Wednesday 31 October 2007

My Incredible Friend

I got a parcel today! I was expecting it, I had been warned, but it was still like Christmas! The kids even paused their TV show to come and witness the opening of my parcel. To say I am touched would be an understatement, but I am not sure how to articulate without being gushy, Karen might not appreciate all the warm mushy stuff I could spew!
Anyhow, I am also going to brag, because besides a book which Karen said she knew was a book for me (Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen), I got 4 copies of her incredible I am going to scan them and share them because I cannot keep them all to myself. They are pictures she painted of the school that our girls attended in SA and she displayed them at the Spring festival. Karen you are so TALENTED and I miss you loads.

Friday 26 October 2007

Weight Watchers week 7

After a weekend of wine meal replacements which went horribly wrong....because I still got hungry and had to eat, I was DREADING the scale. I just knew it was going to find some of those lost pounds that I have managed to duck and dive from. I managed to consume 5 bottles of wine in 5 days and after every one of those 5 days we would have a remedy breakfast somewhere...and I still lost 2 pounds! I do have to admit to making a BIG pot of 0 point soup the day the Collins family left and walking 7km's on Wednesday and another 5km's on Thursday in a desperate attempt to avoid the lurking pounds. Somehow I evaded them, although they might rare their ugly heads next week so I will be manically walking around my neighbourhood making sure they don't find their way back....and eating more cabbage soup....the things I have to go through for a bit of fun. Worth it? You betcha!

Thursday 25 October 2007

Weekend of Debauchery...

On Friday evening Adrian, Nicky and their son Ricky arrived for the weekend. I had made homemade pizzas, it seems to be a standard issue for new visitors arriving late at night! We had a few drinks and a good catch up session until about 2 in the morning when we decided that bed might be looking rather good...

On Saturday morning we walked to the local pub for breakfast at about 11:30 after having had coffee and a slow start in the morning. After breakfast Nicky, Ricky and I went to Superquinn grocery store to buy things for dinner, more on that coming right up! When I got home I madly started making and baking as time was rapidly running out!
Our evening was fabulous, I ended up doing burgers, coleslaw, spinach salad and brownies, it has worked well in the past so I decided that it was the easy no fuss option! I went to fetch Irene and Rob so that they would not have to drink and drive, then they ordered a cab to collect them from our house after the game. The kids all wore their green and gold, as did Malcolm and Rob. Nicky and Adrian are England supporters, well Nicky was a little confused because she is from SA but has been living in England since she was 19. We were all very stressed….although quietly optimistic, I was so scared that the English would have a point to prove after the horrible whipping they got last time! At the end of the game we all whooped and cheered like idiots and Jess and Kirstin went and wrote GO BOKKE on the road with sidewalk chalk! Ricky even helped, he got over the fact that his country had lost fairly quickly, and declared that it was fun that SA had won after all!
The cab arrived to pick up Rob, Irene and kids and Adrian, Nicky, Malcolm and I set off for the Glenside, our “local” leaving the kids at home with Play station like the responsible parents we are…hmmmph.

We bumped into our neighbours, Geraldine and Martin who said there was no way we should head to the Glenside after such a victory, they told us to go to Gub Dandys in Terenure. Terenure is a town about 5 minute away. We convinced them to join us and walked to the main road and hailed a cab. Geraldine, Nicky and I jumped into the first cab, with no money so Geraldine quickly got e20 from Martin and we set off. Malcolm, Adrian and Martin ended up jumping on a bus, because one arrived just as we left so they decided it would be quick enough. We got there and Geraldine managed to get hold of 3 chairs and sat us all RIGHT in front of the guy singing! The hubby's were not far behind, thank goodness because we had no drinking money!! We had a ball, the singer sang In the Jungle in honour of SA winning the World Cup (it was the only song he knew from Africa!!!) and Geraldine asked him to play Hotel California, because seeing The Eagles in Dublin is what started the whole mad ball rolling for us moving to Dublin. It was all good fun and a great end to a fabulous win for South Africa. At around 1:45 in the morning we decided that it was home time coz the bar closed and the men were thirsty!

On Sunday we went to Dublin for a bit of sightseeing. We wondered around trying to find a pub with live Irish music and food which was difficult as we had the kids with us. In the end we had lunch without the music and after lunch Jess suggested that the kids head back home on the luas and the adults head for a pub with live music. We gladly accepted her offer and walked them back to the luas and then went in search of a pub to fill our requirements. We stopped at The Hairy Lemon to watch the Grand Prix and have a couple of drinks and once that was done we headed towards Temple Bar and found a pub with live music. A bachelor party was in progress which made for good people watching, it is not often that you see a man in a red wig with a snug fitting green dress to compliment it. At 20H30 we left because I did not want to get home too late as the kids had school in the morning and I knew we needed to be home to get them into bed!

