Monthly Archives: May 2012

Thursday Special ~ Little Johnny

Little Johnny and Jenny are only 10 years old, but they know they are in love. One day they decide that they want to get married, so Johnny goes to Jenny’s father to ask him for her hand.

Johnny bravely walks up to him and says, “Mr. Smith, me and Jenny are in love and I want to ask you for her hand in marriage.”

Thinking that this was just the cutest thing, Mr. Smith replies, “Well Johnny, you are only 10.. Where will you two live?”

Without even taking a moment to think about it, Johnny replies, “In Jenny’s room. It’s bigger than mine and we can both fit there nicely.”

Still thinking this is just adorable, Mr. Smith says with a huge grin, “Okay, then how will you live? You’re not old enough to get a job. You’ll need to support Jenny.”

Again, Johnny instantly replies, “Our allowance, Jenny makes five bucks a week and I make 10 bucks a week. That’s about 60 bucks a month, so that should do us just fine.”

Mr. Smith is impressed Johnny has put so much thought into this.
“Well Johnny, it seems like you have everything figured out. I just have one more question. What will you do if the two of you should have little children of your own?”

Johnny just shrugs his shoulders and says, “Well, we’ve been lucky so far.”




Cute story Ramana, but unfortunately it is not too far from the truth these days.


A smile costs nothing but gives much.
It enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give.
It takes but a moment, but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever.
No one is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it,
and no one is so poor that he cannot give it.

A smile creates happiness in the home,
fosters goodwill in business,
and is the cornerstone of friendship.
It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged,
sunshine to the sad, and is nature’s best antidote for trouble.

Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed, or stolen,
for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away.
When people are too tired to give you a smile, give them one of yours.
No one needs a smile so much as he who has none to give.
~ Author unknown

Blogging the alphabet ~ K

K ~ Knitting.

I don’t like the cold weather and I’ll whisper this – my body does not like the heat either. 🙁  Sitting in the sun is a sufferance for me. Short spurts of ten minutes are almost my limit.  This beautiful spell of bright sunny days has me bouncing out of the bed before six am and since it is a rarity, I decided to use my sitting time to knit in the hope it helped me to sit for longer and top up with some vitamin D.

So what was I at?

I bought it in a wool shop

Last week when on my wanderings – a walk in the sunshine and a little browsing to cool down, I found a new wool shop and went to look at the patterns.  I didn’t find one but came home with a ball of ruffle yarn.  It was a new one to me and I could not resist.

And ended up with this!

One 100g ball of the yarn is sufficient for a scarf.

I like to use those circular needles when possible. They help avoid the ends of the straight needles hitting and bruising my upper arms with every stitch!! I am a clumsy knitter…. remember how I was with the crochet. In school the teacher used to say “Marie, you are not driving a car and turning a corner!” each time I wound the thread round the needle. 😆

This ruffle scarf uses only eight stitches. The most difficult part is to get started, but once you manage to get the hang of that, it is easy peasy.

The yarn actually looks like a ball of ribbon when you buy it instead of the usual fine knitting wool.  You stretch it out as you work along.  I have pinned out a sample above to let you see what it looks like. Click to enlarge the photos.

You will notice one long edge is a thicker straight line, that is the bottom of the work.  Beginning at the short end, you pick up eight loops on the top row and then turn. From here on all rows are worked in garter stitch (knit). Insert the needle in the first stitch and use the next loop as the thread and complete the stitch in the normal way. Make sure to use every loop.

I promise that by about row three, you will be doing it with your eyes shut!  I made the scarf in an afternoon. 😀

The most difficult part is the first row so to help, I found a tutorial for you.

Now it is about time I finished off a project that has been on the pins for quite some months!

Would you say I am in a PINK phase?

Food Monday ~ Coronation Chicken

With the summer finally here and the hype all around for the Diamond Jubilee, I combine both with a cold dish that is my version of Coronation Chicken.

Coronation Chicken
Preheated oven to 180°C

For the Marinade:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch flat leaf parsley
1 bulb garlic, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
10 ml medium Curry Powder
Salt & fresh ground black pepper to season
1 to taste nutmeg
500g chicken breast cut to bite sized pieces

For the dressing:
3 fluid ounces creme fraiche
90 ml mayonnaise
1-2 limes, zest and juice
3 inches fresh ginger root finely grated
30 ml Mango Chutney
50g Sultanas

To Garnish:
50g flaked almonds

Mix the marinade ingredients together in a shallow dish. Add the chicken and toss well to coat thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight.

