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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Christmas All Over Again

Online shopping's a funny thing for me. It takes me a while to get into but when I do it becomes dangerous. Dad got me a gift voucher and I wanted new music but when it came to it I didn't know what to get. We watched the film Juno on Christmas day and I thought it had a nice wee mellow soundtrack so that was my first purchase. I'd been ranting and raving about Jeff Noon recently so I bought Pollen and Nymphomation. The final thing I got was Tideland. I'd watched this a couple of years ago and, typically, forgot the name of it. I told Kerm one night that it was called Fields Of Corn. It's a Terry Gilliam movie and although it's a bit dark it's extremely captivating. I then proceeded to the checkout to discover that I couldn't pay with my voucher because I'd bought used items. Aw weel...

I paid with my card and continued shopping. Suddenly I was inspired. I got the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club's B.R.M.C. and a weird CD by Jack Johnson and friends called Curious George. I probably should've checked that one first. I also got Death In Vegas' Scorpio Rising. Nice bit of chill out music to soothe the mind. The last thing I got was The Tao of Pooh and The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff. Thanks dad for all my lovely presents!!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Short 'n' Sweet (Like Dirt Bird)

Bert told us yesterday that he was in lighting Pearlie's fire the other day and she ordered him to pass her a pair of her white bloomers. Bert, being the obedient son that he is, dutifully passed the closest pair of Pearlie Pants to hand, flung them at her and got back to his manly buisness of fire-making. When he turned to look at Pearlie again he was surprised to see her brandishing the bloomers on her head. Says he: Whit d'ye have them on yer heid fer? Says she: Ma ears are cold!

So Bert left her to it, warming her ears with a pair of her pants. Forgot all about it 'til the carers came in to tend Pearlie and all he heard was great guffaws coming from her room!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Festive Cheer For My Teeth

Happy Christmas!!! When you get all the stress by you it's actually quite a nice time of year. I got lots of lovely presents from everyone. Amongst my favourites were the hat that Auntie J got me. It's a peaked beanie hat which is even better than a beanie hat because you can wear it in the summer and claim the peak keeps the sun out of your eyes. A hat for all seasons! I also loved the tee shirt Katkins got me and dearest dad sent me some Franz Ferdinand CD's and an amazon gift voucher. New music!!! My eardrums are trembling with delight. Mels spoiled me with Jelly Belly Beans, as did Moms and Auntie D. They must've picked up, somewhere along the line, that I like jelly beans. I think I have enough that I could actually take a bath in them.

Zoe created the best calendar ever, featuring 2 of the finests dog beasts in all this land. Another one of my best presents was from Danny Boy who sent me packets of Pocky, a Thai biscuit snack. I checked out the website which then inspired me to do a bit of sweetie research on the net (is that not what Christmas day is for?). I came across this site. Amazing. Scroll down and check out the crazy sugar delights such as cherry flavoured Bounty, Kit Kat chunky cookie dough flavour, Crunchie Freddo's! This may be my new favourite site. I especially love the 'chewy sweets and bars' section which includes the Skittles Chocolate mix!!! My teeth actually hurt looking at it.

There was another present I got from someone and it was really lovely. Unfortunately all he got back was socks and fudge. He would've got a chocolate russian roulette game as well except...uh...I couldn't wrap it so....uh.....Me, Mels, and Moms played it instead. Mum lost and had to eat the chilli sweet. She bait it into her mouth after claiming that she'd probably already eaten the chilli one without realising it. But the look on her face proved her wrong!!! Sorry Jakes but it was good fun.

Time to eat curry and bathe in jelly beans. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Hats For Hot Water Bottles

Do you know how hard it is to get a beanie hat these days? Very. And do you know who I blame? Emo kids. Their hairstyles are too cool to cover up with boring headwear. And do you know what else is really hard to get? Hot water bottles, especially ones that come without a ridiculous soft and fluffy cover. Do people dress thir hot water bottles in coats in case they get cold?

I was nicknamed Hot Water Bottle Head Hannah by Jakers because, apparently, my head generates tremendous heat. Then why am I always so fecking cold? Mels once told me that you lose most of your body heat through your head. I remember her being sick with the lurgi and wearing a hat in bed. I need a hat for my hot water bottle head. I think I can see a point in those hot water bottle covers after all.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Shoes and Bully Beef

The job had been going alright but then today I was reminded what happens when a lot of girls work together; gossiping, bitching (or slabbering, as Ballymena folk like to say), whining, moaning, I said she said, and general annoying girly behaviour. Ach, it's not that bad, I'm just intolerant of this in the workplace. It's bad enough having to go out to work without having to work in a bad atmosphere.

On a brighter note, Salt Face has reminded me of a truly moving Christmas song about a pair of Christmas shoes. This song should probably actually have been banned because it's so disturbingly harrowing.

With all the excitement of the new batch of pork I had totally forgot about the bull calves Bert and Wacko are harvesting. I was asking if there meat would be veal when they died. Bert said they wouldn't. Oh how him and mum laughed at me when I asked if the meat would be bully beef. I couldn't figure out why they were laughing so much. I thought bully beef was the meat from an old bull hence the name, bully beef. It was in fact what people called corned beef in war times. Bert's folks used to refer to corned beef as bully beef. It's because none of his family were in the war so they had to pretend.

Also, I'd really love to know, is it easier to fold big blankets if you are taller?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ho Ho Oh!

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery but today is a gift, that's why they call it the present.

This line was taken from Kung Fu Panda. I've been wrapping Christmas presents. It's taken me 26 years to learn a few things about wrapping presents. For example, only use the amount of paper needed. Excess paper makes for messy, bulky wrapping. Scotch tape, preferably on a tape dispenser, is the only way forward. It's the only sellotape that I don't get tangled up in. It's ten times classier looking than black tape too. The other thing that helps is patience. Too many years I have left wrapping to the last possible minute and handed over gifts that a 4 year old child could have wrapped better. The only good thing about this method is there's no way anyone's gonna guess what their present is.

At least I'm feeling a wee bit christmassy now. I still have loads to do but at least now I'm in the mood for doing them. Mels and Dirt Bird will both be home soon, which is good 'cause I've missed my girlies. Mels has some serious celebrating the end of her horrible examies to do and Dirt Bird has loads of getting drunk with Hannah and forgetting everything that happened to do! Yaay I can't wait!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sweaty Sweets

This is how my mind works: I'm unashamedly addicted to blogthings. The latest quiz they have featured is What Kind Of Sweater Are You? I immediately start to think about all the different ways you can sweat; profusely, coldly, sporadically? Of course it meant What Kind Of Jumper Are You? If it was called that, would there be loads of Americans thinking; long-jumper, high-jumper, trampoline jumper?

I actually pondered yesterday if Tic Tacs were pre-packaged in a certain way that made an even number of green and orange ones come out every time. After realising that this idea was ridiculous I came to the obvious conclusion that I had become expert at shaking an even number of both colours out. Today I was sorely disappointed to discover that it is not always an even number of Tic Tacs come out of the box.

I admit that it is odd to think so much about Tic Tacs but we all have our little quirks. I take my sweets very seriously. Mel and I managed to have a half hour conversation about Jelly Belly Beans. Mel has terrible taste in sweets though. She may beg to differ but I only know 2 people in the whole world who like white chocolate noses with green, snotty slime inside. I am due to participate in a sweet-off with the Dog Star. I've been told I'll be thrashed but I think I've been underestimated.

Speaking of taking sweets seriously, Nelly has professed to master the art of fudge-making. She's been doing her research and apparently confectionary requires a lot of skill. Even Z says that she hasn't conquered fudge yet and she's a domestic goddess. I can feel a fudge cook-off coming on y'know. Nelly vs Z vs Me. Bring it on!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Down On My Dish......Twice!

Friday was a bad day. Nothing really bad happened, it was just one of those days I shouldn't have left the house. I slipped on the ice getting off the bus and fell on my hoop. This was after the bus was late and kept me waiting in the freezing cold for half an hour. This was after I'd slept in and rushed around to get the bus. I arrived into work bloody-handed and dishevelled. I forced myself not to feel sorry for myself. This worked until after lunch sometime when I was running through the stock room, got my foot tangled in a plastic bag and fell, again, to the ground like a sack of potatoes.

I can't believe how quickly the time's going in. On one hand this is great as winter is rolling by and the sooner it's over the better. On the other hand it will be Christmas before I know it and I haven't even started Christmas shopping. This time last year I was spending my last days in Lopburi, Thailand. Oh I miss the warm sunshine. Another thing I miss is being anonymous. Christmas time in your hometown is like a war zone. Everyone comes out of the woodwork to buy presents and you find yourself taking half an hour to walk 10 metres because you have to stop and talk to everyone you know.

