No to Cork, Yes to Elderflower

Best to try new things, especially with gin, so myself and Honeymonster were recommended an elderflower tonic by a bar man who seriously, and I am not just saying this because I am 39 and 7/8ths, was about 12 years old.  Very nice indeed, except we both felt very sleepy afterwards.

Have also been trying the soda water instead of tonic, to cut calories (I’m aware it would be easier to cut out scones, but would it?  Be easier?  To cut out scones?  No, it would not.).  I suppose I could get used to it, but there was no zing, even with the addition of cucumber (essential to a clean cut gin drink – barmen, take out that bloody lemon and throw away the lime!  Cucumber is the king of gin!).

Whilst purchasing my soda water, I was accosted at the bar by a Cork football supporter who had the temerity to ask me if Dublin had won the match.  ‘Of course we did!’ I yelped at him like a wounded dog, amazed that he could envision otherwise.  He then advised me that the ‘rebels’ (a name the ignorant Corkonians call themselves) would happily see off Dublin ‘soon’.  I reminded him of our quite recent victory over this alleged ‘team’ and then we both started snorting at each other like bulls.  My gin was ready, and I left him ordering Beamish, or whatever shite Cork people drink instead of Dublin Guinness.

Our Ball – the Dubs explain to Wexford that they are surplus to requirements

Diarmuid Does Dallas (Well, Phoenix)

The Tank – Dub Hero Diarmuid out making mincemeat of our country enemies

Sitting in the pub after Dublin dispatched Wexford in the Gaelic football at Croke Park, I was shocked to find that during the trad session there was an actual double of Diarmuid Connolly sitting in front of me.  Was it him?

It was not, it was an American from Phoenix with the same square jaw, sharp hair ‘do’ and rectangled body of the great man himself.  Lilsister proclaimed him to be Diarmuid’s double, made facebook friends with him and promptly sent him photos of The Great One.  He left pretty quickly after that, saying he was en route to Kerry.  We told him not to mention Diarmuid over there.

 

 

 

Pending Guidance

I would like to begin by stating that despite making a list of healthies from my various cook books last night, and despite purchasing some of these healthies (pears, kiwis, various nuts and seeds for snacking, ingredients for my Lebanese salad which is a regular make I must admit) I also inhaled a scone the size of my face earlier.

I had to, for I had to deal with the social welfare again.

I turned up to my ‘guidance’ appointment at the allotted time and walked into an office run entirely by old and obese people.  My being ten minutes early seemed to cause some consternation amongst the staff, and the older lady that barely greeted me at reception went running away almost immediately to find somebody called ‘Billy’ (names have been changed to protect the useless).  This left me with an obese lady who had been standing at the reception as if propped up, who then looked out the window and shuffled away.  Then an obese man sat in the reception chair and wondered aloud how people sat ‘in this fucking thing’.

I took a seat beside some boys who smelt like cigarettes and was immediately called in to an office to see Billy.

Do you know who Lily Savage is?  He didn’t look like her but with a Dublin accent, sounded a bit like her.  He looked like Lily’s creator, Paul O’Grady, but seemed to have computer printed pictures of a wife all over his bulletin board, alongside, bizarrely one of a very young Jennie Garth of 90210 fame (who knew she used to be so chubby?).

  

Billy and ‘Mary’ then proceeded to have a long and deep and meaningful conversation about the data base on Billy’s computer NOT stating that I had been ‘engaged’ despite being to an ‘engagement gathering’ (see previous blogs for that golden nugget of time-wasting).  Cue lots of keyboard bashing which achieved nothing except sighs and declarations by both that I was ‘pending’ – something which appeared to be a Very Bad Thing.

I had been handed a folder, I looked through it and discovered that it had glossy colour photographs of the office I was marooned in and a printout of a Powerpoint presentation about what they were supposed to be doing in this office for me.  In the Key Words and Actions slide it did not say ‘pending’.

