Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Children's Special Service Mission or Come Single Soon Married. The latter never worked for me, as an attendee or a worker.

This week our local CSSM is running, unusually for Northern Ireland anyway, it is an urban setting - most CSSMs are found on the beach. Or, lets be honest, in church halls near beaches sheltering from the rain.

So CSSM has started and, like all good medicines, you get three doses a day - morning, afternoon and evening.

My eldest is the child of responsibility. When notes are given out at school, the eldest child in the family gets them. Before that, at day nursery, notes and even more importantly the monthly bill would also have been put in the bag of the eldest child. My eldest took the responsibility of handing over these little brown envelopes very seriously.

Which is why, when given a gift envelope for the work of Scripture Union at CSSM in his first year attending, he came bolting out of the church shouting 'mummy, we got the bill today!'.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Star signs

We were watching a TV programme tonight in which there was a discussion about star signs, which prompted the following conversation in the room.

'What star sign am I mummy?' asks Dolly.

Pause for a moment, thinking, then: 'I don't know sweetheart.'

Continue to watch TV when a couple of minutes later son pipes up: 'I know. You're a virgin.'

Double entendre

There was a big conference thing going on up in a 'big tent' on the North coast last week. Called New Horizon, this has been happening at the same place for years and years and years, and lots of people make that week their holiday week up in the Coleraine area.

One of my dad's bowling buddies was up for it, staying in his caravan. He travelled into the conference by bus, and being elderly, a bit immobile and having not very good eyesight, (I'm betting you're wondering how this man plays a competitive sport like bowls!) he asked the bus driver would he let him know when they got to the stop nearest the 'big tent'.

Sure enough, after a while on the bus, the driver shouts down "get off here mate for the big tent.''

Which dad's mate did, to find he had been dropped off at ... the circus, which also happened to be in town.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I took the lawnmower for a walk today

I thought I was cutting the grass; turns out the rotors or cutters or whatever you call them weren't lowered.

I wondered why the grass didn't look any shorter when I'd finished.

Actually, I'm going to elaborate on this story. You should know that, so temperamental is the machine that I had to make two phone calls to find out which bit to kick to get it to work in the first instance.

Then, on the one hundredth pull of the cord whilst holding the switch simultaneously in the 'on' position while the 10 year old engaged the brake, when it did start, the thing developed a life of it's own and literally dragged said 10 year old round the garden behind it. With me chasing along behind in my flip-flops.

Add to that the fact that I was then insulted and ridiculed by being told I was using it like a hoover, not a lawnmower.

And at the end of all this, it turns out the feckin grass still hasn't been cut.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Go figure

A novel written in 1997 in which the woman wears a gabardine suit and fur coat, the man wears horn-rimmed spectacles, and they all use mobile phones.

I'm having difficulty because I don't see those things all belonging in the one era.

Not to mention that the gabardine-clad, so called crack team of British spies have never heard of a Chinook. What's that all about??

This book is really starting to cause me angst.

Monday, July 20, 2009

The McWedding

Whilst on holiday recently, we met a Scottish couple who were there with a small group of friends and family for their McWedding on the beach. Kilts, sporrins and wooly socks in 32oC, I ask you.

Anyway, they'd chosen the perfect setting; least of all because of the palm lined beaches, the gentle lapping of sea against the sands, and glorious sunshine ... most of all because it was an all-inclusive resort with drink available in various bars 16 hours a day. If you think the Irish are hardened drinkers, you should see the Glaswegians knock em back!

As the day of the big event approached, it became time for the McStag-Night. One of the party had booked the men onto the sunset cruise. What that person did not understand was that, far from being a booze cruise, it was full of romantic couples, some of which were gay.

I have to say, it's the first time I've actually seen a stag party more sober at the end of the night than they were at the start of it.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Jeremy the helicopter pilot

Not, not a children's book written by a certain (ex) Royal but some lessons learnt from my second ever helicopter ride that I didn't learn from the first one
  1. turbulance is a very bad thing
  2. dont' ever fly in a helicopter in a thunder and lightning storm
  3. Enniskillen whirlybird pilots are much more 'terrified user-friendly' than St Lucian ones
  4. when the pilot asks 'do you like rollercoasters?', the answer is always 'no' and should be given without a moments hesitation. In fact, I would clear that point up before I even got into the thing
  5. everyone wears the headsets, therefore everyone hears you swear
  6. helicopters don't carry boke bags

Richard Branson

If you are in the habit of 'googling' your own name and find this
post, I want you to know that your pilots look nothing like the one
one the '25 years and still hot'.

Disappointing. Very disappointing.

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, July 10, 2009


If the Twelfth is on the thirteenth this year, when is the Eleventh?

Thursday, July 09, 2009

The discerning few

may have noticed that the diary has become a very quiet place of late. The music, more often chosen for it's witty context than musical value, has disappeared from my blog.

