ganching"Her Sisters Called Her Elsie!" (12.2.2006, 21:24 UTC)
I'm sure everyone has noticed the plethora of memoirs around at the moment written by people who have had miserable childhoods. The first one I became aware of, and the only one I've read, is Angela's Ashes.  It put me off the genre for ever. You know the drill.  Sensitive, intelligent child is ill-treated by inadequate/drunken/sadistic/mentally-ill, parent/guardian/teacher/priest.  After a miserable childhood and early adulthood the person makes good, usually following the int...
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ganchingGracie (11.2.2006, 23:13 UTC)
Originally uploaded by ZMB. After an evening spent in the company of Traybake and Soda Farl a person needs something nice to look at.
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ganchingReply#2 (10.2.2006, 19:05 UTC)
Hiya,  My name is Pete and my friend passed your ad on to me. You sound kind of nice so I thought I'd drop you a wee line. It's hard to know where to start but here goes.  As I said my name is Pete and I am a PE teacher in a dead good school in Cookstown.  The kids are really great and I'm dead proud to teach them. I should also tell you that I am married.  Unfortunately me and the wife parted company last year although, tg, we are the best of friends now.  The probl...
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ganchingReply#1 (9.2.2006, 21:59 UTC)
See, Box No. 666, before you get any ideas.  I'm a happily married man with a crowd of weans.  Anyway I already have another girleen in my life. Name's Caitlin.  You might have seen us out and about? Around Cottenham way?  So where was I?  Right. I read your ad with great interest and thought, not everyone is as lucky as me to be so well-settled.  What can I do to help?  And answer came there one.  I work in IT with a great bunch of lads. Everyone of them....
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ganchingMy Terrible Life And My Plans To Improve It (8.2.2006, 21:28 UTC)
I really do have a terrible life.  Yesterday was horrible.  Thirteen hours trapped in a room with the Other Side.  For the first time ever in one day the number of biscuits I ate exceeded the number of steps I walked.  At this rate I will soon be featuring in a Channel 4 Shock Documentary and will have to have a hoist installed in my flat. I need to make some changes.  I don't want to be the kind of person who has to fish around in the laundry basket in the morning to f...
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ganchingA Desprit Hoor For The Awards (7.2.2006, 01:15 UTC)
Twelve feckin' hours in a meeting today and the only thing to sustain me, apart from weak coffee and endless biscuits, was the knowledge that I have been longlisted for an award. Now I know that after the bitter disappointment of the Stirling Prize I said I was giving up on awards but sure, I can't help myself.  Anyway I wouldn't want to be influencing anyone or anything but here's where to vote: http://awards.ie/blogawards/vote-now/ So vote early and vote often but no cheating. Yo...
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ganchingWalk The Line (6.2.2006, 05:11 UTC)
I have been working way too much recently.  This is because our negotiations with the Other Side are coming to a close. Over the next two days we are having a lock-in and no-one is allowed to go home until almost everything is sorted out. Tension is mounting and we are discussing tactics for our side. My boss has suggested that I make up some flash cards and when the Other Side speak, I hold up the appropriate card.  Depending on what line they're taking, we flash the following at ...
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ganchingSt Brigid And Me (1.2.2006, 21:20 UTC)
It is quite amazing when you think about it, how much the average person has in common with the well known celebrity.  For example, today is the feast day of Ireland's second most important saint.  The honour of being Ireland's first most important saint goes, of course, to a man and that man is St Patrick.Myself and St Brigid are very similar in many respects.  We are also a bit different in some ways too.Ways In Which St Brigid Is Like MeWe are both Irish womenWe both have the...
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ganchingWhat I Had For Breakfast... (31.1.2006, 01:08 UTC)
  ...on Christmas Day. I have taken a leaf out of Bliss' blog.
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ganchingSunday Dinner (29.1.2006, 17:18 UTC)
I went to the Post Office yesterday morning and, luckily for me, I wasn't served by the shouty man. - Ten first class stamps please. -  A TIN FROSTED GLASS LAMP?  NO WE DON'T HAVE ANY IN STOCK. I COULD ORDER ONE FOR YOU. - No. Ten. First. Class. Stamps. Please. - STAMPS!  ARE YOU SURE?  YOU KNOW YOU CAN HAND DELIVER LETTERS. - Not to Co. Antrim, you can't.  - MAYBE YOU HAVE FRIEND GOING THERE?  MAYBE THEY COULD DELIVER IT FOR YOU? -  I don't think so!&n...
