Friday, 28 September 2007

Our son the bulldozer

Yesterday evening we were picking up Sir Sprout from the creche. We tend to do it every night as they get unexplainably cross if they have to keep him for night.

We peeled main layers of muck off two children remaining there to identify our son. I usually try to dress him in blindingly bright colours to fasten up the identification process.

He was in good form, busily trashing a toy tractor and shouting piercing "Hiya!-s". Through some difficulties we squeezed him into his fleece and stuck the hat on top.

As we were heading towards the door one of the teachers came over to bid him a proper goodbye. With tickles and hug and all.

"We call him Bull McCabe!" she said affectionately.

Seeing our puzzled faces she rushed to explain.

"Oh but it's a compliment. You see, Sir Sprout Foreigner does not stop for anything, neither does he go AROUND things. He goes over or through!"

We stared for a moment at our beaming boy who had used our moment of distraction and was trying to pull down a cardboard lantern hanging from the ceiling.

Then we said our polite goodbyes as Sir Sprout was blowing kisses and made an escape.

Once outside I stopped for a moment.

"Do you realize that he's gonna grow up to be quite a rogue?" I asked The Ultimate Other Half who was heading towards the car, Sir Sprout propped up onto his shoulder.

"Yes of course," he said happily.


This morning I shared the story with The Sarcastic Colleague.

He sniggered a little.

"Well he's definitely getting that from his father!" he stated.

I must have looked a bit baffled.

"I've played soccer with him," he elaborated.

Oh. I see.

Thursday, 27 September 2007

Twilight zone that is our house

Our household is not the most tidy and organized one by long run. In fact things have been known to mysteriously disappear and then just as mysteriously reappear couple of years later.

I am still looking for:
1) Waffle/toasted sandwich maker
2) Peeling knife
3) Around 300 single socks as my washing machine is located on top of sock consuming Black Hole
4) numerous other household items which I currently can't think of. Cause I've become kinda blasè on the subject.

Yesterday evening The Ultimate Other Half came upstairs to find me trying to read a book in the bed on my belly, duvet pulled up to my ears.

"Do you think I should take out the winter duvet?" he asked carefully.

I agreed that it might be a good idea.

"Where is it?" he queried.

"Ehmmm... Might be in the press next to stairs or in the junk room," I guessed.

You can see where it's going, can't you?!

The duvet wasn't in the press next to stairs or in the junk room. Neither was it in the guest room. Or in any of the wardrobes. Or anywhere at all.

It had just vanished.

Now let me tell you - it's one thing to lose a waffle maker or a peeling knife. No art to it really.

But a huge king sized feather filled duvet - that takes some skill!

Somehow we didn't feel too proud, just increasingly cold. Two old tired double duvets were dragged out from obscurity and spread on the bed.

Next twenty minutes were spent discussing who exactly had lost the duvet. The Ultimate Other Half kept insisting it wasn't him which didn't do much for his popularity levels. If it goes on like that he'll be watching rugby at home on Sunday, I'm telling you! On the SMALL TV!!!

Eventually I was able to move my toes again.

"It's getting kinda too hot with two duvets," I complained.

The Ultimate Other Half thought about it for a moment.

"You realize of course that when we throw it off the bed now we'll probably never see it again," he said.

The duvet stayed on the bed.

Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Men in doghouse - 2

I thought it was bad enough that Sir Sprout, the fruit of my own loins, treacherously let us sleep in this morning.

Boy was I wrong.

After having Quite A Day at work I noticed that The Ultimate Other Half had posted something in his blog. So over I wandered, for a relaxing moment, like.

He has spent his day ogling at SLIM orange women in bikinis!

Have I ever mentioned I could easily model for Michelin ads? No costumes needed or anything, quite a saving they would make.

Them wee white bikinis would probably serve me as wrist bands at best.

Although I'm quite lost at why on Earth would I (or anybody) need a wrist band.

I wonder what will Mutt The Mad come up with. Move out and marry a Chihuahua?

Kids nowadays

There was a time (long-long ago in galaxy far away) when we used to have alarm clock set for every morning. It would go off and we'd be happily ignoring said alarm for half an hour or more and then beat all the records in speed-showering, jump into first available clothes and usually make it to the work in time.

Things were good back then.

