Saturday 28 November 2015

I ordered my Christmas cards!

 For a long time now Enid does Christmas cards with a picture of Bones on the front.  Last year I made ones with Harry - with a photograph that our next door neighbour (a professional photographer!) snapped with his iphone.  It went down well with everyone so I figured I'd do some Harry xmas cards again this year. 
Yesterday I came home from work and Harry was perched PERFECTLY on his chair and blanket (the lazy lump!) so I literally threw a poinsettia arrangement I had in front of him and took that photo quickly.  Two seconds later he moved so I was very happy to have caught that moment!
Here is a mockup of what the cards look like.  I am so happy with them! Plus the price - as it happens I ordered yesterday which was Black Friday so there was a 2 for 1 offer on.  All in, I got 20 cards for €19.60 (including delivery).  I used and it's very easy and quick.

Winter cleaning

 Underneath the stairs had become a right old dumping ground so today I cleared it out.
I cleared out a lot of shoes and a big load of handbags.  And a big load of sports equipment - badminton racquets, tennis racquets and mountain climbing equipment (a pick axe and crampons).
Also stored under the stairs was the big container of Harry's food.  Once I cleared underneath the stairs it looked a bit strange, just the food sitting there and I like it completely clutter free - so I needed to find a better place for the food.
Behind a door in our kitchen is the washing machine and a small space for storage.  I call it the utility room but it's not a utility room at all...just a space...behind a door.  It was pretty cluttered there also.
So I cleared it out and pulled the items used most regularly to the front - there's Harry's food on the left and the washing powder on the right.
I feel much more Zen now that those two spaces are decluttered.  I am going to do some more decluttering before I put my Christmas tree up.

Thursday 26 November 2015

Dazzling Discount night at Blanchardstown Centre

My local shopping centre holds a discount night every year.  To be honest, it's not great.  The discounts are on average 20% and it is also on from 6-10pm rather than the whole day.
As I was off work today I figured I would get over there early and see what I could find. 
Here's what I bought!
Aynesley Christmas china cups (for me!) reduced from €30 to €15 in Debenhams

Aynesley Christmas china cups which I picked up for Enid, reduced from €30 to €15 (Debenhams again)

Paul Costelloe purse for my mother in law for Christmas. 20% off in Dunnes so €36 from €45.
All in all, it wasn't bad.  I'm particularly happy with my 50% discount on the Aynesley china cups.  I just don't know why it is only on from 6-10pm.  It would be much better if it was on for the whole day.  The evening just seems to create a big traffic jam! (I got the bus).

Tuesday 17 November 2015

Multi vitamin hit

 I've blogged twice in the last couple of weeks about my dry and chapped lips.  Well the news is they are still bad! 
It seems that none of the creams, salves and balms I use work in the long term.  One of my sisters said to me that she thinks it's a vitamin deficiency and whenever she gets dry lips she ups
 her vitamin c and it clears it right up. 
I am thinking that if treating it externally didn't work that maybe treating from the inside would.
In Boots at the moment vitamins are 3 for then price of 2.  So I bought the one on the left for €2.99, the one on the right for €4.50 and got another multi vit free which I gave to Enid.
I really hope this "one a day" works! 

Sunday 15 November 2015

To market to market to buy a vinyl record

 This morning I went for breakfast in the 12th Lock and then into town to the Brocante market.
I bought three records and as I am typing I am sitting here listening to the Simon & Garfunkel one.  It's a great album.
 I also bought this one for a bit of easy listening:
I thought this one was interesting.  It's a recording of speeches that President Kennedy made on his visit to Ireland some months before his untimely death.
I wouldn't be into this type of things (listening to speech recordings) but strangely enough I am looking forward to it.
The Simon & Garfunkel is my favourite and at only €3 it was an absolute steal! 
Taken from Wikipedia these are the 17 songs on it

  1. "I Am a Rock"
  2. "Homeward Bound"
  3. "America"
  4. "The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy)"
  5. "Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M."
  6. "El Condor Pasa (If I Could)" (Daniel Alomía Robles, English lyrics by Simon, arranged by Jorge Milchberg)
  7. "At the Zoo"
  8. "Scarborough Fair/Canticle" (traditional, arr. Simon & Art Garfunkel with Canticle by Simon)
  9. "The Boxer"
  10. "The Sound of Silence"
  11. "Mrs. Robinson"
  12. "Keep the Customer Satisfied"
  13. "Song for the Asking"
  14. "A Hazy Shade of Winter"
  15. "Cecilia"
  16. "Old Friends/Bookends Theme (Reprise)"
  17. "Bridge over Troubled Water

Saturday 14 November 2015


This is not a film review per say.  It's just a post to say I loved it.  So much so that I may go again tomorrow morning.  We'll see.
Saoirse Ronan is brilliant and carries the whole film.  Old beyond her years she plays Eilis to perfection.  I am predicting an Oscar for her.
I may post more on this... but for the moment Go See!

