Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Kanh to Moser, Moser to Kanh

--- On Tue, 29/7/08, mr.kanh Bobo wrote:
From: mr.kanh Bobo
Subject: I,m writing to know how far you have gone with the Bank
To: marymajellabyrne@yahoo.co.uk
Date: Tuesday, 29 July, 2008, 12:23 PM

Dear Nelly Mary Moser,
I,m writing to know how far you have gone with the Bank, have you send the Form to the Bank pls up date me so i can know what to do, so you have to be fast in what ever you are doing.
Have a nice day.
Mr. Kanh
+226 78 32 65 26.

Dear Mr Kanh, I have decided not to proceed in this matter. I cannot be convinced by a man, purporting to be an educated person, who is careless with grammar. I'm unable to tolerate misplaced apostrophes. My advice, if you wish to succeed in a career of fraudulent scammery, is to pay more attention to your ps and qs, not to mention your commas, periods and apostrophes.

I wish you ill luck in all your endeavours.

Sincerely yours, Mrs Nelly Moser.

Shock! Horror! Crocodile Tears!

Since becoming one of Pearlie's carers I have, on more than one occasion, been accused of being 'hard-hearted'. Thankfully no-one under the age of eighty has, so far,  been my accuser. 

But am I hard-hearted? Are there some things I just don't 'get'? Take this incredibly dumb programme I watched last night - it was all about the "Canoe Man' John Darwin and his buck-toothed wife who, between them,  defrauded insurance companies and government agencies of fairly large sums of money. Straightaway no pity there, nor for their stupid sons, who feel betrayed at the duplicity of their parents. I hope the dosh they got for selling their story to the News of the World went some way to ease their pain. 

Did I feel a sympathetic frisson for the silly woman who went into a business venture with Canoe Man after meeting him online during 'war games'?  Not one bit did I care about her trauma at his general weirdness or his insistence on removing his trousers in public. After all she freely admitted she got him run out of town leaving her with their dilapidated 'business venture' to manage all on her ownsome. So what if he sent her death threats. She was silly. She deserved it.

But the full blast of my cold-hearted scorn I reserved for the 'heart-broken' family 'devastated' by the fact that John Darwin appropriated the identity of their brother who had died in infancy. There they sat weeping crocodile tears and saying things like 'what kind of scum could....' about a child they'd probably not given a thought to in decades - if ever.  Of all the selfish, shitty things that John Darwin ever did, I reckon that one was pretty far down the list. But then I don't have a brother who died half a century ago and a chance to get on the telly and sob about it.

Tell you who I did feel sorry for - the lifeboat crew who spent all that time futilely searching for the wanker and who had to go back to harbour feeling that they'd failed someone.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

The Last Weekend...

...included a wonderful meal in Portrush, a horrendous scene with Pearlie Blue in which the H word was invoked, a day in the garden, a meeting with Maya, a close encounter with a bull and the theft of lilies.

Back to work tomorrow.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Beware of the Bull

Everyone who lives in a farming community has heard a story or two of a farmer killed by a bull. And it usually is a stockman who is killed as ‘civilians’ like Stepbar would tend to be wary, very wary, of bulls. It’s the farmer that gets complacent, especially if the bull is perceived to be quiet.

When I was a child I always scanned fields for any sign of a bull before climbing that five-barred gate. Even if I didn’t spot one I’d always keep an eye out and have my escape route planned. You’d only take younger children into a field if you were 100% certain that the field was bull-free.

It wasn’t the stories about gorings that scared me – it was personal experience. We used to stay with our cousins near Toomebridge and their father kept a very cross bull. Once when the bull was confined to a shed he spent an entire day roaring and crashing against the door in his desire to be out again and among his harem. The door didn’t look strong enough to hold him and I was terrified he’d break it down and kill someone. I think there was a story that he did break out once and my aunt looked out the door and saw the bull peering into the pram of one of my younger cousins left outside to take the air. My aunt raced out and snatched her baby from under the bull’s flared nostrils. Despite this early fright, or maybe because of it, my cousin grew up to be a respected breeder of Limousin cattle and works with bulls on a daily basis.

When I was about eight Daddy bought a Hereford bull called Mulderrick Hero affectionately known as Ferdinand. He was a handsome fellow and said to be quiet. Indeed the whole time we had him I never saw him do anything more frightening than lightly paw the ground with a foreleg. Despite this he terrified me. Daddy didn’t keep cattle dogs – he kept children and when the cows (and Ferdinand) were on the move we were made to go out and ‘kep’ them. This was very traumatic as we had to keep an eye on the bull, who might, I thought, decide at any moment to toss me in the air at the point of a horn and then trample me to death. Truth be told we had a lot more to fear from The Cross Cow who was a complete devil when she had a calf at her foot and fairly temperamental even when she didn’t.

