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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mud Madness

Well, Christmas went by in a busy, blurry haze. Work was crazy the whole week before. My one day of reprieve was Friday, which was meant to be spent meeting Zoe and the girls for early morning coffee, a bit of last minute present buying, wrapping and delivering, meeting Mel for a while and a little bit of chilling. On Thursday I had a doctor's appointment. We were crazy in work and I had to leave at half four to make the doc's in Cullybackey. The shop was closing at half five but I said I'd call back to get a bit more done. I was out of the doc's by ten past five, moms kindly picked me up and dropped me back in Ballymena. I spent half an hour in work before going to get my haircut. It needed it, badly. I was in and out of the hairdressers in twenty minutes. I went back into work and stayed til ten past seven. I went home, changed my clothes, briefly said hello to Jakers and headed straight back out to meet Dirt Bird at the pub. I was there fifteen minutes before she arrived and it was the first time I stopped all day.

Then Dirt Bird arrived and we hugged and chatted, and then more people arrived and we drank and we chatted. There were guitars and singing and new friends and old friends and it was one of those nights where Richard was begging us to leave so he could lock up. Clearly in the mood for more drinking and merriment Dirt Bird and I headed to someone's house with a few others. That was when things started getting a bit hazy. I do remember, however, that it was about 4 O'Clock in the morning before I suddenly declared that I had to go home and eat. And five minutes later some kind of warm cheesy toastie was place in front of me, of which I ate half and then proceeded to start a fight with Dirt Bird. The fight was very brief and we made up five minutes later, whilst crying and hugging on the sofa. By which time it was 7 O'Clock in the morning and Jakers was phoning me wondering where I was. He was up for training. So I made the short five minute walk home, but not without slipping in the muddy grass and arriving at the door to Jakers a drunken, emotional, muddy mess.

Needless to say that the next day was a total washout. None of which really mattered except not meeting Z for coffee. It was the first time I've ever let down a 2 year old because of booze and it did not feel good. I did meet Mel though and introduced her to the delights of a mint frappe. Perfect for an overhang.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My Lovely Laptop

I have just transferred all my music from the old laptop to my new baby, I mean, new laptop. This included the music I pillaged from mum's collection. I have also been on a crazed downloading spree. I am committing the mortal sin of using itunes as my medium of choice. I know it's blasphemous but it's just so handy. I am in music heaven. I never know what song's gonna play next but I know it's gonna be awesome.

I've been using LastFM to discover new music. You just have to put in the name of a band you like and it will reccommend lots of similar bands. Somehow, I stumbled upon the amazing Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros and they are my new favourite band. I love the fact the lead singer, Alex Ebert, looks like Jesus. I also love the fact that the band played their first gig in a place called Marfa.

Music never used to be something I had to work at to get. If I came across a band I liked I'd just go to my dad's CD collection and, more than likely, discover that he had every album they ever made. Sometimes I ask him now what I should be listening to. But sometimes he keeps secrets from me. Like Melissa Auf Der Maur. I had to discover her all by myself. I guess I'm a big girl now. Not only that, my dad is the odd time disappointed in me for liking someone he hates, like Jose Gonzalez and Ray Lamontagne.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Break Your Back Mountains

I have learnt something about myself. A few days ago I felt totally hopeless. I had given up on a lot of things. My patience ran out and I hit rock bottom, yet again. It's common knowledge that we often have to be in the depths before we can rise above everything again. Sometimes people's ups and downs in life can be more dramatic. When they are going up in life they are climbing Mount Everest. It's a long way up and a long way down. The ups and downs are more gradual, with longer gaps between reaching the summit and falling back down again. My ups and downs seem more like I'm climbing Slemish. More of a hill, really, than a mountain. I don't seem to go too far before I'm falling back down again. The cycle comes round again so much more quickly. I guess I should probably try climbing Everest.

And, I shouldn't dwell too much on the falling down part, just be greatful that I have the most amazing people in my life to help me back on my feet. And I guess I should look past the summit of little old Slemish and see the great rolling hills behind it. They're a bit snowy at the minute but they'll be thawed in a week or two.

In the meantime, it is Christmas and there is plenty to be getting on with. There is even time to sit in front of the computer wishing I could be as flexible and agile as Lil Crabe here who can only be described as a breakdancing contortionist. It takes him a wee minute to get warmed up but please give him time as he's pretty damn awesome.

Monday, December 12, 2011

I Wish

Why can't I feel like this instead? How come I was more mature back then? Something tells me I shouldn't write this post, feeling the way I do, but I don't care. I want the world to know how I feel. Yes, there are good break-ups, but when they're shit, they're shit. And this one's shit.

Apparently, many people will have you believe, the universe is unfolding as it should. If that is so then what the fuck is the universe trying to tell me? Because I'm bored of this unfolding and thinking that, finally, everything's gonna be ok only to be slapped in the face and right back at square one. Yes, I am talking about the unravelling of my relationship. But, I'm also talking about it all, life in general.

I have nothing solid or concrete. I have focused more on trying to be the best person I could rather than 'grounding' myself. Part of my quest for self approval (a tough one as I have very high standards) was to experience the world a little and broaden my horizons. And now I look back on my quest of self discovery and realise that achieving my dream of travel is what broke me in the end. So, how can I believe in anything anymore, let alone true love? And how can you have a soul mate if you have no soul?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Learning the Hard Way

It's hard to believe I'm turning 30 next year. Especially when I make the kind of foolish mistakes that shouldn't be made by someone who is nearly 30.

I've been suffering from a nasty cough for a few weeks now. Jakers had it before me and I was hoping I wouldn't get smited because I could see how it was one of those lingering ones. The cough, for me, is particularly bad at night so I bought myself a cough bottle. I have went through pretty much every single cold and flu of my life without medicating myself. The first real flu I ever had (a freshers flu at uni) I got by on just a vicks inhaler. I didn't realise I had flu because I never had one before. And, I wasn't aware of flu remedies.

So every single cold I've had I've just muggled on because it was never as bad as that flu. But someone told me recently "When you feel pain, that's God's way of reminding you to take painkillers". I'm not a of purist though. I have munched my way through endless packets of pills when I've been suffering from frequent bouts of toothache. But colds never seem to warrant medication.

So, I bought myself a cough bottle, which helped me get a half decent sleep at least. When the bottle ran out and the cough had not shifted I went to the medicine cabinet and hoked out a bottle of medicine I was prescribed for blocked sinuses and ears. I somehow equated this medicine with my Boots cough bottle. Medicine's medicine, surely? Especially when they both come in the same form of a gloopy, sweet syrup. Bound to soothe the throat. Well, it did. And I still only used it at night when the cough was worse.

After a few days of feeling woozy, lightheaded and weak I tried to think about what was making me feel this way. The fact that I've completely cut sugar and e-numbers from my diet made me think I could be suffering from sugar withdrawal. A quick search on the internet showed that some of the symptoms were similar but after two weeks the worst of it should have been over. I've been off sugar for two months now. Another quick internet search showed that the medicine pseudoephedrine is much more likely to be the cause. It is a nasal and sinus decongestant and does nothing at all for a dry tickly cough. It is also a stimulant and it's adverse effects include anxiety, excitability, dizziness and palpitations.

So, it seems, the pseudoephedrine is the culprit for why I feel so goddam awful. Everytime I breathe in I feel lightheaded and woozy. This wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have to constantly breathe in. But, sadly, I do. My energy levels are worse than they've ever been and I feel like I'm wading through mud. I have butterflies in my tummy and I just want to sleep for a million years. I threw the medicine in the bin yesterday but I guess I just need to work the rest out of my system. And, not only that, before I was taking the medicine my sinuses were 100 per cent and now I can feel them getting all sore and sensitive. At the grand age of 29, I have learnt the all important lesson of only taking prescription medicines for what they were, initially, prescribed for.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


So this makes sense: I have a facebook, flickr and blogger accounts. Why not roll it all into one?? Clever. Except that there's something I like about having it all seperate. My blogger is mostly for family to read about what's going on in my life (or what's not going on in my life). Sometimes I feel I should be sensible in my choice of what to share with the world. After all, it's a wide open space for all of cyberland to see.

Facebook is more for reminding everyone I ever kissed, hugged or got drunk with that I am still alive and still me. I can be a bit more open on Facebook knowing that only certain people can see my life.

Flickr is my photo account but the photos that I choose to share on it portray me as a doting aunt and a fairly normal human who gets out and about oncest in a while and takes nice photos of nice things.

