Friday, March 30, 2012

Sweet dreams are made of this.

All packed for Kuala Lumpur. Leaving at stupid o'cock in the morning and will get there on Sunday morning. I really want to sleep on the flight so that I'm not totally zonked for the next few days. I did something I've never done before. I went in search of two sleeping tablets. One for the flight out and the other for the return.
Everyone had advice.....and most people had "something" to relax me. I explained again that I'm not a nervous flier (pardon the pun). I want to SLEEP. I was given a guaranteed remedy.
Drowsy cough bottle!
I went in search of it to the local chemist, which was no problem. Then I realised that I coudn't bring the bottle on board. So I looked around for a small, as in less than 100ml, screw tight container. I espied one and tested its lid.
It wouldn't budge. Score.
It was only when I looked at the label I realised what it was
A urine specimin container!
Can you imagine the looks on my fellow passengers' faces if I was to whip out that bottle and take a swig in mid flight!
I managed to find a proper travel container to use.
So now Percy Pig is ready to assist me in my slumbers....I hope.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It's official. I'm a bitch!

Confirmation season is upon me again.  The unprecedented hot and sunny weather has meant that I cannot "borrow" the fabulous red coat from my mother that I was planning to wear.. Instead I bought a Kate Middletonesque navy lace dress....
accompanied by Gok Wan magic underwear....the kind that pulls you in, lifts you up and prevents you from breathing.  But boy do you look a size smaller, so a small sacrifice to make!

Today I was heading into a shop when I was stopped in my tracks. A long leggy babe, with tumbling curls of auburn hair entered the shop in front of me.
AND SHE WAS WEARING MY DRESS.
Well, technically it wasn't MY dress seeing as it was only a size 8.
And by that I mean a European size 8 as opposed to the much larger American size 8.
My stomach was tied in knots of jealousy. Her pert little derriere sashayed in front of me up to the counter.  I then had the further humiliation of having to stand behind her in the queue.
That's it.  There is NO WAY that I can wear that dress now.I feel totally old, fat and frumpy.
Suddenly a weird high pitched noise filled the air.
What on earth....
I listened again.  There it was again.  I suddenly realised what it was.
"The babe", though beautiful, had the most dreadful, annoying, nasally voice I had ever heard.
Think Janice, in "Friends".
Suddenly a warm, fuzzy feeling seeped through my bones.
Da'know wha'? 
I may not be skinny, but at least I don't have a voice that can be heard by dogs in the next county.
I know that makes me the world's shallowest bitch but I don't care.
At least I have a dress that I can comfortably wear to the Confirmation tomorrow!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Lights, Camera, Pee

Guess where we went yesterday?
Yes, up to the recording of The Voice of Ireland,
 as opposed to The Voice UK!
It bring a glorious sunny day, we decided to go the whole hog! We set off early and had dinner out. Accompanied by Drink #1.
We arrived at the Helix in loads of time, well time for Drink #2
It was an eye opener to see all the work that goes on behind the scenes or rather behind the cameras.
The judges arrived out and took their places.
 You had Kian from Westlife, one of the most successful boybands of all time, seller of zillions of records, about to perform to sell out audiences in Croke Park this summer. Yet, when there was a break, who did all the autograph hunters swarm around?
Yes, Bressie, the man from Mullingar!
Must be a bit of a kick in the arse!
Thoroughly enjoyed the show.
When it came to the second ad break Marese and I had to leg it up the steps and out the door.
Might have been the drinks having an effect.
  We were told that we had to be back before the break ended or we wouldn't get back in.  Luckily the toilets were just outside the door. So in we raced, did our business (!) washed our hands and ran back to our seats. All and all it could only have taken about a minute and a half. Yet as we were placing our bums on the seats, it was announced
"Quiet please. We are about to recommence."
What is that about?
At home the ads come on, I go to the kitchen, put on the kettle, go to the bathroom for a pitstop, back to kitchen, make a cup of tea, maybe even a slice of toast, wander back to the sofa and say
"Are those damn ads STILL on?"
Time is relative!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

When will I, will I be famous?

