Sunday, August 31, 2008

Reasons Not To Blog

Myself and a fellow blogger had a conversation tonight. The subject was blogging. She says,

Do you ever think of stopping?

Not really,

says I.

Why would I do that?

Reasons Not To Blog

  • I can't/won't blog about my work life because it's business and, unlike my feelings for my previous job, I actually would care if I got dooced.
  • I've got a lot of heavy feelings about home life, responsibilities and ageing that are mostly to do with living with Pearlie. I haven't worked these out yet. All I know so far is that looking after an elderly relative is not about being a nice person. In fact it brings out your inner shit and it doesn't feel that great.
  • Is blogging even where it's at these days? So many good bloggers have fallen by the wayside.
  • Then there are the big issues. It seems trivial to blog about chickens and foxes and cake and gin when I'm secretly worried (not so secret now) about the world, specifically climate change, the economy, global politics and getting old.
  • I'm also worried about my drinking. I rarely get noticeably drunk but since Pearlie came to live with us I drink a little bit of alcohol pretty much every day.
  • And then of course there's my obsession with wordgames on Facebook. First it was the late lamented Scrabulous, sadly missed, now the equally addictive Wordscraper. When would a body get time to blog?

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hard Tooty Fruity

Day Out In Derry 063, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

I forgot my blog birthday. Four years old on Wednesday.

But I haven't forgotten Zoe's birthday.

Happy birthday Zobo,

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A-Hootin' And A-Hollerin'

I was so tired last night I took the night off Pearlie and went to bed really early.

What made you so tired?

Out in the spud field every night. Anyway I was just dropping off to sleep when Pearlie started scraiking for Bert.

What was she skraiking about?

Oh turns out she wanted him to take her socks off.

Could she not do that herself? I mind your Daddy used to...

She must have been shouting at him for half an hour. She'd go, 'Bert-EE! Bert -EEEE!' then she'd stop a while and then she'd start again.

Why'd you not go down to her?

In case I killed her. I knew it was just some wee stupid thing she wanted. There wasn't a hope of Bert hearing her. He likely had the TV blaring and playing his clarinet. I probably should have slipped down and at least told him she was hollering for him but I was just that stubborn. I was supposed to be having the night off and I wouldn't give in. I can't bear feeling I'm always at her beck and call. I'm going to get earplugs.

Oh you can't do that.

Why not?

You should let Bert decide that.


If he wants to wear earplugs.

Not Bert. Me! So I don't hear her hootin' and hollerin' when it's my night off. Either that or I'm moving into the caravan.

I don't know how you stick it. It'd put me in the mental.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Farmer's Wife

Potato Blight

Sadly our spuds have got blight. The quickest way to save them is to remove the tops and hope for the best. These past two days have seen me spend many hours doing just that. I think Bert was a bit impressed at my keenness for the task.

There was a time I’d have hated this job. I couldn’t have borne the slimy feel of the blighted tops.

Was that when you were a wuss?

Yes. But now that I’m married I can do it.

When you’re married you have to touch slimy things.

I had a lovely surprise on Sunday. I got a message on Facebook from Mr Bolan. I’d a suspicion he was in the country when I saw a rant about spides and weather and grating accents. Thinks I to myself that snobby skitter must have pulled into town. But I know that the dear boy d
oesn’t really mean it when he claims he hates Norn Iron. He’s just cross with us because he thinks we don’t love him. And we do. Loads. Except for spides. They don’t love him. But that's only because they haven't the wit to appreciate him.

So we arranged to go for a walk and it was very pleasant indeed. Mr Bolan is truly blessed. He has delightful children, a handsome dog and a lovely and patient wife.

Then I’d yesterday off work and spent the early part of the day cleaning out cupboards. At around four pm I got very bored with this and headed off for a hike. I took Bonnie, Paddy, a flask of coffee and a banana and walked around the limestone quarry at Cranny Falls in Carnlough. The falls were lovely and the car graveyard was strangely moving.

Cranny Falls

Dead Car at Cranny Falls

When I got home Bert staggered in, grey in the face and clutching his back. He looked just like Albert Steptoe. Poor fellow was exhausted from pulling those slimy potato tops. That’s when I took over. Some folk might like the tall classy girls but us short common weemin - we make great farmer’s wives.

Bert exhausted from pulling tops

Monday, August 25, 2008

In Which I Did Not Go To The Old Lammas Fair In Ballycastle-O

The last time I went to the Lammas Fair I brought a pint of fiery poteen with me. It was more than twenty years ago and I was doing a stall with a sprig of the Northern Irish gentry called Jenny. If I remember correctly Jenny had got a job lot of bomb-damaged baby clothes and she was hoping to do well. But we were newbies and got put up an entry that was well off the main drag. The stallholder next to us, an awfully nice young woman, was selling raffia wall ornaments and neither of us were doing much business. I started to get bored and fell to the poteen. The awfully nice raffia lady cared to join me. Jenny made a stony-faced refusal as, not only was she a bit of a prig, she was driving.

