Monday, August 30, 2010


This evening thirty-something years ago I was as happy as ever I'd been since I left childhood behind. The reason? A little person that I'd been waiting on for quite a while. I wasn't yet twenty-one and probably didn't have the right amount of sense to be a mum. But I did have some powerful instincts and a mum of my own to help out. Matty knew when to step forward and she knew when to step back. Someone said once that it takes a village to raise a child. Well - we weren't quite a village, but there were a lot of us and we were aged from ten (Joe) to eighty (Aunt Katy). We were all needed. Thank you to everyone who helped me raise Zoe. Mick, Matty, Seamus, Ken, Gladys, Jean, Anne, Eamon, Tricia, Deirdre, Joe, Rosemary, Claire, Mrs Magee and Philip, John and Clare, Aunt Maud, Aunt Katy, Marie and Catherine, the McAnespies, the Byrnes, the Heffrons and if there is anyone else there that I've forgotten thank you too!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

For Granny

For Granny, originally uploaded by ZMB.

Darn Royal Black parade in Ballymena prevented me from hooking up with Miss Martha today. She sent me this message with some exciting news.

She can walk. Just like her Mummy did before her, she has decided to get on her hind legs just before her first birthday.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Nelly's Garden!

This dem blog is six years old today.

Mother Radar

I had a rough day.

Going to Matty's this evening, picked up The Banana, and we both cried before we went in. Did my very best to seem upbeat, ate a bowl of stew and everything.

But she knew, said "What's up?", told her, felt ashamed for there's a lot more up with her than there is with me. She said, "I'll say a prayer for you." I said, "I was hoping you'd say that." She said, "I stopped praying there for a few weeks, didn't seem like it was doing much good." I said, "You were too sick. Anyway you had plenty stored up."

What am I going to do when she is not there to wish me well in her prayers and in every other way too?

We left. Went to the off-licence. We both cried before we went in.

Dead Cow In The Middle Of The Weir

'A dead cow, which has been trapped in a weir in Omagh for three days, has not been rescued yet.'

Spotted in Google Reader. How in the name of anything does one 'rescue' a dead cow?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Evil Cat Torturers Are Everywhere

Recent Silly Season items in the news.

Slightly Demented Woman Puts Kitty Cat In A Bin And The World Goes Mad

Slightly Demented Woman Pees On a War Memorial And Performs A Sex Act On A Straggly-Haired Male

Slightly Demented Woman Sings For The Pope It Was All She Ever Dreamed Of

OK - so it is really nice for Susan Boyle that she gets to sing for the Pope. Although I bet she wishes it wasn't Pope Bendydick. I bet she'd have preferred that charismatic Pope before him.

Then there was the wino that peed on the War Memorial. I agree that it wasn't very ladylike of her and it was certainly very disrespectful behaviour but - how can we expect someone who probably has zero respect for herself to respect a Memorial? A lot of fuss and nonsense about nothing in my opinion.

And although I am fond of animals I think that the furore caused by the woman who popped Tiddles in the wheelie bin to be excessive. It seemed like a nutty thing to do but she didn't tie firecrackers to its tail, she didn't put it in a microwave, she didn't hit it with a rock. A sense of perspective is needed here. There was video footage recently that showed two young men punching a grandfather in the street causing injuries that ultimately killed him and there wasn't anything like the same fuss made about it.

And we mustn't forget Lindsay Lohan, Courtney Love and your one who sang 'Mercy' on The X Factor. Roll on the month of September when hopefully we will hear less about slightly demented women.


Last Saturday Bert and Ben made Martha a swing.


Sadly there is no video footage, nor are there any photographs. I know the first thing I'd have done was run back to the house for a camera but Bert never thought of it. He was too concerned about his secret stash of blueberries.

It seems that someone hadn't properly fastened the gate to the pig paddock and when Bert first noticed they were gone he was terribly worried.  First he dashed to the road but there were no small hairy pigs causing traffic chaos. Then he searched the sheds. He eventually found Rusty in the polytunnel. There he was, this recovering pig, daintily picking ripe tomatoes off the vine. But still no Lily. The sound of snuffling led him to a dense stand of clematis where he had hidden his secret stash of blueberries that he'd told no-one else about, not even Miss Martha and she adores blueberries. Apparently so does Miss Lily for she left the plants stripped bare. I thought those pigs were supposed to be poorly?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


When we decided to get kune kunes we did think about the health care responsibilities. We were aware we'd have to vaccinate, innoculate and operate parasite control. We knew we'd have to feed them properly. We knew that all this would cost money and we decided that we were happy to take this on.

But what i wasn't prepared for was, that barely a month in, both pigs would go from being boisterously healthy to displaying serious signs of illness. Rusty was at death's door last Friday morning. We got him to the vet immediately and she pronounced him seriously ill. His temperature was actually abnormally low which is far. far worse than being high. After a couple of shots he started to rally and was eating again before the day was out. Saturday was good. On Sunday I thought he looked low again and called the vet. she said he'd go up and down and to keep on administering the shots.

