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May 21

Roughing it

Posted on Saturday, May 21, 2016 in Strange and Unusual

I would normally be a shopper at those places where everything is extremely cheap and nobody is around to help you, things are stacked awkwardly so that you have to reach right to the very back for un-damaged products, and the queues are enormous.

But, occasionally I nip into the posh supermarkets where everybody is nice to you and they pack your bags and tell you to have a lovely day. I pay more for this, but often the entertainment in itself is worth the difference.

You see, these boring cheap supermarkets are full of drones, people who don’t look at each other, they are there to get in, do their business and get out. I’m one of them.

BUT the posh supermarkets have their perks.

There’s Thai Bride Thursday… lots of elderly gentlemen with young Thai ladies making cow eyes at each other over packets of noodles. That’s sweet.

On Wednesday I went to get a few ingredients for a birthday cake in said posh supermarket. Somebody greeted me at the door, which unnerved me for a start. Then, when I was in the dairy section I overheard a lady speaking loudly on her phone about cottage cheese, I lingered for a while as it seemed like an interesting conversation, then I wandered away.

I caught up with the same lady a few aisles later, she was talking about how sea salt is so much better for you than normal salt. Again, I lingered and eavesdropped, I was learning a lot.

Then I glanced at this lady, and realised that she wasn’t having a phone conversation at all, she was talking to herself.

She continued this (I have to admit to stalking her for a while because I had nothing better to do and she was obviously having a very intelligent conversation with herself) for the next two aisles, until we got to the tea section. She became very excited then and began answering herself back:

“I know! I know! Milk Thistle is SO good for your liver apparently!” she told herself out loud.

At this point I wondered if she didn’t have a Bluetooth device of some sort so I had to circle her a bit. That was a bit creepy of me but I wanted to be sure, interrupting a phone conversation is pretty simple etiquette, but interrupting a conversation with one’s own self is a bit more complicated.

talk

“Excuse me?” I ventured.

“Yes hold on!” She smiled at me and paused for a few seconds, looking at me. I wasn’t sure who she was saying ‘hold on’ to so I went ahead anyway.

“I’m sorry to interrupt, but you seem to know a lot about these teas, can you tell me which one would be good for a coffee substitute to wake a person up in the morning?”

She then became very enthusiastic and picked out a Lemon and Ginger tea for me that has hence done the job brilliantly. We both went on our separate ways, after she booped my baby’s nose and went on with her conversation.

I didn’t see her at the check-out queue.

I wonder if she was just a figment of my imagination.

 

Apr 1

I forgot what I was going to say…

Posted on Friday, April 1, 2016 in Family, Quickie, Strange and Unusual

Easter Holidays are lovely. I get to not have to get up so early in the morning and I don’t have to make school lunches. Children just happen around the place randomly.

This time of year also means gardening.

There are weeds everywhere. I would rather stay inside either sleeping or doing laundry or some other haphazard sort of thing but the seeds are calling me, and there are bored children.

So.

‘Here’s a shovel, lads.’

‘But I want to play Transformer Autobots!’

‘Yes, but there are worms underground that need to transform into motorbikes.’

‘How do they do that?’

‘You won’t know until you dig them up.’

‘OKAY!!!!’

Meanwhile the lady children weeded my garden while the young boys made mud pies and havoc. I wandered by later and sowed seeds.

It’s been that sort of day.

Mar 4

Interrobang

Posted on Friday, March 4, 2016 in Arty Farty, Family, memememememe, Strange and Unusual

This post is brought to you by a friend of mine who doesn’t write, but shares my love of new words. He challenged me and inspired me to learn 19 new words and use them ALL in one blog post.

So…

Thus follows the story of K8’s February.

I am studying to be a teacher of all things medicine which is a huge thing to undertake and a marvellous privilege. I also have many children now at this stage, and am the keeper of wonderful things that come with this such as nappies that smell like popcorn, and pet rats that tend to escape.

To begin at the beginning…

There was the extraction. A lower molar, the sort that needs a lot of Novocaine and a monkey wrench to remove. It hurt, once my tongue was able to feel the gap. Even a nurdle* was too much to bear. They are good dentists, they did their best. They invited me back but I politely declined.

Two days later, I started a new course.

I forgot the octothorpe* after the numbers on the security system when I entered the building to let my students in on the first day… this sent the alarm off at the school where I was teaching. The alarm sounded like the vocable* of a really bad song, the sort of noise that sticks in your head, that sound that blackbirds love to mimic just to drive you crazy on a Sunday morning when you’re suffering from crapulence*.