Action packed day - 12 Nov 2015

 Arrived into work to the big surprise of lovely cupcakes!  Thank you to Jennie!  *waves to Jennie if she's reading this blog*
 During my lunch break I headed across to the Abbey Theatre where I had read there was an event happening.
Waking the Feminists is a response by Women in the Arts to the Abbey Theatre's launch of their program for 1916 (Waking the Nation) which contained just one play by a woman and all the rest by men. 
I arrived and all the tickets were gone.  I got on to the cancellation list (no 92) but I missed out on a cancellation as well (they had 49 of those tickets).  What I did get was a ticket to go upstairs to the bar and listen to the sound being streamed in from the auditorium.  This was actually probably best for me as I did have to go back to work while the event was still on.
The words were so powerful that it did not matter we could not see the speakers.  Personal stories about what women had encountered and how they were not going to take it anymore.  "The time is now" said Deborah Crotty.
I went back to work invigorated.
After work I scurried up O'Connell Street to an event in the Pillar Room in the Rotunda Hospital.  It was the launch of the book of  "Ireland says yes: The inside story of how the vote for Marriage Equality was won"
I had intended wearing my Yes Equality badge but forgot it that morning so a sticker that I had in my drawer in work had to do.  And I had myself a nice glass of wine :-)
Panti Bliss was mc. You might remember my blog post about going canvassing and meeting Rory O'Neill?
The authors of the book Grainne Healy, Brian Sheehan, Noel Whelan.
Ursula Halligan who spoke movingly about the personal prison she was trapped in and she felt safe enough to come out to herself and Ireland because of what everyone did as part of  the Yes Equality campaign.  It's sad to think that it took until now at the age of 54 for her to confront this suppressed truth about herself but it is also a happy thing - as she said in her speech she could have ended up taking it to the grave.
Panti Bliss said that as a result of Ursula giving her interview with the Irish Times during the campaign "we all fell in love with Ursula".  She then commented that this was integral to the vote because "it's very hard to vote against someone you love". 
The evening brought all that great feeling back to me of the day of May 22 2015 and also made me feel proud of playing my small part in changing history.  One of the speakers said they asked a canvasser why they came out and they said because they didn't want it lost over just one vote.  And that was it for Enid and I, we felt that if there was something (small) we could do we should do it, because if (God forbid!!!!) we lost we would be able to say we tried, and that we could not have done more i.e. if we hadn't had gone out and then had lost we always would have felt there was something we should have done.
From there I bussed it (the 38 to the Navan Road and then changed to a 39a) and met Enid for a coffee in the towncentre. 
Phew what a day!

Monday 9 November 2015

La Roche-Posay I say

I am still fighting my problem dry lips and tonight I present to you a little something from the manunfacturer La Roche-Posay.
Now this is no boring old lip balm, oh no, this is a Barrier Repairing Balm.
It certainly sounds good doesn't it?
Whether it is or not remains to be seen.  Watch this space! 

The postman always rings twice

 Ever since I found my (non-working) record player I have been obsessed with getting myself one that actually works.  I've been looking online for an old vintage one - actually very rare or (obviously due to rarity) very expensive and I've not been able to find one.  So I switched my attention to finding a new one for myself and a couple of weeks ago I located a little gem of a bargain.
This is my Crosley cruiser!
The story is that Enid and I were peering into the closed for the day Urban Outfitters in Temple Bar one evening.  They had a load of different coloured Crosley's for the price of €120. 
When I went home I looked online and the price was pretty much what Urban Outfitters had them for - EXCEPT for one place: Littlewoods.
Littlewoods had it on sale, reduced from €110 (good) to €92 (even better). 
But wait! It's get better! I noticed that if you were a first time orderer (which I was) and if you signed up for a credit account they gave you 20% off your first order.  So I signed up, answered a few silly credit questions about whether I owned my house and my salary (sure you could put in anything!!!) and there I had it - a credit limit/account and 20% off.
So I ordered the record player and got it for the price of €73.60.  And then I paid my account off immediately so that I won't get charged any interest on my "credit purchase".
So it arrived by post today.  And right now I am sitting on my couch listening to some lovely records.  The sound from the little speakers won't go far in a stadium but considering the price all is good with this little player.  Only bad thing is having to get up every 20 minutes and flip the record - 20th century problems eh :-)