The photos I upload to Facebook, however, portray me as a stupid, drunk, nearly-thirty-year-old who really is old enough to know better but is too stupid and drunk to care. People I don't want to see the photos don't. The ticket is to politely decline any unwanted friends and blame the ether for swallowing up all the data that was intended to be their friendshop request. I am well used to shrugging my shoulders and saying "technology". I will not go into how technology is much like a woman because I am a woman and that would be inappropriate. All's I will say on that matter is Spice Birds, Girl Power, where the f**k did that get us?

But anyway, back to the topic of Tumblr and rolling everything all into one handy account which would actually suit me very much as I find it difficult to remember more than one username and password combination. Do I opt for convenience over my right to split personality disorder. Do I succumb to being one boring, middle of the road me or do I cling on to the fact that in certain web spaces I can choose to show only the parts of me that I want to at that particular time? Who knows? Apparently this Tumblr thing isn't really gonna catch on until 2014 (this makes me laugh, how can they possibly predict such a thing?) so do I get in there early and when everyone else catches on I can declare it shite just as all the early facebookers did with bebo, or do I give in to the fact that I am deluding myself over the fact that I am so interesting as to have multiple cyber personalities? And maybe it's too late.

I Like The Way You Moo!

I stumbled across this. I'm not normally a lover of stupid things but I couldn't help laugh at this one partly because I like the original tune but, mostly because I like cows. And I like they they're big brown snouts.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Little Shop Of Sunshine

Okay, I need humoured. I have a plan. A very lucrative buisness plan. I was discussing it today with my work colleague, who is also my childhood best friend. I've told her, on many's a drunken night, that our paths did not meet again to fester away in a downtown shop making the rich man richer and make ourselves cynical and bitter. Oh no! We were destined for much greater things.

So, our plan involves running our own shop. This shop will sell everything handcrafted. A range of jewelry made from beads, silver, fimo and whatever else we can get our hands on. I'm thinking of covering all areas from classic to kitsch. There will also be a wood section. For years I've been saying to Bert, who's a bit of a wood whisperer, that he should get into the wooden toy market. I told him I would sell them in a heartbeat. I also know a few other people that are a dab hand at the arts and crafts. Basically, we would run the shop as a co-operative. Whoever wanted to sell their products could.

I like the idea of the workshop being open as well so that when people come into browse you don't have to be breathing down they're neck. Our shop would have a lovey ambient atmosphere. And it would smell like fresh watermelon and kiwi.

I'd like to make use of the beeswax out at Nellybert's. Unfortunately Burt's Bees is already a well known product so I think we'd have to think of another name for all the lip bams, hand creams and ointments I'll be making.

Obviously there'd be a photography section where local photographer's (not naming names, cough cough) could display and sell they're art. And I think it would be nice to offer a selection of tasty homemade cupcakes and muffins. Oh, and I forgot, I know a good few people who can knit up a storm :)

I got very excited when I was telling Jakers all about it. He says he could do a website for it. I like the idea of having a buisness that, if it worked, would benefit not only me but several members of my family and friends. I know it's a cut throat word out there and I know that I think about things in a somewhat naive way but sure, if it makes me happy for an evening.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A Cuddle With Charlie

So it's day 3 out at the Dreen. Mum and Bert are in Norfolk visiting Katkins. I am on duty. This is how the average day goes: I wake up. While carers are in with Pearlie I let out pigs and hens and feed them. I come in and light Pearlie's fire and make her tea. Give Bonnie her tablet and give all 3 dogs breakfast. Then it's time for a coffee for me. Quick wash and check on Pearlie's fire. In the evening there's the whole siege of putting hens and pigs back in and feeding the dogs, cats, Pearlie and me.

In between the morning and evening rushes there are endless cups of tea to be made, several trips to the shed for fuel replenishment, the odd egg to fry and (thanks to Charlie having an upset tummy) quite a lot of soiled newspapers to bin. I have also been able to squeeze in a bit of time for internetting, dog grooming and painting. I have also came up with clues for a treasure hunt for my youth group. I pillaged mum's music collection and did a bout of dowloading and so I now have my ipod up and running again. This is the most productie I've been. Ever.

Charlie has been etting on not too bad without mum and Bert and Judy. He hangs in the sitting room with me and tries to lark about with the other 2 dogs. Paddy positively hates him and Bonnie is not particularly keen on him either. So Charlie makes do with me and the cats. He's cuddling with me on the sofa now.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Kung Fu Come Do What You Do To Me

It's been all go go go here this week again. We had the builders in changing our heating syste from Economy 7 to gas. It's been totally worth the upheaval to have lovely toasty radiators and hot water on demand. We got a nice new gas fire put in, which is lovely for us but sad for the rats as the little gap underneath the old firelace was their favourite hidey hole.

In order for the gas to be changed we had to redd out the cuboards that had hel all the junk Jakers wouldn't let me throw in the skip when I first moved in. Seeing it all out on the floor made him realise that he needs to get rid of a good bit more junk. I wasn't allowed to chuck it all though as, I've recently learnt, Jakers has a strange sentimental attachment to certain broken objects. For example, he wouldn't let me throw away the, now useless, graphics card from his very first computer. Nor would he part with an old mixing deck that he and Dr. D had recorded many's a drunken tune on. I understand we all grow attached to inanimate objects but this, to me, includes things like teddy bears and old letters. The idea that anyone can become attached to technology seems ludicrous. Having said that, I don't think Jakers sentiments are wrong, I just find it odd how we can be so different.

Tonight is Jakers big night. I'm not saying anything about it until I know the outcome. This is because I don't even know if I'll want to write about it. He's excited and nervous. I've a feeling I should be too but I'm calm at the minute. Let's see how calm and colleted I am in a few hours!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011


Well, it's been busy and exciting times. I now have two gorgeous nieces instead of one and, I have to say, one of the highlights this year was being present when the two sisters were introduced.

On Saturday night Jakers and I went bowling with his mum, his brother and The Boyfriend. The mum's boyfriend that is, not his brother's boyfriend. We had a great wee night and it ended with many ciders, a few whiskies, a music sesh and pizza. Actually it didn't end there, it ended with me Jakers and his bro walking back home with Jakers shouting at me to hurry up while I drunkenly dawdled by behind claiming that I was just doing my 'own wee thing'. I'm not sure what 'my own wee thing was' because I went home and promptly passed out, fully clothed, on top of the bed.

Well, I had planned on doing a really nice thoughtful post on Sisters, y'know, because of my sister giving birth to a sister for her daughter. Just gets you thinking....but, unfortuntely, my train of thought was interrupted by Jaker's and a mate coming in from training, all full of testosterone and pumped up on protein shakes and doing stretches, manly ones of course. So it kinda rained on my sweet girly sentiments. I will keep for another day.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Good, The Bad And The Rest

Today I am feeling lazy. Too lazy to construct paragraphs. So I will sum up my week in a series of good and bad points. Obviously, being the sort of person that I am, I will start with the negative:

Bad Thing - Having wisdom tooth ripped out leaving me sore and naive :(

Good Thing - Jakers reading my mind and knowing that an omelette was exactly what I
wanted for dinner :)

Bad Thing - Rotten taste in my mouth due to aforementioned extraction :(

Good Thing - Off sweets, chocolates, biscuits and desserts for over a week and feel
great :)

Bad Thing - Off sweets chocolates and biscuits and a new and interesting sweet shop
has just opened :(

Good Thing - Successful driving lesson. 10+ roundabouts conquered :)

Bad Thing - Still shit at changing gears and general driving :(

Good Thing - Going round to Jaker's friends' for authentic Peruvian cuisine :)

Bad Thing - General annoyance at work :(

Good Thing - Tomorrow is Sunday :)

Monday, October 17, 2011


This is day five of no sugar. That is, no sugar in the form of sweets, chocolate, biscuits or desserts. I allow myself yoghurts and maple and pecan granola and fruit. It hasn't even been that difficult. I've had a couple of dreams of eating chocolates but in the dream I am disappointed in myself. I don't wake up in the morning disappointed that I have no sweets.

Yesterday Jakers and I headed out to Nellybert's for a little woodwork project. Last week I called into an old fashioned DIY type store in town. I thought it was Herbison's but that is the shop on the opposite side of the street (long closed now and nobody seems to remember what kind of shop it was). I called in on the offchance that he might sell bits of wood. Apparently not, and apparently I was a total eejit for even thinking so. He said to try a timber yard or B&Q both of which I scoffed at being no use. He then reached up to a shelf where one lonely, dusty box sat. It was some form of wooden shelves. It was no use but I noticed the many tubs of rat killer on the shelf below. I laughed and told the shopkeeper I wanted the wood for my rat cage. I was just about to leave when he went out the back and came out with a plank of wood.

