Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve Baking Sesh

Nellybert baked three cakes today. To be more precise Nelly baked two, Bert baked one and Martha helped. At first Martha was not impressed with the process. She wanted a special spoon to stir the ginger biscuit crumbs and no spoon we could offer her was special enough.

Bert thought that a taste of Nigella's Orange-Chocolate Cake mixture would cheer her up. After all, Nigella's always licking the spoon and she always looks happy.

I think Bert's ploy worked. Martha identified the chocolate but did not pick out the orange (marmalade) flavour.

Afterwards I suggested Bert help us clear up but he demurred.

I'm away out now to dung out those calves.

And you're not expecting any help?

Not a-tall.

That'll do then.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Update

Martha and I went grocery and wine shopping yesterday. I usually hate this sort of shopping but Martha's delightful company made it very bearable indeed. Lidls did not disappoint but Asda had no stem ginger! Can you believe it? What sort of people must shop there? Later I heard that they had actually run out of Brussels sprouts. Obviously I have my own, thanks to the Springhill Gardening Club, even though it wasn't been the best year for sprouts. But imagine the people of Antrim buying every sprout in Asda? Most folks don't even like them although they are one of my favourite vegetables. Pity you can't make wine out of them.

After shopping we went to visit one of Matty's old friends. The minute I drove on to her road I felt myself well up. It was just as well Martha was there to help me keep it together. At Mum's friend's house she was a little delight. She chatted away, displayed her lovely manners and made her Granny very proud of her. We drove past Matty's house on the way home. I did not look.

Back home Martha and I decorated the Christmas tree but I sensed Martha was not impressed with it. I'm sure I heard her say it was too small.

I was back in Tannaghmore today visiting my cousin. He has not been well but his form was good and I'm sure I was there at least two hours. The craic was, as they say, mighty. I went home the long way as I couldn't bear to pass Matty's road again. She is very much on my mind at the moment - first Christmas without her and all that. But I am intending to enjoy Christmas anyway. It's the only way to go.

Tomorrow will be my baking and cooking day. I forgot to buy bread for making stuffing so fingers crossed will get that tomorrow. Bert will be sent out on that mission. The lovely Mel is coming to visit and I'm sure she'll be keen to get her hands covered in flour, chocolate and lemon zest.

And speaking of messes - I was multi-tasking earlier on. I was making mince pies at the same time as cleaning a (dogshit) soiled carpet in the wet room.

Horrors! You say. How unhygienic is that? But do not worry. I was very careful to wash my hands thoroughly as I moved from one task to the other. After all, the last thing I'd want is to get sweet mincemeat and flour on my Ikea carpet.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Prep

I'm making a list of the desserts I might make for our Christmas dinners. I have chosen a tree which Bert will dig it up tomorrow. I have bought Steiff teddy bears for my lovely girls, Miss Martha and Miss Evie. I have a date with Miss Martha for Christmas shopping on Thursday.

Christmas is underway.

Spend, Spend - Hang On A Minute!

The story so far...

I left my job at the start of the year. It had become a burden to me, I had better things to do and I was not sorry to part from it. I released some savings and lived on those until last month. I also received carers allowance for a few months then, after Mum died, I got income support which lasted for six months. When that finished I noticed my savings start to dwindle dramatically. Finally I was down to my last couple of hundred and I decided to leave that in the bank to cover small necessities such as insurance policies and internet. I started to worry. Then I decided not to bother worrying. I envisaged enough money rolling towards me and that comforted me.

A few days ago I was in town on banking business and as I walked the streets I watched all the people scurrying around laden down with parcels and plastic bags. I had about thirty pounds in my purse so I could have bought some unnecessary tat if I'd wanted. I noticed that Captain Cooks was having a closing down sale and decided to take a look. Normally I am a sucker for cookware shops. I have many an unnecessary gadget in my home including a silicon rolly thing for peeling garlic and a silicon ring for making perfect fried eggs and two silicon puches for making perfect poached eggs. You notice a theme? I'm a sucker for silicon. The feel, the heat resistance, the primary colours – I just can't get enough of it. So I looked all over the shop and although everything was reduced it was still too bloody expensive. I left empty-handed. To tell the truth I don't think there is a silicon cooking aid that I don't already have.

