Monthly Archives: February 2009

Gathering my thoughts

What a wonderful night/weekend we had at the Irish Blog Awards 2009. The Cork International Airport Hotel was a fantastic venue with surprises around every corner.  The staff treated us like Royalty and they were so very accommodating to our every need. I was thrilled to catch up with old friends and those who until that point, were just names on a page or twitter.  Already I am looking forward to IBA10.  Did I hear Belfast mentioned as the next venue??  I hope they are not thinking of Grannymar Gables as a venue, it is waaaay to small!

Thank you Damien and everyone who helped in the background to pull off a hugely successful Irish Blogathon*!  Sabrina, once again did a Fantabalous job organizing the Ladies Tea Party.  It was so good that two Toyboys gate-crashed to check up on me.  It is ok 🙄 I kept them down on their knees – YES I DID!
Somebody organized that each category on the night was introduced with a short Video…

Irish blogger Grannymar watches the infamous 2 girls, 1 cup – but what’s the twist at the end? This video was made to introduce the best Food and Drink blog at the 2009 Irish Blog Awards and features Lottie and Raptureponies in shot.

For more on the Irish Blog Awards 2009 please visit

Ciara Crossan suggests that we ALL dress up next year?!  Kind of a 5th birthday celebration – Blog Awards fancy dress?  Dress up in what they blog about – not sure I could go as a bottle of vinegar ❗  Or everyone could go along in what they wear while blogging….

I need to lie down…

get me my spray…..

I just had a vision of Ben Kenealy blogging in his altogether ❗

Not sure this blogging is good for my heart.

A Cunning Plan

I finally reached home late yesterday afternoon with Tobias for company.

My little car served me well and I drove over 300 miles in the ten days. That did not count the extra mileage covered on the journey to Cork, or the hour not traveling anywhere just sitting on board an aircraft on the tarmac playing hunt the non existent passenger 166!

The evening passed in connecting my docking station, broadband & installing  Skype, Twitter & MSN Messenger.  My camera is not yet connected so the few photos I have from my trip are still in my camera.  I also seem to have mislaid my folder of pictures. 🙁

Perhaps the George fella was expecting me to have problems.  He kept my PC hard drive saying it had a problem.  The only problem that I can see is I might have slipped back to using it… Well I don’t have it so must persist with Tobias.  It was a cunning plan.

Later today I will try to locate my photographs and connect my camera.  I also need to sort out user names and passwords, I seem to have oodles!  I am hoping to make a good attempt at clearing my RSS Reader, I am so far behind with blog reading, so put the kettle on and I will pay a visit.

Normal service will resume on Monday.

Are you talking to me?

Yesterdays story about overheard conversations brought back a long forgotten memory.

When I got my very own doll I loved to carry her about and talk to her.

After a few months I realised that I would have to put her down or find a new way to carry her around the house, in order to shift the dust, do the washing and cook the meals.  Since it was long before I ever heard of Google I had to trawl the shops and magazines for advice.  Then one day I found exactly what I wanted, posted off my cheque and waited patiently.

One week later the Postman arrived with my parcel.  It felt like Christmas as I ripped off the paper to find my new treasure.  It was just as described and I wanted to use it straight away.

Following the instructions I carefully put my doll into the harness, put the straps over my shoulders and tied them around my waist.  Satisfied that all was well I slipped into my overcoat and off we headed for a walk. My doll was sitting snugly against my chest and could feel my heartbeat,  she could see and touch my face and most important she could hear my voice.

My overcoat at the time was fitted neatly at the shoulders and flared out to a full swing from there. It buttoned to the neck but by leaving the top two buttons open little miss was snug and warm inside it with just her head peeping out.

As I walked briskly down the hill, talking non stop, I noticed a man walking ahead of me.  He looked back and smiled and then continued on his way.  This action was repeated several times within a short distance.  Eventually he stopped and turned towards me.  All the while I was getting closer.

When I was alongside him he spoke for the first time “Ah! You are talking to the baby.  I thought you were talking to me! When I looked back at you I didn’t see the baby.”

I was talking to Elly.  Is it any wonder she never shuts up nowadays.  Hands up, it is all my fault.

Thursday Special ~ Overheard in Cork

I was barely sitting down when I heard a voice from the other cubicle saying:
‘Hi, how are you?

I’m not the type to start a conversation in the ladies room. I don’t know what got into me, but I answered, somewhat embarrassed,
‘I’m grand!’

And the other person says:
‘So what are you up to?’

What kind of question is that? At that point, I’m thinking this is crazy so I say:
‘Uhhh, I’m like you, just sitting here.’

At this point I am just trying to get out as fast as I can when I hear another question:
‘Can I come over?’