Malcolm managed to take the day off work on Monday and after breakfast we went for a little drive around to show Adrian and Nicky some of the sights. We ended up at Johnny Fox's Pub, apparently the highest pub in Dublin and it was great, so full of character. We were going to have lunch there, but the menu is 95% fish so we opted for toasted sandwiches at home because Adrian does not like fish and I was doing a big roast leg of lamb for dinner anyway.

The kids got home from school and did their homework and then we had an early roast lamb dinner because Malcolm and Adrian wanted to go and watch the football at the local...Nicky and I were very content staying home, drinking wine and having girly conversation.

On Tuesday Malcolm had to go to work so he took the girls to school and I had a lie in, I had very cleverly made lunches the evening before! Once we were all up we all walked to the restaurant/café called Howard’s Way for breakfast. It was a beautiful morning and we sat outside and enjoyed the day and our breakfasts! Then we ordered cappuccinos and sat a little more...because we could. Once breakfast was done it was back home to do last minute packing and then the door bell rang and it was the taxi to take our visitors away, boo hoo.

I have a sneaky suspicion we will be seeing them again fairly hook or by crook.....or the pubs and the nooks!!!

Friday 19 October 2007

United we shall stand

Yes folks rugby fever in South Africa is fever pitch! I got this email from my friend Lee Ann....

Hello over yonder
I wish you could see this country today. The schools and nursery schools have all asked the kids to wear green and gold. Steers have made all their buns green. The taxis are painted green and gold. It was proclaimed a green and gold work day and when I came to work this morning you just see all the Bokke shirts . I get goose bumps just typing this. And now we even have support way over the sea. I don’t think people are going to do too much work today. There are also stacks of street parties happening.

Pretty cool, and when you consider that even Bok supporters in Dublin have been called upon to wear their colours it is a pretty amazing day for South Africa. I am feeling very proudly South African...also a VERY SCARED one as...can you imagine if we l - o -s -e ?
For the sake of my fellow country men...please win, please win, please win...and if not you got us so far and made us so proud and united us all so a big thank you.

Monday 15 October 2007

Rugby World Cup....FINAL

Wooohooo! What a game! We all went down to the Punchbowl in Booterstown and sat and cheered our country on. Irene prepared a FANTASTIC meal at her house beforehand and we all went down to the pub afterwards for the game. Irene had booked tables for us all with a good view of the TV's and had made sure that kids were welcome. We proudly wore our S.A shirts and are now all excited and geared up for the final next Saturday. Adrian, Nicky and Ricky will be here for the weekend and they will be shouting for England so it should be fun!
GO BOKKE!!!!!!!

Thursday 11 October 2007

Pork sausages

I cannot seem to get away from it, I have now joined Weight Watchers on 3 continents! First time when we moved to USA I gained a ton, well not quite, but it felt like it! See, I gave up smoking and discovered Ben & Jerrys ice cream, a super substitute with oh about 20% fat per scoop...and I NEVER stopped until I scraped the bottom of the eco friendly packaging, no need to elaborate more than that. 4 months later I realised I had a problem, walking Jess up to school, I bent down really fast....and yep I split my jeans! My STRETCH jeans.
ANYWAYS I did manage to lose it in 4 months but then 2 years later when I found out we were moving back to South Africa I was so sad I cried into Ben & Jerrys for a few back in Africa and back to Weight Watchers! And NO it was not only Ben & Jerrys, he was just my favourite!
So I have learned that in times of stress I turn to food and I love food, so I kinda had an idea that I would be back at WW when we decided to move to Dublin. Moving house is stressful, moving countries is diabolically so, and let's just say I did not take up smoking again; as I said to Lee Ann...I was bursting out of my clothes like a cooked pork sausage.
I have now been on WW for 4 weeks and feeling better already, I can bend my legs when wearing jeans. Hopefully I will be back to normal in time to eat my way through Christmas.....

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Tuesday 9 October 2007


When we first got here Jess and Kirstin befriended a couple of kids who spent their evenings fishing with their dad...they would go down to the Dodder and the 4 of them would abandon said father to fish alone while they did some exploring and splashing of their own. One day they were playing with a ball which went into the bushes...Paul seemed reluctant to fish it out (ha ha) so Jessica started to reach in....."Mind the torns" Paul warned. Jess, rather confused asked what torns were. (we were new to the country, for all she knew it was some sort of creepy crawly) Paul looked at Jess as if she had completely lost the plot...."Tóse tíngs that stick into yer skin and scratch" ..."Oh THORNS"says Jess...
So if you want to fit in with the Irish, drop the TH for T t'row in a "ti's grand", "yer man" and "good craic" for good measure and then to seal the deal go to Grandad's blog...because he always has some good advice Grandad's blog

Out and about with Wally...