'Would that be of any use to you' Says he.

'Oh aye, that would do the job alright. What will you take for it? Says I.

'Och, a pound will do' Says He.

'A pound? Sure take two for it.' Says I.

'Oh no, no, a pound will do.'

And with that I marched up the street with my plank of wood under my arm.

When I got home I showed it to Jakers. He asked me how much it cost and I told him, proudly, that it only cost a pound. Jakers was disgusted. I was ripped off. I paid a pound for an old dusty shelf that had fallen off the wall. And it was riddled with woodworm.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Farewell Sweet Friend

After many years of abusing my body with various things I have decided that it is time to give up one of my worst vices. You would think that smoking would be the obvious choice, and it will happen some day, but for now I plan to rid the evil sugar demon from my blood. Some people might be surprised to learn that sugar is just as hard to kick as heroin. Only joking, but it is as hard to kick as nicotine.

When you're addicted to sugar you never feel thirsty. I've often worried that my poor brain is dehydrated. I don't feel stupid or anything but it can't be good for me never being thirsty. Even when I'm in hot countries.

So last night I decided that me and sugar were not a good combination. If I merely had a 'sweet tooth' it would be ok but, unfortunately, I'm going to have to be an 'all or nothing' kinda girl when it comes to sweets. It's gonna be hard. Really hard. I'm the girl who dreams about sweets then wakes up disappointed because I have none, the girl who trawls around restaurants asking them if they will serve me dessert only, the girl who orders sweets online, I was going to be the auntie who let her niece try all the best sweets. Sweets and sugar have been such a massive part of my life for so many years. How will I ever cope? I also feel bad that I got Jakers hooked on the stuff. And him a purist who doesn't drink booze and only eats his dinner from Marks and Spencers.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Why It's Rude To Point

Oh, the perils of working with the general public! Picture the scene: A lady is sitting at one of our computers in work, picking some photos she would like printed. A man is at the other computer picking out a picture of his dog to put on a mousemat. The lady is sat at the computer with her back to the display wall. Behind her is a picture of Judy when she was a pup. The man decided on his picture and I took his details. As he was leaving I commented on what a lovely dog he had and pointed at the wall whilst asking "Would you like to breed your dog with that girl there?" But to the woman sat at the computer, who didn't know there was a piture of a dog behind her, it looked as if I was pointing at her. Fortunately everyone found it funny.

It was Jakers birthday on Friday. We were meant to go for a Birthday lunch but I slept in 'til 3 O'Clock so we went for dinner instead. During our meal we discussed, at length, how they had made the walls in the restaurant, where to find a sheep herding mongolian breeder (this is an ongoing private joke, which I am pretty sure no one else would understand) and we also pretended we didn't know each other and made up ridiculous answers to the standard first date questions. I think I enjoyed the banter ust as much as the food.

On Saturday morning I woke up ridiculously early, (apperently adults can't oversleep without paying for it the next night) but had a lovely day perusing the town and losing at bowling. Saturday night we rocked up at the Dreen Road for Jakers' Birthday celebrations. It was a bit of a sausage fest, as Bert so charmingly put it, but it was a great wee night with much guitar playing, singing and merriment. Dougie found it particularly good fun to accompany the dogs in some good ol' fashioned barking.

I then woke up on Sunday afternoon at 3 O'Clock (perhaps I am still a teenager after all). After a lovely week off I relished the last few hours of Sunday lying around being lazy. And now that summer is over I'm back to working 4 days a week. The difference in my pay is barely even noticeable and the extra day off a week is much more useful. So when I woke up this morning with a small groan I reminded myself that I only had to work 2 days and then I had another 2 days off. Woo to the Hoo!

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Making People Smile

Today I feel great. And not just because I'm off on holiday again. The reason I feel great is because I did something that made at least 3 people happy. When mum and I were clearing out the attic I came across a lot of old negatives. I called into work early on several mornings to scan and print them. The photos were of Bert, his mum and dad and extended family.

A lot of the photos featured a young Bert between the ages of 0-12. He seemed to have a grand old time on his farm with the hens and goats and tractor rides. They were very sweet photos. Very natural and wholesome which is something that is almost lost in today's modern photography (teenagers posing with tongues sticking out and 'Jordan pouts'). Amongst some of my favourites were Bert on his little trike, on which Pearlie had stuck on an 'L' Plate, Bert on his rocking horse, Bert and his father on the tractor, Bert hugging a hen in the lawn, Pearlie and Johnny sitting in the stacks of hay while a baby Bert played with the dog, Bert and the dog in the boot of the car. I could go on but there is just too many. The dog, although it wasn't always the same dog, featured in nearly all of the photographs. It is no wonder Bert is such a big fan.

There was a particularly lovely one with Bert in the arms of his father at the seaside. Bert is probably not even a year old and he's clutching onto his dad's tie. I got this one blown up and framed for Bert. I remember Johnny well. I, too, used to go for rides in the tractor with him. He was a kind, gentle man. Just like Bert.

I stayed at mum's last night and sat in with Pearlie while we looked at all the photos together and she told me who everyone else was. Her memory is as sharp as a tack. It was a nice way to spend time with her. And it also pleased me to know that she would get great pleasure going through them with her niece and her sister.

Work has been pretty tough lately with one thing and another but getting those negatives scanned has made me realise that the job I do makes a lot of people very happy. Selling photos is a buisness and there will always be buisness politics but I know that the people who leave our shop and show their photos to everyone are spreading much more happiness than the shops who are selling clothes. I'm sure you've never bought a pair of jeans that has put a smile on anyone else's face but your own.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Unleashing The Beast Within

My wee blog has been going for quite some time now. I'm not sure how long. Four or five years maybe. And though I have gained much happiness from it, at times, I've also found it hard. A chore. Sometimes it just wasn't in me to be funny or interesting or happy. But I never wanted my blog to become a forum for complaining. Another reason why I've found it difficult to maintain my blog is because it's not anonymous. Everything I write about I have to consider the (few) people who read it. I have censored myself so many times.

The obvious answer to this is to go create another blog, never give away my true identity, and say whatever the goddamn fXXk I want to say. I have done this three times. Each and everytime I have been pipped at the first post. I create my account (bearing in my mind that I also have to create a new email account to totally diassociate myself from this blog) and I can never rememeber my username and password combo. The last time I did it I briefly thought about writing down all my usernames and passwords so I wouldn't forget but, like every other time, I convinced myself I couldn't possibly forget. I have the same problem with my online halifax account.

So, my point is, I'm tired of censoring myself. I don't exactly have a big audience so why not say whatever the fXXk I want. And if that means posting a bit of offbeat 'poetry' then so be it. I unleash the beast within:

Tuesday came and and the promise that I'd made was broke,
The strain was too much,
What little strength I had left has faded into nothing,
The flame that flickered was blown out by a gentle gust of wind,
My eyes are not tired,
My brain is not tired,
But, oh my god, my soul is so weary.

And when my body is tired I can lie down,
When my brain is tired I can sleep.
But sometimes there is no rest,
For my soul that silently weeps.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Those of you who read my mum's blog will have already heard all about our escapades on Tuesday evening. There were, however, a few parts that she "forgot" to mention. Like the part where she nearly had to be admitted to Hollywell with the onset of early dementia. The reason for mum ending up in such a heightened state of craziness was because she could not get her carload of extras to the right Joe Bloggs' Farm. Though mum was not playing an extra she could have stole the centre stage with her dramatics.

When we finally found our location we had the best fun, literally, rolling around in the hay. We were working with Maggie Young on her music video 52 Acres of Barley. Me and Jakers had to play young lovers so there wasn't much acting on our part really. Except for trying to get away with looking like teenagers. My friend Pepe was playing Maggie's lover and he had the pleasure of being covered in lipstick and getting his top off. It was great fun and a pleasure to be a part of it. I'm still siinging the song in my head.

On Wednesday I helped mum with a bit of soul cleansing. She was well overdue a clutter clearout and she was lacking the vital skills which makes a clutter clearout successful. The vital skills basically consist of being a ruthless, heartless bitch. Neither mum or I trusted each other in the attic alone. Mum was trying to sneak useless 'toot' by me for keeping. I was trying to sneak useless 'toot' in the chaity box without her noticing. We were both caught out eentually. But at least there were no actual fights. And though it wasn't even my stuff or my house I enjoyed it immensely because I knew how good it would make mum feel to let go of a lot of materialistic baggage.

