Thursday, June 28, 2007

Like Granny

Granny Byrne, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

Sometimes I wonder if I shouldn't just stop worrying about being fat, get myself a big roomy coat, a felt hat, some sensible shoes and stuff my handbag full of religious tracts and letters from missionaries. And be formidable. And scare people.

Just like Granny.

The Prime Minister(s) and I

Winston Churchill – Winston had almost completed two years of his third term in office when I made my appearance. He had suffered a stroke a few months before I was born and this was kept from the British public as was the custom in those days. While Winnie was recovering from ‘exhaustion’, and little wonder for he’d had a tough old time of it with wars, rebellions and uprisings, I was learning to walk and talk and relishing being an only child. It was not to last.

Sir Anthony Eden – While Eden was making a horlicks of the Egyptian situation and fending off amorous overtures from France I got me a little sister who, while initially unwelcome, grew on me over time. While Eden was getting wrong footed by Harold Macmillan the sister and I were being terrorised by a pet ram. Thankfully the parents had the savage beast served up with mint sauce.

Harold Macmillan – Harold oversaw my golden childhood and I remember him well. I was under the impression that he was from the County Antrim him being a Mac and all. The years from four to ten were wonderful for me. The sun shone all summer long, in winter the snow was deep and crisp and even and Christmas was magical. There was always something good on television even if it was black and white. I acquired a further three sisters and a brother but I didn’t mind. As far as I’m concerned Mac never said a truer word than, ‘You’ve never had it so good.’ The Profumo Affair went right over my head.

Sir Alec Douglas-Home – Another brother appeared and life started to get a bit grim. Not the brother’s fault of course – more the 11+ and ‘working hard at school’ and ‘getting to the convent’ and bloody puberty. Douglas-Home lasted a year. People were getting tired of the Conservatives.

Harold Wilson – While Harold was getting the permissive society underway I was watching from the sidelines. Hating school, hating growing up, and navel-gazing - it all passed me by.

Edward Heath – British prime ministers were starting to impact on us Norn Ironers more because by now the Troubles were well under way. When Heath took office I was sixteen – when he left it I was pregnant with my first child. Of course Ted, allegedly a friend of Dorothy’s, had nothing to do with the pregnancy.

Harold again - One Saturday night about twelve weeks after Harold Wilson took office for the second time he was on television talking directly to the people of Northern Ireland. This was during the UWC strike during which time Loyalists brought the province to a standstill. During his speech he called us ‘spongers’ and referred to the murder of my father’s brothers that had taken place the previous night. Three months later my first daughter was born.

James Callaghan – Callaghan oversaw the Winter of Discontent and I had my second daughter.

Margaret Thatcher – Oh dear. We didn’t like her one bit. Started of calling her Milk Snatcher then taught our children to chant ‘Maggie, Maggie, Maggie, Out, Out, Out!’ but fuck the bit of her listened to us. During the Maggie years I got married, divorced, didn’t buy my council house and was a mad feminist. Then I met Bert, got my A levels, and began studying for my degree. Hannah was born in the middle of the Falklands War.

John Major - I completed my degree, passed my driving test and got all my kids to college. Went back to work myself. Meanwhile John, who I secretly fancied and admired, did sterling work in Northern Ireland.

Tony Blair – So delighted when he got in but my happiness didn’t last. During the Tony years I lived in the country, worked with homeless people and moved to this house. Tony went to war. I started this blog. Two of my sisters married a Glaswegian. Not the same one. Daddy died.

Gordon Brown – Since Gordon’s been Prime Minister I have gone to work, shopped at Lidl’s, made a plain dinner, watched people screaming at each other on TV and sipped Laphroaig.

What about you?

Monday, June 25, 2007

A National Treasure

I didn't get a moment to blog over the weekend because I was so busy. Starting on Saturday morning we were inundated with visitors which meant that Bert was unable to clear off leaving me on my own to clean the house. Sometimes I wish Bert would fix up a shed for receiving company in. He could tell the visitors that Nelly was not 'at home'. Of course I would be 'at home' - I'd be 'at home cleaning'.

Or he could be honest.

I'm sorry but today we will have to drink our coffee and smoke our cigarettes in this comfortably appointed and 'all mod cons' shed. Today the house is out of bounds. It's Nelly's housework day and she is very dangerous to approach during housework. Think of a bull elephant in must and you will get some idea of her current mood.

Then there were people coming for dinner so including Pearlie and Lizzie that was six delicious meals to prepare. The main course, a dry chicken curry, was close to disastrous but the dessert, rhubarb and ginger crumble, was wonderful. Maybe I should just order in the savouries and concentrate on puddings. Pearlie refused crumble on the grounds that she 'wouldn't like it' even though she regularly eats those vile, doughy and shop-bought excuses for rhubarb tarts. Still her loss was Bert's gain.

