuff' and 'things'. So next time I'm out there looking for treasure I'm likely to find an egg as well. There are three new hens now. Dympna has joined Attracta and Patsy although only Attracta is laying. Bernie the bantam is delighted with her new companions.

Animal keeping is a torture. All that responsibility and anxiety and all I get out of it is a pound of dirt a day from the dogs and one egg from the hens.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Easter In Cully

In The Village

Many of the good people of Cullybackey and its surrounding town lands attend Easter Sunday services in the Cunningham Memorial.

Less Sunday-observant folk visit the Mace supermarket for Sunday papers and other sundries.

Outside Wylie’s Bar a fight erupts. A group of spides, quite unaware of the meaning of Easter, are engaged in beating and kicking some poor unfortunate to the ground.

Meanwhile young Laura The Wee Manny, newly possessed of a driving licence, drives her parents through the village and is so mesmerised by the scenes of violence that unfold before her that she nearly drives into a lamp post. Only the roar of her mother in the back seat brings her to her senses. Her father, contented with organic chicken, rhubarb crumble, wine and Bushmills sees nothing amiss.

Outside The Village

Some of the good people of the Killyless Road are patting their big bellies after a good Easter lunch and a surfeit of chocolate Easter eggs. Stretching their legs in their back yards they see Bert Clematis-Grower and the Wee Manny stride purposefully through Bertram Acres with four fine and mannerly dogs at their heels.

‘What fine-looking fellows,’ they exclaim to each other, ‘But lo! Is that The Wee Manny fallen upon his arse? Tis! Now down goes Bert Clematis-Grower. And see! Now the Wee Manny is flat upon his face. That surely must be rough and uneven ground upon which they tread that they should stumble so.’

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Happy Birthday Hannah

Happy Birthday Hannah Banana! See you later.

On Single Beds, Curtains And Being Stroked

I had not been down to our old house that many times since Clint took up residence and I had not been over its door since he moved his furniture in. But that changed the other day. To tell the truth I was reluctant to look back in case I was filled with sadness and regrets. Clint has made the house look very different. To my surprise he has made it really attractive. Less cluttered, more masculine, light and airy and fresh looking.

Although the house looks different now one thing remains the same, one thing I miss a lot, and that is the view of Slemish and the Antrim Hills from the bedroom window. Clint has chosen this room for his bedroom and I was surprised to see that he sleeps in a single bed. A single bed? For such a big man? Clint is about 6’3” tall and while he’s not fat he has the build to suit his height. I teased him about this saying a single bed would be no good if he were to entice a woman home. He said there was little chance of that. Clint is a bachelor although not ‘confirmed’ but his courtship techniques have become rusty through lack of practice.

He had asked me round to look at some really old curtains left over from his old house and I was keen to see them after seeing those plant pot ones go for £77 on Ebay. There was nothing of that calibre among Clint’s pile but I did get a rather pretty patchwork quilt. Just what I needed too – another patchwork quilt.

And speaking of Ebay – I’ve been stroked twice. The last time I was Ebay-spreeing I got everything I paid for and now this time two vendors have not sent the goods. You might put it down to the post or whatever but these sellers didn’t even answer my numerous messages. Perhaps they died? I suppose that could happen. But it would be odd if the two of them died so close together just as I’d made a paypal transaction for them. Then a friend of Swisser’s works in a sorting office in Belfast and he has hinted that thievery is rife there. That’s a very depressing thought.

I’m still sick. The Big Girl’s Blouse Flu progressed from aching throat, to thick green snottery, to chest pain, to dry hacking cough, back to snottery and on to weepy depression and the loss of the will to live. Then I caught myself on and phoned in sick. I’m that over being Another Martyr For Oul Ireland.


