Saturday, December 26, 2009

Weird and Wonderful Happenings

I've been a right lazy beast of late in the old blogging department. Not long after my last post, we got some really bad news in work... basically we went bust with a little help from our good friends in a non-NAMA bank and all the hard work my bosses had put in over the past 15 years went up in smoke. It was a horrible few weeks and the end result was that all but 2 people lost their jobs. I was the lucky person to be kept on (there are some days though I wish they had let me go because disorganisation and lack of information seems to be the name of the game...) and it looks as if I'll be there for the foreseeable future which is a massive relief financially.
It is very disconcerting to show up every morning to an empty office and literally see nobody from 9am to 5pm except the post man. There used to be about 10 of us in the office every day and we were like a family (i.e. we bickered like kids but cross one of us & the rest of the gang would track you down and murder you!!!!). Now I just sit there, do what I can and talk to myself. Thank god for my media hard drive to pass the time. Trust me, I would much rather be busy and not notice the time pass, but needs must eh!
Christmas Day was rather fun this year - the Hubs was working at 7.30 this morning (yes, this is not a typo... muggins here was up at 6.30 to make sure he didn't oversleep) so it was a two part visit instead of staying at home. I spent Christmas Eve cooking like Gordon Ramsay... 6 hours solid and it was all done and packed, ready to be transported to the MIL's. We had lunch with her and Hubs' brother... it was actually great fun and as usual I cooked way too much food, so she'll have enough leftover to keep her going for weeks! Then we headed over to my parents for the annual quiz - which I won... yay! My nieces and nephew were running riot and demanding chocolate at 10pm - the demands fell on deaf ears and they were subsequently sent to bed.
Santa was very nice to me this year and brought me my Dior Escale de Pondicherry perfume - which I knew about - AND a Nintento Wii (which Santa wanted for himself). Then this morning, I bought myself a brand new shiny Sony Vaio laptop. I knew there was a reason I had been saving in the Credit Union! So now I can aimlessly surf d'internet downstairs but for some daft reason, I've no coverage in the sitting room... all suggestions to sort this would be most welcome.
Right, I can hear Chitty Chitty Bang Bang on the TV, so time to sign off and wish you all a very Happy Christmas

Sunday, October 18, 2009

It's A Day

It had to be a good omen - the sun was shining, the birds were singing and the clouds were at bay - I was off into town for the launch of the utterly fabilis book by Aisling McDermott - The Guide to Gorgeous. This book does exactly what it says on the cover - talking about the beaut, the whole beaut, and nothing but the!

Myself and The Hubs headed into town early so we could park the car & have a little wander before the midday launch and book signing (for which he was planning to skedaddle into Tower Records for some man time). Ooh, I do love the 3rd floor in BT's - homewares are loved almost as much as beauty products Chez Baba and a good candle-sniffing session was on the cards. Most of 'em were just rank. The funniest one was called "Log Fire" which spelled exactly like one of the cottages in Bunratty Folk Park - brought me right back to my Colaiste Bhride Rannafeirste gaeltacht experience. Eventually we made our way down via the posho ladies clothes - a sequinned geansai by Chloe for €350 - Hubs told me to buy two!!!

We got down to the ground floor and there was already a whole heap of people in a queue-like manner near the display, so I dispatched Hubs off to squander his cash on mental, sorry metal, music and I went down to where the action was. Most of the ladies queueing were relatively normal apart from two junion Foxrock Fannies behind me who, at the tender age of 15, were yah-ing about how OMG I just like totally need this Mulberry purse in purple. Drove me bonkers and I was itching to wire her braces to the nearest security tag just for the sheer fun of it. Finally, after trying and failing to ignore the pistachio macaroons from Laduree, Amy Huberman hopped up to enthuse about the book (god she's tiny and pretty... and I'm still not hatin' on her) and finally I got to buy the buke and rootle in the stuffed goody bag. Oh I only had a little glance inside as I love to wallow in the stash in the privacy of my own bedroom, showing The Hubs yet more goodies for me to play with. Aisling looked gorgeous - beootiful frock, flawless makeup and very very lovely in person.