The arrival of Sir Sprout shook our routine somewhat to put it mildly.

I'm not even going into first months of staggering out of the bed every 2 hours for performing necessary nutritional/sanitary procedures.

Eventually the sleeping patterns settled and some nights we might even get about 4 hours of uninterrupted sleep. We were delighted. Well, at least we ceased to be desperate.

It was around that time we did away with an alarm clock. We never heard it any more anyway and there were two options:
a) it woke up Sir Sprout who quite understandably became severely indignant thus ensuring we sprang out from bed like couple of jacks-in-the-box.
b) Sir Sprout was already awake, usually in process of consuming scary amounts of milk or getting dressed (not his favorite pass-time, let me assure you), alarm clock being just added annoyance to yawning parents.

Last months haven't been too bad. Sir Sprout wakes up between 6.30 - 7.30 proceeding to shaking the sides of his cot and shouting from top of his lungs. He's trying to get Mutt The Mads attention, you see (on Sir Sprouts popularity charts we are WAY below Mutt The Mad).

Mutt The Mad ignores him blatantly. We try as well but eventually it gets really stuffy under the pillow. Sir Sprout is removed from the cot, scrubbed up, fed, dressed. Then we banish him onto bedroom floor where he gobbles some fruit, throws around toys and harasses Mutt The Mad while his parents are enjoying some tea and coffee in the bed.

We have it all worked out. To the T.

Actually - we thought we did.

This morning I woke up to the sound of Sir Sprout disassembling his cot as usual. Only it was a bit lighter outside than it should have been so I took quick glance at the clock.

8 freakin 44!!!!

You can't even trust your own child nowadays!

Tuesday, 25 September 2007

Why I haven't got anything done this morning

Because I went to check out The Ultimate Other Halfs blog and naively clicked on the link he had submitted.

I am a doomed woman.

Can you call in sick while ALREADY at work?

Monday, 24 September 2007

Not just any reason to celebrate

So I'm here trying to figure out why I can't reach anybody in Taipei office today (I know it sounds all worky-worky & boooring but just bear with me) when I have The First Bright Moment Of The Day and make my way to the company intranet to check out the holidays around the world from the World Calendar.

And there it is - obviously they're celebrating The Festival of Autumn Moon in Taipei today.

Awwww it sounds so poetic, I think while casually scrolling down the list past Al Israa Wal Mairaj, Eid Al Fitr and Sultan Selangor Birthday.

Suddenly my finger freezes on November 20th.

It says: Celebration of Black Conscience, Brazil.

Lucky buggers, I think, not only do they not have to worry about their wicked little ways, they actually get a day off to celebrate it!

I announce my find to the colleagues.

"You're joking," states my Gentle Boss knowingly.

"Nah, this can't be right," argues The Pedantic Colleague. "You must be misreading something."

I summon them to my monitor and point onto the screen.

There it is, black on white: November 20th, Celebration of Black Conscience, Brazil.

The Gentle Boss disappears in fits of laughter to have a calming fag.

The Pedantic Colleague dives furiously into the depths of Wikipedia.

Couple of minutes later he comes up with this.

Black Consciousness Day it is so. Gotta admit it makes more sense.

Still - bummer!

It's Monday

Why? Why? WHY?

I mean - it wasn't the greatest of weekends but it was still a weekend and it's just not fair it has to be followed by a major downer called Monday.

I'm at my bitchy best today.

So far:
Heads bitten off - 3.5. Felt a bit sorry for last one as he really can't help he's intellectually challenged.
Cups of coffee consumed - 3. Usually have just one. I'm sensible like that.
Threats to send me home received - 2. Doing a bit poorly there. But the day is young.
Laptops dropped - 1. The most annoying bit being that the bloody thing is still working.
Beds yearned for - just 1. But on continuous basis.

Friday, 21 September 2007

Main issues within Irish rugby team - the reasons for poor performance

Sharing some spam here:

"Drico found Shaggy in bed with Darcy, he's not talking to either of them now, says he won't pass to Darcy, hence all the skip passes going astray.

In the A v B match Murphy scored 15 try's and a drop goal from the dead ball line at the opposite end of the pitch

Rows over the food, Munster lads prefer their meat raw, Leinster lads want it medium rare served on a bed of sun-dried spinach with a drizzle of basil and a hint of rosemary.

