Saturday, December 29, 2007

Oh Poo!

I've got these scales that measure your weight in quarter pounds. For the past few days I've been too scared to use them.

This morning I plucked up my courage, stepped on and found that I'd gained 5 lbs. Oh well. Almost immediately I felt the urge to do poo. Afterwards, for it was a goody, I stepped back on to the scales hopeful of a small weight loss. And found that I'd gained three-quarters of a pound!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

There's Always Somebody Worse Off

Early morning Boxing Day I'm lying in bed listening to four bloody cocks trying to out-crow each other and I'm thinking,

Could anyone be having a harder time trying to have a lie-in than me?

So I got up. A short time afterwards I heard a whooshing, crashing sound and then Katy started to roar and shout...

I shout up the stairs.

What's happened? Are you alright?

Katy answers,

Bloody ceiling's fell on top of me. Top of my head. And I was just having a lovely lie-in. First in months.

Oh my God.

I race up the stairs.

Bert, Bert! Did you hear that? Ceiling's fell on top of Katy and Mark.

Aye. I heared.
Teddy was rather shaken by the incident but, thankfully, unhurt.

Nor was there was damage done to the antique lamp shade, to the ancient beams or to Katy's big curly noggin..

Seven Puddings

The Aftermath, originally uploaded by ZMB.

For dinner we had beef, turkey, lamb and ham. The seven puddings were -

1. Tirimasu (Italian Cookshelf, Penny Stephens) Very popular. None left. Nick said it was pisano because it was a bit rough looking. Made by me. Used madeira cake instead of sponge fingers.

2. Sicilian Orange & Almond Cake (Italian Cookshelf, Penny Stephens) Also made by me. Very yummy. Would recommend the recipe as it was very easy to make.

3. Chocolate and Chestnut Truffle Cake. A River Cottage recipe which was made by Katy. Very rich and very delicious.

4. Mulled Wine Jelly. Made by me. Terribly alcoholic. Needs some work as it didn't set as well as I'd hoped. Recipe from Sunday Times magazine.

5. Apple Tart. Source unknown. Brought by Ploppypants.

6. Christmas Pudding. Shop bought. Brought by Jenny.

7. Pear Sponge. Thrown together by me on Christmas Eve after Bert's Aunt Lizzie requested it for Christmas Day lunch. At centre of culinary disaster when it 'sliped' out off dish on to oven door during cooking. Was sliped back in and served up anyway.

There would have been eight puddings had I remembered to make the 'Special' Brownies. Perhaps the forgetting was God's way of telling me that excess should have some limits.

Tiramisu recipe (Serves 6 incredibly greedy people OR around a dozen folk with six other puddings to fall back on)

300 g (10 1/2 oz) dark chocolate
400 g (14 oz) mascarpone cheese
150 ml/5 fl oz (2/3 cup) double (heavy) cream, whipped until it just holds its shape
400 ml/14 fl oz black coffee with 50 g (1 3/4 oz) caster (superfine) sugar, cooled
6 tbsp dark rum or brandy
36 sponge fingers (lady-fingers)
about 400 g (14 oz) cocoa powder, to dust

1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Leave the chocolate to cool slightly, then stir it into the mascarpone and cream.

2. Mix the coffee and rum together in a bowl. Dip the sponge fingers (lady-fingers) into the mixture briefly so that they absorb the liquid but do not become soggy.

3. Place 3 sponge fingers on 3 (4?) serving plates.

4. Spoon a layer of the mascarpone and chocolate mixture over the sponge fingers.

5. Place 3 more sponge fingers on top of the mascarpone layer. Spread another layer of mascarpone and chocolate mixture and place 3 more sponge fingers on top.

6. Leave the tiramisu to chill in the refridgerator for at least 1 hour. Dust with a little cocoa powder just before serving.

Cook's Tip: Tiramisu can also be served semi-frozen, like ice cream. Freeze the tiramisu for 2 hours and serve immediately as it defrosts very quickly.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Christmas Lunch Conversations

Before we had lunch I spoke to Katy and Hannah about the importance of including Pearlie in the conversation.

