Thursday, October 29, 2009

Piglet Joy

Remember this little kune kune sow? We went to visit her and her best boy Boris the Boisterous on the very same day that Martha was born. What we weren't sure about then was that she was in an interesting condition herself. All being well there will be piglets by Christmas. And this time they're for keeps!

Boris done good.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Ulster Museum Says No!

Closed on Mondays

Young Martha had her first train journey today and her first visit to Belfast. Her entourage numbered eight and consisted of a parent, grandparents, a brace of aunts and the ultimate uncle. Her intended destination was the newly refurbished Ulster Museum.

Now if you have clicked on that link, and I hope you did, I would like to inform you that the report is misleading. Perhaps dozens did turn up, if you number dozens in double figures. During the short time that we were there I saw nearly a hundred people come to the entrance door to be disappointed. We certainly weren't the only party to have missed the memo about Monday closure. But the museum will not be closed on Bank Holiday Mondays. You'd think that they might have considered that people would be keen to visit during half-term holidays as well.

I will go again, but next time I'll be consulting the website before I buy a train ticket.

And how did Baby Martha handle her disappointment? She displayed great forbearance and stoicism.


Since writing this, it appears that the Ulster Museum people acknowledge that today was a bit of a debacle. Among the people I chatted to outside the museum today were tourists from the United States who were tremendously disappointed to find the doors closed. We Ulster people can come again any day (other than Mondays) but it was their one chance as their itineraries are set.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Martha and Martha

Martha and Martha, originally uploaded by ZMB.

I just like this picture very much.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Shirley, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

I was a little taken aback, last night, to see this photograph on the front page of the local paper. It was taken in our kitchen when Shirley was staying with us. The paper stated that it was a picture 'taken in happier times'. She was quite happy that day, getting ready to go out to meet some friends in Ballymena. There were also lots of days when she didn't appear so happy.

Ballymena was where Shirley made her home and it was where she made the few good friends who loved her, but it was also in Ballymena where she was cruelly mistreated and abused by some others who were not her friends and, finally, where she was callously murdered.

Today her murderer has been found guilty after a long trial.

Sometimes I really do hope that Hell exists. For there are others who have never been brought to justice for the crimes they committed against this vulnerable young girl. I really do hope that there will be a Hell for them and that they will roast in it for ever.

Monday, October 19, 2009

I May Have Omitted To Mention

Barnaby Rudge and Grip the Raven

I finished listening to Barnaby Rudge and I have to say I enjoyed it very much. I particularly liked that illustration as it fitted very well with the image of Barnaby that I had in my mind.

I have changed my car. I now drive a Peugeot 307 estate and Matty is very pleased with it. Bonnie does not like it as much as my VW Polo as she has been confined to the boot so far. It's a very big boot but it's still a comedown for her.

My granddaughter is one calendar month today. She is even more beautiful than she was. I really do hope she doesn't peak too soon!

We are looking forward to having Katy and her fiance come to stay. We expect there shall be a great deal of talk about weddings. We shall try to bear it.

The pigs went away a week ago today. They will be coming home in the form of sausages and other yummy things in the very near future. There has been no word of the Kune Kunes but - trotters crossed!

We brought a little light into our lives with the help of Pascal the Rascal. (This is cryptic and will only be understood by a very few, mostly called Joe)

Hannah has discovered a new fascination for the natural world. She still can't tell a plant from a tree but she's very keen on parasitic wasps.

There are some other things going on which are not a matter for levity. As always, in the midst of Life....

And that is all.... for now.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A Desprit Hoor For The Culture

Tonight Bert and I went to Ballymena and found ourselves in an entirely spide-free zone. And it wasn't even a church! We went to see the Lyric Players perform The Beauty Queen of Leenane in The Braid. We thoroughly approved. Sure what else would a body be doing on a Thursday night? Watching The Sopranos and drinking gin? A change is as good as a rest, as they say.

Recently we've been having a fly at Kurosawa's The Idiot. Dem heavy going we thought. We were glad to get back to The Sopranos.

Bert says,

That Tony Soprano's a whingeing bastard.

D'ye think?

Mind you I wouldn't like to tell him that to his face.

Other cultured things I've been doing include listening to Barnaby Rudge. You know, I'd never even heard of the Gordon Riots before! But does listening to audiobooks count? Although I always have the hard copy to hand to properly read parts I sort of missed out on because I saw an interesting bird or the cat did something funny or Bert tried to engage me in conversation.

