Sunday, 22 December 2013

Wanted: Camels

If the Magi had advertised for camels before they set out on the journey to Bethlehem, how do you think they might have phrased their ad?



Wanted:
Sturdy Camels With Inbuilt Astral Tracking GPS.
Duration of Journey: Unknown.
Destination: Unknown.
Project Sponsor: Yahweh, God of the Jews.
Purpose: Greatest PR Event in History.

Hmmm....Any better ideas?

And just for thought, one of my favourite poems: The Journey of the Magi. (TS Elliot)

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Back to Bethlehem

Well you'll be glad to know that the Heavenly Host came up to scratch on Friday! They sung their hearts out and presented the Nativity most resoundingly. I was/am really happy with them. The organist played with gusto and managed to cover up most excellently the children's and my glitches- I do really like working with him! The guitarist and flautist seemed to have fun too though they looked as wrung out as the organist and I felt. Wrung out and slightly hysterical actually...

The congregational hymns turned out rather antiphonally as one half of the church speeded up and overtook the organ, twice. Fanblinkintastic.

So school carols are done for another year.

And now I'm crouched over the laptop with You Tube and Bible Gateway sites open on several tabs, three hymn books, a Bible and a notebook open on the surrounding desk, trying to put together the Church Carol Service for next Sunday evening. I've lined up two soloists, the Sunday School teacher has wrestled the children into order for the Nativity, the Church is being decorated on Friday, so progress is being made. Now I've just to get the right hymns to go with each of the Nine Lessons.

I know its not everyone's opinion, but sometimes I feel that our Services have become so child-friendly and banal that we have lost the pure incredulity...incredibleness (??) of Christmas. Jesus isn't a doll dropped on its head and squashed into a toy cot face down, Jesus is God's Very Own Son. The children are important, and their understanding of the Christmas Story is essential, but there should still be space for amazement and respect and just good old-fashioned AWE. And children do love atmosphere and candlelight and favourite songs. Can I put 'magic' and 'Church' in the same sentence?

Well, that's my aim for next Sunday evening.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Little People, Heavenly Host and Music

Did I disappear? Wish I could as for a supposedly unemployed person of insignificance I seem to be beyond busy.

The main focus this week, and last week, but not the week before, is the school's Carol Service. Big eejit here overstretched herself somewhat in the choice of this year's music and the children and I have struggled to work our way through the Nativity songs. The teachers say it is sounding ok now but I think we will all be grey by Friday- I'm talking Junior Infants upwards here...

This morning I spent some time in the Church with the Organist (long-suffering man) and the bass guitarist (who is having far too much fun), over two hundred weary and over-excited small people, the Principal and all their teachers. I really don't know how it's going to pan out as the little people are wildly unpredictable, the heavenly host are having dodgy moments, Gabriel temporarily muddled his words and Michelangelo put his hoodie on back to front with the hood up, to hide...

We'll see.

Implosion pending, tunefully and musically, of course.

The Shop was quieter the last two Mondays, and on Saturday I wound up the children's sewing classes until mid-January. There seem to be eleven children now in the Sewing Club but as they never all turn up at one time it is do-able. Its been a fun but tough learning curve for me as well as them, since teaching outside school is vastly different to school teaching. Or that's my experience.

The Sunday school teacher has rounded up sixteen small people for the Church Nativity, and has her hands very full I think...putting the Church Carol Service together might be the next thing on my 'to do' list...I talked to the adult Choir last Sunday so we will begin by doing a number on 'Once in Royal' and then progress to doing a number on the Nativity Story. I say every year that our God must have an incredible sense of humour considering all the many ways in which the Christmas Story is told...and I'm saying it again this year.

Think of us on Friday at 10am...then again, you may actually hear us...

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Friday, 15 November 2013

Kit & The Widow vs Andrew Lloyd Webber - stereo HQ - '91


A Musical Ha! Ha!


I realise that many musicians have a dreadfully warped sense of humour, and that this clip of 'Kit and the Widow vs Andrew Lloyd Webber' probably epitomises the weirdness of heckety...but if it doesn't amuse you, you can always not watch!

I think its gone into the next post???or previous??? (not terribly good at attaching You Tube clips...)


Thursday, 7 November 2013

Are We There Yet?

Well, this is a noteworthy evening in the Lyffe and Tymes of Heckety Beck
because
this very evening as is
I am after having given my
Very First
ICA Talk.

Whew! And I think I survived...maybe...almost...No really, they were lovely, I was just a tad anxious (um, read 'petrified' for anxious?).

The evening was filled with potential pitfalls but being the super-hero you all know and appreciate (!!!) I avoided them all!

For starters, the meeting was in a village about 30 minutes drive from town, well back in the hills along dark, twisty, narrow roads. A friend gave me very precise directions this morning but it is pitch dark by 6.30pm, I was heading out after 7, and country roads are not noted for their signposts in the rural West. By the grace of God it wasn't raining so I actually found the turn-off, as I had visions of ending up in Ballina otherwise ( 60 km as opposed to 18km!).

I remembered my notes, which was just as well, considering how I'd fretted and frowned over them for the last week and a bit. I hadn't been able to decide how to categorise all the crafts which needed to be included so I put them in alphabetical order- once a teacher, always a teacher, I guess?

There were about eighteen different crafts which needed to be covered, with samples of most, and I needed to speak for an hour.
No problem?
Well, I was so nervous that I rattled through the whole thing in twenty five minutes flat and was left staring at the ladies like a grounded fish...gasping and gulping with nothing left to say!

It wasn't meant to be a comedy act.

They were very kind though and asked lots of questions and discussed  the crafts afterwards, which in fact lengthened the session to nearly two hours.
Talk about getting it haywire!

Not exactly a roaring success. But I did turn up on the right day at the right place, right time and entertained them all somewhat, so really, knowing me, what more could anyone ask??

ICA- Irish Countrywoman's Association.

Friday, 1 November 2013

So There I Was...

...reading this post about how a blogperson could be a disaster: '3 Big Ways Most Writers' Blogs Go Wrong From Minute One', written by a lady (Carol Tice) whose opinions are varied, interesting and worth taking note of...of worth taking note...of note-worth taking? (How do I get rid of that darned preposition at the end?)

...I reached the paragraph about being nameless, directionless (could that include clueless?), possible wittering and including too wide a variety of interests and ahem! recognised the writer of this twaddle-filled blog.

So I thought me to my own-self, 'Ah! I, too have an opinion thereon!' and went to open said unworthy blog, forgetting that, since the Friendly Troglodyte repaired my laptop, my Favourites Bar is null and void.

Sez I, 'No probs!' and type heckety into Google.