Ok, this question is just too weird for me.  I figured I could politely end the conversation. I say:
‘No……..I’m a little busy right now!!!’

Then I hear the person say, nervously:
‘Listen, I’ll have to call you back.  There’s an idiot in the other cubicle who keeps answering all my questions!!

Handy Hints for Wednesday ~ 16

So you thought I forgot!

I was busy……

with … a handsome Toyboy, and I am not talking about Tobias!

Now that I have put him down let me see what I have in the way of handy hints for you today..

When sitting on the couch with Elly and she is teaching you ‘keyboard’ shortcuts REMEMBER that ‘CTRL F 4’ is not CTRL key followed by the letter F and the number four! Major Fail! 🙁

Being an OAP at the Irish Blog Awards is a big WIN!  Everyone wants to ply you with drink.  If you don’t believe me just ask Grandad – every time I saw him he had a pint in his hand! 🙄

That Toyboy distracted me today and I am short on ideas.

He said “Ah, just tell them to use Vinegar and plenty of it!”

Normal Wednesday service will resume next week.  I am still on my holidays.  Off now to pester another relation for the night.  Tobias is still in training so staying here with George.  I will be offline until late Thursday.


The house is quiet, the young folk are away to their good warm work.  I am sitting up in bed with Tobias.

Henry seems to have completed his mornings work and all I need to do is make the pancake batter for this evening.  Yesterday passed in a hazy blur.  I spent the day recovering from a very full and busy few days,I re-lived in my mind all the conversations from the weekend and lost count of the number of new friends I made.  If I am quiet, worry not I might be exploring new blogs.

I also need to develop my relationship with Tobias, he needs to know that I will be in charge….!  We are getting to know each other slowly.  A tender touch is all he needs!  Like all toyboys he has many little quirks and we need to iron them out to suit me if he is to be my constant companion.

So who is Tobias?

Why, Tobias is my new laptop.

When George adds all my information and programmes from my PC there will be no holding me back. At the moment I am finding my way with Chrome (is that what you call it?) and it is a little different to Firefox.  I don’t miss the mouse so far and I enjoy the warmth for my hovering cold hands.  A new barstool for my kitchen is now top of my list and in the winter months I may never leave the kitchen!

When the summer comes I am looking forward to sitting outside in the garden and working away with Tobias.

Do you think I can teach him to cut the grass?

Food Monday~ Pancakes

The forty days before Easter (not counting Sundays) is known as Lent.  Shrove Tuesday is the day before Ash Wednesday, the first of day of Lent.  Traditionally, families would use up their luxury foods like milk, sugar, eggs and butter, before the 40 days of fasting began.  The word shrove comes from the ritual of shriving. People would go to church and confess their sins to a priest, who would grant them absolution. The shriven individual would then be in a pure state, ready for the Lenten period of fasting and abstinence.

Did you know Shrove Tuesday – or Pancake Tuesday – is known as Fasnacht in Germany (night of the fast) In Italy it is called Carnivale (from the Latin for ‘goodbye to the flesh’) and Mardi Gras (literally ‘Fat Tuesday’) is celebrated in places as diverse as New Orleans, Brazil and Australia.

Now down to business… My pancakes are thin like crêpe and are very versatile.


4ozs plain flour
1 egg
½ pint (10 fl ozs) milk
Pinch salt.

Blend all the ingredients together to make a smooth batter, which should be the consistency of double cream & leave to stand for at least 1 hour.This lets the batter relax and the starch molecules have time to expand.

Melt a little butter or oil in a hot frying/omelette pan then put 2 tablespoons of the mixture on the pan and roll it about to cover the surface.  Cook the pancakes until bubbles appear on the surface, if you don’t want to toss your pancakes, just slip a plate over the pan and upend the pan quickly over the plate. Slide the pancake back in the pan to brown the uncooked side. Ideally the pan should be non stick.

When Elly was little I prepared the mixture and left it to stand overnight then we had pancakes for breakfast.

Good things to put on Pancakes

  1. Traditionalists sprinkle lemon juice and sugar before rolling them into a tube shape.
  2. For a change why not try one of the following: golden syrup, cinnamon, maple syrup, jam, fruit, yoghurt or even Ice cream.

Now on the savoury side the opportunities are endless:

  1. Marmite!
  2. Grilled bacon & maple syrup
  3. Cheese, ham and mushroom
  4. Cream cheese and spinach.
  5. Tomato Salsa
  6. Bacon & Mushroom in a cheese sauce – when filled place the pancakes in an ovenproof dish, sprinkle with brown breadcrumbs and grated cheese pop under a heated grill for 5/6 minutes.Serve with a salad.

What is your favourite way to indulge in pancake fever?

Sunday, Sunday!

Morning Everyone,

Only awake and about to hop in the shower.

