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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Buttons For Dirt Bird

Yay! Dirt Bird's home for Christmas. She came round on Sunday evening for a coupla pear ciders and beers. We had pleasant chat and drank and were merry. She also came round last night (Tuesday night) for much of the same thing. We had pleasant chat, we drank and were merry ('tis Christmas after all). I reminded her last night that we had a really funny conversation on Sunday but I couldn't remember what it was. After a while Dirt Bird remembered. She said we were talking about me having to clone myself. I said that it would never do as I knew rightly that my clone would get to do all the good stuff while I was stuck with the crappy things. She'd be off galivanting in South America while I was stuck in Next saying Do you want a copy of the Directory? I'd have to kill her and then I would be done for murdering myself. No, it would never do.

So Dirt Bird says...damn I wish she was here now 'cos I've forgotten what she said but it was something along the lines of...yeah but you could make the clone so that it had a little button and when you pressed it you experienced what your clone was experiencing. Hmmm. Good idea. But, I suggested, wouldn't it be better to just make the clone so it was your slave and it had to do whatever you told it? Yeah, says Dirt Bird, and when it was naughty or misbehaving there would be a little button you could press so that it would self-destruct.

I think it's kinda sweet, her obsession with buttons. She said she'd be like Father Dougal Maguire when he was in the cock pit of a plane and he was told not to push the big red button. I might buy her a toy for Christmas. One with lots of buttons to press.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Would Aybody Drink Vodkat?

It's funny how things can lie around the house for so long that eventually you stop even noticing they're there. When we moved in our next door neighbour (the one who's not Irish) called round with a bottle of Vodkat. Someone had given it to him but neither he nor the wife drank the stuff so he was offering it to us. Never one to look a gift horse in the eye, Jamie accepted graciously. I was upstairs at the time so that's where Jamie brought it. Neither me or Jamie would lip the stuff either so I put it on top of the chest of drawers. Now 8 months later I am only just noticing it. It will probably stay there til we move out or we have a visit from an alcoholic. I'm sure even an alcoholic would turn their nose up at it and say do ye not have any buckfast?

Monday, December 11, 2006

I Wish I could Do This

On the way home from work tonight I bumped into the Two Rons' daughter who works in Eason's. Eason's is Jamie's favourite shop in the whole of Ballymena (which says a lot about Ballymena). He can stand in there for hours looking at all the different computer magazines on sale. It also sells cards, stationery, books, sweets, cigarettes and the lottery. It can be a pretty busy shop on a Saturday afternoon. The Two Rons' daughter was telling me that she was expecting to get the hoof because of what she did one day.

She was serving 2 girls who were so busy blabbing on about what they were going to wear to Kelly's that night that they didn't hear her say that's four pound thirty-six please. So these two girls were blabbing away and a queue was forming behind them and the Two Rons' daughter asked again louder. The girl fumbled in her purse, pulled out a twenty pound note and slammed it down on the counter. The Two Rons' daughter got the girl her change and slammed it back down on the counter. The wee girl being served looked at her and says cheeky bitch. The Two Rons' daughter said that before she knew what she was doing she'd rolled the girl's recipt up into a little ball and flicked it off her forehead.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

I'm Smokin

I'm Smokin
Originally uploaded by jazzthefunk.
There's a reason why Jamie's looking so pleased with himself...

He's got an audition with Urban Strawberry Lunch, a community organization who run workshops teaching kids to play junk instruments. He'd worked with them before in Stoke and they asked him to apply for the position about two months ago. The posiotion is for 4 months in Liverpool. His audition is on the 5th of December so good luck baby, don't be nervous.

Goodbye Bob

Jamie and I had adopted a pet fly. We called him Bob. We missed the company of cats and dogs so much that we needed a pet of own.

At first we didn't really like Bob. Jamie had tried capturing him several times with a glass and a sheet of paper. But he was too cunning for us. He grew very fond of me and Jamie and would follow us from the kitchen to the livingroom. At one point we thought he was following us to the bathroom and the bedroom but it turned out that was another fly. That one didn't stay with us for very long and he left one evening when me and Jamie were heading out the door. I thought it was Bob that had left but when we got back he was still there. That's when we realised we'd had two pet flies. Bob was always our favourite though.

Now it's been a week and I haven't seen Bob. I think he's died. He lived with us for about seven weeks I'm sure. I miss him. I miss saying hello to him. I miss him buzzing around the room. I miss watching Jamie try to capture him and being outwitted every time. Sometimes he was pesky but I wouldn't have had him any other way. Now we're petless once again. We're thinking of getting a spider because although we loved Bob we don't want any more flies in the house.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


When there's nothing interesting going on in the real world what else is there to talk about but dreams. I've had some fantastic dreams in my life but also some pretty spooky ones too. They say if you die in a dream then you die in real life but that's not true. I had this dream when I was about 8 or 9. I was in my bedroom and there was this huge yellow spider there. It was about the size of a dog. There was something on the floor I was reaching out for and the spider zapped out one of it's long yellow legs, snapped it around my wrist and gave me an electric shock. Although it didn't hurt it killed me. My mum came up to the room a few seconds after and seeing me lying dead she held me in her arms and cried. I still remember vividly feeling my mum's grasp, hearing her tears and thinking oh my god this is awful, I'm dead but I'm still conscious. I awoke from this dream feeling scared and ran straight to my mum's room where everyone was already awake. There had been a huge storm that night which none of us slept through, except for Zoe.

It was a pretty horrible dream but it wasn't the scariest dream I ever had. I dreamt once that I was down in Kerry at my aunt's house. No one else was there though except for a big man with a caveman's club who was chasing me round. I gave him a good chase but he finally caught up with me and when he did I lay on the ground, rolled myself up in a ball and braced myself for the club coming smashing down on my head. I woke up before it did. I was freaked but went promptly back to sleep and had exactly the same dream again only this time he was chasing me with an axe. The same thing happened and he caught up with me but just before the axe hit me I woke up again. This time I was even more freaked but I still went back to sleep. I had the dream for a third time. Same guy, same scene, only this time it was a gun. I was inside my aunt's house this time, cowering on her stairs, when he got in, found me and pointed the gun to my head. I braced myself for the inevitable but woke up just before he shot me. This time I forced myself to stay awake. There was no way I was having that dream again.

Aren't they mad things dreams? The way they can make you experience all these feelings and emotions that just aren't real. I said to Jamie wouldn't it be cool if we shared dreams. If people could experience the same dreams as each other. He thought it would be a nightmare. I said it could be beautiful too. I would hate to never dream again. Even if it means you have to experience nightmares too.

Last night I dreamed about having a pet spider. I just watched it running around on the floor. I lay down to be closer to it but then I couldn't see where it had gone. Assuming it was probably on me I jumped and flailed around so much (cos I'm scared of spiders and don't like them on me) that I was sure I had killed it. My dad came into the room and I told him what had happened. He looked on the floor and saw a tiny little black ball. It was my little dead spider and I felt so bad. But when he picked it up it opened out it's wings and flew off. It wasn't my spider it was a fly.

I had a strange dream last year when I was living with my dad in Leek. I was in my bedroom and two of my cats were at the far end of the room by the door. Attila and Tooty Cat who were both dead so I was really pleased to see them. I wanted to come across the room to pet them but I couldn't. There was an obstacle. Hundreds of rats running around the floor. A carpet of rats. There were several things going through my head. A longing to see these cats that I hadn't seen for ages. A fear for the safety of the cats because I thought the rats would maul them. A longing to get to my cats to rescue them and a fear that I couldn't reach them because it would mean standing on the rats and I couldn't do that. My dad came up to the room and without actually saying or doing anything he had fixed the problem. Only the cats had gone by then and the rats were still there but they were underneath the carpet and it was bulging and moving.

The thing about dreams though is there very personal. They can blow you head away but no one else can really understand. It's not like in the waking world when people experience things and we can feel empathy. Empathy is a void feeling when it comes to people's dreams. So if you find my ramblings rather tedious then I don't blame you.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

I Wish It Was Spring

I hate winter. I use up all my energy hating winter so much that I am too tired to do anything else. I wish I could just hibernate. I have been trying to convince myself that winter's not so bad. I've been trying to convince myself that the christmas lights are comforting but they're not a patch on natural daylight. As soon as the clocks go back I'm counting down the days to the shortest day of the year. Then after that I try to convince myself it's getting noticably lighter each day. I then count down the days 'til the day the clocks go forward. I don't care if I have to get up for work an hour earlier because there is a whole hour of extra light at night. It's spring time. Everything comes back to life. The trees are green again, the flowers come out and the wee lambs are in the fields. It's spring and there's still summer to look forward to. I love that time of year.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Rich in Coppers and Euros and Vouchers

Jamie and I are are beginning to realise how badly addicted to sweets and sugar we are. I get paid monthly and always cover the rent, splurge and wind up skint after 2 weeks. Fortunately, Jamie gets paid weekly and so we never run out of money and if we do it's always the day before Jamie gets paid.

Last night I sent Jamie up to the shop to get sweets with our last 50p. About an hour and a half later I wanted more. Me and Jamie sat on the sofa giggling and daring each other to go to the shop with our millions of coppers to get sweets and juice. I refused on the grounds that they would hate us for making them count all the coppers. Then I remembered I had some Euros left over from Connermara. So I says to Jamie:

You know they accept Euros in Next. You should go up with that 10 euro note and buy a pack of cards and you'll get the change back in sterling. And there's all them Next vouchers of mine. You could go up and buy a pack of christmas cards with them and get the change back.