Now, I don't know whether you are a believer in Freudian slips, karma, fate or whatsitever, but this is what I landed on in the Urban Dictionary:

heckety isn't defined.
Can you define it?
 
Which basically sums up not just the potential yet-to-be-written post, but also this entire blogification habit of mine!
 
 
You've got to admit that even for heckety's mishaps, this is really, really funny!

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Clever Clogs

Explain to me how one person can be such a disaster?

Last week I broke my laptop and my phone. Laptop mended, phone fixed.Then my Internet dongle gives up the ghost so used up all phone credit using phone for laptop hotspot, phone now has no Internet or calls as no credit ( but 'unlimited texts to all networks').

Then I blew up the iron, shorted the plugs (twice) set off alarm, etc. Ditched iron. Computer guy kindly looked at dongle and says 1) not my stupidity not working, 2) take it to vodafone. Vodafone say they'll send it off, be gone 10 working days and will have to pay for possible repairs. So I said I'd think about it. 

Is it cheaper to buy coffee every day for the foreseeable future to get free Internet or repair the damn dongle- WHICH I would like to say, has given endless and constant problems since I bought it a year ago.
(coffee 5days a week x 4 weeks month = €49.) 

Then.. I had to let painters in to school this morning and discovered that the relevant store keys are missing off the office hooks... and had to start phoning round to find someone who knows something. I phoned the caretaker who phoned me back and is trying to sort out his keys to be delivered as he is...wait for it...in POLAND. AAARGH.

Verily I say unto thou; no good deed will go unpunished. 

Is it just me?
Would anyone else like to join me in this soap-opera?

But then I looked at my emails and a friend has sent me this as encouragement:

MAKE SOMETHING WONDERFUL OF IT ALL
'...Make every minute count' Ephesians 5:16
The Bible tells us that there is a 'time for everything' (Ecclesiastes 3:1 NCV). What are you going to do with the time given to you?

In the third stage of its life, a caterpillar forms a chrysalis and, inside, mushes all its body parts into gross bug goo (yeah, don't google 'inside a chrysalis'...) When it's strong enough, it pushes its way out of the shell as a butterfly and uses its wings for the first time. Rush this process, try to help the butterfly out by opening the chrysalis early, and you'll be releasing an underdeveloped bug hybrid with teeny wings. Also you'll be killing it, so that too.

We must be wise with our time. It's tempting to take shortcuts even when you sense a chance to grow, but rather try to rush through everything, play the long game. Put the slow work into character-forming and you'll make something great out of your life. When life gives you lemons, it's probably God; so you should probably make, like, a delicious lemon cake. All of the ingredients we get in our life are given to us by Him. Some learning experiences we choose, and others, both good and bad, are thrust upon us. The story of who you are is written in your scars as well as your good experiences. They're not coincidences. God is crafting and making you - Almighty God! - so don't shrink back - make something wonderful out of it all. What now? God has '...made everything beautiful in its time' (Ecclesiastes 1:9 NLT).

 Think: have you even considered that this might be you?


Soooo....does that mean God considers me beautiful- sorry Lord, but yeah right. Or does he consider me a disaster with potential, as in potential to NOT be a disaster? Yes, I could go with that as a plausible outcome.

So I will think present: mushy chrysalis, but future: ...I'll go for moth, no way will I ever be butterfly material.

Best wishes from a future Moth.

Monday, 14 October 2013

Ha Ha!

Found this online but couldn't find the source...its just made to be shared:

Friday, 4 October 2013

Die Or Be Kilt?

Here's a question for the answering of:

Do you think small local business should be run on cut-throat lines, or benefit the community and with as much goodwill as possible?

Or should they not differ from the huge conglomerates, with toe-stomping being the accepted norm?

Is being as professional as possible in one's own small sphere enough, knowing that one is only a part of the whole, or should one be out to undercut and ruin the opposition in the name of self-promotion, profit and good business practise?

I guess you can guess where I stand on this one...live and let live. But I'm wondering whether I have the wrong attitude since we are talking income here? Should I join the nasty brigade in the interests of profit?

There's a quote which for my adult life I've tried to live by:

What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?
 
Matthew 16 v26...(have to admit I thought it was Shakespeare until I googled it to ensure I had it right...ooops!!!)

I've always believed that morals, ethics, kindness, honour, good reputation, were hugely important at whatever level one is working or living. But, as I am swiftly discovering, its easy to keep your ethics intact when you stand in the middle of the island; when you are clinging to the rocks at the edge of the sea-cliff its more difficult to honour one's own beliefs and to believe they truly matter, especially when you see others doing the opposite and reaping significant financial benefits as a result. Does that indicate they are more desperate or just more business minded?

The other day when I was grumbling Middlest informed me:

Karma's a bitch so I don't have to be!

I laughed, I really found it funny, and maybe I hope its true but not sure. Of course I don't wish confusion and destruction on others but neither do I any longer believe that what 'goes round, comes round'. Call me cynical but in business as in life it does not pay to have morals or ethics, to be generous, thoughtful, considerate, encouraging or to 'live and let live'.

Can success only be measured in financial ruin of the opposition? Is there no room for healthy competition and diversification? Why must we die or be kilt, why can't we go separate ways? Its not a small village we live in, its a city, much as we all call it a town and still live with a small rural town mind-set.
(I know I'm being vague here, but its on purpose for fear of saying too much, as several small business people are involved on each side of the equation, whether or not they are aware .)

Am I wrong? Naïve? Out dated? Not cut out to make a 'go' of my pathetic sewing?

The alternative, of giving up and staying on welfare whilst twiddling my thumbs, is humiliating. There's a happy medium somewhere but I need to find it, and fast.


PS I think that 'kilt' may be an Irish colloquialism. It does not refer to a Scotsman's skirt, neither is it short for murder. It is sort of being being in serious bother with someone, usually yer Irish Mammy, and receiving a verbal hiding, possibly a clip of the ear, and temporary banishment! Its a bit difficult to explain, but since I found it in the writings of Maria Edgeworth (1768-1849) its obviously been in usage for a long time, and it really is in everyday usage.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Props Award!

Well I have just spent the afternoon photographing a 'haep o' shtoff' for the Etsy shop. Long overdue.

Much as I love taking photos, and trying to do them well, I'm always putting off doing the shop photos. I guess its the old notion of better to not do something than fail to do it perfectly- serious problem of mine, which I am addressing but...

Anyhow with the idea of adding verisimilitude to the photos I assembled a cast of thousands to aid the artsy-fartsyfication thereof...well, hundreds...well, put it this way, I scoured the flat to find items which looked like genuine props rather than just junk left on the counter!

