Monthly Archives: July 2008

Thursday Special ~ The Silent Treatment

A man and his wife were having some problems at home and were giving each other the silent treatment. Suddenly, the man realized that the next day, he would need his wife to wake him at 5 a.m. for an early morning business flight.

Not wanting to be the first to break the silence (and LOSE), he wrote on a piece of paper, ‘Please wake me at 5 a.m.’ He left it where he knew she would find it.

The next morning, the man woke up, only to discover it was 9a.m. and he had missed his flight Furious, he was about to go and see why his wife hadn’t wakened him, when he noticed a piece of paper by the bed. The paper said, ‘It is 5a.m. Wake up.’

Men are not equipped for these kinds of contests.

God may have created man before woman, but there is always a rough draft before the masterpiece


Toyboys keep me on my toes flexing my fingers on the keyboard. Jefferson Davis is no exception even though he lives in South Carolina. He is only playing forward the tag from K8 the Gr8 for a meme last week

The Rules

v List two things that irritate you for a reason (and list the reason!), and two things that irritate you for no apparent reason whatsoever!!

v Give credit to the person who tagged you.

v Link your answers to the original blog – Keiron over on

v Tag four new people to participate.

Two things that irritate the living hell out of me for a good reason:

1) Wimps – People who whinge to anyone and everyone about how hard their life is, yet do nothing to improve it.

Let me tell them NOWHERE are we promised an easy life. We all have knocks and put downs in some shape or form. For some it is money problems, not having enough to put food on their table and heat in their bones. Others it is being in a job they hate or worse still having no job to go to day after day. Yet more suffer pain at the hand of abusers, or discomfort day and daily that prevents them sitting in a chair or walking across a room without wincing due to ill-health. Watching once again ‘The last Lecture’ by Randy Pausch, who died on 25th July this year, I come away with two sentences etched on my brain.

“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand!”


“The brick walls are there to show us how badly we want something!”

2) Waste – People buying things that they think they need because it is fashionable and the latest ‘must have’ or due to peer pressure.

We all do it in some shape or form. Falling for the ‘buy one get one free’ offers in the supermarket even when there is no way we will ever use two within the sell by date. Buying shoes, when we know full well that they are pinching your little toes and you already have a pair the same colour at home. Ordering food in a restaurant and leaving half of it on the plate untouched. Drinking until you throw up – where is the fun in walking around with a head pounding like a Lambeg drum. Some of the best fun in life is to be had without ever touching a drop of drink.

Two things that bug me for no apparent reason

1) Bread & jam that falls jam side down on the carpet

2) Food wrap that gets in a tangle.

This time I leave it open to tag yourself if you wish to.

Eating out can age you


It takes less than a minute. Work this out as you read.
Be sure you don’t read the bottom until you’ve worked it out!
This is not a time waster thing.

Its fun.

First of all, pick the number of times a week that you would like to go out to eat. (More than one but less than 10)

Multiply this number by 2 (just to be bold)

Add 5

Multiply this figure by 50

If you have already had your birthday this year add 1758…..
If you haven’t, add 1757.

Now subtract the four digit year that you were born.


You should have a three digit number.


The first digit of this was your original number. (i.e. – How many times you want to go out to restaurants in a week.)


The next two numbers are


YOUR AGE! —— (Oh YES, it is!)


Food Monday ~ Death by Chocolate Cake

Sorry Baino, but this recipe was requested by Deborah. It needs a little extra effort and is more suitable for a party occasion.

Death by Chocolate Cake
Preheat oven to 180°C

225g plain chocolate
125g butter
150ml water
350g caster sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
2 eggs, separated
150ml soured cream
350g self-raising flour
1 level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

For the filling:
450g plain Chocolate
225g butter
6 tablespoons brandy
350g white chocolate
For the icing:
200g plain chocolate
200g double cream

Melt the chocolate, butter and 150ml water in a bowl over a pan of hot water. Beat in the sugar, add vanilla essence and cool. Beat in egg yolks; fold in soured cream, then flour and bicarbonate of soda. Whisk egg whites until stiff and fold into the mixture. Pour into a 25cm (10in) greased spring-release cake tin and bake for I hour until risen. Turn out to cool on a wire rack.

For the filling:
Melt the butter and the chocolate with 4 tablespoons brandy and leave until thick. Melt the white chocolate Cut the cake into three even horizontal layers and sprinkle each with remaining brandy then spread with melted white chocolate. When set, place bottom layer in the cake tin (chocolate side up), spread with half the filling, place second layer on top, spread with remaining filling and top with third layer. Chill in cake tin until set.
For the icing:
Place the chocolate in a bowl; heat the cream until almost boiling, pour over the chocolate and leave for 5 minutes, then whisk until smooth and glossy. Turn the cake out on to serving plate and cover top and sides with icing. Leave to set in a cool place, but not the fridge.