The students arrived, and tea was sunk and class began, but due to the nature of the lesson I soon found that my keeper* was unreliable and several students commented on my builder’s arse. They were too demure to obviously point it out however and instead very kindly commented; ‘Hey K8, what’s the crack?!’ I was not in the mood for such interrobangs* so early in the morning so I avoided the collywobbles* by going outside to sniff the petrichor*, for it was indeed a grand soft day, and my desire path* told me that one cigarette wouldn’t hurt.

We had pizza for lunch. Or, at least the students did. By the time I had come back from collecting training equipment all that was left was the box tent* and a few lousy bits of cornicione*. I gave out to them for not eating their crusts, as every good mother does. What followed was a lemniscate* of argument which I could not win, and just ate into (as it were) a perfectly good lunch-time.

Later, at home I yearned for the punt* of a bottle of Chilean wine but found that Puppychild’s pet rat had escaped and was scratching around underneath my oven leading to immense curiosity of the dog and much perplexity of my daughter. Having spent most of the evening prone on the floor with a piece of ham trying to lure the fecker out while also explaining to Sir Fartsalot about magical letters in words where some are invisible.. knights, knees and knickers and other such examples of apthong* technology such as homework is at that age… I felt something nibble on my aglet*. When I turned and looked, it was gone, whatever it was was be found on the overmorrow*, leaving me fitful in my insomia and due dysania* with nightmares and fear that the dog would leave a bloody carcass where my neglect ran dry. I pictured Puppychild staring at the muntin* for weeks while the rain ran down the pane in despair of the horrible mother she had, she that had not the reflexes to catch the rat.

Catch it I did, however, last night. I heard it behind the piano while I was sniffing my barm* and I grabbed it tight and it squeaked and bit but the struggle was worth it, once it was reunited with its sister in the cage. And there it remains, barricaded in the frustration of its own existence. Just like me, just like the rest of us.

Sometimes freedom is more than what it seems to be I suppose.

This is a somewhat abridged version of my eventful recent past, there was also some tree-pruning, quite a lot of runny noses and nappies and also a flat tyre… but I have no more room for cromulent words at the moment, this will have to do for now…

…meanwhile I cannot use the oven, for the insulation is all chewed up. I’m not sure what to do about that.

apthongs aglet barm boxtent dysania desirepath crapulence cornicione collywobbles interrobang keeper lemniscate muntin nurdle vocable punt petrichor overmorrow octothorpe

Nov 18

Arachnophoboprophylactic

Posted on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 in Family, Humourarse, Philosophy, Strange and Unusual

I have a new theory that I have been testing out for 18 days now. It is a prophylactic spider:

spider

It is not a real spider.

But people sometimes think it is, and tend to stamp on it violently forgetting that this is not a country where large spiders tend to exist, hence its lack of legs. Poor inanimate thing.

Since Hallowe’en, I’ve noticed that laying large fake tarantulae around the place has led to a lack of spiders who would generally otherwise invite themselves into my home AND NOT PAY ANY RENT so I left them there presuming that spiders are innately carnivorous and would probably be terrified of large counterparts who might eat them. I’ve googled this theory intensely but have not come up with any answers other than anecdotal evidence so I am conducting this experiment alone, and will keep you updated.

There is one by the front door, one by the back door, one on our bedroom windowsill and one at the back of the house for extra measure. Since Hallowe’en I have not had one single spider enter my home. This is quite impressive considering the grand soft Irish weather we’ve been having lately. Not one single spider.

I’m not mucking about here, by the way. I’m very serious about this. I have regular dreams where cute little animals suddenly develop eight scuttly little legs…

squirrel

… and given that I’m the only coal-fetcher in our house I can assure you that monster spiders are lurking for I have seen them. They are there.

In the dark.

Waiting to come in to my nice warm house.

And this is why my fake spider sentinels will remain in place, ready to not pounce, ready to not eat them.

Mar 28

A rose by any other name

Posted on Friday, March 28, 2014 in Arty Farty, Family, Little known facts, Strange and Unusual

The following is a very long and spurious story. I would advise that you drop acid before reading it.

I’ve just returned from an effort to renew my driving license. I think I broke a member of their staff. I offered her acid of course, but she declined and declared that she had to have a lie-down instead.