I'm really gonna try and inject some love back into my wee blog soon. I have ideas but time is limited. The winter is bleak and it's hard to do anything but just survive it. You'd think I had to endure winter in the North Pole the way I was talking about it! Well, I do live not too far from where the Polar bears reside.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008


Dear oh dear. This is bad. I just checked my site metre and the only people who are visiting me are people who hate Natwest and people who want to know about Thai "boom boom". I need to do something more interesting with my life but right now it is actually too cold to function. I went to Primark today and invested in fluffy items of clothing. A nice soft dressing gown (the first one I have ever owned as men have always put me off them, lazing about the house looking slobbish) and some thick fluffy socks. I want to be warm this winter but I am not prepared to wear longjohns.

So Katkins, if you're reading this and you want to know what to get me for Christmas, think warm. But not longjohns. Ha! I have just glanced to the left of the computer to see a photo of Bert's dad back in the day when he was a young man. He looks like Humphrey Bogart! I think it's the hat and coat though. Perhaps everyone looked like Humphrey Bogart in those days.

Friday, November 28, 2008

How Much Is In A Litre?

It seems I have unwittingly gone into blogger hibernation. This is because it's cold and when I think of something to write about it it's too hard because my braincells are frozen and need thawed out.

This is my third week at the new job. It's ok. It's just as you'd expect a shop to be at Christmas time. Full of crazed shopping lunatics looking for pointless gifts to bestow on loved ones.

Fish Face Freddy is settling in well at Nellybert's. I have never known a cat to purr so much, want cuddled and look up lovingly at it's humans. It's young though. There's still time for it to learn it is a cat. Even old Pearlie Blue is besotted. Of course she would never admit this but you can see it in her eyes when she's feeding it bits of dry bread.

Holly De Cat is still somewhat wary of de kitten but she is dealing with her issues by overeating. She is one solid cat. Baby elephants weigh less.

Possibly one of the dumbest things I have ever asked anybody happened last weekend. After finishing work on Friday I raced to the off licence to purchase some fine Irish whiskey. I just wanted a small bottle but all they had was a ten glass and a litre bottle. I was trying to work out in my head if it was better value buying the litre bottle rather than the ten glass bottle but I am easily confused by matters involving numbers and so I asked the shop assistant how much was in a litre a bottle. As the words came out of my mouth I was already shaking my head at the stupidity and I was met with the answer: Uh....a litre. At this point I thought it was probably best to buy the litre bottle and unthaw some of those frozen braincells.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fish Face Freddy

On April Fool's Day 1957 Panorama aired a spoof documentary claiming that spaghetti grew on trees. Click here if you want to see the broadcast. I've never been any good at playing pranks on people but Brad and Keara, two of the teachers I met in Thailand, had an ongoing feud with each other. I can't remember most of them but one of my favorites was Brad teaching Keara to say in Thai: That was delicious. What he'd actually taught her to say was: I have diarrhoea. Brad was devious in this way. So was Keara.

There's been a new edition to the Dreen pet clan. A little ginger tom kitten. Mum found him on the side of the road. He's pretty much the total opposite of Holly, who hates it by the way. Loathes it. We're calling him Fred. I liked the idea of Brucey but he suits Fred too. He's pretty damn cute but pesky all the same. Much more friendly and affectionate than Holly cat. This house had room for another pet though. He is only little after all.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Buisness Plan That Could Take Off

Well, it seems there is an opening in the market for hot air balloonists in the Northern Ireland region. I was trying to find a company that operated hot air balloon rides round these parts but could ony find one and they were uncontactable through the WWW. Now I don't know about everyone else but if I can't find out such things as prices, destinations and times of certain events without having to call anyone it kinda puts me off. I like information to be accessible through the touch of a button rather than having to speak to someone. I have been spoilt with online everything (except online banking, never got through the registration process due to forgetting my password, repeatedly) and if I can't do it online, I'm not interested. Of course I am exaggerating ever so slighly.

So I wanted to book a hot air balloon ride as a present for Nellybert and although there are many companies that offer them, none do flights around Norn Iron. Perhaps there just ain't a big enough market for them here but it's one of them things that could catch on. Maybe the weather isn't hot air balloon flying friendly but are England and Scotland really that much better?

It got me thinking though. About the price of a hot air balloon and the vast amounts of money to be made and fun to be had. So I set about trying to find a 'hot air balloon for sale' website. It seems the whole buisness is quite elusive. Although I found sites advertising balloons many of them said they had no balloons for sale at that time. Is there a hot air balloon shortage? There must be.

If anyone knows anyone with a hot air balloon for sale let me know. And if anyone knows anyone with a skill for web design let me know. And if anyone knows anyone with a good head for buisness, let me know. We can join forces and together have the best hot air ballooning buisness EVER.

I apologise for the seriously baaaad puntastic title of this post. I'm away to scrub the shame from my face.

Same Same But Different

First day of a job is always the worst but because I knew what to expect it wasn't so bad. The thing that struck me the most was how glad I was to not be sitting on my arse all day. Office work just isn't for me. The other girls that work there are really pleasant and chatty and the environment is reasnably relaxed. My boss told me: You know everything you learnt in Next, forget it.

Shop work is same same but different. Essentially the work is the same but how you do it is different. Anyway, as much as I'd like to go into the details of how working in shops can differ (AYE RIGHT!) I will refrain from the boredom and instead leave you with a wee story about second hand shopping in Ballymena.

None of us like to think too much about the history of a garment bought from a charity shop. Did somebody die wearing this coat? Was the person a clean person? These are questions best not asked. Many years ago Granny bought a little red cardigan from a charity shop in Ballymena for a babby Katkins. She proudly showed it off to mum saying: Look what I got Katkins from the charity shop, isn't it lovely?

To which mum replied: Ach Mammy that already belonged to Katkins and I'd just handed it in to the charity shop!

Monday, November 10, 2008

How The Zoo Changed My Life

On Saturday Jakers and I went to Belfast zoo. I wanted to do something on my last weekend of freedom and Jakers thought the zoo was a good idea. It was!! Few things make me happier than animals. I just wish the animals were as pleased to see me as I was to see them. We hadn't really planned the whole thing too well and didn't see as much as we wanted to but it was still a great day out.

On the way there Jakers lost a tenner but on the way back we got 2 children fares from Glengormley to Antrim (yes, the bus driver thought we were 14) and we got a free train from Antrim to Ballymena. My favourite thing at the Zoo was the lions. Jakes liked the spectacled bears. I'd forgottten how good the giraffes were to see but the Meerkats were tucked up in bed.

Somewhere over the course of the weekend I decided to regain a bit of direction back in my life. Or at least think about it anyway. When I get the travelling bug out of my system (if I ever do) I'd like to train as a Social Worker. There is no point in me going from one dead-end job to the next. I managed to forget how much sociology interested me and I think it's about time that I put some of what I learnt into practice. I know Social Work is not easy work but I never said I wanted an easy life.

Anyway, it's just nice to feel like I know what I'm doing with my life. The recent change of job has knocked my confidence a bit (not so much leaving the job but having to settle for the new job) so it's good to have a plan to get some of that back. I don't want to be 35 and working in a shop. I really, really don't but unless I do some further studying and training that is exactly what's gonna happen.

Anyway, rant over. The zoo's ace and I have a little bit of ambition in my soul. Tis all good. I did also consider a career in the zoo but I think I did the wrong subject.

Friday, November 07, 2008

The Last Post Of Freedom

This is my last weekend of being a bum before I start work. Really I should've been practising the sax, taking photographs and expanding my mind through the power of literature but, instead, I chose to play silly games and colour by numbers. On the upside, I can now boast that I am able to run my very own virtual chocolate shop. Yo Ho!!! Takes me back to my Fish Tycoon days.

Also, I found out that my ex boss is telling people he sacked me. This is lurking at the back of my mind. Part of me thinks I should let it lie as I know the truth and I don't think my old boss could actually convince anyone that he did sack me (he is renowned for his lies and his ego) but another part of me would like to call him up on this and ask him what the bloody fucking hell does he think he's playing at? Maybe I should just sit back and let karma make amends.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Blog Filler

This is the first time ever, I think, I have come to write a blog post without actually having thought about what I'm going to write about. Could be deadly.

It's been lovley having the past couple of weeks off work. Better than any kind of holiday because I've just had time to chill. Mum, Granny and I spent a day last week doing Granny type things. This involved getting lost on the way to Antrim (one of Mum and Granny's favourite hobbies), being on a road that none of us had ever been on before (another one of Mum and Granny's hobbies). Granny gets excited when she sees a car stopped by the side of the road: Ooh I wonder what's going on there?

Mum casually replies: It'll be a drug deal.

This writing with no direction is tough. I can see the reflection of my fingers on the computer screen as they hover over the keypad wondering what buttons to press. They are seriously looooong fingers. I really should use them for something other than picking my nose.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Weekend

You are never too old to learn lessons. I have also recently discovered that you are ever too old to be scolded by yer ma.

