Monthly Archives: April 2008

A flash from my Past

Yesterday I tried to answer a few questions. With one of my answers I gave away a snippet from my past. Mention was made of the good old days of Radio Luxembourg. The DJ who joined us for Christmas 1971 in Wiesbaden was Bob Stewart. The stories he told certainly made us laugh and the time passed in a flash. Alas, he had to leave us early on Boxing Day to drive back and open up the Station at 6pm. A tuck box was filled with tasty goodies and there was a special request for some of my Christmas pudding. (I plan to include it for a Food Monday in the autumn.)

In the picture above is Bob Stewart on the left with Mark Wesley and Peter Powell. I think it is from around 1977. The one below of Bob is how I like to remember him.

So what were we listening to all those years ago?

Ernie the Fastest Milkman in the West, Sung by Benny Hill was the No.1 for several weeksaround that Christmas.

Top Twenty August 1 1965, the year I left school.

1. Help! Beatles (Parlophone)

2. You’ve got your troubles Fortunes (Decca)

3. We gotta get out of this place Animals (Columbia)

4. Mr. Tambourine man Byrds (CBS)

5. Catches if you can Dave Clark Five (Columbia)

6. Tossing and turning Ivy League (Piccadilly)

7. There but for fortune Joan Baez (Fontana)

8. Heart full of soul Yardbirds (Columbia)

9. With these hands Tom Jones (Decca)

10. Wooly Bully Sam the Sham (MGM)

11. In the middle of nowhere Dusty Springfield (Philips)

12. Summer nights Marian Faithfull (Decca)

13. Everyone’s gone to the moon Jonathan King (Decca)

14. He’s got no love Searchers (Decca)

16. Zorba’s dance Marcello Minerbi (Durium)

17. A walk in the black forest Horst Jankowski (Mercury)

18. Too many rivers Brenda Lee (Brunswick)

19. Say you’re my girl Roy Orbison (London)

20. I’m alive Hollies (Parlophone)

Weekend Chart New Musical Express (Saturday, July 31, 1965).

And almost a year later:

Top Twenty from Sunday June 26 1966.

1. Paperback Writer Beatles (Parlophone)

2. Strangers In The Night Frank Sinatra (Reprise)

3. Monday, Monday Mama’s and Papa’s (RCA)

4. Sunny Afternoon Kinks (Pye)

5. Don’t Answer Me Cilla Black (Parlophone)

6. River Deep-Mountain High Ike and Tina Turner (London)

7. Nobody Needs Your Love Gene Pitney (Statesite)

8. When A Man Loves A Woman Percy Sledge (Atlantic)

9. Promises Ken Dodd (Columbia)

10. Sorrow Merseys (Fontana)

11. Paint It Black Rolling Stones (Decca)

12. Don’t Bring Me Down Animals (Decca)

13. Over Under Sideways Down Yardbirds (Columbia)

14. Hideaway Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky Mick and Tich (Fontana)

15. Wild Thing Troggs (Fontana)

16. Sloop John B Beach Boys (Capitol)

17. It’s A Man’s World James Brown (Pye Int.)

18. Get Away Georgie Fame (Columbia)

19. Bus Stop Hollies (Parlophone)

20. Lana Roy Orbison (London)

New Musical Express (Wednesday, June 22, 1966).

So how many of these do you remember?

Do You Know Me

Q. What’s your most challenging life experience?

A. Caring for my husband when he was ill with cancer.

Q. If you could re-do something in your life, what would it be?

A. Nobody can change the past, not even God, so there is no point wasting time on it.

Q. Have you done any travelling? If so, where did it take you?

A. I’m not finished travelling yet so come back in ten years for my answer.

Q. What life lesson have you learned that is most important to you?

A. To live in the moment.

Q. What’s your favourite pass-time?

A. Meeting new people and learning their back story.

Q. What “odd” thing about you don’t most people know?

A. I have a scar above my left eye.

Q. Share a moment of fame

A. A Radio Luxembourg DJ spent Christmas with us when I was in Germany. He loved my Christmas pudding so much; it was the first thing he mentioned when he was next on air.

Q. What has been your best blogging experience?

A. Being a joint winner of the Best Personal Blog at the Irish Blog Awards 2008. (Award in the post)

Q. What advice would you give to someone about starting a Blog?

A. Go for it! Pick a handle you are comfortable with and not your own name. Visit other blogs and leave comments. Never be offensive. Look after the people who visit your blog.

Q. What is your favourite saying?

A. Today it is: A smile is the sugar in our medicine of life

Food Monday ~ Bolognese Sauce

The recipe today for Bolognese Sauce is tasty and versatile. I make it in batches and freeze it in single portions. That way I can pull one out for myself or more if I have unexpected guests. It can be served with pasta, used to make Lasagne or mixed with stuffing to fill sweet peppers. (Recipes below) Occasionally I have it on a Baked Potato.