And so, since we are entering Award Season here is my
Props Award Acceptance Speech:

'I'd like to thank my Apple and my Orchid, my Granny's Vase and Gardening Book.
I'd like to thank Youngest for not nicking all my cheapo bangles and leaving me one bead necklace (I'd like the rest back please)
and Home base for having a sale on tea-light holders at the weekend wave.
I'd also like to thank my lovely Address Book and Biro for being such good sports during a long and gruelling afternoon: I wouldn't be here without you kiss kiss.
And most of all I'd like to thank my millions of readers for putting up with
this preposterous guff sob sob.
Thank you!'


So whaddya think? Will I make it as a star???

Or just an eejit?!

Aren't the ridiculous posts the most fun to write?

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Self Respect or, Don't Look Down Your Nose At Me!

I've been turning shirt collars.
Remember that chore?
Boring, tijus, time consuming but rather necessary if I want to continue to look respectable and hire able.

I've had this post rattling round my pea-brain for more than a month, but was unsure how to broach the subject without sounding bitter or resentful. Well, fyi, I'm neither. From my present vantage point it feels as though I'm coming to a place of occasional contentment and even (shock horror!) enjoyment, sometimes. I thought I'd never get here even intermittently so please keep that in mind if you read further.

Last week when I went to collect the 'dole' money a woman crystallised for me an attitude I have been receiving from many people, a combination of disgust, superiority, disdain and at times downright rudeness. I'd noticed it before but either I was more vulnerable than usual or she was just ruder.

So I would like to ask you what your opinion and attitude is to people who are without official employment and dependant on the pretty lousy State hand-out to keep a roof over their head and a semblance of normality to their life? Do you think the likes of me is too lazy to get off their bums and work? Are we unemployable as well as social pariahs? Are we suddenly classed as losers, boozers and tossers without a shred of proof? Does anyone think I was actually aiming for this as a career prospect back when I graduated from College and then got married convinced that I could make a difference to the world and have a great, useful, inspiring life as well as being them best mother and wife the nations had ever seen?

How many of your dreams have crashed and burned, either through your own or others fault...inadvertent probably? How many times have you narrowly escaped being on the skids through pure luck, and how many times has a stroke of good fortune happened to you through pure fluke?

What if you had not received the good fortune? What if you made life-changing decisions which inadvertently put you on the path to financial and emotional bankruptcy? What if you stand and consider people like me, and those worse off, as 'there but for the grace of God go I'? Or do you look at us and think we must have severely displeased God to end up in this situation because those whom He loves He blesses?

Have you considered the effort it takes to look respectable when your charity shop clothes are fast wearing out and you can no longer even afford charity shop prices? Have you considered how many people go to interviews hungry because they needed their money for the bus fare or petrol to get there? Yes I have a laptop and am keeping up phone and Internet charges, how else do I hope to get a job or be contacted? Yes I am also overweight, the cheapest food is better than none and it is also the least nutritious or healthy, you think I like eating rubbish?

At present I am working five different 'jobs' hoping for references, barter, the lead to employment, money making opportunities.. I call them  jobs for my own self respect, one gives me vegetables which keeps food on the table part of the week, another gives me occasional hand-outs when she can afford it and bits of fabric!! All are necessary to my self-esteem.

But as I said at the beginning, there are days that I really enjoy, and I didn't expect that from this precarious existence. I look at 'the haves' with their shopping bags and good clothes and cars and feel a twinge of jealousy, sure, but I know for certain that my higgledy piggeldy lifestyle has more potential, if less remuneration. I also look at the apparent 'haves' and wonder how much fear or loss their outward appearance is hiding. Certainly I'd like to be certain of keeping the roof over my head and being able to feed my girls when they visit without having to go begging from my parents for money, and sure I'd like to know for certain that it will not always be this hand to mouth financial scramble. But I will not put myself back into a position of being bullied or abused in any way shape or form in order to achieve those things.

So for now, yes I am one of the ones looked down upon, a drain on the State, waster and loser and whatever other judgements they care to throw at me, but they judge and find guilty without trial.

In the words of Mr. Magorian:
'We must face tomorrow, whatever it may hold, with
determination,
joy
and bravery.'
 
And boy! every single day takes a truckload of each of those qualities to be got through head up and with a smile on my face.

So yes, I am unemployed; no, this was not a conscious life choice; yes, I would like paid employment; no, I refuse to see myself as down-trodden, desperate sometimes, but not at my wits end; yes, I am going somewhere even though unsure quite where!!

Statistics are real people and on the days I'm struggling to not give up on me, your attitude will make a difference.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Yarny Play Time!

A new wool order in the Craft and Sewing Basket was unpacked last week...quite yummy! And GUESS who got to play with the new yarns...in order to make up samples...of course!!

Pick me! Pick me!

Firstly there is 'Weave' by Tivoli Spinners:
Spread out it is about 2 1/2" wide and very soft to work with. The ruffled scarf is a bit passé we decided so I am going to try knitting a plain DK wool collar and use the blue to work a ruffle detail. Then I want to try it on a cushion as edging...and there's a black and white version I thought would look good on an evening bag...Its kinda different, as yarns go.
 
Then there is this ribbon yarn by Amazon which comes in various polka dot colours as well as a leopard print!
This was firmer to work and turned out a bit funkier than I thought- the photo does not do it justice...a bit like a ribbon boa (do I mean boa? or is that the constrictor snake thing? I mean the feather twirly yoke).

And then today they were unpacking new bolts of fabric when I went in- whoopee! What's not to like about helping out in a Craft and Sewing shop????

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Bag Handles...Hag Bangles?

The other day I saw a photo on Pinterest using craft chain and crochet to make bag handles.

So on Monday I bought me two pieces of 40cm chain and tried it out for a bag I am working on at present. It started out as a tote but is turning into a 'kitchen sink' yoke of a smart bag:
 
Its just that it was sitting there looking awfully boring so I thought I'd jazz it up a bit...and I guess I got carried away. Appropriate for a bag though, getting carried away...get it???????

 
 
Anyhow, back to the chain. Of course I didn't follow the original picture completely and there was a lot of fiddling and ripping, but I quite like the outcome. Then of course, I started playing with crochet cotton to see how else I could make interesting handles (the thing with handles is that one needs to make two matching and I am not exactly gifted at making things match...)


For the middle one I thought I would thread ribbon or something contrasting through the loops. Perhaps some beads on the tabs after attaching them to the bags...thinking, thinking...

Anyhow that's this week's experiment!

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Snap Happy!

Some weeks need to be deleted and/or overwritten.

Other weeks go fine except for nothing of a digital/ mechanical nature working.

Occasionally there are serendipitous weeks when things appear to go right...this might be one of them. Ssh, mustn't scare the Serendipity Fairy!

