Monthly Archives: November 2008

I promised you

On Friday I introduced you to three fine young men that I know of from the world of blogging and podcasting. One of them was

Cian MacMahon a fifth year student who podcasts as a hobby and so far has succeeded in finding two sponsors to cover his hosting expenses. Cian is a handsome young man with a crystal clear voice and excellent diction and I predict he will go places in the not to distant future.

Cian asked to interview me for a Podcast and the fruit of his labour is now available.

So make a coffee put your feet up and go pay a visit to View from the Quad where you can listen to the golden voice of Cian. In fact Mr Woss et al might learn a thing or two about how to conduct an interview with patience, good manners and preparation from this fine young fellow.

On an Office Wall near You

New Office Policy

Effective January 1, 2009

Dress Code
You are advised to come to work dressed according to your salary.
If we see you wearing Prada shoes and carrying a Gucci bag, we will assume you are doing well financially and therefore do not need a raise.

If you dress poorly, you need to learn to manage your money better, so that you may buy nicer clothes, and therefore you do not need a raise.
If you dress just right, you are right where you need to be and therefore you do not need a raise.

Sick Days
We will no longer accept a doctor’s statement as proof of sickness. If you are able to go to the doctor, you are able to come to work.

Personal Days
Each employee will receive 104 personal days a year. They are called Saturdays & Sundays.

Bereavement Leave
This is no excuse for missing work. There is nothing you can do for dead friends, relatives or co-workers. Every effort should be made to have non-employees attend the funeral arrangements in your place. In rare cases where employee involvement is necessary, the funeral should be scheduled in the late afternoon. We will be glad to allow you to work through your lunch hour and subsequently leave one hour early.

Bathroom Breaks
Entirely too much time is being spent in the toilet. There is now a strict three-minute time limit in the stalls. At the end of three minutes, an alarm will sound, the toilet paper roll will retract, the stall door will open, and a picture will be taken. After your second offense, your picture will be posted on the company bulletin board under the ‘Chronic Offenders’ category. Anyone caught smiling in the picture will be sectioned under the company’s mental health policy.

Lunch Break
* Skinny people get 30 minutes for lunch, as they need to eat more, so that they can look healthy.
* Normal size people get 15 minutes for lunch to get a balanced meal to maintain their average figure.
* Chubby people get 5 minutes for lunch, because that’s all the time needed to drink a Slim-Fast.

Thank you for your loyalty to our company. We are here to provide a positive employment experience. Therefore, all questions, comments, concerns, complaints, frustrations, irritations, aggravations, insinuations, allegations, accusations, contemplations, consternation and input should be directed elsewhere.
The Management

Boys boys boys

Years ago my father told me that it was a sign you were getting old when the policemen looked like school boys! Alas, the police have looked like schoolboys and schoolgirls to me for many a year now.


When I began this blogging lark most of my early contacts were Elly’s age group, yes I saw them as children. Well they were for the most part half my age. Over time the age groups widened. There were 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, and a few 60s and now they go way up to the 80s.

It was the ageing downward that took me by surprise….

At Podcamp Ireland in Kilkenny 2007, I met Ian Healy a fine young school going lad who was very interested in all that went on. Alas, computer access with Dial-up internet prevents him from blogging and joining in the fun as much as he would like. He was back with us once more for Podcamp Kilkenny 2008. As soon as he saw me he shook hands and we picked up the conversation from the previous year.

Again at Podcamp this year, I met and spoke to Cian MacMahon a fifth year student who podcasts as a hobby and so far has succeeded in finding two sponsors to cover his hosting expenses. Cian is a handsome young man with a crystal clear voice and excellent diction and I predict he will go places in the not to distant future.

I first became aware of him at a talk led by Darragh Doyle, and like Darragh he is not afraid to approach and engage with people. Our paths crossed again later in the day when he attended my conversation about blogging and podcasting for the elderly. He stayed chatting long after the talk ended and kindly asked if I would consent to being interviewed for one of his podcasts. Email addresses were exchanged arrangements made and the recording took place some weeks ago via Skype, with Cian in Dublin and me with my feet up in Co Antrim! I think that episode will be available this weekend and there are plenty more examples of Cian’s work at View from the Quad.

The third young man I want to bring to your attention is Tommy Collison, a 14 year old student from Castletroy College in Limerick. His blogging home is to be found at Trust and once homework is out of the road Tommy joins the conversation on Twitter, where his short bio of 160 characters describes him as “Irish drummer, blogger, student, mischief-maker and maker of killer pancakes”.

So this keen drummer, and his work can be found on YouTube. Among his favourite bands are Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Dresden Dolls, Coldplay, Muse and Jamie Cullum. An avid reader he enjoys the words of Authors like Philip Pullman, Ian Fleming, Robert Muchamore and Stephen King.

Now I wonder what I have to do to get one of Tommy’s pancakes?

Thursday Special ~ The Original Computer


Put that HOT Coffee down


The Original Computer

Memory was something you lost with age

An application was for employment

A program was a TV show

A cursor used profanity

A keyboard was a piano

A web was a spider’s home

A virus was the flu

A CD was a bank account

A hard drive was a long trip on the road

A mouse pad was where a mouse lived

And if you had a 3 inch floppy – – – – –

You just hoped nobody ever found out!?!

Click if you must! 😉

Handy Hints for Wednesday ~ 3

To keep a guest bed smelling fresh lay some tumble dryer sheets between mattress and duvet. It works well in rolled stored bedding or sleeping bags, or clothes packed away at the end of a season e.g. jumpers.

Used coffee grains should be added to the compost or spread on areas of the garden where you are troubled with snails or slugs. Starbucks coffee houses have a bin with the old used coffee grains for their customers to take (bring a plastic food box with a secure lid so they don’t drip on clothing or in your car) it is usually beside the milk/sugar/napkin bench.

