Monthly Archives: March 2015


Last week I went to see the Vampire nurse.

My letter said ‘Fasting bloods’ and no mention of any other test. 😉

I brought my arm! 😆

“Did you bring…..?” she began to ask.

“I didn’t. The letter never mentioned bring a sample, I checked.”

“Could you manage one for me now ?” She asks producing a syringe.

“Sorry” I said “You haven’t a hope. It will be at least lunchtime before I can manage a drop!”

“Well, take this home and put the filled syringe in the bag when you are finished, seal it, and return it to the clinic!”

I know you don’t believe me

Syringe for sample

Syringe for sample

On previous occasions we had little bottles for this purpose

Old and new styles

Old and new styles

The old style was easier to fill, this time I used a foil cupcake dish and drew the liquid into the syringe, replaced the cap,  put it in the bag with my details and returned it to the clinic.

Have you come across these syringes before?

I like coffee

But not like that!

This end of my counter is not usually so cluttered* the photo is to show you the mess one single cafetiere can make when the beaker bursts! It happened suddenly and the liquid went everywhere. Over my trousers and my shoes, on the counter, across the floor, on the sides of the cooker and the washing machine beside it.

can you see the hole

can you see the hole

Can you see the hole at the bottom of the Bodum® cafetiere? It is just behind the upright bar with the name embossed on it.

rinsed for a clearer photo

rinsed for a clearer photo

I found the larger piece of glass on the floor at the side of my cooker when cleaning up the mess.

I have been a Bodum® customer for many years now. I have an Assam Tea press and cafetières in several sizes, that are in regular use. I am very careful with the glass and always wash & dry each one by hand, I do not have or ever possessed a dishwasher.

This break was spontaneous, and the first time it ever happened to me!  I decided to get in touch with Bodum®, explain my problem and I added photos for evidence purposes. I asked if there was a reason why this should happen when, instructions are followed to the letter?

I had an immediate reply!

It would seem to us that your question is answered in the photographs you have provided.  It would appear from the first to [sic] photographs that a metal spoon was being used.  In the third photograph the instructions for use are shown where it states that coffee should be stirred with plastic or wooden spoons not metal. 

By this stage my glass beaker was in the bin, so I immediately went to look at the larger sizes in my cupboard. They do not mention anything about metal cutlery, one way or the other.

I then went rummaging in the bin for the object of my complaint. The print on the glass is smaller and in a place close to the handle, so more difficult to read.

Why must the print of what is considered to be an important issue, be so small? 

I have taken another photo of three cafetieres. The tissue in each is to make the print more readable.

Bodum Cafetieres

Bodum Cafetieres

I did write back, admitting that I had not read the instructions, as I had been using the cafetieres successfully for many years and did not expect them to have changed.

I  did wonder if there has been a recent spate of problems and the small instruction about the non use of metal cutlery was to cover the company in these days of a compensation conscious culture. I made no suggestion of compensation. I was not burned. I only wanted to let them know of my disappointment.

“Metal cutlery should never be used with glass.”

I grew up in the days of china cups and fine glasswere. My mother taught me to use a metal spoon when pouring hot liquid into a glass or china cup, to diffuse the heat and prevent the glass/china cracking. I have done that for over fifty years without a problem, even with Bodum® cafetieres.

Now go back and take another look at the last photo. The single one with the broken glass has a metal frame, while the others are made of plastic. If it is not considered safe to use a metal spoon inside the glass, surely it is not a good idea to market them with a metal frame. 

With each purchase of a Bodum® cafetiere, I found a plastic measuring spoon in the pack. Perhaps it might me a helpful marketing idea for Bodum® to switch the measuring spoon for a long handled plastic spoon with the brand name on it!

What do you think?

* My Microwave had to be moved a couple of weeks ago, when water began dripping through my ceiling ( a story for another day).  It is now on the far end of the counter and I am waiting for help to set it back up on the wall brackets. My arms can no longer take the weight and lift it up onto the wall brackets, while standing on a step ladder. Grrr!

More than one view of the world


View from my windows this morning.