Sunday 8 November 2015

1916 Memorabilia Day

 Yesterday I attended an incredibly interesting and well organised event. 
In advance of our 1916 commemorative celebrations next year Fingal CC hosted a memorabilia day where people could bring any memorabilia they have related to a family member or other to be digitally recorded for historical posterity.
Below are some photos of me taking part in this process, plus the ITEM that I brought - which I am very excited about.
The Fingal CC expert looking at my piece of 1916 memorabilia
Here I am getting very passionate about it :-)
Proudly displaying my item
And here it is!  A memorial card (or mass card) for Michael Collins d.1922.  This card came from my dad, it apparently was found in our home garage - but I do need to discuss with him further to confirm exactly the details of it.
Two experts looked at it and they said that while a whole load of these were mass produced since 1922 that the indications are that this is an original (wow!!!!!), the reason being that reproductions tended to have a stamp of the organisation who had reproduced it and handed it out. Isn't that exciting!
Check out my sister Enid (of Renovating LPA blog) posing with re-enactors dressed as an "old Irish Republican Army" volunteer, an "old IRA" man, and members of  the Royal Irish Constabulary from the period.
I also watched a very good docu-drama "A Terrible Beauty" which showed stories from first hand accounts of people who took part in The Rising. 
Of course some of the Irish stories were very hard to watch,(although some uplifting as well)  but what touched me (to my surprise!!!) were some of the stories of the English soldiers who took part - the soldier leader who was married to an Irish girl, and who saw her lining the route (in Ballsbridge) on their way marching in from Kingstown (now Dun Laoghaire) where their boat landed.  He stopped to kiss her and greet his two little children and to say that he hoped when they had taken care of the business in Dublin that he might get to spend a few days with them. Just a short way up was Mount Street where the famous (??) ambush/skirmish took place and he was shot and died at this point.  His grand daughter was interviewed (an old lady) who said that her mother would have spoke of the trauma of what happened - as a young girl - the excitement of seeing her father and then the sadness of her mother on learning of his death.

Saturday 7 November 2015

Bank reunion

 Back approx. 1998 and at the start of my working life I worked as a teller in a bank in Dublin. 
There I met two wonderful girls who I have kept in touch with ever since.  Part of the reason it has been easy to keep in touch is that our birthdays are all within a couple of days of each other.
 I am the 12th of Nov, Louise is the 13th and Ann is the 16th - so at a minimum we always meet up at least once a year for "the birthdays", but we also try and meet maybe once or twice throughout the year also.  In addition to that the two ladies and their families have also gone to the same resorts for their summer holidays and had wonderful times as a big group of children and adults.
In the last few years we have made sure to get a photo of the three of us on the night (and save it) so we have a nice little collection building.  This year - yesterday - we met in Louise's house before going out and had fun with her oldest boy who kindly took some photos of us and we picked a good one from that.  The good one is ABOVE!
Down below is a photo that gave us a great laugh at the time and throughout the night.  Cian suggested he take a photo of us "on the stairs", and while we thought it was going to come out "funny" we didn't realise how cheesy and bad it would come out.
Doesn't this look like one of those photos you see on internet pages called things like "awkward family photos from the 1980's" or "weird sister photos".  Ok so maybe I am exaggerating a little bit, but compared to the photo above, how hilarious is the photo below?!

Sunday 1 November 2015

The Christmas train has left the station...

 I see from an earlier blog post that I started my Christmas shopping on 4 October, and today 1 November I did a little more.
One of these muddlers is for Katie - don't worry she doesn't read this blog!
In other news it is unseasonably mild for November. Yesterday was Halloween and it was just so warm.  Here is a photo of Harry in a neighbour's house, he looks a bit perturbed about the decorations.