I got to meet some of the other lovely bloggers - they are all gorgeous with perfect makeup and accessories - before I had to head off to see one of my nieces do a star turn as a mascot at the Bray Wanderers -v- Liverpool Legends match at the Carlisle Ground.

Now for a spot of ironing, otherwise I'll be going to work in my jammies tomorrow and I'm too posh to work that particular look!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

What A Hair-Brained Excuse...

I logged onto the Sunday Independent online this morning and one of the cover stories which caught my eye was this -

My oh my, that super-inflated ego on a midlife crisis bike Mr. David Marshall (hairdresser to the stars, dontcha know) is a right piece of work. He drank, got on his penis-replacement Harley and made the conscious and utterly moronic decision to drive home from the golf club and whinged bitterly about losing his licence and receiving a hefty fine.

To demonstrate the sheer arrogance of the man, read on...

"I was shocked that I was over the limit," he says now. "I said to the guard there was no way I could be over the limit."
But the hairdresser, who has cut the likes of
Bono's hair in the past, was convicted and banned for four years under the drink-driving laws.
"I had a few pints of Guinness after I played a round of golf at the Royal
Dublin," he says.
"I played a few games of snooker and I won at the snooker, and I normally wouldn't go to the bar," he says. "It was Christmas time, festive season, and I had two pints of Guinness and a glass of Guinness. What's the big deal?
"There's no justice in this land," he added. "No justice at all in Ireland. Where's the justice?

Justice eh. Not only did he lose his licence this week, but the overbearing prat already had a drink-driving conviction from the early 90's. How many convictions does this man, who clearly knows better than the rest of us, require before he realises that you just cannot drink and drive. I've no doubt that he had enough money to pay for a taxi, or even, heaven forbid, get public transport home.

He's a moron who got caught royally and has the cheek to bleat pitifully to a journalist about how everybody else was wrong, and sure there was no harm intended.

I wonder what he would be saying had he run over somebody and killed them as a result of his total disregard for the laws. Sure it would probably be all their fault for being on the road and not getting out of his drunken, weaving, incapable way.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Future's Bright, The Future's Orange...

And indeed it is. I met my next husband last weekend. At Croke Park to be precise. And I know I'm very happily married and he's utterly unobtainable, seeing as he's a quarter of Take That, but bloody hell, I have a serious girlie crush on the divine Mr. Orange. I was never a massive TT fan back in the day, seeing as I was spending most of my waking time in Club 92 & other assorted nightclubs chasing boys/men and the closest relationship I had to TT was throwing shapes around the dancefloor. Until last Saturday night.

I was on my sidekick, the trusty crutch, and accompanied by my two best girlie friends Marge & Monkers (don't worry, they know exactly who they are!) and we set off for Croke Park to lust at the altar of all things Boyband. The omens were good - we had a very very very cute taxi driver who was from Lyon - salut bebe - who got me as close to the Hogan Stand as possible without actually mowing down 110 Gardai who were all standing around looking useless & not directing traffic or anything remotely useful... I managed to eventually find the "medical lift" - best kept secret in Dublin but full of people who were perfectly able to manage the stairs unlike me, so I "had a word" and told them to bugger off & walk. The ladies manning the lift were in knots because they aren't allowed to tell them to bog off. I was in pain & dying for a wee, so I didn't really care. And if they started, I'd just crack the ankles off them with my trusty crutch. Eventually I scaled the heights to my seat in the nosebleed/oxygen mask area only to get a call from Monkers telling me to return to the bar as there was booze waiting for me. Hop, hop, hop to the bar I went for urgent refreshments. We made it back with seconds to spare and then the glory of Take That were revealed.

