Thursday, November 30, 2006

Bliffo the Bare

On the left: Ms Britney Spears with clothes on which, given her recent form, makes a pleasant change.

I showed Bert some of the ruder pictures of Ms Spears that had emerged on the internet and he was utterly appalled.

"What is the world coming to," he fumed, "When women belittle themselves so by displaying their all and what they had for breakfast to any passing paparazzi? Where will it end? Truly these are the Last Days."

He was equally outraged when I showed him similarly immodest pictures of Ms Lindsay Lohan, Ms Paris Hilton and Mrs Katie Andre.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

This Job I'm Doing

After seven years of working in homeless services I'm working in a day centre with learning disabled adults. That's the field where I began working, many years ago in Ballymoney, in my first job after leaving university. So I've completed the circle and am very happy to be back.

But... I need to brush up on the lingo. What is the correct term these days? Learning disabled? Mentally challenged? Not the full shilling? Ooops! Forget I said that last one.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Butter Wouldn't Melt In Her Mouth

Bonnie likes butter and she likes butter substitutes. I'm learning not to leave any on the kitchen surfaces. Learning the hard way that is. I forgot to put it all away this morning before I went to work and Bert was wakened once again by the sound of breaking glass and delpht. She ate half a pound of unsalted butter, a quarter tub of Golden Cow spread and half a cottage pie. She smashed a Pyrex dish, my cereal bowl (a particularly nice one) and a lovely old Devonware butter dish. All in all about 16 quids worth of crockery and foodstuffs.

Did I mention that we've decided to keep her? But you knew that was going to happen, didn't you?

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Perils Of Drink: Swisser Gets Dropped On Her Head

We went to visit the Wee Mannies last night. It’s been ages since I’d been there. Not since the Night of the Green Butter.

Jamie drove and played The Carpenters to us on the journey. This was to get us into the mood for the Wee Mannies are famed for their dubious taste in music. No Green Butter last night – just lots of lovely food and wine.

The Wee Mannies treated us to their holiday video. This was something of a cut above the usual holiday video. I begged for a copy so that I could put edited excerpts on youtube but permission was denied me. I could make the Wee Manny an internet cult figure in a matter of weeks if given the chance. But Mrs The Wee Manny is canny enough to know this and won’t allow it. So I’ll just have to invest in my own camera when I get some money. Then we’ll see.

The best bit of the video was when it was the Wee’s go. They were having an outing to a butterfly park. For the first five minutes he left the camera cap on. Then he was totally out of focus for the next five. Then he found the zoom and we were dizzy watching it rush in and out. Jamie asked, “Is this how you see the world, Wee?” There was no reply from the Wee’s corner where he was, as is traditional, verbally torturing Swisser. Back on the screen he finally managed to focus on the arses of two young Dutch girls up ahead of him and he follows them doggedly, all the while complaining that he wants to go to the pub.

Back to the present and he’s winding Swisser, trying to get her to come and sit on the sofa, accusing her of being an anti-social lesbian. She’s laughing it off and resisting. He tries moderate force. She resists harder. Suddenly he picks her up. Scary! Because he ain’t sober. But he’s doing fine. Then disaster! He’s on the home straight and down they go. Luckily Swisser lands (head first) on the sofa. Bert says Ploppy Pants tripped the Wee and Ploppy Pants says it was Jenny Wren tripped him. Mrs The Wee Manny says the Wee stumbled because that’s what he does when he’s full. Swisser is shaken and slightly hurt. She has a grazed ear.

I always thought that I’d be mixing with sensible people by the time I was 50.

The Wee Manny is an independently wealthy man of 55 who likes a drink. He buys his clothes in charity shops and works as a skilled labourer. He takes at least three holidays a year.

Swisser is a respected academic and an authority on the relationship between diet and health. She is published in reputable journals and attends up to six international conferences a year. She is 50. She is not a lesbian although she has been known to say that if she was it would make her life a lot easier.

Ploppy Pants is in his mid-fifties. He is a food-faddist and is currently on a special diet. He denies this. He is learning to play the banjo. He hates his job which often involves fixing my car. Bert swears he tripped the Wee Manny.

I wonder if I’d actually like sensible people? To tell you the truth I’m beginning to doubt their existence.

Friday, November 24, 2006

I'm Feeling Cooler

Thank goodness for Wikipedia.

Sam Duckworth – important facts. He is 20. He favours Jack rather than Vera.

