Monday, April 30, 2007

The House Choir

And to think I used to complain about the tin whistle. At least he played some lively tunes on that. I now know how Jazzer felt the time she cut the strings on Banjo Man's tenor banjo.

How am I supposed to do assignments with that racket going on?

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Things To Do On A Saturday

1. Go do planty things in the greenhouse.
2. Have major tussle with vile pampas grass. Lose.
3. Go see Jolly Joe about car getting MOTd.

4. Take Matty to Homebase and buy loads more seeds.
5. Take Matty to new charity shop in Antrim Town. Buy a book.
6. Take Matty and Rosie to Lough Shore and buy strawberry ice creams.

7. Take camera out to fields and sneak up on rare and exotic wildlife and take lots of photographs of same.
8. Do some work for seriously overdue college assignment.
9. Give Hannah a lift into town.
10. Eat chocolate. Mess around on computer.
11. Forget to call Joe to hear if car got through MOT.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Conversations With The Hearing Impaired

Conversation 1

Matty: Your Kerry Sister says that this really short-haired look for men is all to do with up here. She says nobody in Dingle has their head shaved.

Nelly: Ach sure what would Dingle know about anything! It’s all mad tourists there anyway.

Matty: She says none of the locals have their hair shaved and her Brendan is growing his long.

Nelly: Well don’t forget your darling youngest son has a number 1.

Matty: Aye but he’d need to. What would he be like him with long hair and none on the top and the bunches of ginger curls growing out the side?

(Sorry Joe. Couldn’t resist.)

Conversation 2

Nelly: There’s this great garden centre I must take you to. Bert says it’s the best one he delivers to and it’s not far from here.

Matty: Oh is it that one in the Ecos Centre that Kerry Sister took me to?

Nelly: No. But that one’s great too. The one Bert’s talking about is on the Cockhill Road.

Matty: Where? Your road?

Nelly: No. The Cockhill Road.

Matty: The Clough Road?

Nelly: No! Cockhill! Near Slaght.

Matty: Cloughmills?

Nelly: No! Cockhill. Am I going to have to write it down for you?

Suddenly Nelly has brainwave and decides to act out Cockhill. She just gets as far as the first syllable when Matty puts her out of the house.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A Lunchtime Walk

When the weather is fine, or even when it’s not, I like to go for a walk at lunchtime. But working in a village doesn’t give me much scope for walks. I’ve been everywhere now. I've done the graveyards, the riverside walks, up past the primary school, gone lurking behind the water pump station. Everywhere. And because it’s a village they all get to know you and by now they’ll be thinking,

There goes that loopy woman who’s always tramping aimlessly about the place.

At least in Ballymena a person out walking looked as if she might actually be going somewhere.

Are there not any beauty spots near your work place? - I hear you ask.

Indeed there is. There is
Tardree Forest. And it’s only a couple of miles away. It’s a lovely place with excellent views of Lough Neagh and the Sperrins beyond. Some good hillside trails too. It’s just the sort of spot a PA (hah!) with a newspaper, an apple and some sandwiches could go to while away a lunch hour. And take in a nice, brisk stomp around the forest paths for her health’s sake.

Now go google ‘Tardree Forest’.

I have to say that I knew the forest’s reputation. I’d been warned. But I also believed that the part I was in was used by chaps solely interested in other chaps. I’d been informed that the hetero action took place in a car park off the Parkgate Road. So I thought I was safe enough in the gay bit and I kept my head stuck in my paper and totally blanked out the occasional vehicle that went past. I couldn’t help noticing that there was one little blue car that passed me four times. The driver just seemed to be circling around. He slowed down and stared as he passed me but I pretended not to notice.