Yesterday evening Jakers had his little girl up. She'd brought her friend around and they amused themselves with Moshi Monsters on the laptop. I brought out the flatpacked coffee table that mum had bought from Ikea several weeks ago and decided she didn't want anymore even before it was out of the packet. I took it off her hands as we lack a coffee table and they are actually pretty useful. As soon as the girls seen me taking it out they were down on the floor with me helping me to put the legs on. And later, when I sat down to do some of my glow in the dark jigsaw, they sat down to help me with that. It just goes to show that kids will entertain themselves with TV and computers but, maybe, given the choice, they'd prefer to do something more practical.

So now it's Friday evening and I managed to squeeze in a bit of time to clean my flat properly so I'm sitting here relaxing and feeling pretty chufed with myself. It's been a great week and I still have two more sleep in's but, even better than that, today I had a driving lesson and I actually drove on real roads through the outskirts of the town and home again. I was so pleased with myself that my instrutor couldn't help being excited for me. As I was thanking him he said "You know, us instructors enjoy it too". And I was by no means a perfect driver but I was still driving, And not only that, I'm finally doing something that I had put off for so long. It was like a big box that hung over my head, waiting to be ticked. I am already planning the most epic of road trips :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

I Wish I Had A Hammock

It's Monday and it's so windy it would blow you into next week. I must take shelter for it would be a terrible shame to miss my week off. Can you tell how happy I am to be on holiday?

The dentist took an X-ray of my teeth. He doesn't yet know if my toothache is due to an abcess or my teeth grinding. Either way he's going to charge me a fortune. My teeth grinding is pretty bad. Many's a morning I have woke to find Jakers lying on the sofa. I'm getting fitted with a mouth guard which will sting me £50 and I will no longer be able to suck my thumb when I'm sleeping. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

The rats are being lazy today. I'm thinking of joining them. I wish I had a hammock though.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

You'll Find Me In The Dark

Woo! Hoo! I'm off work for a whole week. I'm not going anywhere but I don't think I'll have time to get bored. In fact, I suspect I may be busier than I would be in a normal week. I start the week off with a driving lesson. It's taking me a while but I don't even care. There's no point rushing myself because it wouldn't help me learn any quicker. I decided to book my self a few lessons close together though as I felt the one week gap was too long.

After that I have an appointment with the dentist. He is sure to charge me a fortune. The rest of Monday is mine though. On Tuesday I hope to join Miss Martha at the fun factory. Aunty Jayney is coming along as she adores Martha and Martha thinks Jayney is also very nice.

Also on Tuesday, weather permitting, I shall be hanging out on a farm to do cool stuff. I shall report more when it's happened. I also plan to help Nelly do a wile lotta redding out. I've told her we have to be ruthless. I think I get a little kick out of being ruthless. Only with clutter around the house though. There is something immensely satisfying about getting rid of things that lie around doing nothing.

I'm not sure what the rest of the week will hold but I'm looking forward to chilling out a bit aswell. I'm sure the rats will be lavished with plenty of attention. I'll probably go out and spend a fortune on toys for them. And, after all that, I hope I have time to do my new glow in the dark jigsaw. So, if you're looking for me, I'll be in a dark room trying to piece together the glow in the dark puzzle.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

Oh What Fun We Had

Lucky Miss Martha had the pleasure of hanging out with her Auntie Katy this week. Auntie Katy lives in Norfolk so doesn't get to hang with her darling niece that often. The day started as is does most days I stay over at Nellybert's. Martha came to wake me up and brush my hair. She then had her porridge (which must be said whilst nodding her head approvingly) and after breakfast it was time to explore the great outdoors.

Martha's dolly wanted to go for a swing but she's much too little to go on a grownup swing on her own so Martha accompanied her.

After all that Martha needed a rest so she hung about on the hammock putting her feet up.

After a good rest Martha was picking berries in the tunnel where she remembered that cat's exist. She tried to cuddle Holly but she was having none of it. I reminded Martha that it was Freddy who she liked. So off we went on a big hunt for Freddy. We tried the greenhouse, Pearlie's room, all the bedrooms and the shed. Eventually he turned up under the car. Martha petted him then chased him right up the back lane.

Finally it was time for Granny and Martha to go for a wee spin on the ninky nonk train. I think this was maybe the most fun part of the day for Martha. And for Granny. And for me.

As well as all that Martha managed to fit in time to bath Dolly who was in dire need of it, eat berries, complete an obstacle course and see the 'other piggies' who she has become rather fond of. We shall not tell her that one day those piggies might be 'nunch'.

Monday, August 22, 2011

My Favourite Photo

I love this picture. I don't know why I just do. Notice the pots and pans? It was New Year and Nelly had cooked up a storm. But it wasn't the Last Supper because, as you can see, the bread and wine is there but Jesus is not. He missed a good night though.

I like the fact that it's quite ambiguous. Marty is playing an instrument but, as it's body is hidden from view, he could be playing anything. He could be playing the hairy banjo. Jakers is also preoccupied with something in his hands. He could be playing the harmonica or he could be kissing a frog to see if it turns into a handsome princess. Who knows? I also like my guitar in the corner and the feather duster hanging with the kitchen utensils.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Hannah. Up.

Oh Thank God! I just got my first driving lesson over me and it wasn't actually that bad. I think the hardest part was phoning up and booking it. Hopefully this time next year I'll have my licence under my belt and I can then concentrate on that thing people call a "career". Who knows, I might even get a job as a taxi driver.

I had a lovely day yesterday with my mum and Martha. It occurred to me that what we here from a toddler's mouth is only a tiny fraction of what's going on in their head. For example. I stayed over at mum's and was sstill lying in bed when mum brought Martha up to see me. Martha said "Hannah. Up." and "Hannah. Hair." Of course, what she really meant was: Good lord Hannah look at your bedhead, it's a total mess, and what are you still doing in bed anyway, I've been up for hours.

Another example is when Bert tpld me that Martha is a porridge purist. She never lets you put anything on her porridge. As Bert scooped oranges into his bowl he asked Martha if she wanted some. She didn't say yes and she didn't say no but she looked at Bert as if to say: You ask me this every week Bert. You know I don't want stuff on my porridge.

But because she didn't say no Bert put one tiny segment of orange onto her plate which she looked at disdainfully. She then spooned out the orange, held it up to me and said "Hannah. Try." She is one cute cookie. And the orange was very nice. I don't know why Martha doesn't like them on her porridge.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

A Sweet Sweet Song

This doesn't happen very often anymore:

I wish I could buy that tree over there,
And from it, I'd hang up a swing,
And my mum, she could sit,
While I play my guitar,
And the tree, a sweet song she would sing.

And the song that she sings,
With her roots in the soil,
Is a comfort to all that can hear,
And my mum swings along, to the sweet, sweet song,
And whispers "I love you, my dear".

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

A Bite Of Every One

Martha has learnt how to say Hannah. She still likes to call me Ha though. I missed her when she was on her holidays. Mum, Ben, Martha and I all met up with a few members of the clan (the Byrne clan, that is, not the KKK). It was a lovely day and it was also my dad's birthday. Happy Birthday Dad! It would have been my Granny's birthday too so it was nice to do something as a family.

Dirt Bird was home and, as always, it was a pleasure catching up with her. She was here for her brother's wedding. Her brother was marrying a girl from Slovakia and all the guests were given a box of Slovakian cakes and pastries to take home. When I eventually did get home I was craving a little sugar so I opened my box of Slovakian delights. I was so so eager to sample all the different varieties that I couldn't space it out over a few days so I took a single bite out of each one. The next morning Jakers wanted to try a bun. Then I had to tell him that I had, pretty much, just spoiled whole box of buns. Sorry babe.

Young Ben has been hanging out on the farm at Nellybert's. Young Ben who is wise beyond his years. On the 12th night BBQ Ben was mighty impressed with Wee Dill's guitar playing skills. He came out and said to Wee Dill's housemate Dr. D. "That guy's amazing at the guitar but he just has to believe it himself" But then I am reminded of his youth when he tells me that he was talking to Dirt Bird's mum, who's a teacher at his school. He asked if she knew Dirt Bird. Dirt Bird's mum said no and asked who this Dirt Bird was, to which Ben replied "Is she not your daughter?"

Rocky has been sporting a bad foot. The vet's given him medicine which he lapped up with milk, he's content enough to lie snoozing in his hammockand Pepe's pretty pissed off that he's getting special treatment. But she is being quite considerate by letting him have the hammock to himself. For now. And we'll have to keep them separated when we can't keep an eye on them. The vet said he was a good boy though. I really hope Pepe never has call to go to the vet 'cause I think she'd be a nightmare.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Gone With The Wine

So Amy Winehouse has finally croked it. That sounds awful, I know, but that's my reaction because it was only a matter of time. I don't think anyone is surprised and that's sad. It's sad that she's dead, obviously, but it's also sad that we almost expected it. I think if the bookies were taking money more people would have bet she would die before she would make a new record.