I've been doing some proper reading too - Flann O'Brien, the Ikea Catalogue and the discusion boards on Lexulous and Wordscraper. Some of the discussions on those last two are a horror movie. I can hardly believe that adults say that sort of stuff to each other. Little wonder they need alter egos.

Off to bed now with a Killer Sudoku and the NME death issue. This culture stuff can be very tiring.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Matty: You know, you left your Tescos receipt here the other week...

Me: Did I?

Matty: I had a wee look at it.

Me: Did you?

Matty: That gin's wild dear.

Me: D'ye think?

Matty: I nearly fainted when I saw the price of it!

Me: It was probably a litre bottle.

Matty: A whole litre!

Me: Aye. Mind you that would probably do me about ten days. (thinks - more like seven)

Matty: Just you yourself drinking it?

Me: Oh no! Me and Bert both. (thinks - he might be so lucky)

Matty: Oh well. That's not just as bad then.

Me: it's better than wine. Don't drink as much of it and it's not as fattening. (thinks - I need a drink)

Matty: That's not so bad then.

Me: (thinks she's thinking - Nelly's an alcoholic)

So on the way home I stopped at Tescos and bought some buttermilk and mozzarella and... cheers!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Charlie bit my finger - again !

According to an article in today's Independent this is the most viewed video on YouTube with 126,143,311 views. And now that I've watched it - is now at 126,143,312 views.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Big Business

I mentioned the other night that my boss would be going to a breakfast meeting on the following day.

"A breakfast meeting!" snorts Bert with that peculiar mixture of sneering contempt and personal shame that he generally displays when he thinks of the poor unfortunate creatures who have to get out of their beds of a morning. "How posey!" he added.

"Not a-tall," says I. "It's a very good time for busy people to meet. You're just jealous because you don't get to have breakfast meetings."

"Well. That's just where you're wrong," says he. "For I had a breakfast meeting with Wee Les this very day."

"Did you?" says I. "And what business deals did you cut?"

"He gave me a bag of piri-piri chillies and I gave him the last of the damsons and a bunch of scallions."

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Playing the Game

This internet is a rare and wonderful place. There was I, playing Lexulous and Wordscraper like a demon and I had NO IDEA, no idea at all what a vicious arena it had become. Occasionally people would get rather sniffy if I played a word that they found unfamiliar. These words would usually be botanical or horticultural. I'd generally ignore their sniffiness and carry on.

Obviously when choosing games I'd avoid (like the plague) male players looking for sexy/pervy chat. Funnily enough these sort of players tend to have low stats. I expect it must be hard to concentrate on wordplay when the blood supply has deserted the brain and headed for the groin area. Once, in a daring mood, I accepted a game from a punter who declared that he'd only play females who told him their bust measurements. I messaged 'probably bigger than your head Sunny Jim' and he deleted the game immediately. Pussy-wuss!

Recently I noticed a few players were warning others about a certain Canadian chappie. I investigated further and found that he is a hot topic in the forums. Groups have been formed to denounce him and he likes to take an active part in these very same forums. The level of abuse they measure out to one another is alarming. These people taketheir word games very seriously indeed.

Enough of word games. I'm off to bed now with Flann O'Brien. Don't tell!

Saturday, October 03, 2009


lookingattheworld, originally uploaded by waveneyavenue.

Martha's own Daddy's photographs are the best so far. Her Mummy is too busy doing Mummy things to take the pictures.

It's time now that I introduce her to the Garden.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Poo Poo

My granddaughter Martha Amy is 12 days old today and it is nearly a week since I held her in my arms. She has two very adequate parents and a host of other admirers so I do have to take my turn with her. I called with her last Friday but her doting grandfather from England was over and he had to take precedence. I called again on Sunday bearing presents of food (any excuse) and I found Martha's father in an exhausted sleep and Martha just nodded off so I had to tiptoe and whisper a bit. Zoe said,

"You don't have to whisper. She's used to noise."

And I said,

"I know. But her father's not."

But today, when I called, I found Martha lively and full of beans and busy about a baby's business which meant I got to change her napkin. What a thrill! Zoe supervised and I have to say that her arrangements are much better organised than my own were. Martha roared like a bull stirk throughout the whole procedure but Zoe said that is what she usually does.

I changed a baby's napkin and it was, by far, the nicest thing I did all day. Even nicer than taking photographs of the Mayor of Ballymena which I also did today.