Once, soon after Ferdinand came, the TB man was on the yard to test the cattle. I took refuge upstairs because I was sure the bull would go mad and crash through our front door and kill us all. I reasoned there was no way he’d get up the staircase. I knew he’d want to but wouldn’t be able to get the stairs to bear his weight. I spent the whole time looking anxiously out the window and praying that Daddy wouldn’t be killed.

I was a very anxious child. I also had serious concerns about the lions breaking out of Bellevue Zoo but that’s another story.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Lop Crazy

Bert and I went out into the hen run and cut down briars and branches and saplings. We had a bonfire. The Buff Sussex chickens came out of the hen house to watch us. I had the Wolf long-handled loppers and Bert had the grape. The hens watched the fire. We burned lots of briars and branches. Bert said I was lop crazy. I liked the Wolf loppers very much.

Putting Pen To Paper

I've heard a lot of talk about how the email, the text message and the phone have killed the art of letter writing. Apparently there is nothing so delightful as receiving a proper letter among the circulars, bills and other assorted rubbish that plops on the doormat of a morning.

Imagine opening this cheery missive that wended its way from Scotland to Cully back in February 1965.

My Dear Friends,

Sorry for being so long in answering your very nice letter but Rowena* will have told you I was not in great form. Hattie is keeping fairly well. She didn't get much time to nurse her Aches & Pains since Xmas as the Dr has been in our house very often. The twins took Gastric Flu & Chicken Pox and Jackie has been off work for a week with Broken Ribs got at his work. I do hope Bertie has got over His Trouble. We have the Measles in our village just now. I do hope ours don't take them as they have had enough at present.....

And so on and so on....

Although she did finish by asking when they were coming over to visit. Personally speaking I'd not have gone near her Plague House but then I'm an uncharitable, unsympathetic bastard. At least Pearlie & Matty say I am. Except they don't say bastard.

Names, except Bert's and I do wonder what His Trouble was, have been changed to protect this unfortunate crew's privacy although they are all bound to be dead by now anyway.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Arte y Pico Awards

Yayyyy! According to D@ve at d@\/ e’s bl@\/\/g Nellybert is An Institution! We love it.

Nelly's Garden was one of the first Northern Irish blogs I ever read and still do read. It's a blog which is nearly like what might be called an institution, definitely an addictive read. Nelly's one of the few bloggers that I've met in real life and hopefully will meet again soon, maybe the next accompanied by Bert.

So before getting on to the part where I pass on the compliment - the rules are:

  1. Pick five blogs that you consider deserve the award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also for contributing to the blogging community, no matter what language.
  2. Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.
  3. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.
  4. The award winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of the Arte y Pico blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.
So, without further ado, I present the Arte y Pico Award to...

What can I say about Shauna? Just this - she is an inspiration. Despite it's title, her blog is not really a diet blog at all. It tells the story of how an Australian girl, halved her weight, doubled her confidence, got fit and healthy, moved to Scotland, fell in love, got married, went kick-boxing, kept on enjoying her food, climbed mountains and wrote a book. Did I say how, during all this, she never once got 'up herself'? One of the most life-affirming blogs on the internet.

Waiter Rant
Waiter Rant is wise beyond his years. He's only a young thing but because he's a waiter he feels his age. He is a natural philosopher, a good guy and a dog lover. I always get a frisson of pleasure when I see he has updated his blog. He too, has got the book deal and I feel his blog might be coming to the end of its natural life. If that's the case I'll miss him.

Ronni's Rants
Ronni hails from Texas. She's a lady near my own age and she is one of the most honest, bravest bloggers I've ever read. She blogs her way through tragedy and joy. Sadly there has been more of the former than the latter these past months. Ronni keeps on going. She is formidable.

The Musings of Mel
Mel's is a very new blog but it looks very promising. I know Mel personally and she is one of the nicest, sweetest nutters you could ever hope to meet. Her blog reflects that too. And as you know I do like to encourage new talent.

The Palace of Heavenly Pleasure
The Blog of Hannah, who gives a rather different slant on life at Nellybert's, or Thailand, or wherever she happens to be. No harm in a bit of benign nepotism is there? I just wish she'd pay more attention to grammar. But you know mothers - we're never satisfied.

And that's it. There are more I'd like to have chosen. There are some that I'd have included only they've been chosen before so I'll spread the love onwards and outwards.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

New Shoes

Bert has gone to Leitrim for the weekend leaving me in sole charge of Pearlie. She has a new ruse. She writes me lists of 'things to do'. Her last list had pad, cardigan, teeth, towel, drink and book on it. Such is the life of an immobile old lady.

