Monthly Archives: September 2010

Thursday Special ~ Another Good-bye

A father put his three-year-old daughter to bed, told her a story, and listened to her prayers which she ended by saying: “God bless Mommy, God bless Daddy, God bless Grandma and good-bye Grandpa”.

The father asked, “Why did you say good-bye Grandpa?” The little girl said, “I don’t know Daddy, it just seemed like the thing to do.”

The next day Grandpa died. The father thought it was a strange coincidence. A few months later the father put the girl to bed and listened to her prayers, which went like this: “God bless Mommy, God Bless Daddy. And good-bye Grandma.”

The next day the grandmother died.

Oh my gosh, thought the father, this kid is in contact with the other side. Several weeks later when the girl was going to bed, the dad heard her say: “God bless Mommy and good-bye Daddy.”

He practically went into shock. He couldn’t sleep all night and got up at the crack of dawn to go to his office. He was nervous as a cat all day, had lunch sent in, and watched the clock. He figured if he could get by until midnight, he would be okay. He felt safe in the office, so instead of going home at the end of the day, he stayed there, drinking coffee, looking at his watch, and jumping at every sound.

Finally midnight arrived. He breathed a sigh of relief and went home.

When he got home his wife said, “I’ve never seen you work so late, what’s the matter?”

He said, “I don’t want to talk about it.  I’ve just spent the worst day of my life.”

She said, “You think you had a bad day.. You’ll never believe what happened to me… this morning my golf pro dropped dead in the middle of my lesson!




With thanks to two of my girlfriends who shared this one with me.

Art with a Needle ~ Week 55

“George!  Show mammy what you have in your pocket!”

Wouldn’t you feel sorry for my poor son-in-law! 🙄

Aw here. Hauld on now! (As a good friend of mine says), I am not going to divulge any secrets.  The pocket in this case was in a shirt.  The gadget in question was a USB Battery Pack. It will recharge many handheld electronic devices and very handy when travelling away from home.

Now to the reason for drawing my attention to this handy piece of kit….  well, there had to be a reason.  The little drawstring bag to cover it was neat, but did not have a place to store the USB port cable or selection of included adapters.  You guessed it!

“Mammy, will you make a little bag with pockets to hold the extra bits?”

Muggins agreed to give it a try, and this is how I went about it.

A piece of black felt was soft but not slippery.  The piece of paper is the pattern/size including seams.  The scribbles are the cable and adapters.

I decided to use a double layer of felt with a drawstring closure for the main pocket, and an outside pocket with Velcro closing for the bits and pieces. The long piece is the outer pocket before folding and stitching.

The finished bag!  I didn’t have any black ribbon or cord for the drawstring today, so I added this fine ribbon to give you the idea.  The white card is in the outer pocket and the black object is protruding from the main pocket.

🙁  The photos are not looking very clear to me, not sure if it is the camera or my eyes!

Food Monday ~ Beef Goulash

Now who remembers when this was all the rage?

Beef Goulash
Preheat oven to 160 °C

1½ lbs stewing steak
2ozs vegetable oil
1 medium onion chopped
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon tomato paste
10 fluid ozs beef stock
1 red pepper sliced
½ oz cornflour
5 fluid ozs Soured Cream

Wipe, trim and cube beef. Fry in hot oil until brown on all sides. Add onion and cook for 2-3 minutes. Stir in paprika, red pepper, beef stock and tomato paste. Bring to the boil and transfer to a casserole dish. Cover and cook for 1½ hours. ** Blend cornflour with 2 tablespoons of water & stir into the goulash. Serve soured cream separately.

** Can be frozen at this stage. Cool quickly, cover, seal and freeze.
To use Thaw overnight in the fridge and heat for about 45 minutes at 190 °C or cook from frozen for 1¼ hours at 190 °C. Add blended cornflour and finish as above.
Serves 4

A Tour of Ireland ~ Episode 4

This is a loooonnnnnnnng Post, and the last to cover Dublin, but I promised last week that this time, I would bring you ‘them wat rote bukes’! 😆


Trinity College, situated in the city centre opposite what was previously the Irish Houses of Parliament, Trinity dates back to the sixteenth century. It is noted for its esteemed alumni including Bram Stoker, Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde as well as being the first university in Great Britain to open its doors to female students in 1904.

Dublin Writers Museum 18 Parnell Square, features the works and lives of Dublin’s writers. It also offers facilities such as lunchtime theatre, a bookshop and a café.

