Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Today is the First Day of the Rest of my Life

Yesterday I resigned my job. Today my future is a blank canvas to do with what I choose.

What will I do? Help my son become a genius, make soup, read novels, knit, go geocaching, take walks, read more, volunteer, clean my house, take up Irish dancing, look for a new job, blog...??

What I actually did was get my hair cut, went shopping, had lunch out and sat out in the sun with a novel.

Well, one things for certain - I'll not be able to maintain that lifestyle for long, after all, we all know the sun rarely shines in Belfast ;-)

Friday, May 26, 2006

Celtic League Winners 2006

Stand Up for the Ulstermen
Stand Up for the Ulstermen
Stand Up for the Ulstermen
Stand Up for the Ulstermen

Thursday, May 25, 2006

David Ginola ...

... how on earth could it all have gone so wrong ???!? :-(

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Fairly Traded Goods

Today when I went to buy some groceries for school lunches I decided to visit the local supermarket with the best reputation of supplying Fair Trade goods. I purposely chose the largest of their stores in the area, expecting them to have the greatest selection of products.

I expected to come home with bags laden with pineapple, grapes, mangoes, bananas, oranges, a variety of chocolate, tinned fruit, jams, fruit juices, biscuits, cereal bars, dried fruit and of course, sugar, tea and coffee. Maybe even some wine!

Imagine, then, my disappointment when, having scoured the shelves in the shop for over half and hour for the famous blue and green symbol, all I managed to buy that had been fairly traded was a packet of (Scottish) choc chip shortbread using fair trade choc chips from West Africa, a chocolate cake made with sugar from Paraguay and, by far the best product available, Fair Trade Muesli containing South African sultanas and raisins, Ugandan bananas and pineapple and Pakistani apricots.

Disappointed as I was with my (lack of) purchases, I've got to admit it's a start, but obviously there's a long, long way to go before British and Irish consumers can become genuine Fair Traders.

And now, as it's tea-time, what better opportunity to try a bowl of that muesli ;-)

Sunday, May 21, 2006


HE: Can I buy you a drink?
SHE: Actually I'd rather have the money.

HE: I'm a photographer. I've been looking for a face like yours.
SHE: I'm a plastic surgeon. I've been looking for a face like yours.

HE: Hi. Didn't we go on a date once? Or was it twice?
SHE: Must've been once. I never make the same mistake twice.

HE: How did you get to be so beautiful?
SHE: I must've been given your share.

HE: Your face must turn a few heads.
SHE: And your face must turn a few stomachs.

HE: Go on, don't be shy. Ask me out.
SHE: Okay, get out.

HE: I think I could make you very happy.
SHE: Why? Are you leaving?

HE: What would you say if I asked you to marry me?
SHE: Nothing. I can't talk and laugh at the same time.

HE: Where have you been all my life?
SHE: Hiding from you.

HE: Haven't I seen you some place before?
SHE: Yes. That's why I don't go there anymore.

HE: Is this seat empty?
SHE: Yes, and this one will be if you sit down.

HE: So, what do you do for a living?
SHE: I'm a female impersonator.

HE: Hey baby, what's your sign?
SHE: Do not enter.

HE: If I could see you naked, I'd die happy.
SHE: If I saw you naked, I'd probably die laughing.

HE: Where have you been all my life?
SHE: Where I'll be the rest of your life - in your wildest dreams

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Emperor's New Clothes

So, the US government has released a video of the plane crashing into the Pentagon on 11 September 2001, for the first time here

Maybe it's just me, but I don't see a plane. I don't see a plane before the crash, during the explosion or after the crash.

If you don't see one either, you might want to watch this video

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Great News for Belfast

The Ulster Branch of the Irish Rugby Football Union is delighted to announce that Belfast has been chosen as the host city of the IRB Under 19 World Championship 2007.

The tournament, which will feature 24 of the world’s best teams, will take place over a 60 match, three-week period from April 4 to April 21, 2007. "We will have more than 700 players here from all over the world, so it is a great chance to showcase Belfast as a major player on the international sporting scene," said Mr Reid, Chief Executive IRFU Ulster Branch.

Went to see this tournament in Dubai this year, excellent sporting event!

Don't ever say you can't teach an old dog new tricks!

It's not even a fortnight since my sister-in-law (to be) tentatively introduced me to blogging, and now I find it has become a family trend to want to blog, which means I am juggling the updating of three blogs on a regular basis.

I am thinking of taking a part-time, distance learning degree in blogging.

