Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The 'SH' word

We were having a discussion about good and bad behaviour at the dinner table last night and several examples of each were put forward by the kids to illustrate various points. Dolly instigated a move to discuss bad language.

"You shouldn't say bad words" she said.

"Absolutely not" I replied.

"Like the 'sh' word" she continued.

Eyes wide in genuine shock at this I replied "ESPECIALLY not the 'sh' word!"

After a minute, when I had got up to clear down the table and the coast was clear, Major turned to her and asked:

"What's the 'sh' word"

She checked to see I wasn't looking, leaned right across to him and whispered:



Sunday, June 24, 2007

Cream Buns!

Pluto, put the kettle on. I'll be round before breaktime :-)

The end of Chemical Ali

From the BBC:
"A cousin of the late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has been sentenced to death by an Iraqi court for the mass murder of Kurds in 1988. Ali Hassan al-Majid, known as "Chemical Ali" for using poison gas in the Anfal campaign, was convicted of genocide."

The significance of this should not be overlooked. When I first took ill 16 months ago, I was prescribed a number of seditive-type medications, alongside a number of other medications I was already taking for another medical condition.

After a number of weeks my doctor decided, much to my distress, that I should also take prozac. My way of overcoming this was to joke about it and hence I adopted the name "Chemical Ali" - chemical because I was pumped full of them and Ali because thats actually my name - (for the benefit of blog readers who only know me in the blog context!)

Which is why this blog is called Chemical's blog.

Last November I took my last prozac. Today three weeks I will have surgery that means I no longer have to take any of the other medication.

Truly the end of Chemical Ali.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Fake tan and banging

We have just returned from the morning session at a(nother) local feile. This mornings competition was under 7's team dances, this afternoon the real heavy stuff starts with the under 7's individual jigs and reels. (Yes, I have to go back!)

These feiles are whole day events - parents come and bring their picnics with them. I live handy, and anyway, I needed to escape the cut-throat atmosphere of Irish Dancing competitions, so we came home. When I go back in just under an hours time I will be taking a pair of ear defenders. Dancing is done to live music, usually in the form of an electric piano. This morning there was also a fiddle.

It could have been lovely. It wasn't. When the woman on keyboard hit the first chord, the mum beside me and I literally jumped out of our skins. Unperterbed at the discomfort she was causing to ears throughout the auditoium, the lady kept banging away merrily on her keyboard.

When she did, eventually, tone it down, we took a renewed fit of the giggles because it appeared that the fiddle player was playing a completely different tune to the one being bashed out on the keyboard.

Add to this all the coaching and bitching that goes on by over-enthusiastic mums and you will see how it's not my absolute favourite way to spend a Saturday. These kids are 6 years old, yet some have been curled, crimped and polished to within an inch of their young lives. The ultimate was when we spotted the child with the fake tan. She looked like an Oompa Loompa that had just been tangoed. Amazingly, whilst my friend and I are on our third bout of the giggles, those behind us are cursing themselves for not having thought of the idea themselves!

I'm not cut out for this feile lark. Having said that ... off I go... Feile part two beckons ...

Sunday 15th July

Normally the postman comes at about 11 o'clock in the morning. Not on Saturdays. On Saturday he is usually here just after 7 o'clock. And then the race starts as each child tries to be first to get the post and bring it up the stairs.

Major won the race to the post this morning and immediately started shouting "It's from the hospital, it's from the hospital! Your dates here mummy!" And so it was.

When most poeple are heading off on their summer holidays, I'll be packing my case for a weeks all-inclusive stay in the Ulster Hospital, Dundonald :-)

Perfect timing, I still get to march on the 12th July before I have the surgery ;-p

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Children for sale or rent

Having been told last week that my surgery will be 'the first available date in August' (in other words throw a dart at a calendar) I am now looking for ways to occupy my kids whilst I am in and recovering from my hospital stay.

Any reasonable offer considered.


Am willing to throw a husband in to any deal brokered

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Read 'em and weep:

Quizmaster: In traffic, what 'J' is where two roads meet?
Contestant: Jool carriageway?

Quizmaster: How many Olympic Games have been held?
Contestant: Six.
quizmaster: Higher!
Contestant: Five.

Quizmaster: Which French Mediterranean town hosts a famous film festival every year?
Contestant: I don't know, I need a clue.
Quizmaster: OK. What do beans come in?
Contestant: Cartons?

Quizmaster: Where do you think Cambridge University is?
Contestant: Geography isn't my strong point.
Quizmaster: There's a clue in the title.
Contestant: Leicester.

Quizmaster: For £10, what is the nationality of the Pope?
Contestant: I think I know that one. Is it Jewish?

