Tuesday, May 29, 2007


'Twas a glorious summer day when we set out for Killarney in search of the fun and excitement promised by "Ireland Bike Week".
OK, perhaps "glorious" is a slight exaggeration but at least it wasn't raining.
Not yet, anyway.

We travelled for 6 hours, stopping once for breakfast and coffee, and three more times to stretch the cramps out of our bodies. I lost faith in the very clever SatNav thingy after it turned us off the main route and onto a smaller side road, then promptly started complaining about low battery power. Fortunately by the time it finally went kaput, we had alread started seeing signs for Killarney so no harm was done, despite the rather heavy showers and frigid temperatures* outside.

We then went to the Main Venue to check out the action...

Looks exciting, yes? So we ducked into a pub to get out of the rain...

Well the rain never really stopped, and we moved from one pub to another eventually, by which time I was tired of beer and had little inclination for anything stronger than coffee or coke** and by 11:30pm I was exhausted so hauled my brandy-and-coke-drinking husband back to the guesthouse, where I must say I had a really good night's sleep.

After a pretty good breakfast the next morning we set off on our return journey to Dublin. It was even colder and wetter than it had been the previous day. The tea and scones*** we had in Adare were probably the highlight of the trip.

Perhaps if we had arrived earlier we would have seen something more resembling a bike rally but as it was, well, there were a lot of bikes in Killarney this weekend and altogether way too much leather, denim and velcro for the comfort of the few middle-aged foreign tourists around, but nothing like what I had hoped for. I guess the weather didn't help.

So to summarise: We spent about 12 hours on the road to cover maybe 600km, to spend an afternoon and evening in a pub where I didn't really drink too much, and all I got for my efforts were aching joints and muscles.
On the other hand, I got to hug my hubby for 6 hours each way so it wasn't a complete loss..!


* About 10 degrees celsius was forecast for the weekend
** That's coca-cola, not cocaine!
*** Yeah, so much for the Big Bad Biker image

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

old friends revisited

Last night I dreamt about an old friend. He was one of my best friends in Primary school and the other kids used to tease us about being boyfriend and girlfriend, which really annoyed us but we didn't stop being friends. We went to the same high school, too, and although we weren't as close any more, he always held a special place in my heart. Like a brother, sort of, only not.

We lost touch after leaving school and I think the last time I saw him was in a pub when I was around 20 or 21. Wow, that's a while back, but never mind.
He was completely wasted that night and I actually got cross with him - wanted to shake him and say, "Pull yourself together!" - he was pining over losing his girlfriend, you see. I had always thought he had so much potential - he was really bright and in fact we had often vied for the spot at the top of the class when we were kids. And he came from a good family, and he had been a good friend over the years. That night I felt disappointed in him*.

I haven't heard from or about him in years, and although he has popped into my thoughts once or twice, it has been a fleeting, "I wonder what ever happened to B.." sort of thought.
But last night I dreamt about him - we bumped into each other somewhere and he was in trouble but he wasn't a 'baddie' - more like wrongly accused, or something. In my dream I was well acquainted with his accusers and I persuaded them to give him a chance. We rekindled our friendship and all was well. It was weird: I saw him so clearly in my dream and it was one of those dreams that leaves you with a feeling, the way people are closely associated with feelings in dreams... so when I arrived at work this morning I typed his name into Google and hit Enter.

My efforts were rewarded** and I got a few hits - it seems my friend has done well for himself. He has loads of fancy letters after his name and is listed as a guest speaker at some awfully prestigious-sounding events. I guess he pulled himself together. And if there were a chance these references were to another person of the same name, any doubts were soon removed because one of the hits included a photograph of him taken about 3 years ago, in a professional capacity. It may be a small photograph but it is unmistakably my friend who visited me in my dream last night. The resemblance was uncanny, especially since I haven't seen him in about, oh, I don't know, 15 years or so?!

I don't know what brought him out of my subconscious or my memories or whatever makes one dream but somehow I feel better knowing where he is (in what country, anyway) and that he has done well for himself.

