Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Leixlip panto in disarray as entire backstage crew jet out to Barbados.

Leixlip Panto in disarray as entire backstage crew jet out to Barbados.

Well that's the headline I hope to see in The Leinster Leader this week. Last weekend the seven of us that are working behind the scenes on Cinderella joined together to do this week's Lotto.
It could be us!
I am convinced that we are going to win it.
So if we hit those six numbers on Wednesday night then the cast are on their own at the weekend performances.
If it doesn't happen until the Saturday night draw, then it will be the best after show party EVER!!!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Irelande - douze points!

It's panto season again.
Oh yes it is!
As I'm not treading the boards this year, but rather working backstage, I went up to my first Cinderella rehearsals in Leixlip this week. Things took a bit longer than expected....which is to be expected when it's the first time it's performed on stage! There was a slight dilema as then Joe McCaul aka Buttons had missed his lift home.
If that name sounds familiar you are right. He is the Joe-half of Joe and Donna McCaul who represented Ireland in the Eurovision 2005 in Ukraine.

As he is a fellow Westmeathian I did the Good Samarithian thing and offered him a lift back to Kinnegad.
We got into Roxy and headed off into the night! Soon we were cruising down the M4 with The Script blaring in the CD player. Being in post-rehearsal gidddy humour, we found ourselves singing along.
Then it struck me.....
OMG! I'm singing with a Eurovision entrant!!!
Now there's something to tell my grandchildren.........oh wait a minute.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The topic of conversation

I had a phone call from a very good friend, Sinéad. We were teaching together in Abu Dhabi back in the days! Sinéad is the type of friend that, although we haven't been talking to each other since last Easter, the moment we picked  up the phone, it was as if we were in contact only last week.
We had a lot of catching up to do. We were filling each other in on what has been happening in our lives since we last spoke. Sinéad had a few surgeries but thankfully is perfectly okay. I was telling her about my eye surgery and how things are now.
Then it struck me....
When we were in Abu Dhabi we would ring each other before a night on the town to discuss what we were wearing out.
Now we were ringing each other to discuss what was wearing out!
How the hell did that happen???

Monday, January 9, 2012

Time Traveller

I made a startling discovery today. I have mastered the skill of time travel!
This morning saw me jump out of bed before 8 o'clock, which I haven't seen in quite a while! I bounded into the school yard for the first time in two weeks. The first week was busy, busy with Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Then when all those festivities were out of the way I still had another week to relax and recharge the batteries.
Gosh, it seems like a month since I was here.
Into the breech and faced the crowd.
When little break came an hour and a half later I dragged myself to the staffroom for a much needed cup of tea.
God, it seems like I was never away.
How quickly the euphoria dispells!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Testing times for us all.

Yesterday was a momentous day in Roxy's life......her first NCT! In fact it was my first time to have to bring any car for the test. A real sign of the times I suppose. I haven't had a four year old car since the testing was brought in. I bought a new car every two years.
Ah God be with the days of the Celtic Tiger!
Now I figure that Roxy and I will be together til one of us kicks the bucket. I really love her and all that, but I sure as hell hope that she goes first!

She had her full service recently so she was in tip top condition on the inside. I spent the morning vacuuming, polishing, washing and buffing until she was gleaming on the outside.
Well I figure first impressions imply to cars as well as to people.
I was sitting back drinking a well earned cup of tea, looking out the window at her and admiring my handiwork, when it reappeared.....

This is the third year in a row he has made an appearance BUT WHY CHOOSE TODAY OF ALL DAYS?
 I know I am making assumptions here
1. I am assuming it is the same bird.
2. I am presuming that it is a HE. I have seen enough wildlife programmes to know that it is the male of the species who claims his territory. So this bird sees his reflection in Roxy's wing mirror, starts to fight and literally frightens the shit out of himself and deposits it all down her side!
But don't quote me on that. I am no expert on.....birds.
I was about to say "tits", but I am only an expert on my own!
 I went out begrudgingly to wipe her clean again. Then I remembered the old saying
"Shittin' luck is good luck."
Personally I can't see how a bird crapping on you can possibly be good luck, but Roxy would need all the help she could get today.

Off we went to the testing centre. I handed in my documentation and keys and sat in the waiting room with all the other nervous drivers. There were large glass windows overlooking the garage. I saw Roxy being driven in. She was subsequently rocked and rolled, tweaked and prodded and generally defiled!
Half an hour later she came to the end of the production line and was driven out. The moment of truth.
I haven't been as nervous since I was waiting for my Leaving Cert results.
I turned to the man beside me
"This is like waiting outside a delivery room!"
He looked in surprise and then burst out laughing.
"Jayus, don't say that. The last time I was there, I left with twins!"

My mechanic appeared behind the reception desk and slid back the glass. I approached in trepidation.
He had my keys......and the certificate in his hand.
YIPEE! She had passed with flying colours!
With the help of that blasted Blue Tit!
Glad we don't have to go through that for another two years.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sandstorm in a tea cup

I went to see Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol during the week. I thoroughly enjoyed it. The scenes in the Burj Al Khalifa brought back lots of memories.

Tom's view of the Burj while climbing up to the 130th floor

My view of the Burj while sunbathing on Jumeriah beach.

I know which view point I prefer!

Of course when I lived in the Middle East it was called the Burj Al Arab. When I was back there on holidays a few years ago I asked about the name change.

Rumour has it that Dubai was in a spot of financial trouble
A bit like ourselves
And they went to their friend Sheik Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to ask for help.
The Arabic IMF
He agreed to a bailout but on one condition. Their most famous landmark was to be renamed after him. Hence the Burj Al Khalifa was born.

