Thursday 28 February 2008


Little Mary Margaret was not the best student in Catholic School. Usually, she slept through the class. One day her teacher, a Nun, called on her while she was sleeping.
"Tell me Mary Margaret, who created the universe?"
When Mary Margaret didn't stir, little Johnny who was her friend sitting behind her, took his pencil and jabbed her in the rear.
"God Almighty!" shouted Mary Margaret.
The Nun said, "Very good" and continued teaching her class. A little later the Nun asked Mary Margaret, "Who is our Lord and Savior?" But Mary didn't stir from her slumber. Once again, Johnny came to her rescue and stuck Mary Margaret in the butt. "Jesus Christ!!!" shouted Mary Margaret and the Nun once again said, "Very good," and Mary Margaret fell back asleep. The Nun asked her a third question..."What did Eve say to Adam after she had her twenty-third child?" Again, Johnny came to the rescue. This time Mary Margaret jumped up and shouted, "If you stick that damn thing in me one more time, I'll break it in half!" The nun fainted...........AMEN... .

You Tube Mania

Yes I know, rather extreme considering I do not post much from You Tube! Forgive me, last night I realised that it was the night of our return ticket to S.A so if Malcolm had chosen to go back to celebrate his birthday we would be there right now. S.A. is a beautiful place and we have some clever advertising so I decided to share it with y'all. I am having a little homesick moment, I am sure it will pass if I go and look at some of the South African taxi youtube videos...bye!

South Africa, Land of Beauty and Contrast - music by Enya

South African World Cup Rugby Advert - Sasol


I am busy planning a dinner for my wonderful husband, a sedate affair as we do not know many people in Ireland. I feel really bad because it is after all his 40th. Then it dawned on me....I am married to a 40 year old man, well almost. What happened, how did I get here so fast? Does this mean that I am also ageing, nah can't be, I am but a spring chicken....I am I am I am!!!!!

Wednesday 27 February 2008


Every morning our google homepage has a new set of quotes of the day. I have a squizz and move along swiftly but this one demands attention:

Man is the only animal that can remain on friendly terms with the victims he intends to eat until he eats them.
- Samuel Butler

Monday 25 February 2008

How to get kids to eat spinach

This is such a simple recipe and as it is now so frequently requested by my can I not share it? It is fabulous with a steak,a bowl of pasta, in fact just about anything! There is a fair bit of garlic in here but both my girls get really excited when that bag of spinach comes out of the fridge now!

1 bag baby spinach leaves
2 tomatoes
Crispy bacon rashers – as much or as little as you like here!
Cheese of your choice, mozzarella is excellent
2 – 3 cloves garlic, again depends on taste
1 lemon
Extra virgin olive oil.

Take 2 or 3 cloves of garlic. I like salt so I use a fair bit for this part…a little pile of salt on top of the garlic,(yum).
Mash it up very well, I use a knife but the pestle and mortar also works, somehow a knife is more precise though and makes a better paste.
Squeeze out the juice of 1 lemon, a quick shake is brilliant but a jar will work too.
Add olive oil, about twice as much as the lemon juice.
Put in the garlic mash and shake until combined.
Open a bag of baby spinach leaves, remove stalks.
Slice 2 tomatoes
Cube or tear cheese
Crumble some crispy streaky bacon over the top and pour the salad dressing over the lot. Toss, for some reason using my hands is very satisfying..and coats the salad really well.
You may not have to use all the dressing, depends on the lemon!!!

Friday 22 February 2008

Chocolate twister thingies...

Okay, the recipe as requested by Isit and Em....

Basic bread dough:
650g strong white flour
10g salt
5ml honey or sugar
15ml oil
7g instant yeast
400ml warm water NOT HOT!!!

Chocolate bit:
100g butter melted
200g chocolate broken into little pieces
cinammon only if you like it!
Also add a bit of sugar if using 70% cocoa chocolate, the kids seem to prefer it a bit sweeter.

Okay, if you are lucky like me throw it all in the magimix (or similar) with the dough hook attachment and when the dough comes together remove to knead or continue mixing in machine, I personally like the kneading bit!
OR - make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the liquid mixing until it all comes together.
Knead for 10 to 15 minutes.
Cover with clingfilm and place somewhere warm to rise for about 45 minutes, until doubled in size.
Knock down i.e bring that dough back down to size!
Roll out the dough into a rectangle
Brush on the melted butter sprinkle with cinammon and chocolate.
Roll up like a swiss roll and slice into about 2cm slices.
Place cut size up on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 200 C for 20 minutes."
Tuck in.
I like using a basic bread dough becasue then I make extra and do rolls or a loaf for the lunch boxes. For some reason my youngest gets quite a kick out of telling her classmates that I made the bread...go figure! I am sure that an enriched dough that you could use for brioche would be even better.