Richard Hawley – important facts. He comes from Sheffield. He knows Jarvis. Obviously.

Gerard Way – important facts. His first stage role was Peter in Peter Pan. He has mean looking eyes.

Eugene Hutz – Important facts – He fronts Gogol Bordello (of which I’ve heard, if not actually heard) and, according to TSL, is a crazy man. She claims that any child or children fathered by Mr Hutz would be mental. BTW SL, up here in the North we prefer not to use derogatory terms like ‘mental’ – instead we’d say, ‘has psychiatric issues’. SL I’m sure your heart is set on Eugene but if anyone else wants a mental baby I recommend the sperm of Mr Michael Stone (as featured in today’s news.)

I will now take a short break to view John’s youtube recommendations.


After my short break.

Wowzie zowzie! I’m feeling at least 10% cooler than I did yesterday. Now that I’ve heard both Richard Hawley and Gogol Bordello.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Icons of Cool

Recently the Swearing Lady said she was experiencing a crisis of cool. So when I accidentally stumbled upon the NME Cool List 2006 I couldn’t resist giving myself a little test. Out of 50 icons of cool, as decided by NME readers, I found that I only recognised 14 names. And one of those was Keith Richard. Even then there was a few of those whose faces I couldn’t bring to mind. For instance if I were to come home some day and there was Bobby Gillespie sitting on the sofa I wouldn’t know him from Adam. But if we were introduced I’d be able to say, “Oh yes. I know you. You shifted Kate Moss and you’re in some band aren’t you? Name escapes me right now.”

And if I were to come home and there was Liam Gallagher sitting there chatting away to Bert I’d know who he was alright. Only thing is I’d probably get mixed up and call him Noel and then he’d throw a strop and break something.

Then if I were to return home and found Devendra Banhart was sitting cross legged on the coffee table, reeking of patchouli, I’d have to call Bert out into the kitchen and ask, “What’s with Mr Hairy Hippie then?” and he’d go, “That’s Devendra Banhart,” and I’d go “Oh yeah! We saw him on Jools didn’t we?”

Another New Job

I started my most recent post this morning. Despite giving myself 30 minutes to drive from Cullybackey to Ballymena I still managed to be five minutes late. Perhaps not the best of starts? feels right. The work is rewarding and the colleagues seem to be a friendly bunch. I met several old friends within minutes of being there. Maybe this is the one I've been waiting for...?

I got a call from the agency while I was there. Would I like to work the weekend in the local psychiatric hospital? Mmmm..let me think about that. Naw.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Pearlie Explains "I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here"

D'ye watch that oul thing?

I don't make a point of it. If it's on I'll look at it.

It's no good. But I like to see them doing the trials. D'ye know if they don't pass the trials they get no meat?

Is that right?

Aye. D'ye see that oul fellow there? He's starvin' for the want o' meat. If he doesn't ate something soon I think he'll die. I don't know what took him on it anyway - at his age! The money I suppose.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Wish Me Luck

Agency work can be very varied. Last week I worked in a nursing home, yesterday I worked in a solicitor's office and this week I'm doing two sleepovers in an independent living unit.

Today I'm going for an interview in a quarry! Let's hope I'm rugged enough.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Natural Graft

Natural Graft, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

When Katy met Bonnie

When Katy met Bonnie, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

It has been ages since I posted a picture here. I like this one of Katy and Bonnie.

And I love this one that was taken by Zoe.

And here's one I took earlier.

My Christmas List

It’s that time of the year again – the mad, fun-packed few weeks when everyone gets in the party spirit. Are you ready?

Not really. I suppose I may make a list.

  1. The party. I am invited to Tinkerton’s office do which is nice as I don’t think agency workers have a do. Thankfully I will be getting my new teeth just in time for the festivities. Obviously this means I will not be able to afford a new frock.
  2. The outfit. See above. I shall be sporting some fash gnashers instead.
  3. The food. Clint has free range turkeys and as he is still squatting in our old house it will be the least he can do. I try not to visit too often in case I find myself making friends with Christmas lunch. And we’ve our own home grown Brussels sprouts and carrots. As for the rest of the food – I don’t get this supermarket shopping frenzy the world goes on. After all, how much food can a person eat in the one day that the shops are closed?
  4. Alcohol. Again, how much gin can a person drink in the one day that the offies are closed?
  5. The presents. I’m really starting to like Zoë’s idea of goats and plastic buckets etc. No wrapping, no clutter, one-stop shopping. Ideal.
  6. Decorations. Some of these days I’ll stroll out to the plantation and tie a yellow ribbon round an old fir tree. Then I’ll send Bert and his trusty axe out to drag it home for me. Out come the shoeboxes from the attic and on go the ancient decorations from way back when. What could be simpler?
  7. Christmas cards. I’ll be sending one virtual Chrissie card via the blog. I have to make up for sacrificing that fir tree after all.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Only A Step To Jesus, Why Don't You Take It Now?