I was almost tempted to send him an email (it really is amazing what information you can find in a simple web search) ... You know; "Hi this is Terri. I don't know if you remember me from a lifetime ago but I had a dream about you last night and found your details through the internet..."
Ahem. Maybe not. It could sound just a little stalker-like, teehee!
Who knows, though, perhaps one day our paths will cross again.

* Yes, I know, I set very high standards for people - I like to think I have become less judgemental of people as I've grown older.
** It's like I keep saying: Google is my friend :-)

Sunday, May 20, 2007

egg-ception to the norm

There's a tweetie-bird driving Hubby insane. He built a nest in the eaves at our front door (the bird, not Hubby) which Hubby quickly dismantled because as you know one shouldn't have a bird's nest so close to one's house. Come to think of it, "He" may well be a "She" - I don't know enough about black birds with orange beaks to tell.
not only did He/She rebuild said nest in precisely the same place within the 9 hours it took for Hubby to go to work and back but He/She has also been digging for grubs 'n slugs 'n stuff in our neatly manicured garden, resulting in bits of ornamental bark bits being kicked carelessly all over the paving.

But did he (Hubby, that is) take his shotgun to the birdie? Not at all... and here's why:

I'm gonna be a grandma!!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Terri's Tantrum Technique

First, ensure that you have a very long, very boring day at work, peppered only with annoying little problems - you know, the kind that don't ever really go away, but sink to the bottom of your in-tray only to resurface months later to haunt you. This should be followed by a drive home in traffic piloted by mostly blind or stupid people. A beat-up Mitsubishi filled with bright-yellow-jacketed Lithuanian construction workers wolf-whistling at you when stopped at an intersection is optional.
When you finally get home, take a few minutes to map out a plan in your head of things you need to do in the remaining few hours before bedtime. Remember to leave little room for flexibility.
This next part is a vital: Ensure that you have at least one hour set aside to begin compiling a Very Long Document, one that you have been putting off until now due to lack of free time. At the moment when you decide to begin, change your mind and quickly put a load of laundry in the washing machine. Return to the table where said document is to be prepared and realise that in order to hang up the clean washing when it is ready, you will need to first clear the wash stand by folding the previous load. Once the clean laundry is folded you will need to take it upstairs in order to clear a space on the table so that you can start on The Document.
Return to the table, take your laptop out of its case, plug it in and switch it on.
Make another trip upstairs to retrieve some information required in the document.
Begin to read instructions on how to compose your document.
One and a half pages in, have a member of your family waft into the kitchen-cum-dining area where you are working and start chatting conversationally. Encourage them subliminally to leave by looking back to your computer screen at regular intervals while they are talking.
Resume work on the document. It will help to do the work using MS Word, with it's clever little "auto-formatting" feature that will ensure you end up with many tabs and bullet-points exactly where you don't want them.
Just when you think you're getting the hang of it, insert another member of you family into the mix, pointedly hanging around the stove area where supper is not yet cooking.
It should be mentioned here that a little bit of PMS couldn't hurt...
This should be about the time when your patience reaches its limit. Bang the keys of your keyboard to shut your laptop off and stomp into the kitchen. Open a cupboard to remove a pot. Realise that nobody has yet unpacked the dishwasher from the night before so begin that process yourself, delaying supper even further. You may find your family member has fled the scene. Remove the cutlery tray from the dishwasher and place it on the counter. Try and remove the teaspoons from those silly little compartments in the cutlery tray only to have the friggin' things get stuck.
Voila! The moment for your tantrum has arrived. Yank blindly at the teaspoons, forks and knives in a manner that sends them spinning all over the kitchen just at the moment when your other half walks into the kitchen asking, "Is everything OK?"

What you do next is up to you. Just remember, murder cases can be time consuming. Personally, I find it is a good idea to step outside and have a cigarette, leaving the offending cutlery and crockery in safer hands.

Note to self: I must remember to check behind the microwave tonight for that missing spoon....

Thursday, May 10, 2007

In the absence of deep and meaningful how 'bout some insight instead?