Along with Take That, Bros were my teenage crush.

I'm sure all Beliebers will equally cringe in a few decades.

Today I set my kids the task of describing "Fame" in less than thirty words.
My favourite one was

Most famous people live in America.  They're bigtime famous.  But if you put a video on You Tube you're a little bit famous.

Ah yes, 21st Century celebrity culture, in a nutshell

Funny Money

I went to order my money for Malaysia.  I had no idea what currency they use.
Never ask me to be on your team in a table quiz. I'm useless.
I asked the cashier behind the Foreign Exchange desk what I needed and she promptly replied
"Ringgits."
"Sorry, what?" I asked, as I was sure I had misherard.
"Ringgits."
I had to supress a laugh as I immediately had a vision of Harry Potter going to Gringotts Bank, trying to change his muggle money into wizard money.


Where on earth am I going?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

What a ride!

"You have a balance of  €15."
How did that happen?  I had just gotten an e-mail from paddypower.com, the online gambling site.  Then I remembered.
Four years ago I had an operation that meant I was out of action for several weeks.  I went back to stay with my Mam to recuperate.  I couldn't go anywhere or do anything except watch telly.  There was a racing festival on, so I ended up watching that. To spice things up I opened an account with Paddy Power. 
When I got back on my feet I promptly forgot about my little foray into online gambling.  Until now, that is.....
"What will I do with my forgotten stash of cash?"
Seeing as it was Gold Cup Day in Cheltenham, why not blow it?
I didn't have a clue who was running as I hadn't been following it at all this year.  I turned on the TV commentary and one panelist recommended a horse.
"Sure I'll go with that.  Bye bye money."
Race started and I relaxed on the couch.  But by God, by the end of it I was up on my feet and screaming at the screen.
I apologise to any neighbours that may have thought a murder was being committed in my house.........though come to think of it, no one came over to check!!!


Anyway, Synchronised was first past the post, leaving me with a balance of  €113.75! Ya little beauty!
Erm! Now what to do with my winnings?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ten past three in the afternoon


I was tidying up after class while two of my boys were still searching around for coats, pencil cases and other paraphernalia that they had managed to misplace during the day.  One of them stopped, looked at me quizzically and then plucked up the courage to ask
"Miss?"
"Yes"
"Is it true that you don't have any control over us after ten past three?"
Oh here goes.  He has an older brother in secondary school who has obviously discovered his rebellious streak and is trying to corrupt his younger sibling.
I took a deep breath and answered truthfully
"No that's not true. While I don't have any responsibility for you after ten past three, I ALWAYS have control over you."
Don't even think about it, Sunshine!
He thought about that for a moment.
"Eh, Miss, what do you mean?"
His friend glanced up from behind the library where he was trying to retrieve his football boot from under the bookcase, and said
"She means, if you fall and break your leg after ten past three, it's nothing to do with her, but if you do something wrong, she'll still give you an eatin'!"
That child should go for a career in law........or politics.
"Oh, I see.  Bye Miss. See you tomorrow."

Monday, March 12, 2012

Dot, dot, dot


I have lost track of the number of times I have heard parents say
“Oh my child is a wizard on the computer.”
and when I delve further I discover that
“No, your child is not a computer genius. They can Google, use Facebook and download lots of illegal stuff……..but that’s about it.”

So in order to rectify this, my kids can now e-mail me some of their homework every evening. They have had to learn…..
i.e I have had to teach them
how to send an e-mail, add an attachment and to file their work into various folders.

Of course setting it up involved a lot more work than I had envisaged! The main concern for any teacher is that the process will be abused.  So when I broke it to them that their e-mail account was only for school work and both myself and their parents would have their password, there were cries of indignation from them.
“But Miss.  They are our accounts. No one else has the right to look at them!”
What? You’re twelve years old. Of course I can.

Soon we were all set up with special school accounts.  The pupils' passwords were based loosely on their dates of birth. My password on the other hand was completely random…..just in case I had a child hacker!