Lift the chicken with a slotted spoon and drain excess liquid.  Spread in a single layer on a prepared roasting tin and season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Drizzle over olive oil.
Roast in a preheated oven at 180°C for 25 minutes, baste occasionally until the chicken is cooked through. Leave to cool completely.

To make dressing, place creme fraiche, mayonnaise, lime juice and zest in a bowl. Peel and grate the ginger,  add 2 teaspoons of the lime juice to the dressing. Stir, cover and chill in the refrigerator until chicken is cooked and cold.

Combine the chicken and dressing, add the Mango Chutney and sultanas adjust the seasoning, and refrigerate.

Garnish with the flaked almonds and serve with boiled new potatoes and green salad.
Serves 4-6

Variations: Use as a filling for individual precooked pastry cases or as a sandwich filler.


Dividers ~ bronze with a stainless steel core
Sculptor: Vivien Burnside

‘Dividers’, simple, familiar hand held tools were key to the designing, constructing and planning which allowed circumnavigation from the city of Belfast.

‘Dividers’ stands like an archway or frame as you stand to look inwards to the newly revived city or outwards to the sea.

Vivien Burnside lives and works in Northern Ireland. She has an MA from the University of Ulster and is an Associate Lecturer at the Belfast Institute. She also works as an arts coordinator in the healthcare sector.
Much of her work is ephemeral: large scale drawings, billboard images and temporary sculptural work. Permanent works include Dividers at Clarendon Dock. Text and themes of communication and change are consistent themes in the artist’s work.

They act as a connecting point referring to communication and navigation, characteristics of the Clarendon Dock area both yesterday and today”.

Belfast Harbour Commissioners Office

Clarendon Dock was built in 1851. It was the birthplace of the ship building industry in Belfast in the 18th century.

Original pump house

Old Graving Dock

The historical Clarendon building built in 1820, was restored along with the adjacent graving docks.

In the 1990’s Belfast Harbour Commission in partnership with Laganside Corporation and with inward investment from the European Union, transformed the 6.1 hectare site for high quality business and residential units. New businesses thrive alongside the old dry docks, where ships were once repaired.

It was in the 19th century that ship building moved across the Lough to Queen’s Island, Further expansion of the harbour downstream left the old dock in the hands of Belfast harbour and Port.

Samson and Goliath are the yellow twin shipbuilding gantry cranes situated at Queen’s Island across the Lough from where I was standing. The one on the left is partially hidden by the new Titanic Experience Centre that all the fuss is about at the moment.

Looking down river towards Belfast Lough that leads to open water and the world beyond.

Retired Propeller

Openings 37 ~ A hole

An opening in a rock at Cavehill, high above Belfast.

The photo was taken from the area called the Devil’s Punchbowl.

Cave Hill Country Park gets its name from five caves – which could be early iron mines – located on the side of the main Belfast cliffs. Click to enlarge the photo ( I can only find three caves at this angle) or take a virtual tour of the Cave hill and McArt’s Fort

There is a challenging circular route walk (4.5 miles), beginning at Belfast Castle it can, however, be joined from

  • Bellevue (Belfast Zoo) car park
  • Upper Hightown Road
  • Upper Cavehill Road.

It is a steep climb over unsurfaced paths. I know. I have done it in the past, right to the top, and hope to try it again someday. I did go back on my own as far as the Devil’s punchbowl, but would not attempt to go further alone these days.

Any takers?

McArt’s Fort

You need stout shoes and waterproofs in case the weather changes. But on a clear day the view is well worth it.

That’s not me, but I have been up there on that spot.

Looking down over Belfast Lough as the Stena Voyager catamaran makes her way into Belfast from Scotland

Now I will let you into a little secret….

I had to go out especially to take the next few pictures.

From Fortwilliam roundabout

The Cave hill from below, is distinguished by its famous “Napoleon’s Nose”, a basaltic outcrop which resembles the profile of the famous emperor.

It is said to have inspired the famous novel Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift.*

View from the Waterworks Park at the Cavehill Road, Belfast

Way below the cliff there is an actual Lilliput Street, off the Shore Rd.