I felt a little bit uncomfortable and not sure whether I should take a walk. But being an idiot decided to chance it. As soon as his car was out of sight I went off road and into the forest and didn’t see one other soul. Fifteen minutes later I returned to my car and, still off road, I spotted the blue car again. Because I was sheltered by the trees I took a good look. The driver was a man who, I’d guess, was well into his sixties. Oh well. It was a nice day for a drive. You’ll note I don’t mention the make of the car. You’d never know who’d be reading this.

It’s a pity – but I don’t think I’ll be back in Tardree Forest again unless it’s with Bert and the dogs.

Instead I shall go walking on the Greenfield Road where strange creatures abound. Is this some kind of bear? Or ape?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Movie Dump

That other silly blog I've got looks like it might be turning into a repository for my new camera video clips. Things never turn out the way you expect them to.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The News From China

'A SHOW crocodile in a Chinese amusement park has been shot to death after it dragged a nine-year-old schoolboy into its pond and devoured him.

Several youths had climbed over the fence at the Yintan resort in Beihai and were hitting animals with sticks and rocks when one croc took hold of the boy's clothes and pulled him into the water, the Beijing Morning Post said today.

A swarm of up to 11 crocodiles then ate the boy, the report said.'

Boy tortures crocodile. Bad
Crocodile eats boy. Good
Men shoot crocodile. Bad
Ten crocodiles get away with it. Good

Sunday, April 22, 2007

The New Camera

I bought the Canon PowerShot A710 and so far I'm pleased with it. Zoe informs me that it comes highly recommended for the older user as it's design makes it easy for arthritic fingers to manage and it comes with an anti-shake function that evens out our palsy and tremors.

It's capacity to make mini-movies is far superior to my previous camera and I've already got some interesting footage of Clint and Lizzie discussing, in Ulster Scots and off-camera, the best way to rear goslings while the camera follows the fluffy goose babies.

Of course I'd like to share these. But how? They're a bit too long for YouTube. Any recommendations for editing tools?

Friday, April 20, 2007

A Tale of Patched Drawers

Do you know what I’m starting to hate? I’m starting to hate recycling. It used to be a buzz back in the day when it was just us sandal-wearing, patchwork-skirted, fuzzy-haired, hippy types did it. But now that it’s become a moral duty I despise it.

When those that lord over us were giving out the red recycling bins we didn’t get one. This miffed me and I phoned and moaned until I was given two of them. I rued it that very first day when the delivery man explained to me that the bins had tracking devices in the lids. That statement made me feel very queasy. Nevertheless I persevered and diligently filled the bins with bottles and plastic containers. There were explanatory leaflets but I ignored those. I do remember reading that they’d take tins but that they had to be washed. Yeah! I’d look well using my expensive hot water to wash out stinking tins so I continued to throw those in the bin. And you are supposed to separate everything out but I never bothered. So yesterday when I collected the bins from the bottom of the lane I found that the collectors had scrawled plastic on one and glass on the other and I was raging. Telling me what to do! I think I might take those red boxes a mile or two down the road and throw them over the hedge. I could always claim that vandals stole them from me.

Recycling is a load of shite. Recently we had a pavement built on part of our road which necessitated a lot of tree felling. Instead of one lorry hauling the trunks away in just a few loads there was a huge shredding machine hired to shred the trees. Needless to say it took days, used vast quantities of diesel to run the shredder, belched out black reek and took very many lorries very many days to carry it all away. What good did that do the environment? And of course as the whole enterprise was being funded by the council the cost of it was coming out of our pockets.

Then there’s our friend who works for one of those companies who trade in recycled clothes. I’m pretty sure that’s a total scam. They set up these big collecting bins and hint that it’s for charity and maybe charity does get just enough to keep them from paying the full whack of tax. Anyways the majority of the donated garments end up in places like Africa and Eastern Europe and obviously this is going to have a detrimental effect on local clothing and textile production and all the poor Kenyan and Romanian kids have to dress like spides.