Oh the shots! Rusty hated these and so did we. Bert jabbed and I held. As Rusty continued to rally he got stronger and ever harder to restrain. By this morning he was so difficult to pin down that it was only a miracle that I didn't get the dose intended for him. Afterwards he was in a right old state, sides 'thumping' like billy-oh. I decided to call my cousin.

I have a cousin who is an excellent vet. His practice is a fair distance from where I live so he is not our vet. But, worried sick about Rusty, I decided to ask for a second opinion. He reassured me, told me that our vet was giving Rusty the same medication he'd have prescribed. advised me to continue the course and only then if we thought he wasn't doing well to ask for different treatment.

Then this evening, Rusty continues to rally, he has lost growth and Lily has outstripped him in size but I'm happy enough with his progress. Then at bedtime Lily, who only a few hours earlier was up on her hind legs for grapes, was listless. Not interested in melon. (I bought the melon to practice injections) She is getting sick too. She had a shot earlier in the week as a preventative but afterwards did not seem to need it. We decided to jab her and were worried about it.

Then Stephen arrived on the yard. Stephen keeps cattle on our place but he is a pig man too. His daughter and her friend were ther to see Rusty and Lily. He showed us how to give shots in such a way that the pig will be as little stressed as possible. he gave us some really good advice and reassurance. Vets are essential. sometimes they even seem like miracle workers because they know all about those magic potions but there is nothing like the man or woman on the ground who knows the animal , who cares about it, knows how to handle it and is happy to share that knowledge.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What I Bought

If it weren't for the Sunday papers I wouldn't have a notion what is going on in the world. According to the Sunday Times there is a whole class of youngsters who have a lucrative side line in telling the world what they have bought recently. Apparently this is the way forward in marketing and said young ones get free stuff thrown at them because of the following they have in their video logs. God! The world is even sadder than I thought.

So - who cares what a baby boomer buys? Today Nelly bought a copy of the Sunday Times and some mini bin liners at the Nisa in Cullybackey. The girl at the till asked me if I wanted a carrier bag. I said no as I usually do. Then I remembered that's why I had to buy mini bin liners. I still said no. Pearlie has got a thing about plastic bags. When we cleared out her mobile home I threw out about ten thousand of them. She isn't happy unless she has huge amounts of them stashed. Which is why I had to buy her bin liners.

The Sunday Times will come in useful. Homes, Travel. Finance and Sport are to be immediately utilised for the pup to piss on. I had a wee read at Style but got deeply depressed at the Agent Provocateur article. What meaning can this have for the likes of me? I threw it from me in disgust. Much more to my taste was the interview with Jimmy Page in the magazine. Cheeky interviewer brought up the S&M allegations. Jimmy sardonically laughed it off. As you do. Rest of the paper? Maybe later if the pup doesn't piss on it first. I've got the new Kate Atkinson so who the hell cares?


Nelly bought -

1. Bin liners 1 quid
2. Sunday Times 2 quid

Nelly encouraged Bert to buy -

Red wine (and he did. Hic...)

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Big Worry

When I went out to feed the pigs this morning Rusty did not come for his food. He just stood there. He was obviously very, very ill. His sides were 'thumping', his skin and snout were clammy. He looked like he had pneumonia. Only the day before he had seemed well enough. I phoned the vet, got Bert up and we got him in the car and drove him to Clough. The vet did not give us much hope. She said he had a virulent strain of pneumonia and that he was unlikely to make it. Nevertheless she gave him two shots and advised us, if he survived, to give him further shots daily until he looked like he was over it. She also advised that Lily get shots for two days as she had been in close contact with him.

I was devastated. Considered not going to work then decided to go anyway. I work in the kind of office where you can go in an hour late, tear-stained and blotchy, all because of a sick pig.

The day progressed. I had regular updates from Bert and Ben.

11am - Rusty was warming up, had a hot water bottle, seemed a little better.
1pm - Rust ate an apple, well warmed and sitting up.
3pm - Ate strawberries, was playing! (according to Ben)

Meanwhile I phoned Dylan who had sold us the piglets. He was most concerned. Advised, among other things, that we feed him grapes. Kune kunes love grapes. I know! Sick people get grapes, why not sick pigs?

I got home just after 8pm. Rusty got his grapes and so did Lily. Lily got her shot. She screamed like she was being murdered. Rusty is still not out of the woods but, please God, he'll get better. I saw him settled down for the night, snuggled against Lily, and I'd love to go check on them right now but something tells me it will be better not to disturb their rest. I'll not be lying in bed too long tomorrow morning. Please get better pig.

POSTSCRIPT Rusty much, much better this morning.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tales From the Negative Scanner

Hannah was just a little bit disappointed in her blind date. He dressed well but his looks were....unusual.

