Monthly Archives: December 2011

Openings ~19

It was the colour that drew me to this entrance.

A colourful doorway in Belfast that holds a surprise:

A Doorway to learning Circus Skills!

My New Year Toast

May the year ahead open doors

to interesting and heart warming experiences

for all my readers.


The topic for the final outing of the Loose Bloggers Consortium in 2011 was chosen by Will.


Back in January 2009 I was complaining about the hike in heating oil prices. At that time they ranged between £311.00 to £349.65 for 900 Litres.  Fiddlesticks. What was I complaining about?  Right now we are talking £527.00 to £554.44 for 900 Litres. Pay by credit card and that lower price jumps to £534.90.  Many of the lower priced companies do not deliver to my area. 🙁

Back in that post I sought suggestions about how to raise the funds for oil.  I even contemplated sending my Art work to Sotherby’s.

My online friends were quick to offer their advice.

Magpie 11 said

“I think we should appeal to the nations so that it can be kept in its place…..I mean to say it’s a lot newer than those ones from the Bridgewater connection…they’re about 400 years old aren’t they? We cannot let art like that go abroad……..I’m rather impressed that one so young should have been aware of sunspots.”

Nick said

“Goodness, I hope it’s well insured. Such consummate brushwork and flawless composition will push it over the £million mark straightaway.”

kenju said

“How could you even think of selling such great art!!?? Better to freeze and keep it, I think.”

With advice like that, I decided that I should sleep on the idea for a week or two, before parting with my special art treasure.

I am so glad I listened.  Sometimes fools rush in where…. etc etc!

Now sit down and pay attention!

With the magic and wonder of Christmas, my art came to life!  I mean it. No. I have not been over indulging on the Vino & Gin, or hallucinating. The proof is here:

Photo by Elly

I need to take you back to last September, I was having a Chat with Elly

E: you know those drawings of mine as a child where they have no arms?
GM: yes, one drawing of our family
E: yeah, do you have a copy of it around?
GM: real or on my computer? I have both
E: a scan is fine was trying to describe it to Sue, easier to show her
GM: want it today?
E: if it suits, no rush
GM: grand
E: thx
GM: try here
E: excellent, I thought it was on the blog somewhere, but I couldn’t find it.
GM: Looking at that ‘artwork’ again… you were meticulous in your detail. The left leg of Jack’s trousers was shorter than the right!!
E: lol

My Elly had something up her sleeve and was planning and plotting unbeknownst to me. That angelic Sue was in on it too, and never breathed a word to me!

Somewhere on the ‘net’ Elly came across this little snippet:

“The child’s drawing, a wonderful expression of childhood, is the starting point of the collaborative project. Details and colour choices are reproduced as closely as possible so that the stuffed toy that arrives in the mail is immediately recognizable to the child who designed it. It’s a fun, rewarding process, and kids love seeing their drawings come alive.”

Thus began another conversation

E: Hiya, I just found out about the toys that you make, and I was wondering if you would ship to Ireland? I realise that it would cost extra. Attached is the picture I would be hoping to recreate in 3 toys…..

W: Thank you for your enquiry.
Are they wearing earmuffs?  I would charge…..  If you are interested, just let me know, thanks for your interest in Child’s Own Studio

E: No I think they are ears, not earmuffs – although it’s nearly 2 decades since I drew it, so I’m not 100% sure! 🙂
My Dad was older than my mum, so his hair is grey (I don’t think I had a grey pen). He also had a war wound, so one of his legs should be slightly shorter than the other (mum always commented on how accurate that part of the drawing was). I never drew arms as a child, and when mum asked why I always said that their hands were behind their backs; so being that these will be 3D, I would love to put the arms on so that they are only visible from the back. I’d like to go ahead with the order please.

Dolls with hands behind their backs

There were more questions and answers along the way….

How much shorter was his leg, I’m curious.  I like these drawings and your description; I’m looking forward to working on them. How old were you when you drew this picture”?

“Dad was injured in WWII. His leg would only have been fractionally shorter in real life, maybe a centimetre or two.
I was 5 when I drew the picture (my drawing skills haven’t improved much since either!).”

Elly;s Dad was injured in WWII and they used bone from his hip to re-sculpt his thigh bone. Due to being in plaster (from chest to ankle) for 14 months, he was unable to bend his left knee after this, but taught himself to walk & drive again. His left leg would only have been 1 inch shorter and he mastered the limp by taking a full stride followed by a half one on the injured leg.

W: I’m working on your dolls right now, and I have a couple of questions for you:
1) In your drawing, the child’s (your) hair looks reddish.  Shall I stay close to the colour or do you prefer light brown?
2) Your father’s shoes/feet weren’t coloured in…What colour should I make them…red? white? black?