So sod modern day recycling. It’s a con. It’s not like it was in Pearlie’s day - as I was thinking this evening when I was hanging out her patched candy stripe flannelette sheets. She used to patch and darn everything - sheets, towels, face flannels, tea towels, her aprons and even her knickers. Really old and worn out beyond redemption stuff would be kept to patch other things. Recently she was very cross with me after I threw out two pairs of her patched panties. I explained to her that I had to do it in case the carers thought we were spending all of her pension on drink and drugs and wouldn’t even buy her a pair of dacint drawers!

Just Call Me Mrs Mop

Today I am setting myself a challenge. In fact I am setting myself several challenges. I am going to wash all the office floors and I am going to write an interesting blog post. Obviously this isn’t it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Ganching (on Flickr) is no more. Long live Ganching1

pelicans in newcastle, originally uploaded by ganching1.

Sadly that terrible eedgit Ganching deleted her Flickr account. We shouldn't mock for any of us could accidentally find ourselves deleting our bought and paid for pro account, losing all our contacts, denying our many fans our strange pictures of bits of scaffolding, delpht and coffee cake.

But she's devastated now that she has no comments or faves any more, no pictures most popular or most viewed. So to cheer her up why don't you head over to her Flickr account and say something nice about her photies.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Before & After

attracta, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

That is what Attracta and the others looked like this time last year.

And this is what she (and the others) look like today. Nellybert is so going to heaven.

Must Be Getting Old Then

The other day Hannah says to me,

Mr X has got a really chubby ass.

Has he? I never noticed.

Then I realised - I've met Mr X on many's an occasion and I've never once looked at his bum. Obviously Hannah has. This is yet another sign that I'm getting on in years. Young men's bums no longer hold any interest for me.

Happy Birthday Hannah

Aaah! Birthdays. The perfect excuse to get out those dodgy old pre-digital photographs that lie around in boxes. Here's one the hamsters didn't nibble.

It's Hannah getting intimate with the late and lamented Danny (wonderdog, best dog ever) and I do hope we reminded her to wash her hands after the picture was taken.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

A Sad Homecoming

Our friends, the Wee Manny's, have just got back from a short holiday in Brazil to hear the sad news that one of their dogs, Jock, was killed on the road last night. Jock was a great wee dog. Animals can be such a heartbreak.

And Clint has just lost a clocking goose and eight eggs. Fuck you Foxy. Why could it not have been you instead of Jock?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


Warning! Cute picture alert!

Hanging about in grocery bags has to be one of Holly de Cat's favourite hobbies.

Lemon Cheesecake

This recipe is for Mr & Mrs Jolly Joe.


8 oz digestive biscuits

3 oz butter

2 packages Philadelphia cream cheese

1 tbsp cornflour

1 tsp vanilla essence

3 eggs

5 oz caster sugar

8 fl oz double cream or Greek yogurt

The grated zest of one lemon


Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4.

Oil a 9 inch spring-form cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper.

Crush biscuits and melt butter. Mix together and press down to bottom of tin to form an even layer.

Mix the cream cheese, cornflour, vanilla essence, sugar and eggs and beat until smooth. A food processor is pretty useful here. Add the double cream or yogurt and the lemon zest. Pour the mixture into the tin and bake for 30 minutes.

When baking is complete switch off the oven and leave the cheesecake to cool very slowly. When cooling is complete chill the cheesecake until ready to serve. The spring-form tin will make it very simple to transfer the cheesecake to a serving plate.

Serve with lemon sauce.

Anyone know a good recipe for lemon sauce?

Matty's Best Dog Ever

Posted by Picasa

Matty isn't big on dogs but here is the one who won her heart. This was Jess who died of old age a good few years ago.

Monday, April 09, 2007

"Randalstown is..."

The following 'facts' were gleaned from the interweb. Obviously this means that they are indisputable.I have it on the best authority that the fellow on the left is (allegedly) a fourth cousin, twice removed, of John Wayne the Hollywood film star. I think you'll have to agree that the resemblance is startling.

