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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!