Sweny’s Pharmacy 1, Lincoln Place, made famous in James Joyce’s novel Ulysses
Readings from Ulysses take place at Sweny’s on Thursdays at 7pm

Historical, Literary & Musical Walking Tours – Combine Dublin’s many cultural facets into one comprehensive tour on a two-hour guided walk around the city in an entertaining and informative style.

James Joyce Centre 35 North Great Georges Street, is located in a restored 18th century Georgian house. It offers a programme of exhibition, education, outreach and activities. The centre promotes an appreciation of James Joyce as a most significant literary figure of the 20th century.

James Joyce Tower Sandycove, County Dublin belongs to the series of Martello towers, which were built to contain an invasion by Napoleon. Located eight miles south of Dublin it is now a museum dedicated to the work and life of James Joyce. The tower was the setting of Joyce’s great novel “Ulysses”. The museum’s collection includes beyond letters and photograph also personal possessions of the famous writer.

The Oscar Wilde House Number One, Merrion Square, has been the childhood home of Oscar Wilde from 1855 to 1878. In 1994 the American College Dublin came into possession of the house. Tourists may visit the study, drawing and dining room as well as the Sir William Wilde Surgery. The House is open throughout the year for group tours, minimum group size 25, advance booking is necessary. All funds contribute to the on-going restoration and maintenance of the Oscar Wilde House.

The Shaw Birthplace 33 Synge Street, the Victorian house is the birthplace of George Bernard Shaw,  one of the greatest play writers in the English language. It has been restored to its Victorian elegance and is opened to the public since 1993. The Shaw Birthplace is worthwhile visiting as it has the appearance that the family have just gone out.

Samuel Beckett, Irish novelist and playwright was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1969. The line: “We all are born mad. Some remain so.” (from Waiting for Godot, 1952), I find hard to disagree with.

There are many other names associated with Dublin that will sound Familiar.

Seán O’Casey lived at 35 Mountjoy Sqaure.

Brendan Behan grew up in nearby 14 Russell St.

John Millington Synge came from Rathfarnham, County Dublin, Ireland. Educated Trinity College, Dublin.

Marsh’s Library, St Patrick’s Close, Dublin 8 was the first public library in Ireland. Established in 1701 it is now over 300 years old. It contains more than 25,000 books regarding the 16th, 17th and 18th century covering topics such as science, law, medicine, music as well as classical literature.

Dublin Literary Pub Crawl, Bring plenty of Euro, as it might be a long night! 🙄


Dublin has many theatres, large and small,  giving a wide choice of plays, musicals and comedies.  There is bound to be something to suit all tastes.  Here are just a few.

Abbey Theatre 26 Lower Abbey Street first opened its doors in 1904 and many important works were first staged here including the “Playboy of the western World” by John Millington Synge and Seán O’Casey’s “The Plough and the Stars”. The present building is a replacement for the original theatre burned down in 1951.

Point Theatre now renamed ‘The O2’ East Link Bridge, recently underwent a make over and a is the venue for London shows and Concerts.

Gaiety Theatre South King Street, off Grafton Street, warms my heart with memories of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company who were based in London. They would arrive and take up residence for two weeks, performing the operas of Gilbert and Sullivan each night and matinees on Wednesday and Saturday.  They were the only times in my life where we went to the theatre three or four times in a week and often twice on a Saturday. We bought the cheapest tickets – to stand at the back of the ‘Gods’ and once the show started we sat on the steps!  Can you see Health & Safety allowing that today?

National Concert Hall, Earlsfort Terrace, hosts a wide range of events throughout the year, including a weekly performances from the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra with a programme ranging from classic operas and magical musicals to contemporary Irish folk, the National Concert Hall is a thriving venue catering for all musical tastes.

A Traditional Irish Music pub crawl will certainly have your feet tapping.


Dublin has evolved into a modern cosmopolitan city with a dazzling array of restaurants on offer. From lively traditional restaurants to Michelin – starred restaurants, there is something to suit every taste, occasion and budget in Dublin.
Check out the fantastic array of restaurants!

Dublin’s pubs allow you to slice right into the heart and living culture of the people. They are the famous haunts of its literary set, politicians, rock stars and of course, Dubliners! Our capital city is home to some 1,000 pubs and no visit to Dublin would be complete without sampling a local brew in a real Dublin pub!  Slainté!

The city centre is a much favoured haunt of stag and hen nights, Dublin is a world class party city. With no end of bars and clubs and of course that famous vibrant atmosphere, you can’t go far wrong with a visit to Dublin.  Tourists love the Temple Bar district, look out here for the street performers and live music venues…you can’t beat a really good bit of entertainment, bearing in mind that Dublin is where Hothouse Flowers, Thin Lizzy and U2 started out!