  1. Randalstown is a small town in County Antrim, Northern Ireland

  1. Randalstown is where John Wayne’s ancestors come from

  1. Randalstown is a lovely wee town

  1. Randalstown is approximately 6.75 kilometres long

  1. Randalstown is a relatively narrow and undulating rural route

  1. Randalstown is a pretty village on Lough Neagh

  1. Randalstown is behind us

  1. Randalstown is being used

  1. Randalstown is still unsettled, and likely to be so for some time

  1. Randalstown is going to wreck and cannot recover unless the mills are occupied

  1. Randalstown is a City in Antrim

  1. Randalstown is not the correct location

  1. Randalstown is fairly evenly balanced (54% Catholic)

  1. Randalstown is actively involved in the family farm

  1. Randalstown is a place of thrills

  1. Randalstown is offline

  1. Randalstown is noted for its beautiful arched stone bridges

  1. Randalstown is entirely heated by two 30kW geothermal heat pumps

  1. Randalstown is the Best

  1. Randalstown is a complete shithole

  1. Randalstown is absolutely rubbish

  1. Randalstown is only up the road frum ickle me!!!

  1. Randalstown is so much more than that. We got two bridges…

  1. Randalstown is a fenian hole

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Blogmeet Continued

I have to say that day trips to Belfast can be quite exhausting for an old countrywoman like myself. The crowds, the emo kids, the beggars, the scummers, the flat-earthers and the bloggers can be quite a heady mix.

It was Marc who said something like,

God! Belfast is simply hootching with scummers!

And there was me thinking that it was a classy sort of crowd compared to the types we see hanging around Cully's street corners.

But apparently Norn Iron is completely nasty when held up against the fair city of Cambridge. There is no punting on the Lagan, we all talk funny, there are too many spides and not enough dons and there are horrid hills everywhere. And to top the lot the ticket machines in Castle Court won't take Bank of England banknotes! Blatant racism.

But as Ed said it was a good day and even Mr Bolan was impressed with his complimentary Cadbury's Creme Egg.

Miss California attempted to humiliate Beowulf as is traditional but he bore it with dignity and patience. Not one trace of a trace of a salty tear. It was good to meet Cyberscribe at last. There were others too...good lads all. They may be turning up on the blogroll some day very soon.

Now here's a thing - Ed maintains that there has never been a famous personage, hero or celebrity come out of Randalstown! Does anyone know any different?

Saturday, April 07, 2007

In Which I Attend A Meeting of the Flat Earth Society

Zoe, Hannah and myself took ourselves off for a day trip to Belfast. We got one of those new-fangled electric trains. The noise of it was horrendous. I was lamenting to Zoe about how horrid modern trains are compared to the homely chuff-chuff noise I remember from the steam trains of my youth. I don't know why she thought this was hilarious. Had I been standing then on the platform in Antrim waiting for the parish excursion train to Portrush and one of today's trains had cruised in I'd have thought we'd been invaded by aliens from another galaxy.

Our first port of call was St George's Market where we spent a pleasant hour or so looking at, eating and buying delicious food.

Then the girls...

couldn't be kept out of the shops to browse through the exciting spring fashion arrivals. Sadly I found it all too easy as the shops are full of the clothes that we wore in the seventies and they are just as vile now as they were then. So it was I was standing outside Primark when I saw two handsome and well-dressed young fellows approaching. I hailed them to a stop and it wasn't long before we were engaged in a philosophical conversation centring round the provability of the globosity of the Earth. Truly Belfast is an amazing place because this almost never happens to me whilst standing outside the Spar in Cullybackey.

So it was that Zoe found me and I have to say the expression on her face was one of total horror. She is always unhappy when she finds me in the company of the Flat Earthers.

Hannah is much more tolerant and so it was that she and I allowed ourselves to be carried off by the Flat Earthers while Zoe made good her escape to the safety and sanity of Ballymena....