The day passed and me and the Raffia Lady got drunker and drunker and poor Jenny had to run both stalls. Eventually it was time to go home and when the Raffia Lady's husband called to pick her up, saw the state of her and the amount of wall ornaments she hadn't sold he was pretty ripping. I wasn't so stocious that I couldn't see the filthy looks he was shooting in my direction. Mind you Jenny was making sure that I was aware that he found me pretty despicable for getting his nice wee wife in such an awful state.

Well - we were supposed to be staying in Jenny's caravan but she pissed off back to Ballymena taking the keys with her. It wasn't that she didn't want to take me home - it was just that I was hanging over a five-bar gate incapable of movement. As everyone knows bad poteen can blind you but it's less well-known that good poteen can paralyse you. Thankfully it's usually temporary.

I woke up several hours later just in time to enjoy a beautiful sunset and under the foolish impression that I needed more alcohol. I spent the remainder of the evening in the company of a fellow stallholder. He was a charming chap - Billy I think his name was. I knew him from Nutt's Corner market. He hadn't been on the markets long having been in the Crum for seven years. I can't remember whether it was for manslaughter or murder. He told me I had Perfect Skin. I think he was envious for his wasn't.

The next day I had a very sore head. The Raffia Lady wasn't speaking to eitherJenny or me and it took Jenny until lunchtime before she thawed out. I've never been back to the Lammas Fair since. I don't think I ever will.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Put 'Em Up!

You Are Boxing

You are assertive, strong, and downright aggressive.

You have the power to demolish your opponent...

And you have the endurance to make sure the job is finished.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Bless Me Father For I Have Sinned Part 1

Traditionally Friday was confession night at Tannaghmore Chapel. It was always assumed that you'd have gathered up enough sins in the past week to make it worth your while to kneel on that hard bench, await your turn and try your damnedest to eavesdrop on the person who went in before you.

The only time that eavesdropping was any use was when it was some wean who'd made their First Confession within the last month or so. The wee crater would be shouting out their innocent sins...

I was cheeky to my Mammy. I forgot to say my prayers. I stole sweeties.

Then the priest would say, Three Hail Marys and an Our Father.

The older Penitent was a different matter. No matter how hard you tried to hear all you'd get was a pisssswissssswissss as they uttered their transgressions to the father. Your only hope of a bit of scandal would be if the priest was a loud sort who might shout out the penance. Three Hail Marys was standard. An Our Father was for stealing sweeties. Ten Hail Marys and extra Our Fathers were always indicative of heavy duty sinning but when the Father dished out the entire Rosaries you knew the culprit had been doing some pretty bad stuff. The only person I can remember getting the Rosary was a fellow, in his teens then, owns a pub in Randalstown now. Hardly surprising he'd come to that sort of end.

What Will I Do Now?

Bloody flipping blasted Hell!

Scrabulous has gone away from Facebook again!

It's the only decent app. on there!

It's the only reason I ever go on Facebook...

And I started my last game with Mr Bolan on a bingo!

Damn and fuck and blast!!!

What will I do now? I suppose I could weed the vegetable garden or go for a really long walk or clear out the attic. I'd rather play Scrabulous.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

For Better For Worse

Worse: Constantly waking up the night before because I’d thought of something I was terrified of forgetting.

Worse: Having a werewolf’s hairdo.

Worse: When the Banjos were late and Katy said, “I don’t want to worry you but Banjo Man only got his test last week and the roads are really wet.”

Better: When the Banjos answered the phone and it was just that Banjo Man hadn’t seen the gigantic sign warning that the Tullygarley Bridge was closed.

Better: Bert looking like Daniel Craig.

Worse: The third taxi being a tiny bit late.

Better: Teasing the driver of the third taxi by telling him that Mrs The Wee Manny and I were heading in to tie the knot in a civil partnership.

Better: My two beautiful daughters and Bert waiting at Ardeevin.

Worse: Where’s Zoe?

Better: My three beautiful daughters and Bert all together….

Worse: The look on the Registrar’s face when Jazzer and the youngest Miss Banjo got a serious fit of the giggles during the legal bit.

Better: Actually feeling all solemn and happy during the legal bit.

Better: The beautiful tea, cake and yummy buns reception that Zoe and Dave hosted.

Worse: Bert, after changing into Levi jeans, looking like Jeremy Clarkson

Worse: Swisser having problems with the plumbing at Z & D’s.

Better: Dave’s advice to Swisser. The look on her face.

