Monthly Archives: May 2014

I have my list….

On my recent visit to the cardiologist, we spent some time discussing medication. The one that caused me to black out and partake in ground kissing and the replacement/s needed to control my BP since then. He had a query about the latest option.

“Have you got your list?” he asked. After eight months, he remembered I carried a typed list of medications and potted medical history. Again, he said “I wish more patients kept an up-to-date list like this. You would not believe the number of patients who cannot remember the names of their medications!”

So for what it is worth I am producing my version of the list that appealed to him. It may encourage some of you to produce and carry your own version with you, if medications are part of your daily diet.


medication list

medication list

Nowadays we are all reduced to being a number! 🙁

Phone the bank, utility provider or mobile phone provider with a query and they will ask for an account number.

For anything in connection with pensions, health care, driving licence or bus passes, we in the UK must provide our National Insurance Number. The latter is the number I mean for the starred number above. It may have a different name where you live.

In the unfortunate case of you falling down in a faint, an event so common in the days of the Bronte sisters or Jane Austen… yes those days of corsets and eighteen inch waists, everyone carried smelling salts, the cure all for every situation! Today with the mood change to ‘let it all hang out’ there is ner a mention of, or a place to carry the salts.

A list like mine might well save time and your life! Make one for yourself and save it to your computer. It will be easy to update any changes and print a new copy.

Stay well.


Thursday Special ~ “Corny” jokes


I told my doctor that I broke my arm in two places. He told me to stop going to those places.


Police arrested two kids yesterday, one was drinking battery acid, the other was eating fireworks. They charged one – and let the other one off.


When a clock is hungry it goes back four seconds.


Two drums and a pair of cymbals fall off a cliff…. Budum tssshh!!!


I started a band called 999 Megabytes — we haven’t gotten a gig yet.



Thank you, Frank, I can always depend on you for the corny jokes.

Life is Good!

I know I have been quiet, but life is busy. Good busy.

In the last few weeks I pushed myself to the limit. I walked plenty. The hill up from the town to home, is still a tough one, but I have learned not to carry heavy weights when on that journey. The week in Dublin, gave me plenty of variety for walking on the flat. I even brought Buffy with me on one of those days. She was happy to be out and stayed within the bounds of the lead, and never once ran around me as she had done in the past, wrapping the lead round my legs.

I have good news.

Last week, I saw my Cardiologist and yes, he had good news for me. The results of all the tests were in and he was pleased, there was no cause to give him concern. The fact that there were no more episodes of ground kissing, pleased him. It seems my problem was caused by medication for raised BP. He had stopped me taking that medication back in September. He suggested a different range of medication, if my BP moved up the scale. It did. It took several efforts and changes, to find meds to suited me.

The only down side of the visit from my side, was the confirmation of 14 pounds in weight that has attached it self around my middle. The long dark dull & dreary winter, let to some comfort eating 🙁

So for the good news.


I am allowed to drive my car again.

After eight whole months sitting in the darkness of my garage, the car will be allowed to see the light of day once more. I did on a regular basis, reverse the car onto the drive and run the engine, but the last time I tried the battery was flat. Tyres will need to be replaced and the engine serviced, before I put her through the statuary MOT test for road worthiness.

I have booked the MOT for 9th June. In the meantime my Toyboys are organising the tyres, are preparing to sort the battery and service the engine next week, in readiness for the test and my future adventures.

In order to stay patient and calm I am playing with a storage box.

Not just any storage box. This 80 litre storage box is full to the brim and a gift from Brogan:

Box of treasure

Box of treasure

It contains all of this treasure, plus the needle case with eight pairs of Bamboo needles.

A gift from Brogan

A gift from Brogan

And these:

Bamboo Needles

Bamboo Needles

A little something I made on Monday with my hands and no needles. This yarn was from a previous gift from Brighid.

Infinity scarf

First experiment with ‘HAND’ knitting – using my hands instead of needles!