Front door at_083851

Front door at_083851

 From Back door at_083653

From Back door at_083653

By the time I locked the back door wet stuff began to fall from the skies. Rain at the front of the house and snow at the back!

Both passed quickly. Do you think the local Council have installed a new way to wash down the streets and forgot to tell us? 😉

Same-Sex Marriage Referendum Debate


This article jogged me into writing this post.

The Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, said at an Iona Institute talk in Dublin last week, that:

“The Catholic bishops did not support the referendum and called on people to reflect on the implications for marriage of it being passed”.

What implications?

I thought the whole idea of the vote in May was to allow gay and lesbian people to openly marry someone of their own orientation.

I am Heterosexual, it is the way I was created and if I decided to marry again, tomorrow or in June, The outcome of a YES vote would not prevent me doing so.

The YES vote will not prevent young heterosexual couples from entering marriage with the person of their choice, and have families.

If gay and lesbian couples wish to celebrate and solemnise their relationship through marriage, then they should be allowed to do so.

Oh!…. They might want to adopt a child or have one with the aid of IVF and a donor?

There are many heterosexual couples who find they are unable to conceive and they are allowed to go down that road, and they are helped and praised for doing so. Not letting a same sex couple go down that route is even more discrimination.

When I was preparing for marriage back in 1977, I had different problems. My choice of soul-mate, was a widower, old enough to be my father, of a different faith and English!

My wedding was to take place in the RC Church, into which I was baptised, when I was three days old. I went to see the local priest. I wanted to make arrangements and arrange for my uncle, a Jesuit to officiate.

Being a ‘Mixed Marriage’, I would need permission from the bishop!

“There should be no bother in getting permission.” Said the priest. “Your future husband is a widower, and it is not good for a man to be alone!” Adding “I’ll have no problem sorting that out with the bishop.”

Not a mention of his age, religion or the fact he was English. Others found them more of a problem.

I returned a week later and learned The bishop had given the go ahead….. Talk about fast tracking for a lonely man without his comforts!!!! My uncle was also allowed to officiate.

I was asked to bring Jack to the next meeting. I did. But the priest from the parish spent 90 minutes talking about his new position in the parish. He was the ‘Go To Priest’ if seeking an annulment. NINETY MINUTES about how to go about an annulment and not a word about us or our wedding.

I was livid when we came out from that meeting. In fact I was ashamed of the RC Church.

Jack trying to lighten the mood said “Well if it does not work out, I know who will get me an annulment!” His wink, squeeze and hug soon brought me back to normal.

My Uncle was horrified for us. He said to leave it to him. In the next parish, the Parish Priest was actually a Bishop. My Uncle knew him well, and promised to have a chat with him. One conversation was all it took to sort everything out and my Uncle wrote and invited Jack’s minister to bring his robes on the day of the wedding and take part in the ceremony.

One phonecall!

Genuine care was all it took and genuine care for our LGBT friends and neighbours is what we need now.

If I had a vote in the South of Ireland’s Same-Sex Marriage Referendum Debate, in May, it would be…..


Sex Education

Over at The Other Side of Sixty  Wisewebwoman has an interesting piece about Sex and Irish Girls.

“Girl people in my time were sent out into the world with absolutely no knowledge of sex. None.”

We are the same generation, but I grew up in Dublin, the capital city of Ireland. WWW, was reared in rural Cork, down on the south coast of Ireland. My experience was slightly different to hers.

In fifth year (16-17 years of age), we had a new teacher for RE & Irish, she was a nun. A total contrast to all the other nuns. She forgot all about:

Miracles, parables and prophets.
Daily prayers for purity.
‘Impure’ thoughts.
Keeping our knees covered. 😆 a couple of years before The mid-1960s – when Mary Quant created the micro-mini.
The occasions of sin – There were more of them than beads on a rosary!
Being able to slide a sheet of paper between our dancing partner and ourselves.
Not leading young men on!!!! Holy Mother of Merciful Maisie. I grew up in a houseful of men and the only thing you could lead any of them on with, was a table full of hot food!

I could go on…… and on…….!