Actually it was a bloody good concert - fantastic stage show - but the highlight was the sheer glory of Mr. O and his 3 ugly sidekicks giving it socks on stage. I was in lust. Bigtime. I could barely look at the big screen because of the vision of beauty in front of my very own eyes. And the other two beside me were just as bad - I nearly had to send them to time out to calm down... then it was over & I had to hobble from Jones Road down to Marino Mart to get a taxi. The girls could barely keep up with me as my trusty crutch was giving me superpowers of moving through crowds. Shame it didn't last as I was a wreck by the time we got back home. Ah well, nothing that vodka & ibuprofen couldn't cure!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Guess Who???

Yep, me. I reckon I've just been a bit of a lazy bitch lately and have failed miserably in my blogging duties. A few things to mention - we headed off to Cork with the ladies choir on the May Bank Holiday Weekend, where we managed to WIN the National Premier Ladies competition. Much jubilation of menopausal women (eh, not me... some of us are still under 40 in the choir - but not all that many!!!) and we were on a serious high which still hasn't worn off - just like that feckin' Cantate Domino which was whirling around my head driving me bloody bonkers for a week afterwards!

Then we headed off to la belle France for our week's holiday. The place was gorgeous but the weather was sheer unadulterated shite. Not only did it rain, it thundered and we had mental winds to boot. Can highly recommend the resort though. If it was sunny, Tregastel would have been sheer heaven. The accom was great - a minute's stroll from the beach which had enough little restaurants & cafes to keep us occupied during our stay. Down of the holiday (apart from the weather) was my encounter with a metal barrier in a petrol station. My poor bumper took a hiding which hopefully won't cost the earth to fix. Diet went to shite as well - imagine living in France without bread - not a hope in hell of that happening, so I just went with the flow and enjoyed it.

The ferry on the way home was rank. The waves were mahoosive and it was so rough that even the hardened truckers took themselves off to lie down rather than sink umpteen pints in the bar. We had taken our trusty Nautamine (French version of Dramamine) as we always do, given my penchant to get seasick walking over a puddle. This time it was NO FUN AT ALL. Hubs was freaking out, I was snapping the nose off him for being a headwreck, while realising that the tablets weren't working & I was in danger of heaving ho myself! Another double dose of drugs soon got things under control and I lay flat in the cabin blissed out watching the Eurovision and snorting at Graham Norton's sarky commentary. Eventually made it home on Sunday lunchtime last week & I was still reeling from the boat - the house kept moving!
Work was mintal on the Monday - the girls were delighted to see me back as they were stuck doing some of my stuff (god love them...). Ended up getting food poisoning from a dodgy roll in one of the local petrol stations. I don't heave, but it was like a scene from The Exorcist that night. I didn't know which end was up - didn't really get shut of it until Friday.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

You've Been Angoosed

Many years ago, I made a promise to my metal-loving Hubs that if AC/DC ever played in Dublin that I would go with him to the concert. Naturally I thought this would never ever ever happen and that I was safe for all eternity. Wrong! They announced the Black Ice tour, including a date in the O2 and the excitement in our house was palpable. Actually AC/DC are the best of a hairy noisy bunch and to keep the lads happy, we actually had a metal half hour at our wedding - the photos of Hubs playing (very lame) air guitar are just hysterical and I have a faint memory of bouncing around the dancefloor to Since You've Been Gone by Journey which is one of my fave tracks.

Anyhoo, couldn't get O2 tix, even using the presale code and the poor man was heartbroken, so we decided to have a look at other venues. The only one that suited was Milan in March as it was a Saturday night show & feck-all time off work was required. So, many euros and a bit of careful planning later, we ended up in Milan last weekend. A nice half price deal gave us a very swanky Executive room in the Hilton and we were all set. There was one wee hiccup though. The final match of the Six Nations to be precise, which was kicking off at 18.30 and finishing at 20.15. The concert was starting at 20.00 in a place called Assago, 25 mins cab from the centre of Milan/any Irish bar/TV. Some serious googling produced a hotel beside the stadium who promised that we could watch the match in the bar... phew! So we landed at the hotel 2 mins before kickoff (10 minute taxi trip MY ARSE!) and ran into the bar... no TV. The barman claimed complete ignorance and I nearly cracked up. After some emergency negotiation in Engtalian, the TV appeared, the match was on and all was well with the world. The last 5 mins were just horrific - posh hotel bar, no other supporters so unable to do my usual howls of gentle encouragement at the telly. On an utter high, we strolled off to the temple of noise and it was the most disorganised concert I've ever been to in my life.