Thursday, April 13, 2006

Into Their Company

When I was 14 the nuns gave out a pamphlet called ‘My Dear Daughter’. This work was penned by a Catholic Lady Doctor (and Mother) and was intended to guide us innocent Catholic girls through puberty, adolescence and the rest. I wish I’d kept my copy. It was full of interesting biological facts and diagrams but was also heavy on the sort of advice that would help a young Catholic girl stay pure. I remember it advised us never to sit on a boy’s knee. I couldn’t understand that as I was so excessively shy and modest then that I wouldn’t have considered sitting on a masculine knee and indeed I’m sure I was 18 before I did. Then I realised what the pamphlet was on about. ‘My Dear Daughter’ was also dead set against girls wearing patent or shiny shoes whilst at ‘hops’, in case the boys would be able to see the reflection of their reinforced double gussets in their shiny shoes. My best memory of ‘My Dear Daughter’ was being instructed to say prayers for purity whilst we were washing our private parts. This was an aid to guard against ‘excitement’ brought about by ‘friction’. Sometimes I wonder if I imagined all this and have been looking for a copy of ‘My Dear Daughter’ ever since to check it out. So I was quite chuffed to find a similar booklet, ‘Into Their Company’ written anonymously by A Medical Woman, A Girl and A Wife with an introduction by The Rev C.C. Martindale, S.J. ‘Into Their Company’ is an earlier work than ‘My Dear Daughter’ and was first published in 1931. Here are some extracts.
On The Desire To Marry The first point to remember about the sex-instinct is that it is just as normal and natural as is the instinct to get food. But whereas human beings have always acknowledged their hunger, because that was the way to get something to satisfy it, they realised very early that, for a woman at least, to say: ‘I do want a home and a husband!’ was not the best way to get one. (Into Their Company pp2-3) And women especially have tended to hide away the fact that they want to get married, and have tried never to show or admit it. The finer the woman, the more self-respect she has, the greater care she will take not to be the one to make the first advances. If she has her own dreams of an ideal marriage she never makes them cheap by talking about them. (Into Their Company p3) On Controlling ‘Bad Thoughts’ or ‘Thinking About Sex’ The Church….wants her daughters to be beautiful in mind as well as body. . (Into Their Company p16) Thoughts against purity?….You hate them. Don’t let them trouble you. Simply say to God: ‘These aren’t me, I hate them. It’s just the devil.’ ….in your private dreams of having a husband and children, you don’t realise that it isn’t lawful to dwell on and take pleasure in the thought of such things as will, if you are married, be quite right and lawful between your husband and yourself. Taking pleasure in that kind of imagining is tearing something out of its setting- stealing, in fact. (Into Their Company pp17-18) Do not think about your ‘bad thoughts.’ Say quickly ‘Jesus save me – Mary help me,’ and then think of something else. If you are a domestic sort of girl, picture to yourself the little house that you and your future husband are going to live in, and decide upon the colour schemes for the various rooms. By the time you have solved the knotty problem as to which pattern of chintz or cretonne will look best with your drawing-room walls the bad thoughts will have flown leagues away! (Into Their Company pp19-20)
‘Into Their Company’ also offers some useful advice on dealing with those troublesome lesbian tendencies. I don't recall 'My Dear Daughter' covering this issue. I may have to return to that subject in another post.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Dear Trusting Friend

Rue 22 Amin Munga Street
Segbeya Ayelewaju
Cotonue Benin Republic

Dear Trusting Friend,

I am Charles Miller the only Son of late Edmond Miller the Managing Director of APEN petroleum company in Cotonu capital city of Benin I must confess my agitation is real, and my words is my bond, in this proposal.

My late father was a petroleum marchant and because of his sucess in this field also because his wealth, his business associate in the field was very envious and family friend also was against him.

Anyways yerman’s ma died giving birth and his da was poisoned by jealous enemies but,

On his last breath he disclosed to me of an amount,eitheen million five hundred dollars($18.5 million) he deposited with a bank here in is on this note that I am contacting you.

All I needed from you is to furnish me with your bank particulars:

So Charlie Boy if you’re reading this hear are my bank particulars

1) Name: Mrs Nelly Moser
2) A/c no. 789456123741852963
3) Bank of Dreen, Dough Head Road, Spide City, Norn Iron

I look forward to receiving my 20% cut of the EIGHTEEN MILLION FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS. Yay!

Just letting you know Charlie that I have had a score of similar emails since Christmas but somehow yours has touched my heart with its poignancy and sincerity.

