Friday, March 30, 2007

I don't like cricket

Nor do I understand it. But I have spent from 3.30pm until 10.20 pm today watching the amateur Irish cricket team give the professional English cricket team a right good run for their money in the cricket World Cup.

I am now a fully signed up member of the Blarney Army

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

If I were a flight attendant, these would be my announcements:

"Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."

"There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane"

"To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised."

“In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child travelling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are travelling with more than one small child, pick your favourite."

"Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing and if you can light 'em, you can smoke 'em."

"Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we'll try to have them fixed before we arrive.

"Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted."

"Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Belfast International. Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what's left of our airplane to the gate!"

When it's OK to say the 'F' word ...


Thursday, March 22, 2007

Mini Miracle

Author's note: some of you will read this title and assume I am pregnant! That is not the case; if it were the title of this piece would be 'Unbelieveably Major Miracle', or maybe substitute Accident for Miracle!
I drive a black Mini Convertible, I got her (affectionately christened Minnie Mouse) 26 months ago when the time had come that a boot was no longer essential in a car to house prams and buggies and the like. I'm not really big into cars, but I love this one to bits.

At the end of March last year, more or less exactly a year ago today, when I was at my doolali-ist, Minnie Mouse was stolen. The thieves came into the house (which was occupied at the time) took the house and car keys, locked our front door behind them, jumped into Minnie and drove off. Just like that, at 8.50pm on a Friday evening.

As I said, I love Minnie to bits, but at the end of the day she is just a car. And although I was distraught that she had been taken, my real concern at the time was how was I going to deal with the police and insurance companies when I couldn't even string together a coherent sentence for my own brother!

Of course the police came round - 'ordinary' PCs, detectives and eventually Scene of Crime boys. Questions, questions and fingerprint dust everywhere. We had an emergency locksmith call out that night to change the house locks so we could at least get a half decent nights sleep.

The whole event took it's toll; the next day I was worth nothing, tried to put on a brave face, but knew I was slipping back to the 'doughball' (my word) I had been a few weeks previously - forgetting words, mixing up words, incoherent, distracted, forgetful, shaky .. I could go on!!! Suffice to say, it wasn't good!

At some stage in the morning the 'boys' went to play rugby and mum called to take Dolly to Irish Dancing so I was left to my own devices. Just for about 10 minutes. When mum returned, she found me standing on the doorstep, scrubbing it down with a nailbrush. Why? Couldn't tell you! Couldn't tell you now, and certainly couldn't have told you then. But I did realise I was being stupid as I was doing it. I remember that.

I also remember, very clearly, sort of threatening God that I didn't want to go all the way back to where I'd come from and could He please make sure that didn't happen. You see, a friend from work had sent me a prayer card during the previous week which had led to a telephone conversation in which we talked about how, when you hit rock bottom and you can't do anything for yourself, if you rely on God, He'll see you through. Well, that was sort of where I was at!

Due to my unstable state, we only told three people outside family what had happened with the car, to avoid any 'fuss'.

The police had told us that if we didn't hear anything within the first 24 hours, the car was gone - stolen to order. And we hadn't heard a dickie bird; it hadn't been found burnt out or smashed up by joy-riders, we hadn't had the 'ransom' call, and it hadn't been spotted or found in any of the known 'lock-ups'. Bye Bye Minnie Mouse :-(

The weekend passed and the day came for phoning insurance companies. I elected to stay in bed, which was probably the best place for me! Hubby took a days leave to sort out the insurance etc etc etc ...

He was speaking to the police on the phone, confirming that they had no news, when his mobile phone rang. It was one of the three friends we had told that the car was stolen. The friend asked hubby to confirm my car registration number, which he did. He asked him again. Then to everyones astonishment (including the police who were still on the other line) he said he was looking at my car, which was parked up outside his office in a small village about 20 miles away from Belfast!

And sure enough, there it was. Undamaged, nothing stolen from it, just sitting there. And whilst everyone else is getting very excited about the whole thing, I'm sitting there as cool as a cucumber - completely out of character for the time. Why? Because I had asked God to sort out the problem, and He had done, in the best possible way!

So, how's that for a Mini miracle?!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

A blessing

May your day be touched by a bit of Irish luck,

brightened by a song in your heart,

and warmed by the smiles of the people you love.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Part Two

Fan hits sh1t back, where it hurts most

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The Princess and the Pea

Camilla PB had a hysterectomy recently, at the exclusive King Edward VII (£500-a-night) Hospital. Apparently, when she turned up for her op she arrived accompanied by her personal mattress and bed linen. Furthermore, during her stay, she only ate food prepared by the Prince's staff at Clarence House and brought to the hospital for her.

Now, I'm wondering, how it would go down if I turned up at Neely Ward in the Ulster (NHS) Hospital in May dragging my mattress and bedlinen behind me.

Sure enough, I have very nice bedlinen, which I am quite attached to, however it is for a King size bed, and let's face it, chances of getting any bed, never mind a king sized one, in an NHS hospital ...

As for requesting meals from home - I imagine I would be gently reminded that there was a McDonalds right across from the hospital, if I felt like the walk!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


There's no Irish dance class next week ...... because it's St Patricks Day!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Fields of Athenry

While we sang Athenry today, as Ireland picked up the Triple Crown, we were reminded that our kids had been singing that song, probably from before they knew the words to the Barney anthem.

Put it down to my dad's patience at playing and replaying the track for them on any journey they went on in his car, no matter how short or far, for the entire trip!

And so, practically from the moment she could speak at two years old, Dolly Molly was able to sing Athenry - chorus and all 3 verses - word perfect.

Her understanding left a little to be desired though, as we discovered when, everytime she got the the third line of verse two, she stopped, pronounced 'I'm going to be three at Christmas' and then continued on through the ballad!

By a lonely prison wall
I heard a young girl calling
Michael they are taking you away
For you stole Trevelyan's corn
So the young might see the morn
Now a prison ship lies waiting in the bay.

Low lie the Fields of Athenry
Where once we watched the small free birds fly.
Our love was on the wing
we had dreams and songs to sing
It's so lonely 'round the Fields of Athenry.

By a lonely prison wall
I heard a young man calling
Nothing matters Mary when your free,
Against the Famine and the Crown
I rebelled they ran me down
Now you must raise our child with dignity.


By a lonely harbour wall
She watched the last star falling
As that prison ship sailed out against the sky
Sure she'll wait and hope and pray
For her love in Botany Bay
It's so lonely 'round the Fields of Athenry.

Then there were the 'Four Proud Protestants of Ireland' ...

Come the day and come the hour
Come the power and the glory
We have come to answer our country's call
From the four proud provinces of Ireland

Ireland, Ireland,
Together standing tall .....

(actually, some who question Eddie O'Sullivans method of team selection would say she actually got it more right in many respects!)

Friday, March 09, 2007