No signage, no stewards, free seating in a seated stadium and hordes of black clad teenagers wearing flashing AC/DC devil horns. I stuck out like a sore thumb - makeup, clean hair, jewellery and a handbag will do that for you!!! Eventually we got seats up high at the side of the stage and had a great time - the big screen was right beside us and the bar selling beer was a 5 second walk away... what's not to love? Oh, Angus Young doing a strip... never to be witnessed on a full stomach. I've seen more meat on a chicken bone. Some men definitely look better with their clothes on, and he is no exception. The concert was absolutely brilliant and I knew 90% of the songs, which was an added bonus.

Getting back to the hotel was a right bit of craic - there was meant to be a shuttle bus to the nearest Metro station... the invisible bus! Shiteloads of people all trying to get taxis, of which there were feck all. Eventually started walking down the dual carriageway towards the city - gang of big Canadian lads in front of me with the same aim. I spotted a light in the distance, legged it in front of them & flagged down the cab. They were not best pleased but I pointed out that I was a girl, it was freezing & I was liable to snot all over them if they didn't let me take it. Small scary Irish girl -v- 4 very tall lads... I win, every time. Hubs did his usual "don't know her, never seen her before" act and kept quiet. RESULT!!!

Milan was lovely, but very very expensive - and comign from Dublin, I'm well used to paying over the odds for everything - €8 for a beer! That Hilton upgrade came in very handy as we got lounge access which meant free booze after 6pm. They don't expect you to have more than 1 or 2 drinks, but hell we're Irish and we were celebrating. Based on the bar prices, we managed to sink about €150 worth of free booze & food - and I was fresh as a daisy the next morning. Lovely.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Crying Gets You Everywhere...

Crying. So many songs have been written about it, be it Big Girls Don't Cry or I'll Do My Crying in the Rain. Today the theme was "Don't Cry For Me, UAE Embassy". I had to go to London this morning to get some work documents stamped by the aforesaid Embassy and had done all my research to make sure there would be no hiccups as I landed at 09.25 and had to fly home at 17.00 - a whistle stop trip if ever there was one.

I planed, trained and taxied to the Embassy with my parcel of documents and trusty bank draft to cover the ridiculously high fees they were charging and went it. So far, so good. Until the nice man behind the counter told me that the draft was £40 too much. What's the problem sez I? We can't take it, sez he, toddle off back to Dublin and get a new one like a good girl. Eh, I don't think so pet. I've got to have these blasted papers sent off by Fedex this afternoon and no excuses or I'll be in for a right tongue-lashing when I get back to the office.
I begged, I pleaded, I tried to reason with them, but the Embassy was not for turning.

Eventually I went for the last resort - floods of sobbing, mascara running, pink-eyed tears and not just for effect, these yokes had to be sorted or I was in line for a P45. Them some auld cow (to quote Mammy Dearest) presented her big ugly jobsworth mug at the desk and hissed at me that she could not alter the procedure and that was that. Her accounts were so precious that they couldn't cope with an overpayment as it would send the whole house of cards tumbling down. Bitch. After a few minutes, one of the nice ladies slipped me a post-it with an address - the main Embassy around the corner and told me to get over there. So I trudged up the street, another Kleenex clutched in my hand and snotting for Ireland and rang the bell. God love the poor man who got to talk to me because I was incoherent. A few minutes passed and I hiccuped out my sorry tale - he told me to have a nice sit down and leave it with him. The receptionist, god love her, kept coming over to me with tissues - I was half expecting a Mammy hug, she was so sympathetic. So I sat, and I calmed down enough to stick the tissues back in my bag... then I realised I'd no makeup with me to repair the flood damage! The nice man came back to me, told me Jim (aka him) had fixed it and to go back to the Auld Cow who promised to play nice this time.