 

Dating Opportunities If Aged 63

Our uncle arrived at the pub late, as he plays trad music in a different pub on Sunday nights.  Dublin had just thrashed Derry in the Gaelic football at the hallowed Croke Park, and we had a double celebration what with it being Papabear’s 65th birthday celebrations too.

There was gin, beer and shots of baby Guinness.  I threw up that night and all the next day too, thank the universe Lilsister cooked shepherd’s pie the next day, it was the only thing I kept down for 24 hours.

During the festivities Lilsister informed me that newly separated Unca (age 63) would be bringing ‘a girlfriend’ to her upcoming wedding extravaganza in October.  We were both a little shocked – it was only January when I and Unca hugged each other on our mutual marriage breakdowns – my divorce and his formal separation.

I immediately approached Unca.  ‘You have a girlfriend?’ I slurred.  Indeed he did, he advised, and for a few months.  Excuse me, I pondered out loud, how long have you been separated again?  He queried if I meant officially or unofficially.  ‘Both,’ I enthused.

My 63 year old uncle, officially separated since Christmas, marriage broken down about a year and a half, has a girlfriend.  I am single almost three years and whilst I may not be seeking a boyfriend (or whatever they are called when you are 39 and three quarters) it is not like they are beating down the doors to enter Loboworld.

‘How did you find her?’ I asked.

‘You have to get out there and meet people,’ he confirmed.

I mentioned to Papabear that he was making me look bad.  ‘Yes, he is’, he replied.

Prettyboy said as soon as I stop being bitter I will probably be alright.

I remain utterly bemused that all of the above have partners and I do not.

 

When Michael Jackson Did NOT Come to Dublin

Just because you have some sellotape on your fingers does not give you the right to parade around as a Michael Jackson impersonator.

I had decided to forgo watching my beloved Dublin football team play what turned out to be an absolute belter of a match against Mayo in order to see this cretin.  I had hoped that he would be bad, that wasn’t the problem, the problem was that I showed up at 8pm and he came on after a bloke with glasses and a tracksuit who sang Bob Marley songs, at an unholy 11pm.

He was short and fat with greased back long hair tied into a ponytail.  He had a hugely receding hairline.  Then he put on a black hat and shades and began to screech Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.  It was ok.  The Baker said a professional troupe of impersonators were in Dublin at the moment and perhaps he was one of them, then he failed to hit the high notes on Billie Jean and we said no way.  Then at the end he said he was part of a professional troupe of impersonators who were in Dublin and I continued drinking the beers from a large ‘five beers in a bucket’ promotion the pub was doing.  Middlebro kept shaking his head and saying it was wrong wrong wrong.  He is a bit of a purist when it comes to music.

A lot of people then began grabbing their crotches and doing really bad dance moves.  A group of badly dressed (meaning barely dressed) girls with extensions then chatted up the non-impersonator and the tracksuited singer and once again I wondered how people like that could score whilst I can’t.

Next morning I woke up in splendour in the guest FLOOR of Middlebro and The Baker’s new house and Middlebro knocked politely to tell me he was heading in for a beer poo but would do the fry up immediately afterwards.

 

Four Tubs of Butter and an Idea

Whilst in therapy today, I came up with an idea for a sitcom.  Is this good or bad?  My counsellor says it’s a good idea, but it’s not the idea, it’s the location of the springing up of the idea that concerns me.

Another good thing about therapy is its location is across the road from the discount supermarket where I get my butter (I got four today, buy in bulk Mammy says when it’s cheap) and even more importantly, a really nice Thai takeaway (hard to find in Dublin, in my humble opinion).  I came home ready to butter up my veggie spring rolls and wok fried chicken.  Bliss!

Ugly Poncho Threatens to Distract Drinking, Fails

They (the world) say to write, you must write what you know.  Sadly, I know nothing.

However, even I can envisage that if you spend less than two euro on an item of clothing, it will not rock your world.

So I found it odd that upon opening the cheap packaging that Spongecake had spent a titanic €1.99 on, she then cried a disgusted ”What the fuck???”.  She had just set eyes on the plastic poncho she had bought, at a newsagents, for the first time.   I think she was expecting something that would not look like something a cretin would wear, but how could it under these circumstances.