Friday night I invited some drunk yoofs back to the Dreen. My thinking behind it was that I would be at home bright and early to help mum with party preparations. I didn't account for the fact that I'd be waking mum up bright and early with my entourage of drunken yoofs (also bare in mind this was Halloween night so my entourage included a Blues Brother who looked like Suggs from Madness, Mario, Kerm, who wasn't actually dressed up but was covered in a mixture of fake and real blood and looked like death not even warmed up, and Lewis who just looked like Lewis). Needless to say mum was not happy. Despite this however she ended up making one of them coffee and porridge and helping Mario sew his dungarees.

The Mexican Day of the Dead party was a considerably chilled and quiet affair. I'd had no sleep on Friday though so was glad of this. Also, I got the job I had my interview for. Yussss! It's just a job in a shop for Christmas but a change is as good as a rest and any job is a good job until it becomes a crap job.

Animal Update: Bonnie and I are bonding since the tragic death of the Bitcher; Paddy is embracing the role of Top Dog with great authority, he has recently started begging for food like Rosie used to so he obviously thinks this is an imortant part of being the boss; Scruff is enjoying his holidays and is on constant cat-mauling duty; The cat is my new BFF. Her and Scruff don't get on so she's using my bedroom as a haven.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Watch Out Nigella

Ah, the reading content here at the Palace has been a little heavy of late so I thought I'd brighten it up a bit with a wee story about Dirt Bird:

One night, after a bottle of cider or 3, Dirt Bird and I went back to her parent's house. As soon as we got there Dirt Bird declared she was hungered and set about making a fry for herself.

As she was cooking it I told her about the frying pan fire I'd had earlier that week when cooking chicken. No sooner had I said this than her own frying pan went up in flames. Cue much screaming and running around in blind panic. The fire went out by itself.

We calmed down, allowed our hearts to go back down our throats and nervously giggled about what a coincidence Dirt Bird should have experienced a frying pan fire so soon after me telling her about mine. But we had no time to relax before the damn pan went up in flames again! More panic, screaming and general flusteredness. The fire went out again. Dirt Bird concluded her food was well fried and switched off the pan.

The reason I find this so funny though is because she actually sat down and attempted to eat her fry even though it was burnt to a crisp and she couldn't get her fork to stick in anything without it scooting off the plate.

Another cooking disaster involved tuna and my mate Jo. We wanted tuna and mayo sandwiches. We put everything in a big bowl and mixed it together. It wasn't until we were eating the amazingly runny sandwiches that we realised we'd forgotten to drain the tuna of it's brine!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Don't Hassle The Han

Mum and I took a wee scoot into town today to do a little pre-party shopping and so I could hand a few applications in. On the drive in we were talking about the actual converstaion I had with my boss before I walked out. The whole thing was over in a matter of minutes really. But I was saying to mum that he probably wasn't expecting me to react the way that I did. For one, why would he really want to get rid of a cheap employee at a time when he's immensely busy and already behind? So mum asked what I thought he wanted to achieve by starting on me.

I told her I thought he wanted to 'put me in my box'. He was so used to the meek, mild wee girl who wouldn't say boo to a mouse. He saw me, for the first time, showing annoyance and he didn't like it so he thought he'd assert some authority. He tried to put me in my box but, as mum pointed out, he didn't count on the box not having a bottom. He put me in and I just fell on straight through. We laughed at this and mum said: Don't hassle the Han!

Our pre-party shopping expedition went pretty well. Bert's now the proud owner of his first ever pair of Converse. Mum has her Halloween/Mexican day of the Dead costume sorted out. She's going as Scary Hairy Mary! Tomorrow night Z and I will have a massive spooky bun-making session and on Friday I have an interview. It's just retail but a job's a job and it buys me time. Yeeeooowww!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hot Head Hannah vs The Toxic Boss

If anyone knows of any potential employers that would like to take on a 26 year old hard-working, punctual, eager to please, keen to learn, computer literate lassie please let me know. I need to find work, quickly, due to me telling my former boss that he could stick his job up his arse. But you have to realise that this is not generally the way I conduct myself around employers. In fact, I learnt the phrase 'ye can stick it up your arse' from my (ex) boss.

I have been unhappy there for a while now. Any job I do I like to feel that I'm doing it well. I couldn't do this job as well as I'd have liked to because there was too much expected off me and too little time. My boss gave me bare minimum information to work with. When one of his customers had a query that I couldn't answer I'd often ask my boss what I should tell them. His answer was usually: Tell her to go fuck herself. I grew sick of his unhelpful, arrogant manner of dealing with things. I got sick of people making demands that I just didn't have the time to meet. I'm sick of lying and covering up for my boss. I'm sick of him being a total cunt to people who have done good honest days' work for him but still have to beg for their cheques. I'm also sick of doing all this and being paid minimum wage. The last straw was today.

The boss could see I was getting a bit stressed out and so he asked me if I was unhappy with my job because if I wasn't happy I didn't have to work for him. I asked him if he was in my situation would he be happy. He didn't answer but said if I couldn't hack the pressure I could leave. So I did, because it felt like he was taunting me and I was already feeling like I didn't get paid enough to take shit without taking that shit too.

It was rash and impulsive and not exactly well thought out but it's done now and there's no point regretting it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thai Tales

When I was in Thailand I taught older kids between the ages of 11-15. If I'd had a choice I would've worked with younger kids but any experience is a good experience and because the older kids sometimes (I stress sometimes) had quite good English and you could teach them more. But when the shit hit the fan with the Secondary school I had a chance to teach at a Primary school, covering for someone for 2 weeks. The other night I found this in a notebook. I'd always meant to post it but when I came back it was a bit too difficult writing about Thailand. It's almost a year since I've been back now and it's about time I got round to sharing it:

I did my last day of teaching today. Obviously I'm happy because it was a chore getting up in the mornings but I also feel sad that it's all over.

I'm glad I had the chance to teach the younger children. It was a totally different experience from teaching high school kids. For one, they're much better behaved. They are more respectful and sweet and they are more easily pleased.

It was like a breath of fresh air having an assistnat to help me
(I was lucky if the Thai teachers at the high school sat in on my lessons, let alone assisted me). Koong disciplined the children, which is something I've always hated doing. She also translated when the children didn't understand. The kids obviously learn much more in this kind of set-up.

The school I was working at was private so classes were much smaller than Prah Narai. Koong often talked about 'special' children. These kids came to class but never particiapted. In the West these children would live in residential homes and be closely monitored but mental health problems aren't properly recognised in Thailand.

I found these children fascinating. They obviously all suffered from different problems but were all treated the same way. One boy, who was missing half of his left arm, was very quiet but he obviously had a lot going on in his head. He was jittery, chewed on a little piece of plastic wrapping. He was largely ignored by the rest of the class and he ignored them but every once in a while he'd get excited and come over and grab hold of me and fixate on something.

Some of the 'special' students were merely not as intelligent as their peers. They could so the work but not as quickly or to the same ability as everyone else.

One little boy liked to be told fables. Koong would sit at the back with him and tell him traditional Thai stories. He'd fall asleep almost instantly but wake up looking startled if Koong stopped.

There was only one student that Koong told me to be careful around. He'd bitten her a few times and he liked to hit the other children. It didn't help that he was twice, maybe 3 times the size as all the other 6 year olds. He lay down on the ground and wailed and moaned. If he got up all the kids would get up and run away from him. He looked permanently distressed. I felt sorry for him.

The most fascinating children were a little boy and a little girl who shared a table. They obviously hated each other and the other children that shared a table with them were wary. The little girl would move away from the boy, causing the others to shuffle around so they weren't too close to her. But they'd shuffle around 'til another student was too close to the boy then he'd start shuffling round in the opposite direction to get away from him. The little girl and boy would hit each other and yel at each other. Koong left them to it.

The older childen were very inqusitive about me. They wanted me to write my name, age and birthday in their notebooks and they drew pictures of me beside them. They asked me questions about my life at home; did I have pets; siblings; was my house made out of wood or cement. They asked these questions in Thai and Koong translated. But they were still listening to English and therefore learning. Sometimes you could spend a whole lesson with the older students just trying to get them to be quiet.

It ended there but reading it over makes me realise that if I'm ever gonna teach again it'll be the young 'uns because they're not as cocksure as teenagers are. Hmmm...makes me long for a better job and a bit of adventure.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Am Today

You Are Wednesday

Like this day of the week, you are ruled by Mercury.

More than anything, you are unpredictable.

You are witty and wise - but you are also easily bored.

You tend to be flighty and careless. You are unreliable at times.

In some ways, it's perfect that you match up with hump day.

You are always coasting downhill - even when it seems like an uphill battle.

The genearl mood at Nellybert's is very ho hum. We know it will pass though.

