Wednesday, December 28, 2011


And Christmas is over.
Until next year when we do it all again.
Why is that every year I end up doing my shopping on Christmas eve?
I can't seem to face the crowds and the mania until my back is truly and firmly up against that wall.

The kids were happy with their gifts and seemed very contented - bickering at an all time low!
Hubster was pleased with his gift too.
All good no?

No actually.

Got the dinner cooked and nobody was poisoned by the 'frozen' turkey which refused to cook through in the allotted time.
I took it out the day before and left it in the kitchen to defrost.
I expected one day (24 hours ) to be enough ........
however when I went to carve up it was raw so
We had everything else instead.
and a few slices off the outside of the bird where it was cooked perfectly.
So I re-wrapped her in her magic cooking bag and banged her back in the oven for another hour and she was cooked fine .
Only now everyone was stuffed to the gills
What am I going to do with 4 lbs of turkey?
Cold cuts to the visitors and spaghetti with meatballs for lunch yesterday and its gone!
just like that.
It was an uneventful Christmas
and that's how I like it.
Hope yours was deadly boring too.
Without drama.
We don't need drama.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The 'flu laid me low

And because of it I want to cancel Christmas.
I haven't gone shopping, I haven't sent cards and I have no appetite so Christmas dinner is looking dodgy at best.

In an attempt to get the old creative juices flowing I did a bit of surfing and came accross this article in 'Galley Cat' from 2009. So its 2 years old but I thought relevant.
The article that lead me to this one was a Bloomberg one called 'getting dirty in dutch'and was about the rise of Amish Romance fiction
While the article is judgemental and condesending (I kind of expected that) what I didn't expect was the analysis of each genre and how the interests (quilting and knitting ) contributed to the way the books were categorised.
What ever happened to saying 'I enjoyed that. It was a good story with characters I cared about'

10 Most Popular Professions for Romance Novel Heroes
In the upcoming book A Billion Wicked Thoughts, neuroscientists Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam studied thousands of romance novels looking for clues about social expectations.
After analyzing 15,000 Harlequin books, they came up with the most popular professions for heroes in romance novels. The complete list follows below–

what do you think?
1. Doctor
2. Cowboy
3. Boss
4. Prince
5. Rancher
6. Knight
7. Surgeon
8. King
9. Bodyguard
10. Sheriff

I think I like the idea of a doctor cowboy who is the boss on the ranch!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Warring Women

Immediately Lilah shuffled in from the cold she knew something was up. As she waited for her glasses to clear from the instant blindness that plagued her whenever she stepped into a warm pub from the icy outdoors she was deafened by the silence. Tom, the owner, was in his usual spot behind the Guinness pumps and Jane his cheery plump wife was not looking cheery at all.
Everyone was staring at Mary Crowley: the bus driver’s wife. She was standing statue-still at the mouth of the snug. An empty glass in her right hand. Ann Kelly was facing her. The front of her sheer cotton blouse shining and slick and see through where Mary Crowley’s Gin and Tonic had connected.
The citizens of the Happy Shamrock were staring, waiting. Ann Kelly picked up a half pint of Guinness and emptied it over Mary Crowley’s head smacking her on the forehead at the same time. Tom made as if to launch his lanky frame from behind the bar. The glass didn’t break until it slipped from Ann’s hand and smashed on the cold granite tiles. The sound of the glass against the floor acted like the starter pistol at the local point to point.
Ann Kelly launched herself at Mary Crowley, Marys large girth and short body made her a difficult target, Ann’s tall frame and translucent blouse were no match. Mary buried her head in Ann’s stomach and drove her back into the snug upturning two small tables and landing her onto the couches. Tom grabbed Mary from behind and started to pull her back. No mean feat, his arms are long but she has a strong attachment to the ground. ‘Stay outta this Tom’ Mary bellowed at him. ‘It’s got nothing to do with you’. ‘It’s my pub Mary, when you’re on my turf it is my business’ Tom panted onto the top of her head. ‘I don’t want to have to bar you. Now go on home and cool off’. Ann started laughing from her couch. ‘you’d never manage to bar her on your own Tom, there’s not enough of you.’
The whole pub started sniggering like schoolboys smoking in the bike shed. Lilah felt her face burn, her mother and her aunt at it again. Getting drunk and making a show of themselves. She wasn’t in school anymore but she could hear the taunts of the other children ‘ your mammy’s a drunk, she’s a slut, she can’t hold her drink’ they were right. Almost. Ann Kelly only ever got drunk when she went drinking with her sister – in – law Mary Crowley and they always ended up fighting – they were married to two brothers and were the best of friends most of the time. Ann always ended up with drink down her front. ‘That was the best part of the show, seeing Ann Kelly’s underwear’ Lilah had heard an old man at the bar smirk to his drinking buddy.
Tom was still trying to move Mary out of the snug area ‘your Geoff wouldn’t want to hear you two’d been at it again Mary’ he reasoned ‘go on home and sleep it off’.
Ann hopped up from her position on the couch ‘no way are you sending her home, she’ll get an earful from Geoff. Let her go Tom or I swear I’ll swing for you’
Tom took her at her word and suddenly released his grip on Mary who tumbled forward two or three steps promptly fell on to Ann and the two of them ended up on top of the couch like lovers.
A roar went up from the bar and the men began to clap. Lilah was so embarrassed she thought of turning around and sneaking out the door but it was too late. Jane was beckoning her over to the bar ‘Lilah love can you not get your Mum to go home with you? She’s had a skin-ful and that was before she got here at all.’ Tom stood beside her at the bar his face like an undertakers. ‘They must have been hitting the shorts pretty hard at the hotel after Eamons funeral. He was only a neighbour what would they be like if he was a close relative I’d like to know.’ Jane nodded her head towards the snug that was Lilahs queue to go and intervene. She’s been doing this since she was ten years old and it never got any easier.
She looked at her mother in disgust. Her short black curls were plastered to her skin by a slick of sweat. There was a dark stain across her breasts where the Guinness had hit her top. And there was a smell of sweat from her clothes. ‘Lilah my darling girl. Will you have a drink with us?’
‘Dad sent me, he wants you to come home now, its late.’
‘ah your father is such a fuss pot. The night is young’
‘She’s like her father and her uncle’ Ann Kelly started ‘too uptight to know how to have a good time’
Mary Crowley was having none of it ‘What do you know about having a good time? You’re so uptight your idea of having a good time is to sit at home knitting and drinking tea’
A ‘you’re idea of a good time is to sit on the toilet waiting to pee’
M ‘You’re idea of a wild time is to pee on the seat’
A ‘You’re idea of a crazy time is to pee standing up like a boy’
M ‘You’re idea of a crazy time is to take a dump in the corner of my kitchen’
A ‘That wasn’t me’
M ‘On no, well prove it’
A ‘How can I prove it? That was months ago’.
M ‘Did you DNA test it? Did you keep samples for analysis? Hah thought not.’
A ‘I know it was you’
M ‘No it wasn’t’
A ‘Yes it was’
M ‘Shut up’
A ‘No you shut up’
M ‘Get out’
A ‘You get out’
M ‘This isn’t your house its a public place I can stay if I want to’
A ‘I said get out’
M ‘Make me’
Ann stood up but Mary was too quick for her. She lunged for Ann grabbing her blouse and pulling her across the bar tearing the flimsy fabric as she went
Ann trotted after her grinning like a lunatic
Lilah followed the circus that was her family, cheeks burning, head hanging.
‘See told you we’d get to see more of Ann Kelly’s underwear’ the old smirker by the bar said.
Lilah emptied the last of his drink over his head. Maybe she was more like her mother than she liked to think.