Another highlight of the evening was the discovery of Bernie the Bantie's newborn chick. Years old Bernie is and this was her first baby. That rooster has certainly been earning his keep. It's amazing what a bit of the oul cock can do for a girl.

I spent most of Sunday morning crying. Why? It's my age.

To cheer me up Bert took me to World of Owls in Randalstown forest. There were no long-eared owls which was a slight disappointment but as I reasoned to Bert, why have long-eared owls when they know everyone's got their own. What? You don't? Sad for you.

We got talking to Mike who runs the project and before we knew it we were offering him ornamental trees for the sanctuary but hauling trees to a forest is a little like taking coals to Newcastle. Mike said he'd been advised to plant clematis montana around the aviaries to afford the birds a bit of shade and privacy. Did we know anywhere he could get clematis montana? Funny's enough.... So we'll be back and this time I won't have left my camera at Matty's.

Another thing that happened at the weekend was I got invited to have my blog archived by the British Library. I thought this sounded a bit odd so I checked it out. I discovered that at least two other Norn Irish blogs had been invited too. These are BreastFeedingMums and Peregrine's Bird Blog.

My own breast feeding credentials are impeccable. Katy and Zoe were both breastfed until 14 months and Hannah.... maybe a week or two longer....

And then there's my newly awakened interest in birds. Is there some kind of pattern emerging here?

Naturally I consulted Mr Bolan as to the wisdom of taking up this invitation. He informed me that it means I am a National Treasure and t'were no harm in it. So I did.

Friday, June 22, 2007

One Hardy Snipe

I've been on my own in the office this past two days as CD was off doing the 4 Peaks Challenge. I was worried about him as he'd had a bit of a chest infection earlier in the week.

I received this email yesterday,

Nelly, you won't believe it! I just won the irish mountain, first out of 250 people!

Tapped out on his Blackberry from the top of Slieve Donard.

Of course I passed the news around. The (award-winning) site foreman said,

Boys-a-dear! That's one hardy snipe!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

So Generous, So Sharing

Hardly anybody ever reads my other blog and I've just got tagged on it so as I've taken a lot of trouble compiling my post I thought I'd provide a link.

Afraid I haven't tagged anyone as you lot don't let on about your other blogs.

Return of the Owls

Can you imagine how happy I was when I opened the door at around 11 last night and heard -


The young owls are back!

We watched them swooping and diving over the stubble of a recently cut field. Hunting for themselves now. But maybe Mom still brings them the odd carry-out?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport

Your Slanguage Profile

Aussie Slang: 100%

British Slang: 75%

Victorian Slang: 75%

Prison Slang: 50%

Southern Slang: 25%

Canadian Slang: 0%

Sunday, June 17, 2007

My Leeks

"My Leeks"

What you gon' do with all that veg?
All that veg agin your hedge?
I'm a gonna, get, get, get, me soup,
Make me soup, gonna make me poop.
My leeks, my leeks, my leeks, my leeks,
My veg, my veg, my veg, my lovely little leeks (Check ‘em out)

I grow these brothers yearly,
I start ‘em good an’ early,
I treat them really nicely,
They grow all by themselfes.
Thompson & Morgan-o,
Suttons and Burpee gro’
Dobies, they all be growin'
All my money I be spendin’
And time I’m spendin hoein,
You love my long cucumber,
My lovely little peas,
Black-eyed and green and runner,
And so I keep on rakin'

And hoein’ an transplantin’

You can keep on rakin’
It gets you hot and pantin’

You know just what I'm needin'

Some help with all that weedin'

My leeks, my leeks, my leeks, my lovely little leeks
You love my little leeks (I'm plantin’),
My leeks, my leeks, my leeks (I’m rantin’)
My leeks they got you (pantin’)

Paddy's Day

Paddy likes to sleep late. He might get up around mid-morning to pop outside and attend to the needful. That finished it's time for his nap. He'll snooze off and on until sixish, only stirring to bark nastily should a vehicle enter the yard. It's only after he's had his supper that he really comes to life.

It's Not Your Wadi

Of all the vile children that are portrayed on television advertisements the Mi Wadi crew have to be the most loathsome. If those ads had been around when I was a teenager I doubt if Zoe, Katy or Hannah would ever have been born.

It's not your Wadi! It's My Wadi!