A man and his wife were having an argument about who
should brew the coffee each morning.

The wife said, ‘You should do it because you get up first, and then we don’t have to wait as long to get our coffee.

The husband said, ‘You are in charge of cooking around here and you should do it, because that is your job, and I can just wait for my coffee.’

Wife replies, ‘No, you should do it, and besides, it is in the Bible that the man should do the coffee.’

Husband replies, ‘I can’t believe that, show me.’

So she fetched the Bible, and opened the New Testament and showed him at the top of several pages, that it indeed says:


Black Watch

Red Mum gave me something to ponder on. It was the Great Colour Challenge. Now I am still a fledgling behind the camera but I wanted to take part.

So far most of the rainbow has been covered:

Red Mum’scollection.
Nathalie’s pink collection.

Darren’s green collection.

Estelle’s blue/bleu collection.

Annie’s yellow collection.

Not to be daunted I went out with the camera the other day and wanted to find inspiration not based on the above colours. It may have had something to do with my mood, because I had the idea of using Black. Ok, ok I realise black is not strictly a colour, it is a neutral. Everywhere I looked and everything I saw was covered by the colours ranges above. I came home without a picture.

So today in desperation not to be outdone, I went back over the photos I have already taken. Keeping to the black theme I give you:

Victoria’s handmaiden at Belfast City Hall

A Gateway in Carrickfergus

Another day another gate.

Black Hat

Shoe cleaning

My sky at night

The Beano

David Maybury wrote a short piece on Tuesday, about the Beano celebrating 70 years since it first appeared in print.

The image is from The Book Cave

I was not born when it first appeared but the mention brought back memories for me. The Beano made many appearances in our household during my childhood. It did not matter who bought it, we all managed to devour the stories in our own time. We did not have a regular order for this comic-cut as we called it, but bought back numbers for one or two old brown pennies.

Two strong memories come to mind. The first was while staying with my Grandmother during the summer school holidays, my brother and I bought a copy of the Beano. We had hardly finished looking at it when my uncle who was unmarried at the time and still living with his mother, asked to read it. He went off to his room with it and we never saw the comic again that night.

Next morning we told granny what happened. Once my uncle had gone to work she sent us up to his room to look for it. As we reached the top of the stairs her voice rang out “Don’t be looking at those dirty books!” This remark was always followed by a hearty laugh. My uncle had several stacks of ‘Men Only’ and a few copies lay open on his desk. Naturally we had a peek…. even if we didn’t understand the half of it.

The other memory was from a time away from home when I was about eight years old. I was now staying with an aunt and uncle. Again I had bought a copy of the Beano. My aunt asked where I got that rubbish. She confiscated it and handed me a soft leather bound gilt edged book and told me to read that instead. It was a copy of David Copperfield. The pages were as fine as tissue and I found it difficult to separate them. The language was way beyond my comprehension.

One of these days I might give David (Copperfield) a second chance….

Thursday Special ~ Holy Prostitution

A man is driving down a deserted stretch of highway when he notices a sign out of the corner of his eye….It reads:


He thinks this is a figment of his imagination and drives on without a second thought. Soon he sees another sign which reads:


Suddenly he begins to realize that these signs are for real and drives past a third sign saying:


His curiosity gets the best of him and he pulls into the drive. On the far side of the parking lot is a stone building with a small sign next to the door reading:


He climbs the steps and rings the bell. The door is answered by a nun in a long black habit who asks, “What may we do for you my son?”

He answers, “I saw your signs along the highway and was interested in possibly doing business….”

“Very well my son. Please follow me.” He is led through many winding passages and is soon quite disoriented. The nun stops at a closed door and tells the man, “Please knock on this door.”

He does so and another nun in a long habit, holding a tin cup answers the door… This nun instructs, “Please place $100 in the cup then go through the large wooden door at the end of the hallway.”

He puts $100 in the cup, eagerly trots down the hall and slips through the door pulling it shut behind him. The door locks, and he finds himself back in the parking lot facing another sign:



Sharing Creativity

Give a thing and take it back

God will ask you where it is

If you say that you don’t know

God will send you down below!

Now we all know there is no such thing as a free lunch. Hails from Coffee Helps, was singing my praises the other day. Usually when someone does that they are looking for something. The darling of Ballymena the European Grand Tour was no different to all the others, she gives me something and then she wants me to give it away….

