Sunday, June 29, 2008

Butterfly Buns

Saturday Evening

NELLY: The Van and Truck Man will be here soon. D’ye want anything?

PEARLIE: Aye. Get me a wee cherry cake.

NELLY: Righty-o. A cherry cake.

PEARLIE: No. I dinnae want cherry cake. Get me a ween of thon wee butterfly buns.

NELLY: Butterfly buns. OK.

PEARLIE: D’ye know what they are?

NELLY: Aye. I do.

PEARLIE: They’re wee buns with the top cut off and cut into two and stuck into butter icing like two wee butterfly wings.

NELLY: Aye. I know the kind you mean. My mother used to make them.

Sunday Afternoon

PEARLIE: I’ll just take a cup of tay and a wee bun.

NELLY: One of your butterfly buns?


Five minutes later

PEARLIE: And can you bring me a tayspoon?

NELLY: OK. (Returns with spoon and gives to Pearlie)

PEARLIE: And a knife.

NELLY: Righty-o. (Returns with knife and reaches to Pearlie) Don’t be telling me you want a fork next!

PEARLIE: No. I want you to cut the top of that wee bun.

NELLY: (Starts to cut top of butterfly bun) I thought you especially wanted butterfly buns?

PEARLIE: I did. That’s not enough. Cut out all the butter icing. I dinnae like butter icing.

NELLY: (Doing it and giving top of butterfly bun to eagerly waiting border collie) But you specifically asked for this sort of bun.

PEARLIE: Aye. I like the plain part of the bun but I dinnae like that oul butter icing.

Nelly leaves room miming neck-wringing gestures.

A Lazy Sheep

The Scene: A kitchen in County Antrim. A clock on the wall shows the time at twenty past ten. A woman stands at the sink washing dishes. A man enters the kitchen. He is dishevelled and is scratching his head.

Bert: Boys! Is that the time. I thought it was only about nine!

Woman Who Speaks In Proverbs: He that lies long abed, his estate feels it.

Bert: You don’t say. Is there any porridge going?

Woman Who Speaks In Proverbs: He that gapes until he be fed, well may he gape until he be dead.

Bert: Wee cup of coffee then? Ah well. Sure I’ll make it myself. Thank God it’s Sunday anyways.

Woman Who Speaks In Proverbs: Every day is holiday with sluggards.

Bert: A man’s entitled to a bit of a lie-in on a Sunday, is he not?

Woman Who Speaks In Proverbs: Idle folk lack no excuses.

Bert: Sure I have plenty to do tomorrow. No harm in a wee rest today.

Woman Who Speaks In Proverbs: For the diligent the week has seven todays, for the slothful seven tomorrows.

Bert: You sure know some fancy words.

Woman Who Speaks In Proverbs: Sluggards are never great scholars.

Bert: Change the record, why don’t you? Tell me this – d’ye think I should get this hair cut soon? It’s starting to annoy me.

Woman Who Speaks In Proverbs: A lazy sheep thinks its wool heavy.

Friday, June 27, 2008


Sonny Boy, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

I have the only Google entry for weddywumps!

I like it very much!

Thursday, June 26, 2008


News Feed

Declan Liddy and Laura Kenny are engaged.

We've known Miss K since she was a teeny-tiny baby. And she was a teeny-tiny one - born just after six months gestation. I remember knitting her two teeny-tiny doll-sized jumpers which swamped her. But she grew into a fine, healthy and clever young woman who loved horses, dogs, Africa, her friends and her family. Mr L is a very lucky fellow.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Chronicles of Bertie: Early Spring 1967

The following excerpts are taken from the exercise book entitled My News written by Bert in 1967 and lovingly preserved (thank you Pearlie) by his loving mum this past 41 years. Bert has given permission for me to reproduce his writings.

6th February – 7th March, 1967

Thursday 6th February, 1967

I have a cup. It has a picture of rabbits on it. I take my tea out of it. I like it very much.

Tuesday 31st January, 1967

My Daddy had a little calf on Thursday night. I like it. It is black and white. I like it. I stroke it and it licks me.

Tuesday 7th February, 1967

I have a Johnny seven. I like it very much. It is five pound. It is very big. There are seven guns in one.

Thursday 8th February, 1967

I have a toy crane. I like it very much. I lift things with it. It is made of plastic. I lift bits of paper.

Tuesday 14th February, 1967

I have five toy aeroplanes. I like them very much. They come apart. I make them fight.