Blogger short list

Well done to all those who made the short list! I am happy to note that my favourite sites are well covered this year...almost all of the sites I visit and have links to on the side of my blog have been nominated! Check them out - they are all there for a very good reason, I am glad I do not have to be the judge!
In no particular order....

Most humorous post:
Best personal blog:
Best newcomer's Blog:
AND Englishmum also got nominated in the best food and drink category too!
Well done y'all!!!


So it was back to Weight Watchers last night, dragging my heels and covered in shame. I missed 2 meetings and in New York I just kinda forgot that I was actually still on a diet. To be honest the slippery slope started when creme eggs first made their appearance on the supermarket shelves, all that pretty shiny paper and a treasure of chocolate and goo underneath that...what is a girl o do?
I do feel that half the battle was won last night though, going back KNOWING that I was up about 5 pounds was not an easy thing for me to do, but if I hadn't I would have convinced myself that all was not swelling beneath my jeans. So, the outcome...4 pounds up, I am an idiot all that bloody hard work and now I have to lose 4 pounds just to get back to where I was 3 weeks ago...but the show must go on, the goal posts may have changed from March to May but I guess the long and scenic journey is more enjoyable anyway, at least I get to stop off and eat myself silly every now and then...

Tuesday 19 February 2008

Home is where the heart is

Home. What a week! The most amazing thing of all is that everyone looks the same. After 6 years I thought we would all have a few more lines, I know I do, but it was like I had been gone a week! That of course was the most thrilling part for me, I have to admit to some niggling concern with regard to seeing friends after so long and it truly was like we had never bee apart. The size of all the children I last saw was the only reminder of the years gone by. Babies were at school, ‘bumps’ were now little boys and little boys and girls were teenagers!
It really was a week of catching up and although I did get about 12 kg's worth of shopping such a short span of time that a hold was placed on my credit card within an hour - oops! A quick call and a few security questions later and I was on my way again! It actually sounds a lot worse than it was, many of my purchases were birthday presents for my offspring and Jess had saved like mad in order to buy an Ipod and a Fossil watch because it really was a lot cheaper than getting it all in Dublin.
We went into Manhattan for brunch on Sunday, possibly the second coldest day, definitely the windiest...we went to a very popular spot on Madison Ave and 90th or 93rd street, I THINK...cannot remember the name, but I do know that Oprah rates their marmalade very highly!!!
The rest of the time was spent in the 'burbs', I did have flitting thoughts of going into Manhattan during the week but the weather kept me in my place!
I got to go to my favourite Mexican restaurant where we ate steak and cheese quesadillas, heaven in every mouthful, I promise. I am not sure what the heck they do to those little morsels but it is too divine! We also ordered fresh guacamole which they make at the table while you watch, halving and scooping the flesh from the avocado before your very eyes! Two margaritas later and I was ready for silly conversation!
Much food was consumed, the tightness of my clothes the only reminder, but with promises of more visits, people coming here and me going back with the girls, it was all very much worth it! And now I have to get some more washing in the machine….
I have to say that my family deserves a medal, hubby kept the home fires burning, did washing and ironing and my favourite eldest daughter took over as mother and bossed my favourite youngest daughter around like nobody's business, but also kept the house tidy and helped keep everyone's hunger at bay. Kirst took it all in her stride, got herself to school and back on the luas and even sometimes humoured her big sis by doing what she was told!!! So thank you family for giving me such a great oppurtunity!

Wednesday 6 February 2008

Ta ta for now

I'm off in the morning, a week with no kids, no husband, no housework, no shopping, no washing, no nagging and and and. This has never happened to me before, the last time I left the hubby and kids was for a WEEKEND - a school reunion, IN THE SAME COUNTRY. I know it is only a week but suddenly seven days looks like forever.
I must be feeling guilty, yesterday the kids got pancakes, I made chocolate bread twister buns and a loaf of homemade bread too, all mighty delicious - now hopefully they will remember all hat and miss me while I'm gone!