Horrifically, once we got inside our third pub and the poncho came off, I was the one that had to carry it in my handbag.  This meant the next morning, whilst not dying but not bouncing off the walls with energy either, it was a frightening thing to behold when I went to look for my purse to buy croissants with and it’s bright blue self protruded at me from the depths.

It is best to hide your resolution to go drinking under the illusion of having afternoon tea.  We had our afternoon tea and scones (seriously, I can’t stop eating them) with some wine (beer for Spongecake), then hit a bar on the quays that serves Thai beer, then another bar for gin (vodka for Spongecake), then another bar for beer where the toilet has not been renovated (or cleaned) since the 1960’s, then another bar for more beer where you walk through the door and the one gay at the door hears you (or Spongecake) saying ‘nice bit of cock in here’ and immediately wants to be your friend.

I do remember meeting Spongecake’s (married) friends who did not even pretend to look away when she flashed her heaving chesticle at them, and swopping our shoes at one stage because mine had wedge heels and I am such a non girl my feet even hurt in THOSE, and Spongecakes’ were flat.  It was also very hard to change our shoes back again whilst standing but we distracted attention away from our falling over by blaming two very serious blokes with beards and horn rimmed glasses on an eggy fart we caught when the back door opened, something they displayed absolutely no sense of humour about, nor lowered themselves to discuss with us.  I think they went back to their corner to discuss the rubbishy sonnets they wished they were composing.

Google Penetrates My Subconscious

Another dream which Mammy partially interpreted (we were busy screaming at each other because we had become lost in the Ranelagh area of Dublin, trying to find a place called Sandford School of Languages, which will be teaching Mammy Spanish.  Unhelpfully, it was in a building called the Milltown Institute.  When we found the Milltown Institute there were three doors, one saying Milltown, one saying nothing, and another saying Emerald.  The building we wanted was the one that said nothing.  This is why people slag the Irish).

I told Mammy of another disturbing dream regarding the pop ”band” One Direction.  I am not a fan, although I have had discussions with Papabear and Lilsister that their last effort, something about driving a car all night and talking walls, does not make me vomit.  I mentioned this to Spongecake who nearly clapped with delight.  At 37 years of age, she is more excited about the upcoming One Direction concert taking place in Dublin soon than her SEVEN YEAR OLD daughter.  There is no accounting for taste, or madness.  I told Spongecake that I did not understand the lyrics to whatever this song is called, she said to watch the video and all would be revealed.  I’d rather clean the sleeve that Little Niece N keeps wiping her nose with by using my tongue.

There is an Irish bloke in One Direction (the shame!) and in my dream it was announced somehow that he had 11 months to live.  I can’t remember why and I think in my dream I didn’t care because of who he is, even though I thought it was sad that someone that young had such a short time left.  I knew the songs would continue without him and I think that was the more sobering thought.

Mammy says it’s the numbers here that are significant, there is a ‘One’ Direction and ‘Eleven’ months.  That was as far as we got because we finally found the Milltown Institute at that stage and Mammy went banging on the door with no name to see if it was the Spanish class place.  I stayed in the car because I really needed to go to the toilet and if I had gotten out and moved I would have wet myself.

Lilsister googled the dream whilst being not busy in work and yes the numbers are significant.  I asked her to email me the link she was looking at but as usual she didn’t bother.  What I do remember is that the ‘one’ part is telling me I want to be creative and fabulous, and the ‘eleven’ part means I want to be fabulous and alone.  All of this makes sense and I am in awe at what my brain is doing to me when I am asleep.  I was listening to a radio play by Agatha Christie last night so how that turned into a teen pop group telling me to trod the creative path alone has given me plenty to consider whilst I eat another cupcake.

No No No to the Parade

Little Niece N was emphatic – men should NOT be wearing skirts, and being three, and mad, could NOT understand my explanation that they were a marching band wearing kilts, nor my other explanation that they were just crazy men, and stupid, and were trying to be funny. Little Niece N had decided this parade was not going to work for her.  Then they banged some huge drums and one of the worst, and therefore funniest parades I have ever been to, kicked off.