Drico picks the team and then makes all the lads guess who is playing through a game of charades, ROG wasn't happy that Drico made w@nker gestures when asked who was out half, big row followed.

John Hayes has leprosy and his head came off in training the other day.

Northern contingent won't play unless God Save the Queen is played before match.

Quinlan and Hickie not talking, Hickie's wife is Quinlan's mothers, aunts neighbours dogs cousin twice removed, causing tension.

Darcy playing bad because his head is wrecked from Su Doku, EOS has banned it from dressing room.

Stringer was dropped because EOS found out he was a Hobbit."

In the spirit of rugby - 1:0 to French

For those not in know - the Rugby World Cup is on. France & Ireland will be meeting tonight.

The only reason I happen to be informed is because The Ultimate Other Half has been soaking my shoulder with bitter tears for a week.

Ireland has been performing poorly, you see. Appearantly. It's a bit confusing since so far they've been winning all the games in their group.

But the country is just a step away from national mourning. I'm trying hard to symphatize, I really am.

Best I can usually come up with is something in lines of "Nah, they're gonna get whacked tonight".

"If you won't shut up I'll send you home," says my boss gloomily.

Now there's an incentive to keep talking!

The French Colleague sent an email to the whole group:
"Bonjour a tous,
As the hosting nation for the rugby world cup I have brought in a few croissant
and pains au chocolat to give you an avant-taste of what is coming and put in the swing of things…
Bring your cup of coffee
along the bakery stand (Absent Ladys desk).
Bonne Journee et bonne

The French Colleague
PS: How about some baguette for lunch…"

The cheek of him!

Gonna go and grab some coffee now.

1:0 to The Ultimate Other Half

"I remembered to buy you your yogurts yesterday so you can't say I'm a totally shite wife!"

"Excuse me! I have NEVER said you're a shite wife."

"But you have thought it!"

"So now you're a mind reader as well!"

"Sure am! You look at me and think "She's an utterly shite wife". There's no deceiving me!"

"No, I look at you and think - she's an utterly shite mind reader!"

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Why I should never open my mouth

I throw a magazine onto the bed and it hits The Ultimate Other Halfs knee.



"It hurts!"

"You're a sissy ... you're a GIRL!"



Fancy Neighbouress and I are lounging in her sitting room discussing the size of the head of The Limbo Baby, her son.

"... and the doctor says it's definitely on the big side according to them charts so he'll send us to the pediatrician."

"Nah, I wouldn't worry, he'll grow into his head eventually. It's probably just hereditary, sure you have a big head as well!"


Fancy Neighbouress presents me with a low cut tunic in crowded Dunnes Stores.

"That colour would look lovely on you!"

"Are you mad?" I announce with an optimistic air of DJ who's microphone has just stopped working. "My tits would constantly be hangin out of that thing!"

Fancy Neighbouress goes slightly pale and looks nervously around.

"What? What did I say?" I demand.

"MEN say TITS," she hisses. "Girls say BOOBS!"

Wednesday, 19 September 2007

Explosive stuff

There must be some truth in blond jokes.

Lets talk about weather

It seems that whoever I run into this morning kicks off the conversation with complaints about the weather. Main points brought to my attention so far are:
a) it's cold
b) it's windy
c) the summer is over.

None of which comes as a surprise to me. In fact I noticed it yesterday when I had to insist that we need to put the heating on for an hour or so.

The Ultimate Other Half noticed the change in climate when I was attempting to thaw my toes by placing them strategically in close vicinity of his calves under the duvet.

Mutt The Mad got the picture when his pooch-esteem was once again injured by a dressing gown. It's to stop him drying himself on couches and carpet, honestly. AND we think it's dead funny.

Sir Sprout couldn't care less. He was wrapped into snuggly pyjamas and cozy sleeping bag, snoozing away in his cot.

But I love autumn. So I considered it my duty to explain people that I adore the wind, the cold, the rain, sudden crispness of air and long dark evenings. They edged themselves towards the door with a heavy touch of "get away from the freaky woman before she attacks me with a stapler" in their eyes.

Autumn is also one time I get really nostalgic. I miss the colours and fresh feeling of the season back in Home Ground. I miss the crunch of leaves under my feet while wandering in my favorite parks. I even miss the long wet and very-very dark late autumn.

