Monday, August 1, 2011

Catchy Uppy

I really want to blog y'see..

.....but I have a bad case of Bloggers Block. It's fame hogging cousin, Writer's Block, only hangs around for a mere few days (or weeks if you're an unlucky beggar and you've succumbed to making hand puppets with your socks, putting on nightly shows) but the Blogger's is a bit like that annoying elderly neighbour who always calls over for a traybake and a gossip just as you've found your 'comfy' position on the sofa. Urgh.

I should have blogged about spotting bears in Canada, playing the 'deaf card' in Berlin, my new *free* MacBook Air (an excuse to get back to blogging again if there ever was one, eh?), epic dodgeball games with the workies, the little boy who has become my lil hero over the past few months as well as the fact that I finally bagged the job I have been after for just under 2 years *does idiotic happy dance*

Speaking of the latter, I start tomorrow, new desk an' all which is just as well as they've lumped my current team in that section of the building completely devoid of windows to the outside world  - oh hello, artificial light.

Gotta suit up (well, Google style...), look sharp and nail that role tomorrow - I be riding on the crest of a wave!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

March times...

Ah hello there, long time no blog, eh?

The last wee while has been taken up by a whole lotta work and a whole lotta movin' (i moved twice in one week, sigh!)  This hasn't really given me ample blogging material sadly, and since I was always tapping away on this overworked laptop of mine, it took all my will not to throw it out the window by the time the ritual evening hobby of browsing the internets for funny cat pics rolled round (i'm kidding of course..*shuffles awkwardly*..)

Anyhoo, here are a few pics that sum up my last few weeks:

I wish i celebrated Paddy's Day with cute cupcakes,  went for the alcoholic beverage version instead, uh-oh!

...table quizzes (especially when using my superior lip-reading skills to spy on rival team's answers! @sheen

Gnocchi Mac and Cheese - perfect Sunday night noms! @cuttingedge

Hopefully some big changes coming....

Sarah Kaye, the Spoken Poet.  She's simply great; what are the things that you know to be true?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Shiny, vibrating pebbles: one girl's story

So I was in town yesterday and suffered a truly morto moment.  Its been 24 hrs and i think my face has just about returned to its original colour.

Let me set the scene:
It was Friday, 'payday' Friday to be precise.  I was in town and feeling like my underwear drawer could do with a touch of something scarlet-y and silky.....enter Miss Ann Summers.   

Sure enough, there was plenty of silky, lovely things for the taking, but I quickly got distracted by...shall we say, 'props'.  There was the usual suspects: the furry cuffs, the whips, the penis-shaped pasta and what have you.  Then I happened upon a section devoted to Cosmopolitian products and started playing with what can only be described as a giant shiny pebble.  I quickly discovered it was a massager for every nook and cranny of the female and male form; a classy pebble-shaped vibrator; a bit of an all-rounder really.

All you had to do was push down the top part and off it went, vibrating like there was no tomorrow.  Push again and you have the slow-mo vibrate.  Give it another push and you have the rythimic pulse.  There was about 12 different modes in all, such fun!  Once I'd got bored and drained most of the batteries, I decided that I had enough of said 'shiny vibrating pebble' and searched for the off button...which was nowhere to be found by the way.  It was a shiny vibrating pebble - where the heck does the 'off' button go??! Blind panic set in and I tried to look casual as a fumbled around with it some more. "Christ!" I thought, "I only came in for some knickers".  I couldn't just shove it back on the shelf otherwise it would make that horrible sound your mobile makes when it vibrates on the bench in the middle of a lecture at university, except the pebble was on the 'steady thrust' mode at the time, and that just wouldn't do.

"Er, can I help you with anything?" was the sweet, sweet sound of rescue.  Concerned shop assistant must have spotted my pathetic self looking less than casual at the new Cosmopolitian promotional stand.  And said concerned shop assistant was a dude who looked like he had a crazy love affair with his GHDs. 

"oh can't seem to get this thing to stop...its going a bit crazy on me.  Heh heh...(*awkward laugh*)".  I handed it to him and he held the top of the pebble down for a few secs and that was it.  that was it reader!! All I had to do was stop madly flicking between the modes and hold the bloody thing down for 5 secs. Of cooooourse.  I quickly hot-footed it out of the shop, my silky, scarlet-y vision in tatters.