Dublin, as indeed all of Ireland offers a vast selection of sports to suit all tastes.

Horse Racing

Leopardstown Races
The Racecourse is located six miles south of Dublin City Centre. Visitors may watch both National Hunt and Flat racing.

Other courses not quite within the boundary of Dublin, yet quite accessible are:

The Curragh Racecourse Co. Kildare.  The Curragh is one of the leading horse racing courses situated near Dublin. Staging 20 race meetings from March to October, it is one of the most historic horse racing locations known internationally.
Fairyhouse Racecourse is actually in Ratoath, Co. Meath

Punchestown Racecourse Naas, Co. Kildare

GAA  or to give it its proper name: Cumann Luthchleas Gael : Gaelic Athletic Association – has three games under their umbrella.

Hurling is the fastest game on grass.  It is played with a small ball similar to that used in Tennis but made entirely of leather. Add to this a hockey-like batting wood, called the ‘hurley’.  For a non-experienced viewer it remains a riddle that players do not get carried off the field in masses.  Click on the link to see how it is played.

Gaelic Football is like a cross between, soccer and rugby and is closely associated with Australian Rules Football. It is played with a ball similar to that used in soccer.  A game is played in two parts of 35 minutes each.  Both teams have 15 players. Players are allowed to touch the ball with hand and of course foot. They can take about four steps with the ball in hands than the ball has to be tipped or touched with the foot.
The two goalposts reach up to the air beyond the crossbar, like in rugby. A ball that goes into the goal is worth 3 points, a ball that goes across the bar (between the posts) is worth one point. If the match ends with a draw it will be replayed.

The game is played at club and county level and the biggest competition in the game is the Inter-county championships, where teams from each of the 32 counties of Ireland battle it out for a place in the All Ireland Finals. These finals, held at Croke Park each September are the biggest sporting events in the country, as 80,000 people pack out Ireland’s largest stadium, to cheer on their home county and hopefully watch their team lift the Sam Maguire Cup.

Camogie,  I have written about this in the past.

Football – Soccer, originated in England and popularity has grown within Ireland over many years now.  Many Irish players spend full time playing with and for English or European teams, returning to the Irish shirt for tournaments like the World cup.

Rugby in Ireland can be traced back to the 1850s. Rugby is played by men and women, boys and girls, in more than 100 countries across five continents.  It is one of the few sports, if not the only one to draw a team of players from all thirty two counties, for the  Six Nations and World Cup events.

If Golf is your passion, then Dublin has more courses than I have had hot dinners!

Harold’s Cross Stadium at Harolds Cross  is a greyhound-racing track located in the south of Dublin city. There is plenty of excitement for the whole family.


Dublin has a large number of parks and gardens within the city. Enjoy yourself and choose one to take a restful day. To help you decide, which one to visit, please find a list below. We provide you with short description as well as opening hours and admission charges.

Phoenix Park / Dublin Zoo
Phoenix Park is a place for the whole family. Young and old may take a rest and watch the beautiful scenery. With its 1,760 acres, Phoenix Park is considered to be the largest municipal park in the world.

Farmleigh is an estate of 78 acres situated to the north-west of Dublin’s Phoenix Park, it dates from the 18th century & was home of Edward Guinness. It was purchased by the Office of Public Works on behalf of the Government in June 1999 and developed in order to provide accommodation for visiting dignitaries and guests of the nation, for high level Government meetings and for enjoyment by the public.

National Botanic Garden Glasnevin, Dublin 9 were opened in 1805. The range of plants includes approximately 20.000 species displayed at an area of 19.5 hectares.  Great walks. A large bright self service restaurant serves food all day.

The Merrion Square Park houses many fine sculptures, a floral garden, a collection of old Dublin lamp posts, a heather garden and a playground. It is considered as one of the best parks in Europe.

St. Stephen’s Green covers an area of 22 acres and is one of the best-known Victorian parks. Established in 1880 it is landscaped with flowerbeds, a fountain and a lake.

The Iveagh Gardens were designed in 1863 and belong to the finest gardens in Dublin. They include a cascade, fountains, maze, a rustic grotto, archery grounds and woodlands.

The Garden of Remembrance is an Irish memorial garden for those killed in the Irish War of Independence between 1919 and 1922. The garden was opened in 1966, on the fiftieth birthday of the Easter Rising.

War Memorial Gardens South Circular Road, Islandbridge, belongs to the most famous in Europe. They are dedicated to those who died in the First World War between 1914 and 1918. However, the gardens are also of architectural interest and great beauty.