This is because the site I used, Playlist, seems to be having legal difficulties whereby every time I try to link in a witty ditty I get a message to say that due to licensing restrictions, some or all tracks may be unavailable for playback in your country. It would appear the word 'some' is there purely to create false hope in my country.

So turn on your sound, crack up the volume and do not be afraid - the days of being assaulted by such musical masterpeices as '99 words for boobs' on this site are, sadly, gone.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Fun Monday

It's been a while since I did one of these; busy, busy, busy!

This idea is contributed by mamarehema who is interested to know how people have spent 4th July - American Independence Day.

Being in the States on St Patrick's Day is a favourite of mine (twice in the past two years!) but way, way back in 2001 I attended a conference in Rhode Island and had opportunity to take a bit of a break in Cape Cod before I travelled down.

I was really looking forward to being State-side for the 4th July holiday and seeing all the pomp, ceremony and fireworks up close and personal. But as luck would have it, on the morning of the 4th I woke with a streaming cold.

So off I pop to the local shop and, being a little Irish girl instead of a local, buy myself something that looked like it might help clear all the rotten cold symptoms.

Only it must have been three times as strong as anything we sell over the counter in Ireland, because within an hour I was out for the count, in the sleep of the dead, comatose. And so remained for the rest of the day, completely missing any festivities that may have taken place around me. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what we call Murphy's Law.
Just for the record, we don't have an Independence Day in Belfast. We have'The Twelfth'. 'Nuff said.

Friday, July 03, 2009

The 'stupid cat' is dead

Let me tell you about Harry.

A long, long time ago, Harry arrived in our family quite by mistake and with an ultimatum. My brother was involved in a church outreach programme on the Lower Ormeau Road in Belfast and the team were having lunch one day when there was a knock at the door.

My brother and the leader in charge went to see who was there, but were a bit puzzled to see nobody on the step. About to turn round and go back to their lunch, the leader in charge heard a faint sound. On closer inspection, he noted that the sound was coming from a plastic bag at the doorstep. On closer listening, he decided it was a baby abandoned for them to take care of.

And then that big strapping (now lawyer) leader in charge showed his true leadership qualities and ran and hid whilst my brother was left to investigate the baby in the bag.

The 'baby' turned out to be a wee new kitten, orange and white and completely feral. Everyone oohed and ahhed but at going home time nobody stepped up to the mark to take the kitten home.

By happy coincidence, mother and I were in Crete that week on holiday, so the kitten was smuggled into our garage, where it lived in blissful ignorance for four days until we got home. We first knew something was a bit odd when we saw a note sellotaped to the garage door that said 'Do Not Open'.

Brother introduced us and mum told him he had three days to find 'it' a home. He was canny, my brother, and didn't bother his backside doing anything about it and soon three days turned into a week, a fortnight a month and then Harry (so named as he was dumped in a Harrods plastic bag) was a permanent fixture at home.

So permanent in fact, that nine years ago when my brother moved out into his own house, Harry stayed with mum. Showing that, despite the fact dad insisted on renaming him 'that stupid cat' and chasing him out of the house every opportunity he got, Harry was indeed a very clever cat!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Vanity of vanities; all is vanity

I went and had my eyebrows waxed this evening. Usually that means I come away with thinner, trimmer, more sleek, less hairy eyebrows. As you would expect really.

Well, not tonight. Whatever they managed to do, however they managed to do it, this evening I came away with eyebrows doing a seriously good impersonation of Susan Boyle.

You think I exaggerate? When I appeared home the Dolly took one look at me and exclaimed 'What have you done to your eyebrows?? They're massive!!' I called round to drop something off with a friend and she's staring at my eyes. 'Did you get those waxed?' she asks. 'I did' I reply. 'Well,' she says. 'you're going to have to get them done again!'

And now you know why it's only ever the eyebrows that get the waxing treatment.

Blogging from bed

It's not that I've nothing to blog about, it's just that I've not had
time to log in and blog.

Life is busy, take this evening for example. I'm just in from having
spent the evening introducing Robin 'These are the days of Elijah'
Mark's trumpeter to Jesus. Only the Anglicans amongst you will fully

But I digress. As may have been ascertained by photographic evidence,
the helicopter flight went well. Very well in fact. So well indeed,
I've decided to have another go next Sunday. But this time with a
pilot who remembers to put on his glasses before he starts flying.

And then I'm considering a bit of skydiving after that :-p

Interestingly, as we flew over Lough Erne on Sunday morning my pilot
was very keen to point out Bertie Fisher's house below us. For those
of you who don't know, Bertie was a well known, highly acclaimed local
rally driver who was tragically killed ... in a helicopter crash.

You gotta love the Irish sense of humour.

Sent from my iPhone