Monthly Archives: June 2011

Thursday Special ~ Gone Fishing

A recently ordained pastor was invited fishing by two senior pastors. They rowed their boat out into the middle of a lake and started casting.

Suddenly, one of the senior pastors says, “I forgot my bait. I’ll be right back.” Then he hops out of the boat, walks across the water to shore. A few minutes later, he comes walking back and gets in the boat.

The junior pastor is astonished, but manages to keep it to himself.

A bit later, the other senior pastor says, “I forgot my sunscreen. I’ll be right back.” Then he hops out of the boat, walks across the water to shore. A few minutes later, he comes walking back and gets in the boat.

The junior pastor is now certain that these are two men of supreme faith. However, he doesn’t want to appear less spiritual.
After a few moments, the junior pastor says, “I forgot my lunch. I’ll be right back.” He hops out of the boat and plunges straight to the bottom of the lake.

One senior pastor turns to the other and says, “We probably should have told him about the stepping stones.”




Thank you Darlene for this one.

A Journey Begins

On Friday 1st July Eolai will bid farewell to American Dog Dog, and climb aboard throw a leg over the cross bar of his mobile studio to begin the Painting Tour – A Twitter Painting Cycle Tour of Ireland

I hope that someone will be there with a camera to record the beginning as Eolai peddles out from the Studio.

Eolai’s bike rests outside the studio

If you see this bike as you are out and about, say hello and tell him Grannymar told you to do so.   Give the man a cup of tea and you are sure of a friend for life.  If you are in a bus a car or a train at least give him a wave of encouragement along the way.

Eolai I wish you a successful journey and hope the weather is as you like it and all the hills go downwards.  I look forward to you staying with me on the final leg of the journey and showing you some of the unusual high-lights in my corner of the world.

All photos are stolen borrowed from Eolai and you can follow his journey with @eolai on Twitter as he cycles and paints along the hi-ways and by-ways round Ireland.

One for the Boy Racers out there

The following information came to me via email in the past couple of weeks and it made me ponder…

When I want to fill my car with petrol, I am inclined to do so without thinking about the time of day or the way I carry out the chore. Yes, I see it as a chore to be completed in the shortest time possible. Maybe now I will pay more attention!

Out latest fuel prices are outlined here.


I don’t know what you guys are paying for Petrol…. but here in Melbourne we are paying up to $1.30 to $1.50 per litre. My line of work is in petroleum for about 31 years now, so here are some tricks to get more of your money’s worth for every Litre:

Here at the Shell Pipeline where I work in Melbourne, we deliver about 4 million litres in a 24-hour period thru the pipeline.. One day is diesel the next day is jet fuel, and Petrol, regular and premium grades. We have 34-storage tanks here with a total capacity of 16,800,000 Litres.

Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground the more dense the Petrol, when it gets warmer Petrol expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening….your litre is not exactly a litre. In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and the temperature of the Petrol, diesel and jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products plays an important role.

A 1-degree rise in temperature is a big deal for this business. But the service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps.

When you’re filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode If you look you will see that the trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle, and high. You should be pumping on low mode, thereby minimizing the vapors that are created while you are pumping.

All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some of the liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you’re getting less worth for your money.

One of the most important tips is to fill up when your Petrol tank is HALF FULL.

The reason for this is the more Petrol you have in your tank the less air occupying its empty space. Petrololine evaporates faster than you can imagine. Petrol storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves as zero clearance between the Petrol and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation. Unlike service stations, here where I work, every truck that we load is temperature compensated so that every litre is actually the exact amount. 

Another reminder, if there is a Petrol truck pumping into the storage tanks when you stop to buy Petrol, DO NOT fill up; most likely the Petrol is being stirred up as the Petrol is being delivered, and you might pick up some of the dirt that normally settles
on the bottom.

So, what do you think?

Food Monday ~ Wonder Bites

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned my sister had found a tiny notebook that belonged to mammy.

She had taken it with her on a visit to my brother in Australia.  I think she knew that baking would raise its tiny head while she was with him, so a few old favourites were written in there.   The recipe today comes from that notebook.  It is very simple and requires no cooking!