Meanwhile, there is a party to plan. It was meant to be a Halloween party but, as we're now having it on the 1st November, it will be a Mexican Day of the Dead party. I feel the need to rush out and buy a big bottle of tequila.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Scritchy Bitchy In Loan Hill Heaven

Originally uploaded by jazzthefunk
It sucks when your dog dies. You console yourself with the fact that they had a good life and lived to a good age but it still just sucks. Because, ultimately, you want them to live forever, like you want everything that you care about to live forever.

But they don't and and you deal with it and I can honestly, truly say that Rosie led a pretty perfect life. She was a total dreamboat that could charm the pants off most. When you know and love an animal, you find their ways so endearing that it breaks your heart you'll never know it again. Like the way she'd eat one hardnut at a time, the way she'd scritch and scratch at the door, incessantly, until you let her in, her obsessive-compulsive need to round up and herd other animals, her happy, excited tail-wagging when she saw a lead coming out, ah, the list goes on and on.

It's funny how the one weekend that I stayed in happened to be the last weekend I'd spend with Rosie. I woke up yesterday morning and she was lying curled up at the bottom of my bed. She lay curled up on mum's knee last night. She slept with Bert last night. She had her innings. But she'll be missed.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


It's amazing the way reading the Sunday papers can inspire life-changing decisions. I always did want to join the circus (as a lion-tamer tamer, the person who tames the lion-tamer) and it seems that maybe it really is my true calling in life. I want to be a wheel gymnast like Achus Emeis. It looks like such good fun. All I need is a big wheel and a leotard. How hard could it be to find a big wheel?

I drank to the point of stupidity last weekend and vowed never to lip booze again. Of course I was as right as rain by Tuesday but I still had a quiet one this weekend. I was Pearlie-sitting while Mum and Bert spent a night away. Pearlie was no bother but it seems I actually need lessons in how to close hens up for the night.

I thought maybe a weekend of purity might help inspire a little creativity but, alas, no my brain cells must still be recovering from last weekend. The most constructive things I've done this weekend is build fires (I'd have made an excellent caveman) and learn how to cook panada* (is that how ye spell it ma?).

*Panada (or Panade, possibly?) pron. Pan-aid-A

Hannah's Dictionary Def: What you feed the cat when there's no canned meat or hard nuts; what you feed Pearlie when there's no spuds; a rare dish that rare people eat, consisting of a slice o' breed broken up, a wee taste o' warm water and a wee taste o' warmed milk; A culinary delight.

So, yeah, a really constructive weekend. I learnt how to make soggy bread in warm milk.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hannah Hates Holly Cat

A happy person is not a person in a certain set of circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.

I read this little ditty off a calendar at work. Considering my present circumstances at work I thought it was good advice. In fact, it's good advice for every aspect of life. It's too easy to blame your mood on external factors. Of course, to some extent, it can't be helped but I think we are more in control of our emotions than we care to let ourselves believe.

Here are some other proverbs floating round my brain:

If you don't ask, you don't get: How true, but just because you ask doesn't mean you're gonna get.

Don't count your chickens before they hatch: You might have ten eggs but 5 could be rotten.

Look before you leap: I've always struggled with this one. I like being impulsive but it pays to consider all possible outcomes. Sometimes.

Anyway, pet update: Bonnie is so hungry because of her 'roids she's taken to bin-hoking. Thankfully she's off the meds now; Paddy is most definitely gay - ask Jonathan; Rosie has become a member of my Hollycat-hating campaign. Holly makes me wonder why I wasted all that time trying to befriend stray cats.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

This is What I Am

You Are a Pig

You are very intelligent, and you enjoy being around people. You can trust others easily.

You have great reasoning skills, and you are quick learner. You are able to adapt to most situations.

You tend to be very territorial and picky. You don't like people messing with your stuff.

You have keen senses and reflexes. You can defend yourself well and quickly sense danger.

Last week I watched a film. I can't recall the name of it but it was a fantasy story where everyone had there demons on the outside and they took the form of an animal. Got me thinking about people I know and what animal would be their demon.

Nelly I thought would be an owl but Bert said: Are owls not meant to be wise?

When I told mum this she said she'd be more like a bison or some big herd animal. I thought Bert would be some kind of reptile, like a big iguana or one of them slow moving critters.

I asked a few people what they thought I would be. Jakers said a lynx. Dirt Bird said a fawn (yes a fawn, not a faun, I checked), Nigel said a Jack Russell, which worried me a bit 'cos it was a little too perceptive for someone who doesn't know me that well. As it turns out, I am a pig. A pig! Class.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Itsy Bitsy Thumbnail Size

I walked in yesterday to hear Bert playing this little gem on the clarinet. Yes, that's right, Bert is learning Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini. I think he was aiming for the Brian Hyland version but it was sounding a bit more like Timmy Mallet to me.

In other news: We have recently discovered that if you think of the most boring, mundane thing that's happened to you Pearlie will consider this to be the most exciting and entertaining news ever! If you tell her about something totally amazing, however, she'll look at you with a blank expression. Oh, and if she does ever eat anything it's only ever a bit the size of a thumbnail (but what kind of thumbnail? A human's? An elephant's?).

Doggy news: The cat is a bastard! Whiny, gurny, miaowing bastard! There is little joy with her. Bonnie has become a cunning food thief. Paddy proves time and time again that he's all brawn and no brains and Rosie is keeping a low profile (which means she's probably planning some kind of big drama).

Work Update: The less said the better. It's Friday, Yaaay!

Monday, October 06, 2008

How Long's A Bitch?

This is the typical kind of text conversation I have with my mate Kerm:


Kerm: I AM OUT






Kerm has little patience for me being vague about what time I come out. As it happened, I went out about ten and I'm not even sure I saw him. When I came down from getting ready mum looked at me and said: I have to laugh at you, it takes you 6 hours to get ready and you look exactly the same as you started.

Now, back to what's really important. Halloween. Mel, Nelly and I need some costume suggestions. Dad, I know you offered some but if I'm going to be drinking a lot it's probably best I don't look like something so horrendous that I'm gonna want to puke when I look at myself. Any ideas, let me know.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Warning! Explicit Language, Your Eyes May Bleed

It's been a while since I did a blog rant. I kinda made a conscious effort to be more positive but y'know what? Fuck it. I'm gonna rant. Once again I'm disillusioned by the working world. I try to be as positive as I can about most of the jobs I do but sometimes it just gets to you. People! Stupid, incompetent, ignorant, ill-mannered, greedy, impatient, sly, stinking, rotten fuckers! Not all of them, of course, but this is my second day back at work after a week's holiday and I've just returned to chaos. Everybody wants something and they want it now. It's all about money, professionalism, pride and bollocks.

Ah, there, rant over. It does feel better to get it off my chest though. It's not that bad really. Things can always be worse. I'm lucky that it's just my job that's shitty. I'm lucky that it's a temporary job and I don't have the pressure of a career pinning me down anywhere. And as for the fuckers, I can choose not to let them annoy me. I can leave the crap behind me at five o'clock because I'm not paid to care past then.

So once again back to good things and fluffiness. Mum reminded me today that Halloween is creeping up on us. Z kindly provided me with this link to a website that shows you how to make your very own lion mask!! I don't know though. It's a wee bit too realistic and I might freak people out. I know that is the idea at Halloween but sometimes it can be taken just that bit too far. Kerm Dog springs to mind.

I would have some photos of my trip to England to plaster all over the place but I've had a huge falling out with digital technology. It wouldn't do what it was meant to do and I called it a piece of shit and it called me a bitch and said I hadn't a clue how to work it and I said that wasn't true it was purposely just being a complete twat to get at me. The fight ended in tears. But not mine.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I'm Not Crying, I've Just Been Cutting Onions

If you've been over at Nelly's you'll know that Bonnie is doing not too bad. She had some kind of red blod cell disease that she may possibly have contracted from onions, we're not sure, but she is home and she is alive so it's al good!

I just got back from a week in England seeing a lot of crazy cats. On Friday I met up with Dirt Bird and Scully-On. Dirt Bird wanted to be 15 again and drink cider in the park. I wanted to be 7 again and play on the swings in the park.

On Saturday we went for a drive to the Holly (Mighty) Bush just outside of Leek. It's a lovely wee canalside pub in the country. I've always loved it there. Dad, Linda and I would sometimes go for a drink then walk back to Leek by the canal path. We went there with Gravy Dave and Danny Boy. We had food and it was then that a very sinister character appeared, Charlie Chip Liddin' It. He's a story for another day though.

Ach, thinking about Charlie Chip just put me off there. I'm gonna have to finish this post by recommending that if you have a spare few minutes in your life check the Flights Of The Conchords out. Also, if you happen to be Norn Irish, you just can't not find this funny. Even if you're not from N.Iron, you'll probably still appreciate it.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Originally uploaded by ZMB
Feck and damnation! Only yesterday I was complaining about having nothing to write about. Today I wish I didn't have anything to write about.

Bonnie's sick. Sick as a dog. We knew it but I don't think we knew she was quite as sick as she is. Bert took her to the vet this morning. She needs a blood transfusion.

