Thursday 31 January 2008

Shocks and feathers

Today I dedicated the day to cleaning. I spend far too much time visiting my virtual friends and I knew that if I did not get stuck in Malcolm was going to have to put his foot down. This would be more uncomfortable for him and a slight irritation for me. I dusted, I vacuumed, I washed the kitchen floor and then decided to treat myself to a cup of coffee. Now, what goes better with a cup of coffee than homemade baked goods? You guessed it, a visit to my friends. First up was EM, and I laughed at her Lips and Arseholes post, left a comment and then was about to move on when something made me scroll down. Phew, lucky for me, she had done an extra post..she was nominated for the Irish Blog Awards, brilliant news, I love reading her blog and she certainly deserves it. She went on to tell us about a few other nominations, many of whom I enjoy that cup of coffee with, see I drink LOTS of coffee. And somehow in there my name appeared.
EM This is when I got thrown for a loop, knocked down with a feather and found myself in an absolute state of shock. I swear this was not something I even considered, I am pleased as punch to have received a nomination, just in a total state of zombieness at the moment. The list is LONG and my nomination was for the category "Best personal blog". I shall gather my thoughts and attempt another post later...for now congratulations to all nominees, would not even know where to begin to see them, that is why I need to pop back over to EM's place.

What's what

I was just over at K8's and was reading her comments when I came across one about the different words Americans use for different things, it was funny because just this morning Kirstin and I had this conversation:
Out of Kirstin is prone to do: "Americans call a f*nny a bum and a bum a f*nny."
Very matter of fact too by the way, if I did not know better I would have believed her.
"No Kirstin, they only call a bum a f*nny, I am not sure why but otherwise all the bits are the same."
"Well what do they call a f*nny then?"
"They probably call it a v*gina, I DON'T know!!"
I understand how she got to her conclusion and trying to explain it away was a bit of a confusing task, I have a sneaking suspicion she thinks her mom doesn't have a clue. Oh well.
Excuse the stars but I would rather not have weird google searches being directed to my blog!!!

A bit much?

Yes perhaps it is a few too many posts in one day, but so much inspiration and I just had to share the fact that it is SNOWING!!!! For us Southern Hemisphere folk this IS a big deal. I nearly had a heart attack and missed the whole thing, Kirstin was gazing out the window as she is wont to do when she is doing her homework and next thing she was shrieking her little head off, I thought there was some strange person at the back door. I leapt off my chair and did a confused pirouette thingy to look out the window just to see rain beating on the glass. And then I noticed that mixed among the rain was all this fluffy stuff, not enough to stick, anyway it is too wet, but I got some pic's and we jumped around like loons for a bit, admiring the snow flakes on our fleecy tops ;)

Just thinking...

Sometimes I second guess our timing at coming to Ireland. One of our major considerations when moving was the school system and what year the girls would need to enter.
If we had waited until September this year Jess could have gone straight into transition year and Kirstin into First year. This makes a lot of sense to me, but unfortunately we were not really too clear on the whole system and Jess is basically repeating a year. Luckily she is not bored, all the work is new to her and she has the challenge of learning Spanish added to her many other obstacles. Well hindsight is 20/20 as they say and we could have waited another year.
But then I think of all the good things that happened when we moved here in July 2007, we found our house, have fantastic landlords/neighbours, Malcolm got a job and we bought a car all within a week, is that not a sign that it was meant to be?
I had a look at a South African website this morning, it now ‘costs’ R11 to get E1, when we left South Africa it was R9.20 or somewhere around there. The power outages are horrific, there is an electricity crisis in South Africa and it does not sound pleasant. I wonder if that will affect the price of houses? All in all I think Malcolm and I can sleep at night knowing that all our forward planning worked this time.

Wednesday 30 January 2008

A week late...

What a busy week! I won't bore y'all with the details, let's just say it all passed in a blur of school uniform, labels, new text books and plastic covers. At least I got to run around chasing a little ball around the hockey field on Friday evening, knowing full well that the reward was probably a drink at the bar, bliss.
I also had my first fall, a wonderful roll and tumble skid sort of thing that had me sprawled at the feet of the opposing team’s goal keeper. Thank goodness I was playing in tracksuit pants... slightly bruised ego and very sore knee. Of course the pain in the knee only made itself known when I awoke on Saturday morning but I was actually pleased about that because I wasn't hobbling around on the astro!

