Monthly Archives: March 2008

Food Monday ~ Gingerbread

Preheat oven to 140°C

200g Butter
200g Soft Brown Sugar
100g Golden Syrup
100 Black Treacle
300g Plain Flour
2 Eggs, beaten
1x15ml Ground Ginger
A pinch of Salt
1x10ml Ground Cinnamon
250ml Warm Milk
1x5ml Bicarbonate Soda

Melt together slowly the treacle, sugar and butter, stirring all the time. Remove from the heat and stir in the beaten eggs. Sieve the flour, salt, cinnamon and ginger and stir into the melted mixture. Sieve the bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and pour the warm milk over it. Add this to the treacle mixture, stirring well to combine all the ingredients. Pour into a prepared 2lb loaf tin and bake for about 1 hour. Allow to cool in tin. If possible 😉 keep for a day or two before serving.

It finally happened

I should have known.

It was becoming an obsession…..

all this reading of blogs and surfing the net…

I opened yet another email and look what I found…


Whoever produced this document was very clever, so I took the advice and went in search of Toyboys

I found Two

A man, a boy, a dog and an open book on the ground. The sculpture has a central place at Junction One Outlet shopping Centre, between Antrim and Ballymena, Co Antrim. At first glance it seems very ordinary. To appreciate it fully you need to read the message in the open book on the ground.

The message in the book is as follows:

Brian Alabaster of Suffolk made this

sculpture in 2003. His son Sam, a 15 year old boy with Downs Syndrome sits reading with his Grandpa, Dickie, who is 82, Sam’s dog Billy, age 10, is at his feet.

My Memoir

Alice from My Wintersong has given me a task – To write my own six word memoir – at least its not 1000 words! She was tagged by Colleen over at Meanderings.

The rules:

  • Write your own six word memoir.
  • Post it on your blog, including a visual illustration if you’d like.
  • Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to the original post if possible so that it can be tracked as it travels across the blogosphere.
  • Tag at least five more blogs with links;
  • and Leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

So let me think…



Low down on life

Now for the fun part 👿

Let’s see what the Toyboys are made of 😀 Are you ready?






You think you’ll never forget…

But you do..

  • How tiny the fingers and toes are on a new born baby.
  • The feather like touch of a toddler’s fingers as they explore your face.
  • The skip in your heart when you see the first Snowdrop emerge from Winter slumber.
  • The smell of newly cut grass.
  • The freshness after a summer shower of rain.
  • The sight of a young couple in love, almost before they realise it themselves.

Thursday Special ~ My Next Life

I want to live my next life backwards!

You start out dead and get that out of the way right off the bat.

Then, you wake up in a nursing home feeling better every day.

When you are kicked out of the home for being too healthy, you spend several years enjoying your retirement and collecting pension checks.

When you start work, you get a gold watch on your first day.

You work 40 years or so, getting younger every day until pretty soon

You’re too young to work.

So then, you go to high school: play sports, date, drink, and party.

As you get even younger, you become a kid again.

You go to primary school, play, and have no responsibilities.

In a few years, you become a baby and everyone runs themselves ragged keeping you happy.

You spend your last 9 months floating peacefully in luxury,

spa-like conditions: central heating, room service on tap.

Until finally…You finish off as an orgasm.

I rest my case.


Do you ever wake up and think I would love a new house? Sometimes I let my mind wander and think of all the different options there are available in today’s world.

While out for a walk I found the ideal new home.

  • Rural location
  • All on one level
  • Fully Air-conditioned
  • Small garden

What do you think?

2008-03-21 Local walk 2

The bathroom looked large and airy

2008-03-21 Local walk 24

Pity it was across the road!

Patience is a Virtue

Remember this?

Irish Independent 18-03-2008

You will remember my Post about it and the follow up Apology Huh! I know you eagerly await the outcome so let me recap.

I emailed a letter to the Editor of the Irish Independent because I took exception to the photograph of Grandad & I with Martha Rotter of Microsoft at the Irish Blog Awards 2008, appearing directly under a heading ‘WEIRD WIDE WEB’. I copied my email to my daughter Elly. What is so weird about blogging or the fact that I a sixty-one year old woman and Grandad, who is in fact, a few years younger in age and by a month in blogging time, pass our time with this hobby? Both of us for our pains are rewarded regularly with comments. The wonderful faithful readers range in age from over 80 up to 18!

Yesterday afternoon as I worked about the house I heard the ping announcing an email. It is like the phone ringing, you want to know the details right away. This is what I received minus the email addresses and phone numbers which I removed:

From Marie Boran –

date Tue, Mar 25, 2008 at 3:01 PM

subject FW: eThursday

Hi Grannymar,

I have read your blog post ‘Apology huh!’ and to answer you: I didn’t email you because your daughter, who alerted me to your letter requesting an apology from the Independent in the first place, said she would pass on the email directly to you and that you might be in touch.

As I said in the email, I didn’t create the caption ‘Weird Wide Web’, it is a pre-existing section for non-business related technology headlines. In the spirit of openness feel free to publish the email which I sent your daughter on your blog because as I have already said, I am not ageist in the slightest not would I ever wish to cause offence.

To clarify, the letter requesting an apology that you sent to the Independent would never have reached me because Silicon Republic is a separate entity that provides the independent with its technology news.

Yours sincerely,

Marie Boran
Tel: +353 (0)1 XXX XXXX

‘I didn’t email you because your daughter, who alerted me to your letter requesting an apology from the Independent in the first place, said she would pass on the email directly to you and that you might be in touch.’

Why would I be in touch? I did not know, and from the layout of the page it is not clear that is responsible for the content on the page. In fact there is a thick blue line under our photo separating it from the large advert and the article ‘Why don’t we do digital dinner?’ written by Marie Boran.