I went shopping for shoes yesterday and found nothing suitable. Today, while sorting out the pruck in my bedroom, I found shoes I'd bought several months ago and had forgotten about. They are eminently suitable. Whatever that means.

Looking after Pearlie on one's own is very tiring so that is all I am able to write now.

Except - is it true what Caroline says - that They are going to take the Internet off us. Say it's not true!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Our New Chickens

pullets, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Barry's Uncle Stanley's What?

When Bert looked at this page from his 1964 English exercise book he said,

I'm sure Teach was impressed with that!


But I don't even have an Uncle Stanley!

This is what I think he must have meant. I take my clue from the illustration. You must agree that his artistic talents were evident even at the tender age of five. Obviously his writing skills weren't quite as developed though.

Barry's Uncle Stanley got third prize at Balmoral Show for his penis. It got a yellow rosette.

I'd love to have seen the chap who got first prize!

Deuteronomy 22:5

All I said was,

Would you ever consider wearing trousers instead of skirts? They'd keep you cosy and warm.

And she said,

I dinnae want tae weer troosers.

Later she said,

C'meer. I want tae tell you something.

And I said,

What do you want to tell me?

And she said,

It says in the bible, somewheer, that a man shouldnae weer weemin's clothes nor a woman weer men's clothes for it is an abomination unto the Lord.

And I said,

That's a load of hooey.

And she narrows her eyes and says,

D'ye think so?

And I say,

It says a lot of stuff in the bible I'd pay no heed to and neither do you.

And she says,


And I say,

Well you eat bacon and you didn't have Bert circumcised. And when did you last make a sacrifice at the temple?

She says,

I'll hae to hear what Mr Uprichard has to say about it.

And I say,

Ask him if he'd like us to bring a goat over for him to sacrifice?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Happy Orangefest


Tonight whilst giving Pearlie (82) my advice on proper behaviour towards her carers the benefit of my wisdom she says to me in a fairly insolent manner,


Got to admire her spirit.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Funeral

Over the years I’ve been to many funerals. Young people, old people, people my own age, murdered people and people who died from drug overdoses or the ravages of alcoholism. Once, in our local chapel, during the funeral service for an old lady, one of her relatives, a middle-aged man, collapsed and died during the proceedings. A few days later we were all at his funeral.

One of the hardest funerals I ever attended was that of my own father three years ago. That was harsh but it was very beautiful too.

Today I had the privilege of attending the funeral of one of my father’s oldest friends. He and my father had married sisters and they’d all been going about together since they were in their twenties.

It was a very sad day for my aunt and my cousins. But for the rest of the huge congregation the service was an inspiration. There is something very fine about celebrating the life of a man, or woman, who has lived well into their eighties and lived in an exemplary fashion, loved and respected by their family, their friends and all who knew them.

Have I Too Much Time On My Hands?

Perhaps I have as I find myself replying to emails that start like this -

--- On Thu, 10/7/08, ismael_hassan03 Gazeta.pl wrote:
From: ismael_hassan03 Gazeta.pl
Date: Thursday, 10 July, 2008, 2:56 PM

Dear Friend,

I am Ismael Hassan from Burkina faso.I know that this mail will come to you as a surprise as we have never met before, but need not to worry as I am using the only secured and confidential medium available to seek for your foreign assistance in a business. I am contacting you independently of my investigation and no one is informed of this communication............

Dear Ismael

I couldn't be less surprised that you have contacted me as I receive around 10 emails per week inviting me to help with unclaimed funds lying around in Burkina Faso banks.

You say you need my urgent assistance? I suggest that what you really need is a kick up your hole.


Monday, July 07, 2008

Long Runs The Fox

Remember how Bert went out fox-hunting on Saturday night? He stalked Foxy, got a shot at him (it was a him) and thought he'd missed. Last he saw of the Ginger Bastard was him disappearing over a hill.

Last night we both went out but we didn't see anything. We just took a look at a deserted hole where Bert had seen cubs a month or so ago and where most of the chickens from The Massacre ended up.

He went out again tonight.

Seems he got Foxy after all. After stalking him and taking a shot Foxy took to the beaters over the hill. Bert assumed he'd got away.

By the lies of him it looks like he keeled over stone dead as he ran. Took the bullet in the lung. He was a handsome beast, tho' battle ravaged with ripped ears. He was well nourished with a belly full of frogs.

A battle won for Nellybert. The war goes on.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Fox Hunt

Bert nearly got Foxy last night.