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ganchingComfort Food (29.1.2006, 01:11 UTC)
A friend came round for dinner last night and, as we were both in need of comforting, I made pea risotto using the Nigella recipe.  I also made apple and walnut crumble. I find it very pleasing that the colour of the risotto exactly matches the colour of the plate.  Even more pleasing is the fact that I saw this plate in a shop priced £80.  I paid 50 pence for it in an out of the way charity shop in Ballymena.  This plate was designed by Eric Ravillious for Wedgewood ...
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ganchingA Late Birthday Gift (27.1.2006, 13:34 UTC)
Dear ganchingI am so embarrassed with myself because I do not know it is your brirthday this month untill I see the birthday cards.  I have brought you small present.  I hope you like it.  I think you will as I know lavendar bath cubes are good for people who are not any longer very young.Isn't it cold? You are very lucky as you will not feel the cold so much because you are not skinny like me but well covered so will be more cozy.  My landlady is very horrible and will not k...
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ganchingNever Knowingly Undersold (25.1.2006, 01:21 UTC)
Honestly I sometimes wonder why companies bother with all that research.  This story was widely published this morning. I am so at one with the Zeitgeist, that all the researchers needed to do was talk to me.  They would have saved thousands of pounds. Instead they wasted it all by interviewing members of the public who generally don't know what they're talking about.  Regular readers will know that I am devoted to John Lewis. The wonderful thing about John Lewis is that spen...
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ganchingBoys-A-Dear (23.1.2006, 09:52 UTC)
Traybake, Soda Farl and I went to see Brokeback Mountain yesterday.  The cinema was packed even though it was the afternoon show. I have liked everything that Ang Lee has done (I haven't seen The Hulk) and this was no exception.  Beautiful to look at, subtle and erotic. None of us was worth tuppence when we came out. "Boys-a-dear but that was lacerating" says Traybake, on the way out of the cinema, and SF and I could only agree. Afterwards we went to Strada on Panton Str...
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ganchingThe Sketch (21.1.2006, 17:24 UTC)
Sometimes when I'm out and about I look at other people and think, "Why?". Do they have no friends?  No family?  No mirrors in their house? Like the middle-aged, grey-haired, skinny-pinned person in the supermarket this morning who was wearing a cycle helmet, a pink fur-trimmed anorak, clumpy, laced shoes which still managed to have a quite a high heel, a very short, grey, pleated school skirt and sheer black tights.  What was he thinking? I am in a bad mood because m...
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ganchingThe Fattest Retriever In Australia? (20.1.2006, 01:14 UTC)
Am too tired to write anything so here's a picture of my Aunt Eileen's dog instead.
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ganchingNo Navy Gay Thing (17.1.2006, 21:20 UTC)
I went to a conference yesterday which was organised by the Other Organisation that I work for occasionally. I am always a bit apprehensive before attending anything that involves networking.  I have similar feelings before I go to a social event that involves more than 6 people.  I convince myself that I won't know anyone well enough to speak to and, at conferences unlike parties,  there's usually no kitchen to lurk in. Of course I did know lots of people to chat to and I manag...
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ganchingBrown Snake (17.1.2006, 01:15 UTC)
Brown snake According to certain people you are more likely to be run over by a bus in Australia than to see a snake.Well I didn't get run over by a bus.
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ganchingOlive Oil Part 2 (15.1.2006, 21:11 UTC)
It was widely reported on Friday that the consumption of olive oil in this country has increased hugely.  From memory I think it is something like a 39% increase over the past five years.  The market is now worth  over £100 million a year and the sale of olive oil exceeds the sale of all other cooking oils put together. And why?  Well experts are somewhat puzzled but regular reader will have no difficulty in working out the real reason.  Once again ganching outdo...
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ganchingMany Happy Returns To... (14.1.2006, 01:13 UTC)
...me.  I can't remember when my birthday last fell on a Friday.  I have decided to treat it as auspicious.  Have also decided that the new year starts on Monday so I need to make some resolutions. I will revert to you shortly on this topic. Woke up at the scraich of dawn -  well,  5.00 a.m. to be precise. Spent my birthday at lawyer's office doing page turn on contract which, I don't need to tell you, is just as much fun as it sounds, then went to an insanely smoky pu...
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ganchingThank You (13.1.2006, 09:11 UTC)
Dear ganchingThank you for giving me the present of the chocolate coated australian macadamias.  It was very kind and thoughtful of you.  Maybe you forget I tell you I am allergic to nuts?  O well it is the thoughts that count. (The other woman I work for - the one that is English so has dirty house - give me voucher for £50 for Coco de Mer.)I hope you enjoyed your very long holiday in the sun.  Here every day we have sleet and gray skys.  Nearly every day I am cryi...