I decided we couldn't do that 'cos everyone would know it was my boyfriend and I'd sent him there to get money and they'd think I was dead scabby. Then we realised that we had gone no longer than an hour and a half without money to buy sweets and already we were demented with the withdrawal symptoms. We thought about how we could go to the shop and if they didn't except our coppers we could give them our euros, and if they didn't take them we could give them a next voucher, and if they didn't take them we'd just run away with the sweets and juice. In the end we just suffered it and had tea and toast instead.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Hey Harry

High Five
Originally uploaded by hootchinhannah.
I suppose it was time that I commented on Harrybo. What a cat! what a good/bad cat. I'm so glad that I bonded with him when he was a kit. I was home that summer and he was like my baby. I watched him grow in my arms. I listened to his purrs. I let him dig his claws into me when he was trying to squeeze milk out of my armpit. When he was cute he was very cute but when he was bad he was very very bad.

I remember him going through adolesence. He could be really scary. He'd get an evil glint in his eye and you knew he was going to pounce. If you dared to tickle his belly when he was in a fighting mood, he'd grab your hand with all four of his limbs, dig the claws in and pierce your skin with his teeth. He'd follow me up to bed and I would lie there cowering. Scared to move my feet in case he attacked, scared to turn the page of a book in case he pounced on my fingers.

But he grew up. He hunted the wee birds rather than the humans and the dogs. He became huge. He was good fun. He was happy. We all loved him. The last time I saw him he made sure he cuddled me. Jamie commented on what a beautiful face he had. He was beautiful all over though his belly was a bit saggy. I fed the dogs at mum's the other night and Bert asked me if I missed him mewing for his food. I hadn't thought about it but I did look at his cat food and feel a pang.

Harry kept me company all last winter. In the dark mornings getting up for work Harry was always there mewing for his food. He was an amazingly clever cat who could send faxes, re-tune the TV and change the ringtone of the phone. He didn't jump on the kitchen surfaces like the bad Tooty Cat and the evil Muff. He was a dab hand at psyching out Swisser when she was visiting. She'll miss him. We all will.

Michael Is Fragile

Jamie had me in stitches last night. I'd just got in from having a pint with one of the girls I work with. I don't know how long Jamie had been pondering for, possibly all day, but he asked me, in all seriousness, how was he going to meet Michael Jackson. We discussed the many ways he could meet him but then Jamie was worried that he might just sound like an idiot when he eventually does.

'I want him to take me seriously. I want to make a record with him' Jamie says.

'Well, go up to him and say I've always respected you as a musician, I'd be honoured to make some music with you'

'I know what to say to him but how do I get to him in the first place. He doesn't deal with adults he only likes kids. He's not a paedophile. He just likes kids better.'

'You know what you have to do then, adopt a kid to get closer to Michael.'

'I have to have a kid. You have to stop taking the pill.'

'OK, we'll have a baby and we'll call him Bait'

And at that we chuckled. Then I said what a good story for my blog this would make and Jamie tells me that I can't write it. Why not?

'What if Michael reads your blog, he'll be offended.'

I laughed my head off.

'As if Michael Jackson is going to be reading my blog Jamie'

'No but he might just stumle across it and then he'll never want to make a record with me'

'Ok let me do the story and if he reads it you can pretend you don't know me'

'Yeah but there's photos of me plastered all over your blog and Michael will be like there's that dick who's calling his child Bait so he can meet me.'

How I laughed. I laughed and laughed and told Jamie that I would tell the story and if he ever gets to meet Michael I'll delete the post.

'But he's fragile. How would you like it if I jepordized your plans to meet Courtney Love?'

'But I'm not desperate enough to meet Courtney Love'

'Michael's more fragile than Courtney Love'

'I think Courtney's more fragile'

Then we proceeded to argue over who was more fragile, Jackson or Love. Then Jamie pointed out that we were arguing over which of our idols was the weakest.

I says 'I liked this conversation better before you brought Courtney Love into it, when you sounded like the mental one and I sounded sane'

So if Michael and Jamie become chums I will delete this post. For Michael is a fragile soul and we can't be upsetting his chakras. As for Courtney Love. I have no great desires to meet her and if I do I won't be wanting to make any music with her. And she will not even care that my child is called Bait, after all her's is called Frances Bean.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I'm A Laaaydeee

Since working in Next I have been forced to recognise my inner female. This means caring about such things as; jewelry, make-up, nice hair and tailored clothes. Anyone who knows me well knows that I never wear make-up, dye my hair until it has a straw-like texture, wear baggy clothes that give me no shape whatsoever and have more important things to spend my money than on accessories. But alas! They got me and they are trying to make lady out of me.

I used to wear jewelry but it was always of the hand-made variety. I once had a collection of barcelets on my wrist made up of tat, toot and shoelaces. They became so manky that I took them off and left them on a coach in Dublin. I have recived many wonderous hand-made bracelets, necklaces and earrings as gifts from friends and family. It got me thinking about how much nicer a beaded necklace can be when made by the fair hands of someone who knows you and cares about you. So Zoe called round last night with a box of tricks. Thousands of beads and wire and tools and catches. While Jamie entertained himself with a film called Slither (complete an utter tosh!) I set about making some Christmas presents.

Me and my sisters were always making things out of fimo when we were younger. We could have hours of fun making badges and bracelets and magnets. The last time I used fimo it was the special soft stuff with bits of glitter in it. When I took my hand-crafted goods out of the oven they had burnt and melted. I should have read the instructions.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Jamie's Dreams Come True

I've just read a Reveal exclusive. Jacko moves to Ireland. Jamie's dead excited and thinking that we'll go stay with him at Lugalla Castle in Wicklow and do some recording with him. Jamie has always been a Michael Jackson fan. He learnt all the moves when he was a kid and even wore a white glove for a time. I've always thought Michael Jackson was a bit of a freak. Never mind the whole child abuse allegations, he was just freaky. So I find it hard to understand Jamie's fascination with him. Especially when he claims to be so intrigued with Ireland that he once bid on ebay for a 'real Irish ghost' trapped in a bottle after exorcism and is rumoured to be creating a theme park called Leprechaun Land. That's all we need. Leprechaun Land.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Babies Are So Boring

Last night I dreamt I was pregnant and I had a baby. Does this mean I'm broody and want to start a family? Probably not, judging by the things I said in this dream, like, babies are so booorring, all they ever do is sleep and looking at my tummy and saying I can't believe it's gone back to normal so quickly, I thought it'd be really saggy.

In the time between writing this blog and the last I have been reversed into by a car on a one way street, been bought a bottle of perfume from a customer who I helped, been down drinking in Gillies bar even though I'm barred, had a very pleasant day out in Belfast with Zoe, almost handed my notice in at work but then thought better of it, have decided to become a plumber, joiner, counsellor and social worker depending on what day of the week it is and who I've been talking to.

So, as you can see, I've been busy. We had a surprise visit from some of Jamie's friends who were over for a wedding. That's why we down at Gillies because the wedding reception was at Galgorm Manor. The bouncer who barred us just glared. I think he's probably scared of me.

This weekend I'm taking it easy. The weather is crisp and sunny, perfect for dog-walking and photo-taking. Why does the sun only shine in Ireland when it's baltic outside?

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Pissed Off

I'm pissed off, your pissed off, everybody's pissed off. You're pissed off because I'm pissed off. I'm pissed off because you're pissed off that I'm pissed off. You get even more pissed off because I won't stop being pissed off. I won't stop being pissed off because you're pissed off that I'm pissed off and so the vicious cycle of being pissed off continues. And it pisses me off.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Weekend

My week off from work was bliss. I pottered about, played lots of literati and made Jamie his lunch and dinner every day. I realised that although I'd probably hate it I'd make a pretty good house-wife. Note I said house-wife and not domestic goddess.

Tomingus Domingus arrived on Thursday evening. We woke up Friday morning and headed into town to visit the shop that sells Polish food stuffs. Bert has been ranting and raving about this place for weeks. Telling me the stuff's amazing although he doesn't know what the half of it is. I bought some Birch Juice and some kiwi jelly.

Later on Tom and I went for a walk in the park. We got excited about the different kinds of trees and tried to work out which ones were which. Botany's not my best subject though so it was tough. We then met up with my friend Meghan and had a couple of drinks with her. We headed back home for some dinner then went to pick up Zoe to take her for a drink. We left at a respectable hour, went to the off-licence and then went back home for a game of Trivial Pursuit. Tomingus won, Jamie came second and me last. I didn't care though because I'd got 4 pieces of pie which is more than I ever get when I play. Go me.

Saturday morning we took Tom to Glenarife Forest even though that's where we take everyone when they come to visit. He loved it there and didn't complain atall. We then went for some lunch in Cushendun and finished off with a drive along the Torr Road. After that we went home and later went to mum's for some tasty curry(visit Nelly's Garden for details). Then we ate cake.