Wednesday 22nd February, 1967

My Daddy had a cow that calved on Monday. It is in a Gallagher’s box. I like it very much. It is black and white. My Daddy gives it milk.

Tuesday 27th February, 1967

My Mum got an electric cooker. The colour is creamy. It has an oven in it and a little place for warming plates in it. I like it very much.

Thursday 2nd March, 1967

I have a toy tank and it fires caps and goes by battery. I like it very much. It is painted ginger and green and it is a British. It has caterpillar wheels.

Tuesday 7th March, 1967

My Mum baked some pancakes and Dad brought some up to me and I liked them very much. I got one for my lunch and one this morning. I like them when they are warm.

9th March – 3rd May, 1967

9th March – another black and white calf is born. Once again it goes into Gallagher’s box. Bertie reports that he ‘likes it very much.’

20th March – Bertie is looking forward to his Easter holiday staying with Aunt Maggie in Whappstown. He writes that he ‘likes it very much up there’.

5th April – Went to the town. Got another toy aeroplane (spoiled or what) He writes that he ‘likes going to the town very much.’

6th April – A red and white cow broke loose. The vet came and gave her some ‘medson’.

7th April – He bought three motors and three aeroplanes. His friend Tommy Taylor bought four aeroplanes but didn’t bring them to school. Bertie said, of his haul, that he ‘liked them’.

10th April – There was yet more bother with cows. Bertie’s Dad had to sit up with one that was going to calve. Owing to the uproar Bertie did not go to bed until about 11 o’clock.

11th April – Bertie writes that the cow produced a black and white calf and that he ‘liked it.’

12th April – Bertie’s mum’s goose hatched an egg. Bertie knows that baby geese are called goslings but he and his mum prefer to call them ‘weddywumps’. He is looking forward to lots more weddywumps. He says they are nice fluffy wee things. We must assume that he ‘likes them very much’ for he doesn’t say.

17th April – There is another black and white calf born and Bertie ‘likes’ it. Better still his friend Clint comes to play and they have ‘great fun.’

18th April – Uncle Bobby brings Cousin Willie down and ‘great fun’ ensues.

25th April – Four more weddywumps are hatched. Bertie ‘likes them’.

26th April – A barn is dismantled as it was ‘falling to bits.’

3rd May – Teacher won’t let Bertie say weddywumps any more so he reports four more ‘gozlings’. They are yellow and one died.


Oh my!

This puts my little parking skirmishes into perspective. 

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Looking Good

I wouldn't let a little thing like a torrential downpour stop me from going on my daily walk. It's just a matter of dressing properly.

Bert said, "If you don't pull in that outfit I'll eat my hat!"

But it wasn't just me looking hot. I says to Bert,

"You must see this picture. You look just like Prince Charles. That's if he'd been on a bender for two days."

Bert says,

"Delete that."

Hannah says,

"No. Get it on the blog!"

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Roses Round The Door

Bertie Mill's Dublin Bay, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

Kells, despite only being a small village, boasts two garden centres. This is not as widely known as it ought to be for there are quite a few people who have only heard of one of these.

I patronise both and this is my opinion -

If you want a bite to eat, or a pair of secateurs, perhaps some artificial flowers or maybe a draught excluder in the form of an elongated border collie then go to the one with the big, big sign.

However if you want something to grow in your garden be it a climbing rose, summer bedding, perennials or shrubs and you want it to be of excellent quality, well grown and affordably priced then go to the Kells Garden Centre, the one on the Kilgad Road.

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Mel's got a blog!


Meme on loan from Grannymar

Only one word can be used in your answer and it can NOT be used twice.

1. Where is your cell phone? Bedroom

2. Your significant other? Whistling

3. Your hair? White

4. Your mother? Home

5. Your father? Dead

6. Your favourite time of day? Morning

7. Your dream last night? Confused

8. Your favourite drink? Coffee

9. Your dream goal? Grandchildren

10. The room you’re in? Kitchen

11. Your ex? English

12. Your fear? Fire

13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Garden

14. What you are not? Young

15. Your Favourite meal? Breakfast

16. One of your wish list items? Health

17. The last thing you did? Hugged

18. Where you grew up? Drumkeeran

19. What are you wearing? Sleepwear

20. Your TV is? Off

21. Your pets? Dogs

22. Your computer? Table

23. Your life? Busy

24. Your mood? Overhung

25. Missing someone? Katy

26. Your car? Battered

27. Something you’re not wearing? Shoes

28. Favourite store? Charity

29. Your summer? Light

30. Your favourite colour? Red

31. When is the last time you laughed? Ten

32. When is the last time you cried? Thursday

33. Your health? Robust

34. Your children? Three

35. Your future? Hopeful

36. Your beliefs? Many

37. Young or old? Old

38. Your image? Ordinary

39. Your appearance? Ruddy

40. Would you live your life over again knowing what you know? Yes

Friday, June 20, 2008

Feeling Fruity

Pearlie: D'ye have any fruit?