This is an odd selection of photos but let me explain:

Come September I may be teaching a few craft classes in the Craft and Sewing Basket shop on the Quays. Its through pure unadulterated cheek I was offered them but I am really looking forward to it. Here is a sample of the Christmas Angel Doll they'll be making, though the dress fabric has only to be changed for any seasonal angel. Just how the gold one ended up with such a big head is a mystery...as you can tell this may be a rather unintentionally 'interesting' class...and I may not be invited back...
Christmas Angels
This was just a man-hole cover I passed, but don't you think it looks a bit like an all-over Ohio Star pattern?? Me quilt obsessed? Not a bit!!
And the next two were just shop displays! I liked the flowers in the top one, and the stripes, and the combination of colours in the second! I'm so bad at putting colours together to look good that the phone camera is a really useful way to keep track of visually interesting colours. Well...maybe!

 
Another thing I was wondering about was changing the logo for Heckety Beck's shop, and possibly changing the name to something a bit more um....classy? Middlest painted me a piece of canvas in colours I want to use for me to play around with logos and labels etc. I was thinking 'Daffodil and Ruby' but not sure. Thought it might be more easily remembered than Heckety Beck, especially if I take a stall in the Market over the winter and start building a less folksy reputation. People don't want folksy now, but well-made artisan stuff. Does 'Daffodil and Ruby' sound classy? smart? artisan? fun and cheerful? (Don't' mention dolls with big heads.)
 
Hmmmm.
 
Later this week I am going to Dublin with a friend to stock-shop for her shop. If you never hear from me again you'll know I've taken up residence in a wool or fabric or craft warehouse somewhere in Dublin and am refusing to come out!!!
 
They're coming to take me away Ha! Ha!


Monday, 19 August 2013

Superficial Living

Regular visitors will know that at present yours truly is living in the grand mega-metropolis of a west of Ireland country town. A pleasant country town, of course, full of interesting, nosey people all going about their busy lives.

Usual small town stuff!

But since becoming a city mouse as opposed to a country mouse I have made some surprising discoveries which, through ignorance or naivety, I find a bit shocking.

For years I have wondered how people can justify not recycling, being ecologically unconscious, shopping to support the local economy from local supermarket produce to artisan work, looking outward to considering the result of all their actions great and small, living as lightly as possible, and so on.

I had a garden so I grew fruit and veg, herbs, I composted, looked for alternative, sustainable ways to do things, recycled everything possible, reduced use of fossil fuels, water, resources, reused and repaired whenever possible, bought second hand clothes, cut down on wastage of every sort, you name it if I thought of it I did it.

Circumstances change and heck! but its an eye opener.

Firstly, choice of action is the prerogative of those who are not on the breadline. If you are so strapped for cash you can't think straight, you are going to buy the cheapest item regardless of where it came from or who made it- particularly food.

Secondly, living in a town insulates you from the consequences of your actions. If I leave a tap running I'm not going to go short of water because it is coming from the mains instead of a stream or well. Others may go short of water in the long term but there is no personal comeback on me. Ditto electricity.

If I fail to recycle, the bin men will collect my rubbish regardless; in fact recycling is a right hassle when you have no parking, live up three flights of stairs and the recycling banks are not in walking distance. And compost? Nowhere to put it except the landfill bin.

If I need something I can walk out and buy it, all I need is money in the bank. If it has unnecessary wrapping I drop it in a street bin as I walk past and once again someone else deals with it. There is absolutely nothing sustainable about my present way of living- I grow nothing and am dependant on shops for everything. Even the weather has very little impact upon a town dweller.

There are advantages to town: I use the car very little, I walk as much as possible, I don't have to shop for a month at a time as I can nip out for things as I need them, the proximity of buildings reduces my heating bill.

The end result, after ten months of town living, is the conviction that everything will carry on regardless of any of my eco-conscious practices and that nothing I do matters. In the country when you see the immediate result of mismanaging resources it seems that one's actions are important.
Perhaps each are wrong- I think it is irresponsible not to care and to carry on in a selfish manner, but I have to admit it is difficult to care when others obviously have no consideration for the environment and are happily living heedlessly with no obvious results. Perhaps living in the country gave me an inflated sense of my own importance, and perhaps living in the town has balanced that.

But in the end, if I take no responsibility for my actions because I feel no impact, than who will take responsibility for mankind's irresponsible acts? In the end as we are all paying I fear we will still be blaming other people for doing exactly what we are doing- which is nothing constructive.

Superficial living may ease ones conscience but it sure removes the impact of our actions.

Monday, 12 August 2013

Not a Fairy Tale

Once upon a time there was an independent little shop. The shop started small with a range of reasonably priced, reasonable quality goods. People liked it because it was not a franchise, a supermarket, a rip-off, had all sorts of useful items and the owner knew both his customers and his stock! He would rummage for items, reach off high shelves, unstack if the colour you wanted was at the bottom of the pile, discuss merits of brands, shoot the breeze, have a laugh, tell stories, give you directions if you were lost, or suggestions if he didn't stock what you wanted. Everything was good value, including the owner!

The little independent shop grew upwards to take in another floor and stacked all sorts of new items. It followed trends, but not slavishly, and was slow to abandon old trends. If you wanted an item out of season, or out of popularity, there it was. It was always a cramped little shop because of stocking such a variety of items, but that was part of the delight of going in. It was possible to buy such a variety of goods there that it saved time dragging all over the town with cross children and paying buckets of coins in parking fees. And what's more, being a dad, the owner was pretty tolerant of cross children and even better at making them giggle.

Time passed, the owner began to show his age and it became apparent that his memory was failing. He got confused easily and didn't know where to find items, which was, naturally, distressing.


Then one bright day a daughter returned  to the shop full-time, unobtrusively taking over the ordering, organising, stock taking, locating items and keeping an eye to things. She stayed in the background whilst her Dad ran the till, chatted with the customers, told stories and jokes, and became almost his old self again, except for frequently calling on her when something was needed that he couldn't remember.

She's still there, running the show completely. She never laughs at him or makes sarky 'Dad jokes'. She never lets on to customers that she is the power behind the throne, though most people guess. She treats her Dad with respect and love and knows his frailty, and cussedness, and covers for him.

Its still an independent little shop, run by an independent man and his strong, loving daughter. Its still a great place to do all the odd errands in one place, hear a story and catch up on the chat. Its also a really heart warming place to mosey around and listen to the pair of them.


This is not a fairy tale. It will end sadly. But with dignity and self-respect intact, one man is growing old in his own kingdom, passing his time being useful and cheerful.

I don't know the daughter well enough to tell her how much I admire and respect her for each day she gives her father. She'd probably laugh if someone praised her for just selflessly doing her family duty.