And I don't get it. It's not like she's the first rock or pop star to die, or even die from drink and drug overdose. But most of the other famous causualties actually had a career for longer than a few years. It just all happened so quick. She shot to fame, she lived the lifestyle, she went too far, she descended into a dark, seedy world where she no longer had control. I can't help but blame the media. I think they grind people down to nothing. And the reason why Kurt Cobain, Jim Morrison and Sid Vicious left a legacy behind is because they stayed wise enough and straight enough to put in the time and make good music for longer. My point is, there was no reason why Amy Winehouse couldn't have sorted herself out, worked on her career again and make a massive comeback. There was talent there in the first place and that never leaves you. The girl had a great voice and the soul behind it to carry her. But for her it was easier to get wasted than have to live up to people's expectations.

Anyway, all that aside, she was a human being, someone's daughter, someone's friend. You don't get to my age and not know someone who's died through drugs. Thankfully, nobody ever close to me but it's always sad. And I just think of all the people who really knew Amy and how they must feel.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Rocky Speaks Out

Work has been a nightmare this week. They say never work with anilmals or children but anyone who says that doesn't work with technology. My job depends on computers and printers. When they don't play ball it causes endless problems. But, I'm off today. Except that I'm not really off because I'm volunteering with my youth group. Lately I've had an overwhleming urge to climb a mountain. Today we are going orienteering which is the next best thing to climbing a mountain. When I told my boss this he said, "Please don't get lost Hannah, we need you on Friday". Either he hasn't a lot of faith in my orienteering skills (not sure I can blame him) or he thinks life is a movie because anyone who goes on such expeditions in a movie is bound to get in a spot of bother. Personally, I don't mind if I get lost. It may be preferable to going back to work. I just hope I don't run into any bears. Ireland is hotching with bears. Ask Nelly.

Anyway, Rocky was a bit raging that Pepe got to post on my blog and he wants a wee turn at it so here is, Rocky the Rock Star:

Hi everyone,

I know you've heard a lot about me but that was from Hannah's point of view and she doesn't speak Rat and I think she's waaaaay off the mark. Firstly, I am not stupid I am just bone idle. Yes, I like to stuff my face and, yes I like to sleep for hours in my hammock while Pepe runs around like a mental skittish bitch (hope I don't get into trouble for calling Pepe a bitch)but it was them who insisted on getting my balls chopped so now my only pleasures in life are sleeping and eating. Having said that though, I do so love to get out a wee scoot. Hannah and Jakers let us 'free range' round the living room, and though it'ss only a wee living room to them, it's practically a whole country for us. I love jumping up on the window sill and looking out over the universe. I also like to have a wee nibble at the Parrot plant they keep there. Well, that's all for now, I just wanted to set the record straight that I am not a dumbass. I'm actually quite sensitive.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What Girls Get Up To

Inspiration has been thin on the ground just lately. I find when your busy doing stuff there's no time to think about interesting tings to write about. And I have been a busy girl, what with the alternative 12th BBQ and general summer merriment.

I stayed over at my friends last night to keep her company while her parents are on holiday. Her cousin informed us of a ceriain internet phenomenom called Chat Roulette. Well, it involves switching your web cam on and chatting (or otherwise) to someone half way across the world. If you don't want to chat you hit a button and you see someone else who you may want to chat (or otherwise) to. Obviously it's a total breeding ground for exhibitionists wanting to show off their assets in the hope of enticing someone to do a little more than just chat. I guess that's where the roulette part comes in because every time you hit the button you don't know if your gonna be staring at someone's face or someone's assets. Needless to say, we are innocent girlies and we did a lot of shrieking. We also sang Danny Boy to some Jamaican lads.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Spoilt Ratten

We got a new sofa yesterday and I can't beelieve how good it is. The rats can finally go free range (and hopefully start laying some eggs). When they escaped it was a nightmare getting them back because the old sofa had holes in it which Pepe liked to climb through and hide. Attempts to retrieve her often resulted in a fierce bite.

The new sofa has no holes and all we had to do was barricade the TV so they couldn't hide in Wire City and they were able to run loose. I realise that having a couple of rats running round your living room doesn't appeal to everyone but domestic rats are very clean animals and will hold their poohs and pees in til they get back to their cage. Also, it fills my heart with glee to hear the pitter patter of their feet as they scuttle about.

Up til now we have let them roam on the sofa. They crawl all over us, using our shoulders to jump to the top of the sofa where they like to snuggle when they get bored. And that's the thing, they do get bored and need lots of things to keep them entertained. It's Saturday night and I reckoned watching the rats run about the room was a much more worthwhile pursuit than going out and getting blocked.

We thought it might be hard getting Pepe back into the cage again but she didn't put up a fight and she was rewarded with a nice bit of cheese. Rocky never gives us any bother so he got cheese too. They actually looked like happier rats after their little taste of freedom. And we were happy and proud that it was such a success. I said to Jakers "See, we're good parents after all."

It's been a Rocky road at times but now I know that those rats have all they could ever wish for, and more.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Pepe's Post

I didn't realise it but tonight was my last night volunteering until September. It'll be nice to have a break for a few months but, now that I have a spare evening free every week, I think I should use it as an opportunity to start driving lessons. To be honest, the thought repulses me but I am only putting off the inevitable.

But.....someone else has something to say. It's Pepe the rat:

Hey there,

Well, Hannah thought that Rocky would be the first to guest blog but he hasn't learnt to read or write yet 'cos he's a thicko. I think the fat has clogged up his arteries and the blood doesn't flow to his brain so good. I used to have lots of adventures round the flat. One of my favourite places was behind the TV where all the wires were. I never nibbled them. I waited until Hannah or Jakers put their hands in and nibbled them instead. Except, they didn't like me nibbling them and always shouted at me. I don't get out and about as much these days since me and Rocky got the new cage. I do like it. I especially like the soft flannel hammock. Sometimes me and Rocky just lie in there all day long. I'm not sure what I make of Hannah and Jakers. They're ok sometimes and give me bits of ham or cheese or fruit but sometimes I just want to bite them, just for the hell of it. And sometimes I have a good scrap with Rocky. Ok, that's all for now, I'm ready for a nice big snooze in the hammock. Cheerio

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Summer At Last

Today it actually felt like summer. The sun shone bright with only a ight breeze in the air. I woke up late but not too late. I drank coffee 'til I was sufficiently alert. I hung washing and washed dishes. We went out for a dander round the town. Bumped into Pepe Le Pew and his girlfriend who is not a black cat with a stripe down her back. We stopped off for a pint of interesting cider. Jakers' cider was interesting because it was alcohol free. Mine was interesting because it wasn't Magners or Strongbow.

We also took a walk to look at a new prospective house. It looks lovely and if I could wish for anything right now it would be to have that house. This depends on the rent being affordable and the landlord choosing us over anyone else interested in it. But, as with everything, if it's meant to be it will be. I hope it is.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Granny's Stew

Remember the job I applied for a while back. Well it turns out that failing to mention that I do voluntary work didn't really matter as I got home from work yesterday to find the application form sent back to me because I hadn't paid enough postage. It was 12p. 12p for fuck sakes. The best of it is, Dirt Bird sent me a letter and it didn't have enough postage paid but they sent it to me anyway. And what use is it returning a letter to the sender 6 bloody weeks after they've sent it. Complete and utter incompentence on Royal Mail's behalf. I refuse to take responsibility for not putting another 12p stamp on the envelope.

As annoying as it is I didn't have much faith in getting the job anyway and I just take it all as a sign that it wasn't meant to be. Ho well.

I've been staying at Nellybert's once a week. This is mutually beneficial as I'm pretty sure that mum and Bert like having me around and I get to have yummy dinners like Granny Stew (basically Irish stew but always tastes better when cooked by a Granny). Another perk for me is getting to cuddle with Harry and Judy. Judy climbs into bed with in the middle of the night and I wake up with her underneath the blankets. She wakes up with me in the morning, hangs about 'til I leave for work and then runs upstairs to mum's bed for more cuds and snugs.

I've been living in the town for a good while now and have forgotten the ways of the countryside. I was outside when I saw a strange small object on the ground. I picked it up and it was hard and slightly curved like a small banana. I inspected it closely and wondered if it was a claw from some kind of sea creature. Then I saw the indistinguishable marks and squealed as I realised I had picked up a hard, dry, dead slug. Yuck!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Dinner By Willy

Last night was a great wee night. I had a hot date with Jakers. We went for a romantic meal at Whetherspoons. Obviously Whetherspoons is the least romantic place to go for a meal but it's where I wanted to go because they serve interesting cider. After our bite to eat (which, unsurprisingly, was rank)we headed over to the Fairhill bar where there was a folk gig on for charity.