The street has been rejuvenated in recent years but the buildings on the next street corner have yet to have a facelift.

* A visit to Auntie Wikipedia gives me a different story:

Lilliput is reputedly named after the real area of Lilliput on the shores of Lough Ennell in Dysart, Mullingar, County Westmeath in Ireland. Swift was a regular visitor to the Rochfort family at Gaulstown House. It’s said that it was when Swift looked across the expanse of Lough Ennell one day and saw the tiny human figures on the opposite shore of the lake that he conceived the idea of the Lilliputians featured in Gulliver’s Travels.

I think it is a case of ‘you pays your money and you takes your choice’!

I’m in the garden!

“The Garden of Eden has vanished, they say
But I know the lie of it still;
Just turn to the left…….”

Oh never mind. My singing would turn milk sour even before the cow was milked.

This island of Ireland has been basking in sunshine this week.

Did you hear me?

I am talking about a most unusual occurrence…. Nearly a full week of real bright warm hot sunshine!!!!  Back in March the sun did shine, but I missed it. I was what you might call under the weather… stretched out in the bed, lying dying with the flu.  Since then it has been cold, dull and dark as ditch water, with dedicated rain of Olympic standards.

So this week, every Tom, Dick and Paddy has been out pushing mowers, clipping hedges and pulling weeds. Alas, not one of them were to be seen in my garden, I had to take the bull by the horns and tackle the eight inches of grass and the mountain of weeds all by my very own self. And that was when I started to sing….

“The Garden of Eden has vanished, they say
But I know the lie of it still….”

I was making slow progress, it would be a long time before my garden mirrored the aforementioned garden of my song. It set me thinking…

Depending on what buke you read; the garden of Eden appears in

  • Iraq,
  • Africa,
  • the Persian Gulf,
  • Lebanon,
  • Jackson County, Missouri,
  • Adam’s Peak, Sri Lanka &
  • Ballyjamesduff in County Cavan, Ireland.

You pays your money and makes your choice.

Well I made my choice, I needed a break and a rest, so I went for a drive and guess where I ended up……

I invite you to stroll, stride or sidle (thanks Marianna) 😉 along with me to see what I found:- click to enlarge

The Garden of Eden

Did you know it was a cul-de-sac?

This garden of Eden is in the village of Eden, near Carrickfergus, County Antrim.

Not an fig leaf, apple tree or serpent in sight! The pear pair must be well banished by now.

So, all together now…  Come Back Paddy Reilly

Our weekly LBC topic this week of Invitation/s was brought to us by Padmum and as we sing along, why not skip on over to see what the other active members have in store for us this week:-

Thursday Special ~ A Sailor

A young Portsmouth woman was so depressed that she decided to end her life by throwing herself into the sea. Just before she could throw herself from the wharf, a handsome young man stopped her.

“You have so much to live for ,” said the man. I’m a sailor, and we are off to Australia tomorrow. I can stow you away on my ship. I’ll take care of you, bring you food every day, and keep you happy.”

With nothing to lose, combined with the fact that she had always wanted to go to Australia, the woman accepted.

That night the sailor brought her aboard and hid her in a small but comfortable compartment in the hold. From then on every night he would bring her three sandwiches, a bottle of red wine, and make love to her until dawn.

Two weeks later, she was discovered by the captain during a routine inspection.

“What are you doing here?” asked the captain.

“I have an arrangement with one of the sailors,” she replied. He brings me food and I get a free trip to Australia.”

“I see,” the captain says.

Her conscience got the best of her and she added, “Plus he’s screwing me.”

“He certainly is,” replied the captain. “This is the Isle of Wight Ferry.”




Thank you Nancy for this weeks story.

Tell me now….

What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up?  Breakfast
What do you prefer to drink in the morning?  Boiled water
What songs do you sing in the shower? It’s now or never….. **

Do you own slippers? I wear soft shoes indoors or ballet pumps when away from home
Worst injury you’ve ever had?  Damage to my face
What’s one trait you hate about yourself? I find it difficult to ask for help

What’s in your pocket right now? A hole! 😉
Where would you like to go today? On a mystery tour
Does someone have a crush on you? Nobody would be that daft!!

It’s now or never,
come hold me tight
Scrub my back darling,
please do it right
Your touch is much to light,
please do it faster
or I’ll miss my flight.