I'll continue this tale tomorrow when I'm in a more sober frame of mind.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

A Good Read?

This meme I've borrowed from El Capitan and Ronni. I've made my own variation in that I'm not just bold-facing the ones I've read but highlighting in red the ones I own and haven't read (yet). It's a funny old list. I don't think Mr Bolan will think much of it.

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (J. R. R. Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (J. R. R. Tolkien)

7. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (J. R. R. Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L. M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (J. K. Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (J. K. Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (J. K. Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (J. K. Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Brontë)
21. The Hobbit (J. R. R. Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J. D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. The Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Brontë)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (George Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Charles Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Charles Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (J. K. Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Leo Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Victor Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’s Diary (Helen Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Márquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E. B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (John Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Michael Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S. E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

I didn't list any additional books, as my friends from Texas did, but I have read huge amounts of Stephen King, John Irving, du Maurier and all of the Narnia books plus a few other CS Lewis including his SF trilogy.

I've also read almost everything Steinbeck published (not Travels With Charley), a fair bit of Fitzgerald, loads of Dickens and all but a couple of Kingsolver.

Some I've started and not finished - the Bible, Ulysses, LOTR, War & Peace to name the most notable.

Some of the books that I have read were diabolical wastes of time. Dishonourable mentions to Rowling, Fielding, Brown and Archer.

Cruelty to Animals (And Oul Dolls)

I read today that the revised Animal Wefare Bill due out tomorrow will make it an offence for owners to allow pets to become obese. This worries me.

During Pearlie's recent month-long stay in hospital Rosie regained her lithe physique. This was double good as she was recovering from her own injury and lightening up a bit was sure to help her shoulder repair itself. Then Pearlie gets home and Rosie is starting to get a bit tubby again. The reason?

All Pearlie's meals are prepared at Nellybert's. And when these meals are being transported to Pearlie's abode Rosie always accompanies. Pearlie likes to have a bit of canine company when she eats. You should have seen the size of her last dog. The amount of buns and other unsuitable rubbish that dog used to eat - it was a miracle it lived to see 14.

And it starts again with Rosie. There is no point talking to Bert about it because he is the most distracted, careless flibbertygibbet of a man that I have ever known. He just lets those animals walk all over him. It's little wonder that 9 out of 10 times that Rosie and Paddy escape to go scunging it's Bert who was supposed to be looking after them.

So this is what I fear - Rosie turns into a great massive tub and Pearlie is admitted to hospital again only this time she's suffering from malnutrition. And it will be me who takes the rap.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Best Quiz(zes) Ever

One for the computer geeks

I got 9/10. Too easy. Mind you you'd only have to make one mistake....

Only if you've got facial hair and a penis

I didn't do this one for obvious reasons.

Art or Crap?

I only got 6/16. Perhaps you'll do better?

What kind of thinker are you?

Like Charles Darwin and Johnny Morris I am a Naturalist thinker.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Talking Turkey

Meet Big Ernie, Clint's Attack Turkey. When Big Ernie is on the loose Clint has nothing to fear from burglars, robbers or sneak thieves. But Ernie is about to meet his match.

Hello there, Big Ernie. Lovely weather we're having. I do hope it keeps up for the Easter weekend. Are you looking forward to Easter lunch? We are.
G'wan ye sarcastic fecker or I'll hae the goolies of ye!

Ye wudn't be the first and I daresay ye'll hardly be the last! C'mere ye skinny bastard 'til I get a dig at ye!

Aye! Run ye yellow fecker! I'll get ye in the long grass!

Ye bastar...! Urghhh!
I suppose ye thought that was funny! I'll mind ye, ye hoor ye!

Nellybert would like to reassure readers that no actual turkeys were harmed in the making of this blogpost. Clint would also like it to be known that Big Ernie, though temperamental and vicious, is a valued and respected free range turkey who, he hopes, will become the father of very many turkey chicks to come.