Personally I think that is a great idea. I would have no problem with having the Sarkozy Spire in the middle of O’Connell Street, or playing the All Ireland Finals in Merkel Park. Not if it meant a reduction in the whopping interest rates we have to pay back on our bailout to the IMF.
Get working on it, Enda.

I remember one particular sandstorm. Gerardine had driven to Dubai with her two passengers, Michelle and myself, for a spot of shopping. The sandstorm hit while we were there. Now, not as bad as the one poor old Tom Cruise had to fight through, but pretty bad all the same. Fair dues to Ger, she managed to navigate our way home to Abu Dhabi. We got back at about six in the evening. The worst thing about a storm is that sand gets everywhere, in your eyes, ears, nose, mouth, in fact in every orifice! Nothing to do but to head to the Captain’s Arms for an ice cold beer to get rid of the grains from our throats.

We lost all sense of time and so several ice cold beers later it was time to head for home. Taxis in Abu Dhabi were very plentiful. They would be queuing up outside all the hotel to whisk you home. During the day it coast 10 dirhams to get to anywhere in the city. After midnight the taxi drivers would illegally put up the price to twenty dirhams. That was a bit Irish!

When I got into the taxi I gave my address and then said

“15 dirhams!”

The taxi driver looked a bit perturbed and started to reply

“But Ma’am…”

“No arguing. I will pay 15 dirhams and no more!”

“It is……”

“Take it or leave it. If not I’ll get into the next taxi and give him the 15 dirhams.”

He could see that I meant what I said, shrugged his shoulders and set off for home.
I was delighted with myself as I handed over my fare at the end of the journey. I find it very hard to stand up for myself. Anything for a quiet life. It’s amazing what a few beers will do!

I entered my apartment and turned on the light. It was then that I saw the clock.
It was only ten O’clock!
He had been trying to tell me that, but I forced him into taking more money than I owed! Nice one Noeleen.

Ah! tThose sandstorms have a lot to answer for!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012 is going swimmingly.

I made my first foray into the swimming pool for 2012. I didn't get in all over the Christmas.
And if I'm perfectly honest, I may not have dipped a toe for the whole of December.
How can you get so unfit in such a short space of time. Last month I could easily do fifty lengths. Hell, even after a skinful of drink following a nightout in Matuthlar I could manage eighty lengths.
Today I could just about manage twenty! That's it, my resolution is to get into shape.
But hey round is a shape, isn't it?

Monday, January 2, 2012

The first thing to p*** me off in 2012

Sales time! I headed up to Dublin with Mam and my sister Geraldine.Shopping is hard work so I was queueing up for dinner in the Arnotts' cafe.
 There was a bit of a hold -up as the credit card machine crashed and very few people carry money anymore. But we were still moving along albeit at a slower pace. It certainly wasn't a life or death situation.
There was a man in front of me in the queue. He was in his thirties, very sensibly dressed in a Daniel O'Donnellesque outfit of sweater and trousers.
As I said, the queue was moving slowly so I had plenty of time to people watch!

We had come to the end of the counter where the tea and coffee machines were. We were stopped once again as there was another dilema at the cash register. Someone else didn't have enough  cash to pay for their dinner and couldn't use their card.
A lady of about sixty came up to the machine in front of Mr. Sensible and asked nicely
"Excuse me, can I just get some boiling water in this teapot?"
"NO!" came the boomimg reply.
I did a double take. I surmised that they knew each other and he was winding her up.
"I'm sorry," she stuttered. "But I'm not jumping the queue. I'm coming from the floor and I'm just getting a refill. I won't delay you."
I then realised that he was actually serious. I couldn't for the life of me work out why he was objecting. Firstly she wouldn't have to pay for the water, so she wouldn't take anyone's place in line at the cash register.
Secondly, we were going nowhere at the time whereas she would be able to just walk back to her table.
Don't get me wrong. I'm no Mother Theresa. If someone had tried to jump the queue in front of me and delay me even further, I would have torn into them. But this lady was NOT going to delay us one second. She was going to be in and out like a gorilla in the mist.
She got all flustered and didn't know what to do. I nodded at her to step in front of me to fill her teapot. She promptly did so, thanked me and returned to her seat. We moved onto the cash register, undelayed by the lady's request.
As I was going to my table to join Mam and Ger I passed Mr. Sensible sitting down at a table with a woman whom I presumed was his mother, as she was the same age as the lady he had just berated. She was smiling at him and thanking him for getting her meal. She was probably thinking
What a wonderful son I've reared. Such a gentleman.
Such a scumbag, more likely.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Hair-raising experience

One of the best things about meeting up for a Girls' Night In/Out is hearing loads of stories. This is my favourite anecdote from the other night.
A friend's friend was under pressure at work because she had a new boss and was due to give her first presentation. That morning she was up bright and early, showered and groomed in her new suit. Last minute she decided that it would look more professional if she wore her hair up, so she grabbed a butterfly clip from the drawer.
The presentation went very well. The PowerPoint slides all worked perfectly and she had graphs and charts to support her ideas. Her audience including her new boss seemed to be fixated on her every move. Still, she heaved a sigh of relief when it was over. She gathered up her stuff and went back to her desk.
Her colleague glanced up at her and then did a double-take.
"What is that in your hair?" she shrieked.
She put her hand through her hair and pulled out the butterfly clip. There dangling by a string was.........
a tampon!
She had conducted the entire presentation with it swinging around on the back of her head, like one of those corks on a Aussie's hat!
No wonder they couldn't take their eyes off her!!
Her initial reaction was to pack up her belongings, walk out the door and never come back. Luckily her colleague managed to talk her out of doing something rash.
"But how will I ever face my boss," she howled.
"Don't worry about it. I can guarantee he will never EVER mention it to you!"
And do you know what, he hasn't yet!!!