And bless her for she really has not been herself this past couple of days but she has tried.

Mum is devastated and praying to God that she'll be alright. I remember that day her and the labrador were dandering up the Dreen Road. Even then you could tell she was the friendliest dog in the world. It became apparent early on that she had been mistreated. She didn't know what it meant to be a dog.

Mum nurtured her, taught her how to play. Bert took her runs in the van so she eventually grew out of her travel sickness. Holly de cat and Z's Gracie would sink their teeth into her mane and she never once was angry.

Fuck I hope she's ok.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Wedding Lurgi

We had a few visitors, over the weekend, here at Nellybert's. One in the form of World Head, aka Salt Face aka Jamie from Wolstanton, the other in the form of the lovely Mel aka the lovely Mel.

Such was the occasion that even Bert went to the pub. Bert must be well over his wedding lurgi* now because he didn't just go out on Friday night but Saturday night too, to see the Red Hot Chilli Pipers live in action at Portglenone. On Friday night mum was woken from her slumber by Bert poking her with a toasted bagel. When I asked mum what Bert was doing in her bed Jamie replied:

They're married now Hannah, they're allowed to do that.

I guess they are. On Sunday Mel came round for her dinner and Swisser provided the entertainment. She fainted into the kitchen, clutching the door frame, struggling to stand on her two wee leg's, which were trembling underneath her. She must have caught Bert's wedding lurgi but after a big feed of curry and chocolate orange cake and fudge, she was as right as rain. Lurgi forgotten about until she was leaving and was worried that if she hugged Mel she'd be passing on her lurgi germs. How ye doing Mel? Feeling faint and feverish?

Rosie and Bonnie, being clever dogs, knew who Jamie was instantly. Paddy, not being the brightest of pups, took at least 2 hours to work it out. Oh, but when he did!

* Bert developed a lurgi after he got married. Under no circumstances was Bert feeling so peely wally because of drink. His lurgi lasted for at least 2 weeks!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Electric Picnic: How Rachael Allen Got me Drunk

There was so much to see and do at this festival there was never a dull moment. It was easy to get sidetracked, like when we walked past the dancing skeletons and the brass band playing Tequila, or the fantastic water stomping show with butterfly acrobactics. Zoe wanted to check out the live cooking demo so we wandered over to where Rachael Allen (Ireland's answer to Nigella Lawson) whizzed up a Gazpacho, which I obsessed about (it seemed like a miracle hangover cure) until they brought out some cocktails (also, a miracle hangover cure). So, Rachael Allen got me drunk. She teased me with Gazpacho then she got me drunk. I love that woman. She's better than Nigella.

Aaaah, I'm starting to forget now, everything that happened, but something I'll probably never forget is when a very drunk (quite ignorant) fella came over to me as I sat on the grass and asked me if I had any herion!

Says I to he: What kind of question is that to ask a complete stranger?

Says he to me: I don't know I just thought maybe you might have some heroin.

Says I to he: Do I look like the sorta person who would have heroin?

Says he to me: Yes, you look malnourished and a little bit yellow!

If Rachael had given me that Gazpacho I'm sure I would have looked less yellow and slightly more nourished. I'm sure of it!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Electric Picnic: The Village Green

The Village Green was where all the silly, nonsense things took place. A lady vicar danced provokatively to Prince outside the inflatable church, the village firemen rescued a kitty from a tree, people eat bacon, cheese and jam sanwiches for breakfast (I am still slightly disturbed by this but free breakfast is free breakfast). This is also where the ferris wheel and carousel were located, where Zoe and I hooted and hollered with delight as we spun round and round, whilst trying to hold onto our (weird) breakfast.

Another Village Green attraction was the silent disco. How does a silent disco work, I hear you ask. Well, everyone goes in and is given a set of headphones. Half the room hears a selection of songs, while the other half hears a different selection of songs. The result: everyone is dancing to their own personal disco. When you take your headphones off and look around it's hilarious. Everyone's dancing and bouncing to silence. We were told when we went in that it was meant to be a silent disco and if we sang along they would stop playing music.

Obviously Zoe and I exhausted ourselves running around this place soaking up all the excitement so when it all got too much we'd hang out in the Mind and Soul area. This is where all the hippies could be found, hugging trees, lounging about in hammocks, and generally being at peace with the world...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Electric Picnic: The Music

Yessss! Live music was just the injection my soul needed. this is who I saw at Electric Picnic 2008:

Tinariwen - I'd never heard of them before (annoyingly, mum had) but I was intrigued by the programme's description of their desert jazz tunes. I wasn't disappointed either. Good music for chilling out to.

Christy Moore - Christy put on a class show because he seemed to be enjoying himself and he pulled in a big crowd. He only played upbeat songs and so everyone was really cheery and bouncy. You can't not smile and dance when your Irish and you hear Lisdoonvarna played live.

Gomez - I love this band and was looking forward to seeing them the most. They were fantastic but definitely not the music highlight of the weekend. It seemed like they were bored of playing their songs and they lacked any real stage presence. The two main singers didn't interact with the crowd at all and seemed a bit grumpy. They only played songs off Bring It On, which almost seemed like cheating. Still very good. But I said to Zoe that I didn't think I wanted them to come to our Halloween party anymore.

Duffy - I'm not a huge Duffy fan so we just saw the last couple of songs from her set. Can't say much about her though except that she's better than Amy Winehouse purely for the fact she remembers her words.

Franz Ferdinand - I'm ashamed to admit that I only really knew the sngles before seeing them but I am encouraged to seek out more (Dad, that is in no way a subtle hint to suggest that you could maybe, possibly copy me some CD's :) Good music to dance to. So we danced.

The Breeders - Yaaaaaaaaaaayyyy!! I am so happy I got to see the coolest female bassist ever. Kim and her twin sister Kelly are fantastic. They are definitely invited to our Halloween party. They smiled and talked the whole way through their set. They played a perfect blend of old and new songs and they played all the classics. I could've watched them play all night. Kim told us her mum had alzheimers before saying "She wrote some words in this next song" They were astounding and I walked away feeling like I was 14 and had just seen my idols (well, maybe not quite like that but it was awesome)

Sinead O'Connor - We couldn't actually be arsed going in to see her. We just listened to her whine from outside. She did play Nothing Compares 2 U but by that time me and Zoe were more interested in getting free tea and Flakes.

Grinderman - I had to listen to them on Zoe's ipod 'cause I'd never heard them before. Nick Cave at his finest. Same deep haunting voice, same crazy, mental rock music, but rather than being just dark, he is now humourously dark. I loved it! The only downside was that it was difficult to see the band because Nick Cave attracts abnormally tall people.

The Gossip - They're just a good fun, punk rock, chick band, how could I not like them? We missed a good bit of it but ejoyed what we saw.

Conor Oberst and The Mystic Valley Band - I'm more familiar with Bright Eyes but I think Conor Oberst is a lyrical genius so obviously I was gonna love anything he did. Apparently Conor was rotten with a cold when he played but he mentioned getting something from "a nice Scottish doctor" and somehow I don't think it was Beecham's. He actually seems like an arrogant little shit with strange quirks that he thinks are cool but are actually quite annoying. It doesn't matter though because he is cool, so he gets away with it. We loved them.

So that was the music. That was only a tiny bit of the festival. There was so much more but my fingers are weary from typing so it'll have to wait another day.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Yes, It Really Happened

I was always reluctant to dress like a girl. I wore trousers for my first 2 years at school because I downright refused to wear a skirt. They managed to get me in one for my First Holy Communion but when I was confirmed I was the only lass wearing trousers. I know many men who have worn a dress more recently than I have!

It's not everyday you get to see yer ma getting married though, so after much deliberation, I ended up wearing a dress. For an hour. And it was long enough. Here is the photographic evidence for people who don't believe it actually happened or for those of you intrigued by what I might look like as a woman. It's unlikely that mum will ever get married again so, therefore, unlikely that I'll ever be seen wearing a dress again.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bert Sets The Alarm

I was chatting to The Wee Manny on the phone tonight. He wanted to talk to Bert who'd just waslked in the door in a fluster, rushing to put the green things on for dinner. I told The Wee Manny he was in a bit of a fluster.

Y'see that's married life, it's changed him, says the Wee Manny.

It's only been a week, I said.

Aye, but I can tell within a week, I know him, says The Wee Manny.

Well I have noticed he's a wee bit more domesticated since he's been married, says I.

That's why he's flustered, says The Wise Old Wee Manny.

Bert's been looking after Clint's beasts while he's been away at some tractor show in Yorkshire. Between looking after them, his mum, dealing with the potato blight and cooking McFalls Balls and green things for dinner it's hardly surprising he's flustered. His cousin Margaret said to him, at eight o'clock tonight before he was rushing out the door, Bertie, there's an alarm going off upstairs. It was his alarm clock and he said Oh, so that's why it didn't go off at eight this morning. Margaret replied, That's a likely Bert excuse if ever I heard one!

