Monday, December 21, 2009

My fav. blogger!

My mate Bex has a new blog it's going to be great!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Faking It

On Sunday I've my boyfriends family coming over a Christmas lunch cooked in theory by err me? Chris's family are the anti - my family? If that makes sense! His family are straight out of a greeting card - homely and traditional. Like the people you'd see in a Argos or Sky advert. My family is a lot of things but traditional it is not. More the kind of people you'd see on Channel 4 factual drama. In fact our only tradition at Christmas is the opposite of everyone else - we open our presents on Christmas Eve night coz like who can wait until Christmas morning for Santa?

I get the impression that Chris's family (and er everyone) think I'm a rather useless girlfriend in terms of being a "homemaker"(That's very 1930's I know). Probably because I am actually useless. I don't cook, clean, (Chris steps in here like a good metrosexual male) and I freak out around small children (they are very fragile and I'm very careless so for their own safety they shouldn't be left alone with me until over the age of 6. At least I'm fun with small children Chris has been known to growl at them)and most importantly my pets take pride of place in my home which isn't to the majority of people's taste (would you like cat hair with that?). So I'm proving a point - I can be Anthea Turner if I try. Or at least I can fake it for Christmas just like my Mother does.

So I've my Christmas tree up, presents bought and wrapped, wreath on my door, half of the lights on the house, socks on the fireplace and my menu sorted.



Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves 6


1 Butternut Squash (about 3kg)
2 onions
1 Litre Vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
150ml cream
100g butter
3 tbls vegetable oil

Spice Mix

½ teaspoon cumin seed
½ teaspoon coriander seed
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
1 stick cinnamon
1 teaspoon white or black mustard seeds
150g butter

Served with homemade soda bread.

Main Course


Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Serves 6


*Sauce Cheat* 2 tins of Campbell’s mushroom soup
4 Chicken Fillets
2 large bunches of Broccoli
Handful of Mushrooms
Breadcrumbs to top

Side Orders

Caramelised Carrots
Brussel Sprouts with toasted hazelnuts
Mustard Potatoes


Top Secret Casey Family Trifle (sure as hell no custard)

Top Secret Ledwidge Family Christmas Pudding (cooked by Geraldine Chris's mom!)

So wish me luck with this cold I need it. Swine Flu on side - hmmm.

Monday, November 30, 2009

All I want for Christmas is...

Dear Santa,

Merry Christmas Santa I hope you, Mrs Santa, all the elf's and reindeer are well? Have you been affected by the floods much? Thank you for my presents last year. In particular the Boyzone tickets. I've been a good girl more or less this year. I cut down on my carbon foot print for example. I know I'm not meant to ask for anything big but if you could end the recession that'd be nice or call a general election even. I figure if you can get that girl in Miracle in 34th Street a Father, home and baby brother (I love that movie) it shouldn't be too hard? But no pressure I understand you're really busy and everything with baby boom and the north pole melting...

This year I'll like some books or box-sets or maybe some nice things for my pets I know it's more a gift for them but since I'll end up buying them anyway...

I'd love a really nice hutch for CJ (see Cast list) it'd give me more space in the living room and she'd get loads of space to run about as well as a big bed of hay (which makes me sneeze)

I'm really interested in Gerald Manley Hopkins poetry but I've nothing on him so maybe a book of his poetry or set me up with Douglas Adams stuff like the HItchhikers Guide.

Box-sets wise I'm still trying to finish my Star Trex DS9 collection and I've yet to start on my Doctor Who collection!

My ultimate Crimbo prezzie I've stolen from Disney's Lady and the Tramp...

It's not very practical I know! but maybe someday...

Thursday, November 19, 2009

My Party Piece

Jeez louise I have to thank Jedward and X Factor's George Michael/Wham! week for reminding me of when I used to sing the Wham Rap at school (I randomly remember standing on a desk), I even auditioned for Fiddler on the Roof with the Wham Rap and got called back for the principal cast. Really rather morto! but I'm actually proud of what a deluded yet rather confident 13 year old I was. I might sing/rap/shout this at singing class for a laugh next week to break up everyone else's Mariah Carey and Westlife renditions but I won't be jumping on any tables! Try and sing/ rap/ shout the below or just think of me in my wine uniform and odd socks...

"Wham! Rap"

Hey everybody take a look at me,
I've got street credibility,
I may not have a job,
But I have a good time,
With the boys that I meet "down on the line"

So you don't approve,
Well, who asked you to?
This guy's got better things to do
I ain't never gonna work, get down in the dirt
I choose, to cruise
I'm a soul boy - I'm a dole boy -
Take pleasure in leisure, I believe in joy!

One, two, three, rap!
C'mon everybody, DON'T NEED THIS CRAP!


