Thursday, 30 May 2013

Peace Please
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
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
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:

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...

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

Batter is too flowy, well the:

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


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... thought yesterday was funny?

Well Heckety struck again.


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.





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


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 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

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.


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