Quizmaster: Oscar Wilde, Adolf Hitler and Jeffrey Archer have all written books about their experiences in what: prison, or the Conservative Party?
Contestant:The Conservative Party.

Quizmaster: On which street did Sherlock Holmes live?
Contestant: Er . . .
Quizmaster: He makes bread .. .
Contestant: Er . . .
Quizmaster: He makes cakes .. .
Contestant: Kipling Street?

Quizmaster: In what year was President Kennedy assassinated?
Contestant: Erm .. .
Quizmaster: Well, let's put it this way - he didn't see 1964.
Contestant: 1965?

Quizmaster: In which European country are there people called Walloons?
Contestant: Wales.


When I was off last year I discovered that I could hoover the entire house in an hour. When the kids left for school, I could run the hoover over, maybe clean a bathroom or wash the kitchen floor and still be finished in time to watch the Jeremy Kyle Show. (I know, I know; but I was ill, I wasn't in control of my marbles!)

My trusty £35 Argos hoover broke this week, after many years service :-( So I had to borrow my mum's big all-singing-all-dancing Vax. Wow! I thought. I will be finished in time to see the end of Lorraine Kelly this morning.

Not so. Either the size of my house has increased substantially, or the Vax sucks (or not, as the case may be) An hour and a half into the job and I'm losing the will to live. There is no light at the end of the tunnel - in fact, I have given up on hoovering the stairs and decided to get a straw and suck up the dirt manually later :-(

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The rain came down in torrents ...

Belfast today.

All this rain fell in the space of about thirty minutes. All these locations no more than 10mins from our house!

Monday, June 11, 2007

Barbeque Season

It's that time of year again. After the recent spell of very good weather, I actually look like I've been barbequed :-s

Don't you just love barbeques:

(1) The woman buys the food.
(2) The woman makes the salad, prepares the vegetables, and makes dessert.
(3) The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils and sauces, and takes it to the man who is lounging beside the grill - drink in hand.

Here comes the important part:


More routine....

(5) The woman goes inside to organize the plates and cutlery.
(6) The woman comes out to tell the man that the meat is burning. He thanks her and asks if she will bring another beer while he deals with the situation.

Important again:


More routine....

(8) The woman prepares the plates, salad, bread, utensils, napkins, sauces, and brings them to the table.
(9) After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.

And most important of all:

(10) Everyone PRAISES the MAN and THANKS HIM. The man asks the woman how she enjoyed "her night off." And, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there's just no pleasing some women....

Sunday, June 10, 2007


We arrived at our campsite at 7.00pm, the sun was still spitting the trees. Following the telephone conversation, I was deeply concerned at the prospect of having to pitch in the farmer's front garden, so it was a great relief that we were pointed in the general area of the campsite and told to choose our pitch.

At this stage I took the precaution of enquiring about roosters. The farmer dropped his eyes and made a strangling motion with his hands. I could tell we were going to get along just fine.

We chose a pitch right opposite the playground because we love the early morning sound of children squabbling in the outdoors, especially when they're our kids. So much better than hearing them close up in the confined space of the tent.

We experienced, for the first time, the novelty of pitching the tent in the dry. Even in the heat! The site was very clean and well-kept and had every facility imaginable, even delivery menus for the local takeaway restaurants. We started to understand how people could actually enjoy camping.

There was the minor downside of the voyeurs who came to watch me in a state of early-evening-good-food-and-heat-induced-slumber through the wide open doors of the tent. What really annoyed me about the whole incident was that my other half, who sat and watched them watching me, didn't charge them for the privilege!

As we were packing up to leave today (another novelty - packing up a dry tent), a Dutch couple arrived with their touring caravan. We hung around just long enough to see if he carried a sack of onions into the van before we scarpered.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

We're going

I have just spent the afternoon on the phone and managed to secure the last, and I mean very last, camping pitch in Northern Ireland this weekend.

Although, I am a little bit worried that the man on the other end of the phone asked me would I mind if I had to pitch in the garden.

Watch this space ...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


Long-term readers of this blog will know that in the past we have indulged in a bit of family camping.

There was the time we went for the weekend to Fermanagh, then there was the week we spent down in Wicklow, (so good I blogged it twice) We also had a similarily successful trip to Donegal, but that was before blog.

You would wonder why I bother, but I have to admit, I have been watching the weather forecast in the hope that we might get a weekend away in the tent before July. This weekend looks like it could be a go-er!

Weather for Friday!

Weather for Saturday!!

Weather for Sunday!!!

Anyone who thought they might wait until the weekend to cut the grass, be warned. Torrential floods on the horizon.