In the meantime, never one to do things by half, I have been leafing through 'Teach Yourself Web Publishing with HTML in a Week'. It's not a book that will make it onto my Favourite Books list in my profile. A book that had obviously never been touched in it's life before (I'm not even sure how it got here), it now automatically falls open at page 74 - Putting the Hyper in Hypertext: All about Links.

Evidence of my learning can be seen in the post below where the eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that the hyperlink includes the use of attributes within my link tag, hense the link reads 'speed saves lives' as opposed to earlier attempts in my blogging history where the link is purely denoted by the actual website address.

I am looking forward with anticipation to reading the chapter 'Forms and Image Maps' as I feel my blog would seriously benefit from the addition of these facilities, even though at this stage I am not quite certain what they are.

A walking advertisement for LifeLong Learning, that's me!

Monday, May 15, 2006

Not that I condone speeding ...

... but this is quite amusing:

The Speed Saves Lives video

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Today I joined the Library

I love reading 'escapist type novels', as my traditional old Grammar school used to describe them (that basically means nothing of any literary importance). Such is my enthusiam for them, when on holiday I can get through two and even up to four such books in a week.

With the good weather this week meaning I could sit out in the garden, I fancied a bit of a read and searched through the hundreds of books in the house for one I hadn't yet read. The only thing I could come up with was Clive Cussler's Blue Gold. It was actually quite good, but it didn't last me that long.

Coincidently, I received my local Councillor's newsletter this week, and although it doesn't make for good 'escapist type' reading, the headline denoted that my local library was under threat of closure. Books are the cornerstone of learning, and learning is a lifetime experience that everybody, regardless of age, colour, creed, religion, class or ability has a right to. Not everyone is in the privileged position that they can purchase the books they want, need or would like, for all sorts social, physical, financial and geographical reasons. To this end, libraries offer an invaluable, free service.

In recognition of this, my local Councillor (I'm not into politics or politicians, but this girl's a good un!) petitioned the Minister for Culture, Arts and Leisure on behalf of the Library and local residents. It appears the Library has had a reprise, although in her newsletter we are warned by Councillor Duncan that 'unless we all use this excellent facility it will continue to be under threat'.

Normally when I want some reading material I head off down to Bargain Books and buy myself an armful of novels for about a fiver. Today I acted on the advice of my local Councillor and joined the Library.

Ulster top League

Playing with balls this size, is it any wonder we scored 9 tries and beat Borders 63-17 ;-)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Now that I'm 'older' here's what I've discovered about life:

  1. I started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.
  2. My wild oats have turned into porridge.
  3. I finally got my body together; now my head is falling apart.
  4. Funny, I don't remember being absent minded...
  5. Funny, I don't remember being absent minded... If all is not lost, where is it?
  6. It is easier to get older than it is to get wiser.
  7. Funny, I don't remember being absent minded...
  8. Some days you're the dog; some days you're the hydrant.
  9. I wish the buck stopped here; I sure could use a few...
  10. Kids in the back seat cause accidents.
  11. Accidents in the back seat cause kids.
  12. Funny, I don't remember being absent minded...
  13. It's hard to make a come back when you haven't been anywhere.
  14. The only time the world beats a path to your door is when you're on the bog.
  15. If God wanted me to touch my toes, He would have put them on my knees.
  16. When I'm finally holding all the cards, everyone decides to play chess.
  17. Funny, I don't remember being absent minded...
  18. It's not hard to meet expenses... they're everywhere.
  19. The only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.
  20. These days, I spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter... I go somewhere to get something and then wonder what I'm here after.
  21. Funny, I don't remember being . . . . . absent minded...

God, grant me the senilty to forget the people I never liked anyway, the good fortune to run into the ones I do, and the eyesight to tell the difference

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Make Politicans History

In an envelope addressed to me personally, I received a business reply postcard this morning inviting me to 'Make Politicians History'.

As I am not a political being, the sentiment actually quite appealed to me. 'What a fantastic promotion idea!' I thought to myself, scouring the card desperately to see what product it was actually promoting. I thought there might be a clue in the return address, Marcus Music in Belfast, purveyor of all things musical (including bodhrans).

With no clear indication on the card of the product I was being enticed with, I logged onto the website, which is where I discovered that this is not a promotion, its not a joke and its not a spoof. Some character called Rainbow George has actually mailed all 220,000 eligible voters in Belfast to encourage them to Make our Politicians History (not in itself the worst idea in the world) and put Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins in control of the city instead.

Tonight I go to bed feeling a whole lot more sane.

Thank You for your Comments

It's only 3 days old, but already somebody has read my blog, and posted a comment.

This has nothing to do with the fact that I emailed and texted everyone I know with details of my ramblings in order to gain a response, because the particular post I am referring to is by someone I don't know.