Throughout my working career I have often found myself in situations and places where I would never, of my own free will, have chosen to be.

There was the time myself and two other people took a group of eight special needs people to a dinner dance in Larne. All was going well until Jeannie, an epileptic, took a turn that caused her to fall face first into her turkey dinner. While our attention was diverted Lucy, who needed to be closely supervised whilst eating, stuffed so much food into her mouth that she started choking and needed the Heimlich maneuver employed. Meanwhile Jeannie recovered, got the gravy and mash washed off her face, and daintily continued to eat her meal. Yet another successful outing where we brought eight out alive and returned them in the same condition.

There have been Christmas parties held by well-meaning church groups where the guest of honour was the minister. With her remarkable talent for identifying VIPs Lisa (Downs Syndrome) pulled up her sweatshirt to reveal her Do You Think I’m Sexy? Tee shirt and then treated the reverend to an impromptu lap dance.

What about a two hour concert given by the African Children’s Choir? Those kids could certainly sing but it was still hymns. Ten minutes of that would have satisfied me.

Oh I could go on. But I have always consoled myself that I was getting paid, and well-paid, for my attendance at these outings and dos.

But I’d have needed a lot more than the minimum wage to feel better about the service I attended last night. Up rolled the righteous in their Mercedes and Jags and suddenly the place was filled with good-livin’ folk who previously had only been names to me, names usually seen on the frontage of a number of Big Shops in the local area. So it was that I stood on my aching back legs for an hour of hymns and preaching directed at the captive audience contained within the Near At Hand Home for People Filled with Brotherly Love.

There could be no cheerier way to spend an evening than reminding the elderly that their time is rapidly running out.

And all for the minimum wage too.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Some Thoughts on Old Age

After two weeks of no work, I kept turning down clerical jobs in far-flung places like Larne and Newtownabbey; I started back at the Twilight Homes this week. And what a shame that it is this very week that my darling Katy is home for a few days.
Yesterday I was working in the Near At Hand Home for People Filled with Brotherly Love. It is a lovely looking place although rather regimented. I’m there today and tomorrow as well. Is this why I woke up this morning feeling horribly depressed?
The care is good enough, the surroundings are beautiful but I get a sense that the people who work there are just ‘doing a job’. As is normal in these places there is a lot of bitching and cliquery. The usual form of bitching is that other workers don’t pull their weight. One thing about this particular home is that it is certainly rambly enough for people to hide in. And from what I’ve seen so far I think some of them do.
Urrgh! I hate the thought of going in there this evening.
Then there is the clientele. The people that still have their wits about them are mostly lovely and really interesting to talk to, that is, if you get the chance. But the others, the ones in bed who barely know who or where they are, they depress me so. What is the point of that? The hardest thing is to look at the photographs on display taken maybe just a few years before when they were alert, up and about, and alive. Now they’re lying rigid, skeletal, paper-thin, hovering between half-life and the end. These are people who had lives, loves, jobs, hobbies and families they knew.
So – no matter the fineness of the furnishings or the splendour of the surroundings these are such sad places. The up-and-about ones, if they still have their minds, must know that it is only a matter of time before they too are lingering under full-time nursing care. Unless they are lucky enough to, one day, just drop suddenly dead. The ironic thing is that the quality of care and attention to nutrition etc. keeps most living long beyond their natural span.
There is much to be said to be said for the experience of benign neglect in a home of one’s own.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Basic Concepts of Information Technology

So how was your class?

Not bad. Tonight was the first night of our peer to peer teaching practice.

What was the class?

Basic Concepts of Information Technology.

Dear God! Sounds damnable. Who took it?

This guy. Know what he did? Only built a computer right in front of us. And made it look easy and fun. How am I going to compete with that when I take my class in word processing?