The project I began yesterday……

What will it be

What will it be

I wonder if you can guess what it might be?

The End is never the End ~ Part 7

Part 7

“Today is a crossroads” thought Alice as she walked to open the door at the sound of Morgan’s car on the gravel outside. They were to meet Mr Yeeeeeoooo at Thudder House at ten thirty. He was due to take them through his detailed final report of the building & contents condition survey, after months of prodding, poking, creaking, tea drinking, ‘Aaahing’ and shouting ‘Yeeeeeoooo’. Alice was glad to have Morgan with her today for this morning session and again for the meeting with the Solicitor in the late afternoon. By the end of the working day, Alice hoped to have news of what could and should be done to the house, roughly how much money was required, and later discover how much would be available for the task ahead.

Morgan seemed quiet on the journey, as if struggling with a problem, but Alice did not probe. He had been so generous with his time so far, the thought that he would want to step back at this stage was not one she relished. They worked well together and she had grown to enjoy his humour, gentle teasing and helpful advice.

Mr Yeeeeeoooo, turned into the drive of Thudder house ahead of them, so they walked into the house together. Alice offered to make tea and bring it to the library. The table there was ideal for going through the paperwork. Alice had requested two copies, one for Morgan and the other for herself. Old Yeeeeeoooo said he would join them in a few minutes, he wanted to check something up stairs first.

“Come ‘till I show you what I found yesterday, after studying the layout plans for the umpteenth time.” Said Alice, leading Morgan along a hallway. “ You know that strange key we could not find a door for? Well I have found it and realise why we missed it.” She added as she approached the arched trompe l’oeil panel of stained glassed windows.

Slipping the key into a well disguised keyhole she unlocked the door and ushered him into a room that housed pews and space for a table at the far wall. There were three stained glass windows on the long wall. “This house must have been a convent before the Slythes bought it.” “The bell tower is at this end of the house, right above….”


A thunderous crashing sound interrupted Alice mid sentence. She was left standing with her hand pointing upward as in what look like an explosion in a confetti factory, Mr Yeeeeeoooo, for once silent, fell through the ceiling and landed in a heap on the floor in front of them. Looking from one to the other, Alice was not sure who was in the most discomfort: the heap on the floor, or Morgan, struggling to keep a straight face and stifle the laughter.

Mr Yeeeeeoooo protested, he did not need an ambulance, or a doctor and would be fine after a cup of tea. He made it sound like this was a regular occurrence. Once satisfied that there were no broken bones they brought him through to the library and set him on the half sofa, half arm-chair, by the fireplace. Alice went to the kitchen to make the tea.

The kettle was just boiling when Morgan came to join her. “I just had to get out of there, I’ll burst if I suppress this laughter any longer!”

“Morgan, I just realised that the room our friend descended from, is where I found the jewels!”

“You mean I should go back and check the dust in case there are any more gems in all that confetti? I wonder if that is the room where Andrei Shuyski stayed?” said Morgan.

“Morgan, right now I am wondering if our Mr Yeeeeeoooo Yates stepped into the gap where I found the gems as you call them, remember I lifted the loose floorboard and placed it against the wall. The one thing I do not need right now, is a claim from the man in the library!”

“Right I’ll take the tray. You lead the way. No more delay. We do not want to find a body in the library. We have no time for fun and games to day, Miss Scarlett!”

Mr Yeeeeeoooo, was at the table when they walked through the door, sorting his paper work and pushing two bundles across to the other side for Alice and Morgan.

Alice Handed over the monster mug of tea, not the well stewed variety the surveyor was used to, but a weaker brew for shock, with the usual bucket of milk and a bag of sugar. She asked again if he was in any pain.

To their surprise they saw him straighten up in the chair and smile. Now Alice and Morgan were in shock, they had never seen this man smile in all the time he was in and out of the house.