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ganchingThe Woman in White (12.1.2006, 01:08 UTC)
I am still feeling incredibly tired and cold.  Last night I went to bed early with a hot water bottle clad in my voluminous white woollen nightdress.  Both the nightie and the hwb were very comforting. Only two people have seen me in this nightie.  The first person was my mother. "Ach that nightdress!  It puts me in mind of my mother - your granny.  She wore one just like that, you know, when she put on all that weight." The other person was Traybake.  ...
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ganchingSmithereens (10.1.2006, 21:12 UTC)
Jet lag really is a horrid thing to be suffering from.  I literally don't know what to do with myself.  I feel as I'd taken some decidedly dodgy drug last night and now suffering from a chemically-induced hangover.  In fact I took a very mild sleeping tablet and slept like a baby, albeit a cranky one. As one of my Christmas gifts I recieved a little ceramic star chirstmas decoration.  It travelled from Sydney to the coast packed in a really over-stuffed car, and then from th...
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ganchingHome Again Home Again Jiggedy Jig (8.1.2006, 05:08 UTC)
Today is my last day in Australia and I am almost too bereft to write anything. I spent the last couple of days in Katoomba which was a bit like spending time on the set of "I'm A Celebrity Get..." except instead of Z list celebrities I was with 1200 Korean school children and you got marginally nicer things to eat.  I did see a brown snake though. It rains a lot in the Blue Mountains and when the mist comes down it stays down.  Like  Kerry in that respect.  Lots...
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ganchingGanching Pate (5.1.2006, 17:12 UTC)
It is very exhausting spending time with the over-seventies. I have been visiting my relatives.  My Aunt P. is very hospitable but easily offended.  She runs the kind of household where it is possible to get up in the morning and sit at the table which is, of course, already laid for breakfast, and then never move for the rest of the day.   After breakfast you have morning tea and then, before you know it, it's lunch time.  Refusing food is not an option.  I f...
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ganchingHave A good New YEARS! (31.12.2005, 17:07 UTC)
When I left Melbourne yesterday the temperature was 39C.    I liked Melbourne very much.  They have this really delightful little tram which does a circuit of the city and it is absolutely free.  I watched the happy carefree tourists hop on and off and thought, I'm going to do that too.  So I did on Thursday evening.  I was happily ensconced on my leatherette seat admiring the wooden fittings when the driver called out something incomprehensible.  I didn't qui...
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ganchingHow to Speak Melburnian (29.12.2005, 13:11 UTC)
How are YOU? I'm GOOD. This seems to work in most situations.  People here are friendly.  I was wandering around following a walk and two people stopped me and asked if I needed any help. Instead of reacting like a Londoner i.e. clutching my bag more tightly to my chest and scowling at the mad person, I instead entered into conversation with them. I really like the Victorain architecture here - all fancy wedding cake ironmongery and lovely old-fashioned gardens. The parks are als...
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ganchingIn Which I Become a Backpacker (28.12.2005, 13:16 UTC)
I have spent one night in a hostel and here I am in an internet cafe so I think I now qualify as a world traveller. The hostel is in St Kilda in Melbourne and although I have my own room it still counts because I don't have an en suite (or *in sootie* as we prefer to call them). I have walked for miles today.  I've worked out how to use the trams, had stone fruit compote with cinnamon marscapone and toasted brioche for breakfast, walked all around the Botanic Gardens and visited the war ...
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ganchingIn Which I Imitate a Lobster (26.12.2005, 13:14 UTC)
I did a number of things for the first time on Christmas Day.  I had breakfast outside, I listened to a kookaburra, I ate pork for dinner and I burnt myself to a crisp on the beach.  I have that kind of white skin that often looks blue. This is not the kind skin that tans.  Due to misapplied suntan lotion I now have a very odd sort of chequered effect on my body.  In fact, what with the blue-y white skin and the red stripes, I look a bit like a union jack.  This is ver...
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ganchingWhat's In A Name (23.12.2005, 01:11 UTC)
The youngest miss and I wandered down to the post office this morning to pick up a parcel.  We detoured home via the cemetery. My cousin once told me that about 40% of people in Australia are of Irish origin. If the people buried in the graveyard are anything to go by most of them originated from that small corner of Northern Ireland located between Toome and Randalstown.  I spotted a Liddy, a Scanlan and a McAuley . My sister and I once spent an afternoon in a small town in Queens...
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