Jessica went out for dinner with her friends on Friday night, a farewell kind of thing and afterwards they all walked back to our place. Luckily I was home when they all arrived; I think Malcolm was doing the lesser known wife come home dance with his sticks around the fire. Unfortunately I had just got out of the shower, the temptation was very strong to embarrass the favourite oldest daughter and greet all her friends in my headpiece and strapless, just out of the shower number but common sense prevailed even though it was a matching towel set. After all Jessica had given me the speech before she went out about how not to embarrass your 14 year old. Her biggest worry was that I would “give out to her” in front of her friends, me???

Well I think we passed the test and slowly but surely they all trickled off home until there were two. Then out came THE expected question… “Please can they sleep?” Luckily we were prepared for it and had already decided that two was a manageable number so we sent all manner of linen up to the attic with a warning to Jess: “If you don’t want us to ‘give out’ to you, do not let us here you up there”.
On Saturday morning we made pancakes and the girls played Buzz followed by Monopoly and Cluedo. I absolutely loved having the extra bodies in the house, nothing beats watching the other personalities in your children come out to play when they are with their friends and they don’t know you’re looking. Jessica’s friends finally went home at about 18h00 and we made dinner and watched a movie with the kids.

Sunday was a day of ironing on clothing labels and covering text books in plastic and not much else, nice relaxed day to the end of a hectic week.

Conversations around the house

Malcolm: "This lettuce is brown, shouldn't we throw it away?"
Kirstin: "Is it a ball of lettuce?"
Malcolm: "Yes"
Kirstin: "Well then dad we just have to take the brown outer leaves off, the rest of the lettuce is good!"

Growing pains

Jess started at her new school on Monday. I am not sure who was more nervous, I had a ball in my tummy all day. I fetched her from school and studied her every facial movement as she walked towards the car, trying to figure out how her day was without having to ask. I think she sensed what I was doing because I got NOTHING. Of course the minute she got in the car the questions started. The result? "It was very overwhelming" and she has asked us to wait until Friday, by then she will have a better feel for it all. My baby girls is almost all growed up...

Monday 28 January 2008


Husband and wife are shopping in Tesco's when the man picks up a crate of Stella and sticks it into the trolley "What do you think you're doing?" asks the wife
"They're on offer, only £10 for 12 cans", he says
"Put them back. We can't afford it," says the wife and they carry on shopping...
A few aisles later the woman picks up a £20 jar of face cream and sticks it into the trolley."What do you think you're doing?" asks the man,
"It's my face cream. It makes me look beautiful," she says. The man replies... "SO DOES 12 CANS OF STELLA AND IT'S HALF THE F*%KING PRICE"

Thursday 24 January 2008

Search and Rescue

About 2 months ago I volunteered to help make sandwiches at the secondary school. Today was my first of two consecutive sandwich making days. Why I decided to help out is beyond me, I detest making school lunches, in fact I hate it so much I celebrate enormously when my kids are on school holidays.
Nevertheless I found myself having to be ready to leave the house at the ungodly hour of 08h15, now I have certainly left the house at that time before…in my pyjamas or trackie bottoms because it is a nip down to the luas etc and the only time I get out of the car is the mad dash back to the house, praying all the while that the neighbours don’t decide to use that nano second to look out of their windows.
I digress. Traffic in Dublin can be atrocious and this morning was no exception. This led me to believe that Kirstin’s safest option for getting to school on time was the luas. We were in traffic, the luas station was right there so k jumped out of the car in the middle of the mayhem and made a dash for public transport. Five minutes later I realised that I had left my cell phone at home and K always calls me when she gets off the luas. I placated myself with the fact that she has known me for 11 years, so chances were good that she would realise this when she could not get hold of me.
To make matters worse traffic eased and I actually made it to school just before 09h00 so I felt wonderfully guilty that I had booted my daughter out of my car. I even looked out for her in the vain hope that I could give her a quick cuddle and explain the phone story.
I reported for duty at the secondary school and next thing there was a tear stained, blochy eyed, frozen little girl on a scooter in the hallway. I held her while she sobbed out her sorry tale of the lost phone. She had called me from the luas, put her phone in her pocket and zipped down to school on her scooter. Upon arrival she tried to call me again (so much for knowing me so well) and realised that her phone was no longer in her pocket. This started the proverbial needle in a haystack search, retracing her steps in the icy cold. Alas no phone to be found. Anyway…I consoled her, wrote a note explaining her tardiness and sent her to school.
I made rolls and made rolls and made rolls. Finally I went home and searched for my phone (found it in the pocket of a jacket) and called Kirstin’s number. No answer, but at least it rang, which meant it had not been turned off, either it was lying all alone, wet and cold in a bush, or somebody was waiting for the owner to call.
I had promised to fetch her from school after the traumatic events of the morning and I devised a brilliant plan of search and rescue for her phone. We would retrace her steps and I would keep calling her mobile so that if it was in the bushes somewhere we would here it. This involved me remembering my cell, which luckily I did. Kirstin came out and I started telling her my cunning plan and she looked at me and said “No”. I looked straight back at her and said, “Your phone is in your school bag,” and she smiled.

