Archive for September, 2008

My Autumn Lovely

On Friday I was having a beautiful and restful walk through the grounds of Kilkenny Castle. I was surrounded by tall, strong, wise, old trees. Leaves were drifting to the ground with every gust of the wind, see-sawing their way to the leaf-covered floor of the forest. Apart from the whispering trees there were no sounds.

As I kicked up some leaves in a reminder of childhoods past when I would kick my way through all of the leaves on the way to school, I heard a tiny noise. A squeaky noise. I stopped dead. I looked around. Nothing. My leg was mid-leafkick and I set it down gently, resting beside something hidden among the leaves. I bent down to get a closer look. There nestled between the golden leaves was a little egg. It squeaked again.

Gingerly, I touched it. Rough to the touch and a little bit prickly. I picked it up and gently placed it in my pocket. I took care of it in my pocket for the whole weekend. It accompanied me on the rest of my walk, on my trip to Podcamp the next day, to dinner afterwards in ‘Paris, Texas’, and on the drive home. Every time I checked on it I could see a little more progress…a little crack on the exterior, getting longer, wider, the pieces of the outer shell pulling apart as it dried and warmed in my coat pocket. I was excited!

On Sunday, at the town craft fair I felt something…I checked in my pocket…half the shell had come off! Joy! It was almost time. Carefully placed back in my pocket, I left it for another little while.

Finally I dared to check again and this time, there it was! Fully hatched! It was beautiful. So brown and such a shiny coat. I was so proud, I announced the birth to my bemused companions “He’s hatched!!!” I proudly exclaimed.

He loves his mammy. I think I’ll call him Chesney.


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I’ve just come across this news story and to say I am bewildered is an understatement!

I thought that we, as a nation or society, had moved past this, that these types of attitudes had remained in the last century where they belonged but apparently I was wrong. According to this news story students in Northern Ireland believed the following just 3 years ago in 2005

  • Rape victims who flirted with their attacker are partially or totally responsible for what happened to them, according to 46% of the young people interviewed for the study.
  • women who wear revealing clothing are effectively inviting rapists to target them.
  • Almost half of students in the North believe women who flirt only have themselves to blame if they are later raped
  • one in 10 local students considers violence acceptable against a girlfriend who nags, flirts with other men or refuses to have sex.

Three years is not really that long ago so I can only assume that attitudes have not changed hugely in the three years since. If they had said it was a group of OAPs they had surveyed I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid (much), older people have very different views on these things but to think that there are young people out there with these beliefs and attitudes is pretty damn scary in my opinion.

When will they start to teach children in school about things like personal boundaries?

Teach them what is and isn’t acceptable behaviour?

Teach them that rape or assault (sexual or otherwise) is just unacceptable?

Am I blowing this out of proportion? What do other people think of the report?

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Ever seen someone try to parallel park…badly?

It’s a cringeworthy moment and yet I have to watch. I can’t tear my eyes away, hoping that this time she (invariably it is a she) will turn the wheel the correct way so that she is not doing the same manouevre a hundred times and wondering why it still keeps producing the same results!

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” -Albert Einstein

I will confess that my parallel parking was a bit hit-and-miss until I read a very simple guide. Somewhere. And ever since it has been as easy as pie!

So in the interests of promoting woman drivers and their reputations and giving them the same smug and self-satisfied feeling I get every time I parallel park first time without the in-out-in-out-in-out of some drivers, male and female, I am going to share my knowledge. Share the wealth as it were 🙂

Here we go:

  • Drive until you spot a free car parking space. Indicate to turn into the space and come to a stop alongside the car in front of the space. Unless the space is two or more car-lengths long, you cannot drive into it ladies. You must reverse.

That’s you in the yellow car!

  • Wait for the a$$hole driver behind you to get out from directly behind your bumper so you can actually park.
  • Indicate into your space
  • Slowly reverse the car, turning the wheel so that the back of the car is turning into the space

  • Keep an eye on the back end of the car you are alongside of (that’s the lovely pink one)
  • When the back of that pink car is level with the middle of your (yellow) car (between your door and the rear passenger door) start to straighten up the steering wheel. Yes I know your car is not in the space yet, but trust me here.

  • Keep a close eye on the front of your car as well as the back as you reverse in.
  • Hey presto! You’ve parallel parked!!

(Diagrams with thanks to Lifehacker.com)

Don’t believe me? Go, try it, do it now!! It is that easy. Gone are the days of driving until you find three spaces together so you can drive into one of them, then giving up when there are none and going to a multistorey miles away from where you need to be, or worse going home after at least half an hour’s frustration. Now you can park in the first space you see!

I challenge all of you who are afraid of parallel parking spaces to go out there and try this two or three times and then come back to me and tell me how wonderful I am 🙂

Safe driving.

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If any of you have been living under a rock and never heard of this book by Oonagh O’Hagan, I personally do not lick my cheese 😀 It is the title of a collaborative book put together by Ms O’Hagan some time ago with the hilarious & sometimes worrying notes that people left for each other in houses & flats shared by both friends and strangers.