But from where I stand, she's a hero.

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Problem Beverage?

Is it just me or do you people have Beverage Problems?

Not as in problems discerning a beverage: if it slops its a beverage.
And not as in construction of a beverage: there's a reason companies generally label their products before they decorate the supermarket shelves, but then again, if you keep buttons and trims in a tea-caddy you deserve all you get (guilty!).
Mind you, there's the story of someone who kept their grandfather's ashes in a cocoa tin marked 'gravy'...(no offence intended)

No, I'm talking of the sort of problem where you create your desired beverage and then misuse it accidentally.

Tea, mainly. Although there have been problems with ink. Luckily turps, white vinegar and white spirit each have very distinctive aromas...but hot cocoa  and left-over gravy sauce have interchanged themselves in the past...

Back to the beverage problem at hand- literally...

I'm working on dolls at present since I've managed to convince M. that I am a competent enough doll maker to give an Autumn workshop at her place. (Faith is the key: Amen, sister!) I don't like white dolls and love working with tea-dyed calico, regular readers will no doubt recall previous accidents?

I guess regular readers can also see where this is going...

So as I am working very hard I make myself a nice cuppa tea. Oh look there's hot water left in the kettle, two more tea bags into the wide necked plastic water jug, add hot water, stir to a nice dyeing colour, gather the snippets of calico needing attention and... very carefully.... drop the lot... into... my lovely fresh cuppa cha.

AAAAAAGH! GRRRR!

Now I have to wash the soya milk out of the calico and start again.

Nothin' easy, I'm tellin' ya!

Like I say: grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.....

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Opportunities v. Expectations

As some of you know I am, at present, unemployed (and in negotiation with the Welfare Office for some means of support...another story...)

The current PC definition for the unemployed seems to be 'actively seeking work.' That's fine by me- I love work, I can sit and watch it for hours, as the wisecrack goes!

Considering the lists of jobs available online, in newspapers, on newsagents' notice boards, etc I have come to realise how useless I am. I may be a qualified and experienced teacher, but that's it, that's all, and without available teaching jobs what does one do?

So several weeks ago I girded my loins and bearded the owner of the one and only sewing shop in the county...and asked for work experience. Then I tracked down two Garden Clubs and emailed them with an offer to help anyone struggling with an exuberant garden. I have to admit that, although hopeful I felt an awful eejit on all occasions.

Well so far there are three results- two garden owners and  a discussion on Monday with the sewing lady which are all quite exciting for an unemployed teacher (note: really must get out more!!).

The upshot is this though; I find it difficult to see opportunities even when I thought my expectations were almost negligible. I hoped that a couple of people might pay me for the odd half day weeding and tidying, which would help to keep the roof over my head (major concern), but both gardening offers have been in terms of barter, one of which is a great opportunity, and I need to say yippee! instead of panic because it wasn't what I expected.

As a result this afternoon I have been mulling over the difference between opportunity and expectation. How many time does one miss an opportunity because it wasn't quite what one expected, or perhaps it wasn't at all what one expected? How often are we told to 'think outside the box' (mental image of a tiny little anxious grey thinking-bug crouching sadly on the ground beside a huge brown happy cardboard box...)

Not all opportunities are good, or will lead anywhere positive, or are to be taken, or are even right for one at a particular time. But some opportunities are the right ones at the right time and should be seized gleefully.

Long ago I heard a talk about decisions as being forks, or perhaps T-junctions, in the road of life and I recall wondering when my choices and decisions were made because I didn't recall more than a few momentous ones. It seemed to me that my choices have not presented as forks but as side lanes, many taken without thought and others missed entirely. All of you probably feel the same when you look back and wonder how on earth you managed to end up in a particular place'.  One result of that  pondering for me was the decision to believe that at any given point I have made the best choice available to me at the time, so to quit beating myself up over results which may have been less than satisfactory. That conscious decision has given me much peace of mind over the years when things have, very obviously not worked out...at the time I know I did my best, and sometimes the best is just not good enough.

So opportunities versus expectations...learning to bend and turn with the current...deciding to take things as they come and see what happens...being adaptable...

Can an old dog learn new tricks? Not sure.

We'll see I guess!

Friday, 12 July 2013

Living In A...

...cardboard box, as the song says?

No, just a car park!
Friends find it really funny but my address really is Flat 2, *****, *** ** Car Park!

This is the usual view from my bedroom window:
Car park and the river, see?
As I've previously mentioned, it can be very rowdy as there is a pub at right angles to my bedroom and a Night Club behind my kitchen wall, but generally it is entertaining, especially in the recent warm weather when the whole town has taken to living outdoors.

Last night there was a band playing on the other side of the river. There must have been hundreds of people out because as the night progressed it seemed that the clientele took over the singing and the band was left accompanying them, rather than leading the entertainment.
Welcome to the Irish way of doing things!

Anyhow, today's excitement is this: tomorrow the Connaught section of the Stages Rally is happening guess where? In my car park!! Grandstand view or what!! I think its ace- I get a bird's eye view with no bumping or pushing (and when you are as short as me seeing anything can be a serious problem!)

At midnight tonight it will be closed off and....drum roll...Let The Games begin!...or Rally...

I'm tellin' ya lads, 'tis gonna be a fine grand weekend!

Friday, 5 July 2013

Granny Squares

Yesterday, after hauling my butt round various government offices, the library, the bank, and sundry other really exciting places (including a short cut to the river which was more of a looooong cut...) I sat me down with me feets on the table (hobbit-like) and crocheted. Well I knat (past tense of knit) too, but that was in the evening during Star Trek!

I needed a jug cover, but couldn't remember where the muslin was so just crocheted a doily...a good strong colour of a doily, as my granny would have said. And, in the hopes of it draping ever so slightly I strung a bunch of beads around the edge...horrible plastic beads remaining from an old children's kit of my girls I think.

The result is quite hideous, but for the sake of self-esteem we will refer to it as 'funky'...my #*#*!
Funky doily
It doesn't drape or look good but heck! it'll keep out the dust and the bugs, and I can use it as a coaster later! (or give it away?) Besides which, does this face look bovvered to you?

Then I decided to look up Granny Squares because I couldn't remember how many chains between groups of double crochet and I thought it would save the boggles if I got it right first time. I'm sure boggles have their place but with me they do tend to turn up in the wrong places. I've lots of wool oddments and have wanted to make a Granny Squares afghan for ages.

So, here's the trial sample:

Trial Granny Square.
(There are two chain stitches in between clumps, in case you wondered!)