She can't hear general conversation any more and she can feel very left out, so speak loudly and clearly and directly towards her when you can. Talk about things she'd be interested in too.

Yeah Ma. We know.

Katy can always be relied upon to keep the craic going. We were all sitting there scoffing away, listening to nice baroque music while Katy is regaling us with stories of summer festivals.

Yeah! They wouldn't let us bring alcohol into the park and we were going to see the Happy Mondays! You can't be sober when it's the Happy Mondays. So Mark and I drank a litre of vodka before we went in. We were completely wankered!

I break in and speak to Bert's Aunt Lizzie,

You do know what 'wankered' means Lizzie?

Oh yes dear. I heard them talking about it on Big Brother.

Sometimes Pearlie's deafness is a blessing.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun

It's just after five am - I awake from some sort of a horrible dream to the noise of the alarm. WTF? Oh yes. Christmas Day. Got to put the turkey on.

It's enough to turn you vegetarian.

To absent friends & family, to all fellow bloggers, to everybody. Have a good one.

Monday, December 24, 2007


I appear to have gained two pounds and it's not even Christmas yet. I blame Katy. She moved my scales. They are a very delicate instrument y'know.

Despite this setback I still intend to offer six different desserts over the Christmas holidays.


On Saturday, Hannah and I took the train to Belfast to meet some fellow bloggers. The meeting was so top secret that even Han and I didn’t know who we’d be meeting or where the meeting was. But fate smiled on us and we literally ‘bumped into’ our fellow conspiratorial whisperers at 1pm in S………

After an hour or so one of our number proposed that we regroup in a hostelry near Randalstown! Some might argue (and did) that this inn wasn’t a beagle’s gowl off Tannaghmore and it wasn’t that far away from two of County Antrim’s leading mental hospitals either. There were more than a few of the patients in the R..... I.. enjoying a lovely meal and Christmas day out with their parents/carers.

Owing to the secrecy surrounding this event there are no photographs. Instead here are a couple of snaps of some of the other diners we came across.

Three patients from the Idiot Savant ward at H....... Hospital enjoying a day out. God love them.

Nursing staff from the Idiot Savant ward at H....... Hospital pretending to enjoy themselves whilst out with their charges. It's not an easy job they do. Money wouldn't pay you.


When I worked in homeless care I was lucky to get a handful of Quality Street at Christmas. Working for CD I got lots of lovely gifts from bosses, colleagues and customers. And a bonus. And lunch with fifty brawny builders.

So that's Christmas started.

Christmas Blogging

There seems to be very little coming through on Google Reader these days so I can only assume that most bloggers are too busy in the run up to Christmas to put pen to paper fingers to keyboards.

I’m as busy as the next blogger but I’ll try to find a little bit of time to blog Christmas on the trot. Or maybe trotters, as the Season is already sapping my dietary will power.

It all started on Friday lunchtime when work came to an end…

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Air Miles

Whilst driving from work the other night I listened to a report stating the pros and cons of eating unseasonal fruit and veg. The programme featured the import of cherries from Chile. It was argued that it was unethical to buy imported cherries in mid-December because of the cost to the environment. The counter argument was that the production of Chilean cherries created much needed employment in Chile. The discussion was ongoing as I pulled into Lidl's carpark. And right enough, there in the fruit and veg department were those very cherries from Chile. They looked nice. I hesitated. Should I buy them? I decided against.

Instead I bought blueberries. From Argentina.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Week Before Christmas

Three years ago:

I was working in Spide City, trying to prevent psychotic pregnant teenagers from killing each other.

She went mental when she discovered that they’d gone without her and taken all the money and cigarettes. So when they got back it was non-stop aggro for about three hours. I think I prevented them from actually getting physical and I also prevented Looby Lou from throwing a television set down the stairs. But it was an exhausting experience. When things happen at work it takes longer to do the paperwork and I did not get out of the building until nearly 5pm.