Most of all I miss my friends.

The colours of autumn in Estonia

Tuesday, 18 September 2007

There's no business like show business..

If I was a man I'd be wincing big time looking at that photo.
It's Russia, you see. ANYTHING is possible there.

Alice In Wonderland seems tame in comparison. Really.

How to annoy fellow drivers - tips for L plate holders

1) Insist on waiting until the road is COMPLETELY clear before making a turn. By that I mean no cars in sight at all. Works especially well on busy junctions at rush hour.

2) Following tip only works if you have any other cars behind you. It goes like that: drive with normal sensible speed. Wait until you reach continuous white line "no overtaking" zone. Slow down drastically. Speed up as soon as continuous white line stops. Repeat. Soaring blood pressures behind you guaranteed.

3) Keep gently touching the break while casually driving along. Your blinking break lights will get drivers behind you mighty nervous.

4) Drive twice around every single roundabout before taking desired exit. Puzzling about your actions will keep other drivers alert and interested. To make things a bit more exciting you could also do it in outside lane.

Any additional ideas welcome.
Oh, and just for your information: you don't need to be L plate holder to annoy the crap out of the rest of humanity.

Monday, 17 September 2007


Sir Sprout has become obsessed with a staircase.

Maybe I should be thankful that something has replaced his obsession with Mutt The Mads water bowl but surprisingly I SO prefer changing his wet clothes and mopping a floor to a constantly pending trip to A&E.

It only takes turning your back for split second and Sir Sprout is halfway up the stairs like oiled lightning squealing with delight.

Thing is, he hasn't really worked out that climbing down trick yet. He eases himself backwards for a step or two, gets kinda flustered and attempts to speed things up by taking a dive. Not the smartest of approaches considering there's tiled floor at the bottom of the stairs.

We got a fool proof easy-to-install pressure fit standard stair gate from my friend who assured us that she has 4 more and can bring in any additional ones should we need them.

That's when we discovered we have a non-standard house. The stairs are too wide. Never would have thought THAT could become a problem.

Options were quickly considered, purchasing a smaller house amongst them. Since we like the current one (and hate moving with passion) it left us with a task to find a wider pressure fit stair gate. The Ultimate Other Half is appearantly not partial to wrecking our so far pretty undamaged walls with screws.

Sunday was spent strip searching Argos & Smyths & Atlantic Homecare. We got home with a brand new gate, one 14cm extension & one 7cm extension. The Ultimate Other Half multitasked by trying to screw the whole lot together while prying Mutt The Mads water bowl out of Sir Sprouts eager hands.

When it came to installing the gate it appeared that due to additional non standard feature of the staircase it can't be fitted at the bottom.

Now we have a base bar of the gate hovering just in front of third step.

It's totally baby-proof.

Bets are taken as to which one of loving parents will break a neck first.

Saturday, 15 September 2007

Diplomatic highlights of Saturday evening

Tonight the Ultimate Other Half decided to cash in some brownie points. To be honest, his virtual biscuit tin had been overflowing dangerously and something had to be done.

He had given it a thorough thought and came to conclusion that nothing beats a night of rugby in local lad-watering-hole with The Suave Neighbour. Text messages were exchanged and The Fancy Neighbouress negotiated with. The project got green lights.

Thats when The Ultimate Other Half pranced into the family room wearing "Superman wears Paul O'Connell pyjamas" T-shirt in attractive shade of shamrock suffering from overactive thyroid.

"Is this T-shirt OK? Not dirty or anything?"

"Well..." I said.

He turned up the lights so I could see better.

"Ehmm... looks clean enough," I mumbled. T-shirt was several sizes too big and only missed a wee frill on the bottom to pass off as a dress.

Spotting the lack of enthusiasm in my voice he proceeded to tuck the shirt into his jeans.

On a positive side he ceased looking pregnant. On the negative side any innocent bystander couldn't have helped but wonder why he went through all the trouble of nicking Paul O'Connells (or Supermans, who knows) cheap pyjamas and then decided to wear the top part with jeans.

"Does it look better like that?" he asked hopefully.

Thank Heavens I've never had any aspirations to pursue a career in international relations. Current delicate enough balance would have been long destroyed by some of my utterly unelegant blurts.

"It's positively vile!" I announced.