There Bert was, crawling on his belly through nettles and ditches and there was Foxy strolling nonchalantly about, occasionally jumping in the air and pouncing on a frog. Bert had her in his sights and he took aim.

Bert nearly got Foxy last night.

But nearly isn't good enough. Sigh.

Then to make matters worse he strolled home, rifle slung over his shoulder to be met by Swisser arriving in the yard. She was overcome by lust at his gunslinger image. Said he reminded her of whatshisname out of all those spaghetti westerns - a scruffy gunman 'rotten to the core' and now she's decided that's how he should outfit himself for our wedding.


Saturday, July 05, 2008

Daily Pearlie Report: Day Whatever

6:30pm: Nelly in bad books. Refused to exercise Pearlie's leg by pumping it up and down. Said, sarcastically, "I'll have to have a word with these physiotherapists".

6:45pm: Let off leg-pumping duties as leg has 'gone cold' and will 'likely have to come off.'

6:50pm: In good books. Filled hot-water bottle and tenderly placed it under condemned and soon to be amputated freezing leg.

7:15pm: Got gold star after rushing in to room bearing small bowl of mashed potatoes and declaring, "You have me that distressed with all that talk about your leg coming off that I've gone and put too much butter in your potatoes!"

And ,after saying her plate 'too full' , (there's always something wrong) she scoffed the lot. Apparently there's no such thing as 'too much butter'.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Chicken Fat

I've made a couple of changes to my sidebar. Chickens are down to four since Foxy grabbed the last of the game roosters. It was that one called The One That Everybody Hates. Guess Foxy didn't hate him. Since then Plum and the remaining three ex-battery girls have been roaming free. It's not as easy for the Vulpine Fucker to grab them when they're running loose.

Meanwhile Bert has been getting the hen run ready for 16 Buff Sussex hens. We're going to try electric fencing to see if we can keep the Ginger Bastard out.

The other change is the removal of the Weight Report. I'm a tad over eleven stone now and I've been there for months on end. It's a year since I decided to get some tonnage off and it's boring now. I don't want to be skinny for I like my face too much. I can hop over and nip under barbed wire fences, climb five bar gates like a teenager, run up mountains and other stuff youse young ones wouldn't believe an old girlie could do. I fit in 14-16 clothes and I feel all right. This diet is officially over.

Dream Holiday

A friend of mine who is a diesel mechanic decided to have a holiday in the sun. He'd never been on a package holiday before but after a long damp winter lying under lorries in a cold shed he thought he deserved a break.

About a week before he went he had a dream.

I dreamt I was on a beautiful tropical beach. The sun was beating down and a balmy breeze was riffling the air. The sand was soft and white and the beach was fringed with coconut trees. The sea was dark turquoise. There were a few other people around but not too many. I was in my bathing trunks and the sun was warming my skin. In front of me was a trestle table and on it was a big old engine that I was stripping down. I breathed a deep sigh of contentment and thought to myself, 'Holidays are great. I should do this every year from now on.' 

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


I owe Dan Tobin of Surgical Strikes for inspiring this post. In case you’re wondering he’s the only person I ever begged to be Facebook friends with me that actually gave in. What I like about Dan, apart from his awesome sense of humour, spot-on writing skills and innate decency, is his compassionate, kindly heart.

I have 60 Facebook friends. There are 24 among them that I’ve never met in real life. Thirteen of that 24 are blogfriends.

I suspect that at least two of the 24 I’ve never met don’t actually exist.

I’ve played Scrabulous with 16 of my Facebook friends.

Thirteen of my Facebook friends are also my Flickr contacts.

Eight of my Facebook friends are related to me by blood. Three more are in my extended family. One of the three is my ex-husband. All my children are my Facebook friends and two of my six siblings.

I’ve only worked with two of my Facebook friends although I am friends with my current boss’s wife. None of my former school or college friends are Facebook friends with me. Boo hoo! But one previous tutor is.

I’ve known 14 of my Facebook friends for over 20 years. Six of the 14 are my children, siblings and ex-hubby. Two others I found through Facebook after having been out of touch for more than 20 years.

I’ve babysat seven of my Facebook friends. This number doesn’t include my three daughters but it does include one sibling.

Nineteen of my Facebook friends have slept in my house. Of those seven have shared my bed. Six platonically as only one of those was married to me. None of my former lovers are my Facebook friends. Neither is my present beloved.

I’ve stayed with fifteen of my Facebook friends and shared a meal with 27 of them. I’ve had drinks or coffee with eight of the rest. I’ve taken drugs with 18 of my Facebook friends but it’s been a good while since that happened. I’m fairly sure some of them might still be up for it.