Clawing Back Time.

Sorry for not blogging on Friday last. It was a bit hectic getting both kids to the dentist, meeting Hubster after for some junk food and then shopping for a kindle with boy child. Needles to say it was very late when we got home and we were barely in the door when the Late Late Toy show started.
I know girl child and boy child are a little old for it all but they still get all excited about the prospect of watching it with us and maybe spotting the one good item which will really make Christmas this year (and give me a head ache cause its only sold in Dublin in a shop that is only open from noon til three and won’t accept any cards just cold hard cash but that’s another story).
So apologies but blogging was not on the list of things to do.

While I was at the dentist I was leafing through a magazine and an article caught my eye. Really the gist of it was how to get everything done that needs to be done in the day. Simple enough theory but how to go about putting it into practice is the thorny question. Basically what this author was saying is there are ways to shave time off and stack it up for when you want to do something (in my case write a best seller and retire on the profits).

No 1) you want a tidy house? Pick up after yourself. Sounds easy enough but it means you don’t have to make special trips around the kitchen putting things away after yourself. If you do this then you can (bully) cajole the kids (and Hubster?) into doing the same. Simple isn’t it?

No 2) be organised. Have clothes laid out the night before. Heard that a million times already, do I do it? No. Will I do it from now on? Well I’m willing to give it a go. Always have enough fuel in the car to get to work and back. No last minute trips to fill up (often very busy in the morning with long queues here)

No 3) Cook the same dinners. Yuk. Not every day, have a rotation of meals you can do in your sleep. There are 2 spin off advantages of this 1 shopping is very easy and 2 your budget doesn’t sky rocket because you decided to do lobster this Wednesday. Your rotation can be for 2 or 3 weeks and only counts for work days – non work days you can knock your self out.

No 4) When you are doing some mundane task like cleaning the grout give it a time limit. Bathroom clean 25 minutes, can’t be done? Well do as much as you can and then Gasp! Horror! leave it. The world won’t end and it still looks better than when you started. Can’t resist just finishing off this corner? You’ll end up spending another 25 minutes at that and that’s your Saturday morning gone down the drain. Literally. To cure you of not sticking to your time table you must arrange to meet your friend for coffee. This has a twofold advantage, it gets you out of the house and away from the bathroom and it gets in the way of her finishing her housework and having a gleaming house for your mother to berate you over once again!

Now that you have clawed back all that time from housework and the kids and the telly and anything else that steals your time you will have loads of time to spend on plot, dialogue, character development. . .
Won’t you?