Two years ago:

Bert decided that dismantling the turf shed was the 'numero uno' thing to do for Christmas 2005.

The house is upside down, it’s Christmas in five minutes and we’ve got lots of people coming. When I was writing my Christmas list of things to do I had ‘dismantle roof of turf shed’ right at the top just before ‘order turkey’ and ‘buy presents’.

Needless to say he never finished the job after the fun part was over. The fun part being when he pulled the shed roof down with the tractor.

One year ago:

I completed my first teaching practice session. Now I'm fully qualified and still working as PA, desk-jockey and Jill-of-all-trades for CD. I hear today he's planning to computerise the site foremen. And who better to train them than Her Nellyness? They can't wait and neither can I.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Orange or Green?

Bert spent today plucking poultry. Clint has been rearing free range turkeys for Christmas and today was their last day on earth. Well they're still here but they're not gobbling any more. He came in this evening and divested himself of his boiler suit. Feathers flew everywhere. I asked him,

Was it awful?

Aye. It was a bit. But I thought...if I'm going to be eating some of those turkeys then I should, at least, give a hand in the killing and getting them ready for the table.

That Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall way of thinking is definitely getting through to somebody.

Did you do any of the killing?

No. I just plucked.

How many were there?

Thirteen turkeys and four roosters.

Roosters. We should have got at least one of ours ready for the pot.

Which one? Mervyn?

No! Not Mervyn. He's too handsome. One of those two that look the same.

Which one? Orange Legs or Green Legs?

Green Legs.

No. Not Green Legs. I like Green Legs.

Seems like we'll not be eating broth for a day or two yet.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I Blame Flann O'Brien

Where have I been? How could I have missed this?
Seems that if it's not on Radio 4 between the hours of 8:30-9am I just don't get to hear about it.
It was Facebook (bless it) that alerted me to this story which I find interesting on several levels.

The first is that it occurred in a hostel and that the cleaners who discovered this man engaged in an act of fornication with his bicycle were "extremely shocked". Psshah! They must have been working in hostels for about five minutes if that shocked them.

Secondly - the hostel manager called the police. Why? What harm was the man doing? Did the bicycle care? I'd say the manager didn't like the cut of the bike-shagger's jib and just wanted him out. You have to wonder, what if Mr Bikeman had been engaged in an act of passion with a blowup doll or a hollowed out pumpkin or Liver a la Portnoy? Would that have been more acceptable? I knew a bloke once who claimed to have shagged a hole in a tree. I wonder where you are now Mr Tony Murray from Antrim town. Last I heard working at the counter in the dole office. Made a change from standing on the other side of it anyway.

Anyways - back to the cycle-rider. It made me think, as I often do,  of the human-bicycle interchange theory expounded in 'The Third Policeman' . Perhaps yerman wanted to speed that process up a bit.

I Had A Dream (I Woke Up Screaming)

Can you guess which fellow blogger I dreamed about last night? Semi-nudity (theirs) was involved.

Clue: I have actually met this blogger.

News (To Me) From The Island Of Ireland

Listening to the radio on the way to work and I hear about the opening of the new Ikea store.
Apparently this is a first for 'The Island of Ireland' as Ikea likes to put it. The police have put special arrangements in place for fear of a repeat of the carnage that took place in Edmonton in February 2005. 

For it seems that vast hordes of Islanders will be streaming towards Ikea today. It is said that the entire Island is abuzz with excitement about the opening of this store.

So why am I only hearing about it today? I missed that Clockwork Orange opening too.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My Eggs

I just got an email from the Egg Banking plc. My immediate thought was,

I'm way too old to be banking my eggs!

On closer inspection it turned out to be one of those banking scams.

So that's OK then.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Hannah's Home

The Scene: A living room in Cullybackey. Three dogs and a man are lounging on sofas. The man is playing the clarinet (badly), the dogs are dozing.

Rosie: Sheesh! If he doesn't quit that oul caterwauling soon my ears are going to start bleeding.