Tuesday 22 January 2008

Ch ch changes...

Changes are afoot in the Rule household…AGAIN. Just when things start settling into something close to normalcy I have to shake it all up again. A decision needs to be made tonight, and a very big decision indeed. We spent the afternoon having a tour of a school, we met the principal, saw the different class rooms, fields etc and Jessica has been offered a place.
We have a dilemma, the book list looks alarmingly different, the uniform is different, even the shirt cannot be recycled and she has to take a new subject as Home Economics is full, there is a place in musicianship which she has said she will take as she has done theory of music and piano for a few years. It is also the middle of a school year, and it is a BIG move for Jessica. She is up for it; I have given her what I consider the worst case scenario, being left out, having no friends and eating lunch alone. The up side of course is that she can then tuck into a really good book every break…I am sure she would agree with my upbeat take on being a loner? Of course some people are happy with their own company and that is fabulous and my tongue is NOT in my cheek, but my daughter does like to have friends and the thought of her coming home and crying on my shoulder will keep me up tonight.
The decision is difficult, but J has said that she really wants to move, even though she has not been unhappy where she is. The extra curricular activity list is extensive, the science block has some amazing opportunities, especially during transition year when they do forensics which is something J is very interested in. There are many sport choices and the practices seem to take place up to 4 times per week.
Kirstin will stay where she is, but we have put her name down for September 2008, she is the lucky one as it will be a new beginning for all the kids in her year which will make the transition a lot easier for her.
Of course all of this will propel me into an unsuspecting work force if I can find someone who will have me.
My C.V is varied and may be a great conversation starter in the office. I am a jack of all trades (master of none….shhhhh) from window displays, to banks, nursery schools to bar administrator and more. I am fairly sure my C.V gets filed under ‘desperate times call for desperate measures/when we can’t find anyone else’ when I send it in to agencies, of course this is a travesty of justice as I KNOW that I can do ANYTHING I set my mind to…don’t we all?

Monday 21 January 2008

The Mom Song Sung to William Tell Overture with Lyrics

The sweats

We went to Dundrum yesterday; Malcolm wanted to do some shopping. He also needed to return the shirts I had bought him from Esprit for Christmas – as he said, “I am not a skinny Frenchman!” We also needed to get the David Attenborough Blue Planet series, I had got him the HD set for Christmas, but as we do not have a HD DVD player and are not in the market for one we had to change it for the regular series. As you can see I did not do a great job of playing Santa baby this year. In my defence, we do have a TV to view HD….and there was lots of food about at Christmas so the shirts may have fit…once upon a time.
A pair of tracksuit pants for soccer was on the list so off we went to the sports shop where a sale was in progress. My man tried on a few pairs, the ones he liked were not on the sale, another pair was, at E12 worth every cent, so he decided to buy them and then have a look at the other sports store before deciding on the favoured pair. The queue was long and I stood outside the store patiently waiting for 15 minutes. Eventually he came out with his purchase looking a little concerned. The cheap pair of sweats were not actually on the sale, he had paid E40 for them! Our roles reverted to a parent child type scenario…I berated him, pointing out that he should have explained that he thought they were on sale and seems as they were not he did not want them! He had just paid full price for a pair of pants he did not particularly LIKE. I sent him back in with a withering look and told him to get the pair he liked. Another 15 minute queuing session ensued and he came out triumphant, and I wonder WHY I don’t like shopping…but I do still love my man.

Friday 18 January 2008

More to it than that..

Malcolm actually started the blog. He chose a layout, thought of the name and did the very first post. She lay dormant for a while, we were still in S.A and life was full and busy. The point of the blog was really a way to stay in touch with family and friends and I did a couple of posts about our move.
When we got to Ireland it was summer and we had some time on our hands, especially as we were not used to it being light so late and light so early, ha ha. I started fiddling, changing the layout and posting my news. I was having fun, unfortunately it is also a one way communication and I got a bit despondent after a while.
Next thing to happen was that K’s school principal was nominated for a net visionary award and we were all encouraged to vote. As a good girl who follows the rules and some instructions, if presented in a way I like, I obliged and logged on to the website to have my say. That is when I found Grandad. His blog had been nominated and I decided to have a look, I read a few posts, I encouraged Malcolm to read a few posts. Malcolm and I laughed so hard at one we cried.
I started looking at some other blogs, and now my day is not complete without taking a peak to see what is going on in their worlds. I have found a community, a place to go with a cup of coffee to get inspired to go into my kitchen, laugh, agree, feel young again and learn a few interesting things about shopping, clothes, plumbing, the Irish, free range chickens etc. My blog is still for my family and friends but now it is also so much more too.
Thanks guys and gals, I think by now you all know who you are!