Today I had to go to work which was a really shitty way to end an otherwise perfect weekend. Having said that it wasn't too bad and now I'm home relaxing again.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A Letter From Rosie

This lovely picture was found in my mail this morning. A letter was attached:

Dear Auntie Hannah and Uncle Jamie,

Me and Paddy are just sending you this picture to remind you what the 2 bestest dogs in Ireland look like.
We were wondering if maybe we had done something to upset you or Uncle Jamie. It's just that you don't really take us out much anymore. I know we went to Gillies the other day but then you had a fight with that guy and he made you tie us up.
Anyway, I guess you're maybe just busy these days but me and Paddy wanted you both to know that we're here and we're bored so if you did fancy taking a wee drive somewhere we'd be happy to accompany you,

Love and Woofs,

Rosie and Paddy

P.S. Paddy says he's even better at tugging and there's no way Uncle Jamie'll ever beat him now.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

I Am The Hoff

Knight Rider Hasselhoff

You are Knight Rider Hasselhoff. You kick ass, you're dead sexy, AND you are the proud owner (or perhaps life partner) of a talking black Trans-Am. What else could one ask for?

Take this quiz at

Thank God I wasn't drunk and disorderly David Hasselhoff.

Hopes and Dreams

After the dreaded visit with the career's advisor I was feeling disheartened and disillusioned. What little aspiration and direction I had for a career was swept, like a carpet, from underneath my feet. I especially enjoyed the bit when she asked me Have you considered a career in banking, buisness, call-centres? Of course I have but then I decided that I'd rather kill myself.

So this leads to me to where I am at now. No longer disheartened. No longer disillusioned. What's the point sure it's only a career. It's only what we spend most of our lives doing. And considering that it really is what we spend most of our lives doing I've decided that the only way forward is self-employment.

I want to do a course in joinery. I don't know where yet or how yet or for what outcome but hopefully the outcome will lead to me doing something creative, like cabinet making. I have my Kerry Aunt to thank for this decision. When I was younger I decided I wanted to be a carpenter after seeing my Kerry Aunt put a kitchen in for my Granny and Granda. I was young and may have got my facts wrong but it is what I believed at the time and on that belief I decided I was going to be a carpenter. The nearest to wood I ever got was making a wooden Danny dog (which stood proudly in the house for years until kindling was needed for the fire and poor wooden Danny dog met his fate).

As with all children, the notion of becoming a carpenter was replaced with notions of becoming a vet, lawyer, criminal psychologist. The subjects I chose at school didn't direct me in the way of carpentry and after all those years here I am with a (nearly) completely usesless Sociology degree. But hey! I'm 24 and it's not too late to learn the trade and it's not too late to learn it and decide it's not for me after all. It's just nice to have an aspiration. It's just nice to know that I don't have to work in Next for the rest of my life. Or a bank, or a call-centre.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Smile

When I was 18 I did a bit of travelling round Europe for 5 weeks. At the end of the 5 weeks I wasn't ready to back home again so I stayed in Holland for a further 6 weeks and worked in a tulip bulb factory. The work was tedious and for 5 of those weeks we had to endure 12 hour shifts. The village campsite where we stayed at was in the arse end of no where and a trip to the big city or nearest town was something that could only been achieved at the weekend.

A lot of people left. It wasn't quite the 'Holland Experience' they'd been hoping for. Nor was it for the rest of us who stayed but it was an experience all the same. I don't think I could've survived the gruelling work schedule , sleeping in a tent and the lack of contact from the real world, if it hadn't been for the people who I worked with and one girl in particular, wee Sarah Jane. She was working in Holland to save up a bit of money before going back to uni. She'd just taken a gap year off to travel round Asia and Australia. She was my kind of girl. Open to everything. Expecting nothing. She had an old school tent! A triangular one. You never see these anymore. She was a hippy but without the cliches.

We kept in contact when we came back from Holland. I made her tapes of all the music I was missing when we were there. She sent me an email which she had written to her parents before she came home from travelling. It was thanking them for letting her live her dream. She told them of all her wonderful experiences. She told them of what she had learned.

'A smile can cross all political, economical, racial and sexual divides, it can speak more than a thousand words, it can bring joy and peace and it's presence, or lack of it, can make a traveller's day, or ruin it.'

Sarah Jane helped me survive Holland. She helped me with smiles and laughs and listening open-mindedly. At the same time I can't ignore the other people who worked there because they also helped me survive. The English couple who were just normal, the mad Scottish man who thought us Irish were crazy for liasing with the English people, Damien for lending me his walkman and Beatles tapes, Johnny for letting me fight with him and playing guitar in the evenings, the Ballymena man who reminded me that no matter what obscure part of the world you might be in, home is never far away, familiarity is always there.

I'd never seen a shooting star til I was away that summer. I thought they were make-believe. But now I know that they exist and wherever you go, if you open your eyes and look, you'll see them.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Barred Already

Readers of Nelly's blog will know that for quite a few months her favourite river path walk from Cully to Gillies was closed due to refurbishments. Oh how we couldn't wait for the river path to be open again. Oh how we couldn't wait for Gillies to be open again. There's nothing like going for a walk along the river on a Sunday and calling in at Gillies for a swift one. And of course you couldn't go a walk along the river without bringing the trusty dogs.

Yesterday Jamie, Bert and I decided to do just that. Take the dogs for a walk and call in at Gillies. None of us had been since it had re-opened. Me and Jamie had been down once before with the dogs but couldn't find Gillies and so got our drinks from the hotel and sat in the outside facilities. Some serious money has gone into that place to provide the perfect outside drinking arena.

When we got there yesterday we managed to find Gillies. I waited outside while Bert and Jamie went to get the drinks. I was about to take the good dogs off their lead when the bouncer came out.

'No dogs allowed'

I looked at him.

'You have to take the dogs outside'

'We are outside' I says to him

'No, no, no. No dogs allowed in here, you have to take them out'

'My boyfriend's already getting our drinks what are we supposed to do with them?'

'It's not my problem, No dogs allowed. Now take them out'

'I'll just wait for them to come out so they know where I am'

"No. You take the dogs out now'

I refused, point blank, claiming that if Jamie and Bert came out with the drinks they would worry if they did not know where I was. Which was a lie but I don't like to be bossed around.

So the irate bouncer went into get Jamie. Apparently I'd pissed him off already and he was taking no shit from Jamie.

He says to Jamie 'Is that woman outside your girlfriend?'

Jamie says yes. The bouncer asked him to come outside as I had dogs and they weren't allowed. Jamie say 'Yeah, just a minute I'm just getting a drink'

The bouncer says "No now, You come Now!'

When Jamie and the bouncer came back we went outside (even though we were already outside) and I tied the dogs up to a post. I stood by the gates watching their sad little faces. The bouncer says to us

'No, you sit in there' pointing to the area we'd just removed the dogs from.

So he wanted the dogs out there, he wanted us in here. Hmmm, thought I. Somone clearly trying to exert some kind of authority. It didn't wash with me. I've seen dogs in there before. When it was the old Gillies there was never a problem having the dogs sit outside with you. If they really don't want dogs now there should be a sign saying 'No Dogs Allowed: Except guide dogs'. But of course a red and white sign stating thus would be far too tacky for the new Gillies.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, we were barred. Our first time at the new Gillies and we were barred within minutes. They'd need to watch out though for their bouncer is so quick to bar people that they'll end up with no clientele to drink there. Young Rooney was barred before he even got inside. New Gillies, impressed? Definitely not.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Whatever Happened To...

Creamola Foam - You know the drink that was powder and you had to mix water with it. I have scoured the supermarkets nationwide looking for this stuff but it seems to have vanished off the face of the earth.

Hedgehog flavoured crisps - There's only about 3 people in the whole world that even remember them but they did exist. And now they don't. They were pretty disgusting anyway.

Chocolate flavoured crisps - These were horrible anyway. A bit like those chocolate covered pretzels. Whatever happened to them aswell?

Jolly Ranchers - I know what happened to them. The Americans kept them all for themselves. Greedy bastards.

Secret bars - These were dead nice chocolate bars with a rich thick chocolatey mousse covered in thin wispy strands of chocolate. They were delicious. I know what happened to them because I wrote a letter to Nestle. They were taken off the market because the cost of production was too high and sales weren't good enough. They wouldn't give me the recipe.

Vice Versas - The sweets where the white ones were brown chocolate and the brown ones were white chocolate. Such a novel idea.

Rusks - Maybe they do still exist and it's just 'cos I'm an adult I never see them anymore.

But of all these, most nimportantly, whatever happened to Creamola foam. I'd give my right arm and left leg for the stuff. It was probably taken off the market for being dead rancid and poisonous and burning holes in kiddies' stomachs but I still want some.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Sleep Deprived

It just had to be one of those mornings. It had to be. Today is the first day of a week's holiday off work and last night was one of the extremely rare occasions that I suffered from insomnia. I didn't get to sleep 'til half four and had been reading through millions of old letters that friends and family. They made me smile. At 8:30 this morning I was awoken by an incessant 'Meep Meep Meep' noise every 2 minutes. The electricity had run out and Jamie's battery for his computer was telling me it was time to get up and go to the shop to get some more.

Dishevelled was not the word. I pulled some clothes on, made an attempt to pass a comb through my hair and headed out the door. I had to. No electricity means no kettle for coffee and since I'd been woken from slumber too early I was going to need plenty. I went to the cash point by the garage. I can sort of understand why the ATM gives you back your card before it gives you your money but in my confused and sleepy state I took my cash card and turned on my heel. The fella waiting behind me looked at me and said 'D'ye not want your money pet?'

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The Modern Congregation

When it came down to it, writing an essay wasn't as fun as I thought it would be. In fact, it's damn hard work. So I didn't do it. I have been given some food for thought though and I have exercised my brain more than I have in a long time (unless you count doing crosswords and playing with Rubicks cubes, which I don't).