Jakers and I made a donation and were entered into a raffle. I said to him, "We're gonna win something, I know we are." And we did. We won a meal for two, cooked by a fella Willy, who is, apparently, an amazing chef. He sat down to discuss what we'd like on the menu. I said chicken and his face fell. Chicken wasn't exciting enough. When I said fish, his face lit up. We were told by others that we were in for a treat.

It would have been a great night even if we hadn't won anything but it was definitely the icing on the cake. And we have a delicious meal to look forward to. Though I'm not a big fan of fish so I hope he really is as amazing as everyone says.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Phantom Tooth Ache

Today I feel weird and a bit queasy. Yesterday I felt numb. But not too numb to not want Irish stew. I think I wanted Irish stew because it reminds me of my granny and I needed a bit of comfort. I have had an awful cold and I've had toothache where there are no teeth. I've heard of people getting phantom pains after a limb has been amputated. A quick google search lead me to the conclusion that the pain was referral from my sore, infected sinuses. Also, this morning, something slipped down the back of my throat and it felt kinda like a small chunk of my brain.

Today is the first day of my life. My new life. The one that will be good and happy and niiice. I have decided that and it's up to no one else but me. I may feel a bit weird and queasy but it's better than feeling numb.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

When My Teeth Go Green

A few weeks ago I ordered some sweets off the internet. You might think this is a silly thing to do considering I can buy sweets in practically every shop I go to. But I'm 29, I've eaten a lot of sweets and I like to spice things up a bit by trying a few different things that can only acquired via the world wide web. The best bit was, by the time the sweets finally arrived, I'd forgotten what I'd ordered.

I got home this evening to find a note from the post man saying they'd tried to deliver a parcel but it was too big for the letterbox. They normally take it back down to the delivery office where you have to pick it up in person but this time the postman left it with our 'designated neighbour'. We don't have a designated neighbour and I was quite concerned that Mr. M. in 50A was chowing down on my sweets. He didn't though. He called round with the parcel earlier and I opened up, literally, a box of delights. Like I say, I'd totally forgotten what I'd ordered. So now I have a big box of sweets consisting of; red and black beaded berries, rose and lemon turkish delight, raspberry flavoured vampire teeth (a personal favourite), violet bud boiled sweets, banana and mango boiled sweets and a bag of strawberry flavoured tongues. It's all about appreciating the small things in life.....and having enough money in the bank to pay the dentist when my teeth go green.

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Our First Date

I was off on Monday and had energy for nothing. It wasn't even like I'd had a wild weekend and was still suffering. I just felt really lethargic. So on Tuesday I went to work heavy headed and dreading the extra 3 hours voluntary work that I had in the evening. It ended up being great though. I had acupuncture for the first time and it was bliss. It helped that I was relaxing on a massaging chair as well. So I slept like a baby on tuesday night. On Wednesday evening I went to a spin class. This involves 45 minutes on an excercise bike pedalling like a maniac. It's pretty hardcore at the time but I felt really good after.

Tonight Jakers was teaching me how to box. I enjoyed that too but then he decided he was gonna put me through my paces with a few press ups and squats. He pushed me til I could take no more which I knew he would and that's why I never agree to ecercise with him. We went out for dinner at the weekend and it was, pretty much, our first date. We've never been out for a meal as a couple. We went out to the new Indian restaurant and our waitress had just started that night. She was sweet and I'm not really used to tipping but we left her one so that the boss knew she was doing a good job.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My Eyes Are Dull

Hahahah this made me laugh a lot. I was thinking that my eyes aren't as bright an twinkly looking as they should be so I typed "my eyes are dull" into google thinking it would lead me to some health food sites telling me which vitamins are good for sparkly eyes. Instead I found this. Seemingly Catholics all round the world are right and masturbation is bad for you.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Rat Bite Fever

This whole week I've been unable to finish anything that I've started to write. I've just deleted a post about Pepe biting me this morning. But then I realised that all I really needed to say was; Pepe broke out, I tried to catch her, she bit me pretty badly, I was cross but now I feel sorry for her. There was also the email that never got sent and the letter I wrote to my friend that I gave up on. I will write to my friend but I'll start a new letter. And I will send that email, when the time is right.

Today was a mixture of loveliness, annoyance (rat bite), physical activity, and paranoia (will I get rat bite fever?). I had a lovely time with Miss Martha pushing her about in her car and looking through the box of farm animal figurines. There's a figurine of a woman in dungarees carrying a bucket of eggs who Martha liked to call 'Mummy' and there's another woman, dressed in a blue mini skirt and knee high black boots and she was, naturally, christened 'Ha'. God knows why though because Martha has never, and will never, see me dressed in a blue mini skirt and knee high black boots.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Big Guns

Rocky Minding Pepe by hootchinhannah
Rocky Minding Pepe, a photo by hootchinhannah on Flickr.

Between the heavy presence of police out to deal with the bomb scare on Wednesday, and the meeting of a seriously massive body builder you could say that I've seen a lot of big guns this week.

There's Rocky minding Pepe there and he too, like his namesake, has big guns. Though they're mostly fatty guns as opposed to muscly guns. I was looking online to see if I can get them harnesses and leads. Jakers doesn't approve though as the only decent ones we can find are pink and there's no way he's dressing his boy rat in pink. Says it's bad enough he's got no balls.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Perhaps I Should Have Mentioned....

I really am a bit of an eejit. I've applied for a new job in the caring profession, working with kids, and I clean forgot to mention on the form that I do voluntary work, with kids. I'm really quite annoyed with myself as, after all, one of the main reasons for volunteering was to help me get a job more suited to what I've studied. Anyway, that aside, I wasn't holding out for the job. I know the score by now. Quite often they already have someone lined up for the job but they have to go through all the necessary procedures. What will be will be and at least I like the job I'm in already.

Today was a good day in work. No bomb scares (yesterday we were evacuated for nearly 2 hours because of a hoax call) which is always a plus, though we did have a biker guy ask if he could leave his jacket and helmet in the shop for 10 minutes, which, really we probably shouldn't have. But we'd also just taken his photo for a passport so we figured he wouldn't be leaving any bombs as we had photographic evidence of what he looked like.

Also, two of my favouritist customers were in and one brought me maltesers (cos she knows they're my favourite), and the other brought in her big body builder son who, apparently, I was flirting with. I don't even like muscly men.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


I just woke up about 10 minutes ago and went about my usual morning buisness; took the lid off the rats tank, replaced their bowls with fresh water and food, made coffee, sat down for a smoke, truned the lapton on, checked emails. Then I looked at the time. 14:58. How in the hell did I manae to sleep 'til that time? That's 15 hours sleep! My one day off this weekend was spent sleeping. I feel robbed!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Because I'm Worth It

Today was lovely. I woke up early and surfed the net and drank coffee. I had a bath and drank more coffee. Then I went to town and bought myself expensive face cream. L'Oreal: Because I'm worth it.

I bought Jakers lunch and took it into his work. His lunch consisted of a burger in a pastie and a pink iced bun. I went home. I surfed the net and drank tea. I prepared a batter mix for Staffordshire oatcakes. I left it to sit. I washed dishes and cleaned floors.

Mum called and we went for coffee. I had a cinnamon and apple scone. I came home. I kissed Jakers and cooked up my oatcakes. I wasted about a third of my batter mix before I came anywhere close to getting something that resembled an oatcake. By the time I had finished I had perfected the technique. I left the oatcakes to cool. I kissed Jakers and headed out to my voluntary work.

Some of the kids wanted to do music and were disappointed I hadn't brought guitars. I called Jakers and asked him if he would meet me halfway with the guitars. Boys got guitars and were happy. A somewhat productive music session occurred.

Got home at 9. Positive reports on the oatcakes. Tried some myself and was pretty chuffed that they tasted like they were meant to. Promised Nelly I'd throw some her way but, since I ruined half the mix and discovered that Jakers is a big fan of the Stafforshire oatake, I might have to make her wait 'til the next batch is made.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Dog Frisbee

When I go back home to visit Nellybert Judy Dog is always super pleased to see me. She loves me y'see. Though she is a bit of a floozie and a tart as she has a major soft spot for Young Loveheart aswell. According to Bert it would 'sicken ye' the love and adoration Judy bestows upon Young Loveheart when he's visiting. A few weeks ago I was informed by mum and Bert that, should they both be kllled in a freak accident, Judy would go to ilve with Loveheart. Well. I. Never!