Tuesday 15 January 2008

Muddling to school

Ah Kirstin, my favourite youngest daughter. She only has to go to school an hour after M and J leave, so she likes to get a little extra lie in. Of course by the time she is ready to go to school the roads are choked with cars and her bicycle is the best mode of transport to the luas.
We have tried using my car, a requirement when it is raining. This results in us sitting in the car for 25 minutes with me stressing that she may be late, (not much stresses Kirstin) then I find (now know) a safe place to turn around and she jumps out and legs it, as we are still nowhere near the luas which, by the way, is 1.5km's from our house!
This morning I had a marvelous idea, we would walk together, it would give us Q time, I would get some exercise and K would be safely deposited at the luas station by moi. K did not seem so keen, she likes riding because it only takes 5 minutes whereas walking is about 18 minutes. She went to brush her teeth and came wondering back downstairs having decided that walking with me was not such a bad idea after all, unfortunately due to her lack of pace, and the fact that her hair still needed to be done, it was too late and she had to ride her bike.
The next trick up her sleeve was trying to fit a razor scooter in her back pack. Time is ticking and I am getting flustered, then relieved when she realizes that the scooter idea is not practical. Finally many kisses, blowing kisses and loud mwah noises from behind the wall getting softer, she is on her way! Peace, relief that she will not be late and I am ready for my second cup of coffee. 08:33…the phone rings, this is great news – it means Kirstin is at the luas, but wait this is not a dropped call as it is still ringing. “Mom, guess what?” and I just knew what she had done, left her bicycle lock at home. In the boot of my car to be precise, when she was trying to fit the scooter in her bag! She starts school at 09h00, it suddenly dawned on me that M’s bike is available so I hopped on the bike with her lock and raced down to the luas, in the end I did get some exercise; in patience among other things. My baby girl, lucky I love her. By the way, she actually made it to school on time – JUST.
The good thing about the meme I received was two fold. Firstly I learnt something new, which may be beneficial for many reasons, one of which is that I can now re-direct you to a post I have read and found amusing. To tantalise the taste buds here is a little excerpt from the piece I laughed out loud at:


You are the only person who loves you unconditionally.
You are the only person who accepts you absolutely.
You are the only person who wants to be with you twenty-four hours a day.
You are the only person who wants to look in your handkerchief after you’ve blown your nose.
You are probably the most tolerant person you will ever meet!

If you want more follow the link to Kate...

K8 the GR8

Monday 14 January 2008

WARNING: Bad Virus!!

If you receive an email entitled "Bedtimes" delete it IMMEDIATELY. Do not open it. Apparently this one is pretty nasty. It will not only erase everything on your hard drive, but it will also delete anything on disks within 20 feet of your computer. It demagnetises the stripes on ALL of your credit cards. It reprograms your ATM access code, screws up the tracking on your VCR, and uses subspace field harmonics to scratch any CDs you attempt to play. It will program your phone auto dial to call only 1-900 numbers. This virus will mix antifreeze into your fish tank. IT WILL CAUSE YOUR TOILET TO FLUSH WHILE YOU ARE SHOWERING. It will drink ALL your beer.
It will leave dirty underwear on the coffee table when you are expecting company. It will replace your shampoo with Nair (hair remover) and your Nair with Rogaine (hair growth) . If the "Bedtimes" message opened in a Windows 95/98/XP environment, it will leave the toilet seat up and leave your hair dryer plugged in dangerously close to a full bathtub. It will not only remove the forbidden tags from your mattresses and pillows, it will also refill your skim milk with whole milk. *** WARN AS MANY PEOPLE AS YOU CAN. *** And if you don't send this to 5000 people in 20 seconds, you'll fart so hard that your right leg will spasm and shoot straight out in front of you, sending sparks that will ignite the person nearest you. Send this warning to everyone!!! THERE'S A LOT OF SADNESS IN THE WORLD!Right now, as you read this, 17 Million people are having SEX!!! And look at you - You're on the bloody computer

Start spreading the news...

