Monthly Archives: January 2008

Vindication it is then…

Another dull grey day and I had so many little items to annoy keep me from boredom.

The wheels on my vacuum cleaner needed de-squeaking.

Shower head needed scouring. Well that one was easy, once disconnected an hour in a bucket of water with vinegar and it scoured itself.

Bake some fresh wheaten bread. While the oven was on and only half full, a Lemon Drizzle Cake was just the thing to fill the oven and take the empty look off my tins. Bet you are sorry not to call for coffee that day!

Time for a break, a rest and to check the blogs! I also needed to sort out the printer/scanner. Why? Well, my racist printer took a dislike to yellow and red. Perhaps it had a touch of the January Blues! The ink levels said black 60% and coloured 60%. I did all the usual things like checking the print head nozzles and cleaning the print head. Nothing for it but change the Cartridge. Thankfully it is once again working well.

Now thinking I earned my rest for an hour or three what do I find? That young whipper snapper Hayles with the hole in her head nose over at Coffee Helps has tagged me for a meme. It’s going the rounds like a Norovirus! Grandad was at it first then K8, I was trying to keep well under the Radar on this one since the the only thing I can draw is a chair – and not far across the floor either!

Well the bread was not ready so I thought I would have a go at this here meme.

Here’s how it works.

This random article title is the name of your band.

The last four words of the very last quote is the name of your album.

The third picture on this page is your cover.

Ok, fingers crossed and here we go! So we have a title.

Now on to stage 2. Last quote and only the last four words, pity since quotes two or three sound better, but I have to play by the rules!
Finally the third picture on the page! What in *##*#* am I to do with that?

What I am told of course! And here it is: Dah Daaa!

CD Cover

So what do you think? Don’t say rubbish or my tender ego will shatter. 😉

Now go buy it and make me a fortune!

So who will I annoy today? Let me see….

No point in having a daughter if not to annoy her so Elly, and Chrisb who is always game and Ian who nobody tags, and I’m jealous ’cause he is back fresh and well from his holiday.

Food Monday ~ Broccoli & Almond Soup

I mentioned making soup the other day and Steph from The biopsy report asked if I had any interesting ideas. My favourite at the moment is Broccoli & Almond. It is one of my regulars at this time of year. I have been known to consume a pint of it with a couple of slices of my own wheaten bread for lunch. As my father used to say ‘It is good enough to put hair on your chest!’

Broccoli & Almond Soup
Serves 4

1 red Onion peeled & chopped
2tbsp Sunflower Oil
2 pints Chicken stock
2ozs ground Almonds
1 Bay Leaf
5 fluid oz’s single Cream
1 lb Broccoli florets Pepper & Salt
A dash of Vermouth or White Wine (optional)
(I use one bunch of broccoli florets and stalk chopped finely)

In microwave safe bowl cook onion for 45 seconds on High.

Add chopped broccoli, ground almonds and 6 oz’s of stock and cook for 12 min or until tender stir twice. In food processor with knife blade attached or blender process mixture until smooth. Return to the bowl add remainder of stock plus half the cream and season with salt & pepper. Cook covered on High for 4 min. Just before serving swirl in remaining cream and booze.

The recipe came to me for microwave cooking but I make the soup on the stove in the traditional way and think the flavour is better. At this stage I judge the weights etc by looking at them in the pot!


Making this soup for myself I leave out the cream and add extra liquid as I have problems with dairy products. You may wish to sweat the onions in butter.

I have the soup fresh the day I make it and freeze the remainder in portions suitable for one person ready to pull out on days when I don’t feel like cooking.


Out of the mouth of babes

A Sunday school class was studying the Ten Commandments. They were ready to discuss the last one.

The teacher asked if anyone could tell her what it was.

Susie raised her hand, stood tall, and quoted, “Thou shall not take the covers off thy neighbour’s wife.

Is this Saturday?

One of the problems about not going out to work is that you have to think about what day it is. One day becomes just like any other.

For once the rain has stopped and we have a very weak sun in the sky.

The birds have stripped my Cotoneaster trees of their abundance of berries and I am left with what they didn’t eat and what they did all over the patio! It is not a pretty picture!

Time to don the wellies and go clear up.

What do you wear…

On a Sunday afternoon recently while listening to Gardeners Question Time (BBC Radio 4), one of the questions made me smile.

What do you wear in your wellies? (Wellington Boots)

The questioner admitted to wearing bed-socks inside her rubber boots to keep her feet warm while working in the garden.

When the titters of laughter died down the panel gave their answers.

One guy used newspaper to soak up dampness and keep in heat, while another male panelist swore by ladies tights!! The only lady on the team wore an old pair of her husband’s socks over her own.

So what does Grannymar wear? Do you really want to know?

Well to begin with my wellies are so old the thread on the soles would not pass a road safety test. I find them very heavy nowadays so only don them when I have no other choice.