Now reach up high and touch your soul
The boys from Wham! will help you reach that goal

It's gonna break your mama's heart (so sad)
It's gonna break your daddy's heart (too bad)
Just throw the dice and take my advice
'Cos I know that you're smart
Can you dig this thing? (YEAH!)
Are you gonna get down? (YEAH!)
Say Wham! WHAM!
Say Bam! BAM!


Do you wanna work
Are you gonna have fun
Do you wanna be a jerk
Are you gonna stay young

Everybody say WHAM!
Say BAM!
Everybody say WHAM!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Just can't say goodbye.

I always going to marry Stephen Gately. I just knew it. In forth class I didn’t care that Zara Power said he was gay (hadn‘t a clue what she meant), I didn’t mind when he came out - like most Boyzone fans I was fiercely protective of lickle Stevo and just plain glad he wasn’t marrying Keri Ann - I brushed off the comments “you do know he is gay?” with my own brand of odd humor “oh that was just a publicity stunt everyone knows his really straight…”. I have often explained to my boyfriend of many a year at this stage his only Stephen Gately bait. I think he knew I was actually serious and that wasn’t my own brand of odd humor. More importantly I was going to marry Stephen when Boyzone split, when his single didn’t reach number one and when his record label dropped him. I was a Stephen Gately fan and that meant I’d buy all the Boyzone albums, listen to his solo album, support him on the West End, vote for him on Dancing on Ice and google him when he wasn’t doing much at all. I was in it for the long haul.

I woke up this morning to a large number of missed calls, texts (messages on twitter/ facebook etc that I’d no idea about). The first text was asking me if I was ok and they were really sorry about the chap from Boyzone. I felt like I’d be punched - “not Stephen not Stephen not Stephen” I thought but the next text confirmed it. Stephen Gately had died. My Stephen Gately. Who I wrote I love… 4 eva… probably a million times whilst doodling at school. Who when I’m upset I stick on his song Shooting Star or some dodgy video I’d taped off the TV. Who I was banned from playing on College Radio. Who I’ve travelled far and wide to see and often spend too long rambling to strangers about. Who I was always going to marry.

In the past six months I’d invites to a few PR events where I knew Stephen and the rest of Boyzone would be present and despite that being the ultimate fan girl I didn’t go. While I’d meet the rest of Boyzone and Louis I’d never met Stephen and I didn’t really know if I wanted too. I’d him build so much in my head - what if he was just plain rude or thought I was crazy? After all I’m a grown up now I should act like one I though fainting or screaming wouldn’t go down well. I seriously doubted my ability to say anything but I love you and I want to marry you. Could I even stop myself from kidnapping him?

I blogged a few months ago after seeing Boyzone in the O2 two nights in a row about how much Boyzone meant to me growing up and how much their reunion now means to me. It got printed on the official Boyzone so I like to think maybe he read it. Now more then ever I am so thankful that Boyzone reunited not because I got to see them a few more times all together but because it made Stephen so happy and that was all any Gately Girl ever wanted. He needed Boyzone more than the others and the other members really did take care of him. There was always that sense that he was more fragile. I put it down to him being pisces.

I’m sad now because there won’t be anymore tours and albums but also because he won‘t get to see the new Harry Potter movie and he loved Harry Potter. He’d of loved Up and the X Factor. I like to think he’d of ended up involved in the Michael Jackson tribute next year. He wanted to adopt and he’d of been a great Dad. He never got to have an Irish wedding…

When Stephen Gately joined Boyzone in 93 being gay in Ireland was illegal and now his dead we still don’t allow gay men and women to marry. (I know a form of it is on the way but still?)

My heart goes out to the rest of Boyzone who I have as much love for - I can’t imagine how they feel and his family who he adored esp. his sister and Mother. His Mother was so proud in the beginning she’d let fans in to the house for tea and give them a sneaky peak of Stephens room. And of course his partner Andrew with whom Stephen seemed settled, stable and in love.

If I had to pick a mastermind topic Stephen Gately would be it. I know a massive amount from the simple standard stats any fan girls should know such as height, birthday, favourite colour to his dislikes and likes, who worked for him, his dreams and then of course the rumors that were true and ones that were false and the rumors people had never heard of. I knew Stephen Gately and I understood and loved him. Yet really I never knew Stephen. I have no right to grief as I do when his real loved ones are in so much pain. I never met him. I wasn’t his friend and he was never going to be my husband. I know I’m just a fan but yet I still mourn.

I’m glad I was a Gately Girl for 15 years. RIP Stephen Gately. I love you.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

He who is without sin cast the first stone.