E: Light Brown for my hair and black for Dad’s shoes please. He was a demon for polishing them all the time.

W: Well, he was in the military…


So on Christmas Eve I was gob-smacked.  Not alone had I Elly, George and Miss Buffy for the day, I had this precious unique gift, I heard the fascinating background story of how it came about

Proof after all these years!

Then I was introduced to:

If you know Eleanor, don’t tell her mother about her Christmas gift.

Elly takes after her dad – look at her legs!! 😉

How many of you have drawings or paintings by your children or grandchildren stuck on the fridge right now? Maybe they are stored in a box in the loft?

What a great idea to bring them to life.

Time now to go check out what ideas the other active members of the Loose Bloggers Consortium have for us to close out the year:- Conrad, Delirious, Maria/Gaelikaa, Magpie 11, Maria SilverFox, OCD writer, Padmum, Paul,Ramana, Rohit, Will Knott.

Thursday Special ~ Worst date…. EVER!

Jay Leno went into the audience at the Tonight show, to find the most embarrassing first date that a woman ever had. The winner described her worst first date experience.

There was absolutely no question as to why her tale took the prize!

She said it was midwinter…Snowing and quite cold… and the guy had taken her skiing in the mountains outside Salt Lake City , Utah .

It was a  day trip (no overnight). They were strangers, after all, and had never met before. The outing was fun but relatively uneventful until they were headed home late that afternoon.

They were driving back down the mountain, when she gradually began to realize that she should not have had that extra latte. ! ! They were about an hour away from anywhere with a rest room and in the middle of nowhere! Her companion suggested she try to hold it, which she did for a while. Unfortunately, because of the heavy snow and slow going, there came a point here she told him that he had better stop and let her go beside the road, or it would be the front seat of his car.

They stopped and she quickly crawled out beside the car, yanked her pants down and started. In the deep snow she didn’t have good footing, so she let her butt rest against the rear fender to steady herself. Her companion stood on the side of the car watching for traffic and indeed was a real gentleman and refrained from peeking. All she could think about was the relief she felt despite the rather embarrassing nature of the situation.

Upon finishing  however, she soon becam e aware of another sensation. As she bent to pull up her pants, the young lady discovered her buttocks were firmly glued against the car’s fender. Thoughts of tongues frozen to poles immediately came to mind as she attempted to disengage her flesh from the icy metal. It was quickly apparent that she had a brand new problem, due to the extreme cold.

Horrified by her plight and yet aware of the humor of the moment, she answered her date’s concerns about’ what is taking so long’ with a reply that indeed, she was ‘freezing her butt off’ and in need of some assistance!  He came around the car as she tried to cover herself with her sweater and then, as she looked imploringly into his eyes, he burst out laughing. She too, got the giggles and when they finally managed to compose themselves, they assessed her dilemma. Obviously, as hysterical as the situation was, they also were faced with a real problem.

Both agreed it would take something hot to free her chilly cheeks from the grip of the icy metal! Thinking about what had gotten her into the predicament in  the first place, both quickly realized that there was only one way to get her free. So, as she looked the other way, her first time date proceeded to unzip his pants and pee her butt off the fender.

As the audience screamed in laughter, she took the Tonight Show prize hands down. Or perhaps that should be ‘pants down’. And you thought your first date was embarrassing. Jay Leno’s comment… ‘This  gives a whole new meaning to being pissed off.’

Oh and how did the first date turn out? He became her husband and was sitting next to her on the Leno show.

Thank you Brighid for the wonderful laugh

If I…..

If I had a rich man,
Daidle deedle daidle
Daidle daidle deedle daidle dum
All day long I’d biddy-biddy-bum
If I had a wealthy man.

I wouldn’t have to work hard,
Daidle deedle daidle
Daidle daidle deedle daidle dum
If he were a biddy-biddy rich,
Daidle deedle daidle daidle man.

Lord who made the lion and the lamb,
You decreed I should be what I am–
Would it spoil some vast, eternal plan,
If I had a wealthy man?

Being lazy

Wide awake at four am this morning I was happy to lie in the darkness listening to the radio. Sometime after five I drifted off to dreamland.  Sunrise was not until 08:47, so I don’t mind.  Soon the mornings will stretch and I will jump out of bed ready to face daybreak and the world.

One more day of laziness after today, then normal service will return on Thursday.

Now… I wonder what I will cook for my dinner today?

No Food Monday :sad:

Well the fuss is all over for another year bar the wait for credit card bills, if that was the road you took.