The Ultimate Other Half raced out of the room to change a T-shirt. I panicked.

"Oh, don't bother! I wouldn't care!" I shouted encouragingly.

A split second later I wanted to bang my head against the monitor, only it's a flat screen one and doesn't really help much as far as whipping brains back into shape is concerned.

Luckily (as I have mentioned before) The Ultimate Other Half is shockingly good-natured and did not present me with divorce papers there and then.

Instead he donned a neatish black T-shirt (13 - Unlucky For The Other Side) and was just in time to prevent Mutt The Mad mauling The Suave Neighbour through the front door glass.

Off they went. To the pub. Hope they'll have fun.

PS. To the Ultimate Other Half: In case you're reading this - Paul O'Connell called. He wants his pyjamas back.

See - he's DISTRESSED!

Friday, 14 September 2007

High hopes

When I grow up I want to be a Santa.

  • I love-love-love giving presents. Well, unless it's a sin-ugly mug shot worthy plastic candlestick Auntie Clotilde found on pound shop clearance sale. BUT - if I was a Santa all the presents would have a lot of thought and a fancy wrapping! Beat that!
  • No padding needed, my generous proportions would ensure just-right cuddly Santa looks. Might need to do something about the boobs though. Any suggestions welcome. Will not consider mastectomy.
  • My beard is coming on nicely, especially after all the childbirth lark. All I need to do is bleach it and voilĂ ! - Santa!
One can dream.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Today is all about sharing

Recently I posted an idea about changes in Irish employment law.

Well, my Web-digging Ultimate Other Half has found that Russians have come up with MUCH better idea!

Reminds me of my colleague who was disgusted finding out that company Christmas party will be on Saturday this year.

"I will NOT be drinking on my OWN time," he exclaimed.

Boost your immune system - laugh a little

OK, being a Foreigner by Default I just HAD to share:

I had some good giggles.


Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Something practical for a change -

I read a lot and by "a lot" I mean "enough to spend copious amounts of money to support my addiction and flood all the available surfaces in the house with books".

I am also very fond of my library and believe firmly that a person should have well loved books on standby so (s)he could pick them up whenever it feels like that, be it day or night.

However - there will always be books you'll just enjoy once and never pick up again. They'll just gradually take over the shelves, covered with dust and doomed to be never opened again.

Those books could find MUCH happier homes if you put them up on

It's a very simple book exchange system. You put up a list of books you are willing to give away. For every book given you get points which you can then use to mooch books from others. You can also make wish lists and get notifications when somebody has put up the book you'd like to get.

And it's brilliant!

Couple of tips in case you're thinking of joining:

  • For every book sent abroad you get 3 points and every book sent locally 2 points. Mooching a book locally just costs you 1 point and from abroad 2 points. So it's well worth to ship worldwide as in theory you could get 3 books for 1.
  • Big heavy books are quite expensive to post. Either don't put them up or add a note in book condition that you'll only post them locally due to cost & weight.
  • That's kinda petty but it really annoys me when people are not willing to post worldwide but will happily expect other people to send them books from all over the world. I think it's a bad trend and should be addressed. If you feel the same you can always specify that you will post worldwide only to people who are doing the same.
  • The whole system is based on trust, but people can leave comments on your transactions. So be precise about your posting, let people know about delays and keep communication always open.
  • The site can be down sometimes - maybe for maintenance, maybe the server is just not coping with traffic. Don't let that throw you off. Just try again a little later.

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

And then Sir Sprout was born...

I know I was supposed to feel elated, blissfully happy, moved, fiercely protective and attached to a little warm slightly slimy lump they placed on my chest. I was supposed to be bonding at the speed of light, knowing that My Life Finally Has A Meaning.

Instead I was dazed, confused and hugely relieved that the pain had finally eased off. My body was sweaty, enormous and very-very exposed to all the people prodding and poking and pulling and pushing. Not that I minded, it seemed like whole world was behind thick slightly transparent curtains and all I could do was just observe. It was almost funny.

Somebody somewhere had said: "Its a boy!"

Oh, I thought. I liked the girls name better. No idea what to do with boys. They have willies and weird attraction to ball games. So there then, I have a boy. Wow.

He moved slightly on my chest, very quiet slippery thing.

I looked at him.

