Tuesday, January 27, 2009


I have been a mummy for 10 years

Hey Brigitte

How's your foot? :-)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Whoever said the French were an arrogant race ...

... obviousy hadn't met our tour bus driver.

Imagine the scene. Daughter formerly known as Dolly and I sheltering in a telephone box from heavy, heavy rain and gale force winds in Paris on Friday morning, waiting for the Paris City Tour Bus to arrive. The weather dictated that a morning on the tour bus was just the ticket.

When the bus did eventually (late) arrive we scrambled on board with the rest of the passengers and waited our turn to pay. 46 Euro, but cheap at half the price if it kept us amused and more importantly, dry.

Only ... (there's always an only) they didn't take credit cards as payment and I only had 20 Euro cash. And not enough French to explain to a bus driver who had even less English what my predicament was.

But somehow he understood the problem: 'No worry, no worry! I drive you to ze bank'

And that, is precisely what he did! He drove his big red tour bus through the sidestreets of Paris and stopped outside a bank, waiting long enough for me to disembark and retrieve some cash before heading back onto his tour of the City.

I can only start to imagine what the others on the tour must have thought. Vive la France!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Thursday, January 22, 2009

This blog should be temporarily out of service

Because I should be in Paris. Well, if you are reading this, I must be. Whether or not I manage to make my way home again or not ... now that's debatable!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Near miss

There are two airports in Belfast, Belfast City, which is about 20 mins from my house, and Belfast International - don't be fooled, it's nowhere near the city and takes about an hour to get to.

Tomorrow Dolly and I head to Paris for the weekend. We are all organised and I did on-line check-in so we could just arrive at the City airport and walk through to the gate. That means that for our 11:30 am flight, we only have to leave the house at 10:15 or 10:30am. Sorted!

Until my husband (who is in the South of France skiing at the moment) phoned tonight because his mates insisted he did. They insisted because it suddenly struck one of them that Aer Lingus didn't fly from Belfast City Airport.

And actually, it turns out that they don't. So if I had arrived, as planned, at the City Airport at 10:45am for a flight leaving the International Airport at 11:30am ... well ...

My mother has started a 24hr prayer vigil for our safe return, and we haven't even gone yet!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

I love a good jigsaw

A blonde calls her boyfriend and says 'Please come over here and help me. I have a killer jigsaw puzzle, and I can't figure out how to get started .'

Her boyfriend asks, 'What is it supposed to be when it's finished?' The blonde says, 'According to the picture on the box, it's a rooster.' Her boyfriend decides to go over and help with the puzzle. She lets him in and shows him where she has the puzzle spread all over the table.

He studies the pieces for a moment, then looks at the box, then turns to her and says, 'First of all, no matter what we do , we're not going to be able to assemble these pieces into anything resembling a rooster.' He takes her hand and says, 'Second, I want you to relax. Let's have a nice cup of tea, and then ...' he said with a deep sigh, . .. . .. . .

'Let's put all the Corn Flakes back in the box.'

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Have you ever been so wet ...

... that the rain has been running down your leg on the inside of your trousers??

Welcome back to the joys of Ulster Rugby Wils :-)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

There's a LOT to be said for good interpersonal skills

I've just caught a snippet of one of those 'Police Camera Action' type programmes. The little bit I saw featured a RTA where a car had hit a man on a motorbike. The man, we were told by the serious sounding narrator, was in a critical condition.

Indeed, he is lying on the pavement as paramedics work with him; he is screaming in agony. There is blood flowing down into the gutter. A conversation is going on, instigated by a cyclist who was first to arrive at the scene. It has been subtitled for the benefit of those of us who can't quite hear over the screaming. It goes something like this:

'Your alright mate, you're not dead.'
'Well, your left leg's OK anyway'
'But your bikes buggered.'
'But it looks like it was a cheap one'

Between fits of the giggles (I don't know whether to be shocked or disbelieving) I manage to make out that the accident took place outside the local hospital, and as well as the two paramedics, the man is being treated by a doctor who had just left work. On his bicycle.

Where in the name of all things holy did he learn his bedside manner??

(the answer is Sheffield. Don't EVER have an accident in Sheffield)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My ever-growing carbon footprint

Another blog meet has been arranged.

I am travelling to that well known borough in London, Barking and Debenhams, at the end of March to meet up with Secret Agent Schultz. This blogging friend, I have to tell you, has the most contagious laugh!

Here's another interesting thing, I was charged more to book my flight over than I was to actually fly on it! £2 for my return flight (all taxes waived) £10 to book said flight. Now, go work that one out.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Bloggers Meet: Dublin

Well, it's true: Cosmo doesn't look anything like his avatar.

It struck me as I was getting out of the car at a little bistro in Dublin last night that I had arranged to meet someone that I have never clapped eyes on, never mind met before, and I hadn't had the wit to reply 'yes, wear that red carnation!' I had a momentary scary image of me walking from table to table whispering 'Cosmo?' in peoples ears, and subsequently being arrested by the Garda Síochána for a breach of the peace.