Nelly's title made me ponder mental illness with regards to celebrity culture. It seems that celebrities are keen to share their personal lives, warts and all, and many famous people; artists, musicians, actors, etc. have well publicised histories of mental illness. Does this make them seem more human, like the rest of us? Some would argue yes, it does. Others may claim that it is easier for celebrities to admit they have mental health problems. After all, they have the money to book themselves into the Priory clinic while us mere mortals have to contend with the NHS and 'care in the community' services and we all know how useful these are. Some say that famous people who suffer from mental health problems are bathed in glory. Take Kurt Cobain for example, who suffered from severe depression, drug abuse and suicidal fantasies. The man may as well be the messiah as far as his fans were concerned. The common people are merely judged and stigmatised if they are labelled mentally ill.

So, does celebrity status lead some people to develop mental illness due to the pressures of fame, or are mentally ill people more likely to seek out stardom due to some form of narcissum. I'd argue both. The fact is that celebrities are normal people like you and me and just as a percentage of us will suffer from mental illness so will a percentage of celebrities. It is up to the individual how they deal with it. If celebrities want to shout it from the roof tops or deny it even though it's blatantly obvious then that is their choice.

Anyway, moving on to Mr. Toaster's suggestion of a modern day replacement for Satan. Do we need one? That doesn't matter anyway, there will always be something, or someone, to represent the evil, horned, red man. Some politicians spring to mind. George W. Bush could well be the devil in disguise but I doubt it. I think the modern day replacement for Satan is more likely to have taken the form of the interweb. Think about it, anybody, anywhere in the world has 24/7 access to all types of evil via the net. So next time your innocently chatting to dirrtydevil666 maybe, just maybe, you are chatting to the devil himself. I've heard he's a regualr reader of Nelly's Garden. Oh, and another obvious modern day replacement for Satan would be Santa but he doesn't exist.

And, fianlly, on to Ed's suggestion. The classical orgins of well-established Neighbour's characters. I found this the hardest subject of all so maybe I'm not much of an expert on Neighbours after all. I'm afraid Ed, I'll have to lose the marks for references to non-biblical works published before 1700. Jamie always says that Neighbours is like the modern congregation. Millions of people tune in at the same time everyday and learn good old fashioned morals and values. With that in mind, Harold Bishop is obviously John the Baptist. Helen Daniels was the Virgin Mary herself. Jim Robinson and Anne Daniels were Adam and Eve which inevitably means that Scott Robinson was Abel and Paul Robinson was Cain. Lou Carpenter is Zeus the tax collector. Unfortunately I can't work Karl and Susan Kennedy into the equation but I do remember one of my friends (not Dirt Bird) decided to name her breasts after them so I guess that's their classical origin.

Thankyou all for the input. I hope I didn't disappoint by being a lame arse and not actually writing any essays atall but I'd fogotten what a pain in the bum researching and referencing and structuring could be. I enjoyed giving my brain a work out but I'm just glad that I'm not being tested on it anymore.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Back To School

For a while now I've been feeling restless and discontent. I have a desire to be creative but I'm totally uninspired. I think I know what's wrong with me though. I miss education. Even though I hated school and hate exams and deadlines I love to learn. I just like doing it in my own time. So how do I go about this problem? Well, I put it to you, my readers (all 3 of them, Nelly, Jamie and Stray Toaster) to set me an essay title so that I can expand my mind. Bear in mind though that I was a sociology student so no essays about quantum physics Mr. Toaster. My specialist subjects are: Neighbours, dogs, how to sell the new Autumn/Winter Next Directory and Courtney Love (I actually did manage to write an essay about Courtney Love for my degree. I wrote 3000 words on it which nearly killed me and found out after I handed it in that it was only meant to be a 1000 word essay. Damn!)

Working in a shop turns the brain to mush and sucks the soul clean out of you so I need to keep my mind active otherwise I'll get senile dementia at the age of 30 and nobody wants that. Anyway, the essay title doesn't have to be on one of my specialist subjects. It wouldn't be challenging enough and I need a challenge. It can be on anything you so desire, except quantum physics.

Monday, October 09, 2006

No Such Thing As Satan

A few weeks ago when we were down visiting the Derry Man for his birthday we got chatting about Santa Claus and how we came to find out that he didn't exist. The Sniper (a lovely friend of mine) said when he found out there was no such thing as Santa he wasn't upset that he didn't exist but he was extremely pissed at his parents for lying to him for all those years.

How I came to find out that Santa didn't exist was partly due to my incessant nagging at my mum to get me a Space buggy that cost a million pounds. I think I was about 7 at the time and mum tried to explain that although Santa delivered the presents it was in fact the parents who had to pay for them. I was too young to understand the concept of money and continued to nag and nag and nag until mum yelled at me to give over sure there was no such thing in Santa anyway. Although people often say 'awww' when I tell them this story really it done me no harm whatsoever. Christmas was always a special time in our family and knowing that Santa didn't exist meant I had weeks of fun before Christmas finding out what mum and dad had hidden away for me.

Once I had established that Santa didn't exist it opened up whole new possibilities for me. If Santa didn't exist then the Devil probably didn't either. I had hours of fun at school telling the other kids that I didn't believe in the Devil. I loved the way they looked at me in disbelief and then told me I would go to hell for sure. I loved smiling back at them and saying 'how can I go to hell if I don't believe it exists'.

But of course, Santa does exist. I know because I worked for him. And he's no where near as fat as he used to be. I think Gillian McKieth had words with him.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Swisser Vs Harry

Thanks to Dirt Bird my otherwise sophisticated weekend has been tainted with scary mental images of big hairy rockers receiving 'soapy tit wanks' from young bar maids. Brrrrrr. Gives me shivers down my spine. Anyway, not to dwell on such things...

My otherwise sophisticated weekend involved going out for drinks with the girlies on Thursday night (of course Jamie was there, he loves hanging out with the girlies). We came home at a reasonable hour but after having drunk an unreasonable amount of whiskey in a short space of time and so the wee head was feeling a bit fragile the next day.

After we got over our hangovers we dolled ourselves up for an evening out at chez Nellybert's where we were entertained by Swisser chasing Harry ze C**t around the kitchen going 'Shoo! Shoo' and telling him to get out. That wasn't the funny bit though. The funny bit was the way Harry just looked at her like she was mad. Which she is. In a good way. And then as Swisser was bragging about how she'd 'seen to the cat' and 'I showed him' and there he was lounging on the kitchen floor behind her. Laughing his wee head off.

We woke up this morning and took the doglets for a walk. We took them to Portglenone forest as our second hangovers rendered us unable to think of somewhere different. The dogs didn't complain though. Rosie was a bit disappointed that we didn't take her round the forest for a second time but Paddy was fading a bit and so were we so we took them back.

All in all it was a pleasant weekend. Tonight we chill and watch the first coupla episodes of the 3rd series of Lost. And maybe a coupla episodes of Neighbours. Karl and Susan are back together and are spreading joy in Ramsay Street. Yay!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds

I am determined to suss out this buisness of linking. Hell, even Nelly can do it. Anyway, I came across this

If you're a Jack Black fan you should like. Or if your an LSD fan you should like it. In fact, you should just like it 'cos it's absolutely hilarious.

Hope it works!

Friday, September 29, 2006

The Dumb Things People Say

Everyone says stupid things. Here are some examples of the stupid things I say:

'Who is Mo Mowlam anyway?' My mum would swear this is the dumbest thing I've ever said but I think it is a perfectly reasonable question to ask.

'Are Buzzards called buzzards because the buzz?' At the time this seemed like a perfectly reasonable question to ask but now looking back I realise that it is a little bit silly.

Last night while watching a wildlife programme with Jamie and Bert. Jamie said he seen a dragonfly at work the other day. Bert says to him maybe it was a damsel fly he saw. Jamie reckoned it maybe coulda been. I says,

'Is it Kingfishers that are the wee blue ones?'

Jamie says, 'A Kingfisher's a bird Hannah'

'Oh aye, so it is.'

The funniest thing I've heard anyone say came from the mouth of Bertram. It was years ago and Jaffa cakes were doing a promotional thing where if you collected tokens and sent them away they would send you a glow-in-the-dark toy. I can't remember what the toy was but Bert was sat at the kitchen table scoffing the Jaffa's and investigating the box when he rips a Jaffa cake open and says,

'Do these things really glow in the dark?'

God only knows what damage we'd be doing to our internal organs if we really ate glow in the dark Jaffa cakes but Bert didn't seem to mind too much.

Careers Advise

So what exciting thing did I do on my day off? I went for an interview with a careers advisor. And was it inspiring and insightful? Of course it wasn't. I told the lady my position (working in retail, degree in sociology). I told her my plans for the future (further study, possibly a course in counselling or teacher training and then specialising in special needs tutoring) And was she encouraging? Was she f**k. She told me that counselling was difficult to get a full-time profession out of and it is more common to do counselling within a professional career such as nursing or social work. She told me they would be unlikely to accept me for a PGCE course as my degree wasn't relevant enough and, even then, to branch off into specialised tutoring was difficult to make a full-time career out of. She then asked me if I was interested in buisness, admin, office work or call-centres to which I promptly answered No. She then proceeded to encourage me to look into social work and nursing both of which I would rather avoid. It got to the point where I just wanted to yell at her 'Forget it, tell me how to become a carpenter.'