I should have just went for the pasta, at least the packet comes with instructions.

{Image: Flickr}

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Movin' on out...

So after 2 years of fun, tears, laughter and even a little blood, I have decided to move to pastures new and have bagged me a cute new crib in a cooler part of Dublin town!  The big move isn't happening for a couple of weeks but I have already mentally picked out the new cushions to go with my new black 3 seater (bless you TK Maxx and your interior decorating department).

While I'm so excited I could poo rainbows, there's that niggling feeling that I won't warm to the whole scary concept of living on my own.  Yep, its me, one apartment, and a whole lotta freedom to walk about starkers.  Okay, the last bit is a bit of a cliché but one does have to wonder what it is like not to have to grab a towel/hoodie/large coverable object, and dash across the hall on tiptoes when you realise you have left your bra in the laundry room.  There's also the 'naked chef' idea, for which i'm game if it involves preparing salad or similar that won't spit hot oil onto my lady parts and result in an obvious John Wayne-style waddle for weeks afterwards.  
Naked mishaps aside, my main worry is that I will turn into one of those sad, lonely females that politely decline all social invitations in favour of crafting new hats for her cats, and becomes so obsessed with the comings and goings of her neighbours that she spins elaborate lies in her head ("That Peter from No.4 is a member of the Ku Klux Klan so he is.  Wears an awful lot of white so he does...")

I think i'll brave it.  I can stink up the place when i want some fish for dinner...I can have impromtu visits without worrying that we are in the flatmate's way...I can wash my clothes anytime knowing the washing machine is empty...and best of all, the place is mine, all mine! Plus, I'm a cat person anyway :)


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Meeting the Parents....

So last weekend was a monumental one considering i brought a boy home with me.  An actual boy reader!

I had been hiding him away for a year.  Bless my parents; they saw the pictures, they laughed at the stories, they even waved and smiled like loons when a video chat with boyfriend was interrupted over Christmas.  But alas, they hadn't met the man himself.  It didn't help either that I was practically a part of the furniture at his place - his mother and I were swapping cooking tips the weekend before no less. 

So when it turned out he had a football-free window in his calendar last weekend; I pounced.  I made sure I booked my parents in for some 'pally time' and dragged the poor fella up the road for a couple of days of smiling politely and accepting endless offers of food.

In the end, I had nothing to worry about; my father was ready to offer my hand in marriage as soon as they both sat down to watch 22 men chasing a ball, shaking their fists at the screen every now and then.  Mother was charmed when she was presented by a box of chocolates on arrival and promptly gave me a not-so-subtle thumbs up followed by a wink.  It was actually the dog that turned out to be the one he underestimated; even chicken-flavoured bribes wouldn't suffice as she kept eyeing him up, looking for the most exposed part of his body to lynch on when the opportunity arised.

At one point in the weekend we gathered around to watch an episode of 'Hands On'. This is a TV programme for the deaf, rather like those programmes that you see when you switch on the box just as you stumble in from the pub at some unreasonable hour.  I had already shamed myself on screen before Christmas with my stint on the programme but of course, they were having a 'best of' special that meant I had to relive the whole sorry thing again, with 7 extra pairs of eyes in the room with me.


Don't get me wrong,  'Hands On' is great, but me? I'm still learning how to sign. If you saw me talk to one of my fellow deafies you would most likely see my hands flapping about madly in every which direction; think 'directing-traffic-in-central-Mumbai-rush-hour-traffic' style and you're pretty much there.  You can see for yourself at 7:38 mins below, but Lord knows the vid itself may disappear in order to help my face go back to its original colour.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Nom Nom Nom

So we had the final of 'Come Dine with Me' last night. I was limbering up for a smug new post about how I managed to get them drunk enough by the time it came to scoring my winning menu when I realised that I neglected to blog about the day I actually cooked. Tsk.  The reason it fell off my blogging radar is probably due to the fact that it was one of those days that it interrupts your train of thought, you feel a wave of exhaustion come over you, and need a good sit down with a cuppa tea (and a hobnob, if you're feeling extravagant) to get your bearings again.

In a nutshell, we've taken the concept of the TV show, added a few Irish accents and got rid of the camera crew. So myself and 4 other budding masterchefs in my social circle take it it turns to cook a three course meal every other Sunday (ah, four free meals to help keep the 'end of weekend' blues away) and score each other afterwards.  Add the scores up at the end and the winner is declared.

I woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed the morning of my 'night', skipped off to town with my Eco-Warrior Tesco Bags (EWTBs). Checkout workers always give me that 'everytime-i-hand-you-a-plastic-bag-a-baby-polar-bear-dies' look when I forget to bring EWTBs.  Since the only pictures of polar bears I have stored in the cranium are akin to the below, the EWTBs are coming with me dammit.

Run along little bears, run along!

When I arrived back at the apartment several hours later minus a months wages and an estimated 4 stone, my kitchen was fully kitted out with a new baking dish, a baking tray, a measuring jug and a 'revolutionary' pastry roller that I didn't need in the end as the pastry was already prepared and rolled out.  But it is revolutionary, it will have its chance to shine when i finally purchase my '101 Ways with Pastry' book (read: when I make some homemade playdoh).

I started cooking all at once - I figured I'd just go with the flow and wrap the whole feast in a blanket of clingfilm and tinfoil if worse comes to worse and its all done 2 hrs early.  I had things boiling, baking, frying, steaming, melting, simmering, roasting and relaxing all at once. Not sure what that last bit was but it was something edible sitting in the fridge...relaxing. Any questions ask Mr Ramsey yourself.

The dinner itself passed a in haze of paranoia; did i overcook the beef? Did i forget someone's allergy and they are about to drop to the floor clutching their throat and looking at me accusingly any minute now? Why is she only eating 4 spoonfuls of the soup? Is Colm drunk?  The answers; No, not a rash in sight, turns out the poor sod was hungover and yes, yes he was.

I bet you're wondering what the menu was aren't you?  Ah reader, I know thee too well. So here it is, drumroll please:
Starter: Broccoli and Stilton Soup
Main: Beef Wellington with a side of Potatoes Dauphinoise
Dessert: Apple Crumble with Custurd

In fairness, my fellow contestants did put up a good fight and showcased their culinary prowess with burger surprises, special edition chocolate cakes and alcoholic melons (yep, that was Colm again).   Give it a go yourself readers - even if you serve up a burnt mess that would have you hauled up in front of a judge for animal cruelty if you served it to your dog, at least you will have a solid night's craic!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ah January...

Did you know that January 24th was the most depressing day folks? Its a mix of failed New Years resolutions (we're all back on the full-fat mayo now apparently), the painfully long wait til you get your hands on that first paycheck after Xmas and well, its January ('nuff said). Thankfully that sombre little nugget of information just passed me right by as I was too busy yelping at a sewing machine on the day itself.  See below for the fruits of my labour:

Yesyes, its just a bit of fabric masquerading as some pathetic cushion cover at best (or at worse, some kind of towel to dry your springer spaniel off after a long walk in the countryside, in the rain).  Nonetheless reader, this little patch is just the beginning of my furore into dressmaking.  And next week we get to make a skirt! A skirt reader! I'm so excited i'm using italics!!

We spent the start of the class paired up and measuring each other.  I happened to be paired with a pregnant woman (6 months gone) who helpfully decided to compare our measurements as we went along:

"I guess the bust measurement should be good for the ego, but it will all head south of the border as soon as I pop this little one out!"
"Wow, what a tiny waist you have.."
"Yeah i know, i've such such fat ankles now with all the water i'm retaining (sigh!)"

Mercifully, all was well in the end when it turns out she was a bit of a dab hand with the awl sewing machine and lamented on the little cute outfits she was going to make to kit out the new addition to the family (it was at this point in the evening where my ovaries started quivering at the thought of the little one in a matching cardie and beanie hat!)

In other news, the boyfriend did his bit for his country over the weekend and attempted to get a few in the back of the net, all in the name of futsal.  The evenings were largely dominated by helpful reminders from my fellow spectator Lisa to 'breathe!!' when Joe got the ball and was dribbling in the manner of {insert famous futsal player's name here}. I managed to watch 3 games without falling into a hyperventilative state and congratulated him in the end:

In a totally unrelated note, I discovered the most luciously decorated bar in Dublin last weekend when out for a glass of Orange juice (*ahem* hi mum!!).  If Urban Outfitters was a bar/restaurant, this would be it:  If you're in Dubbers this weekend go see, if only for the photo booth and to take style inspiration from the staff!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

In through the rabbit hole, round the big tree...