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Getting Some Work Done

Bert asked me today if Swisser had been impressed by his shelf-building skills.

“She certainly was but it’s not just Swisser,” I said, “Sandra from the blogosphere was dead impressed too. In fact I’ve offered your carpentry services to her when she comes back to live here.”

“Which one is Sandra?”, he enquired. “Is she the dissident republican?”

“Not as far as I know,” I answered. “Sandra lives in Canada. She’s a doctor and she’s going to be a plastic surgeon.”

"A plastic surgeon? Really? Is she a nice looking girl herself?”.

“Indeed she is. But you needn’t be worrying yourself about that for she only has eyes for Ed.”

“Ed? Is he the one knows Young Rooney?”

“Not really. They come from the same town, that’s all.”

“So Sandra wants shelves built.”

“Indeed she does.”

“And she’s going to be a plastic surgeon?”

“She is.”

“That’s handy. A boy couldn’t know too many plastic surgeons and him not a beagle’s gowl off fifty. D’ye think she’ll fix these bags under my eyes for me? ”

"Well, if you make a good job of the shelves - she might."

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Thanks Be To God

Manuel walks among us again.

While Nelly Was Away

I wouldn’t say that life with Bonnie is perfect. Take this morning, for instance – I left the house at 9am. I’d let Bonnie out to pee and made sure she had water. Meanwhile the other two dogs were still lazing in bed with Bertie boy.

Bert told me later that he thought the banging and crashing noises was just me doing the housework. For some reason Bert thinks I’m very loud as I go about my housewifely duties. Maybe I am. It’s bad enough having to do 85% of the cleaning, (Bert thinks it’s 50% but he’s wrong, wrong, wrong) without having to tippytoe around like a little creepy mouse.

But when the noise got really extreme he thought he really must look into it immediately. So half an hour later he dragged himself from his hairy bed and went downstairs. What a sight! All over the floor were smashed plates, shattered glasses, Oatabix (yuk!), full tins of dog food with teeth marks in them and pretty much everything else that Slutty Moser hadn’t cleared up from the previous night. That’ll learn me.

We don’t know whether Bonnie actually jumped on top of the worktop and pranced around or if she just stood on her hind legs and swept it all, Skippy-style, on to the floor with her paws. But it seems she’s not one for bland flavours as she never lipped the Oatabix (yuk!) but had a good chew at the cayenne pepper.

Friday, November 10, 2006


If you want to know why Hannah is going to call her first born Bait you must read this.

Bonnie's Progress

Bonnie has been with us for 21 days now. It looks like Toast might have been right after all.

I did contact the Council dog warden but she had not been reported missing. I put up posters in the village; it was over a week before there was any calls. The response did not come from her previous owners but from concerned neighbours. Names were neither requested or given.

This is what I learned. Bonnie had spent her whole life chained in a shed. When her owner went into hospital his wife let Bonnie loose and whether this was by accident or deliberately I don’t know. The neighbours took her in and bathed and fed her for she was filthy and starving. She stayed with them for about a week getting on well with everyone including heir own dog. But then the two dogs got away and ended up scunging on our road.

Which is when we came in. The neighbour told us that his dog made it home safely. He was happy to let us take responsibility for Bonnie. He said he’d prefer if she didn’t return to her original owners and that he was too close.

Bonnie was understandably unsettled for the first few days that she was here. She’s more at ease now. She had a bit of an upset stomach for about a week. Maybe she wasn’t used to regular feeding. I took her to my vet for a check up and had her checked for chipping. She’s unregistered. I’ve bought a licence and wormed her. The vet has pronounced her underweight but otherwise healthy.

We’re still looking for a permanent home for Bonnie. Maybe this is it.

Meanwhile Bonnie’s training regime has begun.

1. Shower Training

2. Bed Training

3. Comfy Chair Training

Breaking News

Man charged with Shirley's murder

Thursday, November 09, 2006

28. Bet on a winning horse


My Short-lived Career in Gambling

We’re back in 1976, back in the Globe Bar, where Nelly is an innocent young barmaid.