Zoe was over the moon to have won the jazziest jumper competition.

The evenings dragged in without the internet and only four channels on the telly.

We were so poor then that we dressed like hobos and the only food we had were Jokers.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Moving House

Rusty and Lily have moved to a spacious new home situated in a bucolic woodland and built from sustainable materials.

I am considering moving in with them. I wonder if I could get used to sleeping in straw?

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Sunday Drivers

Seems like every Sunday that I drive out to Tannaghmore some idiot cuts me up on the Ballee roundabout. Today was no exception. Today it was a Smart Car. All I know about Smart Cars, apart from them being the wankiest car in the world, is that they were heavily mentioned in Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code, to the extent that I am certain Smart Cars bloody sponsored that dire book which, I am ashamed to admit, I have read and that the local Cartridge World has one that is always bloody cutting people up as well. And yes I know bloody local Cartridge World is somebody I know and bump into at weddings and leaving dos but Smart Cars are WANKY and that their drivers keep cutting us normal people up and, hey, learn how to drive why don't you?

Anyways today Wank Car cuts me up and I'm not in a good mood and I yell, "Don't be a cunt all your life!" and again as I overtook him, "WANKER!" through open windows although I don't think he heard me because Lohengrin was playing rather loudly but I couldn't avoid noticing that he had a sign on his back window saying JESUS something and he was smug and po-faced with glasses and I couldn't help thinking if he was such an awesome Christian that he was driving a Smart Car and advertising JESUS that a bit of road manners was in order.

But anyhow Janis Joplin came on and I thought to myself that at the present moment I do enjoy a bit of Road Rage because I was going to Tannaghmore and when I got there I had to put on my mild and gentle hat. Not that it did me much good.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hello pig!

Hello pig!, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

Kune kunes are a favourite of children everywhere. Curtis is no exception.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Bark In The Park and Other Dogs

Ben, Bonnie and I went to the Dog's Trust Bark in the Park event this afternoon. Miss Martha and her people went too. We entered Gracie, Maya and Bonnie for the Prettiest Bitch but they were outclassed. Bonnie entered the Best Rescue Dog and came fourth! She hadn't even combed her hair! I think Ben charmed the judge into it. She was rather pretty. Just his type, which tends to be tall, slim and around thirty. The picture above shows Miss Martha and Miss Gracie discussing Bonnie's chances.

Ben takes his responsibility as dog handler very seriously, while Bonnie waits confidently for her prize. She wasn't as cocky when she visited the vet's tent for a free consultation.

Bonnie after she'd escaped from the vet.

Then what did I go and do? Only went to Dunloy to pick up Bert's new van and coincidentally take a look at the mechanic's litter of collie-labrador crosses.

And took one! Her name is Judy (Pearlie picked it) and Bonnie and Paddy hate her. But Pearlie likes her and so do we. Oh what have I done!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Little Diva Pooper Parties

A Beauty Parlour has opened in the village in which I work. There is a pink poster in its window which announces 'Little Diva Pamper Parties'. You can imagine my disgust. I daresay this village is full of little divas (in my day we called them brats) but the last thing they need is encouragement with 'pamper parties'. I have a far better idea that would encourage the 'little divas' to be useful members of society. This village is also full of people who don't clear up after their pooches. I would gather up a party  of divas, dress them in pink tutus, pink wellington boots and pink rubber gloves and provide them with pink rubbish bags and send them out lifting dogshite. I reckon the spectacle would shame those criminals who allow their dogs to cover the place in dog-doings. Afterwards we'd party like it's 1999.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Merry Sodding August

Earlier today I met up with Ganching for a coffee in the local garden centre. Ganching was tempted by the soup but I pointed out to her that charging four pounds and fifty effing pee for a bowl of stinking soup was seriously taking the piss.

As we were leaving the server was putting up a plastic Christmas tree and she'd already hung up a fine display of felt Christmas stockings. The entrance was crammed with large plastic Santas and hideous reindeers. In bloody August! In the school holidays! I'm never, ever going there again.

Big Strong Man

Bert, his godson Ben and my own self were sitting in a fish and chip café this evening. There were only two other customers, two chubby, middle-aged men tucking into big chip suppers. We were waiting to be served.

One of the servers came down clutching a jar of gherkins. She said to the chubby fellows,

Gentlemen I hope youse don’t mind me interrupting your meal but could one of you open this jar for me?

One of the men took the jar and opened it.

She gushed,

Thanks so much! I had to ask you for youse are the only men in here.

I looked at my Bert, looked upon his beardy face and admired his strong sinewy arms and large capable hands. I laughed (weakly). He laughed (in a manly kind of way). But I felt slighted at her assumption that my man was a wimp. Our meal came. It was shite. I’m never eating there again.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

I Want To Be Adored

lily, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

....and I am.