We had a ball. No trophies to polish, but plenty of new friends made last night & sure that is what the Irish Blog Awards are all about!

Will write later today

Morning Cork!

It is still dark and the household sleeps…  

Lying awake at home in my own bed is bad enough, but lying awake in someone else’s house is different.  I know I have the run of the house and can go downstairs to make a cuppa; alas doing so silently is not an option.  Going downstairs leads to rather loud groaning on my part, caused by a sharp stab in my hip.  Roll on 12th March.

Well, ‘Bloggers’ day has arrived and soon the call to get in the car will ring out.  I have no idea how many of us will be on the flight at lunchtime but it should be fun.  It will be like a school outing! 😀

I am not sure if my new toy fits into my baggage allowence so there may be no post in the morning.  In the mean time I want to say…

Yesterday saw the end of my year of Celebration and BOY was it fun!  An end to being a joint winner of the Best Personal Blog for 2008.  

I have often heard a ‘Miss World’ talk of her year of adventure, mine was just as exciting.  Thanks to blogging I have taken part in BarCamp, CreativeCamp & PodCamp, I attended the Slugger Awards and sat on Slugger’s knee seat!  I was interviewed for Podcasts and for newspapers, and asked to write guest blog posts from here to India!  I took part in a photoshoot for the Irish Times newspaper, attended a Photo Walk and a Geek Girl Dinner.

I appeared on Television, was rescued from floods of biblical proportions, and taken home to ‘meet mother’!.

Most important of all I have learned that far from being a temple of oddballs and potential serial killers, the blogosphere is full of lively engaging people – I am treated with respect & courtesy, the ‘geeks’ have not forgotten how to behave.  We’re friends not by location or luck, but friends with amazing similar interests and sense of humour.

The friends I have made from blogging are now some of the best friends I have.  We may be spread wide geographically, but I feel closer to you than to anyone I went to school with!.

None of this would have happened if my daughter had not introduced me to the world of geekdom and bloggry!  Thank you Elly for my wonderful life.

To Damien for his endless work over the past four years, in preparing for the wonderful event that the Irish Blog Awards has become.  To all those Sponsors for providing Awards, prizes, booze and anything else required to make the evening go with a swing, and to all who worked in the background.  I applaud you!

To the judging panel for giving of their time to read, mark and inwardly digest all the nominations I sing my praises.

I look forward to tonight and wish all the finalists well.  May the winners feel what I felt (and I don;t mean Grandad! 🙄 ) on the stage last year!  Have fun and a wonderful year ahead!


Yesterday I had an invitation to afternoon tea.  My hostess was a tall elegant young lady that I have known since the day and hour she was born. Well not exactly the day and hour but near enough and I am not talking about Elly.  Jen was an early visitor to meet her new cousin Elly and the bond has grown with the years.

Jen introducted little Miss Elly to the wonders of Dublin without her parents.  They had regular visits to the cinema and to McDonalds long before Uncle Ronald discovered Belfast!  The adventure ended with the journey home on the upper level of a double decker bus back to Nana’s house.

There was one occasion when arrangements were being made over the telephone, the newspaper cinema listings checked and there seemed only one film that Jen wished to sit through again ( she was a saint in disguise returning to watch films just to suit her cousin!).  So on this occasion the one film had a question mark over it.  Mammy would have to give permission so Jen asked to speak to me.

The film was the Commitments Would I allow my under-age daughter go to see this film?  Jen had seen it before and had no objection to going again.  It contained strong language… very strong language, but nothing worse than you would hear on a Dublin bus!  I gave my consent.  We finished our conversation and I went to tell Elly.

Two minutes later the phone rang again.  It was Jen’s dad.  No, he was not objecting to my decision but he would enjoy seeing the film again and wondered if I would like to go along with them.  He was not sure whether Jack would like the film or understand the very strong Dublin accents, but I said I would ask him.

The cinema was quite close to Nana’s so my brother said he would collect us.  There were six in the party by the time we set off, my brother, his wife, the two young ladies and Jack and I.  I sat beside Jack in order to explain or translate for him the local lingo.  He was the first to laugh and the tears ran down his face for most of the film.  He had no trouble understanding any of it.

So after a couple of hours f-ducking and blinding I thought I had never left Dublin

We returned to the car and all piled in for the journey home to Nana’s house.  I had to do something, so I said:

F-ducking Elly, before your f-ducking uncle P puts the f-ducking key in the f-ducking ignition to f-ducking drive the f-ducking car out of the f-ducking car park to f-ducking drive us back to your f-ducking Nana’s, I just want to f-ducking say that I f-ducking never f-ducking want to f-ducking hear f-ducking you f-ducking using this f-ducking language ever f-ducking again!