I didn’t create the caption ‘Weird Wide Web’, it is a pre-existing section for non-business related technology headlines.’

If the offending heading with the word WEIRD was pre Ms Boran, then I was correct in the first place addressing my correspondence to the Editor of the Irish Independent.

The second e-mail was sent to Elly (coincidently on my sixty-first Birthday) and not to me, therefore it was not mine to print here on the blog without permission.

Last week I phoned the Irish Independent and asked to speak to the Editor. I was informed that he was away and asked if I would like to speak to his deputy. She was not interested in hearing what I had to say she sounded condescending and her manner was almost rude. She informed me that it could take THREE weeks for the Editor to read an email???? Yes I did say three weeks!

On Mon, Mar 10, 2008 at 9:58 AM, Marie Boran – wrote:

Hi Elly,

Sorry for any offence caused by the heading ‘Weird Wide Web’ – that’s the section where eThursday does anything different ie not business related, but I can see how this caused offence to your mother. Tell her that I apologize sincerely and that I find nothing ‘weird’ about older bloggers and I am not ageist in the slightest.

Just to reiterate again, I didn’t write the caption ‘weird wide web’ – it is a standard label that is part of the eThur layout and was there before I even worked there but in order to get the blog awards and the fact that your mother won, into eThursday, I had to work around the standards that already exist.

I did write the text ‘Senior citizen bloggers known as Grannymar and Grandad tied for the award of the best personal blog at the Irish Blog Awards 2008’ but I do not see how this is offensive.

I will let the editor of eThursday know that your mother found it offensive to have her picture and name in the ‘weird wide web’ section and wants an apology printed.

Marie Boran.

I replied to Marie Boran’s email to me saying that my anger was not with her as a person, but with the use of the heading above our picture. I noticed there was no picture the following week under the heading and the nuns she mentioned and pictured in the main article were well away from it! But then they were using mobile phones and nothing to do with blogging! 😉

Did I get an Apology? I’m not Elly!

On one hand we are told that 60 is the new 40 and on the other we are past it and ready for the scrap heap! It is almost worse than being an adolescent!

Sounds from My Past

We all have sounds stored in our memory banks. Sounds that can bring you right back to a particular place, or to a moment in time.

The rhythmic sound of mammy beating/creaming butter and sugar in a large delft baking bowl with a wooden spoon, it was the first stage in the making of all cakes. Remember it was before we had food processors and electric mixers.

The pressure cooker sounding like a steam train as it came up to pressure. It was used at least twice a week to boil marrow bones or chicken carcases for the making of stock for soup. Once cooked, the bones were soft; the liquid was put through a strainer and left to cool, usually overnight. The following morning the liquid had set like a jelly with a layer of solid fat on top.

Irish dancing on the radio – No not me! It was ‘Take the Floor’ on Radio Eireann, with Dingo the presenter calling out the steps like they do in square or barn dancing, while we heard the music and the sound of the dancer’s feet.

The sound of coal or logs cracking brightly in the hearth on a cold winter’s night…

And singing voices… Around the fireside in our house when visitors came, everyone had their own song:

‘An Cuileann’ (The Coulin).* sung by my maternal grandmother right up to her 80th year. An Aunt and Uncle with their rendition of the love duets from the Shows, Bitter Sweet, Bless the Bride and Rose Marie to name a few.

There was Nora from Cork who always sang ‘If I were a blackbird’ leading to songs that included many of the 32 counties on this Island of Ireland. These included Rose of Tralee, The County of Armagh, Galway Bay, Come back Paddy Reilly and The Kerry Dances, The Mountains of Mourne, Skibbereeen and Danny Boy.

I vividly remember following a wedding, one of the guests, a gentleman from Derry singing a hauntingly beautiful version of ‘She moved through the Fair’. I never met him before or since, but when I hear that song I am back there beside the fire transfixed!

My final musical memory for now takes me back to the early 70’s, when I was involved with a musical society in Dublin. We attended the annual AIMS (Association of Irish Musical Societies) Awards weekend during the month of May in Waterford. The hotel was fully booked by the members with the overflow staying at other hotels and B&B’s in the area. The atmosphere was very similar to that of the recent Irish Blog Awards, a large group of people of very different ages and from all walks of life, friendly and inclusive, with everyone sharing information and stories of shows they had performed.

The Awards were presented on the Saturday night at a dinner, and naturally with a common interest in music we sang the night away finishing every year at 6am with the members of St Agnes’ Belfast, and The Glasnevin (Dublin), the largest of the Societies leading us in six part harmony of ‘All in an April Evening’! Once again whenever I hear that sung I am back with those wonderfully talented people.

What sounds move your heart?

* I found an instrumental version of ‘An Cuileann’ by J.J. Sheridan on Soul of the Irish Piano

Food Monday ~ Treacle Scones

I came across this recipe while looking for ideas to post. I first tasted these scones about 28 years ago. It was a new one for me at that time. Treacle scones make a change from the more usual plain, fruit or wheaten. Not being a butter fan I like them with jam (jelly). The dough is very soft.

Treacle Scones
Preheat oven to 200° C

8ozs Plain Flour
½ teaspoon Bicarbonate Soda
1oz Margarine
1 teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1oz Sugar
½ teaspoon Mixed Spice
½ tsp Cinnamon
Pinch Salt
¼ pint Milk
1 tablespoon Black Treacle

Sift flour, bread soda, cream of tartar & salt in a bowl. Add mixed spice & cinnamon. Rub in the margarine until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs, and then add the sugar. Mix the treacle with the milk. Make a well in the flour mixture pour on the milk and mix well (softer than normal dough). Roll out carefully onto floured board and cut into squares. Place on a floured baking tray and brush the tops with milk. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 12-15 minutes.