Sunday, September 24, 2006


I just checked to see if my link worked. It doesn't. Boooo! One more try then I give up. Click here to see the the new man of dreams. And if that doesn't work the correct web adress to access it (the one below is wrong, typical)

My New Darling

Our good friend Big Hand D, who was also in Derry with us last night, introduced us to this
charming young fellow. I think he's lovely and if I had the good fortune to meet this handsome fellow I would snap him up straight away and not waste a second before introducing him to my granny. This link probably won't work so if you're wondering what gorgeous sexy person I'm talking about you can also find him at and scroll to the bottom for an interview with the beautiful Darren Banks, my future-to-be husband. Thanks Big Hand D for saving me from a future of misery with Jamie when my heart belongs to a greater man.

Derry and Dogs

Me and the mister have just got back from Derry after celebrating the big Derry Man's birthday. His lovely girlfriend Magda organised a surprise party for him and we were the surprise. We bought him a bottle of wine and a copy of the Beano. The Derry Man's family were also there and what a lovely family they are. They forced me to sing a song on the guitar and even though I was shaky and nervous they told me it was lovely. Steve;s mum said I had a lovely voice but I just need to work on my confidence. Derry definitely seems like a good place to move for a while. Me and Jamie like the vibe down there. At the minute anywhere seems better than Ballymena.

Me and Jamie and Zoe took the dogs a walk down the back lane at Nellybert's one day last week. Zoe wanted to find a field to throw ball for the dogs. The first field had cows so we walked on. Jamie stayed to talk to the cows for a bit. Zoe and I and the dogs moved on to the next field. The dogs were running round the field and Jamie started walking down to us and the cows started following him. It was then that we realised that it was the same field. We yelled at Jamie to stop walking as all the cows were running behind him. It was too late. Gracie had spotted the cows and charged full steam ahead. She chased them cows and once she was on their trail there was no stopping her. We yelled for ages and she eventually came back but not without giving us all heart attacks. Even though the cows were scared of her if one had stood on her or kicked her that would've been the end of Gracie Grew. For such a tiny dog she has the bravery of a T Rex.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Who'd Live In A Town LikeThis?

The weather's been awful for the past 2 days. Pissing rain and winds from hell. It's to be even worse tomorrow. Today the wind blew the clouds away and the sun was shining. This is the calm before the storm. The weather certainly reflects the mood in Ballymena at the minute. Moody and gloomy. Maybe it just reflects my mood but with the recent events I think everyone is feeling a bit unsettled.

I don't want to bring my kids up here. I'd like to bring them up in Ireland but not Ballymena. I love this town but I hate it. I think about my qualifications and what I can do with them in this town. Nothing. I never regret moving back here. There was little opportunity in Stoke for me either. One shit hole town's the same as the next shit hole town except that the shits who occupy the town have different accents.

It's a shame that when I do finally write something it's a moan but I don't feel taht fluffy at the minute. Even before the bad weather, the bad happenings and the bad vibes I was feeling washed out and angry with this town. I feel like it's stifling me. Sucking up my creative juices and leaving me totally uninspired. So that's inspired me to get a computer. If I can't find inspiration in my surroundings I'm gonna have to seek it out elsewhere. And since Jamie is surgically attached to his computer I have to get my own one.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

What Kind Of Pirate Am I?

As always with me when I try to link up to something it never works but I thought I'd give it a go anyway.

What kind of pirate am I? You decide!
You can also view a breakdown of results or put one of these on your own page!
Brought to you by Rum and Monkey

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Blind First Aider

I've never won a competition just because. I've always had to work my ass off for it. I came 3rd in the Directory competition and got 50 squids cash and 30 squids of vouchers (Next vouchers though, wouldn't you know). I'm just glad I don' t have to stand by that car anymore.

The weather is so bad that me and Jamie are just keeping a low profile. We haven't taken Paddy and Rosie anywhere for ages. They probably hate us now. Even though I got the picture of them blown up for mum's birthday.

They sent the first aid certificates to work a few days ago and the boss said we had to have our pictures taken and put up on the wall. In my photo I blinked, sort of kind of in purpose, so I wouldn't get blinded by the flash. I have my eyes shut and the biggest cheesiest grin. When I saw it this morning I went straight in and told Emma she had to take another picture. Another girl had her eyes half closed and some of the stockroom folk were laughing saying that she looked chinese and the other girl looked like a simpleton. Someone says,

'And what about Hannah what does she look like?'

'Well, she's got her eyes shut and a big silly grin. She's their love child.'

Then there were great roars of laughter. I don't know who I feel more sorry for, the Chinese, the simpleton or the love child.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Happy Birthday Nellymoms

Originally uploaded by hootchinhannah.
No, this isn't mum's new hair do but it is quite similar to her new do. I know that there will probably be much protesting at this picture but I happen to think it is a lovely shot of Nelly. Anyway, photos and hair dos is not what's important. It's Nellymoms' birthday and that's what's important.

Happy Birthday Mum

Love you lots xx

Friday, September 08, 2006

Lost For Words Cos There's Too Many

I am totally lost for inspiration at the minute. I don't know why but I thought I'd look over some old books I used to write in to see if it would encourage me. I found something which made me smile. Seems that I am always lost for inspiration.

I feel sad beacuse I can't write anything beautiful. I can't create anything beautiful. Everything I think, I think it's all been thought before, so even if it's beautiful it won't belong to me. People say that being creative can make you happy and it's true. My eldest sister is the most contented person I know and she is always painting, knitting, crafting and cooking. She is a domestic goddess but that's not what makes her happy, that's what makes her boyfriend happy. I am rubbish at all of these. I can't paint, have no patience for knitting and get all hot and bothered in the kitchen. I am the furthest thing away from a domestic goddess. And I'm not that tidy either.

My other sister is a career girl. She is determined and independent. She is focused and strong-willed. She is also creative. But I'm not a career girl either. Nowhere near ambitious enough. Or hardwroking enough. And I've always believed that I'm not really that much good at anything except anagrams. But being good at anagrams doesn't get you that far in life. It just helps you do crosswords, I always thought that by improving my vocabulary I'd become a better writer but it becomes harder because there are more words to choose from.

I am no more inspired than I was to begin with but now there are more pressing matters at hand, like getting Nellymoms a birthday present.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Tinkerton Is Tempting

I'm seriously thinking about going for Nelly's job in Tinkerton when she quits it. Even that would be better than standing in front of a car, with a clip board, asking people if they want a copy of the Next Directory. Poeple are so untrusting of people standing in front of cars with clip boards. I don't blame them for I am too.

I am sick of all the bullshit that goes with my job. How the workers are not only expected to work their asses off bending over backwards for ungrateful customers but also act as walking advertisements for the merchandise. One week the manager is telling us she wants to see us in lots of nice accessories, the next week she's saying no more jewellery, it's too hard to tell if people are buying it on discount or stealing it. You wouldn't want to but the jewellery anyway, it falls to pieces in weeks.

Me and Jamface joined Bert and some of his chums for a day's frolicking in Portglenone. Me and Jamie didn't stay to see the Red Hot Chili Pipers but we enjoyed some local talent in O'Connell's and if Bert had seen those weans on the whistles he'd have been green with jealousy. Apart from that we have done nothing but watch Neighbours. Evil Rob Rob's not defeated yet.

Friday, September 01, 2006

It is only now that I am getting chance to write about my week. A very good one it was too. To ease our hangovers on Saturday we took Gravy Dave a drive around the country. We took him to Slemish but he didn't want to climb it 'cos there wasn't a pub at the top. So we took him to Ballycastle aswell and got excited about the Llama's Fair.

That evening we picked up one of my bestest friends Dirt Bird and her boyfriend Marc and took them out to see Nelly and Bert. As always Nelly had been working her magic in the kitchen and produced a mean Cheese, onion and spinach pie and a delicious apple and blackberry sponge. Gravy Dave provided the after dinner entertainment with a bit of poetry and Dirt Bird was reminded of her debauched antics from way back when.

On Sunday evening we drove Gravy and Dirt Bird and Marc down to Derry except that we forgot Dirt Bird and Marc at first and had to turn back to get them. We were going down to visit 2 of our lovely friends, the Derry Man and his beautiful Polish girlfriend Magdamigos. Everyone else stayed down their but me and Jamie had to head back for work work in the morning.

Tuesday after work I had a qick drink with one of the hottest chicks in Ballymena, the girl that Gravy Dave scored with on Friday. She told me that she really dug the Gravy boy and that he had lovely hair. Dirt Bird and Marc called round later with their chips from the Merchant fish bar, all folorn because they fry everything in beef stock and they're both veggies. We then headed out to meet Scullion and Big Hand D for a coupla drinks. We'd already decided on the way up to the bar that we would take a detour down Badtoad street to see if their were any Badtoads about. The Badtoads are a family in Ballymena that all look the same. They all have the same bowl haircut and wear their trousers pulled up to their nipples. Dirt Bird hadn't seen them in years and Marc and Jamie had never seen them so we thought we'd treat ourselves.

On the way up I kept saying that it was too dark and cold for the Badtoads to be standing outside their door watching the world go by but lo and behold they were out. We didn't even have to go down their street as they were walking to Mcgroggan's for some midnight snacks. I asked Marc if he had a chance to see them properly but he hadn't. So Dirt Bird suggested we go to McGroggan's aswell. We did but I couldn't keep a straight face in the shop especially after Mammy Badtoad asked Son Badtoad if he wanted a pot noodle. Marc had to leave the shop and all Jamie cared about was getting a wham bar. Me and Dirt Bird laughed are heads off though.