I am finally doing it, I have been talking about it since last year and on Friday I took the plunge. I booked myself and myself alone onto a flight to New York in February! Jeane has been very encouraging, she even bought a sleeper couch to entice me, lucky me to have such fantastic friends. The girls are already doing some serious online shopping and wishing that they had stuck to their chores during December so that they could have earned their full quota of pocket money. I am going to do my own bit of retail therapy online, no point in wasting a week in the shops when I can spend it with friends! Of course I am not totally INSANE, I will definitely pop into the mall and probably go to the outlet stores for a look...but this trip is all about catching up with people I care about and have not seen for SIX years. I am also really nervous, my best memories happen to be in Rye, I will see my old house, it is around the corner from Jeane so no avoiding it and I am sure there will be a lot of changes around town, some of which I may not like. I really did have a sense of belonging when I lived there and now I am going to be a VISITOR, a tourist and I am not sure that the thought sits too well with me. I guess it may actually be good for closure, that chapter of my life has always felt incomplete, the rug got pulled from under my feet and i was not ready to leave. But George W has been around and from what I have heard it is not the rosy USA it was when last we were there. ANYWAY... I am more thrilled than not, and I cannot wait for that walk through Manhattan to Grand Central and the train trip out to Harrison, then the walk to Jeane in Rye. No way am I getting a cab, I need to experience it all the way it used to be, the walk is still so familiar in my head. I am going to be a part of it....all over again for a week!


OMG it worked! Third time lucky, now if only I knew what I was doing wrong, but I guess I have really extended myself today, stop laughing techno genius!!!
So here goes on my meme's, and apologies as I have discovered that I need to expand on my writing and include some new for now here are my tags:
MYSELF - What can I say, I love Christmas and even though this season was rather weird the memory of my first real tree is a goodie.
FAMILY -Sorry, i feel like I should have chosen a shorter story, but there weren't any!
ANYTHING ELSE - This was a bit tricky, but decided that as it is the ONLY post my sister ever commented on it should make the grade!
MY LOVE - Now I would not really say that this is my LOVE but besides Christmas I think I have enthused most about my shoes, BUT I love my family more!
FRIEND - The only other post I had on friends was SO long and I really am proud of Karen, and she is one of my dearest and nearest friends so she deserves another mention.

Now I have to tag 5 people, I am racking my brain, I do pop into quite a few blogs from time to time, although some do not even know I visit...oh well...
ENGLISHMUM - this is probably cheating because she was already picked on by HeadRambles, but I read her blog almost daily so there you go EM.
ROWESRED - I am not sure you have ever been memed and as you are my only physical friend with a blog you gotta have a mention - Gor Rose!
ISITJUSTME - I discovered isit on EM's site and keep going back for more.
CONORTJE - Newly discovered after Christmas and a good find too! So I am using this one as a new mention.
Okay I know that this is only 4 but for now it is going to have to do, I will endeavour to read a new blog and add it at a later stage...Have fun everyone.

Sunday 13 January 2008


It is my first time being meme'd and as it is my first one EVER and I am mighty pleased, especially as it is from one of my very favourite bloggers. Not that I know how to do what needs to be done to fulfil the meme but here are the rules and thanks Grandad, at least you have one excited recipient! Now I have to find some new blog buddies too - housework will have to take a back seat again...what's a girl gonna do?

Ze rulez:
Post 5 links to 5 of your previously written posts. The posts have to relate to the 5 key words given here (family, friend, yourself, your love, anything you like).Tag 5 other friends to do this meme. Try to tag at least 2 new acquaintances (if not, your current blog buddies will do) so that you get to know them each a little bit better.

It is now 23h30 and I am going to bed, I have tried to tackle links and failed, I will have to work at it again tomorrow, hopefully with a little help from a friend...

Saturday 12 January 2008

Facing the music

I was dreading walking through the door. I knew that those pounds I had run away from so long ago had come home to roost, just not sure how many had taken residence.
Thoughts of all the wonderful things that had passed my lips during the festive season made my fears rampant. The wine! The chocolates! Christmas pudding! I also knew that if I did not go back and face the scales matters would only get worse, so I dragged my now bigger bum over to the weight watchers meeting. Standing in the very long line waiting to get weighed was very therapeutic, I was not alone, far from alone in fact, as everybody miserably stood there telling tales of woe. Finally my turn, deep breath, a word of warning to my WW leader and up on the scales to face my demons. 2.5 pounds! I was expecting 5, at least, not too bad, and now I am thinking of the few times I did say no, stopped myself eating this or that and I guess just knowing that I was on the program has actually made a difference. Full steam ahead with a resolution…I will get to my goal weight, 1 more stone, plus the pesky 2.5 pounds from Christmas, and there will be less of me which will be good to see! Hee hee.