Back on the street I realised I felt free. It was Christmas. That time of the year when the very air urges you to spend, spend, spend! And I just didn't have the spare cash. It felt great! I knew there would be money for meat and cakes and ale and that I might be able to squeeze in a few crackers and that I'd already bought most of my presents and had enough money to give presents to those that deserved them. But I had no spare cash and I could not buy crap! It was bliss.

Then I got some money...

So now I can afford things. I'm going to town soon to buy presents for my granddaughters. I have a rough idea what I'm getting them but there will be no silicon.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Where's Charlie?

Isn't it wonderful how a drop of the cold, white stuff helps the look of a bunch of tatty old outhouses. Judy jumps with joy at the excitement of it all and Bonnie tries to keep up. Maybe she's wondering where her morning dose of steroids are? Meanwhile Paddy hopes that the snow is improving the looks of a tatty old dog. Afraid not old son. But where's Charlie?

There he is! Doing what he does best - lurking and pissing.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Those Happy Summer Days

look at my leeks, originally uploaded by NellyMoser.

It's during these bleak midwinter days that I find myself remembering the balmy days and long evenings of summers past. Thinking of the days when Bert, at least, could wander around shirtless. Obviously this photograph wasn't taken last summer as I don't think he'd his simmit* off once except the odd time he was showering.

But at least the this year's crop of leeks are ready and very delicious. That's something anyway.

*simmit Noun: A large undershirt.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Pig Wins!

Bert tries a spot of pig-wranglin'. The pig wins. They usually do.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Out Of Area

An out of area call could be from my brother in Vancouver or it could be from my sisters in Real Ireland. Or. It could be from some tosser in a Call Centre being vague about who s/he is and being more than prepared to waste a great amount of my precious time.

The one that phoned this morning wanted to know what make of television I owned. I told him I didn't have one. Then he asked me what make of washing machine I owned and I told him it was none of his business. Then I hung up. Then he phoned straight back. Of course I ignored the call. Said he was from a company called DCI. What was that all about? Next time I'm wasting his time. If I'm in the mood. I wasn't in the mood this morning.

Friday, December 09, 2011

That'll Be All White Then

Whilst in Derry t'other day with Miss Martha, her grandfather (my first husband) and his lady I got into a (sort of) conversation with some other lady. Y'know I nearly sort of hate to call her a 'lady'. I'd rather call her a 'woman' or perhaps a 'mad bint'. Anyways we got chatting as I sat outside Tescos while my first husband's beloved was in there shopping for the nappies that we left behind when we embarked on our 'day oot'. So - Mad Bint starts chatting to me. I was totally not in the mood as I had just checked my bank balance and was feeling rather worried and poverty-stricken. So we're having this banal conversation about the cost of Christmas and the crazy demands made by (her) grandchildren when Miss Marthas grandfather and his better half appeared,

Well, said the Bint. No need to ask you who this is. This is your daughter. She's your spitting image.

I smiled wanly as I wished her dead.

My first husband's partner is two years older than me. So not only does she look young enough to be my daughter, she also looks young enough to be the mother of a two-year-old child. It's my white hair. It must be! That or the Mad Bint is also half-blind and thoroughly drunk or medicated. This mistake might have made somebody's day but it certainly wasn't mine.

Happy Birthday Katy!

Monday, December 05, 2011

Not Home Alone

Then you go from all that lovely peace and quiet to having both your husbands in the house and the first one is having a wee mild domestic with his partner. Thank God I'm good at the pouring oil on troubled waters thing.

And to make matters worse the New Dog has found himself a hobby. That would be pulling the stuffing out of cushions. Oh well. Cushions are over-rated anyway.