It might be an unpopular belief but I feel John O'Donoghue has been hard done by and no I'm not a member Fianna Fail (Fine Gael in fact) or from Kerry. I've been hit hard (but not hardest) by the recession, and so have my family and friends. I'm not wearing rose tinted glasses but I refuse to be petty and bitter about our boom years.

I find it hard to watch someone who has worked hard and did an excellent job as Minster for the Arts, Sports and Tourism be made out to be such a villain. Okay his expenses are crazy but I'm sure once the majority are investigated we'll see that he was not the only one to have over indulged. That was the mentality of the time. It is the system that is wrong not the people who use. It's human nature to use these things to our benefit. When I was a child my Mother taught me when someone offers you something you take it and say thank you. To this day if someone gives me something I accept it and say thank you. I don't slide into "are you sure?" "you need it more".

In college I had my first experience in claiming expenses. I was on the committee of five different societies and while we did a lot of good (making friends, developing life skills and raising money for charity) we did spend a lot on non essential things like food and drink or pointless days out. The theory was we had to spend all the money we'd been allocated or else next year our budget will be cut. So we made sure that we spend all the money. I didn't question it. Meanwhile in the same college my course was underfunded and I was being taught in a prefab building out the back of the college with a family of foxes living under it, the equipment was 20 years old, we'd 4 computers between 19 people and we had to be really quiet so we wouldn't wake the homeless guy who lived a tent in the high grass a few feet away... and yes this was in the boom years.

In college I had my first and only experience with John O'Donoghue. He was one of the few Fianna Fail ministers who gave freely of his time to our tiny student radio station (I was studying Radio). He was always lovely with a smile or chuckle in his voice. Perhaps he found my meek interviewing technique and squeaky radio voice amusing I don't know but I glad he took our calls.

Lets look at the world stage and compare for a second. We're shocked John O'Donoghue would bring his wife with him on trips. Italy are shocked (kinda?) that Berlusconi would cheat on his wife and party with hookers on a boat... We're appalled that John O'Donoghue used VIP airport lounges. In the UK people are appalled a Conservative member of parliament, Douglas Hogg, put in for expenses that included the cleaning of a moat around his country estate.

The nail in the coffin no doubt for most people was his trips abroad that matched up with race meetings. If John O"Donoghue hadn't been Minster for Arts, Sports, and Tourism since 2002 this in my mind would be unacceptable too but remember that it was his passion for sport that made him such a good minister maybe his found this hard to left behind and no doubt at these race meetings he was still representing the government and networking with his existing contacts.

So what are we all so angry about? Are we angry at this one person? At the government? At the civil service? The only people we should be angry with ourselves. We voted them in. We didn't pay attention to how the funding in our Health or Education sections were being put to use, we liked our pay increases and didn't question their spending. It reminds me of the bit in the film Independence's Day when someone yells at The President "you didn't think they really spend $500 on a hammer did you?" Like them we didn't think the good times would end. So instead of moaning about our income levy's and pay cuts we should take a little of responsibility for the Credit Cards we max'd out on trips to New York or the car loan we knew we couldn't afford. We were all living beyond our means from the very top to the very bottom. For every crooked staff member in Fas there is a person claiming social welfare payments they aren't entitled too so (and for every good hard working member of Fas there is someone who deserves more support from Social Welfare) maybe we all get off our high horses and disband our lynch mobs because we all had a hand in the death of Celtic Tiger.

Leave John O'Donoghue alone. His a good man who did a good job. He didn't do anything illegal. He made silly mistakes - his human. Don't confuse the injustice on how the crooked bankers got away with it and how head of Fas got a €1 million golden hand shake with exaggerated anger at his expenses. It won't made us feel any better in the long run. Use the energy that could be spend on a witch hunt on reforming the system, debating NAMA and getting the budget right. We'll never get to the other side of this recession if we're stopping every two seconds to point the finger and it won't be long before finger is pointed right back at you.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Test

I am an ENFJ. More commonly known as a Teacher. I love the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Test. My sister (who is like 0.5% of the population a Mastermind) introduced me too it a few years back. As a salesperson it gives me a large insight in to what makes me tick. I've a rather wordy description of my type below. There are 16 types in total. Which are you?

ENFJs/Teachers are the benevolent 'pedagogues' of humanity. They have tremendous charisma by which many are drawn into their nurturant tutelage and/or grand schemes. Many ENFJs have tremendous power to manipulate others with their phenomenal interpersonal skills and unique salesmanship. But it's usually not meant as manipulation -- ENFJs generally believe in their dreams, and see themselves as helpers and enablers, which they usually are.

ENFJs/Teachers are global learners. They see the big picture. The ENFJs focus is expansive. Some can juggle an amazing number of responsibilities or projects simultaneously. Many ENFJs have tremendous entrepreneurial ability.