Poor Wacko

I had completely forgotten about the Brit Awards when Jarvis Cocker got up on stage with Wacko Jacko and waved his ass at him. Classic moment in T.V. and music history if you ask me. Made a hero out of Jarvis. The clip of him actually doing it was taking ages to upload on You Tube but I found this little gem instead.

Of course I'm on Jarvis' side. Always thought M.J. was just a little too crazy but I do love his press statement where he says he feels sickened, saddened, shocked, upset, cheated and angry. Most people would sum that up as being pissed off. I also like that he claims to respect them as artists. Can't really see Michael moonwalkin' to Common People but ye never know.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Time For Bed

Since getting free internet browsing on my mobile I have become addicted to downloading theme tune midis for my ringtones. It's a terrible affliction that stemmed from having the I Dream Of Jeannie theme song in my head. I have trawled through lists of TV and movie themes, downloaded dozens, deleted a fair few, 'cos they were shite, but one that remains is The Magic Roundabout theme. I want it to be my alarm in the morning.

As always one thought leads to another and I was reminded of Bill Bailey's take on The Magic Roundabout. Maybe you have to have a certain sense of humour to appreciate it but I think it's hilarious. Bill Bailey is right, The Magic Roundabout is sinister. Maybe it's not the bst thing to wake up to in the morning.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I Do Though Don't I Though

wedding 020
Originally uploaded by NellyMoser
Here's the evidence. Nelly and Bert got married. Bert looks very stoical but he's not. This is his happy face. Mum has lovely rosy cheeks. These cheeks got rosier as the night went on. She was a proper blushing bride although not because she was embarrassed but because of the vast quanitites of champagne she consumed.

We all knew it wasn't going to be a traditional wedding but mum did have the something old (second-hand clutch bag), something new (shoes), something borrowed (Pearl necklace from Pearlie) and something blue (her dress). The only other tradition they kept was Bert carrying mum over the threshold. Except that the only way he thought he'd be able to do it was by giving her a piggyback (Bert had also consumed vast quantites of champagne by this stage). This of course resulted in Mum falling down.

The bits in between mum and Bert saying 'I do' and mum falling down involved eating delicious food, drinking and generally enjoying the merriment. The youngest Miss Banjo did a class speech, followed by me saying a few words on behalf of the folk that couldn't be there and then the Wee Manny rather impressivley stood up and and rattled out a speech from the top of his head. And who better to do it than the man that introduced them?

It was a lovely day and although many people were missed and thought of, the small crowd made it much more intimate and special for mum and Bert. I still reckon they should've had the party of the century but it's only 2 months 'til Hallow'een. Yeeeoooww!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Problem Solved

Ed the Duck
Originally uploaded by hootchinhannah
Although Nelly is perfectly happy with my choice to wear jeans for her wedding it seems there are quite a few people (mostly men) who feel that I should be making an effort to doll myself up. One of the driver's at work said I'd look like a gypsy turning up in jeans and when we looked back at the wedding photos people would comment on the hobo who was just passing by and decided to join in with the celebrations.

Well, to save my head being turned with frocks and jeans I've decided that I'm going to wear a romper suit like the one I had when I was 1. I may also get my hair bleached and cut into an Ed the Duck mohawk but I'll see how I feel tomorrow.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Frock Shock

There was me thinking that I was well organised for Moms' wedding. I should have known better. If I try to be organised it backfires and I end up having to do things at the last minute anyway. The jeans I ordered were no good and I didn't return them in time to get different ones (damn that posting parcels phobia of mine!).

I was in the town on Saturday with big sis Zoe and my cousin (the surly one) and I stupidly made a joke about wearing a frock to the wedding. I only tried on 2 dresses but it seemed like I had to change clothes a million times. No matter how hard Trinny and Susannah tried they failed to convince me that wearing a dress was a good idea. They were both very sweet, patient and encouraging and I was a total brat who stomped my foot down and cried But I just want to wear jeans!

So now I have to go wedding outfit shopping the Saturday before the wedding. But it still won't be as horrendous as getting an outfit for Auntie D's wedding when a friend offered her services as personal shopper, got pissed off with me turning my nose up at everything until she eventually bullied me into buying a top I didn't even want. She then took it upon herself to buy me a pair of shoes that I hadn't even seen and expected me to go fetch them off her the same day I was getting my flight! That was the flight I never actually made because I was being violently ill all over Liverpool airport. So however stressful it is getting kitted out it couldn't possibly be as bad as that. Although perhaps I shouldn't jinx things.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Don't Fear The Reaper

When I was younger I was one of those children that was feared of everything. I was scared of the dark, bears in the woods, being put in a children's home, the squashy tomato-faced man living in the attic. I would hover above the toilet for fear a hand would reach up and grab me and pull me down to the sewers. We had this dresser in our bedroom with mirrors that folded over so you could check the back of your hair. It terrified me because when you looked into it you could see your reflection multiplied by a hundred and I was always sure that one of those Hannah's was going to give me a cheeky wink or do something that I didn't do.

Life can be a scary place when you're young and fear is something I now rarely experience. The racing, beating heart, cold, sweaty palms, the feeling that your insides are going to crawl up you gullet and come spitting out your mouth. The last time I felt like this it had very little to do with unearthly creatures and a lot to do with Thai immigration.

This is why I am already excited about Halloween. I've decided on behalf of Nelly and Bert that we will be having a full-on fancydress halloween party (I'll finally get to be a lion Danny Boy!) Zoe and I will create an array of tasty halloween themed treats and there will be a magical mystery ghost tour (um...Mels, fancy being a ghost for a night? I'll pay you in people's souls). Perhaps even the Squashy tomato-faced man will make an appearance. Yaaay!! I can't wait!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Bleeding Gums Bowyer

I went to the dentist on Thursday morning as the tooth wasn't getting any better and my face had swollen up. She told me it was an abcess and asked if I wanted it pulled out right there and then. Yes! The feud was finally going to be over between me and this wretched tooth. And I was going to win! No gas and air though. I had to brave it with injections and keeping my eyes shut and pretending that she was not wrenching this massive lump of tooth and metal from my mouth (you just can't help but feel a bit violated though). And she kept lying and saying it was nearly over.

After this I called in at Trevor Keyes music shop and walked out with a brand new alto saxophone. My new baby. She is shiny, dinky and I have white gloves to play her with (but I won't). Unfortunately, because of the tooty mouth, I couldn't play her and Bert got to christen it. I might go to San Franciso and do a bit of busking. Considering the dodgy state of my teeth I could go by the name of Bleeding Gums Bowyer. Get myself a wee dog and busk my way down to Mexico. can do anything when you've got a new saxophone.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

What Kind Of Musical Instrument Should I Play

You Should Play the Saxophone

You are charismatic, friendly, and very uninhibited.

You have a lot of personal expression to bring your music.

Improvisational and informal, you can't deal with an instrument that has too many rules or complexities.

You are much more interested in creating unique solos than immersing yourself in music theory.

You have a lot of style, and you definitely are one smooth operator.

And while you may not play perfectly, no one's going to accuse you of being boring.

Your dominant personality characteristic: being very outgoing

Your secondary personality characteristic: your flair for the unique and dramatic

It's a good job I've got one!!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

I Want An Extraction Please


One word: Toothache.

I have a tooth (I say tooth but there's more filling than tooth there now) that's been hassling me for years. We had a massive falling out in 2002 and since then I've wanted it gone. Everytime I go to the dentist I plead with them to extract it (extraction - such a lovely word) but they always seem to think they can fix it. The last dentist to attempt this admitted it was a tricky tooth to fill but she was always much more interested in what she was having for dinner.

I don't actually mind the dentist too much. You have sore teeth and they fix them. My dentist in Ballymena gives me gas and air. Gas and air's ace. You don't care that there's someone poking about your mouth and hoovering the slabbers away. You find it hilariously funny when the dentist starts talking about buccals and fissures and you come away from the whole experience mellow and chilled and with teeth that no longer hurt. Yaay!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Love's Young Dream

Originally uploaded by NellyMoser
Bert and Mum have been together for 22 years. I was 4 when they first started dating. My most vivid memory of Bert back then was him punching a hole in the bedroom wall when he had the misfortune of babysitting me. I must have been a complete, total brat (anyone who knows me well will vouch for this) as it takes a LOT to piss Bertie Boy off to the point where walls suffer.

Anyway, despite many more tantrums like that, having to share a house with 4 screaming, fighting women from Hell and years of having the Pee taken out of him, Bert is still around, and not only that, is going to make an honest woman out of me ma.

At first the idea of Bert and Mum getting married made me laugh out loud. Then when I came round to the idea I suggested to them that this could be THE party of the century. People would come flocking from all over the world to hear Bert and Nelly say 'I do'. But, sadly, they did not share the same enthusiam.