I did my Christmas Celebrating on 24th with Elly George and Buffy for entertainment. Miss Buffy spent about five minutes rediscovering my house, the corners and smells before she sat to play with a toy  in the middle of the floor.  While we were at the table for eats, she sat stretched out underneath in such a way that her was touching all our feet.

Miss Buffy

Yesterday was quiet, very quiet, just as I like it. I did make and receive calls, texts and a few emails. and the day passed off well.

Today I was feeling lazy, so got up for a cuppa, opened the blinds – signal to the neighbourhood that I am not dead – and went back to bed to laze and listen to the radio.

I had planned to post a luscious cake recipe today, but I am sure by now tummys have had their fill and only want to pick at the festive left overs.

When I was young (cue violins…) I would spent a St Stephen’s Day morning peeling a half tonne of potatoes and cutting them by hand into chips.  That was all the cooking we would do that day.  Hot fresh chips – the best in Ireland – and you filled the rest of your plate with the cold cuts and stuffing left over from the day before.  There was always more than enough for the army of us and it was followed by slices of Christmas pudding fried in yuck butter.  I preferred mine cold.

Speaking of leftovers and cake reminds me of a special Birthday cake that appeared earlier this year…

Miss Buffy’s Birthday Cake

Now if you want the recipe for that one…..

I think you better ask Elly!

Recipe for Christmas Joy

½ cup of Hugs
¾ cup of Smiles
4 teaspoons Kisses
4 cups of Love
1 cup of Special Holiday Cheer
½ cup of Peace on Earth
3 teaspoons of Christmas Spirits
2 cups of Goodwill Towards All
1 Sprig of Mistletoe 1 medium size bag of Christmas Snowflakes
Mix, Hugs, Kisses, Smiles, and Love until consistent.
Blend in Holiday Cheer, Peace on Earth,
Christmas Spirit and Goodwill Toward Men.
Use the mixture to fill a large, warm heart where it
can be stored for a lifetime, for it never goes bad!
Serve as desired under Mistletoe, sprinkle liberally with
Christmas Snowflakes
It is especially good when accompanied by Christmas
carols and family get-togethers.
Serve to one and all!

‘Tis the season to be……

Christmas comes early to my house this year
we’ll share gallons of giggles and plenty of cheer,
With family and food we’ll recap the year.
Into the barrel of stories we’ll delve
Whilst wishing each other a happy 2012.

I’ll have my hat on and sit by the tree
With loved ones around me,
I’ll happy be!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Medical matters

Padmini in her wisdom had the choosing of our topic for today

Hospitals or Doctors

I sat on the doctor’s knee so he could examine me.  His desk was dark and solid as a rock.  His routine never changed. He smoothly slid open the top right hand drawer, it was a very deliberate move. There were several bundles neatly arranged in that space but one half was given over to an open box… He knew I saw the box and would do whatever he asked….

He began with the bundle beside the open box…

We called them the lollipop sticks, one was given to me to look inside his mouth before he prompted me to “Open wide!”  He flattened my tongue and had a good look around, then it was “Say Ahhh!” as he looked deeper into the space. Saying ‘Ahhh!’ while being very conscious of the tickling hairs on his index finger touching my face, always made me feel like laughing.

I stood between his knees and could feel his soft warm exhaled breath on my cheeks as he checked my ears.

We played a game or two.  He helped to remove my cardigan, then gently opened the buttons on my blouse while I chatted away telling him the news of the day.

Then the stethoscope came into centre stage, first the earpieces were put to my ears so I could hear his beating heart.  One day I told him he had no heart, but he insisted I keep trying until I found it.  Thankfully I did find a heart beating steadily away, allowing him to turn the attention to me.  He listened to my heart, my lungs, asked me to cough and again cough once more, before smiling and setting the stethoscope down on the desk.

There were questions asked and answers given, promises made and soon it was time for The Box!

The box contained the biggest most colourful hand-made sweets you ever saw.  I was allowed choose one for my mouth and one for each hand.

Mammy never had any problem bring us to see Dr Kidney!

Now off you go to check the pills and potions of the other Loose Blogging Consortium active members:- Conrad, Delirious, Maria/Gaelikaa, Magpie 11, Maria SilverFox, OCD writer, Padmum, Paul, Ramana, Rohit, WillKnott.

Thursday Special ~ Santa’s Reindeers

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game,

while both male and female reindeers grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December.

Female reindeers retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring.

Therefore, according to EVERY historical rendition depicting Santa’s reindeer,
EVERY single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen, had to be a girl.

We should’ve known…

ONLY women would be able to drag a fat man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost.

With thanks to Deb for this little beauty