Wonder Bites

2 ozs butter
4 ozs icing sugar
3 ozs coconut
3 ozs cherries, chopped
3 ozs walnuts chopped
1 teaspoon coffee essence (optional)
Spoon of Brandy** (optional)
6 ozs chocolate

Cream the butter and sugar and add the other ingredients.  Roll into small balls, cover with a clean tea-towel and set aside to firm.

Melt the chocolate in a bowl over hot water.  Dip the balls in the melted chocolate and then place them on a layer of greaseproof paper to set.

** No mention of the size of spoonful for the brandy, It might have been anywhere between a teaspoon and a shovel full!  Mammy never drank any alcohol simply because she didn’t like the taste.  We used to try and get her to have a sip, just to see the awful twisted faces she would make.  Yet she had no problem with using alcohol in cooking.

Art in the Garden 5

And still they come, more sculpture from Art in the Garden.

Amazonia – Bronze
Paddy Campbell

Paddy Campbell had sixteen pieces on display both large and small.  He was born in Dublin in 1942.  %They particularly appealed to me.

During the early Sixties he attended evening courses at the National College of Art in Kildare Street, but his practical needs were directed towards the culinary arts and he graduated in Hotel Management from Cathal Brugha Street, Dublin, in 1964. Following a series of training stints in hotels in Ireland, London and Sweden, he returned to Ireland to start his own catering business in 1967.  Later he took over Bewley’s Café and coffee business in Dublin

From the mid Nineties he resumed evening and other short courses at N.C.A.D. and began to realise that art, not business, was his true vocation.

His work has been shown at various exhibitions including the Royal Hibernian Academy, Oireachtas & National College of Ireland and, in February 2002, he held his first solo exhibition at the Cross Gallery in Francis Street, Dublin. In 2000 he won the Miller Prize for painting at N.C.A.D.

Mata Hari – Bronze

In 2002 he discovered his gift for sculpture and pursued a full time course at the Florence Academy of Art. He established a sculpture studio at Via Luna in Florence in 2005, and produces much of his work there, as well as in Dublin.

In 2006 he was commissioned to sculpt a memorial to commemorate those lost at sea in Bantry Bay and this was completed and unveiled in December of that year. In 2007, he was chosen to sculpt the official portrait of the President of Ireland, Mary McAleese.

Midsummer Night’s Dream (a)

Midsummer Night’s Dream (b)

There were several small items that I liked.  I don’t have photos but you can see them in the link above.  Hovering over the images will show the titles.

Those I particularly liked were:

  • Bus Stop
  • Café Gossip
  • Battle Dress

Wild Strawberries

Are Wild Strawberries really wild?
Will they scratch an adult, will they snap at a child?
Should you pet them, or let them run free where they roam?
Could they ever relax in a steam-heated home?
Can they be trained to not growl at the guests?
Will a litterbox work or would they leave a mess?
Can we make them a Cowberry, herding the cows,
Or maybe a Muleberry pulling the plows,
Or maybe a Huntberry chasing the grouse,
Or maybe a Watchberry guarding the house,
And though they may curl up at your feet oh so sweetly,
Can you ever feel that you trust them completely?
Or should we make a pet out of something less scary,
Like the Domestic Prune or the Imported Cherry,
Anyhow, you’ve been warned and I will not be blamed
If your Wild Strawberry cannot be tamed.

~ Shel Silverstein

Bad and Good

Today is the worst possible time for me to come up with the topic entitled:-


I have no homework to hand in.  Ouch!

Who mentioned the word hand?

Me?  Did I really?

I know I mentioned my hand here.

I know I will never forget the day I met my Siblings for a non wedding/funeral type gathering a week or so ago.

How it looked on 21-06-2011,

The hand showed a great improvement in the photo above, the redness had gone from wrist level to what you see above

BUT last night it got worse.

I have spent several hours trying to have somebody look at it today.  I am home with pills and cream but not fully convinced we are at the root of the problem yet.

Foolishly I didn’t think of asking George to take a photo of the hand at its worst.  Blame the agony.

I may go to bed in a darkened room and stay there until the summer is over. 🙁

Applications are open for a Housekeeper….


Never mind that for a moment.

Woopee!  I do have some excellent news.