The other day I was explaining something to them on the Interactive whiteboard, that involved me logging into my account in full view of them all. When it came to typing in my password, it was just displayed as
●●●●●●●●●●●
on the screen.

One bright spark just had to comment
“Miss, if our passwords are based on our date of birth, you’ve got an AWFUL lot of dots!!!”

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Bless me Father, for I have sinned.......


I wonder what the steam was for? To replicate the fires of Hell?


I remember my First Confessions well!  It wasn't anything as dramatic as Frank O'Connor's, but it is still etched in my memory.
We had to walk in twos, out the school gate, cross the road and into the church.  We lined up in our seats and awaited our turn.  Of course we had been warned that if we as much as moved a muscle we were in  SERIOUS TROUBLE. I was terrified of
 a) doing something wrong
b) not remembering all my sins....hey, I had seven years of misspent youth to confess to
c) that damn dark and foreboding Confessional box.
We shuffled along the kneeler, each time the box opened my heart sank, as I knew I was one person nearer to going in.
It was my turn.
I closed the door behind me and was plunged into darkness. I could just about make out the outline of another kneeler in front of the little window.  But at seven years of age I was in a dilemma.
If I kneel, will I be too small to reach the window?  If I stand will I be too tall?  Do I have time to test it out?
I didn't.
The door was slammed open and I had to start.
"Bless me Father for I have sinned.  This is my First Confession..."
I launched into my sins
I was talking during Mass.
I was fighting with my brothers and sisters.
I said a bad word.
I didn't do what my Mammy told me.
The reason I remember them so well is that they are the exact same ones that I confessed every month for several years later.  I used to change the order as I thought the priest would remember them and give out to me for not having seen the error of my ways and cutting them out!

It's oh so different now....thank God!
Second Class got their First Confessions this week.  It's held in the evening and all parents and siblings attended to give moral support.  There are readings, prayers and songs followed by a cup of tea and a few ham sandwiches!  All a lot more child friendly.
The dreaded confessional box has been gotten rid of.  Instead the priest sits in a chair at the side of the altar and the child sits beside him to "tell the story of the time that they didn't show love."
Not a mention of the word SIN.
The kids were sitting in two rows waiting for their turn.  Soothing music was playing in the background to calm their nerves.
One of the little girls turned to the teacher, her eyes glowing with excitement, and whispered
"Miss, it's just like queuing up to see Santy!"

What a difference a couple of decades make!!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

And here is the vote from the Ukrainian jury.....


Every so often I take a look around my blog, especially at the statistics.  My favourite part is seeing where my "audience" comes from.  I can usually pinpoint who is reading from the countries named
Oh that must be Michelle and Val in Australia.
Ger is looking in from Malaysia.
Debbie and Diane are here from USA.

Then I get hits from places where I have no connections, which is always good. Recently I have been noticing a large amount of traffic from the Ukraine.  In fact I have had 279 hits in the past few months.  I know absolutely no one there.  So I'd just like to say
Hello to everyone in the Ukraine.  I have no idea how you found me, but I am glad you did! I would love if you would drop me a comment.

In fact, that includes everyone from anywhere else in the world!


Monday, March 5, 2012

Out of body experience

"It's a lovely sunny spring day. Hmm, what shall I do? Oh yes, go and look at an exhibition of dissected bodies.  What else!"
So myself and the Lynam clan headed off to the Ambassador Theatre in Dublin to suss them out.  It was a very interesting exhibition. It was laid out in segmented areas and each one held all the individual parts of our various systems - skeletal, digestive, respiratory, reproductive, cardiovascular. Once I got over the fact that they were from real bodies and not just plastic bits and bobs, I was fascinated by it all. There were experts in each section, ready to answer any of your questions.
After an hour or so we emerged out the far side. There was one question that I was dying to know the answer to, but was afraid to ask.

How the hell do all those bits fit into Victoria Beckham?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

My God has a sense of humour....