“I am fine. If there is one thing I know about, it is how to fall! Your ceiling was not the first I fell through, or the highest. I bounce like a sponge ball. I should explain. I set my heart on becoming an architect and needed funding to help undertake my years of study. Between 10-15 per cent of students in my year, did not continue their studies past its three year BSc stage. They could not afford the fees.”

He stopped to take a long slow drink of his tea.

“I have an alter ego. As a young child I wanted to be a stunt man, jumping off buildings or out of fast cars, like I saw at the movies. In my final years at school, I took up the hobby and loved it, seemed to have an aptitude and timing for the many stunts we were learning and undertaking. I was put in touch with an agent and worked with his team for my last summer, before the university year began. The more difficult the task, the more money I was paid. By the beginning of the term, I had my fees for the year and a little left over beer. I was employed for each summer while at college. Most of the work was out doors, so I was paid to have fresh air and exercise.

By the end of three years, I discovered my heart was not into designing new modern glass boxes. I was happy in the dusty dark corners of older properties with character. Advising clients about building or property issues, undertaking property and land surveys and valuations, monitoring the deterioration of a property and offering advice about remedial work that was the world I wanted. At that point I changed course and never looked back.”

“Surveying is an active job role. While I do have an office, I am more likely to make regular site visits and work indoors or outside whatever the weather. So despite my shape and size, I am fit and supple. Now, enough about me.

Before we begin, I would like to take a walk round the side of the house where I came down to earth with a bump. I do not remember seeing those windows before. How come I missed them? Perhaps either or both of you would like to come with me.”

“Yes! We will.” They said together.

“How come I missed the oratory in all the time I was here?” asked Mr Yates.

“I only discovered the room yesterday and was showing it to Morgan. When we come up the drive we park at the other side of the house, so never pass by in the car or on foot. The Rhododendron bushes are quite mature and tall so they shield that side of the house.” When I found the room yesterday, the sunlight shone through the stained glass spreading an arc of colour across the room like a rainbow. It was wonderful.” Said Alice.

“I had been checking the plans in great detail and something did not tally for me. I checked with my notes and counted all the rooms I had visited, measured and made notes for. The plans had one more, so it was out with my measuring tape, when I discovered where this room should be, I scoured the wall with my eyes feeling along with my hands at the same time. Thankfully my little finger found the keyhole, I immediately knew I had found the home for the extra key. Voilà: the oratory.”
Once they settled back at the table, refreshed from the short walk outdoors, it was down to business.

Mr Yates began:

“It is an elegant detached house on three floors plus cellar.

The roof tiles, beams and chimneys are in excellent order. The lofts would need to have the insulation updated to fulfil modern regulations. I suggest having the chimneys cleaned before any internal decoration begins and cages fitted to prevent the birds building nests in the chimney stacks.

When it comes to original features, this house has them all: Heavy outer doors, leaded windows to the front and sides, high ceilings, some oak panelling, exposed timbers, beams and some delicate plasterwork for detail. The other features included open fires with marble or timber surrounds complete with cast iron fire baskets, supported by ornate fire dogs. As to be expected with items of this age, there are some minor cracks and chips and a long crack to the hearth in the dining room which could easily be repaired.

The main feature to the hall is a nice wide sweeping curve as the staircase leads upwards and turns to the level of the floor above. The staircase and most of the hardwood floors are in good condition, the exceptions being in the kitchen, near the sink area and the floor I descended through today. The latter will need to be completely replaced and with it the ceiling below. I will return to the kitchen later.

“The room off over there,” he said pointing to the secret room, “Would make a cosy morning room, office or meeting room for small groups, with that elegant bay window to the front of the house, a bonus. I have come across secret rooms before with no windows, and that curtails their usage and value.

The doors and windows throughout are solid and in good condition. Three of the windows need new catches, I have listed them with all the other repairs and where to go to find matching replacements, we will come to that later.

The six bedrooms on the first floor are spacious and two with dual aspect with lovely light. The four rooms between them have dressing rooms. These bedrooms enjoy the use of 2 bathrooms and a further separate WC. A walk-in linen cupboard completes the first floor. All six rooms have space and are suitable for conversion to en suites. I particularly liked the antique carved mahogany fireplace with three panel over mantel in the master bedroom, it is of excellent quality and in great condition.