Worse: Francis Joseph Banjo’s incontinence. Bonnie’s sulks.

Better: Maya and Gracie’s contribution to the ambience.

Better: Great crack in the minibus on the way to the Londonderry Arms.

Better: The beautiful meal at the Londonderry Arms.

Better: The fire, the service, the speeches, the company, everything.

Worse: Thinking of the people who weren’t there.

Better: The Wee Manny being a perfect gentleman. Clint smiling more than I’ve ever seen.

Worse: The long journey home in that dreary old minibus.

Better: The fun we had when we got home. Billy’s shredded suit (don’t ask), more champagne.

Worse: Hearing Bert say to Banjo Man, “Hey Banjo Man! We can do wife-swapping now!”

Better: Having a husband with a sense of humour. He’ll need it!

Monday, August 18, 2008

So.... I sit. It's only an hour or so until we tie the knot. I despair of my hair and Bert says I look like a werewolf. Despite this he seems perfectly happy to go through with it. Brave man.

Why can't marriage licences be like other legal paperwork? You send in your particulars, jump through a few boring bureaucratic hoops and hey presto! you're married. Why does there have to be so much fuss?

Maybe I'll understand it tomorrow.

BTW Hannah is for wearing a dress. That'll be the first time since she made her First Communion.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

State Of Play

We went to a sixtieth birthday party on Friday evening. It was a fundraiser held at the local Rugby club. As we parked up I said to Bert, "Y'know this is the first time I've ever been here sober?" I have to add that it was the first time I'd been there in teens of years and that I remained sober for the entire night. Designated driver y'see.

The same could not be said for the Wee Manny who was a very naughty boy indeed. I said to him, "I hope you're not going to behave as badly as this at my wedding?" Although I have no doubt that he will be just as full of rascality as he was on Friday. The thing was it was way past his bedtime so no wonder he was fractious. He likes to be tucked up by 7:30 usually.

I woke up at 7 the next morning feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. But it was raining. Three hours later it was still raining. Twelve hours later it was still raining. Our spring, normally a little trickle, had formed a lake, there were two new rivers running through a field down our road, some of the neighbours were standing ankle deep in water, the water had brought down a tree on the Granagh Road, there were horses standing at the edge of lakes that used to be meadows. In Ballymena the Wakehurst playing fields were under water and the folk at the bottom of the Toome Road were flooded again. I heard that Ahoghill and Portglenone were closed off due to flooding.

Despite the rain I had to go into Ballymena yesterday. There are certain last minute things a bride-to-be must buy. I was in the Hospice shop buying second hand champagne flutes (£3.95 for 11) and the volunteer ladies were bemoaning the poor takings. "Sure," said one to the other, "Only a mad person would come out on a day like that," then they went sort of quiet. No doubt they were looking at the mad person who was browsing the book shelves while she was waiting for her glassware to be wrapped up.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wind Yer Necks In Boys!

The fellows on the site are threatening to give me a 'doing' tomorrow. For those who might not know a 'doing' is a form of ritual humiliation visited upon a person who is about to embrace the matrimonial state. It can involve flour, water, balloons, bondage and a host of other embarrassments.

Obviously I've informed them that under no circumstances need they dare come near me. After all I am old enough to be their mother and it would be most undignified. I have cited Health & Saftety regulations, the wrongness of wasting their employer's time and the promise that if one of them lays as much as a finger on me I'll be bringing charges of sexual harassment and assault.

I think they've got the message.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Wedding Present

As Bert and I are having a (relatively) fuss-free marriage we have been telling friends and family that we do not want presents. After all we have been together 21 years and have all the household goods we need.

But some folk just cannot be told. Look what Clint presented us with yesterday!

The wedding present is the one to the fore of the picture

So if you bloody insist we'll accept the following:

  • A breeding pair of donkeys
  • A yellow Triumph Dolomite
  • A flock of Jacob sheep
  • A spinning wheel
  • Gold
  • Champagne

Monday, August 11, 2008


I bumped into Joe in B&Q yesterday. He gave me the loveliest smile and I have to confess I was pretty bowled over. For the first time I realised that he really likes me. (And I'm getting married next week.) I walked out of that store on a cloud.

He called to the office today and treated me to another of those gorgeous smiles. We cuddled. He snuggled into me. I smelled his hair (so clean) and kissed him. (I'm getting married next week.)

We hung out together for thirty minutes or so. I was no work done. Finally I came to my senses. It was after one o'clock. I handed him back to his Dad.

I think he needs his nappy changed.

Farting Machines

cattle, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

They're to eat more kangaroos.


Because they don't fart as much as we do.


Because they have a different sort of digestive system that the likes of us.

Can you imagine the fencing problems?

Be mighty.

What do they say Skippy tastes like?