Bolognese Sauce
Serves 6

2ozs Streaky Bacon (chopped)
1 lb Minced Beef
1 grated Carrot
2ozs Onion (chopped)
2tablespoons Olive Oil
2ozs Butter or Margarine
1 clove Garlic
3tablespoons Tomato Puree
¼ pint Red Wine
1tablespoon Flour
¼ pint Stock
1teaspoon Italian Seasoning
Salt & Black Pepper

Heat the butter & olive oil in a pan. Fry the onion, garlic and bacon. Add the beef & toss until brown. Add grated carrot & tomato puree. Blend the flour with the wine, stock & salt & pepper& Italian seasoning. Pour on to meat in pan & bring to the boil. Reduce heat and simmer gently for 1½ to 2 hours. Correct seasoning.


Preheat oven to 190°C

Quantity of Bolognese sauce, see above.
Non-cook Pasta sheets sufficient to cover dish with two layers.
Bacon flavoured Crisps crushed

Cheese Sauce
2x50z cartons plain Yoghurt
pinch dry Mustard
6ozs Double Gloucester grated
Black Pepper
Few drops Worcester sauce

Combine ingredients for cheese sauce. Place a layer of pasta sheets in bottom of ovenproof dish. Cover with a layer of Bolognese sauce, then a layer of cheese sauce. Repeat with a layer of pasta sheets, followed with a layer of Bolognese sauce and a layer of cheese sauce. Sprinkle with crushed crisps. Bake in a preheated oven for 35 minutes. Serve with Garlic Bread and Salad.
Serves 6


Stuffed Sweet Peppers
Preheat oven to 190°C

Mix the Bolognese Sauce with stuffing and use to fill halved de-seeded sweet peppers. Bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Serve with Salad.

My Son-in-Law

I think you are all aware by now that I have a Son-in-Law.

He came to see me yesterday.

He had a little something for me…

He put it on my fridge and..

Then he did what it asked.  I had a very nice day!

Ladies of the Town

I was missing for a few hours earlier in the week. I went to town.

On my travels I paid a visit to a couple of ladies well known in the area outside the Europa Bus centre. The wind in this part of Belfast has a habit of whipping around corners, yet these ladies had not a coat between them.


The Monument to the Unknown Woman Worker 1992 by Louise Walsh is a testament to all women workers both paid and unpaid. Various utensils attached to the two women represent their activities and include the shopping basket and the cash register. It is apt that the women appear strong and unshakable, battling on against low wages or no wages at all. Belfast owes its growth to the masses of female workers who built the largest and most famous linen industry in the world. Not to forget other women in factories, shops, and offices who struggled to support their families during the high unemployment caused by the “troubles”. Pause for a moment to admire the heroism of these two women, and who they represent.


This lady has a work worn face, a child’s soother for an earring and cable knitting for hair with a ball of wool for the bun at the nape of her neck.


A water tap is embedded in the shoulder, a cheese grater in the upper arm and the following message:

All women working in the home receive no direct wage.


The fingers on the right hand are clothes pegs and the basket represented the time when women went from shop to shop for food before the days of Supermarkets and on-line shopping.


Women do two-thirds of the world’s work, receive only two per cent of the world’s income and own less than one percent of the world’s assrts.



Across the back of the second lady is a hairdryer and the hair is like hairbrushes they come with the message:

Almost 40% of women working for income in Northern Ireland are part-time workers. These women are almost always badly paid. They work without having benefits, holiday entitlements or pension schemes. Part-time workers are also not represented by trade unions.

Testing, testing, testing…

Now take it easy, I have no intention of starting to sing and there will be no dancing at Grannymar Gables tonight. Following commiserations and advice from Brandon Turner of Microsoft FT, I am testing WLW once more to see if my updating has helped solve the problems and difficulties that I encountered.

Morning after

This is how I was feeling while the gremlins were attacking me, but hopefully it was only a one off and not a chronic condition! I much prefer to look and feel like this:

Beach Belle

I do have the Toyboys to think of…

Lunch was red

Lunch was of the sit-in variety yesterday, well I was in the kitchen and although the sun was shining on the front garden, there was a gale blowing at the back of the house. Having survived the winter without coughs, colds or splutters (says I knocking on wood) I didn’t want to tempt fate and end up with something I’d never be rid of.

I let my mind wander and it travelled around Europe. Travelling like this is less hassle as there is no packing, queuing, flying, driving or getting on trains. Since I was there before I knew my way around and had no fear of being lost. I remember having my Passport stamped at several borders that now no longer exist. Some place names have changed and of course the money is easier nowadays. Was it Belgium that we had to be careful changing money because you were unable to exchange any leftovers when leaving the country?

I was supposed to pop into Turkey one year, but they had yellow fever so our plans were quickly changed. I still have some ground to cover, the Northern Lights are calling much louder than the hot spots further south.