Then we had a wee drinky with Scullion and Big Hand D who have just recently got engaged so congratulations to them. The reason we call Scullion's finacee Big Hand D is because he cut his hand on glass when he was really drunk, it got infected and his hand swoll up 3 times the size. He said when he was in hospital the meanest nurse in the world stood over his bed and demanded that he got up and had a shower. Big Hand D said he felt so awful that he wanted just to lie there in his own dirt and he didn't care if there were flies buzzing around him. Jamie said he could picture him wafting the flies away with his massive swollen hand.

On wednesday night I called round to the birthday girl's and gave her birthday wine and a birthday voucher for Waterstones. I normally avoid birthday vouchers but I wanted to give someone their birthday present on their actual birthday for the first time and I couldn't find anything that she would've liked.

So that brings me to this morning. I have had a lovely lie in while poor Jamie's gone to work and I plan to take things easy this weekend. There's something going down at Portglenone this weekend so we might head down for a bit of banter and a few swallies but other than that I'll be doing nathin'

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Leaping Gracie

Leaping Gracie
Originally uploaded by hootchinhannah.
This a picture of Gracie running to give her mum birthday licks. I would've posted a pic of the birthday girl herself but I don't have any recent ones.


Hope that Gracie and Dave are spoiling you.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Go Gravy Dave

I'vve never done a drunken post before but hey, there's a first time for everything. It's been a good night. Gravy Dave has been here for a mere 24 hours and already managed to score with one of the hottest chicks in Ballymena. So proud of him. The girl involved is a dear friend of mine and who better to kiss her than another dear friend of mine. Go Gravy Dave. High five!

We also made some new friends tonight. Sometimes I hate this town but every once in a while you meet some people who surprise you. I also caught up with some old freinds. Always a pleasure. Well, nearly always.

So, yeah, drunken posts. They're really not all they're cracked up to be. Bit of a chore actually. I thought it would be a good idea but I'm beginning to diasagree with myself now. Sleep would be more fun.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Jamie the Brave

It's almost like someone is trying to tell Jamie that he shouldn't drive. Yesterday he was performing death defying stunts in it. He rolled the car over. It was either that or drive into the back of someone and although it was the more dangerous of the 2 options it was just as well he did. Miraculously there isn't a scratch on Jamie but the car is a write-off.

All the poor boy could think of afterwards was how was he going to get to work. So Nellybert came to the rescue. Bert picked Jamie and the wreck up and mum has lent Jamie the Nellymobile to get to work for the next few days. It's times like this I realise how big and strong and brave Jamie is. Not one single bump or lump on him and then back in behind the wheel of a car after a couple of hours. So brave.

The car has been a nightmare from the start and it hadn't been cleaned since our last camping holiday and was really starting to smell bad so I'm glad to see it go. Jamie is gutted but then it's his first car and I guess it's similar to your first love. It's a pain in the arse about the cost but at least my boy's not broken. I haven't seen the car yet but I'll make sure there's pictures on flickr.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Happy Big Face Jamie

Jamie on his hols
Originally uploaded by hootchinhannah.
This should've been posted last Saturday but I'm lame.

Happy 30Th Birthday Jamie Big Face now your face will grow even bigger. I love you pineapple eyes, more than the KenNedy's from Neighbours.

Monday, August 14, 2006

First Aid For Eejits

Today was the first day of my First Aid training course. The verdict: If anyone needs any First Aid I'll remember to shout for help and phone an ambulance (apparently a lot of people do forget to do this), if you need put in the recovery position that's no bother and I'll check you for broken bones and make sure you don't choke on your puke, but if you've stopped breathing and need ressucitated you will probably die. I couldn't make the button click on the dummy when I was ressuctating it and have been advised by the course leader to eat my weetabix tomorrow morning. I'm gonna practice on Jamie when he gets in tonight.

The course isn't too bad. It's a break from work. I like being back in the classroom. I like being a student again. Although I relaise this time I actually have to take it seriously as it's people's lives we're learning to save. I just hope I'm never in a situation where I need to use it.

As always there's some total eejit that says something stupid and, as always, it's me who says it. We were given several letters. G C L I P S. We were told they were the 1st letter to several words that were all different types of blood-loss wounds. He gave us the answer to G (graze) and told us to figure out the rest. We worked in groups and each group got the same answers. We all got all but one right. We all thought C was for cut but when the guy said they were all kinds of cuts and what else could it be, I yelled out


'Sorry, what?' yer fella says.

'Castration' says I 'You know when your hand is cut off or something'

'You mean amputation Hannah?' he says with a smile.

'Aye that's what I mean.'

'Castration's something else Hannah but we'll chat about that later' he says, still smiling, everyone laughing.

'Aye but it's still a blood-loss wound' says I, going bright red.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Is Blogger Trying To Tell Me Something?

I used all my Flickr allowance this month so I hijacked Jamie's flickr account. He never uses it anyway. I have added the link but Blogger is being a pain and won't show me the update so I don't know if it's worked.

Jamie says both gigs went well and that he had a good birthday. I spent last night round at Nellybert's laughing my head off at those Young Banjoes and eating homemade fudge that Zoe and I had made earlier in the day. It's a damn hard sweet to perfect but it doesn't matter what way it turns out it always tastes good.

This week I'm being relieved from the boredom of work and being sent on a First Aid course. I'm sure it will prepare me for any kind of emergency, and I won't just panic and forget everything I've been taught at the first sight of blood.

Jamie's back tomorrow and, as always, I'll be glad to see him. You can't help but miss abody when they go away. I didn't even send the poor babe a birthday card. I have an allergic reaction to birthdays, I can never get birthday cards or presents on time. My Granny's birthday card still sits here in my living room. Shame on me*

Gravy Dave's visit is in the horizon. I look forward to showing Ballymena to Gravy. He is already quite well versed in the lingo so he should get on fine. I think people will have more trouble understanding him than he will them. He'll love the dogs and he'll love Harry. Harry will probably like Dave as he's one of them cat magnets. Rosie will probably want to marry him and Paddy will knock him to the ground if they play tugger. Fun will be had by all.

* No, really, shame on me.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

In Dreams

It has always been my dream to travel. Although really, I would like to make that dream a reality. But until it becomes a reality, there are always dreams. Last night I dreamt I was in Kenya. It was the most amazing feeling. I could hear all the jungle noises and I had this overwhelming sense of achievement that I had actually made it. I was in Africa. I climbed up to a wooden platform where I was meant to board an elephant. Only they weren't elephants but camels. I was petrified of getting on to one at first but when I did it was easier than riding a horse. The hump gave extra support which made me feel secure.

I love dreams like that. The only one that comes close to it is a dream I had about a guy who took his pet lion to the pub. The lion took a disliking to me and pinned me up against the wall. It beared it's teeth and I knew in my heart it was going to bite my face off. I was filled with fear and knew that the lion would sense that and kill me. It's owner was shouting in the background, You have to look at it the right way. I used all my power and might to look at the lion in the right way which involoved not being scared anymore. I had to force myself to relax (while still pinned up against the wall by it). After a few seconds I saw something in the lion's eyes and I knew it wasbn't going to kill me anymore. I put my hands on the lion and ruffled it's mane like it was a doggy. That was my best dream ever. Only in dreams can we come so close to something so wild. Unless your crocdile dundee.

Friday, August 11, 2006

I Hear You Got Rid Of Your Tache

I was wondering whether to go to Sainsbury's or Tesco to get my biscuits and bread today. I decided upon Tesco as I'd been to Sainsbury's the last time and Tesco is closer. I'm so glad I did. The guy who worked at the deli was shouting something to a middle-aged female customer. It sounded like, he told me you got rid of your tache. I thought I must've heard him wrong as it would be an incredibly rude thing to say to a middle-aged lady, even if you knew her. I looked at the lady to see if she had a moustache but she didn't appear to. She also hadn't been sure of what he'd said and asked him to repeat himself. He went over to her and said 'He told me you'd got rid of your tache'. So I had heard him right. The lady self-consciously put her hand to her top lip and said 'No I haven't' , to which the deli man replied 'Well that's what he told me, maybe he was talking about another type of tache' and then he walked off chuckling. I couldn't help but chuckle too but the lady was not amused. I can't really blame her. A lady should not have her body hair disussed between men. It did make my day though.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Why The Wind Annoys Me

Today I'm in such a bad mood that I feel compelled to write a list of the things that have put me in a bad mood. They are in no particular order of how annoying I find them, just some of the things that have made me seethe. They wouldn't always annoy me but I'm feeling a bit stressed anyway.

1. The wind. It's a bully. I feel like pushing it around and messing up it's hair like it does to me but I can't and that annoys me even more.

2. Shoppers. Goddam, irritating, lazy, ungrateful bastards. Though some are so nice.

3. Coming home to find that Jamie has left for England for 5 days, has used all the milk and hasn't bothered his arse to go and get some more.

4. People who don't say thankyou. Rude, rude, just plain rude.

5. Babies and kids squealing their ugly little faces off. I think a consumer environment is bad for children. All those things they see that they want and they can't have. It's bound to end in tears. Kids should be banned from shops.

Well, I could only think of 5 and 3 of them are work related and the wind can't get me when I'm indoors and maybe it's not so bad after all. And when I think of some of the tragedies that some people have to go through I know that really I am lucky.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Wayer Brownies

Jamie was in the kitchen making brownies. Not tasty homemade ones. Just some from a packet. He shouts out to me,

I think I put too much water in.