Alternatively, I could just have shouted 'OK, who's going to own up to flying from Dublin to Cork just to drink a cup of Starbucks coffee in Cork airport??'

My first International blog meet took place last night with Cosmo and Mrs Cosmo, aka Dublin Mom. I cannot explain how lovely and yet how weird it was to hold a fullscale conversation with people you've never talked to before, but know lots about.
We had a great night and I learnt a lot about Cosmo's family, work and coffee drinking habits (I know why he's not been blogging so much of late) and he learnt that I drink tea just whatever way it comes, that we have a tendancy to be late and that my husband is, without a shadow of a doubt, deluded ;-)

And ears will have been burning because of course we talked about all you other bloggers as well.

Hopefully we will be able to do it again either here or there, but so we can keep in touch meantime in blogland, I have added Dublin Mom to my recycled blogroll. Thankyou both for taking time out of your busy schedules to meet up. I know your free time is very precious, so I'm doubly doubly grateful!

Who's next??

Thursday, January 08, 2009


I am off to the Fair City tomorrow evening to see a friend I've not yet met. Cosmo, here I come :-)

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Please, no no no!

Donal MacIntyre cannot be taking part in Dancing on Ice. Man, what is the world coming to?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

501 Must-Visit Islands

I love travelling, and I love islands - generally because so many of them are in hot places and they have beaches. So when I got a copy of the book '501 Must-Visit Islands' for Christmas I was delighted.

I have to say, I have travelled pretty extensively. Well, I thought I had, so imagine my shock when I started flicking through the 501 must-visit islands to discover that I have only visited 19 of them. That's only 3.79% Good grief, if my son scored that in a test I'd flatten him!

Of course, there is the fact that some of the islands I have visited don't make the cut, like Oahu for instance. And if you could count islands I had nearly visited, well, I'd have fared much better, but I have to admit that, eh, well, eh ... out of the 12 must-visit islands listed for Ireland, I have been to none.

Which islands did I manage then? Well:

Manhattan Island; Statten Island;Long Island; Rhode Island; Barbados; St Lucia; Isle of Man; Jersey; Majorca; The Canaries; Malta; Gozo; Crete; Corfu; Cyprus; The Maldives; Bali; Gili Islands; Lombok.

Obviously there's quite a bit of work to do on this. Another project!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Mashed turnips

Tonights Magners League score:

Munster 11 Ulster 37


Friday, January 02, 2009


I got a cupcake desk calendar for Christmas with a different cupcake for every day of the year, so I thought I would post the 'cupcake of the day' on this blog, just to make your mouths water! If, like Kelly, you are a big fan of cupcakes and you fancy getting your hands on the recipe of the day - please ask.

Talking of cupcakes, I had an email from Ulster rugby today to tell me that the tickets for the Stade V Ulster Heineken match Dolly and I want to see in Paris go on sale on Monday, at £51 a ticket. 51 squidly-didly!! I only want to sit on the seat, I don't actually want to rent it for the season! For that money, I expect them to throw in a calendar for free, and the Stade guys to play the game in the nude. Curse the weak pound.

Finally, and this has nothing to do with cupcakes, there is a new blog listed in my blogroll; Esther lives in the Philippines, but has done the most fantastic blog on Northern Ireland. If you have any questions about this little corner of the world, I refer you to her site.

Oh, I should have said earlier - you might want to turn the sound off on your computer for this post. Opps, too late :-)

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Bloggers meet 1

When you decide to meet people over a period of time, you have to, simply must start with the most important people first.

I had my first bloggers meet today, and here is the photo to prove it. It might not have been the most difficult to arrange, or the furthest away, but (with apologies to Pluto for bursting his bubble) it was with the most important bloggers.

Michael, Dolly, Gracie and I all met up (with a few other people in attendance!) at Gracie's and her mum and dad made us all a fantabulous dinner. After that we played Family Fortunes and our team won.

That had nothing to do with cheating but was thanks largely to the efforts and imagination of the three wee bloggers. That and the fact that all the oldies were on the other team. And grandad doesn't know too much about ballet :-)

We had a really great afternoon, we'll have to make sure we do it again soon!

Lemonade ... and then ...

You may have noticed that Dana presented me with a 'Lemonade Award' this week for 'taking those lemons thrown at you and squeezing back. Real hard' . Amazing, that someone who has been through so much herself this year should think I am deserving.

The Lemonade Award is not really a traditional tag, but apparently, if I want, I can pass it on.

Well, I want to mark the start of 2009 by passing it on to a friend who has also been through a lot in the last 12 months. She has had more lemons thrown at her than Sprite and 7UP combined would use in their respective beverages, and yet of all she has just kept making lemonade with a smile on her face and faith in her heart.

Wils, I promise I won't tag you again this year :-)

Goodness, it's like buses! You blog for two and a half years and think noone even looks at your mad ramblings and then all of a sudden really generous people start giving you awards! I'm like 'what?? me??'

Judy has bestowed another award upon me thus:

"This blog invests and believes the PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are extremely charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly written text into the body of their award."

I guess all those words mean I have an award for being friendly, and hey ... I'm going to pass this one on to all the friends I've made through my blogging.