We were lucky enough to have Wally and Dave stop by for a couple of nights, unfortunately we only really had one day so Wally and I did the tourist thing while Dave holed up in our attic and worked! I was pleased to have a day out, thoroughly enjoyed myself, we did the Dublin hop on hop off bus, had lunch in Temple bar and visited the Guinness Storehouse. Unfortunately it was rather chilly, especially sitting upstairs on a topless bus! I have to say that the first time I did the hop on hop off last year we went on the RED bus and this time we went on the yellow bus and the red bus was a lot more informative. Something to keep in mind if you ever do that specific tourist activity!

The picture on the left is of the water that they use to make your Guinness, no siffy Liffy water for this specific brew.

Also while waiting in line for our tickets I happened to look up, I do not think my picture does it justice, but it is pretty cool should be able to click on the picture for a bigger photograph.
After that I did a lot of looking up and this is what I saw....a crane hanging above our heads on an open bus...mmmm
We had a good day all in all and Wally enjoyed drinking Guinness at the Gravity bar...

Thank you Mr Bus Driver

A picture says a thousand words. I thought I would share my bus journey into Dublin with you using my camera....I know I am no Walker Evans, or ADR Photography but I hope you enjoy.

Monday 8 October 2007

The Police concert at Croke Park...

Well it has to be said....we should have bought the DVD. Sting did not interact with the audience very much, all 82 000 of us. We were so far away from the stage and the screens were all really small, our TV would have given us a better view! The best part was the use of the bar area (we were in the "premium section"dahling) and one of the last songs when I finally decided to get up and dance. I went and stood out of the way of people behind me, unlike the guy in front of me, who got up and danced on more then one occasion....blocking my 'birds eye' view severely. I am still young enough to stand and will not go to another vibey music concert to sit, which should please Malcolm coz the tickets are cheaper. Unfortunately by the time we booked we could not buy standing tickets, only premium tickets were and learn. Perhaps if we had been able to dance it would have been a very different experience, I know I enjoyed dancing to The Police greatest Hits on Saturday morning and Jess giving me the disdainful teenage "eye lift" at her mad mom...aahh well. Found this in the Independent, so it was not jsut me!

Sunday 7 October 2007

Oh Bokke!!!!

OMG what a game!!!! We were all on the edge of our seats and I nearly ran away after the second Fijian try, after they had their player sent to the sin bin...thank goodness I decided to be a true supporter and sit it out!!!! 2 chickens on the Weber, celebrations will be good....wish we were celebrating with all our friends, lonely victory but perhaps visiting France for the semi-final will make it all the better to deal with! Now where is that bottle of rum? If Malcolm has enough of it he might give me his credit card details........Jess and I are hoping Scotland get through, have you seen Chris Patterson ladies???? Holy moley.

Saturday 6 October 2007

Hospital Play Volunteers

I found this advert for volunteering and I decided that this would be something I would enjoy doing and I have the spare time. I emailed them for more information and they were very good at getting back to me, unfortunately I was REJECTED. Can you believe it? Turned down as a VOLUNTEER. Now it is not their fault, I understand why, it is because they cannot get a Gardai vetting for me (police clearance certificate) because I have not lived in ROI for the past 12 years...or my whole life. So because of all the creepazoids out there the children will have one less helping hand. In fact I would say a LOT LESS helping hands, I am 99% sure I am not the only one... They are trying to change it so that they can get vetting for England, Wales and I think Scotland but South Africa does not feature on the list. So anyone who reads this, can spare the time and has been residing in ROI for the past 12 years with no bad deeds done...give a helping hand! Or just pass it on to someone you know who may be able to help, this way at least I am trying to do a little SOMETHING.

Friday 5 October 2007

Ireland 300 South Africa 100

Wow! I have now reached triple digits for South Africa! I have been keeping an eye on the counter, hoping to be able to say that! Glad that Ireland reached the 300 mark at the same time, could make for a very sad score line....mmmmm come on SA.

Thursday 4 October 2007

Malcolm's Spectacular Soccer Debut in Ireland...

While paging through the local paper, People of the Southside I discovered a little ad for "over 35's who wish to join a soccer club". I diligently cut out the ad for my beloved and triumphantly presented it to him that evening. He made a phone call and discovered that practice takes place on a Tuesday evening and all was right with his world. Tuesday dawned and excitement built, first soccer practice since his New York days and his foot was itching to kick that ball. Map book scanned, directions ready and at 20h40 he was out the door. At 21h30 when I got a call from him I just knew that he had got lost, but alas I was wrong. He was asking me to open the gates as he was home (but practice finishes at 22h00?) I opened the gates and watched him hobble inside, dejected, first kick of the ball and his grass soccer shoes did not grip to well on the indoor surface and oops...down he goes! Sadly he has pulled his ligaments so we iced it, rubbed arnica cream on it, gave him some Ibuprofen and visited the doctor the very next morning. He will need a bit of physio and all should be okay, new shoes and back to soccer he shall go.