This is what she gave me:

Now here is the catch:

  • Pick five blogs that you consider deserve the award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also for contributing to the blogging community, no matter what language.
  • Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.
  • Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.
  • The award winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of the Arte y Pico blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.

I stopped at creativity and had no difficulty picking five blogs worthy of this accolade.

clip_image001 Deborah at Tastie has a blog that I lurked on for some time before joining in the fray. In fact the very first time I braved her comment box I ranted on about a recipe and the way she suggested it should be made. I have come to appreciate her talents, her recipes and suggestions to help all our pockets at a time when prices are rising faster and more often that the sun. Last March I had the opportunity to enjoy her bubbly personality when we met at the Ladies Tea Party in the run up to the Irish Blog Awards. Deborah has now launched her own online food business specialising in Spice Mixes, Sauces and mouth watering Brownie mixes.

clip_image001[1] Kieran Murphy is at the helm of Ice Cream Ireland a blog about the business he partners with his brother Sean in Dingle and Killarney in County Kerry. He regularly shares recipes with pictures that I defy you not to drool over. If only I lived a little nearer and didn’t have a doctor chastising me about my cholesterol. 🙁 Kieran’s blogging has led to publishing The Murphy’s Ice Cream Book of Sweet Things

clip_image001[2] Claire otherwise called Gingerpixel is a very talented unassuming young lady who again, I had the pleasure of meeting at The Ladies Tea Party. She is capable of bringing tears to my eyes as I follow her photo blog, and she regularly makes me feel broody with her portraits of babies and young children.

clip_image001[3] I would not be Grannymar if I forgot to include a Toyboy. Phil at Iced Coffee is another talented Photo blogger. The images he captures leave me in awe. I hope that in studying his work I might improve my meager attempts behind the lens.

clip_image001[4] Made Marian. has recently updated and moved house with her blog. The clean calm ordered lines are just as every craft workbox should be. Reading Marian’s blog brings back the enthusiasm that I felt in my early days as I embarked on each new area of needlecraft, whether it was embroidery, cross stitch, crochet or sewing. Marian I know you will enjoy Arte y Pico blog be sure to scroll all the way down. It is full of wonderful craft ideas.

There are many more creative blogs out there but I was asked to select five.

Now go spread the love, visit enjoy and become enthused. Don’t forget to say hello and you can tell them that I sent you. 😀

Why did they do it?

We never had a Video player, videos or a Camcorder, but I certainly know people who did. Some were constantly sticking the camcorder in your face; they were so much more intrusive than the Camera phones of today. Perhaps that is because we are now more used to this technology, but I digress….

Most of the people that I know of who amassed great mounds of videos, were very careless with their storage. An untidy bundle would accumulate on the floor beside the TV. Some might be film of family or special events, while others were recordings of TV programmes broadcast at an unsuitable time for the viewer. Perhaps they were off recording their own material for the great video of the future, or something to bore the relations with on a wet winter’s evening. I actually wonder how many miles of TV programmes recorded on video tape, lie about never viewed again?

So these videos reclined in the ‘must watch’ muddle for several months before the day of the Box. By Box I mean the day when an empty recycled cardboard box appeared and all the videos were meticulously packed away, the box sealed with parcel tape and the word VIDEOS scrawled in bright Felt Marker across the top. Occasionally a date might be added. If only the videos inside the box had the same treatment, thus avoiding the ‘I wonder what’s on this one?’ question many years later.

The box then sat in the hall or on the landing for a week or three until a trip to the loft became unavoidable and the box was lifted carefully to its new home in the farthest, corner of the dark loft. No thought given to the temperature of the loft and the effect it would have on the tapes. ran a very interesting piece on Sunday for the home movie maker of yesteryear.

A virulent infection is destroying the audio and videotapes once used to capture important moments of family life and great historic events. The fungal blight, or ‘tape mould’, has already ruined thousands of miles of audio and video tape in Britain and, according to specialist restorers, much more is likely to be deteriorating, unobserved, in storage. The infection of VHS cassettes and of the audio cassettes popular in the 1980s and 1990s is increasing at an alarming rate.

At the end of the article is a list of Do’s and Don’ts for storage of VHS and audio tapes.

The wet weather during the past few summers has not only proved detrimental for arthritic bones but also for audio and video tapes. Now don’t all run together, but in the next few days take a look at your storage and sort out those tapes or there will be no movie of Great Aunt Alice sitting on the Whoopee Cushion or audio of Grandpa Joe singing all 32 verses of a rebel song!