Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I have never heard tell of the Embassy Club in London but I imagine it to be a venue similar to the Flamingo Ballroom of yesteryear, only smelling less of sheep and silage and maybe not as classy.
For didn't Mick Jagger and Engelbert Humperdinck grace Ballymena's Flamingo? I'm sure they've never darkened the doors of the Embassy Club.
And obviously I thoroughly disapprove of violence. The last time I was in a catfight was nearly 40 years ago when Bernadette from Toomebridge attacked me in Paddy Smyth's Bar in Antrim town. I didn't know her from Eve at the time. Apparently it was something to do with her cousin's boyfriend but, thankfully, the bouncer took my part and carried Bernadette roaring down the stairs.
But to return to the Embassy Club in London, the venue where poor Charley from Big Brother was duffed up by this harridan. You couldn't help but admire the ruffian. Skirt up to her arse, the highest of heels, hair trailed back in a Croydon facelift, as orange as a pumpkin (except for the feet) and she's still able to trail Charley down the street without losing her fag! Awesome!
What could that girl do if she was properly dressed in combat gear and a decent pair of army boots? I'd not cross her.
Incidentally the last I heard of Bernadette she was going to jail for the attempted hijacking of a bus. I'm sure the girl from the Embassy Club could have made a better fist of that too.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
I did not say,
I need a good shite.
Instead I pussyfooted around and muttered something about hitting the gin rather hard over the weekend.
Despite this setback I fit into and look damn good in three different skirts that I haven't been able to get into in over four years.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
And if it does, would that really be so dreadful? You just pick it up, put it back on again and keep going.
But knowing my luck I'll trip and fall on my face when I'm picking it up!
You won't. It's not going to happen.
Little did I know of the potential pratfall that lurked underneath my own Jeff Banks wrap dress!
You see while getting dressed I had pulled a pair of tights from the drawer and I'd noted that they were a bit roomy. But never fear for I'm wearing a long dress and high boots. A slight Nora Battyness around the ankles will never be seen. And then I forgot all about it.
Forgot all about it until I was descending the steps of the stage and embarking on the long walk back to my seat. That's when I felt the whisper of descending nylon at the top of my legs. Grab them and haul them up? Not an option. Instead I grinned even harder, figuring that the intensity of my joyful smile would detract from the appearance of polka dot tights appearing under the hem of my dress and draping inelegantly over the top of my boots.
Thankfully it did not happen, although the tights were mid thigh by the time I took my seat. If you happened to be at that ceremony and you noticed one of the graduates clutching at her dress during the procession - that was me. And the reason I raced to the ladies was not because of the usual reasons - it was to tie a big knot in the waistband of my tights.
Friday, October 26, 2007
I was really looking forward to meeting my old classmates at today's graduation ceremony. After all, the last time I saw them I was thirty five pounds heavier. I was looking forward to their gasps of astonishment at the sight of the new and more streamlined Nelly.
Imagine my horror when I found that I was expected to wear this shapeless yoke. And as if that wasn't bad enough....
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
This evening as we were preparing dinner the phone rang. It always does. It was the farmer up the road. He told Bert he’d seen a van heading into the abandoned house next door and that it was sitting there with the lights off.
I was immediately suspicious. Bert and I had recently chased thieves of the property on two consecutive days. The first time I was out and Bert had heard banging noises. He went down to investigate and found a couple of young fellows in the act of taking lead of the roof. They did a runner when they saw Bert but managed to get a fair bit of the lead. The very next day we were both at home and heard banging again. I went down to see what was going on and there was a middle-aged, fair haired chap on the roof prising the remaining lead off with a crowbar. I asked him,
Does C… know you’re doing that?
Ah. Sure he does now. We’re after doing a job for him.
I don’t think so. C… would have told us if there was someone coming to do work for him.
Well he has us doing this for him. Y’can ask him and he’ll tell you. But anyway we’ll go now. Start the car now Pat!
The other fellow was a small weasel-faced man and he was in a great hurry to get off. The other man came off the roof and was affability itself despite his unnerving grasp on a great big crowbar.
Sure ‘tis a fine day altogether. D’ye have a job yourself?
I never answered him, instead saying,
There were boys here yesterday stealing lead off that roof. And that’s what you’re at too! Now clear away off before I call the police!