ENFJs/ Teachers are, by definition, Js, with whom we associate organization and decisiveness. But they don't resemble the SJs or even the NTJs in organization of the environment nor occasional recalcitrance. ENFJs are organized in the arena of interpersonal affairs. Their offices may or may not be cluttered, but their conclusions (reached through feelings) about people and motives are drawn much more quickly and are more resilient than those of their NFP counterparts.

ENFJs/Teachers consider people their highest priority, and they instinctively communicate personal concern and a willingness to become involved. Warmly outgoing, and perhaps the most expressive of all the types, Teachers are remarkably good with language, especially when communicating in speech, face to face.

Face to face relationships are intense, personable and warm, though they may be so infrequently achieved that intimate friendships are rare. They do not hesitate to speak out and let their feelings be known. Bubbling with enthusiasm, Teachers will voice their passions with dramatic flourish, and can, with practice, become charismatic public speakers. This verbal ability gives Teachers a good deal of influence in groups, and they are often asked to take a leadership role.

Like their INFJ cousins, ENFJs are blessed through introverted intuition with clarity of perception in the inner, unconscious world. Dominant Feeling prefers to find the silver lining in even the most beggarly perceptions of those in their expanding circle of friends and, of course, in themselves. In less balanced individuals, such mitigation of the unseemly eventually undermines the ENFJ's integrity and frequently their good name. In healthier individuals, deft use of this awareness of the inner needs and desires of others enables this astute type to win friends, influence people, and avoid compromising entanglements.

ENFJs/Teachers know and appreciate people. Like most NFs, (and Feelers in general), they are apt to neglect themselves and their own needs for the needs of others. They have thinner psychological boundaries than most, and are at risk for being hurt or even abused by less sensitive people. ENFJs often take on more of the burdens of others than they can bear.

ENFJs/Teachers like things settled and organized, and will schedule their work hours and social engagements well ahead of time-and they are absolutely trustworthy in honoring these commitments. Valuing as they do interpersonal cooperation and harmonious relations, Teachers are extraordinarily tolerant of others, are easy to get along with, and are usually popular wherever they are.

ENFJs/Teachers are highly sensitive to others, which is to say their intuition tends to be well developed. Certainly their insight into themselves and others is unparalleled. Without a doubt, they know what is going on inside themselves, and they can read other people with uncanny accuracy. Teachers also identify with others quite easily, and will actually find themselves picking up the characteristics, emotions, and beliefs of those around them. Because they slip almost unconsciously into other people's skin in this way, Teachers feel closely connected with those around them, and thus show a sincere interest in the joys and problems of their employees, colleagues, students, clients, and loved ones.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

100 things that make me happy...

I’m currently reading Dream It. List It. Do! Number 43 on their list is 100 things that make you happy (besides money). I’ve decided to list my 100 things.