How much were you meant to put in?

75 Mls

How much did you put in?

750 Mls

Aye, you put too much water in.

I think it should be ok.

Do you think? I think if it says 75 mls then 750 mls is too much water. You ruined it.

I diasagree. I think it will be ok. It looks ok.

Jamie, it does not look ok. You ruined it.

But the picture on the packet shows the water in the jug and thats where I filled it up too.

Jamie, you ruined it.

You ruined it.

Danny Departs

Jamie reckons his car sounds like the Millenium Falcon. I told him I could tell the make of a car by what it sounds like and his sounds like a Renault Clio. The old one. He insisted that it sounded like the Millenium Falcon and I told him that I'd never heard a Millenium Falcon before but his car definitely sounded like a Renault Clio, the old one, and maybe the Millenium Falcon did too.

Danny Boy left this evening but enjoyed his stay. The weather wasn't kind to him but Danny is such an easygoing lad that it didn't bother him. the day that it rained we took him and the dogs for a walk along Cully river path. We took him to Glenariff where we started on the Viewpoint trail, took a detour on the Pixie trail and then finished on the Waterfall trail. Then we took him to Ballycastle, had some food and played on the slots.

Last night we went to The Spinning Mill (that's what you call it when you don't want people to know that it's just the local Whetherspoon's) for a bite to eat. We ran into Kermie and a few old faces and decided to help them out with the most boring pub quizz ever. Their team tied with another and a representative from each team had to go up and answer a tie-breaker. The tie break question was; how many pounds sterling was spent on Viagra per minute for the first 3 months on the market. The other team guessed 3.4 million and Kermie's team guessed 12 million. The answer was 900 and something thousand. It's still lot of money but 12 million per minute is a hell of a lot of money. The whole world would've had to been buying it. In vast quantities.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

We Live in Tracksuit City

Danny arrived safe and sound in Norn Iron. His first night here we were all a bit bushwhacked so we just sat around chatting and drinking. Jamie came back from the shop saying that it's like Tracksuit City out there. I've just walked past 7 guys all wearing the same tracksuit.

Danny says I've just had an image of 7 people all in one huge tracksuit.

I'm sure there are people out there with tracksuits so huge 7 people could fit in them. We did have some intelligent conversation though. I have a new project. I'm going to research playground games and how they differ between cultures and decades. Anyone remember British Bulldog or Red Rover? They were some of the games I played as a youngster. Danny also has a new project. To create and maintain The Danny Show, purely for mine and Jamie's benefit only. Jamie's new project is to write about mine and Danny's new projects. So there you go, one night amongst friends and we all have a purpose in life now.

There Was A Fella Named Ed

Nelly asked me to write a poem about Ed. Here goes...

There was a fella named Ed,
And on his pretty wee head,
He had no pimples,
Just lovely dimples,
But if you tell him this he will go red.

So there ya go Ed, I can feel the heat from your face already. Apologies for the cheesiness...Nelly made me do it.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Goodbye Pirate John, Hello Pirate Dan

It used to be that I had too much time on my hands but nothing to write about. Now I have plenty to write about but no time. Pirate John and his Capatains and Admirals left on Tuesday evening. I met with them after work for a drink and asked John for the 117th time what his favourite bit of Ireland was. For the 117th time he replied, 'The Belfast Cow Show', even though he wasn't there and just saw an advert. I asked him again and he said it was all good but that he particularly enjoyed meeting Nelly and Bert. Well John, they enjoyed meeting you too and that wonky legged chicken hasn't seemed right since you left. I think it misses you.

Now it is Thursday and I have another friend coming to visit tonight. Young Danny Boy, who is sweet, young and who has a lot of love to give to the world. Danny is also a bit of a Pirate but only if he has important functions to attend, like fancy dress parties. We'll maybe get one of them organised. I'll go as a cat. Jamie could've been Phil Collins if he hadn't got his hair cut.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Still Lame

Last night mum invited the travelling pirates out to hers for a big feed of spicy chicken drumsticks and apple sponge. I'm sure if you take a wee visit over to Nelly's Garden you'll hear all about it. On Sunday we met with Mr and Mrs. Toaster at the Galgorm Manor Labryinth (formerly known as Gillies). I'm sure if you take a wee visit over to Nelly's Garden you'll hear all about it. On Saturday we went up to Belfast to meet some fellow bloggers. Again, if you take a wee visit over to Nelly's Garden I'm sure you'll hear all about it.

Before all that we were camping in Connermara with the Pirates. I can't pass the buck on to Nelly with that one as she wasn't there but I'm sure you'll hear all about it. Eventually. And there will be some photos. Eventually.

Sunday, July 30, 2006


Lame, lame, I'm so lame.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Please Rescue Me

Originally uploaded by hootchinhannah.
Dear Auntie Hannah and Uncle Jamie,

Please can I come and live with you? It's not that I don't love Nelly and Bert, I do, I really do. It's that big lump of a dog Paddy. I just can't abide him anymore. He's so big and stupid and clumsy.

The only reason I ever started scunging was to get away from him but didn't the big lump just follow me. It's that nose of his. I'll gie him credit for that at least, he's a good sniffer dog. But that's besides the point. He's so stupid he's sure to get us shot one day.

So please Auntie Hannah can I come live with you. I'll miss Nelly and Bert but sure I don't ever get a chance to cuddle them anymore since Paddy came along. He's that overbearing and spoilt. He gets so jealous when anybody shows me any attention. People often think they're petting me but when they look down they see it's Paddy. It's because he pushes me out of the way.

Also, he has no concept of a good game. When you and Uncle Jamie try to play with me Paddy just comes along and spoils it. The only game he knows how to play is tugger and my teeth are too old and crumbly to play that now.

So please, please, please can I come and live in the town with you. I promise I'll be good and i'll guard your computer and saxophone and Uncle Jamie's trumpet. I promise I'll be good when that wee brat Gracie comes to visit. And I promise I'll never ever go scunging again.

Your's Loyally,


P.S. I don't just want to live with you because Uncle Jamie has all them dog treats, I swear.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


If I wasn't so tired I'd take a photograph of my tired face and post it. But I'm too tired so you'll have to imagine what my face looks like this tired. Me and the sexy Man Beast have been expecting a visit from Pirate John, Captain Tor and their respective Kiera Knightley's so I wanted the house looking tidy for their arrival.

We got stuck into it as soon as I finished work at 8 and didn't get finished til 11. Then I had about 3 hours sleep before I was up for work again. The Next Summer Sale, the day where you start work at ridiculous O'clock and realise that a lot of people are just crazed lunatics.

So not only am I suffering from lack of sleep but it's been a harsh 9 and a half hours at work. Jamie the Brave and Pirate John and his trusty crew have gone to conquer Slemish along with Gracie the Midget. I decided to stay at home and catch up on sleep. Reckon I need about 450 winks to feel human again.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Trusty Friends

I'd only been going out with Jamie a couple of months before I started calling him Man Beast. We shared a fantasy that Man Beast was some big strong hero with a trusty side-kick, Dog Beast. Every hero needs a theme song. This is Jamie's:

It's Man Beast, flying through the air,
It's Man Beast, without a single care,
It's Man Beast, with his gorgeous hair,
It's Man hair, although it's barely there.

It's Man Beast, running through the night,
It's Man Beast, ready for a fight,
Oh Man Beast, with his trusty friend,
It's Dog Beast, with him 'til the end.

Oh Dog Beast, bearing all his teeth,
It's Dog Beast ready for some grief,
Oh Dog Beast, with his trusty friend,
It's Man Beast, with him 'til the end.

Although I still call Jamie Man Beast, I'd forgotten all about this wee song. I found it when I was having a massive clear out and it made me smile. Obviously, if Jamie is Man Beast, then I am Dog Beast, bearing all my teeth.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

The Hell Bunny From Hell

The other day when we were driving to Cullybackey I saw a rabbit on the side of the road. I don't think it could've been a wild bunny as it was white with tan markings on it's head. It was small so maybe it was a dwarf bunny. It reminded me of the time I looked after Sarah's rabbit for a week

Sarah was a student I worked with. Her granda who lives in Australia was in hospital awaiting heart-bypass surgery. Sarah really wanted to vist him but had no one to look after her bunny. I offered to look after it for her as it was no trouble to me and it meant a lot to her.

The first night I took it home and my dad was just as excited about it as I was. The novelty soon wore off. Apparently dwarf bunnies can make as good a pet as a dog. Aye, right. They make torturous pets for someone like me. It was only a week but it was a week of pure hell. I couldn't coop it up all day so it roamed free in my bedroom but it was so naughty. If it wasn't chewing at something it was digging holes in the carpet. And if it wasn't doing that it was shitting everywhere. It did a massive pee on my bed one night when Jamie was round and it looked so much like a cup of tea that Jamie was nearly physically ill.

As much as I hated the havoc it caused when it was out I couldn't coop it up for long and would only go out for an hour at a time. I'd say to my friends, "Yeah I gotta go home and see to the hell bunny" That rabbit caused me a lot of anxiety when it was with me. The more annoyed I got with it the more annoyed it got with me and by the time Sarah came back it was totally evil. It bit her when she picked it up.