Stealing? Not a-tall. Sure I wouldn’t steal a thing. Tell me now d’ye have any oul bits of vans for sale a-tall?
But Pat was revving the motor and keen to be off. And between your man’s crowbar and the chance that Pat would run over me I was starting to feel a bit nervous and wondering where Bert had got himself to.
So being the good citizen I phoned the PSNI, gave the car number and as good a description of the two skitters as I could. Not that it would have done one bit of good for they’ll never be done for it. The police officer didn’t exactly say I was mental tackling them but he did advise against any further behaviour of that sort.
Afterwards Bert and I agreed that it would only be a matter of time before someone came back for the lead they’d left behind.
I noticed yesterday that the roof lead was gone. That’s about ten days it lasted. There is a bit over a front window left. There’s been a dig at it but it’s right at the front of the house and would need to be an evening job.
And wasn’t tonight a great night for the job. Dry and moonlit. Perfect.
Are we going down there to see what’s going on?
Wise up. I’m cooking mince.
But I headed off anyway and he after me, soon ahead of me on those big long legs. First thing I checked was the remaining lead. Still there. Bert’s in the gate and round the back of the house all light-footed in his deck shoes. He’s soon back.
There’s something going down. A van and a car. Some sort of confab going on.
Better leave it alone then. Maybe it’s a drug deal or something.
It’s some sort of a deal.
I was very curious. Lead stealing is one thing but some sort of major crime thing going on next door is far too scary. I approached the boundaries of next door from another angle, hid behind a pine tree and pricked up my ears. Heard absolutely nothing apart from twigs snapping. Took fear and returned to the house and the preparation of meatballs.
So what do you think is going on Bert?
Dunno. Maybe it’s just a couple in for a ride.
But why two vehicles?
Because that’s what people do when they’re having a sneaky affair. Meet up in separate cars. It’s what they do up in Tobernaveen Forest. Hey Bert! D’ye think next door has become some sort of dogging venue?
Maybe I should just go down there and check it out again.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Standing in the queue for the weigh-in at Weightwatchers is extremely boring. I have considered bringing a book or a paper but cowardice prevents me. My fellow flab fighters would, I’m sure, take a dim view of that sort of thing. So I fall back on the old favourite – people watching. And to make it more interesting I conducted a quick little observation survey. As I’ve said before a good few of the women who attend Weightwatchers aren’t particularly chunky. I wanted to prove that to myself. My sample consisted of the twenty women who were in the queue in front of me. I excluded the two men as I find it hard to gauge the fatness of men. This was my method: I rated women on a scale of 1-5 thus -
The total score was 55 making a mean of 2.75.
I didn’t work out their BMIs because I can’t even figure out my own and I certainly didn’t consider their waist to hip measurement. But even so, I drew the conclusion that people who attend Weightwatchers regularly certainly aren’t that fat. Which must mean it works.
This week I lost 6 lbs. That’s what laying off the booze and the heavy winter trousers does for you! Afterwards I raced off to Lidls as did the fierce looking woman with the pony tail. Since last week she had dyed her hair and dipped herself in Sadolin. She never cracked a smile and I avoided making eye contact.This post has ben inspired by His Handsomeness.
Monday, October 22, 2007
As others have commented, it is indeed, a small world. This past weekend Bert and I had two ‘dos’ to attend. The first was one of Glen and Mary’s leaving parties. They are going to
So I was socialising with a mixture of current friends (a few), old acquaintances (a few) and people I either hardly know or didn’t know at all. But, this being Norn Iron, there were a few connections.
There was the girl whose company I was in for the first time ever. She is the wife of a guy whose mother stole a lovely boy of me more than thirty years ago. She is also the daughter of a work colleague of the Mary who is emigrating to
The lovely boy who dumped me thirty years ago for Dirt Bird’s sister’s mother-in-law is the father of another lovely boy who is friends with Laura the Wee Manny’s daughter. Laura The Wee Manny’s daughter is going steady with an even lovelier boy in whose grandparent’s pub my aunt lived during the war.
In yet another connection Laura’s very lovely boy is the son of a man with whom my ex-husband worked with and was very friendly with when he lived in Norn Iron.
At one do there was a bloke whose older brother is the secret father of a fellow whose company we were in at the other do.