Short question here:
Just why are they called 'Granny' squares?
Does it mean they should only be crocheted by grannies?
Or they are only fit to be made by grannies?
Or only grannies have the time?
But if they have the time wouldn't grannies be doing far more complicated fancy work?

I was intending to get to some sewing over the next few weeks, partly because I need to do some dressmaking, but firstly I need to clear the sewing table:
A well tidy sewing table.
(Just a little tidying?)

I finished school on Wednesday so am now officially either 'on holiday' or 'unemployed' depending on one's point of view. I am chasing up a few jobs, hours here and there, so we will see. But, either because I'm the eternal optimist or because I'm just a total feather-head, I feel more at peace than I have in months. Maybe its just a combination of faith that God and The State will provide!

Don't know.

Meanwhile I have Granny Squares to crochet! A woman with a mission, ha ha!!

Monday, 24 June 2013

Do Your Dreams Need A Lifebelt?

I just came across this post about '21 Fears that will kill your dreams if you let them' by Sarah L. Webb.

Sometimes I read an article or post (same thing maybe?) and sit there thinking and wondering whether the writer opened an invisible window and read my thoughts? Of course, with age and experience come the realisation that most people share similar fears, but that never quite stops the initial jolt of recognition of oneself in a good piece of writing.

Have you ever wondered though, that if we are all afraid of similar things, how does anyone ever achieve anything? Someone told me recently that most people's lives are pretty bad but I just don't buy that. Everyone has troubles, granted, but not everyone has a really bad life. Lots of people are quite happy with their lives albeit perhaps wishing for more of the good things.
When I'm not battling overwhelming depression I am content enough with mine, even though people like to tell me what I should be doing and list all my mistakes and failings.

Heck, if that keeps them happy, go ahead, but I hope they won't mind if I don't listen...

One line I particularly like is: Unless your dream is to be a hermit, you have to work on getting comfortable with people looking at you. That I can soooo identify with.
Its an odd thing but there are many teachers out there who confidently work with a class of thirty  children all day every day for their entire working lives, but ask them to speak to a small group of adults and they run screaming. Its weird. I myself can teach in school and theatre, play the organ in Church, perform piano bar for hours to a shifting crowd but ask me to present a Craft Night to the Mother's Union and I'm in bits!

Still, read the article for yourself and see what you think- myself I can see plenty of lifebelts to grasp and float with! Its all grist to the mill of self-improvement and a life worth living!

Grouchy Grumbles

...people who fail to wipe the counter after snacking- detest mucky counters and table top...

...people who walk off and leave dirty coffee cups around my flat, the coffee table is ok, its localised...

...except when they dump dirty items on top of whatever I am working on, even if it IS on the coffee table.

...clean FOLDED laundry tumbled onto the floor...

...castaway shoes in the living room, kitchen, bathroom- the place for shoes is on the feet, under the bed or in the cupboard. Thank you.

...cold greasy washing up water left 'just in case.' I'd rather you threw it out, cleaned the bowl/sink and ran a fresh lot if you need to do more washing up...on the rare occasion you actually notice there is any to be done...

...wrappers of ANY description NOT in the bin- paranoid about rodents? Moi?


...dirty bathroom sink- how difficult is it to run the sponge around the sink when you are done? yes, that yellow and green item on the corner is 'the sponge' and you are welcome to use it anytime.


You can call me Groucho Marks in future- that way I'll get Marks for being Grouchy.

What was his mother thinking when she called him 'Groucho' anyway?...or was that a nickname- must look him up...Google-wise, I know he's dead thanks.

Grrrrr-ness.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Define....mishap?

One lunchtime last week a small boy sidled into my office.

'Mrs H., I've had an accident.'

'Oh dear. What sort? A plaster sort of accident?'

'Ummm no...more of a trouser sort of accident.'

Poor thing! He was quite embarrassed, so we went along to the second-hand uniform storage and found him another pair.

Problem solved.

But I thought his turn of phrase was most entertaining!

And later on he laughed too. He's that sort of little boy.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Proof of....

Hmmm, that last post kinda proves the diagnosis the doc has been trying to get into my thick skull, and another before him...

BipolarRUs...or is me..

Damn. Thought if I ran hard enough and fast enough I could slither out of that one.

Guess not.

To be informed is to come at problems from a position of power, a mon avis. So here's to a deluge of reading.

Any suggestions for info or websites will be gratefully receieved (but possibly not gracefully).

I know there are worse life sentences, much worse, but the rollercoaster seems bad enough to me sometimes...many times.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

What If?

“Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions.
Small people always do that,
but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.”
Mark Twain
 
 
What do you think?
Does it seem to you that other people feel threatened by you and try to keep you down when your ideas get too big? Or when you have an idea at all.
How often are you stomped on 'for your own good'?
And they really do mean it to be for your own good because they don't want to see you hurt or disappointed. That I can see.
 
But what if the resulting hurt and disappointment are part of being you? Being alive? Taking chances? What if you are a chance taker and they are not? What if they don't understand that falling flat on your face is better than never trying to fly in the first place?
 
And even though they don't understand, none of them, is it ever alright for you to make a run for it and leap into the wide blue yonder? Especially since you never wanted them to pick up your pieces in the first place, that that was simply a role they appointed themselves?
 
Is it ever alright to take chances and break out of your box when no one understands why?
Is it necessary to try and explain? When do people stop trying to squish you into their shaped sort of person?
 
And what if you don't actually fail?



Thursday, 6 June 2013

Plodding Along

Its Thursday and despite wading through the Slough of Despond this week, tomorrow is Friday...well, here in the West it is...and I feel like I may actually make it to the end of the week. Maybe. Last night was one of those mental 'hammer horror' nights when I wasn't sure I actually wanted to survive to tell the tale...actually the last several days and nights have been thus.

I've one particular friend who has a gift for texting at the blackest moments with a 'hang in there!' She feels helpless because that's all she can do but to me its huge. Sometimes just a text is enough to refocus the inward view.  Ewe are my sunshine!

This week has been warm and sunny, summer arrived suddenly and properly! Its just lovely to be warm and feel the sun on one's skin, and the children in school are so lively and happy too. A bit of sunshine makes all the difference in the world.

Youngest and Cohorts began their Leaving Cert. exams yesterday. So far ok, it seems. Thanks be!

So...TGIF tomorrow.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Organ Trouble...AGAIN

Picture Heckety staggering out of the Cathedral's Morning Service just now, wiping sweat from her brow and hiding behind the nearest gravestone to curse loud and long...(blue air)

During the second hymn (quite a short and innocuous hymn, 'Here is Love') with a grumbling rumbling reverberating moan the Organ took off on its own, in a completely different key to that in which I was playing, with the windy weighty discord becoming swiftly louder than my playing. Got to the last chord and I reached to turn it off before rising any of the stops.