Harry de Cat Before He Was Horrible

Originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

Poor Robin

I witnessed a brutal murder this morning. I was sitting in the den about to enjoy a nice cup of coffee when I saw Harry de Cat leap right through a bush. I knew he was up to no good so raced outside as fast as I could. Harry de Murderous Cat ran off but there, on the other side of the bush, laid a poor robin breathing his last. I carried him into Bert who pronounced him a goner. He died in Bert’s hand and was gently laid to rest underneath a hedge. I think Harry just pounced on him and crushed him to death. A robin being hit by Harry must be like us being hit by a truck.

I know, I know – nature red in tooth & claw and all that but I briefly hated Harry. That robin was one of a pair that had been hanging about this past few months. We enjoyed watching them.

Harry is belled but he is so damn fast. Bert suggests that we feed him up so that he gets fat and ponderous. Would that be cruel? Or should we just get one of his legs amputated? That would slow him down all right.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Not Dead Yet

It seems that it is not Avian Flu. I’ve only got two of the symptoms as described by Adam and Ronni says it’s all a lot of fool nonsense anyway. But I still feel pretty rough so I guess I must have the Big Girl’s Blouse Flu.

My throat is not as sore but my nose is running, I’m sneezing and my chest feels all clogged up. I’ve been self-medicating with chocolate but it doesn’t seem to be easing any of my symptoms. Tastes nice though.

Despite feeling rotten I’ve still been out Helping the Aged. I took Pearlie to her Tuesday club in Broughshane. I took a shortcut cross-country and got a bit lost but Pearlie thought it was a right laugh. Then I took Matty to Antrim to buy Easter eggs for her neighbour’s children.

I bought

  • Three books - £1.50

  • Wind chime/ cowbell whatever - £1

  • Thornton’s Easter Egg for Matty - £9

  • Chocolate (medicinal) 45p

  • Bushmills (medicinal) £13.99


Conversation with Hannah (who moved out yesterday)

Hannah: Did Bert and you miss me last night then?

Nelly: No.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Nelly's Goodbye

I heard Bert saying the other morning about Jamie,

“Another clean shirt’ll do that boy.”

Reason – Jamie was coughing and spluttering because he smokes too much. Bert’s remark in translation means,

“Judging by the sound of him that fellow is going to die soon.”

Now of course clean shirts don’t apply to myself as I don’t wear ‘em but I fear that I’ll not be needing many more clean blouses as I’m on my way out too. Won’t be long now before I’m under the mountain ash. And I’ll tell you for why because I was reading something very scary over at Jimmy Porter’s place.

With growing horror I realised that the severe sore throat I woke up with this morning is actually the dreaded Avian Flu! How do I know? Let me list my Reasons To Be Fearful.

  • We have taken possession of two new hens, ex-battery slaves, name of Patsy and Attracta.

  • Our dog Paddy is obsessed with them.

  • Patsy is poorly. Bert says it’s because Paddy mumphed at her but I know it’s Avian Flu.

  • Paddy licked Patsy’s arse.

  • Later on that evening he licked my face.

It’s been nice knowing you all.  Keep on blogging.

Now What Shall I Write About Today?

Maybe I'll write about the sore throat I've woken up with? Ever the considerate worker I have, yet again, scheduled poorliness into my off-time. I do not return to the coalface until Saturday & Sunday. Easter Monday? Don't know. Can you imagine working in a place where, on the Monday before Easter Monday, you don't know yet if you're working it? The people who make the rotas up know that they'll be off. No bank holidays for them. But we minions don't know.

I could tell you about the hens we may or may not have rescued from battery cages. But I won't in case someone from MAFF reads this.

Then I could tell you that I'm going to be very busy today because I'm helping Hannah move house. So yes, I'll tell you that.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Bunny Bashing

My last post was written under the influence of alcohol but I'm happy to say that this one is totally alcohol free. And this despite having spent the last several hours in the Crosskeys Inn in the company of Hannah, Jamie, Bert and the delightful Mr and Mrs Bolan.

Oh the scandal! The arguments! The disclosures! Let's just say that there are some people who will be seeing Bert in a very different light after tonight. There will be a lot fewer people asking him to mind their pet rabbits for them when they go on holiday.