Supposed to be truly yummy.

So if they eat roo meat instead of cattle and sheep that reduces the amount of methane that goes into the atmosphere?

Apparently so.

What about their farting?

You mean like Nelly... and Matty?


Maybe if they ate more Skippy burgers they wouldn't fart so much.

Maybe. Or maybe we should just get rid of all the windy bastards. What's so special about bloody humans anyway?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Puppy Dog Tales

Seems that everybody but Nellybert is having some Baby Dog Joy.

Clint is getting himself a border collie,

She's only a few weeks old

Zoe and Dave have Maya...

Maya messing about in the vegetable garden

...and yesterday Kerry Sister and I travelled to Ballycastle to pick up Glenamairgie Hannah who is going to live with Teresa on the Dingle Peninsula.

She's a Border Terrier, bred to go after foxes

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Clint Has No Cock

Poor Clint. Foxy made off with his three remaining roosters, each one of them reared from an egg. That's Son of Corky, the Lakenvelder and the Barnvelder all gone.

Meanwhile down in Seannachoill the Kerry Sister and Brandon are being tortured by the incessant crowing of their neighbour's eight roosters. Kerry Sister tells him, "Paudeen, you're the talk of the parish carrying feed to eight useless roosters."

"Am I? " says he, delighted at the idea.

We may get a few good County Antrim foxes exported to the Dingle Peninsula to take care of the problem. I'd be glad to part a few of them.

Now what to do about the flock of sheep that spend a lot of time in the Kerry Sister's garden munching her vegetables and flowers? I've suggested they invest in a large freezer for starters.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Seven Degrees of Separation

Last weekend we went for dinner with a couple of friends from Portglenone. And very enjoyable (and yummy) it was too. I couldn't help noticing that our hostess was looking exceptionally well. She had a great haircut and the sassy, confident air that a great haircut gives a gal.

"Great haircut," says I. "Thanks," says she. "I got it cut in London last week."
"And only by Kate Moss's hairdresser," says her better half. Turns out that the friend she was over seeing is mates with a guy who is a hairdresser to the stars. And the person whose hair he'd cut before hers was Miss Moss.

According to some recently reported research by Microsoft the whole world is only 6.6 contacts from every other human being on earth. Now I've found that Nellybert is just two degrees of separation from Kate Moss. Which doesn't surprise me one bit. Kate and her ilk get about a bit and their movements are well documented so it's easy to trace our connections to them.

Take the Queen, for instance. She meets a hell of a lot of people so each and every one of us must know at least one person who has shook the royal hand or been to one of her garden parties. Same goes for the Pope. Sure through knowing His Edness I'm only one degree of separation from the last two pontiffs. And that makes me two degrees from that fucker Bono. And three from Nelson Mandela. Unless the Pope has met him too and that's bound to have happened. Through the Kate connection I'm four from Mandela for sure. Except I forgot - Laura's cousin Khail had an audience so that's just one degree to Mandela. And two to Leona Lewis who sat beside him for a photograph. Sheesh! I could go on and on.

So tell me this fellow bloggers -

How many degrees of separation are you from...?

1. Muhammed Ali
2. Kate Moss
3. Ian Paisley
4. Kevin Bacon

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Rainy Weather

Three rabbits unfortunately drowned in this weekend's downpour

Bert and I had planned to go for a long walk today. We’d even pre-booked the party animal (Hannah) for an early return from her weekend on the tiles, thus ensuring that Pearlie Blue would have somebody to moan at. But rain stopped play. A wee bit of a shower wouldn’t deter me but Bert, him being made of candy floss, melts in the rain.

Instead I took a solitary walk along the river path hoping to see massive flooding. I wasn’t completely on my own as I’d a couple of dogs with me. I like walking on my own as it gives me an opportunity to do a bit of serious thinking.

So what did I think about? I thought about global warming and wondered if it was really happening and, if it is, does it really matter? I thought about God and does it exist? I thought about money and what would happen if we stopped caring about it. And I thought about why it seems to be fine and dandy for horses to shit wherever they like and yet it’s a big sin for a dog to take a dump out of doors. Nobody expects horse riders to dismount and shovel those great steamy turds into plastic bags do they? I call that not fair.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Time Races By

This week has flown past. What was I doing? When did I ever get time to blog before?

I went to work, I played a few games of Scrabulous, I drank at least one gin every night (maybe that's what I'm doing wrong), I tried to keep my house tidy and I read a book.

You know what it is. Having Pearlie staying with us is sucking up all my mental energy. She is such a negative person that she totally drains me. 

I have a new tactic in my battle to stay sane. There will be no more reasoning with her, no more negotiations and no arguments. Instead I will be bland, pleasant and very, very boring. Yes! That's it. I'm going to bore her to death.