So a quiet affair has been arranged and I am the ring bearer (now are you really sure about that mum for I haven't had a good track record with rings just lately? - Perhaps there would be a safer job for me... like just being there).

Anyway, I must be getting excited because I've even ordered myself new jeans just for the occasion. And so while there is excitement in the air I'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate Mr. Orr and Mrs Nearly Orr and hope that their 'big day' is everything they hope for.

Now I have to go and wipe the cheese from my brow.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


The time has come! I'm 26 now, a big girl, some would even call me an adult and so it's about time I had a computer of my very own. I'll call her Roxy. She'll connect me with The Universe and I'll clutter her hard drive with toot.

I need some help though. I know nothing about computers. I don't know what makes are good or what kind of prices I should pay. All I know is I want a laptop. All I need a computer for is internet, music and photos so I don't need anything too posh. If anyone has any ideas please advise.

'Cause, y'see, if I have a computer I can watch things that make me laugh, such as this Black Books clip, which shows Bernard at his absolute finest. The 'Tower Of Soup' always makes me smile.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Tatyo Cheese and What?

The Best Crisps
Originally uploaded by hootchinhannah
Here in Ireland we are very fond of our Tayto crisps. Everyone I know that has visited from England has gone back home armed with packs upon packs of Tayto Onion Rings. When I put this picture up on flickr it aroused feelings of nostalgia for many irish folk who no longer live here.

What makes Tayto crisps so good? Well, we could never know because that would involve learning what the secret ingredient is and that's a secret.

But if you were eager to find out more about Tayto (I say eager, what I mean is deranged), you could always book yourself in for a factory tour. Oh yes, come to Northern Ireland where you can visit the Giant's Causeway, cross the ropebridge, drink Bushmills....and visit Mr. Tayto who smells awfully like cheese and onion...hmmm. By the way, the secret ingredient is obviously crack cocaine. There's a dude from up the Doury Rd. does Mr. Tayto a good deal.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rock Off With Satan

How can you not love these guys? Tenacious D in The Pick Of Destiny. What else ya gonna do when you come face to face with the Divil himsel' but have a Rock Off.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Gravy Dave Grooving At The Grouse

I'm literally having to squeeze this post out of my ass. I'm suffering from Blogger Constipation. Gravy Dave was in town on Friday so I treated him to the wonders of Ballymena on the 11th night. This involved getting drunk at O'Rawes then heading to the Grouse to join the 5 other people on the disco dancefloor. After 2o minutes of bumping and grinding with a wasted 40 year old we decided that was enough of that and headed up to Jakers (with Kerm Dog, Chemical Del and the 5 other people from the Grouse). We picked up a few other strays along the way and spent the night partying.

I think Gravy Dave had a pleasant enough time. As long as beer is involved he's generally pretty happy. I love easily pleased people. Gravy Dave gets excited about waiting at bus stations so he's my kind of guy (as this means I don't have to feel guilty when I've left him waiting ages because I was playing with the dogs). I can't say I remember a whole lot about Friday night but I do remember sitting beside this guy, let's call him Rodrick 'cos I can't remember his name. When I sat down he said

Alright Miss Bowyer?

I replied,

How do you know my surname?

He said,

I know everything Hannah Clare Bowyer.

I said,

Woah! Seriously how do you know my name, who do you know?

Then he smiled and said,

Fifteen eighty two.

I said,

Nah, swear to God, how do you know my birthday as well?

He just laughed and said,

You left your passport sitting there.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A Prince Albert For Jack

When you work with lorry drivers you talk to them at your own peril. Innocent things can be turned into filth. Everything you say can be misconstrued. This leads to face reddening situations. For example:

While having a conversation about devices that remove staples (staple removers) you should not say They're only good if you have a big thick one and you can pull it out.

This will only be met with roars of laughter and severe ridiculing about pulling big thick ones out.

It is also not a good idea to tell your work colleagues about a dirty looking fella who was in last week holding a big tool. If you don't know the name of the tool he's holding you should say nothing.

When accepting a lift from one of the drivers be prepared for him to answer a call from The Boss on his mobile screaming: Would ye get a away from me! Get away! That's the last time I give that wee girl a lift home, she won't keep her hands off me!

It's like being back in the playground but it is funny when The Boss shouts out: Hannah do ye know what a Prince Albert is?

I do aye.

Tell Jack what it is, he disnae know what a Prince Albert is.

So I explained to Jack what a Prince Albert is. He is so enlightened he's thinking of getting one.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Oul' Pearlie Blue

When it comes to Bert's mum Pearlie I normally have the patience of a saint but she is possibly one of the most negative people I have ever known. The other night she couldn't eat the spud I made her. She was too full. As well as that the spud wisnae very nice. When I told her I hadn't really learnt how to cook potatoes yet she told me it was cooked fine but still, it wisnae very nice. And not only that, it was a wee bit cold too.

Most folk try their best to hide signs of discontent. Not Pearlie. She positively embraces negativity. Nothing is ever right. You could move mountains for her and she's say you moved it in the wrong direction. You could hand her a check for a million pounds and she'd say That's great but I weeshed ye'd have written it in blue ink. You could show her the cutest most adorable puppy/baby/kitten and she'd say I dinnae like it, it looks like a wee frog! She doesn't get called Pearlie Blue for nothing.

Monday, June 30, 2008

We Don't Need No Education

Kids today are certainly receiving a top notch education! According to this article, writing fuck off as an answer to an English essay is worth at least 2 points for correct spelling ('tis not exactly hard to learn as it's graffitied on nearly every wall in the UK) and conveying meaning (hmmm, is this actually the meaning we want children to convey?).

It's ridiculous but what's even more ridiculous is that the essay title, to which the student responded with an obscenity, was: Describe the room you're sitting in.

I know it was a long time ago since I sat my GCSE's but I'm sure not much has changed since then. I don't think students sit their exams at the Zoo or in a spaceship or Alton Towers. So therefore, asking them to describe the room they're sitting in is a bit lame.

The room I am sitting in is approximately 50ft by 35ft. The walls are white. There is a clock on the wall. There are 60 desks but only 57 chairs. There are 60 children all wearing the same uniform.

You can't really blame the kid for writing fuck off. I think I would've too.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bonnie's Hungry

Looks like I've no choice but to pursue a career in tree-felling as the lovely Mels has been royally shafted by Britain's sorry excuse for a postal service. I did think about getting a job in the sorting office but it seems Mel will kick my gremliney ass if I do.

I can't write this post because Bonnie dog is whining: Hannah get up off your fat lazy-hoor ass and make me some goddam dinner.

Honestly, she's got such a foul mouth and bulshy manner. I wonder where she learnt that from?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Is It Your Birthday?

This post is in reply to the previous post's comments. Mel! It took me a while to figure out what Bons your unclie meant. I thought you were suggesting I gave Bonnie some unclie but now I realise you meant Bob's your uncle!! Were you at that green butter?

D@ve, my reply to your comment might seem a bit random but I was referring to Crocodile Dundee hypnotising the bull with his hand. Incidentally, I heard a story last night where some fellow was mugged on holiday and he tried the Crocodile Dundee bull-hypnotising trick on his attacker but, unsurprisingly, to no avail.

And finally, anonymous, of course I haven't forgot your birthday (I am now racking my brains trying to think who's birthday it is in a few weeks!). Where's the party?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Anybody Know A Dog Hypnotiser?

Bert got a phone call from Ernie today. Bert said "Hey, what's up Ernie?"

Ernie said "There's two of your dirty scunging devil dogs standing here on the Dreen road"

I know. They look like butter wouldn't melt but the truth is they're two wee feckers who'd run away in a flash. There are a number of reasons why we disapprove of such activity:

1. The farmer might shoot them.

2. They might kill farmers' sheep.

3. They might get run over on the road.

4. Paddy is stupid and might get his head stuck in a bucket all night.

5. Rosie is an old bitcher now and she's wearing herself out.

But they don't understand all this and it's in their blood to scunge.

Now that the carers come into to see Pearlie they use this as an excuse to slip out the door. Any sort of commotion or chaos that goes on you'll be guaranteed they have taken advantage of the situation. The only thing we haven't tried is getting someone in to hypnotise them. But it may be our only hope...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Dirt Bird's Charms

Here is a picture of Dirt Bird and Brummy Steve. This was the morning after my leaving party, the one that was so good I didn't actually leave. I love this picture. This is quite often how Dirt Bird looks. Twirling her fingers through her hair, eyes shut, mouth wonder Steve is besotted.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Legend Of The Dreen

Around these parts there are many myths and legends. They include headless horsemen, highway men and The Mouth Of Hell. Galgorm Castle holds a story about a nobleman who outwitted The Divil Himself. The nobleman was promised great riches (and possibly ever-lasting life but I don't really remember) in exchange for his soul. The Divil Himself would come to claim his reward when a candle had burned down but the clever nobleman never let the candle burn down. He blew it out and hid it in an old dusty book. If I'd known it was so easy to get one over on the Divil I'd have sold my soul for a magic carpet years ago. The nobleman's plan was flawed however because he did not account for the possibility that one of his maid's might find it and, thinking it was a bit dark, light it until it burned down. The Divil came back and claimed his soul and the nobleman's ghost now haunts the castle grounds forever.