Selfish, spoiled hateful little Celtic Tiger Cubs. I fantasise about pouring their disgusting Wadi down the toilet in front of their very eyes and then making the wee bastards drink buttermilk. Or good plain water.

On the other hand I'm quite fond of those young lads in the car ad who are mature and staid beyond their years.

Think I'll have a little nap.

Might join you.

Although I can't, for the life of me, remember which car they're selling it's bound to be a family saloon.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Bert the Republican

Bert is perusing yesterday's paper.

I see oul Cherie wouldn't curtsey for the Queen.

Didn't she?

Oul Maggie curtseyed.

But Maggie's a traditional Tory. Did you see how she and the Queen were dressed almost identically?

Probably got their outfits in the same place. Top Shop likely.


So oul Cherie won't curtsey for the Queen. I don't think I'd curtsey for her either.

Cough! Splutter!

What!? What'd I say! Do men not curtsey?

Friday, June 15, 2007

Time On My Hands

I hardly know what to do with myself these days. Hannah has gone to Thailand, the owls have flown away and my course has finished. Maybe I should start a blog?

Oh! I’ve just remembered. I’ve got one of those already.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Class of 2007...

...or those of us who didn't have to rush back to work or other commitments.

Funny things exams. Throughout the year you go to your classes, you produce good coursework, you read your expensive text books and you revise like crazy. Then you go into an examination room with nothing more than a dictionary and two new biros and put down a parcel of shite.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Displacement Activities

One of my colleagues on the course spent the weekend ironing. Twenty-six shirts to be exact! Worse still twenty of those were her husband's. Anything rather than knuckle down to the psychology of education.

I'd been doing quite well at the revision. Of course Friday was a bit of a disaster what with Hannah preparing to go to Thailand and me, as a consequence, on eggs.

Thursday was a good revision day and yesterday too. I'd even given up on Big Brother to study. Today was my last crack at it so why did I take the urge to start a crime thriller and plant a flower bed?

The situation so far - I feel I know nothing, I'm halfway through the novel, feel sure the acupuncturist dunnit and the new flower bed looks lovely.

Despite this all crossed fingers, positive thoughts and prayers for tomorrow would be appreciated.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Human Watch

IMG_0752, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

They always come out about this time of the evening.

You could set your watch by the wee fat one with the camera.

The long thin one wasn't about for a few days but I see he's back now.

It's great when you see the old ones. They don't come out much.

What do you mean? Sure the fat one is old.

No. I mean the really old ones. The ones with the sticks.

Thank feck we're good and high up. I heard about that old one and her stick!

The wee fat one must have about a million photos of us now.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Bon Voyage Hannah!

Hannah started off on her trip to Thailand this afternoon. I am going to miss her so much.

Oh well. Nothing else for it now - back to the revision.

UPDATE, Sunday 16:50 - Hannah has arrived safely in Lopburi.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Nice Evening Isn't It?

siblings, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

We must be the most peered at, gazed upon, papped owls in the county. Mum says we shouldn't encourage the humans and that long eared owls are supposed to be shy and elusive. We keep telling her that this is the 21st century and everybody wants to be famous now. Today Nelly's blog, tomorrow Bill Oddie.

We didn't like the look of that pair who were here yesterday, We hid in the trees and they barely got a glimpse of us. Horrible yappy dog they had too. The one with the beard kept throwing rocks in the undergrowth trying to flush us out but we weren't bothered. Nelly was ripping at him.

Wonder what's for supper tonight? Vole? Mouse? Or frog? We're starving!


Thursday, June 07, 2007

Never Too Busy...

Bert's Cousin Margaret: Are you busy?
Nelly: Yeah.
Bert's Cousin Margaret: Really busy?
Nelly: Really, really busy. Revising. I've got this exam on Tuesday y'see. Why?
Bert's Cousin Margaret: Too busy to show me the owls?
Nelly: Never too busy to go see the owls...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Bastard Got Bernie Too!

Bernie, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

That's it! Fox-hunting to be reintroduced at Nellybert's. It's not as if they're scarce.

Monday, June 04, 2007

The Damage Done

While I was in Norfolk Bert phoned me to say that there had only been 'one breakage'. Well, excuse me but, I think that a salt and a pepper cellar constitutes two breakages. When I told him what they'd cost he said, "They seen you coming," and "The cat done it."

I was really peeved about it and let him know I was and then my three children all moaned at me for moaning at Bert and that reminded me of what I'd done to his van door* the night of the party and he was really nice about it - just laughed it off, so I phoned him back and said it didn't matter about the TG Green salt & pepper set and he was pleased.

And Foxy got my darling gammy-legged Patsy Hen. The bastard!

*We don't talk about that.