See, it all began when Laughingboy was born. Because he was born out of wedlock, we decided to give him our future married name in order to avoid having to adopt him again at a later stage (stupid Irish laws etc.)

But, unlike normal people who would assign a married name as the husband’s, my own husband wasn’t really happy with his name as it seems to be jinxed: the majority of marriages on his side of the family wound up divorced. So! We adopted the IRISH version of his name when we eventually tied the knot.

But, we were very young at the time so of course we spelled it wrong and thus our family was given a brand new name, that which apparently doesn’t exist, or at least hasn’t existed in thousands of years. Still legit though, somewhat spuriously.

Trouble is, when you translate Irish surnames into Irish, there be politicks:

Master and Mr are easy… they’re both named Ó.

Females are somewhat more complicated though.

Unmarried ladies are known as ‘daughter of‘ which is ‘Ní’.

Married ladies are known as ‘wife of‘ which is ‘Beann Uí’.

Not being a fan of politicks, I shopped and changed between all three over time between different entities until eventually everything became confused and now everyone in my family has a different name, indeed, I myself have at least four names. I also have my facebook alias name which has also creeped into real life on various occasions so that makes five names for me.

Bonus! This means I can get away with crimes left right and centre, but I choose not to. Does this not count for anything?!?

So, when I went to apply for my new drivers license today, I provided them with all the proper documentation and they got very confused because they didn’t understand Irish. I might point out here that shamefully, all staff were as Irish as a packet of Tayto but their heads still exploded.

“Jaysus but this is all very Irish” yer man behind the counter ironically exclaimed… this statement has various meanings in this country.

So, I reverted to my maiden name and distracted them with magic tricks.

I’m expecting a very strongly worded letter from somebody in the future. I wonder what name they will use.

In the meantime, there is this:

 

Jan 30

How to clean a chimney

Posted on Wednesday, January 30, 2008 in Jobs, Little known facts

My new bloggybuddy Camron at Plenipotentiary left a comment on my last post:

I need to have my chimney swept, and don’t want to fork over the $75. Is this something you could teach me? (Online learning is all the rage now…) You could do a “How Toâ€? post.

HOW TO CLEAN A CHIMNEY THE LAZY WAY

Difficulty: None, really.

What you need:

1 monkey
1 chimney cleaning brush and about 8 screw-on poles (depending on the height of your gaff), bought from DIY shop.
1 large sheet
1 empty coal sack or tarp/plastic sheeting
1 bucket
1 small shovel
Roll of Duck tape and scissors or knife
1 apron
Dust mask and goggles if you want to be extra cautious.
1 torch

Got everything?  Then we’ll begin.

chimney.jpg

– Send the monkey out to the kitchen to cook up an Irish fry, which should be ready by the time you’re finished.

– Clear the fireplace of ash and debris, remove the grate and fire guard.

– Clear the area around the fireplace, and lay the sheet so that it covers as much of the hearth and surrounding floor as possible.  Use duck tape to stick the edge of the sheet to the front of the fireplace.  This ensures that sheet won’t slip and that soot won’t get underneath.

– Cover the front of the fireplace with the empty coal sack, leaving a loose gap underneath.  Use duck-tape to keep the bag in place, but give yourself enough slack to be able to lift the sack to investigate the chimney flue.

– Use your torch to find the damper (if you have one), it’s usually just inside the chimney as you look up,  and open it to allow air to flow freely through the flue.

– Connect the brush head to a pole, and shove it up the chimney.  Jimmy it around to get the immediate soot out.

– The next bit is tricky.  You need to connect another length of pole (twist her tight, you don’t want it to come undone halfway up…), then manoever the brush through the narrow part at the top of the firebox.  You might need a torch to check for progress. 

– From here on in, all you’re doing is connecting each pole length by length as you push the brush further up the chimney.  When you run out of poles, or hit serious resistance, you can probably bet you’re near the top.  Depending on the type of chimney stack you have, you might not want to push the brush all the way to the outside, either way I don’t think it really matters as most of the creosote should be brushed away by now.  There’s nothing wrong with half-assed, anyway.

– Reverse the process, pulling the poles out and disconnecting them as you go.  Do this carefully as you’ll be pulling an avalanche of soot into the grate, especially when the brush arrives back.  Wrap the brush and poles and put them out of your way, then scoop the soot into a bucket.  Brush any remaining blackness onto your sheet, unstick it, and bring it outside for a good shake.

– Done!

– Go and eat your fry-up, pet your monkey, and go have a shower.

soap.jpg

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