I lick my cheese

Ms O’Hagan is now in the process of putting together a collection of the “sauciest, soppiest, strangest, sillest & scariest love notes” she can get her hands on & is looking for contributions here.

Love, the most magical of all the emotions. It can turn frogs into princes, wilting wallflowers into lusty Lotharios and unleash the inner poet in even the most tongue-tied teenagers (see above).

Oonagh’s looking for any notes that have been written in the name of Love and have a story to tell; the sizzling passion of a new relationship, a flirty fling, lamenting an unrequited love, embittered by a good-thing-gone-bad or even a cryptic valentine.

Notes are to be shared to celebrate love in the broadest sense and identities will be protected, to spare blushes.

Here’s a sampler given on the site:

I thought I might include a few of my own, like the note I found on top of my closed laptop last week. It said

Know what you are eh?

I was a bit befuddled and the writer of the note (a friend) would not tell me where the rest of it was. Eventually I found it when I opened the laptop later to do some work, stuck to the screen.

Sure you’re only fukken brilliant!

It sure made me smile but it’s not a love note in the strict sense of the word so I’ll keep it for myself!

Do you have any love notes, emails, texts or photos you’re ready to show to the world?

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Inspired by Grannymar’s retelling yesterday of taking her digital camera for a walk in the park, and also inspired by the fabulous weather, I took a spin down to the Phoenix Park by myself to top up my Vitamin D and freckles.

Normally I’d just have had a ramble around and sat down on a bench to read my book but yesterday I had my eyes peeled, looking for some nice photos to take. I think I got a few nice ones, what do you think?

I took a walk through a tree-lined laneway in Farmleigh which beckoned to me as I walked through the gate. There were so many trees along it the sun was barely shining through them though, so I didn’t stay in there for too long.

As I walked along the laneway a fluffy, pure, white feather drifted down to the ground at my feet. A year or more ago a friend went for an ‘angel card reading’ and was told that a white feather appearing was a sign of your guardian angel being nearby. Not usually one to believe in such things I nevertheless liked this idea and I still take special time to appreciate white feathers that cross my path and the warm, fuzzy feeling that a guardian angel might be taking the walk with me was welcome 🙂

On I went, when the ‘Lakeside walk’ took an unexpected turn into an open clearing of trees and grass, home to an unusual piece of art

The house itself was closed so no tour for me yesterday. It was too nice to be indoors anyway!

There are so many pretty gardens there in Farmleigh, the Sunken Garden, a walled garden, a vegetable garden. I took lots of pictures of them the last time I was there (taking pictures of flowers is a penchant of mine!) but this time a little bunch of flowers hiding from the sun in the shade of a tree caught my eye

I came across the saddest horse ever in the paddock, he looked like he needed a big hug or a good rub or something, look at his poor face! Maybe it was just a little too hot for him.

A further walk out along the lake took me along the glass-like lake, the water was amazingly calm apart from when a duck went flitting across the surface!

And back out to the Phoenix Park itself with me where I did find an empty bench under a tree in the sun where I could read my book in peace-bliss!

EVERY weekend should have an afternoon like this don’t you think?

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Lovely new hair

I took a much-needed trip to the hairdressers yesterday. I hadn’t been there for several months and my age was beginning to show in my hair, grey bits appearing everywhere as some people liked to keep reminding me. So off with it to the hairdressers. My usual hairdresser was not available so I was booked in with another one. A man! In fairness I think he is the nephew of the owner who normally does mine but a strange man running his hands through my unruly mop?

Curly hair

It could only be very, very good…or very, very bad.

Thanks to reading fat mammy cats panic about her own trip to the hairdresser I got a bit worked up beforehand…not as bad as I used to be though, when I would sit in stoney silence gripping the armrests or wringing my hands under the cloak praying for them to just be finished so that I could get the frick out of there.

He was good! He was very good! No unnecessary chat about upcoming holidays, going out tonight or any of that lark. There was a bit of a nervous moment when he was cutting the front of my hair and I found myself face to crotch (he was very tall) and I’d to make a conscious effort to look elsewhere. Although when a shorter girl is doing it I usually end up face to boobs and am stuck with the same dilemma 🙂

He did a marvellous job, I went out last night and everyone told me how fabulous it looked and I felt great. Job done!

Straight hair
(Not actually me!)

Pity the poker straightness didn’t last, my hair has a mind of it’s own. At least it was on best behaviour for one night 🙂

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Blonde moment #1

I know a lot of bloggers have their Thoughts of the Day type posts. But I thought I might as well share a little of me and give you a laugh while I’m at it. Before reading on, please note that I am an intelligent and sensible human being most of the time 😛

Unfortunately sometimes I have days that beggar belief 😀

Recently I was all tucked up on the sofa with a duvet, resting, watching tv and generally being a lazy arse. And I couldn’t find the tv remote. I started pulling up cushions and the duvet on top of me, looking under where I was sitting, frantically searching for the remote I’d had not two minutes before.

Eventually I spotted it.

In my right hand.


Nuff said.

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