Paddy: I like it. Spanish Eyes is a big favourite of mine. Which do you think's the best? The Al Martino version or the Elvis version?

Rosie: Anything other than the Bert version!

Bonnie: I wish Nelly would come home.

Rosie: Give over! You've got Nelly on the brain!

Paddy: Aye! You've got Nellyitis! Anyway if Nelly thought as much of you as you think of her she'd have taken you with her!

Rosie: I heared she was taking Gracie with her.

Bonnie: Shut up.

Paddy: Wheesht! I hear something. It's Nelly's car!

Rosie: Look at that big Bonnie slabber gazing lovingly out the window waiting for Nelly to come in and say, 'How's my big darling girl?'

Bonnie: Shut up.

Paddy: Shit! Rosie, look! It' it...It is! Hannah!!!

Rosie: Oh fuck! Shit! Ohmigod! It is. Hannah! I'm going to go mental. I'm going to run round in crazy circles jumping from one sofa to the next! Look at me! I'm doing it!

Paddy: She's baaaacck! It's Hannah! I'm so fucking excited. Woof! Woof!!! WOOOOFFF!

Bonnie: Who's Hannah?

Sunday, December 09, 2007


It's not easy getting up on these dark winter mornings. These chaps are a great help in bringing forth Nellybert from the Land of Nod. They start around six am. Anyone got a good chicken broth recipe?

Happy Birthday Katy

Katycurls, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Diet Tips

Today the Yahoo home page features an awesome article on how to drop 10 lbs over Christmas. I read it eagerly hoping to be inspired. But it was crap.

Article gives advice such as don't drink whole milk, cut down on bread, eat undressed salads, drink water or fruit juice instead of soda and eat more slowly.

How are you supposed to lose this awesome 10lbs if you're not taking whole milk, salad dressings, bread or sodas anyway?

Instead I'm going to follow Swisser's advice. After all she is an internationally rated food scientist (for real). Swisser says that conventional calorie reducing diets don't work. She says that you must confuse your body by occasionally having a bit of a splurge to keep the metabolism working speedily. With this excellent and truly inspiring advice in mind I have splurged tonight on a bottle of Pinot Grigio.

Yay! Defying government guide lines and conventional dietary advice in one action. The wine wasn't even red. I'm such a rebel. A drunken rebel.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Smells Like Nellybert

Nowadays it seems that every two-bit celebrity has their own signature scent. Surely, I thought to myself, now that Bert and I are (minor) celebrities in the Norn Iron blogosphere, it is time that we brought out our own perfume. I broached the subject with himself.

D'ye not think it's time we had our own perfume?

Aye. Maybes.

What do you think it should smell of? Does clematis have a smell?

Not really.

It should be a smell associated with us as a couple. What d'ye think?

Definitely should smell of dogs then.

Wet, dirty scunging devil dogs?


And wood smoke. Should smell of wood smoke.

And pigs. Definitely pigs.

D'ye think dogs and wood smoke and pig aromas would be good?

Might be a bit minging.

We'd need to liven it up somehow. Something nice and fresh. Zesty.


Monday, December 03, 2007

Chocolate Schmocolate

Weightwise I've reached my main goal. Weightwatchers reckon it should be max 10.5 stone. I reckoned 11.5 would be pretty nifty. So that's where I am. I might go for another 7 lbs but I don't want to get too much lighter as I do have a choice to make between arse and face. And honestly, I think my face has a bit more going for it.

Folks I was 202 lbs when I started this. That was a big weight for a woman standing at 5 foot 2 inches. I was wearing size 20 and edging towards size 22. I was close to 'morbid' obesity. Now I'm just a bit chubby. Yippee! 

Once again I'm going to thank Shauna whose blog and book were a huge inspiration for me. If anybody out there feels the need to get a bit of serious weight off you could do worse than to check her out. But check her out anyway because she is a great blogger and a wonderful human being. 

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Weak End

Excerpt from a spat.

Nelly: You're so weird.

Bert: I know. I must be weird because I'm living with you.

For some reason I am eating chocolate tonight.