On the top level or attics, are two large bedrooms, with plenty of room to tastefully add en suites. There are other storage rooms up there that could possibly be converted to single bedrooms if wished. In one of them, I found a Victorian oak door with leaded stained glass panel, I’d thought it possibly originally formed part of a church vestibule.

My heavenly descent earlier, makes me think it had at one time hung at the entrance to that little oratory. I need to check out those 3 leaded stained glass lancet windows, I guess they are hand painted with an elaborate floriated design. I cannot tell you at this point, about their overall condition, or if there are any cracks. I will check them and advise you later in the week. I forgot when we were outside to check the walls at either end, since the room runs from the front to the back of the house. The room above has dual aspect, or now triple if you count the hole in the floor!” So why not the oratory at that far end? Maybe a doorway could be opened to the outside, if you wanted to run a coffee shop or serve afternoon teas.

With the mention of tea, he pushed back his chair and said he would like to break for a cup of tae.

“I’ll put the kettle on and make a few sandwiches, I brought the food in case we ran late” Said Alice.

Morgan gathered up the used dishes and carried the tray to the kitchen. “I am glad of a break too, he said. There is so much to take in and we have not started on the kitchen area, the out houses or the land about outside. This could take a week. I think you should phone the solicitor and re arrange the appointment for another day?”

Thursday Special ~ Men

One day my housework-challenged husband decided to wash his Sweat-Shirt. Seconds after he stepped into the laundry room, he shouted to me,

‘What setting do I use on the washing machine?’

‘It depends,’ I replied. ‘What does it say on your shirt?’

He yelled back, ‘ Chelsea.’

And they say blondes are dumb…


‘It’s just too hot to wear clothes today,’ Jack says as he stepped out of the shower, ‘honey, what do you think the neighbours would think if I mowed the lawn like this?’

‘Probably that I married you for your money,’ she replied.


Whilst having a quiet drink with an old friend of mine, minding our own
business I pointed to two old drunks sitting across the bar from us and told
my friend “That’s us in 10 years”.

He replied “That’s a mirror, and it is US, NOW!”


Q: How do you keep your man from reading your e-mail?
A: Rename the mail folder ‘Instruction Manuals’


Q: What do you call an intelligent, good looking, sensitive man?
A: A rumour

Thanks to Paddy, who sent these little morsels

How now bronze cow

In the past I wrote about visiting a church and having fun. At another time I told you about going to confession, when for my penance I drank the black stuff…

Last week I was back in The Church and came away refreshed. 😉 Elly came to meet me and we walked round the area at the back of the building. It was at one time a very popular graveyard for the dearly departed members of St. Mary’s parish, a large and wealthy congregation.

By the 1940s, the large churchyard was being used as a playground, with the tombstones being removed to the further end of the yard. It was de-consecrated in April 1966, the Church of Ireland sold the graveyard to Dublin Corporation which later developed the site now known as Wolfe Tone Memorial Park. Why Wolfe Tone? Theobald Wolf Tone – United Irishmen Founder was baptised in St Mary’s Church, in 1763.

The park’s feeling of openness, perhaps because it is unfenced and accessible and allows for unimpeded shortcuts between the busier nearby streets, yet it maintains a separate identity from the paths on either side. An urban space with a variety if hard surfaces, which includes a large gravel area adorned with a cow.

How now bronze cow

How now bronze cow

City Cow ~  Bronze
Sculptor ~ Jackie McKenna.

Walking the streets with no rain!

I had the honour of joining a walking tour of ‘Walking the Bridges of Dublin, hosted by one of my wonderful Toyboys, Anthony Mc Guinness. Anto and Dublin City Council are responsible for the Bridges of Dublin The website is all down to Anto and the time, energy, research and love for the subject in the project came through loud and clear during our tour on Saturday night.

