Daily Archives: January 16, 2008

High Tea from a Low Table

Sabrina Dent and Ina extended an invitation to all of Ireland’s women bloggers to join them for tea and cakes (or martinis and olives, if you prefer) for a few hours before the Irish Blog Awards.on 1st March.


I was ready to scream, and throw something heavy at my screen the other day when I read they were suggesting a pre Awards meet-up for Ladies Only.

Ok, ok! I hear you grumble “There goes that old Grannymar again! She has only one interest and we all know what that is! Toyboys, toyboys and more toyboys!

Actually the word bursting from my lips at the time was ‘Clique’ I saw the idea as a break away from the mood and idea of the day. Next up RedMum is organising a meetup of photobloggers and photographers. I suppose in an hour or two it will be the Pints for the Boys meetup.

Bloggers come in all shapes and sizes, some fresh and young with the urgency of snowdrops about to push through the ground, while there are others like me weather beaten and creaking like the branches of an old tree bending with the weight of a hundred years. This Bertie Bassett Mix is what the blogosphere is all about. What is so scary about it? We chat and banter with each other every day. There are no strangers there, only friends we have not met yet.

I decided to sit on my hands for a day or two and cool down. I lurked as they say and read the comments on the different blogs. Bock the Robber, never shy, asked the question for me. He wrote:

This blog awards thing is coming up soon and I’m looking forward to meeting a lot of people face to face that I’ve only corresponded with electronically.

Now, suppose I announced that I was organising a meet-up but it was only for men. Suppose I said that women were banned from it, what do you think would happen?

Would people call me a stupid, sexist fucker? Would a whole heap of shite pour down on my head from every woman in Ireland for being an uptight, narrow-minded, anti-woman bigot?


And they’d be right.

The girls were all for the meetup and King Damien gave it his blessing. So as the song goes ‘I think I’ll have to think it out again!’

I go places alone and have no difficulty walking into a room full of strangers. Well, it is either that or live the life of a hermit! So back to the thinking…

  • The girls seem to think it is a good idea; some of the names are familiar to me. But who is that Elly she seems to get her nose in everywhere!
  • The photobloggers might end up clicking their way through the day as it moves to the Big Event and produce a digital flavour for all to enjoy.
  • This only leaves the boys with the whole afternoon to fix their hair and enjoy a pint in peace.

Maybe with the help of hindsight it is not a bad idea after all. If I make it to Dublin and since my chauffeur Elly is already booked in I might come along.

Now where did I put that feather Boa?



Originally in the form of a Podcast, not gone, it tells the story of the power of love between a child and his or her favourite toy. Thankfully, I still have the text version…..

There was once a velveteen rabbit, and in the beginning he was really splendid. He was fat and bunchy, as a rabbit should be; his coat was spotted brown and white, he had real thread whiskers, and his ears were lined with pink sateen.

So begins the story of ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ written by Margery Williams and first published in 1922. It tells the tale of the power of love between a child and his favourite toy. It’s a book I remember reading to my little Elly sweet smelling and fresh from her bath and all tucked up warm and cosy in bed.

The Rabbit and the Skin Horse were lying side by side near the nursery fender and talking.

“What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”

“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.

“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

 Velveteen Rabbit

The Velveteen Rabbit

Sammy came to live with us a very long time ago.

It was when we had a tiny new baby girl. Friends and relations came from far and wide to meet her. Jen my four year old niece, tip-toed over to the pram and peeped in at the sleeping baby, I lifted her up to kiss her newest cousin and she caressed the tiny fingers on the baby’s hand. Before moving away Jen lifted a little bundle to her lips, kissed and whispered a private message, before placing the very special little gift in the pram beside baby Elly. It was a little orange and white squirrel. The white tail formed a handle along his back and was just big enough for a little girl’s hand. We called him Sammy Squirrel!

Sammy and Elly were never far from each other. She carried him about the house, he came to town and for drives in the car he even travelled on holiday with us every year. He was a good listener and heard all her secrets, at times he was soaked in tears if she had a bad day, but best of all was being held tightly as she slipped into dreamland. He was the friend she saw last thing at night and first thing in the morning.

Now Elly had a second passion when she was crawling about on the floor. It was playing with Mammy’s bag. If I left the bag down she made a beeline for it. Each item was removed squeezed, shaken and chewed before moving on to the next one. It was at the stage where babies put everything into their mouths. We were going on holiday so I decided to buy her a bag for herself when we got there.

Jack thought I was suffering heat stroke but went along with my idea. We were in Spain and leather bags were very reasonable. I wanted something that would hold Sammy, a small book and a game. As soon as I saw the bag I new it was just right, light colourful and appealing to a child. It became known as Sammy’s Bag and she packed it every time we travelled.

1984-Sleeping BeautySleeping Elly and Sammy

Eventually the bag was relegated to the back of the wardrobe. It held far too many memories to just dump it. Sammy sat on the bed and patiently waited for his best friend to come home from school. Somehow he managed to climb into the case for school trips and again when Elly moved to Scotland. He spent a year in France with Elly but I am not sure if he picked up any French!

I asked the other day if he was still about and sure enough a picture travelled across the web to assure me that not alone was he still around but his bag was there as well.






Sammy in his bag ->


I wonder if George knows he has competition?