The rage! The pure shock and disgust I felt at learnng that I would not be Judy's next of kin. Over my dead body says I. So last week was the first time that myself, Young Loveheart and Judy were in the same room. He called Judy over. She ran to him like a big wet blanket and cuddled into his chest. Wee bitch. So I called her over. She ran to me without even so much as a backward glance at Loveheart. Score! She's my dog, she loves me. She loved me dearly until she was called away again to cuddle with the enemy. We played dog frisbee for a while until even my sister Katy said that Judy should go live with Loveheart. Betrayed by my own flesh and blood. Not once, not twice but thrice.

I threatened to take Loveheart to court over the custody of Judy and he promised me I could have visiting rights. But this is just all wrong. I was living at home when Judy was a tiny pup. I cuddled her, sang to her, bought her dog toys and nurtured her. And I bet she has never even licked Loveheart's toes. She's licked mine.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

How Can That Be?

It's not often that me and Jakers have intellectual conversations but this is one we had the other day. It started with me reading his t.shirt that he got for taking part in the marathon. It read: The Belfast Marathon's 30th Year 1982-2011.

Me: How can it it be the Belfast Marathon's 30th Year?

Jakes: I know, i thought that?

Me: Because it's 1982-2011, that can't be 30 years.

Jakes: I know.

Me: Because we were born in 1982 and we're not 30 'til next year?

Jakes: I know, that's what I thought.

Me: And for it to be 30 years it would have to end in an even number and 2011 is an
odd number.

Jakes: I know.

Me: And it would have to end in the number 2!

Jakes: I know.

Then I proceeded to count (on my fingers) from 1982 to 2011 and, sure enough, it was 30 years. This fries my head a wee bit.

But anyway, the point of this story is to congratulate Jakers in his participation of this year's (the 30th year) Belfast marathon. Well done baby! He had sore knees but the rats kissed them better.

Friday, May 06, 2011

When You're Washing Up

This is an excerpt from Paulo Coelho's The Witch Of Portobello:

"When you're washing up, pray. be thankful there are plates to be washed; that means there was food, that you fed someone, that you've lavished care on one or more people, that you cooked and laid the table. Imagine the millions of people at this moment who have absolutely nothing to wash up and no one for whom to lay the table"

Thursday, May 05, 2011


Usually, I'm not too bad at expressing my emotions through words but, now, I just can't seem to find the right ones. All I know is that I feel sad and however sad I feel I know that this must be ten fold for my mum and her brothers and sisters.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

By pure sheer luck I managed to be off work for five full days. Feeling the itch in my feet I decided to take myself down to Derry for a night. I was gonna go by myself, stay in a hostel, walk around, read my book and drink coffee. But there are two absolutely amazing people in Derry, Magda and Steve, who I met at university and hadn't seen in years. I dcided to give them a shout in case they fancied meeting. Then I realsied that Dirt Bird was home for Easter so she came along too and we had a lovely, lovely time. But it was more than just a lovely time for me. It was healing for my soul. If I spend too long without some kind of adventure I feel restless and discontent. I used to think that I had to travel half way round the world to settle this urge but I've realised that even just gettig out of Ballymena helps.

We met Magda and a few of her other friends and went to Sandino's where we were entertained by an eclectic mix of live music. We then headed back to Magda and Steve's where we were fed mojito's and pizza. The next day we had a lovely breakfast in their garden, a stroll along the beach and yummy icecream at a traditonal cafe. We were very well looked after.

Last night I was at my mate's birthday party. It was a fun night playing drinking games and being silly. Today I could really do with a mint frappe (my new favourite hangover cure) but I'm going to have to settle for juice and doughnuts. Oh well.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ha Boot Da Ha

If my niece knew what a birthday was this is probably what she'd say to me. And though she's not quite old enough to be aware of birthdays she still made me a lovely birthday card and came round to visit me. She brought her mummy and her two dogs with her. I made tea for the adults, Martha got a wee taste of mint milkshake and the poor dogs had to settle for a few rat kibbles.

After being at the zoo yesterday you'd have thought that the rats would have been boring to Martha but not atall. She thought they were great. And you'd have thought the rats would have been nervous with two dogs around but they are far too cocky to be scared. In fact, Maya was much more scared of the rats than they were of her.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Flat Warming and Rat Warming

It feels like such a long time ago that I had anything of any real worth to write about. In a way it's a good thing. My time is occupied doing stuff, rather than writing stuff. The stuff that i do isn't so exciting that I feel the need to write about it. I go to work. Work is fine. For the first time in a long time I'm happy in my job. I volunteer once a week at a youth club. Sometimes it feels like there's not much point me being there but a lot of the time I feel I'm doing something worthwhile. I encourage some of the lads to make cards and last week I brought the guitars down for them. Sometimes I just play pool or chat with them.

I get to see my darling niece on a regular basis which I could write about at great length but I am aware that, whilst this is great for me and my family, it's not great reading for people who don't know me. It's an utter delight though to see her smiling at me, or hear her giggling when we play peekaboo.

There's also the rats of course, which are another endless source of delight. Rocky is getting fatter and fatter. Pepe's definitely not pregnant but she's earning herself the reputation of being the naughty one. We talk about the rats so much that mum says she dreads to think what we'll be like if we have kids.

It's my birthday this friday so I'm having a party to combine our flatwarming ratwarming and my last year of being a twentysomething. So that's my life at the minute in a nutshell. I'm happy and content but lacking in a bit of inspiration But if that's the least of my worries I'm doing alright really.

Monday, April 04, 2011

Bad REaction

I do love my darling ratscals but, unfortunately, I've discovered that I'm allergic to them. This is what happens when their wee tiny clws even so much as slightly scrape my skin. My skin burns for about ten minutes then these huge itchy blotches appear. I've never reacted to anything quite so violently. Thankfully it settles down after half an hour and just leaves me with a bit of an itch. And this happened as a result of Pepe climbing up and down my back so I'll just have to avoid that in the future or wear thicker clothes.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Dead Cat Or Sleeping Cat?

I was saying yesterday that it would have been the perfect day if I didn't have a dentist appointment. Well, it ended up being pretty perfect after all. The dentist said it was a superficial filling and I could chance it without having my mouth froze. This meant the rest of the evening wasn't ruined by numb gums,

When I got back Jakers and I decided to go for a walk to make the most of the nice evening. We dandered up through the park to Sentry Hill where I spent a good few of my teenage years drinking cider and hooch. We realised that when we were kids we lived round the corner from each other. It's so strange to grow up in a town like this and never have ran into each other before we were 25. Just before we were leaving I asked if we could go to the clearing where we used to hang out. It's obviously not a popular hangout spot anymore as it's totally overgrown. Then I saw something and I asked Jakers "Is that a sleeping cat or a dead cat?". As it turns out it was neither, it was a teenage fox cub enjoying a siesta in the sun. It stirred slightly and we stood and enjoyed the moment for a while before letting it dream of cunning ploys to catch chickens. It maybe wasn't quite as magical as when I stumbled upon Freddy's encounter with a fox but it definitely made it a perfect day.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Nearly Perfect Day

Every morning I wake up and look into the rats tank and check they're ok. This past few mornings I've noticed that they're food bowl is upturned. The food's always lying scattered about so they don't do it as a protest for more food. I think it's much more likely that they're trying to suss out a way that they can use they're bowl to escape.

They've been very lazy ratscals today but right now Rocky is giving Pepe's ears a thorough grooming. Pepe is still a bit nervous when we take them out. Rocky gets more and more confident by the day. Balls? Ha, who needs them? We are discovering that sliced ham is definitely one of their favourite treats. They prefer red grapes to green ones and they don't seem to like the special chocolate drops we got them.

Today has been, without a doubt, the nicest, warmest, sunniest day of the year. Let's hope it's not the last either. I met Zoe and Martha in the park and gave Zoe back some books that I'd borrowed about 4 years ago! At the minute I'm reading The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho.

Now I have to go to the dentist and get a nasher filled. Could have been a perfect day if it wasn't for that.

Saturday, March 19, 2011


There's only one thing better than seeing my niece once a week and that's seeing her twice a week. On Tuesday my friend and I took Miss Martha to the park. You can't go wrong at the park really, unless there are no ducks and no bouncy horsey thing. Martha enjoyed feeding the pigeons but she didn't think much of them pecking at her lovely shoes.