The River Liffey rises close to Kippure in the Wicklow mountains. It flows for around 125 km (78 m) from source to sea through counties Wicklow, Kildare and Dublin before entering the Irish Sea at the midpoint of Dublin Bay. There are in total 24 bridges that cross the river.

Our walk covered fifteen, with added information of those we did not see.

We gathered at Rory O’More Bridge, often referred to as Watling Street Bridge. Building began in 1859 and it was declared open to the public in 1861 and crosses the River Liffey from Watling Street, on the south side to Ellis Street to the north side of the city. It is in fact the fourth, or possibly fifth, bridge at this location since records began. Dates of two of the previous structures: 1670 & 1704.

Rory O’More Bridge

Rory O’More Bridge

When a bridge was first built on this site, it was a wooden structure, much needed by a growing city only served by a single bridge and it often in a state of dilapidation. In the photo below you can actually see a line of wooden stumps from former wooden foundations.

Wooden foundations at Rory O’More Bridge

Wooden foundations at Rory O’More Bridge

A single span bridge with a cast iron deck, built in St. Helen’s Foundry in Lancashire, England. The original, estimated price was 7,556 guineas, but rose to 11,000 guineas on completion. Can you imagine the large structure floating up the Liffey on a barge, before being lifted into place, by MANPOWER and not the modern machinery we have today.

We continued our walk along the quays, stopping at each bridge to hear the story behind it and sometimes crossing over the bridge to take in some detail, find a space large enough to hold twenty of us without causing obstruction to passers-by or the moving motorised traffic. The journey from Watling Street to our final destination and watering hole was 5 km.

We explored:

James Joyce Bridge 2003 – road bridge
Mellow’s Bridge 1768 – road bridge
Father Mathew Bridge 1818 – road bridge
O’Donovan Rossa Bridge 1816 – road bridge
Grattan Bridge 1874 – road bridge
Millennium Bridge 1999 – footbridge
Liffey Bridge 1816 *1
O’Connell Bridge 1791 – dual carriage road bridge, a continuation of O’Connell St.
Rosie Hackett Bridge will be officially opened on 20 May 2014 – Road bridge.
Butt Bridge 1932 previous structure in 1879 – road bridge
Loopline Bridge 1891 *2
Talbot Memorial Bridge 1978 – road bridge
Seán O’Casey Bridge 2005 – footbridge
Samuel Beckett Bridge 2009 – Rotatable road bridge

At this stage, the evening was cooling down the closer we came to the coastline, legs grew tired and Anto’s whistle needed wetting, so we adjourned to the Ferryman pub at Sir John Rogerson Quay.

In days gone by the Liffey Ferry crossed the river at this point, transporting workers from North to South of the river to work in the Gasometer, the Banana Factory and Dublin’s ship building yard. As recently as the mid 1980’s Guinness boats carried barrels of their famous brew past The Ferryman.

I thought I knew the city of my birth, having grown up in the days when I needed money for nylons or tights, I walked everywhere instead of waiting for buses that knew not a timetable. You know the story, no bus for an age and then three come together!

Since I moved North thirty seven years ago, traffic has changed direction along the quays several times and five new bridges have been added with a sixth due to be unveiled tomorrow and open to motor traffic on Wednesday.

I will include some of my photos, the flotilla was an unexpected surprise and we were close enough to chat to the people on board the various water-craft. I have just realised that I have no photos of O’Connell Bridge. It was busy and broad, so difficult for me to take a good photo. Maybe I was too busy chatting to remember. 😉

For more information, and professional photos please check out Anto’s website link above.

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*1 Liffey Bridge is foot bridge. In the beginning there was a toll to reclaim some of the building cost, so it became know as the Ha’penny bridge and the name stuck. In Dublin, we like our nicknames!

*2 Liffey Viaduct, a rail bridge with overhead power supply for the crescent shaped Dart electric train line along Dublin Bay.