I saw the bunny regularly after that and as it was ruining my house and shitting on my carpet it started seeming cute again. I made a lucky escape and have learnt a lesson. Some animals are cute and quite nice, like dogs. Some animals are cute and can be nice but can be bad too, like cats. Some animals can be just pure evil, like bunnies, or at least Sarah's bunny.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hannah Vs The Butcher and O'Kanes

Oh the joys of a warm summer's day! They are countless. Everything looks nicer in the sunshine. There's only one thing I hate about a warm day and that's the smell of dead flesh. No, I'm not talking about killing people and letting them fester in the sun, I'm talking about the smell of The Butcher's. Don't get me wrong, I'm not going on an animal rights rant. I eat chicken so I wouldn't have a leg to stand on.

Ever since I was a little girl I've held my nose walking past the butcher. But it doesn't help. The smell seems to get past and burn my nostrils anyway. Depending on whether or not the winds blowing, the smell can travel down the street, meaning I end up holding my breath 'til I can hold it no more and then the first big deep breath I take is pure raw meat.

I know I am making it sound way more gruesome than it actually is but I had a bad experience with black pudding when I was younger. That taste will stay with me for the rest of my life and it ain't a sweet memory. One of my ex boyfriends worked in a butcher's for a bit and when he met me straight after work I could smell it on his clothes and hands. Thank God Jamie is a vegetarian.

It seems a bit cruel to share my feelings on butchers. Hope I don't put anyone off their pork chops. It's just that I have to walk past two butcher's to get to work every morning and when I walk back home again, even though they're closed, I can still faintly smell them. Surely there must be some way to extract the smell away? I can smell O'Kanes quite a bit on these warm days aswell. I won't go into that one but although I said I eat chicken, it might not be that long before I stop.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

I'm Happy Just Because

One of my favourite song lyrics of all time has to be from Within You Without You by the Beatles.

When you've seen beyond yourself then you may find peace of mind is waiting there,
And the time will come when you see we're all one and life flows on within you and without you

It was written by George Harrison so that explains the hippy, 'one-love' vibe. I honestly believe that George Harrison was the real musical genius of the Beatles. A very underrate artist. Ok, so he did do some cheese but they all did. Even Lennon would have if he'd lived longer.

I love this lyric and this song because it reminds us how small we are in the grand scheme of things. I also love this lyric by Bright Eyes,

Oh my morning's coming back,
The whole world's waking up,
All the city buses swimming past,
I'm happy just because,
I found out I am really no-one

When I told my friend that I really liked it he said 'Why?'
I said that I thought it was cool to be happy because you are no-one and he said 'Why? Isn't it better to be someone?'

Is it?

Saturday, July 15, 2006


Originally uploaded by hootchinhannah.
Me and Jamie fancied a wee spot of camping so we took ourselves up to Murlough Bay yesterday. We made friends with this guy who is obviously well used to being fed by tourists as he was one fat brute. I'd never seen a deer in the wild before let alone one as friendly as this fellow. He liked licking my hand and I'm sure if me and Jamie had any food he would have gladly kicked us in the teeth for it.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Harry Ze Angel

Harry Ze C**t
Originally uploaded by hootchinhannah.
Over at Nelly's, the latest news on Harry is that no matter how evil, wretched and nasty he may be he is to be treated like a prince. This means no more kickings in the hole, no more setting the dogs on him and no more Bert playing machine gun cat with him. Although I'm sure all this will continue behind Nelly's back.

He's not allowed to be called a c**t, f**ker, worm bag or by any other offensive term. He will only answer to Harry and Prince and Prince Harry. He is definitely less evil and wretched than he used to be but he's boring now. There's no lark with him. Takes himself a bit too seriously now that he's a prince.


My new favourite magazine is Focus. It answers all the sort of questions that I like to ask, such as, Can you cry underwater? Why do clouds float? All them sort of really important life questions that we all have. This month I accidentally skimmed over an article about the Riemann hypothesis. Please don't ask me what this is as I don't know. All I know is that it involves numbers and Maths, both of which I don't like.

The article gave a definition of a complex number. Now I know what a prime number is but a complex number is a little more, well a little more complex really. It is a hybrid number consisting of an ordianry number, (known as the 'real' part) and a second number that is a multiple of the square root of -1 (known as the 'imaginary' part). Maybe it's just my maths phobia but I think square rooting an all that is bad enough without claiming that one part of a number is imaginary. How's anyone supposed to get their head's round that?

It reminds me of a freind that told me about one of his lectures in maths. The lecturer stood up and wrote an extremely long, convoluted equation up on the board. Something like:

X=Y2 - MC4 * Y= Z3 / X4 + XY3

and this means that God doesn't actually exist.

All the students, including my friend, looked on in in silence, dumbfounded. Until one lad shouted out another, equally long equation and said,

'Ah, but that proves that God does actually exist'

Who am I to argue with mathematicians who can prove such things with numbers.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Damn Again!

Ok, so I'm very much on a baby theme these days, which may bore a lot of folk but not me, 'cos I'm broody (although really I think I might just be pining for a dog). My baby theme today is baby names. As I always seem to end up working around kids I can't help but notice the trends in baby names. While the celebs all seem intent on giving their kids unique and unusual names the evryday folk are settling for more common names like Jordan, Britney and Paris.

Flower names seem to be in for celebs and non-celebs alike. Must be everyone getting back in line with Mother Nature. Poppy and Daisy and Venus Fly Catcher are all very popular names these days.

As for boys, it's all back to the old-school names like Tom and Ben and Alexander. There may never be another John or David ever again. Ethan and Harry are popular boy's names at the minute but with very few Brad's, Kurt's or Keanu's. Shame. I think I've heard of a couple of Romeo's but I'm gonna pretend that I didn't because the sound of the name makes my ears bleed.

Well, I'm for calling my first born son Seamus after my granda and Jamie. My second born son will be called Jose after the fella that played at our wedding in the woods. My first born daughter will be called Sky Blue after Sky from Neighbours and my second born daughter will be called Medusa. And we'll have two 2 dogs called Rufus and Woody.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


Damn those little kiddies in the shop where I work every minute of every day of my life (or so it seems). Damn them for being so cute and smiley and happy and funny. Of course you get the howlers that would drive any mum to insanity but when they're cute you could just eat them. I do actually hate myself for saying things like that but in my defense, I honestly can't help it. I'm a woman with womanly hormones that tell me that babies are cute and I should have them as soon as possible.

At the same time I am not fooled by the cuteness of them. I know for a fact that they are hard work and a lot of responsibility. I know that you have to sacrifice precious sleep to tend to a baby who is hungry, or thirsty, or cold, or bored or who knows what? If only they could tell you. As if it's not hard enough feeding, washing and playing with your baby but you have to be able to read it's mind as well.

So having taken all this into consideration and despite their cunteness, I can wait for the babbies. Espescially the giving birth bit. I don't look forward to that atall, or the morning sickness. But I do look forward to the cravings for popcorn and chilli sauce at 4 in the morning and yelling at Jamie 'You have to go to the shop, it's your fault I'm like this'

Monday, July 10, 2006

I Thought As Much

Your Famous Last Words Will Be:

"Nice doggy."

So That's Why I'm Always Cold

You Are Iceman

You tried to live a normal life, but it just wasn't possible
A bit of a slacker, you rather tell jokes than cultivate your powers

Powers: turning self and others into ice, making ice weapons, becoming nearly invisible

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Ha Ha Ha! My Car Is Being Broke Into!

Jamie's Graduation

Top Left - Jamie's gets his scroll from the Main Man

Tp Right - Mr. G and Jamie. Apparently Mr. G does the same pose for every photograph unless you catch him unaware.

Bottom Left - Mr. David Bell and Jamie. David Bell was Head of the Cultural Studies department. David waited 7 years to see Jamie in his cap 'n' gown. You can tell from his expression that he thought it was well worth the wait.

Bottom Right - Twid (Jamie's mum), Morph (jamie's best mate), Jamie (The Graduate), Mr.G (Jamie's old piano teacher), Auntie Margaret (Jamie's Auntie who's not really his auntie).

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Big Smiles

Big Smiles
Originally uploaded by hootchinhannah.
Rosie says "The big smiles are because our lovely Auntie Hannah is holding up a stick for us to catch. I like this photo. Paddy would be sooo handsome if it wasn't for that collar."

Paddy says "We like it when our Auntie Hannah and Uncle Jamie take us out for walks. Although I don't understand why it takes Jamie so long to get anywhere in the car. He's always turning around and going back the way he came."

Rosie says " My favourite place to go is Portglenone Forest. It's great chasing all the wee squirrels. Except Jamie and Hannah always take a rest by the pier and me and Paddy get a bit bored waiting for them. We tried sneaking off a few times but Uncle Jamie has eyes in the back of his head and he can be brave and cross-sounding when he wants to be"

Paddy sats " The next time Hannah and Jamie take us out I'm gonna ask them if we can go to the beach. I was looking at them photos of us and Scruff and Bert down at the beach on Nelly's flickr . D'ye mind that Rosie?"

Rosie says "I do. I'm gonna ask Hannah and Jamie if they'll take me up Slemish again. You'll hardly want to go Paddy with your silly back legs all wobbly an all. You'd never be able to climb Slemish"

Paddy says "I could too climb Slemish. Sure aren't I doing a sponsered climb Slemish thing for Scruff's Auntie who's going to do voluntary work in Africa? What are you doing Rosie?"

Rosie says "I'm doing a sponsered 48 hour scunge. No water. No dinner."