I wondered how a map would look if I coloured it in, that was before I read this so red is the colour of my true love’s hair are the places I’ve visited.

create your personalized map of europe or check out our Barcelona travel guide

What does your map look like?

I need to say Thanks

Regular visitors here might have noticed that GM was having trouble. Of course you are all to well behaved to say anything in case my feelings might be hurt. My posts have behaved badly and the font size threw a wobbly!

Following consultations with my advisors at enormous expense, that problem looks like it is solved. Back posts need a little more tweaking when time permits. Windows Live Writer is not very fond of WordPress 2.5 so I am ditching it. I need to check that the catagories stay as I set them and not jump about and the line spacing and paragraphs behave. So this is really a test post.

Thank you to all my advisers who with time and patience sort out my little worries. It cannot be easy when I keep referring to problems in non-tekkie language. I would hate to lose my friends and virtual family. Knitting will never hold fascination for me again!


Now I hate advertising on the outside of my clothes.

I remember old men walking the streets of Dublin when I was young, they were wearing sandwich boards. These boards were advertisements for shops or businesses or sometimes had a religious quotation. I always felt sorry for the men who earned their daily crust this way.

Now T-shirts slogans are a horse of a different colour. I saw one I really liked recently it said:

In my next life

I’m going to have more memory installed!

Thursday Special ~ The Train Driver

A mother was working in the kitchen, listening to her five-year-old son playing with his new electric train in the living room. She heard the train stop and her son saying,

“All of you b*****ds who want off, get the f**k off now, cause we’re in a hurry! And all of you b*****ds who are getting on, get the f**k on, cause we’re going down the tracks”.

The horrified mother went in and told her son, “We don’t use that kind of language in this house. Now I want you to go to your room and stay there for TWO HOURS. When you come out, you may play with your train, but I want you to use nice language.”

Two hours later, the son came out of the bedroom and resumed playing with his train. Soon the train stopped and the mother heard her son say,

“All passengers who are disembarking the train please remember to take all of your belongings with you. We thank you for travelling with us today and hope your trip was a pleasant one.”

She hears the little boy continue, “For those of you just boarding, we ask you to stow all of your hand luggage under your seat. Remember, there is no smoking on the train. We hope you will have a pleasant and relaxing journey with us today.”

As the mother began to smile, the child added……….

“For those of you who are pi**ed off about the TWO HOUR delay, please see the fat b**ch in the kitchen.”

Are you a Young Parent

Do you have children about to start or attending Primary School?

What do you know about the school they attend? Are you interested or aware of any problems?

Does your responsibility end when you open the door of the SUV to drop the darlings off with their satchel up market school bag, lunch money or tuck box, leaving you several hours to get on with your own life before charging up once more to stop – bang in front of the gateway – never mind the lay-by that seems to be compulsory for Health & Safety regulations. Is that it?

Who decides on the text books your child uses or how the subject is taught? I am sure you think it is that distracted school Principal losing his ability to smile. Before you criticize, walk a mile in his shoes!

How does he spend his evenings?

For ‘homework’ I have: * 6 policies to proof read and correct * 3 others to continue and * 1 to start.

Does he have help?

…..It is just not physically possible to teach and administer at the same time. All my waking hours are consumed by school … school and more school.

Only last week did I stay in school until 6.00 p.m. cutting the grass and tidying up. It’s a case of DIY or it remains undone. I have been patching holes on the roof, brushing the yard, painting classrooms, etc. …. you name it I’ve probably done it!

Our school accounts are in the black ‘cos we’re careful (not mean) with the spend.

I’m overwhelmed at times …. free education is a laugh …. someone is usually paying for it …. and it’s usually me with my time!

…..I have asked the parents in my school to get involved in policy development and/or help out around the school …. (I ask regularly) …. how many volunteers did I get? …. NONE! … yet they have no problem complaining if a decision/procedure/policy has been implemented without their input. Even when they get the policies to read … they don’t!

Nobody survives in a vacuum. An exhausted Teacher cannot give of his or her best to the children in their charge – YOUR CHILDREN.

Education is the right of all children, but that does not give parents the right to abdicate responsibility for it at the school gate. If your child showed potential in Bunge-jumping and ‘Gold at the 2012 Olympics’ was mooted, I’m sure you would travel the length and breadth of the land so they had every chance to gain experience. Would that enormous effort on your part, be for the child, or for the reflected glory that you would gain?

Gold loses its shine in time and the Bunge-jumping may not put food on the table for long, but an energetic enthusiastic unencumbered teacher can set alight the fire of learning within a young mind setting them on the road to being the next Brahms, Brontë or Brunel. So give that hour or odd Saturday, you might even surprise yourself and enjoy it. There is the chance to get to know the teachers as ‘real’ people and also earn kudos big time with the offspring.