See. That is what happens when a body spends time with the Toaster. Their blogs go all cryptic.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Music Night

Really good Thursday session tonight. I had to remind myself (again) how privileged I am to be able to listen to so much good and real time music from such a talented bunch of guys and Hannah.

A thing I learned today. Bert is so much better at blowing whistles than I am. Whistle blowing is often encouraged but rarely appreciated.

Another thing I learned today is that life-work balances are the way to go.

Another thing - that quiet guy sitting in the corner listening to the general chat about arson, arsin' about, eatin chicken-shit and bloggin' might be your new boss. Aaargh!

And landlords aren't always arseholes. I met a guy today restored my faith. Jamie relocated to Norn Iron and Hannah & he are moving in next to the cutest neighbour in the world - a very, very handsome Jack Russell Terrier. Time we were out in those amazing Bertram-sheds sorting out the happy couple some furniture.

PS this is one of those red wine posts.


I was awakened this morning at around 5am by the noise of explosions and a roaring and cracking. I couldn’t figure it out for a moment. Fireworks display? At this time of the morning? I jumped out of bed to look in the direction of Galgorm Manor hotel, the occasional site of celebratory pyrotechnics. But the noise was much closer. The empty house next door appeared to be ablaze. I heard Hannah up too. She was calling for Bert. She thought it was gunfire.

I raced downstairs and dialled 999. Gave the address, directions, information regarding house being near derelict – then waited for the fire engines to arrive. It took them about 15-20 minutes then the most of two hours to bring the fire under control.

Then later this morning I went to take a look. The fire must have started in the garage; the exploding noises were probably paint tins and a gas tank going off. The fire did not spread to the house but it could have so easily. And how did it start?


It’s not the first time there has been a fire on that site. Long before I came to this part of the country there was a cottage stood on that site. It belonged to Bert’s family and Clint used to live in it when he was a little boy. That’s the reason why Clint and Bert are friends from childhood. Their two families were neighbours and the two of them used to play together as children.

Clint’s granny died in that house. Bert’s father was passing it one day when he noticed the windows were blackened. He went to investigate. He found the elderly lady perished, mostly burned away. Apparently not much besides her lower legs were left. Bert’s father said the walls were covered with sooty grease. I thought of her last night as I watched that garage burn.


I got a lovely new monitor this evening courtesy of Dave.

The first thing I did was a bit of catching up with the Flickr contacts where I saw that Ganching has been uploading photographs of her bookcase for friends & family only viewing. It’s understandable she’d want to keep this private as you wouldn’t want any oul Paudie, Pearse or Billy gomeying at the dross that gathers up on the oul bookshelves.

As you’d expect Mr Bolan was straight in there taunting her about only having the one bookcase (he’ll be here too arguing in his customary pedantic fashion that he meant something else altogether so come on then Mr Bolan if you think you’re hard enough!) but anyways to get back to Ganching’s bookshelves she soon put him right by telling him that this was only one of her five bookshelves. And judging by the tasteful and eclectic selection on display the other four are where she keeps the dross.

Well in my last house I had huge built in bookshelves and about seven other bookshelves (wee ones) dotted about the house and a ton of books all over the bloody place and mostly I’ve still got all the books and the wee bookshelves but Clint got the big built in ones that held all my fiction from A-M.

So, until Bert builds me more bookshelves, I’ve got a big book storage problem and it may be time for a cull. But even if I get rid of all the dungy ones (Kellerman, Dan Brown, Trollope and the ones with pink covers) I’ve still got far too many and I probably haven’t even got round to reading about 200 of them and I’ve forgotten what the rest of them are about.

I was trying to do a redding out the other day and only managed to put about eight in the charity shop box. Must try harder.

Talking of charity shops I was in one the other day in Larne where not only were they charging an extortionate price for tatty paperbacks they had also great big saucer sized stickers urging the potential buyer to read them and then bring them back so they could sell them again! For some reason this enraged me. But then I’m easily maddened these days. Hormones.

And of course that Trollope was Joanna. I kept my Anthonys.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Small Man

Once upon a time there lived a man of normal height. However this man was so small-minded and so morally stunted that whenever people thought of him they thought of a small man, a sort of leprechaun or a pygmy.  

It was always surprising to meet him afresh and to see that he was of normal height.