It was HORRIBLE.

For the final hymn all that worked was about 18 notes on the upper manual, Middle C upward. No bass, harmonies, and only the shortest pipes, so really high-pitched and whistly. Also no pedals or volume increment. The Choir did a great job, also the Dean, but mortified? Much? Moi?

Next Sunday is the Enthronement of our New Bishop which is a real big deal in the life of the Church, so the Vestry has six days to get that bokety yoke of an instrument up and running.

Nice one, Organ.

Talk about a diva of an Organ, chooses its moments, always.

Aaaargh Grrrrr....


Mars bar solace called for...sssshhh...don't tell....
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

On a TOTALLY different note (ha ha) read this post about 'The Rooster of Mindfulness'- its ACE! I wish I'd real it before Church and then maybe I would have appreciated the moment and not got me knicks in such a twist?!

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Peace Please

http://frommoontomoon.blogspot.jp/2010/12/mmmmmm-books.html
Think libraries,
think books,
think calm, quiet places to be
where nothing is broken,
or urgent,
or being blamed on me,
and there are no children
and no deadlines.
When I die
heaven will be a library
full of books I have read and love,
books I have yet to read and love,
and eternity to
appreciate all of them.

 




Saturday, 18 May 2013

Define 'Catch 22'

Just watched a new definition of 'Catch 22'
rock and a hard place
devil and the deep blue sea:
 
 
man feeding coins into the centralised parking disc meter to get his ticket
 
with the traffic warden getting nearer and nearer to his (ticketless) car
 
and his small person heading determinedly toward
the 
deep muddy puddle
 in the opposite corner of the car park....

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Apple P.W.F.D.s

My Great Grandmother was an Innovator and Entrepreneur in the grandest sense, who never did anything by halves.

The story goes that she would try any recipe once...from the book. After that she Innovated, generally-ish, with mixed results...fabulous or dodgy, nothing in between. As a result she was rather well- known for her cooking as at no point were family or guests certain if a meal would be edible.

A bit of this...slosh of that...go on, that's not enough...try a bit more...oh well...just put in the oven dearest and see how it goes...

Her bread rolls were particularly notorious as she insisted on supplying all travellers with them in their picnics and because none ever returned (bread rolls that is) she remained convinced that her recipe was both popular and invincible.

Until the day her youngest son and friend claimed to have killed a railroad worker on the Belfast line when they tossed their (inedible) bread rolls out the train window on the way back to school...

Not in a million years would I claim to be the character my Great Granny was but my cooking skills travel much the same road. This evening I fancied pancakes, a staple quick snack for me with all the food intolerances as I can make them from various flour types.
Apple PWFDs
Pancakes.
A good shake of gluten free flour...bit more...half tsp salt, wrestle lid off the gluten free baking powder and spill too much in the bowl...Ooops. Maybe we'll go for:

Waffles.
Eggs...damn, no eggs. Dried apricots whizzed with soya milk and water? Bit more water...more soya milk...that looks ok. Tip it into the flour mix with a bit of cane sugar and mix. Pour first...

PanWaff.
Eat. Lovely. How about adding some chopped apple to make:

Fritters.
Batter is too flowy, well the:

PanWafFri.
...did start out as pancakes after all, so better make them smaller, more like:

Drop-scones.

Which makes them:

Apple PanWafFri-Drones I guess.

Spread liberally with soya marg or maple syrup.
Guaranteed knockout...but hopefully not of railway men!

Monday, 13 May 2013

The Importance of Being...Posted...

So...you thought yesterday was funny?

Well Heckety struck again.

Inadvertently.

You see the Postbox nearest to school has a bit of a narrow aperture, but since letters tend to be fairly thin its usually fine.

This afternoon after posting a letter rather bulkier than usual I realised half  way down The Mall that I hadn't heard it fall down inside. Now if it had been something boring I would have thought 'stuff it', but it wasn't, it was an envelope of poems written by third class for a competition, very exceedingly ultra important.

Back I went and sure enough I could feel the envelope jammed against the top but couldn't shift it.

Hmmmm...

Hmmmmmmmmm.....

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm...

Ding!

I got out pen and paper and wrote a note to the postman to explain that there was a letter jammed against the top of the letterbox, so please could he retrieve it.

And I posted the note.

One tries. One is trying. One is tried.

One is found wanting.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Pavlov's...Organist?

Now here's a laugh for you (of the 'snigger-snort...pause..giggle...hand-over-mouth-prolonged-giggling' variety):

Picture this:

Sunday Morning Service,
usual congregation various of ages,
organ giving bother, with the lowest octave of the Swell Manual not producing any sound, all the Pedal stops singing alone and unaided, therefore having to really concentrate on the playing...

Got it?

Ok, so we get to the Recessional Voluntary and I'm so working to get a relatively decent sound out of the organ that I become lost in the playing and don't hear the Dean and several congregation members shouting at me from the end of the Nave... 

Suddenly I hear my name and stop, an announcement had been forgotten.

The point of the story is the person whose voice reached me......it was the lady who taught me in Senior Infants!

Can you believe it? Nearly fifty years old and the Bani Higgie can still stop me in my tracks...

A good thing, sez you.

Not so much, sez I.

Friday, 10 May 2013

Deep Dark Woods


The Burren
Choices are odd things.

One chooses not to smoke or drink, one chooses to live as healthy as possible, one chooses to battle one's demons and mostly keep the black bear hidden out of consideration for other people. One exercises, sunbathes in moderation, gets fresh air.

One avoids choices detrimental to one's health, such as recreational drugs, extreme sports and doing things which would firghten the children. Then one day, with the best possible intention, a respected doctor prescribes a drug which should help alleviate one's rapidly worsening depression and decent into unreality.

The drug helps up to a point, but less as time goes by, and the side-effects and need for ever stronger doses, to say nothing of incipient psychosis due possibly to prolonged usage, increase. One researches, reads, researches more, visits psychiatrist after doctor after councillor, is referred for a holiday in the local mental hospital and pays higher and higher medical bills for the privilege of not getting one's health, mental or physical, restored.

Then one day a psychiatrist tells one, after the shame and misery of all the good choices gone bad, that one is choosing to be depressed and that one can equally choose to be un-depressed.

So, one makes another decision- right...wrong...better...worse?

One quits the drugs and starts down the long, rocky, weird road of withdrawal symptoms. The track record of people managing to shake this particular drug is very low indeed (possibly hundreds out of millions) but I have to try. And you know the thing that makes me sure I am making the right choice for the now is that despite the sick-making, head-frying, painful, jittery, fevered, frantic, frightening withdrawals, there are no depressive, bi-polar or psychotic symptoms.