Bryan Street was different in those days. Most of one side of the street was taken up with McAllister’s bottling depot. The bookmaker’s on the other side of the street is the only business still there from that time. There was another pub beside the bookie’s and many of the punters would flit between the two bars. It wasn’t long before a few of the bookie’s regulars were persuading me to have a flutter. At first I was very reluctant for I thought gambling was a fool’s game. But Jim and Billy persisted and eventually I allowed myself to be persuaded. Don’t ask me to recall the racecourse for I haven’t a notion. But well I remember the name of the horse. It was called Love Story. That pair blinded me with science as to the odds and all the rest of it but it was the name that pulled me in for I was an eedjit for the romance in those days. I placed a fifty pence bet on the horse. Fifty pence! Let me tell you that fifty pence was the equivalent of a fiver then and was a modest, yet respectable wager. And the damn horse romped home and I won a couple of quid. Easy money – I thought.

Next day Billy and Jim were on at me again. Picked me another sure winner. I placed fifty pence and – lost it! I was raging. Swore I was finished with horse racing. Then the following Monday they tell me that Love Story is running again and I should place a bet. He’s the favourite. I refused. He coudn’t win twice in a matter of days. They cajoled. I dug my heels in. The horse was probably pounded with exhaustion. They gave up on trying to get me to relent. And of course Love Story won the bloody race. When they told me I vowed to myself that I’d never bet on a horse again. And I never have. Not even on the Grand National.

01. Bought everyone in the pub a drink

Date: 27th December 1976
Venue: The Slemish Bar, William Street, Ballymena

In 1976 I was a single mother to Zoe and I was working as a barmaid in the Globe Bar in Bryan Street, Ballymena. The Globe Bar is no more but I still have a connection to the place. It’s my bank now. I liked the Globe. It was a very popular pub at the time and all my friends (and some of my enemies) drank there. I was working there when I met Pete.

Pete was ever such a pretty boy. He had longish, dark curly hair, a neat little beard, lovely teeth, sweet smile; forget the colour of his eyes – brown? He was a little on the small side but no matter for I was smaller still. He’d have made the cutest little hobbit if they’d been casting Lord of the Rings in 1976. And the best thing, or so I thought, was that he was Welsh. That was so exotic in those far off days.

Well we’ll skim over the next three months. Suffice to say I fell in love and truly believed I had met ‘the one’. He professed to feel the same and I believed him. It felt right. Then Christmas came. I’d never had a boyfriend at Christmas before and I was pretty excited about it. On Christmas Eve our crowd went to the Slemish Bar in William Street. We had a great night up until about ten o’clock. I had arranged a taxi home for 11 and Pete did not want me to go. He put a lot of pressure on me to stay but, remember, I had a little daughter of two and I had to go home. My family were always great about babysitting but my mother would not have been impressed if I’d stayed out. I had to go home. I wanted to go home. I needed to be there on Christmas morning. Pete didn’t understand this. My taxi came and I left. We kissed goodbye and confirmed that we would see each other the next evening.

I had a lovely Christmas with my family and on Christmas night I went out again. Pete did not turn up. There were no mobiles in those days so I did not have any way of contacting him. I was thoroughly and roundly stood up.

The next day was Sunday and there was no word from him. On the Monday I went into town and to the Slemish Bar. There was no sign of Pete. All our mutual friends were there but no one seemed to know where Pete was. Some did, but weren’t telling. A few days before Christmas I’d received a tax rebate and was loaded with money. I remember buying everyone in the bar a drink – even the bastards who were laughing at me because they knew I’d been stood up.

Eventually someone told me where Pete was. After I’d left the pub on Christmas Eve he’d got off with the sister of one of our best friends. Like me she was a single mum but unlike me she had her own cosy flat. He’d spent Christmas holed up with her and that was the end of Pete and me.

He married that blade but it wasn’t a happy pairing. Then he went on to become a social worker and married again. He still lives in Ballymena but I haven’t set eyes on him for nearly 20 years.

And that is the true story of the time I bought everyone in the bar a drink.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

This Could Be The Last Time*

When Bert was painting the new bookshelves he upended a sofa to give himself more room to work. Harry de Cat, with his liking for lofty positions, perched himself on top of it. He cast a sharp shadow on the wall behind and I thought it would make a good picture. I didn’t know that I was taking the last picture of Harry that I’d ever take. And, last night, when Bert fed Harry he didn’t know that would be the last meal he’d ever give him.

We hardly ever know that, do we? Yes, Harry was just a cat. It’s no big deal really. Bert and I are sad but we’ll be less sad tomorrow and even less sad the day after that. By next week we’ll be well over it. For he was just a cat. It’s sharp and sore to lose your pets but you get over it quite quickly.