1. My daily lunch time phone call to my Mother
2. Getting a lift from Dublin to Limerick on my own with my sister Caroline.
3. Going down the big hill near my house on my bike without braking.
4. Walking dogs at the pound.
5. Seeing Chris at the 37x bus stop.
6. Co-writing a project with Rebecca.
7. Reading Eoghan Harris’s article on a Sunday.
8. Talking politics with Dad.
9. Meeting up with Montse and her son Dylan at the playground.
10. Grooming the cat and getting out a knot.
11. Hearing Chris playing piano from outside the house as I‘m walking up to the house.
12. Getting photos developed.
13. Receiving handwritten letters.
14. When a big group of people sign a Birthday or “Sorry your leaving” card and the notes are personal
15. Listening to Roger Greene on the radio.
16. Happy and polite bus drivers.
17. Fleece PJ’s and big fluffy comfy socks.
18. Watching a great speaker at a debate.
19. Calling Graham “old man“.
20. Reading.
21. Days Chris doesn’t have to get up at 6am.
22. The way Mom/ Dad/ Chris takes care (aka puts up with) me when I’m ill.
23. When I see people running for the bus and they make it.
24. American tourists.
25. When my smallest clients get a big return.
26. When the underdog wins at the Oscars.
27. Drinking wine and watching anything from my sister Evelyn’s massive DVD collection.
28. When the really annoying neighbours kids call to the house to pet the pets!
29. Finding something I thought I’d lost.
30. Rambling.
31. New bed sheets.
32. Really good and really bad buskers.
33. Spending a day in the park.
34. When my cat Luna rubs her pointy little face in mine.
35. Watching Formula 1.
36. Fostering and re-homing an animal.
37. Watching old Boyzone video tapes.
38. Swimming on holidays (the gym is nice but not the same!)
39. Being let go early from work on a Friday.
40. Getting rained on (I have danced in the rain and I’ve no doubt I will again) whilst in good form.
41. Solving a problem.
42. The feeling I get after giving someone something they appreciate or need.
43. A warm scone with jam in the morning.
44. The kind of hang over that makes me jump out of bed at 7am and ring loads of people.
45. Red pandas in the Zoo.
46. Writing/ receiving a long email.
47. Never missing my favourite TV show.
48. Finding someone I thought I lost contact with years ago.
49. Guinness my step-cat’s truffle shuffle.
50. When Captain Jack my rabbit yawns, goes for a stretch or climbs on something way too tall.
51. Giving myself a french polish on the train.
52. Going to press screening of every Harry Potter.
53. Looking around Forbidden Planet.
54. Going to the cinema and saying “I interviewed him…” at least once… (other people hate this!)
55. Proving people wrong.
56. Having nicely shaped eyebrows. (Very rare)
57. Looking at Cars with Dad.
58. Good conversations with Taxi people.
59. Sleeping in general .
60. People leaving comments on my blog.
61. A new Argos/ Llittlewood’s catalogue
62. When Chris says seven.
63. Having Snoopy on my lap watching TV.
64. Listening to Stephen Gately Shooting Star on dubbing speed.
65. Live Music.
66. Comfy clothes.
67. Guinea Pigs chirping
68. Christmas.
69. My daily night time phone call to my Mother.
70. Watching football in the pub with my Bus Buddies. (haven’t done in a very long time)
71. Casey the dog being excited to see me.
73. Watching airplanes take off.
74. Colourful flowers.
75. Colourful anything.
76. Exaggerating.
77. Social networking.
78. John Barrowman.
79. Custody of the ipod.
80. Autumn.
81. Musicals
82. Bed sits and roof gardens.
83. Going to Mass.
84. 80’s cartoon’s
85. Romantic Comedies (when the guy gets the girl moments).
86. Science Fiction.
87. Suitcases with wheels.
88. When Michael from Boyzone gets to do stuff.
89. Hot Showers.
91. Being written on and posted places (Chris sticks stamps on me)
91. When people like my pets (impressed by Wigglesworth - his very impressive_
92. Seeing wildlife in the park.
93. Newborn anything.
94. Weddings.
95. Having tea in Navan.
96. Glitter.
97. Trick or treaters.
98. Entire family in an enclosed space like a car. Etc for long periods.
100 Making lists.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Lisbon - It's Simple.

It amazes me how both Yes & No camps have danced around the real issue of the Lisbon Treaty. Each adding to confusion. I simply don't understand why someone doesn't get up on a soap box and say "it's all about power - isn't it though?"

Why would we vote NO? Not because we are afraid our youngest sons will be sent to a non existent war or that our daughters will corrupted by the evils of abortion (all you need is a cheap seat on ryanair for that?) but because when in a position of power why would you choose to dilute it? If given a choice between having more or less control any genius would hold on dear to their all powerful position?

This is where the Yes camp is failing. The Lisbon Treaty is essentially about equality - sharing the power in a fairer way than lets say eurovision . The EU is bigger and better than what we first called the EEC - as the game changes we must adapt (a bit like introducing video refereeing). The EU has always tried to be fair and all members (including us) shared in the benefits of it's membership but no doubt in certain incidents we lost out. We've compromised on the smaller issues to gain in the bigger picture. If we vote Yes this will still be the case. There will always be risk and compromise - how successful can you be in anything without either of those controversial ingredients?

Now for a classy metaphor! All around the country children are starting back at school. Due to the recession a few students won't have all their books. Your child luckily though has been kited out with new books and a pencil case full of pens and pencils. Would you feel ashamed if your child who is in a better position than the child next to him/her refuses to share their textbook or lend a pen? They'll be right though? I mean that other child could take that pencil and never return it? Or smudge or write on their schoolbook? We all teach all children (as our parents taught us) to be fair, and share but do we practice what we preach?

Soon we'll go to vote again and I hope Yes passes because not only it is the right thing to do but the clever one as well. However if No passes I hope we're big and bold enough to stand behind it say yes we know we're being spoilt brats but thanks very much we don't want to lose our head start (we know that if your people voted they'd think the same). I don't think I could stomach another "Oh really? Oh I didn't understand it! I know it was explained three times over every day for months on end on TV and radio and I do have access to the internet as well and people calling to my house to explain it as well as leaflets but I just don't get it."

I prefer the rest of Europe think of us as ungrateful rather than plain ignorant.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Confessions of a Bad Girlfriend...