Much to the consternation of my family.....well actually just my mother, I have had issues with the Catholic Church for the past two years. Ever since the debaucle of the child abuse scandals, I have not attended mass. This is not a reflection on the two priests that I know personally,either due to my school life or the fact that I live in a small Irish village. In fact, they are both fabulous at their work/vocation. My gripe goes almost to the top
I'm taking it that God himself is at the very top!
 When the scandals broke the Vatican washed their hands of it and basically said
"Deal with it yourselves."
To me, this is no way for the leaders of any organisation to behave in times of crisis. So I kinda washed my hands of them.
Of course its very difficult to leave the church, especially after years of instruction/indoctrination/brain-washing.  So I found myself , this Lent, thinking that I really should be doing something extra.  So I decided that I would go to mass every Sunday, not in my parish church, but in the Camillian's monastery, in the church that Dad built.  So it was more to be closer to him than to the church.
The priest gave a great sermon. He was saying that just because it was Lent, we were not be be going around with a gloomy face. He said that the most important thing to have in life is a sense of humour, be it in the face of Lent or recession.
My sentiments exactly.
He went on to tell the following anecdote about Pope John Paul II and his compatriot, MotherTeresa.
It seems that Pope JP II canonized more saints in his papacy that all the previous popes
 PUT TOGETHER!
A young nun in Mother Theresa's convent was very eager and asked her
"Mother, what do I have to do to become a saint?"
Mother Theresa looked at her and with a twinkle in her eye, replied.
"I'd advise you to drop dead. The fella we have now is canonizing everyone!"
I do so hope that story is true because if it is, then it restores a little bit of my faith in the humanity of the church.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

If a picture paints a thousand words......

I wrote a blog about this painting in 2010.


One night in Turkey Emma and I went to Murat's Place as they were having a Turkish night. After a particularly energetic dance routine  which I was dragged into, I headed off to the Ladies to freshen up. I went down a corridor, rounded a corner and then I was stopped in my tracks....by a painting.  Suddenly I was five years old again and in my Granny Lynam's bedroom.
That's where I had originally seen this painting (okay, so it's not an actual painting but a copy). That made no difference, it was still my childhood favourite.Granny Lynam told me that it was Jesus as a child and he was practising to be a shepherd for when he grew up.
Years later after Granny and Grandad died the house was boarded up and the painting was lost.
Now forty years later I was looking at an identical painting hanging outside a loo in Turkey.
If my handbag had been bigger I'd have taken it down and spirited it home.

This story came up again around the dinner table on Christmas Day.  Aunt Peggy burst my bubble when she told me that it actually wasn't in Granny's house but rather in the neighbour's sitting room. Where ever it had been hanging, I still loved it.

Today I went up to my mum's as Auntie Peggy was visiting. She handed me a large cardboard cylinder containing a rolled up canvas.
What followed was a story of serendipity.

A lady that worked with Peggy was telling her that when she had lived in Spain many, many years ago, she had visited the Museo del Prado and bought several copies of famous paintings which she brought home and promptly demoted to her attic where she forgot all about them. Now she was clearing them out as she figured that when she died, someone was going to dump them all anyway! Peggy mentioned the fact that she had a niece ie ME! who was particularly found of a painting. She didn't know the name of it but described it.  The next day the lady arrived in WITH MY PAINTING....well, a copy of it!

So now I'm off to get it framed. I have visions of when I present it to the framer, bells will ring and the shutters will automatically come crashing down.
Later, I will send Auntie Peggy one of two possible postcards.

Possibility A
Dear Aunt Peggy,
You're not going to believe this. Remember the painting that you gave me? Well it wasn't actually a copy, it was the original.
Hence the reason I am sending you this postcard from my own personal island in The Seychelles.
Your loving niece,
Noeleen

Possibility B
Dear Aunt Peggy,
You're not going to believe this. Remember the painting that you gave me? Well it wasn't actually a copy, it was the original!
Hence the reason why I am sending this from Mountjoy Prison
Your loving niece,
Convict 25104