But...I took the last photograph of my cat and I didn’t know it. And Bert gave him his last meal and didn’t know it. Just think – you could be giving a person, someone you love, your beloved, your child , your parent, or your friend the last phone call, the last kiss, the last hug or the last kind word. I’ve been thinking about that all day.

*Or the 102nd use 0f a dead cat

The Last Picture

harry, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

Harry de Cat was hit by a car on the Dreen Road sometime last night.

Under the butterfly bush.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Have You Ever?

Have you ever? My yessirs are in red. This meme found at anyresemblance.

01. Bought everyone in the pub a drink

02. Swam with wild dolphins

03. Climbed a mountain

04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive

05. Been inside the Great Pyramid

06. Held a tarantula

07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone

08. Said “I love you’ and meant it

09. Hugged a tree

10. Bungee jumped

11. Visited Paris

12. Watched a lightning storm at sea

13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise

14. Seen the Northern/Southern Lights (Northern)

15. Gone to a huge sports game

16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa

17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables

18. Touched an iceberg

19. Slept under the stars

20. Changed a baby’s nappy

21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon

22. Watched a meteor shower

23. Got drunk on champagne

24. Given more than you can afford to charity

25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope

26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment

27. Had a food fight

28. Bet on a winning horse

29. Asked out a stranger

30. Had a snowball fight

31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can

32. Held a lamb

33. Seen a total eclipse

34. Ridden a roller coaster

35. Hit a home run

36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking

37. Adopted an accent for an entire day

38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment

39. Visited all 7 states and territories in Australia

40. Taken care of someone who was drunk

41. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country

42. Watched wild whales

43. Stolen a sign

44. Backpacked in Europe

45. Taken a road-trip

46. Gone rock climbing

48. Midnight walk on the beach

49. Gone sky diving

50. Taken a train through Europe

51. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love

52. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table, and had a meal with them

53. Milked a cow

54. Alphabetized your CDs – did it with books

55. Sung karaoke

56. Lounged around in bed all day

57. Gone scuba diving

58. Kissed in the rain

59. Gone to a drive-in theatre

60. Started a business

61. Taken a martial arts class

62. Been in a movie

63. Crashed a party

64. Gone without food for 5 days

65. Gotten a tattoo

66. Got flowers for no reason

67. Performed on stage

68. Been to Las Vegas

69. Recorded music

70. Eaten shark

71. Buried one or/both of your parents

72. Been on a cruise ship

73. Spoken more than one language fluently

74. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over

75. Walked the Sydney Harbour Bridge

76. Had plastic surgery

77. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived

78. Wrote articles for a large publication

77. Lost over 50 kilos

79. Piloted an airplane

80. Petted a stingray

81. Broken someone’s heart

82. Broken a bone

83. Eaten sushi

84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Parasailed

86. Skipped all your school reunions

87. Shaved your head

88. Caused a car accident

89. Pretended to be "sick"

90. Surfed in the ocean

91. Saved someone's life

92. Fainted

93. Been in the room while someone is giving birth

94. Hitchhiked

95. Adopted a child

96. Been caught daydreaming

97. Been to Ayers Rock

98. Called off a wedding engagement

99. Donated your blood

100. Become a follower of Jesus Christ

Nick Cave

Sunday, November 05, 2006

A Scary Looking Man

I had business at Tinkerton today and while I was there I bumped into the Scary Looking Man. The SLM is about my own age and has spent the last three decades in some institution or another, from prison to psychiatric units to hostels. He still suffers from psychiatric problems but mainly he would have what is described as 'behavioural issues' which, roughly translated, means he is very hard to work with. He's his own worst enemy etc. etc.

He is the kindest person and lives to help people out. It is a form of attention seeking and can be quite exhausting for the person or persons he wants to help. He's repetitive and obsessive and his language is appalling - and he gives it all out in a thick Glasgow accent.

So I took him for a walk to the Ecos park. For his pleasure, my own and to give the staff on duty some respite. He had his task which was to manage Bonnie on her lead. We all had a lovely time, took plenty of bread to feed the swans and ducks and of course the SLM had to engage everyone we met in conversation. This chat mostly went the way of him reassuring them that Bonnie 'wouldn't touch them' but if anything I'd say his appearance unnerved our fellow walkers more than the big shaggy dog.