Nelly: Yeah. Sure do. I've just been to Lidl's stocking up. What do you want? Grapes?

Pearlie: No. I dinnae like grapes.

Nelly: I have pineapple but I think it needs to ripen a bit.

Pearlie: I dinnae like pineapple.

Nelly: What about apples?

Pearlie: Too hard. I cannae eat them.

Nelly: Oranges?

Pearlie: Too soor.

Nelly: Bananas?

Pearlie: Bananas constipate me.

Nelly: Pears?

Pearlie: Dinnae like them.

Nelly: I can't think...

Pearlie: D'ye have strawberries?

Nelly: No.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Queen of the Dreen

Fave Niece: She wants a whistle.

Nelly: A whistle!

Fave Niece: Aye. A whistle. She says youse don't always hear the bell. I'm to buy her a whistle.

Nelly: You'd better not!

Fave Niece: What will I say to her?

Nelly: You get her a whistle if you want but the first time I see or hear it I'll pitch it to the back of the fire!

I need an early night.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Take That Peter, You Pumpkin-Munching Bastard

Imagine my pique when Bert told me that my pumpkin plants were being munched by a bloody rabbit. Where is Foxy when you need him?

"Do you want me to shoot him?" Bert said. "Most definitely," I replied. "Then we'll eat the little bastard."

So he did - and we did. And he was yummy.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Sunday Morning Conversation

Pearlie: Would ye luck at the amount o’ porridge in that dish! How does she expect me to eat all that oul slap!

Nelly: But that’s only a tiny wee dish…

Pearlie: It is no! And look at the size of that oul spoon. I thocht I toul you to hide all the big spoons from them carers.

Nelly: I did. And that’s only a teaspoon you have there.

Pearlie: It’s a quare big teaspoon.

Nelly: Shall I get you a set of teeny apostle spoons?

Pearlie: Mebbe. And here dear, d’ye see all the wee bit o' tea she’s left me? I toul her the cup was too full. Then she went and threw oot the half of it! That’ll niver do me!

Nelly: We’ll get you more tea. You only have to say the word.

Pearlie: I’ll tek it now. And a bit of toast along way it.

Nelly: Right o! (Leaves room)

Nelly: Your ma’s in a right pernickety mood this morning. Will you get her tea and toast? I’m to sort out her spoons. Again.

Bert: Okay.

Nelly: We’ll be needing medals for this.

Bert: Medals? We’ll be needing heroin.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Mystery Photo

Mystery Photo, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

Can anyone translate the writing at the top of this picture?

It was found among Pearlie's papers and photographs. She hasn't a notion where it came from. Does anyone have an idea?

Are those European guys Catholic priests?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Who Cares?

Pearlie has been home for just over a week. I think she is starting to settle down. Really it hasn’t been as hard as I thought although it is still early days.

The toughest part and the part I dreaded most was the Invasion of the Carers. There are a lot of them. They start coming in at around 8am and are in every couple of hours until 7-8pm. They carry out her personal care and make snacks for her. At the beginning I wanted to dispense with the first one for all she does is make Pearlie a cup of tea and some instant porridge. I was advised by the social worker not to do this. She pointed out that there may be times when I’m not available to get Pearlie’s breakfast and it was better to leave the first carer in place.

We’re fortunate that this is a big house so I could corral off one side of it for Pearlie’s use. Her side comprises a big sitting room, now a bed-sitting room, a shower room and a utility room which has been converted to a mini-kitchen. The carers do not enter our kitchen or sitting area. I joke that I have our side electric fenced.

It astonished me how quickly Pearlie converted her room into a cluttery, cushiony, tacky-ornamented living space. I’d envisaged the carers being delighted with all the space in the room but Pearlie, assisted by her favourite niece, soon reduced the floor space with a collection of terribly unnecessary (in my opinion) pieces of furniture. It’s what she likes.

Toileting is a big problem. They say that Pearlie is incontinent. I don’t think she is – not by what I know anyway. To me incontinence is having no control at all. Pearlie’s misfortune is that she still has some control, has no desire to just ‘let go’ and whose problem is not having the mobility to go unassisted. This means that she is dependant on carers helping her but the gap between going at bedtime (around 8pm) and the first set of double carers coming in at around 8 or 9 in the morning is too long. Her care package is not meant to include us helping her but we’ve started to because it is just so pathetic expecting her to ‘hold on’, or not, for such a long time.