His pupils were extremely dilated with sudden surge of unfamiliar light. Head a bit conical from vacuum delivery. Skin of soft olive shade and very smooth, not a single wrinkle or blotch. He didn't look like anything I had ever seen or imagined. Little stranger.

"He looks like alien," I mused.

Those were the words I greeted my son into the world with. Not "I love you!" or "He's beautiful!" or "Isn't he absolutely perfect?" like you read or hear from most stories. I wonder if anybody ACTUALLY ever says those things?

I was mostly just utterly surprised that the 9 month bulge in my body had actually resulted in tiny being who was not a part of me any more.

Except he wasn't that tiny at all. Ouch.

There I was, consultant happily embroidering my neither regions, belly gracefully draping all over the bed and boobs so bulky and bursting they could have easily been classified as weapons of mass destruction. Not happy, not unhappy - just tired.

The Ultimate Other Half was a bit teary announcing the birth of Sir Sprout to his parents over the phone. I love him so much, I thought watching him watching me. I guess things are good.

Not for long.

"Did they test you for diabetes during pregnancy," the midwife asked. "You have gained a LOT of weight."

Oh thank you, I thought, JUST what I needed to hear. I'm a bloody, sweaty, icky mountain hooked up to every possible tube and cable they could get their hands onto in the maternity ward. Lovely. I remember I used to be a person. I guess THATS over then. Shite.

At least it perked me up a bit. So I could wallow in self pity and disgust.


Some hours later, after I had finally had a shower and a third change of sheets/nightgown; I sat on the bed and stared at little baby in tiny transparent plastic crib.

He is mine. Still weird.

I guess I should change his nappy. Cause that's what mothers do, isn't it?

The nappy was dry. I changed it anyway.

He slept through whole thing, opening his slightly slanted almond eyes for a brief moment only. They were piercing blue, just like his Dads. And he WAS perfect, tiny sturdy creature with button nose, long gracious fingers and fluffs of red hair. Or strawberry blond as nurses kept insisting.

Other Half had gone home to get a bit of sleep. I would have needed some badly but couldn't. My world was a bit too upside down and shaken at that.

I stayed up most of the day. And night. Watching and thinking and worrying.

There were 3 other babies in the ward who kept crying most of the time.

Sir Sprout slept and slept and slept. He didn't want to eat or cuddle or even have a pee.

I guess he was tired too.

Friday, 7 September 2007

It's just gonne be a little party, nothing much, she said

OK, I must admit I might have a slight problem with stress-free easy-going nah-things-will-sort-itselves-out party planning.

I start with good intentions all relaxed and smiley. Heck, it's only a tiny little party, some friends and grandparents and babies (including Sir Sprout The Birthday Child). And one toddler.

In no time I'm all hot, bothered & irritable.

I've organized public events, concerts, survived a studio full of 50 allegedly singing children, 7 annoyed cameramen, 1 dog, drunken lighting technician and a Sound Engineer Who Wasn't There. I remained calm when presenter was going through his 39th unsuccessful attempt to memorize opening lines with 7 minutes to go before live.

Somehow I just cannot re-create the attitude and composure.

Is that what happens when you have kids? Why didn't anybody warn me I'd like to know.

I've gone soft.

So far I've baked:

12 apple-oatmeal muffins
12 crumble-topped jam filled muffins
12 blueberry muffins
12 lemon-poppyseed muffins
1 eggy sponge with cocoa flavored creme fraiche icing
1 layer sponge with whipped cream and fruit topping


Thursday, 6 September 2007

There's hope for me still!

As we were lazing in bed this morning drinking tea(Other Half) and coffee(me) & watching Sir Sprout sharing a bread stick with Mutt The Mad; The Ultimate Other Half broke the news:

"We didn't win the Lotto last night!"
"How do you know?"
"It just said on the radio there was no jackpot won."
"Oh. Bummer. Would have been nice midweek budget boost.... helped with groceries a little on Friday."

"Nam-nam!" said Sir Sprout banging at the bedside locker. "Nam-nam!"
We gave him a piece of apple and he went away.

I kept musing about the groceries issue.
"7 millions would be A LOT of groceries. Wonder if local Tesco would have enough ... Maybe if we bought LOADS of booze as well..."

There was a thoughtful pause on both sides of the bed.