I wish I'd had my camera with me when he was feeding the swans for his grizzled old face was a picture of pleasure and concentration. The swans were hissing and beating their wings warning Bonnie and me not to get too near but they were tolerant enough with the SLM who was dishing out the bread and stale cake.

On our way back to the car he said,

"I enjoyed that - giving bread to the ducks. But they fucking swans are fucking, scary cunts."

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A Drive To The Coast

Last night the brother, the sister, the sister’s husband, myself, the oldest and the youngest daughters and their fellows had a bit of a night out in Cushendall.

We went to a pub I heard referred to as Johnny Joe’s although I myself met no person there who answered to that name.

It was a great wee place. I think I was in it before many years ago but that was during the day and you cannot really judge a pub by its daytime trade.

There was a bit of a traditional session going on and the main players were what Bert described as, ‘good ol’ boys’. They weren’t that sort of up-their-own-arses crowd that wouldn’t welcome a strange face joining in. The brother done a bit of singing and so did the sister. The brother-in-law did a wee number in his native Irish which seemed to please. Bert said later that he might bring his whistle another time. He was particularly pleased that the banjo player had referred to him as ‘a young fellow from Cullybackey.” Those Cushendall folk don’t be long about finding out where you’re from and the rest of your business.

All in all a very good night - even for the designated driver.

Friday, November 03, 2006

How Many?
LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

However there is just one person called Nelly Moser - one person and several million clematis.

I was surprised to find that there were only 396 people with my maiden name in the whole of the USA for there must be 1000s of us in Ireland. When I was a young girl that would read anything I was always coming across my namesakes in old & crumbly novels set in Ireland.

We were never the heroine though. We were usually the drunken old cook or some poor old shawlie who lived in a one-room hovel with ten half-naked children and a pig. We were always saying alack & begorrah and throwing our aprons over our heads and wailing. Or we might be found sleeping (it off) in a ditch*.

HowManyOfMe copied shamelessly from Awesome Ed the Unique

* 'The Tinker's Wedding' by J. M. Synge

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Four Things

I’m really gutted that no-one has tagged me to do this.

Four things which may or may not be true about me.

a) Four jobs I have had in my life.

· Barmaid

· Nurse

· Market Trader

· Clerical Officer

b) Four movies I would watch over and over again

· Midnight Cowboy

· Shrek

· Flash Dance

· Trainspotting

c) Four places I have lived.

· Antrim

· Belfast

· Holland Park

· Stoke-on-Trent

d) Four TV shows I love to watch

· The Simpsons

· The X-Factor

· Big Brother

· Lost

e) Four places I have visited

· Lisbon

· Hogsback

· New Orleans

· Malaga

f) Four websites I visit daily

· Zoe

· Hannah

· Walrilla

· Ganching

g) Four places I would like to be right now

· Tinkertown

· Botswana

· Darwin

· Texas

h) Four of my favourite foods

· Chocolate

· Pilchards

· Spinach

· Avocado

I) Four bloggers I would like to respond


There is one untruth per section

Teeth of Adversity

I wonder if blogging is bad for the teeth? I know I've lost at least three since I started writing Nelly's Garden.

Those last extractions were heartbreaking for me and it was months before I'd even let Bert see me without the dental plate. I said to my dentist that I'd be prepared to pay more for something decent but he pooh-poohed this idea and informed me that the NHS' finest would be just the ticket. All I can say to that is - his arse in parsley!

Now he's gone over into full time orthodontistry and has left my treatment in the hands of another charlatan. And since then this bloody plate has broken about six times. And I cannot get it replaced until December!

Each time I repair it (with Loctite) it gets ever more ill-fitting. Let me describe my latest torture. The part that breaks off has a little gold hook that is meant to attach to one of my real teeth and hold the contraption in place. But the frequent repairs mean that this hook is now sitting away from that tooth. It's the tiniest bit off but you know how the mouth is like the Tardis and everything in it feels fathoms deep and miles wide. Now this hook sometimes 'cleeks' on the inside of my mouth. It's not a problem if I've got my usual glum expression going but if I smile one of those social, welcoming smiles the next thing I know I've hooked the inside of my cheek. So imagine the scene. There's Mrs Moser in a work stuation say, just for example, in a solicitor's office doing reception. Ding! Ding! In walks a client and I give him a lovely welcoming smile. Next thing the hook has caught the inside of my mouth and my lovely smile has turned into a contemptuous sneer.

I haven't my sorrows to seek, have I?