Friday 11 January 2008

French lessons

I went down to the library and got a couple of box sets of French lessons. When I got home I eagerly loaded the first one, it is kinda fun because it is like a game which places you in different situations and places. I went to the mall. I needed to know where the toilet was and I asked a sales assistant, he gave me very specific directions. If that was real...I would still need to know where to 'go'.
It would be easier sticking a fork in my eye! I will have to try again today, I have until July, yep July we are off to France. Woohoo! I am so excited, we are flying to London to spend a couple of days with friends in Surrey and then we are off to a house on the Charente River for a week of rural relaxation, bbq's, french markets and exploration. After that we will spend 4 days in Paris and then I am still trying to back to Dublin, or make one more detour for a couple more days before heading home...eeny meany miney mo...

What to do for the BIG 4 0

Yep, hubby will be 40 on March 01 and I am already stressing. I have looked at flights back to S.A for us all, obviously that is where all our friends are, but once we pay for the flights there will be no money for a party! Malcolm does not know what he wants, fishing at Lake Kariba (alone), a visit to the swamps (again alone), a sojourn to Europe (with us), back to S.A. with a visit to the bush thrown in or NOTHING. He is SO busy at work he comes home exhausted and the last thing he wants to face is the Natalie inquisition. Do I just go ahead and surprise him or do I bite my tongue, grin and bare it? Now if we had won that lottery a month ago we would have no problem, in fact Malcolm and I had already decided on the party, the venue, the presents etcetera... argh!!!!!!!!

Wednesday 9 January 2008

The Defender

As some of you know I joined a hockey club late last year, which is pure lunacy considering I am lazy, unfit and not a hockey player. So when i got the text calling for reinforcements for the game on Monday night I hesitated BRIEFLY. I looked out the window and saw menacing clouds lurking near the mountains and just knew it would be cold and unpleasant. But when i say i am going to do something and people are depending on me I have to take a deep breath and just do it. So I bundled up into many layers, wore my ear protection head band woolly thingy, gloves and set off at 19h00 with a heavy step.
I got there a wee bit early, bad habit of mine, and sat in my car watching the trees being bullied and shoved around in the wind. I had a little chat to myself about the insanity of what I was about to do. I even kind of hoped that half of ANY of the teams would not pitch and then we could all shake our relieved heads and go home to the comfy couch and just listen to the wind whistling away outside. Of course this is Ireland, what's a bit of rain, wind and cold? We had MORE than enough players, Melissa and I even got to huddle in the dug out for about 10 minutes and then horror of horrors I got called in and was sent to centre back. I was not really too sure about what was required of me so I ran about like a headless chicken for a while. So far I have only played left wing and they were friendly games not a proper MATCH. I asked for some basic directions, where I could go, what I was supposed to do...who I was marking and got stuck in. The cold was no longer a problem and I actually cleared the ball out of the circle and as we had no goal keeper that was very appreciated. I stuck to my mark most of the time which I found rather embarrassing, I wanted to introduce myself and have a chat but I think she was probably a bit irritated by me following her everywhere. I know that this is kind of what is expected but really! I got in a few tackles and even won the ball a couple of times, turn a blind eye to the fact that I hit it directly back to a different opposition player...
All in all I had a fabulous game, felt rather useful and all that running around in the cold air made me feel that little bit fitter and healthier! I am looking forward to my game next Friday come rain or shine, attack or defence.

Friday 4 January 2008

CSI Rule style

Jess is CSI mad, she records all the episodes she can on Sky and then vegetates in front of the TV whenever she gets the opportunity. Of course her younger sister has no choice but to watch too as Jess is bigger, stronger and has an iron will. So now they have developed a CSI game along with my daytime 3rd daughter, Sophie, which is amusing and gory. They have emptied the various make up/toiletry bags they got for Christmas, raided my disposable glove collection, found all the old cameras, some ear buds/Q Tips, glasses/sunglasses, walkie talkies and so on. Last night I walked into my clean and tidy kitchen to find tomato sauce splots on the floor, the counter and on my microplane, yep the 'vic' had been microplaned - yuk, yuk, yuk. Flour dusted the surfaces and a 'bloodied' knife lay on the kitchen floor. My best part though was when I heard Jess say "The vic' was pregnant" and turned around as she lifted some dolls clothes out of a strategically placed shopping bag...
This morning they woke up and dressed in 'CSI clothes', Kirstin made CSI tags for all of them by going to the CSI website and they have been playing all day. Certainly beats sitting in front of the telly, which they cannot do anyway as their dad is at home sick watching South Africa play India in a 5 day test. Perhaps they need to turn him into a vic, when he describes the way he is feeling and every ache in his body you would think he SHOULD be dead! I have had an hourly blow by blow account of his sinus and body pain vividly described (sharp knives gouging his cheekbones) for 3 days. In his defence he has taken to hanging his head in shame when he realises what he is doing and sheepishly apologising. Men.