Tears of Joy

This morning our family literally wept tears of joy. I got an email from a friend and this good news article was attached. It was such perfect timing because two nights ago Squirt was wondering if her prayers were ever going to be answered. She has been praying for Melissa every night since she heard the news of her cancer back in 2004. On the days that she gets to school early and has to go to the chapel service she always lights a candle for Melissa. I am dumbfounded as to the steadfast way Kirstin has kept Melissa in her thoughts and prayers. What a way for a little girl to find out that her prayers are heard, her face literally collapsed into tears and she just put her head on my chest and sobbed when I opened the article and showed it to her. I still remember the carefree camping trip the whole lot of us went on before Melissa got her diagnosis, because even though it was Melissa's disease to fight and none of us knew what to do or say it changed us all in a little way, made us aware of our mortality I guess. She has taught us all alot through her personal struggle and she certainly deserves to come out victorious at the other end.
Well done Melissa.

Monday 4 February 2008


My friends in S.A have been telling me how bad the power cuts (load shedding) are and how they are left with no electricity for hours on end. The effect on business is enormous; it is astounding how much we rely on electricity. My dad has a friend who had a business making school jerseys/sweaters/jumpers, the electricity kept getting cut off during his dying processes, the wool was destroyed, the colour was wrong and subsequently he has had to shut his business down. Everything we DO uses electricity the effects on the economy and business are enormous. Anyway, what stunned me the most was what our energy minister told South Africans to do in order to help solve the problem. Remarkable woman this...makes me proud to be a woman. NOT.
I took this off of the website:

Sleep more - Energy Minister

Jan 30 2008 03:32:51:540PM
South Africans can save electricity by going to sleep earlier and boiling less water, Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica has told Parliament.
Cape Town - South Africans could save electricity by going to sleep earlier and boiling less water, Minerals and Energy Minister Buyelwa Sonjica told Parliament on Wednesday.
"Go to sleep earlier so that you can grow and be cleverer. Boil less water, use the microwave rather than stove, take a shower and not a shallow bath," she told a special sitting of Parliament to discuss the power crisis.


Saturday 2 February 2008

What goes around....

A couple of weeks ago I went to draw money from the A.T.M. I inserted my card and punched in my PIN number. I was told in no uncertain terms by the screen that I had input the wrong PIN code. I realised that I had used Malcolm’s code; I usually have his card and use it more regularly than my own. So I re-entered the PIN number and the machine still decided that I was wrong. Luckily it is one of those machines where you put the card in and take it out again before doing the transaction, so it cannot swallow the card. Thank goodness because I stood there in shock (I ALWAYS know my pin) and decided to try again. The blinking screen politely told me to contact my branch.
I still have not contacted my branch. Last night Malcolm asked me if I had called the bank about my card. Duh, I have not needed to use it, I have HIS card, why on earth would I try and sort it out unless I was in desperate need of the money? (Okay, I am bloody lazy.) I told him that it was a good thing not to be able to extract money from the account, kind of like forced savings, ha! Sometimes I even impress ME.

Now reap what you say comes to mind…today I did my fresh fruit and vegetable shopping at M&S, very organised because I like to have lots of fruit for school days. I also put together a salad, ravioli and a pasta sauce from the wonderful array of ready meals, Saturday night is M&S dinner night, that way I get a break and we all watch a movie together. Alas when it came down to the nitty gritty of paying for my packed and ready to go groceries I did not have Malcolm’s chip and pin card, of course I had MY card which was less than useless. Sheepishly I had to unpack the groceries into the trolley and walk out with my tail between my legs, made worse by being lectured to by my mortified 14 year old. Malcolm was a real gentleman when I told him my sad tale, not even the sign of a smirk crossed his face.

Friday 1 February 2008

Irish Blog Awards

Well it is true, I have visited the site and seen my name there.
BLOG AWARDS Bizarre. There are very many excellent blogs on the list and I am humbled by the fact that someone took the time to actually pick ME. So a very big thank you to whoever you are, it really made my day! I am not that naive as to think that I will go further than this, but it has made my posting that little bit more worthwhile. I have impeccable taste in blogs too, most blogs I visit have been nomintated and often MORE THAN ONCE. Of course there are many more blogs on the list that I don't visit. I am a little nervous to start poking my nose around in some of the other nominees blogs, there really are only so many I can visit in a day.

The One

As some of you may have read I am on the hunt for a job and I have finally found THE company I would like to work for. Unfortunately it would mean relocating to Boston, but I am sure Malcolm won't mind. I am going to ask Alan Shore for a job, they seem to have a fair bit of staff turnover but it looks like the best firm to work for.
Yes folks, it was the first episode of Series 4 Boston Legal. I wish there really was a company like that to work for, weird,whacky and full of heart. When Clarence did his dance in drag and Alan and Jerry were watching, with Jerry doing the obligatory hop it was a warm fuzzy moment for me, I sat there stupidly grinning at the TV. Then at the end, let's just say that Alan scrubs up good and pink is his best colour yet.