After a spell on the slide, swings and the bouncy horsey thing I took her up to meet the rats. At first she was a bit annoyed at Jakers taking her pram up the stairs. I think she thought he was stealing it. It occurred to me that Martha is already aware that the pram belongs to her and her mummy and without it she wouldn't be able to go to all the nice places, like the park, so you could see why she wouldn't want anybody stealing it.

When she saw the rats she smiled but the closer she looked at them the more confused she seem to be. She said 'bird' and she said 'dog' and then, when she realised she didn't know what they were, she got a little fretful and didn't like them quite so much. On Thursday we done a bit more hanging out at the park and hanging out with Gra' and Great Gra' She loves her Gra's very much.

Rocky's definitely healing up pretty good and doesn't seem to hold anything against us for taking away his manliness. Pepe did a good job at looking after him and though there still a bit nervous around us they seem like they're pretty happy rats. Rocky has a little adventure under one of the chairs when my mate Emma let him free range round the floor. Of course, I was completely nerotic and thought he'd be there forever or we'd squish him trying to force him out. We got him out eventually and he seemed rather pleased with his first proper adventure. It will be the first of many no doubt.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Trip to the Vits

Rocky survived his operation. I left him in yesterday morning and picked him up in the afternoon. I have to say, I wasn't overly struck by the Vet's staff. When I phoned up to check if Rocky was ok the receptionist left me on hold for for ages, long enough for me to to convince myself that Rocky hadn't made the operation, he was dead and nobody could face telling me. I was left on hold for so long I hung up. I tried to phone back about a dozen times and each time the number was busy. I texted Jakers telling him I thought Rocky might be dead. I phoned the Vet's again. They answered. It was a different receptionist and she went to check on him leaving me on hold again. I thought I was going to be left for ages but then she came back telling me that Rocky was ready for home. The relief. Honest to God, if this is what I'm like with a rat what kind of mother am I going to be?

So we went to pick him up and were greeted by a different receptionist who felt that it was too much effort to say 'Hello, how can I help you?'. I told her we were there to pick up Rocky the rat and, without smiling, she clicked a few buttons on the computer and said "That's thirty-six pounds fifty". She was so dour Jakers said he was expecting her to say "Computer says no". And when the vet came out with Rocky in his shoe box she wrinkled her nose and asked why anyone would want to keep rats. To be fair, she knew her stuff and answered all our questions but why would you be a vet if you didn't like rats?

Anyway, we got Rocky home and he felt very sorry for himself but still managed to eat. Pepe was pleased to see him and went in for a cuddle but when Rocky lay in his clear plastic tube, writhing in pain and discomfort, she knew to let him be. Rocky spent the night in a separate cage and Jakers reunited them this afternoon. Rocky is still not rightly at himself. He's a bit more comfortable than he was last night but he's doing a lot of sleeping and lying on top of Pepe. He's also doing a lot of munching so he must be on the mend.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Yet Another Post About....

.....RATS! They're adorable and maybe, one day, I'll stop writing about them so much but for now I'm just going to indulge myself. Though they are brother and sister they are very much a couple. It's been consummated. Rocky is the more dominant one. He stands over Pepe to protect her when he's nervous about something. He also steals food from her. Right now they're nesting in a clear plastic tube. They've dragged over some of their cotton wool bedding to lay over the side. I guess they're preparing for babies but it will be the first and last litter they have.

Rocky makes his wee trip to the vet on Wednesday. I can honestly say that phoning up and registering him with the vet is the first thing that's ever really made me feel like an adult. I did, however, give them my mum's address because I still don't know what my new post code is. It's a shame we have to get him neutered though because we were just building up our trust with him. And I guess getting his balls chopped off is gonna make him hate us. I hope he can be appeased with apple and kiwi fruit.

Right now the rats are having a tussle with each other, letting out little squeaks every once in a while. They stop fighting periodically to groom each other. Full of mischief so they are. I'm away to play with them.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

That's How They Knew I Was a Boy

I love days like today. I spent most of it hanging out with my niece, who was hanging out with her granny and great granny. The great granny, which is my granny, said she was in right good form today so that pleased me. After a spot of lunch we took Martha to the park where she swung and slid and spun to her little heart's content. I wished that I could swing and slide and spin but I'm pretty sure an adult having more fun than a baby at the park is frowned upon.

It is becoming more and more clear that Rocky is definitely a boy. I told my (male) friend that we were pretty sure he was a boy due to the fact he was growing a set of balls. My friend laughed and said "Well I know that's how they came to the conclusion that I was a boy"

So, to avoid us having loads of inbred baby rats I have to take Rocky to the vet to get neutered. I feel awful about it but I would feel more awful about taking Pepe back to the pet shop to replace her with a male. Rocky and her have already bonded and to give her a taste of a life that she could have and then take her back to the pet shop is just unthinkable. So Rocky's balls have to go. Poor thing.

Monday, February 28, 2011



Here are our two gorgeous rats. Right now they are snoozling away but all in all I think there settling in really well. Poor old Rocky's been a bit gender-confused but after he was a girl, then a boy, then a girl again, we're pretty sure now that he is a boy. And we're pretty sure that Pepe is definitely a girl. Could be problematic months down the line but we'll cross that bridge when it comes to it.

I went out yesterday and bought them some toys. I want to give them as much stimulation as possible because they're clever little critters that would get bored easily without things to climb and stuff to munch on. They get on really well together, snuggling together for sleeping, grooming each other and play fighting. It would have broke my heart to let Rocky miss out on the company of another rat.

Well, as much as I would love to blog about my babies all day long, unfortunately, I have a lot of rather mundane chores to be getting on with.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Rocky Rat Joins the Clan

Now that I'm back online there's no excuse for not blogging. Though I'm badly out of the habit so bear with me 'til I remember how to write or until I train Rocky to use the laptop. Yes! Rocky is finally here though she's more of a female Rocky than a male Rocky. We got her home last night and she was only in her cage for ten minutes before Jakers and I decided that she definitely needed some rat company. So went back to the pet shop and rescued one of Rocky's sisters. Haven't figured out a name for her yet but I'm just glad that Rocky's not going to be lonely when we're not around.

Today in work was tough. It just seemed to be one of those days. I thought the sunshine made everyone more happy and relaxed but apparently it has the opposite effect on certain people, making them uppity and, generally, very annoying. The worst customer today was Mr. F., a well-known local wino. He wanted passport photos taken but only had 30p in his hand. He was wobbling all over the place making me feared that he'd fall into a rack of frames. He then staggered over to the stools by the kiosk, sat down, and proceeded to fall asleep.

But ah....that was work and I'm at home now watching Rocky and her sister munching on kibbles and dinner is cooking and I have a night out planned and I'm off the next two days and sure, is that not great?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

At Last

I'm such a happy bunny. Sitting in my cosy, just cleaned flat. Jakers is in the kitchen rustling up some chili mince and garlic bread. I've spent a good hour pottering about the world wide web, whittling my time away. Surely when man was created this is what he was created for.

Now that we're all broad-banded up all we need to make our cosy flat complete is a pet rat (or two). I'm hoping that Rocky the Rat will have a flair for blogging. He could take over for me on nights that I'm too tired.

Despite not having internet I've been keeping myself busy enough with work, jigsaws and endless episodes of Family Guy and American Dad. I've also taken to recording Countdown and watching it in the evenings, which, I've been told, is very sad and marks the end of my life as a young, adventurous twenty-something putting me firmly in the bracket of an old, boring seventy year old pensioner with nothing better to do with my time. Of course, now that I have internet I can cling on to my youth.

Hooray for internet, and days off and tidy flats!!!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Back Soon

This is a quick, sneaky blog from work so I've no time to go into details about the useless Sky buggers and why I've been off line for about an eternity. We are promised tomorrow but we have been promised many's a time before. We'll see. I suppose I should get back to work now though and keep my blog rant until such times as I'm not getting paid for it.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Oh Boy

Well, what a bad blogger I've been. I blame Christmas. It's hard to even know what day of the week it is never mind writing about it. I'm glad it's all over and done with though. Phew!

Last New Year I had organised a party to combine Dirt Bird's birthday, the New Year and my going away gig. But I was dying of a cold last year and sneaked off to bed, not once, but twice before the clock struck twelve. Other than that I really don;t remember much about it. This New Year, however, was very enjoyable. A nice mix of loved ones and music with just a dash (ok....a whole bottle) of Jamesons' whiskey.

The next day I took me and my bad head to sweat out the badness in a hot tub. Dirt Bird's uncle has one in his garden and he invited us up for her Dirtieth Bird Day. I could do with one of those every weekend.

Right, anyway, I would write more but my neck hurts so I'm gonna go see if I can wangle a massage off Jakers. Hopefully it won't be so long before I update next time.