This niece, the bigger of my two, promptly covered her ears and declared that she was scared, even though Little Star, a full year and a half younger, practically walked off the path to join the kilted gang.  For once, we were all together, me, Lilsister, Middlebro and the Baker (their house being a meeting point as the parade began there), Babybro and Sisinlaw and Firstbrother and Preggers.  And naturally the children, whom we used as an excuse to visit the parade.

The only thing Little Niece N liked was St Patrick who happened to be walking on stilts, I don’t know why, he was awful.  He began a slagging match with Lilsister when we stopped him in his tracks to tell him it was her birthday.  Then the Baker screamed at a rather young tractor driver that I was single, and he nearly crashed.  Luckily the firemen were attractive, but again about 15 years younger than me.  When a skip company drove by on a truck with – yes!- an actual skip on the back, we knew it was the best birthday Lilsister had ever had, and that Little Niece N had been right all along.   A catering company van scooted by with an actual baby dangling dangerously out of an open window, and we all began to fight about whether to eat at the chipper or the pub.

Ming’s Mong

It is time to talk about Ming, and his Mong.

Think Ming from Flash Gordon – a white man who looks almost Asian because his greasy hair has been pulled so tight.  I have no idea what Ming’s real name is.  All I know is that every time I see him at the Dublin football matches, he is wearing the same clothes as last time, Papabear makes a lot of huffing and puffing noises, moves away from Ming, and has begun calling him Mong, quite loudly.

The stench is getting worse.

Ireland has been basking in a heatwave, and not just a namby-pamby one where it doesn’t rain for two days in a row, no a fully fledged, 30 degree, no rain for weeks now, sunshining, humid, fetid heatwave.  What this means is that if you don’t wash, smell stale on a good day and wear the same heavy clothes for the last six months, do weed and don’t use deodorant, you will have a mong coming from you that is so smelly it is almost sweet, and can cause a grown man to sneeze with tears in his eyes.

This is particularly difficult at Dublin matches where the seats are tightly packed at Croke Park.  Should you find yourself sandwiched between a group of Dubs, already sweaty from the mid afternoon sun, it is best if you take the necessary sanitary precautions, and wash yourself.  Failing that, prepare to be left standing alone as the group, gathered in the smoking area at half time to dissect and discuss the finer points of the game, slowly take the necessary steps away from you in order to take good clean breaths of cigarette smoke, rather than your body odour.

Discussions on the matter continued way into the night at the pub, despite the fact that Dublin had overcome one of our arch rivals, the horrible Meath and it’s equally horrible followers in a match which saw Dublin fall apart in the first half, but come into their own in the second.  It was tense, it wasn’t easy, we won the day but it was ropey for a while, yet the topic of conversation was what does Ming’s mong smell like, where does it come from, how can we extinguish it and who is going to say it to him.

Lilsister says it’s his jacket.

Californiadreamin says it’s weed.

Papabear says it’s never washing, ever.

The Clipper says it’s not using deodorant.

Pointyshoes says it’s an inherited problem – the house stinks.

Scarydancer says he’s just a filthy bastard, and I have to concur with that.

Who will be the one to say it to him?

Lilsiter says she doesn’t know him well enough.

Californiadreamin says the smell of weed doesn’t bother him and we’re all mad.

Papabear says he’s happy to say Ming your Mong is disgusting but he’s not the most gentle of people and we all say no to that.

The Clipper says it should be Californiadreamin or Pointyshoes as they’re his friends.

Pointyshoes says he is clean, it’s the smelly house he’s in, and you can’t say that because it’s his parent’s house.

Scarydancer sighs and I say it should be Californiadreamin because he can say I can’t smell anything but others have commented but Californiadreamin takes a sup of his burbon and declares he will not, under any circumstances, say anything to anybody.  Then he asks if anybody is going to sing because if not he will kick off with some Eagles.

Thankfully the band come in and we can all pretend he never said anything about croaking up.