St. Audoen’s Park High Street, is quite small, St. Audoen’s Park is worthwhile a visit. It includes the first stone city wall dating to 1100 AD, St. Audoen’s Arch and Fagan’s Gate. The city wall was restored in 1976.

St. Annes Park & Rose Gardens Raheny, is Dublin’s largest enclosed park covering almost 270 acres. The rose gardens are of international importance and the extensive woodlands, water features as well as recreational facilities are worthwhile visiting.
Marino Casino holds many surprises!


Dublin is a great experience for those who like shopping. It has a wide range from clothes to typical craft shops to suit all tastes and wallets.  Shops are open Monday to Saturday, generally from 9.00 to 18.00 and do not close for lunch, an increasing number of shops now open on Sundays.  Supermarkets now stay open 7 days a week.
The price of most goods includes value-added tax (VAT). Visitors from outside of the EU can have this sales tax refunded at the end of their trip. Be sure to ask for a tax-free shopping form with each purchase and follow the instructions for completion.

Blarney Woollen Mills 21-22 Nassau Street, has a large selection of woollens, Waterford crystals and the best of Ireland’s designer fashions.

Kilkenny Giftstore 6/7 Nassau Street, offers a wide range of contemporary Irish Design and craftsmanship. It also has a large selection of ceramics, jewellery, pottery and designer fashion. It includes a restaurant from where you can overlook the Trinity College.

The Celtic Whiskey Shop 27-28 Dawson Street, has a selection of whiskies, miniatures and collectables. It also offers a wide range of handmade Irish chocolate, wine as well as gift packs.

Temple Bar Markets Meeting House Square, Temple Bar Square
The Temple Bar Quarter houses different shops, restaurants, cafes and galleries. Situated not far from Trinity College it is ideal for those who love rummage and shopping. The Temple Bar Quarter includes three main markets – the Temple Bar Food Market, the Cow’s Lane Market and the Temple Bar Book Market.

The river Liffey splits the City in two and there are about twenty three bridges between Lucan and the coast. From the M50 Motorway bridge that towers way above the river to the newest member in the family – a rotatable road bridge named after Samuel Beckett.  My all time favourite is The Ha’penny Bridge which can be seen from O’Connell Bridge looking westward.  It was built in 1816 and is Dublin’s oldest pedestrian crossing over the River Liffey. It was also the first iron bridge in Ireland and originally named Liffey Bridge. The bridge got its modern nickname, because there was a half-penny charge to cross it until 1919.

Now to misquote many a politician – It is time to go to the country – Next week we move on!


Do you have a routine?

Is your life ordered and following a pattern?  Are meals at the same time everyday, bedtime never varied and the washing hung on the clothesline every Monday come hell or high water?

My young life was very ordered, but with eight people in the house it was the only way to avoid chaos.  We may have attended different schools in opposite directions  but the general routine was the same.  My brothers went to ‘boy’s only’ schools while mine was all girls.  That was the way things were back then.

With each move in my life my routine changed, but there was always order to it.

As I have grown older the routine seems to be slipping away.  Living on my own means that I only have myself to think about.    The need to be needed is fast disappearing.  I get up or go to bed whenever I feel like it.  I jump out of bed on bright mornings full of the joys of spring, but in the depths of winter vacating the bed is a later slower process.

Meals are cooked when I feel like them, the main meal might be in the middle of the day today or later in the evening if I am involved in a project.

This lack of routine means that I sometimes gain or lose a day in the week.  I might think it is Friday and do the normal chores that need sorting before a weekend. That is no problem even if a day early, Sure it means I am free to do something else. 😀

My problem arises if I happen to mention something about it being ‘Friday’ to Elly when in fact it is a day or two earlier.  Can you hear her?  “Mammy! Today is (insert day)!

Anyone know where I left my marbles?


Time again for the latest episode from the Loose Blogging Consortium.   I wonder how many gang members will be In Singing Mood and joining us today.  The topic this week was wickedly chosen by Conrad.

The “isms”

Loading my query into a favourite search engine, I discovered there were at least 887 words found ending in ‘ism’.

Not wanting to bore you with all of them I went in a different direction and found this:

The Backseat Driver’s Licence.

Now I am tempted to run off a dozen copies and keep them in the glove box (do people still call it that these days?) for when passengers insist on telling me how to drive my own car.

I am sure you are wondering where I found it.  Simple really it was at the ISM Blog.

ISM in this case stands for The Irish School of Motoring, where you can learn to drive or become a Driving Instructor.

Thursday Special – A way to live

Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath.

This made him (oh, man, this is so bad, it’s good) ……

A super-calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis!




An oldie but as goody found while dusting off old files.