Somewhere in days of yore I read about making insoles from carpet to line the base of Wellington boots. Fortunately it was at a time when we were in the process of changing floor covering. I cut insoles to size and placed them in the boots. It works! I also find that Ski Tubes, those 24” long socks without heel shaping are warm and comfortable in my boots. I bought a couple of pairs about eight years ago to wear when rambling, something I used to do most weekends.

Ski Tubes

My ski socks served their time well and are as good as ever to this day.

Red ones keep you warmer, perhaps that is physiological, but I do know of one nursing home that provides red bed-socks for the inhabitants for that very reason!

Thursday Special – MORNING SEX

Morning Dear

She was in the kitchen preparing to boil eggs for breakfast.
He walked in;

She turned and said,
You’ve got to make love to me this very moment.’

His eyes lit up and he thought, ‘This is my lucky day.’

Not wanting to lose the moment, he embraced her and then gave it his all; right there on the kitchen table.

Afterwards she said, ‘Thanks,’ and returned to the stove.

More than a little puzzled, he asked, ‘What was that all about?’

She explained, ‘The egg timer’s broken.’

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?


Well I glanced, as you do, at the bit where the fishes swim in opposite directions you know well what I am talking about. Now we all know it is the greatest load of codswallop , but we have to take a peek. Some day… just one day it might be right….

Horoscope for Monday, January 14, 2008 By Rick Levine


Your life could settle down enough now for you to get your personal responsibilities under control. Perhaps you’ve been remiss in meeting your obligations, but today you are driven by more practical concerns. Forget about the idle fantasies.

Direct action — not dreaming about it — will bring you face-to-face with the happiness you seek.’

“Direct action” I murmur thinking of all the chores for the day.

I put the computer to sleep and put away the keyboard. I stand up and turn around and what happens? I am face-to-face with >>>>>

Well for a split second I of course thought it was my mother. She follows and haunts me so much that I say “What are here for now?”

Relax she was not back from the dead, it was Me! Yes I was face-to-face with my reflection in a mirror. Not bad for a Monday morning I thought, at this distance the lines don’t really show and the hair is more pepper than salt. Turning the corner I see the lens cleaning cloth and remember to clean my glasses. Removing the glasses I discover how smudged and greasy they are, it is a wonder I can see anything through the lenses.

“Direct action, direct action” I hum to myself and decide to go purchase the extra ingredients needed to make a pot of soup. Going into the bedroom to get my coat, I am once more face-to-face with me! This time there are more lines and the front of my hair has gone very white. How can that happen in a couple of strides and a half a minute? Of course the light is different in the bedroom (and the glasses are now clean)! Well if that’s how I look, that’s how it is, I have no intention of taking to the bottle. There are far to many women my age out there walking around with dead straw on their heads.

I did make it to the shops and buy what I needed, but everywhere I went I was confronted with mirror walls or glass cases that reflected my face back at me. Why had I never noticed them before? Walking uphill with my bundle to my little castle I met an acquaintance who told me I was looking very well.

Continuing on my uphill journey I mulled over what the acquaintance had said. Yes, I was looking well and health wise so much better than this time five/six years ago. Back then I was racked with pain and unable to cross my living room without hanging on and I mean HANGING on to the furniture. I do have my bad days and various aches and pains but not the constant 24/7 pains in joints and muscles making it difficult to get out of bed, dress and raise my arms to brush my hair. I have a GP who really listens to me and the cocktail of medication finally suits me and works for and not against me.

I am normally a ‘glass half full’ kinds gal, but November and December were a real drag this time round. The corner has been turned and today we reach the halfway point in the longest most difficult month in the Calendar. Perhaps the prediction was correct for once, and I was able to come face-to-face with the realisation that the happiness was there all the time deep inside myself!

Sometimes we have to travel through a dark passage to appreciate the good bright times ahead.

Back in March 2002 Elly came home from Scotland to spend a weekend with me. Instead of drowning the Shamrock we spent the time in A&E at Antrim Hospital. I was ill and in extreme unexplained pain. On her return she gave notice and returned home to look after me. It was a very black time for both of us. After several months she had the chance of a good job in Dublin. Once again I pushed her out and changed the locks 😉

It was the best move she ever made, she found a career, love and a wonderful caring husband. Perhaps without my illness that might never have come to pass.

Doctor, Doctor…

I heard a Dr speaking the other day about a patient presenting with very straight forward symptoms for tennis elbow.

The patient assured the GP that he never in his life played tennis and that he hated to even watch the game.

A long discussion ensued about lifestyle and exercise. Then the Doctor asked the patient to describe in detail how he had spent the last week. Eureka!

Now let me digress for a moment…

The ‘must have’ gift at Christmas this year, from what I hear, was the Wii. I know a few people who did get a Wii with a couple of these as well.

Wii Remotes

Wii Remotes, so it is possible to play with both hands!

Now back to the Doctor, his patient and the Eureka moment. The patient did get a Wii for Christmas and now on top of that he has the newest version of RSI – now to be known as Wii Elbow!

So tell me did you get a wee Wii lately? Try to put it down for a while every now and then and do as I am often told – get a life!