Finally nabbed a place on a dressmaking class 10 mins away from my digs for the bargainous sum of 90 yoyos! This is all in exchange for 10 weeks worth of learning how not to stab myself repeatedly with the sewing needle and produce an elegant creation so delightful that men and women alike will tilt their heads and sigh in appreciation at the sight.  I'm no budding Stella McCartney but if I ended up with something akin to the below, i'll die happy:

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Went to see Love & Other Drugs last night which was nice an all.  Alas, the sex scenes disturbed me greatly due to the fact that Anne Hathaway looks the spit of my best friend's lil sister (uncomfortable, mostly due to the fact that she is still the lil 8 year old that followed us around looking to play, and maybe a lil bit due to the fact that she nabbed Jake, biatch)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Say what?!

So apparently I'm not a Capricorn anymore. This has thrown me slightly I gotta say.

When I was a deluded teen I used to hunt for the goat (my starsign 'mascot' if you will) in the 'astrology' page of Bliss magazine and devoured every word, especially the 'love life' section which satisfied me every time with its mention of 'surprise dates', 'secret admirers' and 'a spontaneous gift of a field of sunflowers in rural Sardinia in which yourself and hunk of the month will frolic in' (okay ,the latter isn't strictly true but I had a good imagination at the time)

So now I'm part of that cool gang of Aquarius'.  Which sounds kinda like some achingly cool mermaid gang out at sea eating their organic seaweed and floating from place to place with a big glossy mane of hair which always seems to follow gracefully behind them so they never end up swallowing a mouthful when they make an abrupt turn with their perfectly sized fins.  Sigh.

I'll ignore the fact that I think astrology is a load of rubbish and run with this little fantasy but if you are pondering your next tattoo, here is a useful guide:

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

hullo 2011 ;)

You'd be forgiven for thinking that this blog is as dead as a dodo but I felt sorry for this little blog with its outdated 'Christmas snow' effect falling sadly in the background so thought i'd give it some blog lovin'. The snow effect will remain until I work out how the heck to get it off, plus its very becoming don't you think?

So Christmas and NYE has been and gone and left my favourite jeans feeling a tad too snug for my liking. Christmas was a slightly tame affair since my childhood digs lie in the middle of the Mourne Mountains; they're very pretty with their snow cap and sunsets in the background an' all, but what with the local residents being a few hundred heifers, sheep and that odd farmer round the corner who opted for a horse in place of a wife, it didn't make for a riotous Boxing Day knees-up...i'm gonna be honest.  I squeezed in a bit of reading, walking and gossiping with the few friends that happen to live within a 10 mile radius before donning my gladrags and escaping to Wexford (South Ireland) with around 30 others.

Wexford was a different kettle of fish altogether.  If there was a cow, I wouldn't have been able to spot it for being distracted by this magnificent house we had rented for a few days to usher in 'twenty one one'.
Cinema! Jacuzzi! Private Irish bar! Big Bouncy Trampoline!
...I settled in no problem as you can very well imagine. Once I got past the fact that the main colour scheme was cream (30 people, alcohol; go figure) I had a large sea mammal of a time I tell thee.

Next up was my birthday on the 7th.  This is quite possibly the worse time to have a birthday what with everyone on some carrot juice detox diet/broke/studying or too depressed over the fact that they have broken their NY resolutions already, although i do know someone born on April Fools Day which is decidedly worse.
Joey exceeded himself by taking me out to my fave restaurant, a surprise gathering at the funfair and ice skating.  The latter was tray amusant as the dude spent most of the time pulling himself around the edge of the rink while cursing the rink supervisor who was putting on quite a show - he only stopped short of doing a full mid-air pirouette dear readers.  Joe contented himself with the assertion that he is very probably better at football than said supervisor and off he went for another long slug around the edge of the rink.

On an unrelated note, its my turn to unleash my culinary genius this Sunday for 'Come Dine With Me'.  So far i've decided on Broccoli and Stilton soup as a starter (mainly because i know they will recoil in horror at the sight of it on the menu and i want to see their terrified little faces around the table) and apple crumble with custurd to polish it all off.  You will find me in the 'Cookery' section of Waterstone's this weekend furiously flicking pages of Nigella, Delia and Gordon's offerings for something to complete the 'main meal' part of my winning combination (*kisses imaginary laminated menu*)