I'm presently reading Liz Jone's Diary ... how one single girl got married. Liz used to be Editor of Glamor and Marie Claire but is now the Fashion Editor of Daily Mail. I used to work in the Daily Mail and I used to sell adverts off the back of Liz Jones - "I love her - she's great blah blah blah" I'd lie. Of course I hadn't a clue who she was really. I'd a sheet with names I was expected to drop into conversation (I always raved about our Gardening columnist "his the best" I later found out he is a she. Lesson learnt - "know your product").

I only read one of her articles - it was bearable only because it mentioned her pets. I never read "You" Magazine on a Saturday (it does boost the papers sales though) because it only had English adverts (I only read newspapers and magazine for leads not enjoyment) now however "plug plug" it does have Irish adverts...

I picked up the book in the library last week only because they literally had nothing on my list of classics (yes I wrote a list) and I needed something to show for my trip (or to stop me spending money in Easons or worst Forbidden Planet on the way back home) so I went home with dating books, some chick lit, and a Dr. Phil book (see why I needed the list). To start off with I thought she's a bit like my perfect older sister who's rather fab, fashionable and has wallpaper encrusted with Swarovski crystals in her living room.

As I read on and on it dawned on me "Liz Jones ... how one single girl got married" is not a celebration of finally being part of a smug married couple after years of single living it's about how women sabotage themselves and their relationships with their needy behavior, unrealistic expectations and mind games. By Chapter 10 it was me mirrored in the pages. At first it was fun, cute similarities - she works in The Mail, owns 4 cats - one is even called Snoopy, likes guinea pigs, her boyfriend is younger and doesn't eat meat, football widow, complains at goldfish in round bowls in shops (it's distressing for them you know) and her pet hate is standing up eating without a plate (I once nearly broke up with Chris in our early years because he expected me to eat a bag of chips on a street corner in Navan - I told him it was common.)

Then I started to notice the less nice similarities - the word "negative" comes to mind and the phrase "nothing is ever good enough" or" high maintenance". We have a high divorce rate because of the Liz Jones of the world. Whilst confidence and successful her self esteem is dangerously low and therefore she should not date never mind marry. I'm only on Chapter 46 but I know she's not married anymore so it can't end well. Bridget Jones can be as dim as she likes... she's fictional...

It got me thinking about my own many bad habits. I've always viewed myself as not a saint of a girlfriend but a good solid keeper all the same! I'm starting to think I'm not that much of a keeper at all. Chris however is annoyingly a saint (except every now and then he accidently locks me in the bedroom) - he puts up with my expensive "pet rescue" complexion (I once maxed a credit card on two sick rabbits - they didn't even live...), I'll eat all the Rice Krispies and leave the box in the cupboard, I refer to him as "well trained" and say "the key is to get them young" when I boast about how he cooks and cleans dispite his daily 4 hour commute, I openly wonder if I'd prefer living alone in a bed sit furnished by Ikea, I've told him which pets and other items I'm keeping when we spilt (because no one stays with the fella they've been dating since they were 17 but yet I've pinned him down on an exact wedding date), I guess all his surprizes, I open Christmas presents early, I put Boyzone on his ipod, I'm doing something else this year for his Birthday (I'm going to Simply Red with my Dad), in general I throw a fit when I don't get "exactly" what I want (I steal all my ideas for movies) all the time (example the time he brought back Kimberly biscuits instead of Jaffa Cakes), I wake him in the middle of the night to get me a drink of water (I can't go downstairs in case there are zombies or ghosts) then complain I don't like the glass the water is in and perhaps worst of all when I'm home sick I blame him as the reason I'm in evil Dublin instead of Limerick where my friends and family and a career in radio is even though I love my job, I've plenty of friends in Dublin and seeing my Family would probably ruin our great relationship.

Chris protested all this - having read the last paragraph he says I'm being very hard on myself. I am lovely in other ways even if I'm very demanding it's worth it. Chris likes me because I'm focused, motivated, generous, intelligent and funny. That sounds more like a reason to hire me then date me. I figure I must be great in bed? I wish it was New Years so I could promise to be better behaved - I'll promise anyway.

Friday, July 31, 2009


Have you read more than 6 of these books? The BBC believes most people will have read only 6 of the 100 books here. How do your reading habits stack up? 

I've a little x beside the ones I've read - most before the age of 17? Have I lost my love of reading? Or just steered away from the classics? At least it's more than 6? Joining the libraby tonight! 