Then The Ultimate Other Half had a visible light bulb moment.

"AND you would get seven grand back on loyalty card bonus points!" he announced.

That calculation sent my brain into finger-counting frenzy.
"Just seven thousand? I think it should be 70 thousand?"

"Nope, seven thousand!" assured The Other Half.

"Nah, come on, it's point per one Euro, has to be more," I insisted.

Himself was just about argue back but stopped to think.

"You know - you're right, it's 70 grand."

I was floating on gentle waves of pride while The Ultimate Other Half was picking bits of half chewed apple out of his tea mug.

I actually got it right! Wow!

To the maths teacher who called me a "mathematical nonsense" in grade 6 - take that!
I can count (and stuff).
And it only took 20+ years.

Changes in Irish employment law as proposed by Foreigner

All the parents should be entitled for a extra day off on their kids birthday if it falls on a working day. Said days should not be deducted from yearly holiday balance.

If the birthday is on weekend - tough luck. I could live with that.

It is not my idea, The Ultimate Other Half thought of it. But I agree wholeheartedly.

I think the issue should be seriously raised before next government elections.

Sir Sprout hits one tomorrow. To celebrate he emptied his first shelf this morning. Awww...

Tuesday, 4 September 2007

My dog's not spoiled ... I'm just well trained

"The dog will not go up on the furniture," declared The Ultimate Other Half firmly eying up the adorable pup we had just brought home from animal rescue.

"Aw come on," I whinged. That concept was utterly shocking to me. I've had dogs since I was a kid, all of them very much part of the family which mostly meant that humans got to pick the spots on the couches dogs weren't overly fond of. "That's just cruel!"

"No!" insisted Himself who appearantly had decided that it was About The Time To Put His Foot Down.

"Ooo-kay... sure, sure," shrugged after long and fruitless pleading.

The Ultimate Other Half had principles and he was not afraid to use them.

"The dog will NOT sleep in our bedroom!" he insisted.

"No way will the dog ever come to our bed! He has his own one!"

At some point I just stopped arguing.


It took me well over a year before The Ultimate Other Half was not bothered to grumble when I snuggled up with our pooch on the couch.

Mutt The Mad eventually learned that if you keep your head down and charge straight at the bedroom door it will open. I never said he was quite normal.

At first we still kept closing the door for night and just got used to the loud bang at early hours as Mutt casually leaked into the room, eventually landing on the rug with a satisfied sigh.

Now the door is just left ajar and Mutt comes and goes as he pleases. Other Half keeps tripping over him in the dark and issuing whispering curses.

This morning in the bed as I was untangling Sir Sprouts busy fingers from dogs generous coat while trying to nudge the Mutt out of the bed so I could finally stretch out my legs; I couldn't help a little giggle.

Marriage, you see, is all about compromising.

Monday, 3 September 2007

Couple of handy tips for those who are contemplating attending a wedding

My brain is still not functioning properly after a weekend dedicated to the wedding but I'll scribble down couple of handy tips. Just in case. Before I forget.

1) Never EVER borrow shoes from your friend!
I admit I should have seen this one coming. Unless you get thrills from simple things like trying to pull off a pair of posh heels crouching in the car. In front of the church. From feet which have magically gone up a size or two in last 2 hours. And have deep dents in attractive shade of blueberry.
I know that beauty demands certain sacrifices but I'd prefer to draw the line at dismemberment. Can't say I'm particularly proud or fond of my feet but would like to keep them nevertheless. I need them. For walking and stuff.

2) Orthopedic rubber-soled sandals - not the best footwear for waltzing.
You could just as well have self-applying brakes installed.
If you're wondering why I was reduced to waltzing in rubber-soled sandals in first place, please refer to Tip no 1.

3) Pack a swimming suit.
Seriously. There is nothing more dampening for glum enough Morning After Spirits than seeing The Ultimate Other Half soaking his troubles away in the hot tub while you are trying to negotiate the vending machine to accept your pitiful coins and spit out some Sprite. Or water. Whatever. A drink.

It was a good party, even considering my hippo feet. Pity I was knocked out before they started a sing-along. Since I only sing when sufficiently pissed it would have been a perfect chance to scar some perfect strangers (and some friends) for life.

The negative side is I can still feel the wedding in my bones.

Half a kingdom for a foot massage!

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