Thursday 3 January 2008

Happy Birthday Courtney

I have never posted for a birthday but it happens to be my beautiful nieces 13th birthday! I hope you have had a fabulous day and that you got the hi fi you were on your way to look at when we called. I cannot belieive that you are 13 already, my time does fly. May your 13th year bring you much joy, happiness and many great lifetime memories! We love you!!!

A very busy month

December has been a busy month. I have already blogged about Christmas and have not even filled you in on December properly! Firstly and most importantly…Malcolm’s folks arrived on the 14 December. They had a very long and exhausting trip from JHB as the stop over in Madrid was a whole day. Malcolm collected them from the Dublin airport at around 18h00, after thinking that he would be late due to horrendous Dublin traffic, and he left work at 16h00!!!
I spent the day cleaning and pawing through recipe books and racking my brain as the best celebratory meal for their first night in Dublin. I was going to go for Nigellas curries in her Feast book, she has a wonderful recipe for Mughlai chicken and Lamb Maharaja plus a fantastic rice dish which I have done on numerous occasions but then I went for good old “spag boll” (or as my friend used to say…spaghetti blow your nose…) because I figured that the folks would be too exhausted to enjoy such a time consuming culinary delight, and my spice cupboard is sadly lacking as I could not bring my spice collection with me from S.A. I also BOUGHT an apple pie, well it is a fantastic one full of apples and I had also been running around changing linen and giving the house a good scrub so that I could relax for a few days when the folks arrived, so another reason not to do the aforementioned curries!
On Saturday I invited Cathy (my father-in-law’s sister) for lunch and I made a chicken corn chowder with different breads. I made a chocolate banana loaf for tea courtesy of Bill Granger which I semi massacred by cutting while it was still too hot, oops. Still tasted good though so all was not lost! It was great to see Cathy and I also felt bad because it is the first time we have seen her in Dublin and she lives 15 minutes away!!! In my defence she has been careening around the world a LOT.
Sunday and we had Derrick and Rose around for brunch, they were flying to New York on Monday and wanted to see the folks before they left. Derrick and Malcolm have been friends since they were 5 so lots of history there! I did a full breakfast sans the black and/or white puddings, sorry I have tried them and it is not going to be a repeat performance, it is not vile but also not worth an encore, but hey each to their own, LOTS of people love it.

On Monday Malcolm took the day off work so that he could fetch his aunt and uncle from Heuston station. They were coming in from Cork and Lilias (Malcolm’s moms cousin) was flying in from Scotland so the folks had gone to collect her from the airport.
I was doing a bit of cleaning up and idly going through my recipe books for inspiration when it suddenly dawned on me that as the flight and train arrived at noon lunch would be required. Luckily I had a few frozen pizzas in the freezer and earlier in the day I had bought a really nice loaf of tomato and fennel bread from a little food shop I like. I made a salad and it turned out to be a really nice lunch.
It was great having everyone around and I enjoyed all the conversations going on around the table, when the Rules get together you are never going to have only 1 person talking at a time! Later the guys went to the local for a drink and I finished off the chicken a la king for dinner. I also made a blueberry and apple shortcake, thanks Bill, although the pastry required a lot more flour than the book stated but never mind, it was delicious. We all sat around chatting until after midnight and then everyone crawled off to bed exhausted. On Tuesday Ibb and Tom set of into Dublin as they only had one day before they were going back to Cork and wanted to see the Book of Kells and do the hop on hop off bus. The folks stayed home and chatted to Lilias, she was flying back to Scotland at 15h00 so we went to a little local place for lunch. Unfortunately there were no tables inside so we ended up braving the weather and had a fab cappuccino al fresco. Then I walked home and the airport entourage headed off in the car for Dublin. Another meal to prepare, Cathy was coming back for a second round to see Ibb and Tom (aunt and uncle) Tom ALSO happens to be Cathy brother, confused?
I made chilli con carne and there was enough left over chicken a la king to provide a selection for everyone, impressive! Kirstin had been dispatched to the local shop for chocolate mousse ingredients, her dessert of choice and came back with 1 slab of 70% and 1 with 85% cocoa, I had a horrible feeling that it would be way too bitter but took a chance and made it anyway. Luckily everyone likes dark chocolate, or are very polite and the mousse all got eaten.