And then there was this Charlie bloke at Glen’s do whose father owns the pub where, twenty four years ago, the Wee Manny first introduced me to Bert and Mrs The Wee Manny. Incidentally this fellow was in the same class at primary school as Zoe and in the same class as Fresh Blade at grammar school.
And that was just the connections I either knew about or discovered. I wouldn’t doubt that if I’d had time to properly investigate the matter that I or somebody belonging to me was connected to every single person I met on those two evenings.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Nelly: What's your ma want for her tea?
Bert: Two boiled eggs.
Nelly: Do you want me to do them?
Bert: No. They have to be perfect.
Bert: So she said she wanted a fried egg and a bit of bacon. I cooked it for her perfectly. Just the way she likes it. Crispy bacon, runny yolk. Made her toast, cut the crusts off for her. Brought it over to her, set it own in front of her and said I was going to make us both a cup of tea. Told her I'd sit with her while she was eating.
Nelly: Fair play to you there.
Bert: So I made the tea and brought it into her. She's sitting there glaring at her supper like it was rank poison. I says to her, "Are ye not going to eat that?" She says, "Ye put it on an oul coul plate! Ye might have heated the plate!"
Saturday, October 20, 2007
NameThatDisease.com - Test your disease knowledge
Much better than Ed's score.
Moral victory my (glaucomic) eye!
On a level with my fellow disease expert Mudflapgypsy. Perhaps we should open a clinic?
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Well. Not really. It was tough enough. I had plenty of puff but it was hard on the legs. At least I wasn't scared of falling off like poor old Bonnie. She was not terribly confident on the steep, clambery bits. I guess she's never been on a mountain before. By the time we got about two-thirds up she was starting to find her feet. We decided it was time for a brief rest and a look at the view. And a photograph.
It was at this point that Paddy and Rosie a.k.a. The Dirty Rotten Scunging Devil Dogs decided it was time to give Nellybert the slip. One minute they were there - the next they were gone. But we thought we'd fall in with them at the top. We didn't.
Slemish might not be hugely high but it's fairly long. Bert went one way, Bonnie and I went another. No rotten dogs.
Well - cut a long story short, we spent hours looking for them. Bert spent most of it walking down the mountain, round the back of it and up the other side. Eventually he located them. But could only grab Paddy. He unceremoniously leashed him up and dragged him down the mountain. I spotted the capture from the foothills. We both hoped Rosie would follow but she didn't.
With Paddy safely jailed in the van and Bert resting up, I took my turn at trying to find Rosie. I was helped by a young man who, was out with his four-year old son. Together we tracked up the far side of Slemish. After about half an hour's walking the child spotted Rosie. She was just sitting there waiting to be rescued. I told the little boy that he was my hero and it was high fives all round.
Rosie seconds before giving us the slip.
So that's it then. We're never taking those two out together again. Unless they're leashed. But it wasn't all bad. At least little Taylor got to be a hero. And after twenty years I get to go up Slemish twice in one afternoon.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
Bert was appalled when he heard what I spend on going to Weightwatchers just to get weighed.
£5.50 per week just to stand on a weighbridge! Give me £5.50 a week and I’ll buy scales and weigh you!
But it’s not the same. Knowing I’m going in there motivates me.
And do you know that if you miss a week they make you pay extra. And if you miss a whole bunch of weeks you have to pay the joining fee all over again. That’s about £14.
It takes ages too. You wouldn’t believe the amount of people go to those classes. And some of them even stay for the lecture/talk/whatever. Instead I go to Lidls and stock up on fruit and cottage cheese.
While I’m standing in the queue waiting to pay and waiting to be weighed I watch my fellow Weightwatchers. There is one young woman who has been there since I started. She’s really big and, so far, I haven’t noticed her reducing in size. But she probably has. Three months isn’t very long when your target weight is probably half your starting weight.
There are other people who attend regularly and who aren’t even slightly fat. One woman, who I know slightly, is actually quite thin but for some reason she thinks she needs to be thinner.
There is another woman, not particularly big, who has got big bald patches behind her ears from trailing her hair back into one of those severe facelift pony-tails. Like me she gets weighed and goes to Lidls where I examine her trolley and notice that it’s full of fizzy drinks and crisps. They’re probably not for her. After all the chocolate biscuits in mine are not for me. They are for Bert. I don’t smile at her as she is too scary looking. I think she might have been the sort of girl who used to get into cat-fights at the Flamingo.