Our 30 minute RE class for five mornings a week and the Irish classes for the week, became sex education classes. She had a BOOK.

One copy of a so called sex education book, covered in a double layer of heavy brown paper and each student in turn, was given THE BOOK to take home for a few days to read. I do not recall the title, a double layer of heavy brown paper made more of an impression on me!

Yes. There were diagrams, but so do books on car maintenance. It could have been our ‘All in the Cooking’ with lists of ingredients, or Home Economics Hygiene book (which had a chapter with pixtures that the Home Economics teacher (another nun) blushed at and skipped over every time!).

When my turn came, I brought the book home and handed it to mammy. What did she say?

“You read it first, love, then give it to me to read.”

I did.

When she gave it back to me, mammy asked if I had any questions. I didn’t.

Books like the one covered in a double layer of heavy brown paper, and ‘All in the Cooking’, talk the mechanics of the topic, not a mention of touch, feel, smell, taste or emotion. I learned all that at my mother’s side about cooking AND relationships. I learned from my four brothers: I saw them go through puberty,  from pimply chins and knobbly knees to hogging the bathroom even longer than I did! I learned what they thought about girls: the traits they liked, respected, and the dreaded ‘man eaters’ who would do anything for a free meal. I saw women like them in my working years too. At one stage I thought I understood more about how male minds worked, than my female ‘sisters’ of the world.

My brothers and their friends showed great respect for me. Yes, they teased me endlessly, but they never over stepped the mark or put me in danger. When we were out, if any of them saw me in danger or if a stranger was misbehaving towards me, they would step in and get them to back off. I treated them all like brothers and that is how I treated all the men I met and worked with, over the years.

More phone calls and messages

Al’s comment yesterday: Just be thankful it wasn’t Willard McBane, set me on a trail of reminiscence to interesting calls…..

I once found a message on my phone from a withheld number asking me to collect the children from school!

No names of the children or name of the school was mentioned, so there was nothing I could do. I hope they are not still waiting.


On a bright summer evening, I answered a call to my cell phone. The gentleman caller told me that my taxi was waiting outside. I was looking out the picture window of my living room as I answered the call. There were no cars about. Not on the road or in my driveway!

The voice and accent, told me the caller came from the North East of England. I was in one of those moods…. Ready for some fun.

“I don’t see you outside?” I said.

“I am in the car park round the back, where taxis usually park” He replied.

“There is no car park outside this window or around the back. Where exactly are you?

“The Croxdale Inn, Front Street, Croxdale!

“Is that in County Durham?”

“Yes!” He was getting a little frustrated now.

“Well, I am sorry to say that I am nowhere near Croxdale, County Durham. I live in and am speaking from County Antrim, Northern Ireland.”

The line went dead!


One day back in my childhood while I was helping mammy in the kitchen, she went to answer the phone. This took place back in the days before we had computers or indeed a television! We children needed to provide our own entertainment, especially on a wet day.

The call was short, but mammy came back to the kitchen laughing heartily. A young lad, no doubt messing about on his parents phone by randomly dialling numbers.

He asked: “Do you smoke after sex?”

Quick as a flash, mammy answered : “I haven’t looked lately!” and immediately replaced the telephone receiver!


I have visited this subject before in Did I hear the Phone? You might find a giggle or two there.

Morning chat.


GM: “Hello”.

Man: “Hello”.

GM: “Hello”. I am beginning to wonder about this voice, it was a little early in the morning for one of theose heavy breathers!

Man: “Is that XX & X Engineering?”

GM: “Well not unless they took over my house during the night. Maybe I should go look under the beds!”

Man: “Half-hearted mumbling apology”, then he hung up.

I was returning to the chore I was working at, when the phone began to dance and sing once more. I looked at the little screen and the number was the same shape as last time I recognised the last two digits, but could not swear about the others. The shape of the numbers was enough for me.

Putting the phone to my ear, I clicked into the call.

GM: “They are not under the bed!”

Man: “Mumbled apology” without a hint of humour.

GM: “I think you need to go look up the number, before you waste more money interrupting me again.”

He hung up.

I do like phone calls, but not from dead wood first thing in the morning!