But its hard work.

I should have taken to drink'n'drugs'n'booze years ago and maybe I'd have had some fun out of it first?

You know the lines of Robert Frost's poem?

The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Its true, but at least I have begun 'the way through... my...woods'.

Thursday, 9 May 2013

iPad Finances

Here's a laugh: the 2nd class teacher really 'gets' the humour of her 8 year olds and last week was winding them up.
She told them: 'I'm saving up for my very own iPad; its taken me a while but I've already got TWO WHOLE EURO saved!'

She waited to see what response she'd get and then a couple of children slowly put up their hands and told her, very anxious/ concerned, that they THOUGHT an iPad was a lot more than that, although they were a bit vague on the specifics...they were terribly worried she'd be most awfully disappointed with their information!

She came flying into the office to get over the giggles and we both hard pushed not to shriek with laughter thereby insulting the children in question!

Little People can be soooo darling sometimes.

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

So True...Sigh..

You know you're getting old
when the
fortune teller offers to read
your face
not your
palm...

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Snapshots of Ennis and The Burren

Decided to have a weekend in Ennis-
I love Clare, even the air feels softer!
Ennis town, lovely sunshine but cold wind!

Ennis- where's the market?

Elevenses in a pub- LOVE the floor tiles! Quilt squares?

Ennis Old Friary, 14C tracery- quilting or embroidery? 
hmmmm, tough choice.

Ennis Old Friary

Medieval jigsaw puzzle!!

Lunch in Knox's- old drinks prices!

Mullaghmore hill in the Burren- looks like one of Youngest's
less successful cakes....fossilized!!

...and this short cut was WHO'S IDEA??

At Lahinch the sea shines like a jewel,
With joy you are ready to shout,
When the stoker cries out there's no fuel
and the fire is tee-toe-tally out.
(Percy French)

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Pontius Pilates

When I first heard of Pilates (the exercise thingie) a few years ago, I thought it was something to do with the rulers of Biblical Galilee. But since as far as I knew there had only been one Pontius Pilate, I presumed the 's' on Pilates was an error.

Last week that misconception was removed beyond the shadow of a doubt, forever.

Of course all you well-informed people are giggling into your tea and gingersnaps and wondering why you bother to read this drivel, but since I was taught to write using a beginning, a middle and an ending....that was the beginning.

You'd wonder how an hour of gentle stretching and wriggling, whilst lying on the floor counting paint blobs on the rafters, could benefit one at all. Or I wondered. Up we all bounced saying things like 'that was nice' and 'so that's what Pilates is about' and thinking we must all be super fit (even those of us bearing a decided resemblance to the ceiling's paint blobs).

But...(here's the middle of the story...) by next day's lunchtime the aches had arrived and I felt like there was a cement band round my flabby midriff and my calves were made of molten iron, hot and very painful....

All the best stories have a moral, but mine has two:- firstly, never combine Biblical characters with exercise and secondly, don't believe anyone who tells you exercise is relaxing...unless they're smoking something very highly scented at the same time!!!! (In which case share the smoke NOT the exercise?)

End of story.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Posh Bathroom!

There's a hotel in Rosses Point, a fairly modest and comfortable hotel, which is home to the most all-time favourite bathroom of my girls:

Its amazing and bizarre and friends are regularly taken to the hotel for tea after a beach walk to be marched along to inspect the loo!!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Croke Park...Get Real

Croke Park 2 has been rejected by various Unions. Austerity measuers, national bolshiness, Irish intransience, fed-upishness, salary cuts, lack of back-up services, Civil Servnts' greed...blah blah blah. Everyone will give a different spin on the notion.

The slogan Croke Park brokers were using was: 'Give an hour for Ireland.'

Ahem.

This country (as are all free countries I suspect) is BUILT on the hours people give free to the welfare of their workplace, community, old, disabled, pre-school family members and friends who would otherwise be a burden on the State.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Rain and River

We've had real feisty April showers this week and the river has risen considerably:


I took these with my phone as the light was failing and I didn't think there was time to run and get the camera- hence dodgy quality!
Last week the water was so low that the ducks and seagulls were walking up and down, paddling.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Vesuvius?

Quote from Middlest yesterday:
 
'Mom, you just have to make like a volcano and vent!'
 
Good huh?!

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Picture This...

Lovely new school...eight classrooms and various other rooms...eleven full time teachers and sundry other assistants etc...

Actually functioning this week:

one printer
one Internet outlet (not connected to each other)
plugs around school, intermittent, fuses blowing right left and centre
phones- two plug ins (neither cordless handset operational)

Was the temper frayed? No it was SHREDDED! In tatters! And that was the Principal, the secretary's temper was in the next county and her sanity was across the water in Wales, still running for its life...

Workmen- in and out all week either turning off essential services or trying to repair them around 200 inquisitive children, not the most efficient process. By Friday the knocking sound on the boiler was so bad the plumbers turned off water mains in fear of the system blowing up...

If there was anything else it pales to insignificance in comparison to the above!

On the plus side there is a swan nesting on the watershed by the school (the river runs right outside the building). Two hundred children are anxiously watching over the swan from the classroom windows, were there ever such eager god-parents-in-waiting?? Its just lovely for them to watch the wildlife at such close quarters and good for them to be so involved.


Final Verdict? Fab week...NOT!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Its Okay To Snigger (Quietly)

So I've been on Blogger how long?
Three years you say?
And after all that time (you won't believe this...) I go and (wait for it!)
FORGET MY PASSWORD!!!!

Oh myyyy!
A sandwich short of a picnic or what!!

Hooo boyyy....sad huh?
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Moving swiftly on...

Here in the West we have had a dry and very cold St. Patrick's Day and Easter. The daffodils are out but on the radio this morning they said that ground temperature in Donegal is something like minus 10C and its still freezing at nights. Well if I was a bud I'd certainly stay in hibernation....in fact, if I called myself a 'budding' school secretary d'you suppose I could take to hibernation now? Its surely going to be a shorter than usual growing season this year.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Forgot to tell yous...

Just before the holidays we moved into our new school premises and its just fab.u.loso! State of the art! We must have the most amazing school in the whole of Connaught! It was total chaos for the last fortnight, and even during the holiday everyone has been in and out working and sorting things.
And best of all I have a brandspankingnew PIANO!! (Well not me personally, but I'm pretending that its mine!)

So, between the cold weather and running around doing school stuff, I've been far too lazy to do any sewing and have been plodding away at the knitting and crochet. I am trying to finish up all the projects on the sofa and coffee table so that I can start working with some gorgeous new wool I bought last week...trying to be strong-minded...trying to     resist        temptation.....

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