Some of the women in the Weightwatchers queue discuss what Weightwatcher biscuits they’ll be buying. I think they’re mental. You wouldn’t catch me eating their overpriced junk. Back in July I ate some of their low fat yogurt and felt quite ill.
This week for the first time ever I actually put on a pound. I was not disheartened. I blamed society and my heavy winter trousers.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Currently they're enjoying their expensive pig meal, horse chestnuts, oranges, apples, avocado and banana skins and porridge. We haven't yet tried them on the bodies of our enemies but I'm informed we'd need at least sixteen porkers to take care of that kind of business.
Monday, October 15, 2007
Then in Brother of the More Famous Jack (1982) Jane Goldman smokes a cigarette and drinks a glass of wine. And she's pregnant! No one blinks an eye in 1982. Nowadays her unborn child would be placed on an At Risk Register.
It was in the early 80s that we thought we were all going to die in a nuclear accident, disaster, war, whatever. Maybe we still will. Who knows? If we survived that then our lives would be blighted, our babies blinded by genital herpes. Once Aids came along herpes was never talked about. Now Aids, in this continent anyway, is hardly mentioned and we're all going to die from obesity or die out because of chlamydia or contraceptives in the water supply.
And yes - I do worry about global warming and the environment. But not that much. Because in twenty years time we'll all be worrying about something else altogether. That's if we're still here.
Sunday, October 14, 2007
"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."
Clint says the reason people keep wanting to sell Bert things (like herds of Irish Moiled cattle) is because he has too much money.
There’s nobody trying to sell me anything. Which is just as well because all I have to my name is £222!
Is that all then? What you do with all your money from the house then?
Them sheds don’t come cheap y’know!
S’pose not. You do have a lot of sheds.
I’m not worried. As long as I’m solvent. It’s like thon Micawber boyo says – as long as you don’t spend more than you earn you’re all right.
You a big fan of Dickens then Clint?
Och! I wouldn’t say I was a fan as such. But if it comes on I’ll sit down and watch it.
This past week Bert was considering buying in a few rare breed type cattle to graze in his plantation. He’d been thinking about Dexters but they’re hard to keep in and fencing wouldn’t be one of his strong points. Someone had told him about these Irish Moiled cattle that were grazing at the Ecos centre in Ballymena so we went along to have a look. The word was that the owner might be looking to sell them.
They are lovely cattle Moilies but nevertheless, Clint and I have persuaded Bert that there is no point in rushing into it. As I pointed out to him, he’s not actually had that much luck with beasts that certain folk have chatted him into.
Remember the rabbits Bert? Your mother was raging with you when you landed home with those. Suggested that they’d been palmed off on you by some boy you fell in with at a road-house.
It’s well seen she knows little about pubs if she thinks they’re frequented by boys with pockets full of rabbits.
Remember all those babies they had? Little brown babies got on them by wild buck rabbits that screwed them through the hutch wire.
Aye. We had to take that lot over to Gallaghers and set them free.
Then there was Bob and that palamino from Greenmount.
Bob was a lovely horse.
Aye. He was. But he was useless for riding. Always trying to scrape you off by walking tight up to the hedges. And do you remember how the pair of them kept breaking out? They were always running up and down the Dreen Road with you after them like an eedjit.
And you mind all those boys that kept stopping with me while I was running after them offering to buy the pair of them of me?
And you eventually broke and took a very bad price of the last fellow that asked you. Said they were going to a riding school. I’m sure.
What do you mean?
Far more likely they were going for dog food.
Don’t be depressing me.
Anyway – can you imagine the Moilies? When they’re not racing about the roads they’ll be out getting shagged by the wrong sort of bull. They’ll be a quare rare breed then.
Friday, October 05, 2007
There will be no access to the internet for a while so see you when I get it back, or return to work, or build me a PC out of Chep blue pallets, whichever's soonest.
Nelly: They're all a bit staid, are they?
Mad Person: STAID! What do you mean by staid? Is that a Ballymena word?
Nelly: No. It's a proper word. It's in the Oxford English Dictionary.
Mad Person: Oh! EXCUSE ME! In the dictionary is it? Well. I'VE never heard of it!
Nelly (soothingly) Of course it does sound like it ought to be a Ballymena word.
Mad Person (soothed) Yes. It does.