The carers are a mixed bunch. They’re mostly lovely but always in such a rush. The ones that come singly tend to be very pleasant. The ‘doubles’, probably because they have a huge work load, are in and out as quickly as they can. They quite often spend more time interacting with each other rather than their client. Of course Pearlie isn’t the easiest person herself. She’s abrasive and complaining and about as far from a sweet lil’ ol’ lady as you could get.

The other day one of the ‘doubles’ was complaining about the price of diesel. Obviously the petrol allowance has not risen while the actual costs have soared. I sympathised. Then she went on to say that she reckoned that in future they wouldn’t be able to get people to do the work and that everything would go back to the old ways. ‘What’s that?’ I enquired. ‘People will just have to go back to looking after their own.’ I was just a little stung but I didn’t pursue it other than to remark that by the time she and I required help it might not be available at all.

I’ve always felt a little bit guilty ever since the early days of the carers coming in. I’d imagine they’d be thinking, ‘Why can’t she do what we’re doing?’ But then I’d remind myself that I work and the help is there so why not avail of it?

As I said before Pearlie can be very difficult. She’s sharp and abrasive and I’m sure that some of her carers don’t care much for her at all. One described her as ‘a character’ and she’s certainly got plenty of that.

Last night after I’d helped her with her toileting stuff and got her settled down as best I could she threw her arms around my neck and said, ‘Thank you so much for everything you’re doing for me’, and I said ‘No need for thanks. It’s a pleasure to help you.’

There will be times I know that I’ll be mad at her. But I hope there will be a lot more times that I feel the way that I felt last night when she hugged my neck.

The Path To Gillies

Northern Ireland, originally uploaded by Hernan Farias.

I found this beautiful picture on Flickr while hunting for Ballymena stuff.

I recognised it immediately as one of my favourite walks. Incidentally it's part of Hannah's regular journey to and from work.

Monday, June 09, 2008

A Visit to the Dingle Peninsula

I had a smashing time in Kerry – literally! The first thing I smashed was the passenger side bumper of my car. This was the result of a little accident I had whilst pulling out from a shop in Limerick. He came from nowhere m’lud. And far too bloody fast and me in serious need of a coffee break. Which is what I’d stopped for. Being a twit I immediately admitted guilt and the wee lad was OK about it. His car was barely marked but as usual he wanted to go through the boring crap of garages and quotes. There’s my bumper hanging off and all his entire car got was a wee scuff on its paintwork. With time to think about it I realise it was as much his fault as mine.

We settled the matter with fifty euro and I hope never to hear from him again. I have reason to believe I might not. Unless he reads this blog.

Then the following day I sat on my camera whilst out on a beach walk with the Kerry Sister and Brandon. I was a wee bit gutted but decided it was a perfect opportunity to get a nicer camera.

It is thirteen years since I stayed west of Dingle and I saw a lot change in the place. The Kerry Sister’s garden was amazing. Last time I’d been there it was a wee patch of flowers, a bit of fuchsia, some crocosmia and a couple of fields of stone and rushes. She’s been busy this last decade. It must have helped that Brandon’s a digger man as well as a dry stone waller. But he’d be the first to admit that most of the work was done by the Kerry Sister herself.

Then there was the extension – which was perfectly in keeping with the charm of the old house. Once again the pair of them had carried out most of the work themselves. It's nice for Brandon to be married to a carpenter. I was very impressed.

Dingle has got very modern. And the tourists have changed. There were hardly any Americans (cannot afford Europe these days) and many fewer Germans although there were lots more Japanese.

Other things have changed too. Once it was only the tourists drove decent cars. The locals moved around in rusty cars or ancient tractors. The fields were full of donkeys. Now there’s hardly a donkey in sight. It’s all SUVs, brand new tractors and ponies. These days the only people driving crappy cars are sure to be tourists – like me.

At least I managed to get to the top of Mt Brandon without breaking anything!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008


Pearlie's home and happy with us all dancing attendance on her. She has requested a buzzer. I've suggested a bell.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Father's Day

my parents at home, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Bonnie Now & Then

Bonnie, originally uploaded by ZMB.

I've just caught this picture on Zoe's Flickr photostream.

And that was Bonnie when she first came to us in October 2006. It's quite a difference isn't it?