George my wonderful Son-in-Law had news of his exam results this morning.

8 distinctions (the highest grade) and 4 merits (the next grade down).

Brilliant or what?  I am so proud of him.  It is not easy changing course and going back to College after a long break.  His preparation and hard work won the day!

Well done George!

Thursday Special ~ The banking crisis explained

Young Paddy bought a donkey from a farmer for €100. The farmer agreed to deliver the donkey the next day.

The next day he drove up and said, ‘Sorry son, but I have some bad news. The donkey’s died.’

Paddy replied, ‘Well then just give me my money back.’

The farmer said, ‘Can’t do that. I’ve already spent it.’

Paddy said, ‘OK, then, just bring me the dead donkey.’

The farmer asked, ‘What are you going to do with him?’

Paddy said, ‘I’m going to raffle him off.’

The farmer said, ‘You can’t raffle a dead donkey!’

Paddy said, ‘Sure I can. Watch me. I just won’t tell anybody he’s dead.’

A month later, the farmer met up with Paddy and asked, ‘What happened with
that dead donkey?’

Paddy said, ‘I raffled him off. I sold 500 tickets at €2 each and made a
profit of €898’

The farmer said, ‘Didn’t anyone complain?’

Paddy said, ‘Just the guy who won. So I gave him his €2 back.’

Paddy now works for Bank of Ireland.




Thank you Peter for the story today

Weekend Snapshots

Now ten months old, Miss Buffy has grown

Please take me for a walk.

We didn’t catch the bus

We didn’t catch the train

We walked to the end of the road and when we got home…

I had fun.

Last time I was down in Dublin, Anders promised to take me for a spin on the bike.  He called unexpectedly on Saturday, and when he discovered I was in residence, he was all set to go home and collect his second helmet for me.  I stopped him and suggested we see if I could manage to climb on the back of the bike first.  As you can see I did.  George took the photos for me.  Thankfully he didn’t try to take photos as I dismounted!

Climbing down from the bike was hilarious!  The more I tried the more we laughed.  It reminded me of sitting on my tail-end in the snow of the Austrian Alps many years ago, unable to get up.  I bribed the guys not to tell you that George had to lift me off the bike!  I know they are as good as their words.  😉

The engine in that bike is the same size as the one in my car!

Déjà vu

I read and subscribe to a wide variety of blogs.  Some pop up as regularly as breakfast, while others are more like seasonal treats.

Padmini is the sister of Ramana, a regular commenter here, and she has recently joined our Loose Bloggers Consortium.  This and That, There and Here was added to Padmini’s portfolio in March of this year.  I wonder if she realises what that blog does to me?  The blog-face is simple clean, and straightforward to navigate and comment on, with Twenty Ten the chosen Theme.

I eagerly open up to read the latest entry….. yet each time I am stopped in my tracks.  Ramana might call it Synchronicity.

The header picture catches my eye and I am frozen on the spot.  It is a Déjà vu moment.  “I know this place!  I know that man! And I know why that golden retriever likes to go walking with him every day.” are the thoughts running wildly round my brain.

I need to wind back the clocks twenty five years or more…..

We were staying with mammy in Dublin for a few days.  My eldest brother and his family always made time to catch up with us when we went down to Dublin.  This trip was no different.

During the evening he produced a little gift for Elly.  It was a laminated placemat with a picture.  I think that the photo was originally produced by John Hinde for a postcard or calendar.

It was not the usual type of picture to give a child, but this meant something to Elly and more so to me.

The picture was enough to stop my brother in his tracks as he walked through his local Stationers/Bookshop.  It stopped him long enough to purchase half a dozen placemats for his nieces and nephews.

My brother recognised the area and the walk.  It was in County Kildare and the man was James.

Our picture was taken in much closer, but the shape and the walk are the same.  The dog this time round is walking and sniffing along the verge on the left hand side.

Uncle James was Daddy’s youngest brother.  We would recognise that shape anywhere.  My late uncle James did not own a dog, but another of my brothers was able to tell us that the Golden Retriever went walking with our uncle every day because………….

Not sure I should tell you why…..

No way!

OK, my uncle fed the dog a Mars bar.  I cringe when I think about it!

I noticed the other day that Donncha now has the same Header.