The scariest legend about these parts is much closer to home though. It's a Dreen legend specifically located in the attic of this house. When I was younger and I came to visit Bert's parents I used to hover by the attic stairs. Up those stairs were great treasures. Bert's childhood toys. Rocking horses, toy cars, diggers, soldiers. All of them longing to be played with. I never could though. The reason, Bert told me, was because the Squashy Tomato Face Man lived up those stairs and he wasn't particuarly a huge fan of children. He was a bit mean and grumpy because of his unfortunate squashy tomato face. He must've been ridiculed and bullied as a child and chose to live as a hermit. I couldn't find any pictures of him on the web but if you can imagine a tall skinny man with a squashy tomato for a face and a folorn vibe about him, that;s your guy.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Dead Bird Season

A number of weeks ago I started to notice a lot of dead birds. I'd see them lying at the side of the road on my way to work. One day I saw 3 different dead birds. I couldn't tell you what sort of birds they were 'cos I'm not an ornithologist but there was a black one with a speckled chest and a big one that was a fawny (or is it fauny Mels?) colour and I can't remember what the other one was.

I mentioned this to Dirt Bird (purely coincidental that it's dead bird season and her name is Dirt Bird) and she thought it sounded ominous. I wondered how they were dying. Maybe bigger birds were killing them or they fell out of trees. The wicked Holly Cat caught a babby robin last week. She didn't kill it but she left it in a state of shock.

Then it was all quiet on the dead bird front.I thought the season was over until this morning I heard a small thud off the window. I looked out to see a tiny wee bird lying on the ground. It probably died instantly from a broken neck. Poor wee thing. When will the carnage end?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Locked Oot

This morning I waited outside the office for an hour. I have no keys and The Boss was nowhere to be seen. I called him and said:

Well, having a busy morning I take it?

He replied:

Ah fuck Ah forgot all aboot ye.

I am clearly a valuable asset to his company.

But who cares? It's the weekend!! Hurrah for the day of Fri!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ken Boone or Ken Boone?

It's a tough contest between Bert and I over who is the laziest. Rather than washing the chopping board I turned it over only to find that Bert had beaten me to it. He ranks high on the lazometre.

A certain Mr. Salt Face has asked me some questions:

If you were a clown what would your name be?

My name would be Hairy Head Hannah and my clown wig would be blue.

If you could wake up anywhere where would it be?

I'd wake up in a meercat colony with meercats nibbling my ears.

What's your personal theme song?

I'd like to say Wonder Woman but I don't wear satin tights. After that it would be the Brookside theme.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Probably residing in some random country getting drunk with the locals.

What's your favourite pasta shape?

Either the bows or the twirly ones. Them tube ones are the worst.

So there you go Salt Face. I am impressed with your question-asking skills although suspect it may have been computer-generated. You are, after all, the boy who asks questions like Do you prefer Def Leppard or Iron Maiden?, Do you prefer Paul Daniels or Cliff Richards, Do you prefer Ken Boone or Ken Boone?

As always my answers are Def Leppard or Iron Maiden depending on which day of the week it is and what colour pants I'm wearing, Cliff Richards because he's Cliff Richards and who the hell is Ken Boone?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Good Times With Mel

I had planned to go out for a couple of drinks on Friday night and come home at a sensible hour so I could be up early for my trip to the 'Dam with Mel. As it turned out I came home at 2 in the morning, steaming drunk and all sensibilities chucked out the window. Luckily when I woke up on Saturday morning I wasn't hungover...because I was still drunk. I didn't actually know what I had packed until I got to my hotel.

The sun was shining when I arrived in Holland and Mels was waiting for me as planned. We drank coffee, smoked and chatted. I was still drunk and Mels was sleep deprived. We did well considering. The next few days were spent chilling, eating disgusting amounts of sugar in many beautiful forms (chocolate, waffles, jamin pick-a-mix), laughing and the occasional walking around in circles ('tis one of my favourite hobbies). All in all an excellent trip. Good times to add to the list of Good Times With Mel. May there be many more.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Full Circle

At 6 O'Clock they came and took you away. I only cried one tear and it fell into a puddle. They mingled and a new being was created. A being that was soft yet strong, cruel but kind, brave but scared. It said yes when it meant no and no when it meant yes. Cried when it was happy and laughed when it was sad. It was blind but saw eveything, could hear but heard nothing. It was tortured and so it tortured. But only itself, until one day it split back into two. The puddle lay on the ground and the tear rolled back up my face and into my eye. At 6 O'Clock you came back.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Orrs Take A Spin In The Van

There are just some people in this world who get theselves into situations. Bert is one such person. Many moons ago I was visiting my dad in stoke. Bert was due to pick me up at Belfast International Airport but, of course, didn't he go to Belfast City Airport. So there I waited at International wondering where the hll Bert was and there bert waited at City Airport wondering where I was. While he was there an announcement was made over the intercom for a Mr. Orr to make his way to reception. So off Bert went fearing the worst and thinking the reason I wasn't there was beacause of some horrific plane crash.

So off Bert went and was met by a man wearing a suit. This man asked Bert if he was Mr. Orr to which Bert said yes and then he preceded to ramble at Bert about something totally unrelated to plane crashes. At this point Bert twigged that he wasn't the Mr.Orr this gentleman was looking for.

With still no sign of me Bert came to the logical conclusion that he was at the wrong airport (these were the days before everyone had mobile phones). Bert's ma Pearlie had come along with him for the ride and off they raced to Belfast International. It was between the two airports that Bert took a corner too fast and the van turned 180 degrees in the middle of the road. Pearlie remarked, That was a nice wee spin you took me on.

So ever since this fateful day Bert gets a little panicked when he has to do an airport run. You can hardly blame him.

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Woodwind Party

The party last week was pretty sophisticated compared to most of our shindigs. Not a single drop of blood fell from anybody's head the whole night although a couple of people may have suffered some adverse effects from the buns I made. The saxophone was brought out along with the claro to see if we had any potential jazz musicians amongst us. I think the general consensus was that we didn't. The Milky Bar Kid told Nelly he'd never been to a woodwind party before slyly whispering to Dirt Bird It's like at special school when they get the instruments out to play. Not very P.C. Milky Bar Boy but funny all the same.

Mrs. Banjo agreed that the jazz workshop session was pretty bad but where was Mr. Banjo to serenade us? Hovering over the sink looking a greener shade of pale. Actually, music was a bit of an issue the whole night. Ploppy Pants was playing bouncer at the stereo and kept switching off my music to put on his old-man-diddly-dee music. I had to set Dirt Bird on him but he couldn't hear her over the stereo.

But that was all last weekend and I can't remember too much anymore other than the highlight of my week was meeting someone called Rusty purely for the fact I think that Rusty is a great name to say. I have also discovered that using the word 'horrendous' to describe a 50 year-old chiropodist is not a good idea as he is likely to threaten you with the broomstick he's holding. I guess I just have that effect on people.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Clint on Trees

I think Weeping Willows are lovely. So lovely that I want to plant one. But it's always good to talk to people about things before you do them so I asked Bert's old school chum Clint who happens to know a thing or two about horticulture. I said to him:

Clint, do you know anything atall about Weeping Willows?

says he, Take nothing to do with them!

And then he proceeded to rant for about half an hour on the nuisances of Weeping Willows. So what kind of tree would Clint have me plant? When driving down to the Rare Breeds Show in Omagh, Clint commented,

That's a lovely tree.

And why's that Clint. Why is it a lovely tree?

It's that round.

Friday, May 23, 2008

A Wee Story

There was a young lass called Eliza. She decided she would make some special butter and with that special butter she would make some buns. She asked her stepfather Barnardo how to make the special butter. He told her, a wee bit o' this and a wee bit o' that and boil it all together. Eliza followed his instructions closely but what Barnardo had failed to tell her was that if she used a plastic spatula to stir the butter the spatula would melt. Whoops! But it was only a little bit and Eliza decided to continue making her special butter. And very well it turned out too.

When the butter was ready Eliza started to make the buns. She had made sure she had all the ingredients she needed. Barnardo had advised her, when making the buns, to use half of the special butter and half normal butter. But when it came to it Eliza had realised she'd used all the butter to make special butter. Oh dear!

She carried on regardless. The mixture was made, the buns were baking and Barnardo took to licking the bowl with great relish. We all agreed that the buns would be very tasty. When they were ready Barnardo didn't want any as he was already sat in a stupour. Eliza's mum had one and Eliza had one and some crumbs and some more crumbs. Then Eliza wrote this wee story about her special butter.