So, back to the other office, where the nice people were still lovely and the Auld Cow was nowhere to be seen. I was told to return at 2.30 and they'd have everything ready for me. There was nothing to be done but take a walk down to Harrods to persuade a nice makeup lady to repaint my ravaged face. Big love to Leah at the Bobbi Brown counter who put a hex on the Auld Cow for me and turned me back into a human. After all that drama, I richly deserved the glass of wine with my lunch!!!

On the way home from the airport, I called into see Little Sis and Lulu who I hadn't visited in ages. Lulu was transfixed when I explained where I was today - she kept repeating it to her Mum - Mammy, Auntie Peefa was in a car, on a plane, on a train, in a taxi, in more taxis, on a train, on a plane and then in her car to see me!!! Funny how it's all about you when you're nearly 4

Friday, February 13, 2009

My Funny Valentine

Valentines Day in our house is always a bit unfocused on "us", mainly because my Mammy and Hub's Mammy both celebrate their birthdays on 14th February. Also, Hubs tends to be working on any night that Feb 14th falls, so I'm used to the "reduced" bunch of gorgeous M&S flowers that he brings home a day or two after the event. In fact, I much prefer them as florists etc. really know how to take the piss the second week of Feb - €100 for a bunch of roses that will be dead in 10 days? I think not. And anyway. we're married so it technically we shouldn't care.

My latest "pov shop tip" is to buy your flowers in Aldi. A paltry €4 secured me two bunches (5 stems) of lilies which are only opening up 5 days after purchase. The smell in my kitchen is feckin' gorgeous and there's at least another week of life in these babies. That's how you should save the economy while not compromising on the nice things in life!

Speaking of economy, we had an early Valentines night this evening - tomorrow will be full of goons, gimps and mouth breathers availing of the "special menu for two with a bottle of house wine and a rose for the lady". The very phrase makes me do a little sick in my mouth... how would they cope with a male couple for their dining experience - who gets the rose??? We walked down to the local Chinese for some nice (but overpriced as there's no early bird on a Friday) menu and then over to the newest pub in the town for a few drinks. Sadly, there was no cocktail list for me to work my way through, but I did have fun explaining Britvic 55 to the Ukrainian bar staff!!!!

Tomorrow night will comprise a feast of culinary excellence including bruschetta, lots of home-cooked striploin and an EU mountain of chocolate desserts, supplemented by enough alcohol of the fizzy kind to give you a raging hangover.

Happy birthday Mum!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Giddy Up!

I've been keeping a low profile of late - work has been mad busy and I've been a little bit sick, so wasn't really in the humour to do extra-curricular typing or thinking!!! Hopefully everything has settled down now so I'll have a little bit more time to pootle around doing very little... seeing as it's close to midday & I'm still in my jammies and just finished my breakfast, I might be on the right road.

Ended up in Caredoc last weekend and in this era of cutting back and taking a pay hit, the good people in Caredoc have raised their prices by 20%! Mind you, it's sometimes worth the hit to be seen by appointment and relatively on time, unlike my local GP where I've had to wait up to 90 minutes. The day after I went to the doc, my shoulder went (long-term problem) so I was rattling with drugs... enough whinging already!

I was at the races on Thursday - work sponsors an event every year & this was our final year, and indeed, the best. Everybody has a ball - they are ferried to & from the racecourse by coach, they have a gorgeous meal, loads of booze and spend/lost a few bob on the horsies. Except for me. I stand at the desk with a list in my hand and a lot of swearwords in my head for all the ignorant gits who fail to show and don't have the manners to tell me, miss the lovely dinner because I'm running around like a headless chicken trying to stop gatecrashers into the room and make sure everybody else is happy. It's the best workout I know - the room is on the 2nd floor and the lift is never there when you want it, so I reckon I do about 6 step aerobics classes during the course of the day. My poor legs are still in bits!