I got tagged. By Spookie. Thanks Spookie! 'Cos actually, talking about myself is one of my favourite things to do on this blog. It's all about Me here.
No prizes for guessing why they're called "MeMe's", hehehe

So here are the rules:

Each player starts with 7 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to write on their own blog about their seven things, as well as these rules. You need to choose 7 people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they have been tagged and to read your blog!

So here are my 7 things:

1. When I was about 9 years old I got a letter from a girl we had lived next door to for years, before we moved away. She was a year older than me and I was quite horrified by her spelling and grammar in this letter so little 9-year old Terri conscienciously made corrections on the letter in red pen just like her teacher did at school and sent the letter back together with her reply. I never heard from her again and I still feel really bad about that.

2. I just Googled "conscienciously" to make sure I spelled it correctly. I guess some things never change.

3. This morning my husband affectionately called me his "rebel nerd". That is probably one of the most accurate descriptions of me, ever.
I am an oxymoron.

4. I think I look like my grandmother when I chew my food. Not that I've ever watched myself eat but the way my jaw feels as it moves when I'm eating conjures up the image of my grandmother eating so I can only surmise that is what I look like.

5. Even though I often say I've gotten really lazy about housework - and mean it - if I'm honest, my home is still probably cleaner and neater than the average. I'm a neat freak :) If my surroundings are messy it drives me slowly mad.

6. I emailed a friend of mine a couple of days ago to ask her nicely to make the photos she emails out a bit smaller 'cos they're making my mailbox hang and I haven't heard from her yet. I'm wondering if I need to carry out damage control (see #1 above).

7. In keeping with my new-found "Rebel Nerd" status I am going to break the rules of this meme by not tagging 7 people.

In fact, I'm not tagging anyone. But those of you who feel the urge, please consider yourselves tagged. You can even quote me :)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

I wanted to post a deep and meaningful gathering of thoughts today but guess what? I don't appear to have had any recently.
Have I stopped thinking?
Or have I stopped looking at the world around me and having opinions on it?
Or has the world stopped doing stuff?
Or perhaps it is simply a case of my world having shrunk.
My head is filled with thoughts of my rather successful shopping expedition on Sunday, some paperwork I need to complete, the books I ordered on Amazon this morning that I need to study to get my certification, and how much traffic I will have to contend with on my way home this evening. Also, how I need to book an appointment for an eye test to see if I need new specs which would explain why I keep getting headaches (either that or it's as I always suspected and it's actually an allergy to, you know, working). Oh and I mustn't forget I also need a haircut - but is it long enough yet for me to have it done the way I want, and should I wait until nearer our trip to Paris so it still looks really good for that?

So perhaps I should clarify: Thoughts I have a-plenty. But deep and insightful they are not.
I believe they're of the "Mental Clutter" variety, energy-sapping and trifling.
How easy it is to get bogged down in the minor details of life while the stuff that amuses and entertains passes us by, unnoticed.
Now that I have drawn my attention to it, let's see if I can come up with something interesting to say by the end of the week, shall we?

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

get the picture

I'm on a training course the whole week. Information overload is causing evening-brain-shutdown-syndrome. Only 2 days done. 3 more to go. I don't think my head can fit any more in; I'm hoping this doesn't result in a painful and extremely messy brain explosion.

In the absence of imaginative and witty thoughts, here are some random photos recently taken...
Apple Blossoms... sort of...
This tree in our garden gets fruit which smell just like apples and look vaguely similar but in miniature size. The don't taste like apples though, yech! It looked really pretty last weekend when it was in full bloom, so I'm quite happy for it to be an ornamental fruit tree.

This here is one ecstatically surprised Cinderella after Hubby decided it was actually a good idea that she has her own transport and went and hunted down a used bike to replace the stolen scooter. Happy doesn't even begin to describe how pleased she was.
In fact, she was so pleased she made me this:

Thanks to my pal Reluctant Nomad
for providing the recipe - it is indeed The Best Carrot CakeRecipe In The World