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen -         x

2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien - X

3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte -         x

4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling-X

5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee - X

6 The Bible - There are lots of bibles... x

7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte -X

8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell –

9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman - X

10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens - x

11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott - x

12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy –

13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller –

14 Complete Works of Shakespeare-

15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier - x

16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien - X

17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk -

18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger -X

19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger-

20 Middlemarch - George Eliot -

21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell-

22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald -

23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens -

24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy -

25 The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams - x

27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky -

28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck -

29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll- x

30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame- x

31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy -

32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens - x

33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis -X

34 Emma-Jane Austen - x

35 Persuasion - Jane Austen - x

36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis -X (

37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini -

38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres -

39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden -

40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne -

41 Animal Farm - George Orwell - X

42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown -

43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez -

44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving-

45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins -

46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery-X

47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy -

48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood -

49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding -

50 Atonement - Ian McEwan-

51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel-

52 Dune - Frank Herbert -

53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons-

54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen – x

55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth -

56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon -

57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens - X

58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley -

59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night - Mark Haddonx -

60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez -

61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck -

62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov-

63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt -

64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold -

65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas -

66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac -

67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy -

68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding- x

69 Midnight’s Children -

70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville -

71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens- x

72 Dracula - Bram Stoker - x

73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett - X

74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson -

75 Ulysses - James Joyce – x hated it though?

76 The Inferno – Dante -

77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome

78 Germinal - Emile Zola -

79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray-

80 Possession - AS Byatt –

81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens - x

82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell -

83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker-

84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro -

85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert -

86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry -

87 Charlotte’s Web - EB White - X

88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom -

89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle-

90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton- x

91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad -

92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery - x

93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks -

94 Watership Down - Richard Adams- x

95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole -

96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute -

97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas - X

98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare- x

99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl -X

100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo- x


Dribble really...

Haven’t blogged in awhile – have been busy in my own not getting nothing much done way. Quick recap on me:


  • Went to Limerick last week to visit my sister’s lickle dog Sophie’s new puppies (very cute). Heading home again tonight til next Wednesday for another weekend of being treated like a Princess by my parents (all part of their “lure Sharon home” from Dublin plot) whilst “my friends” slag my Dublin accent shame.
  • Been having really bad nightmares all the month of July and now have terrible bags under my eyes but have discovered the Cooling Eye Balm from One Cosmetics “8 hours sleep in a bottle”. It actually works!
  • Back to WW’s – lost like 9 pounds. Figure I’ll gain a bit over long weekend but hi ho…
  • Got started on the Buffy Season 8 comics, finished Sculduggery (kids book but I like it!) and am enjoyed TW’s Bay of the Dead.
  • I got an iffy’s haircut – kinda lopsided but I don’t hate it so much now. Next time I get my hair cut I’ll just have to have an actually idea in my head of what I want.
  • Really upset about Borders closing – my whole Sunday routine is up in the air now. No more strolling to blanch to spend too much time and money in Pet Stop, then Borders then Starbucks – perhaps a good thing…
  • SNAILS – bleedin’ everywhere. I’m like a ninja these days avoiding them walking home – our garden has a really nice snail bush as well.
  • I do love TodayFM… can’t decide if I like Facebook though.
  • I officially hate RTD – argh his so rude (I hate rude people) I may well watch Supernatural as well as go to THE HUB 3 in October (yes well I hate RTD not Torchwood and I’ll never get a chance to embrace Torchwood of old again!) as GDL has been announced. This might set back my Cardiff at Christmas plan however…
  • And finally do `I want one of Eve’s pup’s? Not really into small white fluffy things but aw a puppy is a puppy!

 Ps I love my new glasses?