When cooking in a Microwave oven raise the dish on an upturned glass plate or ramekin dish, it helps the food to cook better.

To remove the smell of onion or garlic from your hands after chopping the vegetables- wash your hands with soap and rub your fingers and palms on the sides of a stainless steel sink, don’t forget the sides of your fingers. It REALLY works! Thanks Deborah. 😀

OK Guys! You are all excited with the idea of a date with the woman of your dreams… Disaster; you cut yourself shaving and get blood on the new shirt!

To remove blood from a shirt, break off a very, very long piece of white sewing cotton and chew it like gum, until it is a soft mass – 3 to 4 minutes. Remove the saliva soaked thread from your mouth and use it to rub gently on the blood it will vanish. NB you need matching saliva to the blood, so my saliva will not work on your blood.

I managed to prick my finger at least five times while making Elly’s wedding outfit and got blood on the bodice. The old thread trick worked every time!

What to do?

The sound of the boiler rumbled through the neighbourhood day and night for several weeks. There was no sign of the car or anyone coming or going from the house. The weeds grew to knee height, the windows took on a greyish tinge and the paths were un-swept with a fresh layer of leaves, grime and general rubbish delivered on every gust of wind. The blinds were unmoved.

The phone twittered and thrilled unanswered several times on any given day. The mound of post in the hallway increased with each new delivery. Soon there would be no space left for the letters to fall.

Used and unwashed dished cluttered the draining board. The remains of meals dried and congealed on the plates were enough to feed a four-course feast to a family of vermin. All the used beakers were lined up like a guard of honour on the windowsill and the contents of the cutlery drawer, all dirty, were scattered in the sink.

On the table were several bottles of pills…. Some full, others open and lying on their sides while a trail of multi-coloured sweet like shapes was scattered across the floor.

The hands on the clock remained at ten past two no matter what the hour, day or night. The shower, bath and wash basin remained unused for many a day and the furniture throughout the house was protected by a six inch layer of dust.

Nobody had a key.

Nobody tried to enter.

Neighbours talked in hushed voices but didn’t want to become involved….

A serious situation indeed! Who would be brave enough to make the first move?

There was no easy way round it; it had to be done…





I think it is time to give this blogging a rest”!

Food Monday ~ Strawberry Cheesecake

While Niamh was here for the weekend earlier in the month I asked if she would like to share a favourite recipe with all of us.It sounds delicious.

Strawberry Cheesecake

6oz (150g) digestive biscuits
3oz butter or margarine
8oz (225g) Philadelphia cream cheese
1/2 pint cream
1 strawberry jelly
fresh strawberries to decorate (optional)
extra cream to decorate (also optional)


Crush the biscuits to resemble fine breadcrumbs. Melt butter and mix in the biscuit crumbs. Press the mixture into the base of a fluted quiche dish or a loose-bottomed 9-inch cake tin. Place in fridge to set.

Melt the jelly in the microwave with 1/4 pt water (or less). Cool slightly.

Meanwhile, whip the cream in a separate bowl until thick but not stiff.

Place the cheese in a clean bowl and beat in the jelly a little at a time. Fold in the whipped cream and pour mixture on top of biscuit base.

Place in fridge until set. Decorate with rosettes of whipped cream and sliced strawberries.

*I remember having a different version many years ago.I used a lime jelly and decorated it with sliced Kiwi.

Feed your children. . .

I always felt that I had no training for parenthood and that my efforts were very much trial and error. On day three of Elly’s little life I was politely asked to please stop talking to her by another mother. This lady was in a bed diagonally across from me in a four bedded unit of the maternity ward, she was breastfeeding on demand. Her problem was that her son stopped feeding every time he heard my voice. Such a pity his mum didn’t try talking to him as she fed him. I talked non stop to Elly from the day she was born, always calmly and quietly – even when she was asleep!

Day four brought another problem, passing the nursery (where all the babies slept) on my way to the bathroom first thing in the morning, I paused to gaze at my little bundle… but my precious treasure was not there! Suddenly panic-stricken, I am sure the colour drained from my face. Clinging to the window ledge I scanned all the baby cots to make sure I was not mistaken.

Elly was not there!

The Nursing Sister appeared from the nursing station and I turned to her with dread. “We had to move Elly in with the incubators last night” she said.

My heart sank. “What happened? Why didn’t you call me”?

“There was nothing wrong” she said. “You know we have two nurses in the nursery all night with the babies; well every time they spoke to each other Elly lifted her head. We moved her so that she would sleep.” Sister went on to say “When you get home I suggest you put Elly into her own room straight away or otherwise you will never get a night’s sleep.”

We did!

At nine months independent Elly showed her colours! She was in her high chair which was drawn close to the dinner table. I had her dish of food on her tray. Jack and I were eating dinner. I filled her spoon with food and tried to feed her. Stubborn Annie Elly refused my offering and closed her mouth tighter than a vice. I set the spoon down and continued with my own dinner.

Through the corner of my eye I saw a tiny hand lift the spoon and put it in her mouth. The empty spoon was returned to the plate. Waiting until the food was swallowed I tried once more to feed her. Again my effort was refused. Setting the spoon down on the dish I returned to my dinner. I watched as a little hand lifted the spoon and emptied the contents into her mouth. This pattern continued for the remainder of the meal and indeed for all meals until Elly was able to fill the spoon herself.

Elly loved stories and very quickly learned to read. The first proper book that she read was Winnie the Pooh by AA Milne and that was before she started primary school. Elly became an avid reader, as hungry for words as she was for food! At five she could read faster than I do even now! I did my best to feed her hunger with food for the mind as well as food for the body.

I hope I did a good job.