It is fair to say, I am more than a little proud of this achievement :-)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

You too can be a doughball ...

  1. At lunch time, sit in your parked car with sunglasses on and point a hair dryer at passing cars. See if they slow down.
  2. Page yourself over the intercom. Don't disguise your voice.
  3. Every time someone asks you to do something ask, "Want fries with that?"
  4. Put your garbage can on your desk and label it "Inbox."
  5. Put decaf in the coffee maker for 3 weeks. Once everyone has gotten over their caffeine addictions, switch to espresso.
  6. In the memo field of all your checks, write "for smuggling diamonds."
  7. Finish all your sentences with "In accordance with the prophecy."
  8. Don t use any punctuation
  9. As often as possible, skip rather than walk.
  10. With a serious face, order a diet water whenever you go out to eat.
  11. Specify that your drive-through order is "to go."
  12. Sing along at the opera.
  13. Go to a poetry recital and ask why the poems don't rhyme.
  14. Put mosquito netting around your work area and play jungle sounds all day.
  15. Five days in advance, tell your friends you can't attend their party because you're not in the mood.
  16. When your money comes out of the ATM, scream "I won! I won!"
  17. When leaving the zoo, start running towards the parking lot yelling, "Run for your lives! They're loose!"
  18. Tell your children over dinner, "Due to the economy, we will have to let one of you go."

(as seen on, a successful blog that has lasted more than two months. At last I have found a blogging role model!)

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Bodhrán

The bodhrán is the heartbeat of Irish music. This ancient framedrum is traditionally made with a wooden body and a goat-skin head. The Irish used to beat the bodhrán marching into battle. In the front row there'd be 20 or 30 of them battering away. Bringing up the rear there'd be 30 or 40 bagpipes droning in the background. It's no wonder the Irish never won a battle. All the other sides had guns, there's our boys out on the front line marching to certain death.

When playing the bodhrán, the tones are controlled by pressing against the inside of the head. The stick, known as a tipper, is held like a pencil and shaken like a thermometer, bit like shaking snot off your finger :-)

There is something about a bodhrán that prompts an irresistable urge to humour. And bodhrán players are the butt of many jokes:

A bodhrán player was sick of the band abusing him, and decided to start his own. He walked into a music shop, planning to buy the first instruments he saw. "Give me the red saxophone and that accordion!", he said. The assistant said, "You play the bodhrán, don't you?" "That's right. Why?" "Well, the fire exinguisher I can sell you - but the radiator stays. "

Then of course there was the fiddle player who, while visiting the local pub, was asked for a dollar to help pay for the funeral of a local bodhrán player.
"Here's two dollars;" he says "bury another."

A fellow walks into a pub in Belfast with a plastic bag under his arms. The bartender asks "What's that?" "Six pounds of semtex", he answers. "Ah, thats alright; I thought it was a bodhrán!"

Sunday, May 07, 2006


I've just remembered another interest. I forgot to say I play the Bodhran.

Hello and Welcome

We were having lunch today when my sister-in-law (to be) casually suggested that I should have/keep/write (I'm not particularly IT literate, what exactly is the term I'm looking for here?) a blog. Blogging is new to me, in fact I've only ever seen two in my life, one of which belonged to afore mentioned sister-in-law (to be) and neither of which had lasted more than two months.

At least I don't have much to live up to then!

Anyway, I thought it would be good therapy for my poor confused mind, so here I am, blogging away (to myself, probably!)

I'm not too sure what to do now, but I have it on good authority that I should mention my interests. As such, I have spent the entire afternoon making up interests I could mention. I didn't come up with much, but thought that a good place to start would be rugby and geocaching, which are actually interests I do have.

An enthusiastic rugby fan, I support Ulster (Heineken Cup winners 1999; Celtic Cup winners 2002 and probably Celtic League winners 2006) first, Ireland second and any other team after that. I have relatives in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne who would have me say Falcons third, and if I thought there was a remote chance of them coming across this blog, I would. I am a season ticket holder at Ravenhill, the home of Ulster rugby, and also travel to a substancial number of away matches every season.

I am quite new to Geocaching. It has about a four week headstart on Blogging. Geocaching is a sort of hi-tech hide and seek 'sport' that uses GPSs and plastic lunchboxes full of old McDonalds freebies and the contents of last years Christmas Crackers. Some people take it very seriously, that said, it is quite addictive. If you are interested, and lets face it, if you are bored enough to read my ramblings, you probably need a new hobby, find out more here:

I introduced my sister-in-law (to be) to Geocaching, I guess when she told me about Blogging she felt she owed me :-)