To make it worse, I had 4 great tips which would have brought me over €150 in winnings, but was too busy to get near to the tote or a bookies... grrr! On the upside though, I did get to present the winners trophy which was an utterly unexpected treat. My male colleagues (who have a death wish) were overheard commenting on the collection of big jugs on the platform and duly received a few well-placed slaps to the back of the head for their cheek. And because I was sober, I clattered them again yesterday when their poor wee heads were a touch delicate!
Right-ho, time to get dressed and venture out into the daylight

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

There Was A Young Man Called Manuel...

The freaks who we met last weekend... but even scarier!

There Was A Young Man Called Manuel

Whose customers regularly gave him hell,

But when asked for advice,

Didn't think twice

So now I think he's really rather swell!

That, ladies and gents is my ode to the wonderful Manuel who came to our aid last week when we were looking for somewhere nice to eat in Belfast. He recommended a restaurant called The Ginger Bistro on Hope Street, just a wee stagger in new shoes from the Europa where we had ensconced ourselves for the night. The food was absolutely gorgeous, the wine flowed freely and my god we were highly entertained by a table of our fellow diners, two of whom we immediately christened Lou and Andy due to their shocking resemblance to the boys above. The fat lad came in first, an XXXXXXXL beige polo shirt beaten onto him like spray on spandex - he had multiple moobs and more spare tyres than Quikfit - and a pair of denims with no belt. Yes, I almost did a little sick in my mouth and Hubs nearly got whiplash from trying to take a sneaky look at him. 10 minutes later, in strolled the other half of this freakyshow... a short-sleeved lemon shirt with epaulettes, pocket for the biro, grey Farah slacks, Deirdre Barlow specs (he really should have gone to SpecSavers), complete with beard & bald spot. It was quite the table of horrors - they all were either (a) teachers, (b) social workers or (c) civil servants. And that is why I always sit facing the room... it's how you get to see all the fun stuff!

Freaky diners aside, we had a great weekend in Belfast. The Europa has been done up since I was last there (on my hen... I kept having flashbacks and some of them were none too pretty!) and is all glossy and lovely apart from the shitehole that is the Lobby Bar. God it's the most depressing tip ever and one drink was plenty. The room was lovely, with one of the comfiest ever hotel beds we've stayed in - shame I couldn't fit it in my handbag - and great views. We dumped the bags and went for a wander around town. There was a ferris wheel in the grounds of City Hall so we had to take a trip, seeing as we got engaged on top of a ferris wheel in Paris. It was great fun altogether and well worth Hubs' money! We managed quite a bit of retail therapy for a hell of a lot less than at home... always fulfilling.

Funniest thing ever was seeing a 24 hour Tesco that only opens from 1pm on Sundays - what is it with Norn Iron and their allergy to working on the Sabbath? Although, it's probably a good idea because I was on a spendy roll and would have probably squandered the mortgage in the process!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Another Year Over...

As I write this with last night's makeup still on and wearing my faithful purple dressing gown (lucky I'm not single...), I'm thinking about the year that's just gone and what lies ahead. I believe that everything happens for a reason so there's no point in dwelling over crappy things and to be honest, nothing too bad happened in 2008 - everybody I love is still around so that's the main thing. Work has changed, perhaps necessarily, but not for the better - some of our "family" are no longer with us, and the transition period has been difficult to put it mildly. Little Sis got a DIY Voodoo Doll for Christmas and I was so tempted to nick it and make a revolving head with various people who I could stab in the eye with paperclips!

What I would like for 2009 is to get my poor battered body well again which will save me a fortune in chiro appointments (that man should be a millionaire given the amount I've forked out in treatments over the past 18 months!!!) and be secure job-wise... or failing that, win the Lotto and walk away - as if!

Poor Hubs has been working all through Christmas so we're heading off to Belfast, home of the legendary Manuel for a night away. Dinner has been booked, a nice hotel room awaits, and my Christmas money is burning a large hole in my pocket... so I can't wait.