Wednesday was our wedding anniversary and the girls got up really early and made us pancakes with jam and cream for breakfast. They even cleaned up all the mess afterwards and made their own school lunches so that I wouldn’t have to, we are lucky, lucky parents! Then they presented us with a beautiful photo box and they had colour photo copied one of our wedding pictures and slipped it into the space in the lid for the photo. The cherry on top was the fact that the box contained a selection of Butlers chocolates, and 2 of each filling so no need for M and I to fight over the choccies!
Malcolms aunt and uncle and the folks were heading off to Cork in Malcolm’s car for a few day so I decided that a good breakfast was called for and got the egg and bacon out and fried it all up before they went on their merry way. Wow, the house was quiet. I would like to say that I spent the day madly cleaning but instead have to confess to plonking down in front of the TV with series 2 of Friends. Mmmmm.
Being the OLD married couple that we are I vetoed going out in favour of staying in, warming up the left overs and watching TV with the kids. They of course were horrified at my practical ways but I assure you that we will have our dinner, when things have calmed down and Christmas is well and truly over. At this time of year all the restaurants are jammers with office parties and the like and apparently the quality of food and service is not worth the effort of a nice dinner out. Anyway, it was great to have a quiet evening at home after all the visitors but also nice to know that the folks would be back on Friday or Saturday.

Hamster update

I think the babies may be off to the pet shop tomorrow. I cannot believe how quickly the little guys and gals grew, it was impressive to say the least. The kids now think that breeding hamsters is a fabulous money making oppurtunity, and I think not. As cute as they were and as fascinating as I found it the kids will be dragging their heels to clean the cages in no time and the amount a baby hamster poohs is mind boggling.

Leap year

Yep this year - 2008 is a Leap year. I like to think that this is a good thing for a few reasons...
1. J was conceived in a leap year too much information, but I had to get her on the list!
2. We were married in a leap year
3. K, M and I were all born in a leap year
Then another consideration I came up with...we moved to New York the year preceding a leap year AND we moved to Dublin the guessed it...preceding leap year.

2007 was a BIG year - moving countries and leaving friends, family and pets has been the hardest experience of our lives so far. We were lucky, Malcolm got a job quickly, we found our house and it came with the most amazing landlords and neighbours. The girls got into a decent school and in all those respects it was fairly plain sailing. The emotional side has been harder, I like to think I am a people person, my hubby has accused me of being a people person, as soon as we have people over and I am happily working away in the kitchen preparing a meal he always sidles up to me and in a low accusing voice says...."You love this" and he is right. Nothing beats friends, food and alcohol all in one place. Sadly we have not whipped out the cocktail book thus far and on 31 January we went shopping for last minute supplies Malcolm held up a lime and we smiled at the memories of our civilised Sunday noon lunch with friends that turned into 12 hours of fun with Kaprioskas, limes and rum being the key ingredients.
Now we have to start making memories again and I am sure we will, but building friendships like we had does take time. We have met some great people so far, sadly one of the couples we made friends with have just moved back to South Africa which is awful as Irene and I were partial to a glass of wine or a G&T together. We had a few memorable evenings, watching the rugby world cup, bbq's and a couple of dinners and now they are gone! We wish you all the very best in your new adventures.

And now to 2008 and what to do with it...I have no idea. Let me think a little and get back to you on that one. I am not one for making resolutions which is probably why at the end of every year I feel like I have achieved nothing. One thing I do know is that I am going to New York to visit my friends. On my own. I guess that counts as a resolution. And what a fine one it is too.

I want to blog but am not in the MOOD

Mmmm yes a very bad day for moi. I will be honest here, I just changed out of my pj's, after a wonderful hot bubble bath. I have not been sleeping well and almost snuck downstairs at about midnight to blog because no matter what tricks I tried Mr Sandman was not paying me any attention, perhaps that has contributed to the melancholy mood I have found myself in today. I was not going to bore anyone with the details, but then I realised that I can write about what I want and generally my blog is fairly therapeutic. Also the reason I am feeling yuk is that I miss my friends and family. I guess having gone through the festive season highlighted how alone we are AND we were lucky enough to have Malcolm's folks with us this year! Also in South Africa most people take leave and go away for a wonderful long holiday so my inbox has been deserted. Luckily for me (certainly not Lizle) one of my friends was at work after Christmas and I did get a couple of emails which kept me from the brink of tears! Selfish? shhhhh.
So to all my family and friends I dedicate this post of misery to you, because you really should be flattered that I spent the day moping around and missing you all!!! And yes, thanks I am now feeling a more upbeat post coming you all!!!!