Friday, July 10, 2009

RIP Ianto Jones

You should have seen me the last few weeks counting away the days (literally) until the 5 part series 3 of Torchwood - my one surviving and beloved TV show. I'm not one for soaps or reality TV - it's re-runs of Star Trex, Buffy, X Files and Angel or the odd box set of now defunct series like Battlestar or Firefly that I would have missed. Bit if a theme? Yes I'm a geek - I wouldn't achieve a high level of geekdom perhaps if tested but a geek all the same.
 Early last year the John Barrowman biography was given too me by someone in work. I like bio's but I didn't know who John Barrowman was. I didn't expect to get past the first chapter but strangely I intrigued. Not only was this man involved in Musical Theatre (I do love Jazz hands), on some Sci-Fi programme called Doctor Who (I do love Sci-Fi) but he was a force of nature so focused, positive and driven how could I not like him.
 Off I went to investigate Doctor Who and Captain Jack Harness. I might seem odd I didn't know too much about Doctor Who at this stage but in Ireland Doctor Who hasn't the same status as it does in the UK. In Ireland we have The Late Late Show or Bosco - only people living on the East Coast of Ireland could pick up the BBC (illegally). 
Pretty soon I was up to date on both Doctor Who and Torchwood. Torchwood in particular tipped my interest. I love Doctor Who but it's easy viewing mainly like enjoying a good Disney movie. I trust it's going to deliver. I know that they might kill Bambi's Mom but in the end that heartache will be forgotten and I'll have a nice warm fuzzy feeling. On the other hand I want the under dog Torchwood to deliver but I don't trust it will (and that’s somehow more exciting). I've thrown my hands up in disgust as much as I've punched the air with joy.
Character development in my humble opinion was always Torchwood's downfall not dodgy storylines about alien necklaces. Everyone was introduced but never explored. It was always a rush job - quickly tell loads of stories before we get cancelled. Gwen the heart of the Hub? She's the viewer's point of view? (No that’s Rose in Doctor Who?) She's caring and connected to the outside world - blah blah blah. Gwen was never the Hub's heart in fact the big mistake they made in Series 1 that made her so instantly unlikable was her affair with Owen whilst making puppy eyes at Jack. Ianto's character was more confused than complicated. He managed to catch a dinosaur on his first day yet Jack gives him a job making coffee? Cyberwoman (some people love it some people hate it) had no set up and no follow up. Jack is going to shoot Ianto for keeping his Cyberwoman girlfriend in the basement - the next time we see Ianto on screen Jack gives him a pat on the back for checking weather patterns. One minute Ianto is telling Jack his going to get revenge when he least expects it and the next his dangling a stopwatch. There simply isn't enough pieces of the puzzle for the viewer to get a clear idea of who these people are or what the want. All the relationships are strained or forced or simply misunderunderstood. In Fragments we take a step back and see how Jack recruited Tosh, Owen and Ianto. It was a show all fans loved. A simple bit of back-story can make the world of difference. Of course Tosh and Owen die the next day but it wasn't a waste. Now you cared when they died because you knew a little bit more. Killing them was harsh but fair. The show was sluggish - weighted down by too many people and subplots needing airtime. At least they went out with a bang and two amazing performances.
Watching Torchwood COE I thought WOW they've actually got the balance right. They have carefully backtracked. Gwen is better suited and better written as a kick ass action hero who’s happily married with the slight complication of a baby on the way. Bringing in Rhys for a bit of light comic relief was a stroke of genius. PC Andy though is still sadly under used. Jack is a lot darker which is great because being buried alive for a few hundred years isn't something you should take lightly. Ianto's puppy love for Jack feels genuine. (However Ianto's speech in the radio play "The Dead Line" was far superior to the "Bloody Beans" scene) The introduction of Rihanna and Alice brings a new depth to Ianto/Jack but are both pretty great characters in their own right. Ianto's Brother-in-law in fact stole the show for a brief few moments. Torchwood 3 has three members, that we are finally getting to explore, who are finally stable with great chemistry. The storyline is epic - creepy alien wants 10% of the kiddies while Torchwood is down but not out thanks too the dodgy government (the Doctor should of let Harriet Jones stay in charge we wouldn't of had a recession or 4 dead PM's and the year that never was). 
Another reason I was looking forward to this week was because I was going to see the new Harry Potter film (will post review after Irish Premier on Monday or link from my Film Blog) but that actually left me cold. I'll explain why in a tick but I'll say Torchwood cheered me up considerably after my disappointment. Then last night in my opinion RTD threw it away - he killed off Ianto. This not only made me cry buckets but also got me highly annoyed. His death was bloody useless. It hadn’t a scratch on Tosh or Owens’s death last year in terms of emotion. Jack didn’t even say I love you back? That’s so rude? Buffy was polite enough to tell Spike she loved him when he was dying to save the world?
Now we are stuck between a rock and a hard place. You can’t bring Ianto back to life – it’ll be silly? But how is a S4 possible with just Gwen (who people were coming around to but now will just resent her and blame her for RTD killing off Ianto) and an even darker Jack with some tag along minor characters from Children of Earth or Who rejects like Martha. It’s like your in the middle painting something and it’s going to be your best work and then someone comes in and pours black paint over it. Why start again? It’s ruined.
The one good thing was at least it affected me and everyone I know who liked the show – the last minutes of the latest Harry Potter I should of being crying like my new puppy got run down but it fell short. It was limp. Torchwood was able to deliver that heart-wrecking blow that has me talking and thinking of Torchwood the next day. It’ll go down in popular TV History with powerful scenes such as Buffy stabbing Angel and sending him to hell or Jen dying in Dawson’s Creek not because the scene was particularly good but for the love of a character.

However killing off everyone’s favorite character whilst shocking and even interesting isn’t either clever or brave. Like Ianto accompanying Jack to visit the Alien to tell them “not one single child” without a back up plan or counter threat or the common sense to run for a suit or even to open the air lock to shot it might well prove to be a fatal move.