Wednesday 3 October 2007

The Police

Our first concert...on Saturday night! We are going to Croke Park with Derrick and Rose and I am sure it will be a great experience. I love Police songs, but I never realised how MORBID most of them are, they are all so catchy and sound fairly upbeat. I decided to look for the words of a song to go with this post....but I wanted to burst into tears at the lyrics....okay not really but the words really are depressing!!! here is an example...

The Police - Can't Stand Losing You Lyrics(Sting)

I've called you so many times today
And I guess it's all true what your girlfriends say
That you don't ever want to see me again
And your brother's gonna kill me and he's six feet ten
I guess you'd call it cowardice
But I'm not prepared to go on like this

I can't, I can't
I can't stand losing
I can't, I can't
I can't stand losing
I can't, I can't
I can't
I can't stand losing you
I can't stand losing you
I can't stand losing you
I can't stand losing you

I see you've sent my letters back
And my LP records and they're all scratched
I can't see the point in another day
When nobody listens to a word I say
You can call it lack of confidence
But to carry on living doesn't make no sense

I can't, I can't
I can't stand losing
I can't, I can't
I can't stand losing
I can't, I can't
I can't stand losing
I can't, I can't
I can't stand losing
I can't, I can't
I can't stand losing
I can't, I can't
I can't stand losing

I guess this is our last goodbye
And you don't care so I won't cry
But you'll be sorry when I'm dead
And all this guilt will be on your head
I guess you'd call it suicide
But I'm too full to swallow my pride

I can't stand losing you

Mmmmmmmmmm should be fun!

Tuesday 2 October 2007

Birthday thoughts and more.

I have just done my October birthday list....why are there so few October babies? Perhaps it has something to do with the depression of January, all that money spent and a long ways to go before the first January pay check??? I wonder....
If any of my friends are not on there, or if I have the date wrong....oops! Please let me know via email or leave a comment on the blog or in the VISITORS book, it is there for a REASON...not just to take up space, I love getting little notes so stop depriving me!!!!! Ahhhhhh much better. And yes I will have some cheese with my wine.

I like to ride my bicycle I can't ride my bike...

Yesterday morning, 1 October Malcolm was driving to work and he saw a young girl riding her bike who looked surprisingly like Kirstin, he snapped to attention as he realised it WAS Kirstin! Her little legs were spinning and she was whizzing along, Malcolm said he was almost scared to call her from the car in case she crashed into a tree! Well he took a chance and they had a little wave and a moment and Kirstin carried on riding to the luas. She called me from her mobile all excited because she had seen her dad in the traffic. Ahhhh living in Dublin is so SWEET! But wait....after school I got a call from Kirstin, which is the norm with her, but this time she was crying. Her bike was no longer at the luas, yep some *^%$#@ had stolen it, her 2 week old bike, the one she cannot get enough of and absolutely loves. I felt so sad for her, worst of all I could not jump in the car and go and fetch her, I had to tell her to start the 20 minute walk and I would also start walking and meet her, but all I wanted to do was put my arms around her. She told me she was going to get back on the luas and get off at the next stop because it is a little bit closer. When I walked out the front door Geraldine and Martin were working in the garden and Geraldine insisted on taking me to fetch Kirstin when she heard what had happened. I called Malcolm and told him the whole sad story and he then gave Kirstin a call, apparently she was already calm and very matter of fact about what had happened and there were no tears. He told her to wait at the luas stop for me, and that is how we found Kirstin, standing waiting, bag on her back with a rueful smile on her dial. Of course Geraldine and I were doing what we all do in these situations....if your bike had not been stolen, you would have been in an accident/fallen off/etc. knowing we were just trying to make it be okay! But it really isn't is it? I did report it to the Garda (police) and they took down all the details and promised to call me back once they had checked their storeroom (just in case)and with a reference number. At around 19h00 I got a call back, he had been checking on a known bicycle thief in the area, but he is in prison at the moment so it could not have been him. At least I felt like he had tried, made me feel a little better to know that I had a reference number and a little detective work had taken place! The good things that came out o this...the support from Geraldine and Martin and Jessica's reaction to it, shame when she called and I told her what had happened, she was so upset and the first thing she did when she got home was give her little sister a big hug and then offered her bike to Kirstin, she knows that Kirstin is very discerning about her bicycle purchases and it took us ages to find one that she likes, when Jessica bought her bike Kirstin had pointed it out to her as a bike she also really liked. So may the wheels fall off, the chain snap and may you only pull the front brakes when you are going really fast you thieving piece of rubbish.