Natural Graft

Natural Graft
Originally uploaded by NellyMoser.
The assimilation to Tinkerton is not turning out as I'd hoped.

The graft is not taking.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Wooo! Survived El Capitan’s blog cull. I’d have been gutted to be banished. He’s the only Pirate I’ve got.

Palace Viewing

Hannah and I went viewing houses in Ballymena this evening and the process made me feel a little ill. It’s a seller’s market right now and I grant landlords their right to be choosy about who they rent to. But…. there they were showing us around their tawdry apartments acting like they were showing us palaces and asking nosey and intrusive questions of my girl. I felt like butting in and saying that they were bloody lucky such a quiet, steady and good person was prepared to consider renting their shoddy houses. Next time I’m sitting in the car.

Moleskinner Blues

Nelly: D’ye fancy meeting Stray Toaster this weekend for a drink?

Bert: I do not.

Nelly: Why not?

Bert: Because I’d be doing the driving. Again.

Nelly: Not a-tall. I’d be doing the driving. You’d want to be having a drink meeting the Stray Toaster.

Bert: Oh! Why’s that?

Nelly: Because you’ll be feeling that awkward at meeting him and experiencing his utter wonderfulness.

Bert: Elaborate.

Nelly: Well there’s his wit and intelligence, then there is his lovely shiny hair and then there’s his gorgeous moleskin coat.

Bert: Moleskin coat? Where’d he get that?

Nelly: In a Moleskin Coat shop.

Bert: Is it real moleskin?

Nelly: Oh aye. It’s got wee mole snouts and paws hanging off it and all.

Bert: Y’mean wee digger paws.

Nelly: Aye.

Bert: Well maybe I will then. I'd like to get a look at this coat.

Nelly: Did I mention his lovely teeth?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Lost? You Bet I'm Lost!

Just finished watching Lost and I'm a wee bit confused. What happened this week seemed pretty straightforward. Reunions all round, Shannon dead but who cares - she was a total drip. That one in the tight grubby vest loves Sawyer, it's obvious Jack is going to make that trigger-happy she-cop whole again and the bondage-prone Iraqui is back on the market. Wish I was Lost.

But the last two weeks? Haven't a clue what was going on. Last week Clint sat santering through it and the week before it was Mugsy spoiling my viewing pleasure with his incessant, endless chatter.

The girls' dad and his lovely lady were staying at Zoe's this weekend and we had a family get-together on Saturday evening which was a pleasure. This morning I left the pair of them to the airport and afterwards Matty and I went for a run in the car. We went to Larne where I found this nice print in a charity shop.

I'm into bird prints at the moment. I also got a corn crake one and together the pair of them cost me £3 which was a bit awesome. Instead of going straight home we went along the coast road to Glenarm then back towards Ballymena via Feystown and Carnalbanagh. This is the part of the country where the paternal grandmother was reared. Like all hill-reared folk (i.e. Pearlie) the Granny was a bit mad.

The Coast Road (Larne to Glenarm)

Matty's nerves were a bit ragged today. She locked herself out of the house yesterday and although she pretended to be cool about it I think it upset her. She took a 'wake turn' in one of the charity shops, a condition she refers to as 'not being one bit well' and then her crappy pound shop umbrella disintegrated in the fresh breeze. But the run through the country cheered her up as did a few amusing anecdotes she told about drives out with Ganching just after she got the driving licence and would only drive on B roads.

Bert ripping tonight because one of his customers wanted to call after 7pm. Bert just doesn't get the hours that these people keep. Sometimes as he emerges from his pit at tennish or thereabouts I tell him that all the other horticulturists have been out in their polytunnels since 7am. But he pooh-poohs this. This is him raging,

"Bloody man coming at bed-time. I suppose he's been running about all day selling pansies to oul dolls and hadn't a minute 'til now!"

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Not Wanted On Voyage

Today, while getting A Unit from the sheds, I discovered four Boxes of Stuff and an electric sewing machine. I have not missed these items in six months which begs the question - are these items really necessary? Except maybe my green tulip vase which I've been looking for in the past couple of days. I may have a poke through these boxes later on.

Saturday, April 01, 2006