Air getting in maybe?

It was raining, so maybe her brain rusted.... or maybe this afternoon's strong winds blew the wit out of her.... but in the space of an hour or so;

"there's only spaghetti... but it's the pasta sort of spaghetti". (Rather than the... what kind?!)

"Are those the cutting kind of scissors?" (yes... I left the "weave-the-fabric-back-together" scissors at home.)

"you're so slow... are you writing an epiphany?" (.....??? you really couldn't fake it could you?)

and the slightly more obscure one; "now, he wasn't a cow or anything... he was a man, but he said he was a fresian and he lived on food he found in bins." (Uh... would that be a freegan? Nearly crashed the car laughing at that one.)

Good news for Northern Ireland

Ok. Indulge me, I'm climbing on the soapbox. . .

Abortion is a hot issue on both sides of the pond, but it's getting hotter closer to home. Britain's "Pro Choice" supporters have been yakking it up that women in Northern Ireland are "second class citizens" because abortion here is illegal, except in exceptional medical circumstances, such as when the mother's health is at risk.

So they're raising their game in the hope of making abortion legal here. I doubt that they ever seriously thought they'd get through the hoops this time, and suspect they're ground stomping to lay a path for the future. The vast majority of people in NI don't want abortion on demand legalised here - but since London still has the final say so on some of our lawmaking, the "pro-choice" "anti-life-ers" figured they could over-rule what the majority think and push for the extension. How democratic. The subject never got aired because the schedules got fiddled and it'll take a while before it's raised again.

Now here's the thing. I don't feel like a second class citizen. If anything, I'm relieved that I live in a country where human life is still valued. I'm sorry, deeply sorry for all the women who find themselves with an unwanted, unplanned pregnancy. Whatever circumstances led to it, you have my sympathy if it's not where you want to be right now in your life. But you know the saying about two wrongs never making a right? Every action has a consequence and in your heart of hearts, you know that you need to do the right thing rather than the apparently easy thing. And don't be fooled, it's not the "quick fix" you want it to be.

So to the Diane Abbots and Evan Harrises of the world.... and the poor misguided souls in the "Alliance for choice" group in NI; you might just pause and reflect for a moment on the FACT that women in Northern Ireland DO have choices.....

  • we can choose to educate our young women to value themselves,
  • we can choose chastity outside of marriage,
  • we can choose not to have unprotected sex,
  • we can choose not to get out of our minds on booze or drugs so we're still capable of making wise decisions,
  • we can choose to get ourselves medically seen to if we don't trust ourselves to make wise decisions,
  • we can choose to remember that actions have consequences!
  • we can choose to give our unwanted children to responsible adults who'll love them and care for them.

Boy do we have choices!

Northern Ireland's had enough slaughter in it's past for us to be sure we don't want it in our future. But here's the thing. The champions of "convenience" are not going to give up easily, so helmets on chums, there's a battle ahead!

Big day for a little person!

Today, we had a birthday in the family. A special birthday because 2 is a very special age to be.

It's when your cousins and grandas and grannys and aunties and uncles all come to visit and home becomes happy bedlam.

It's when a guy gets so many cards and gifts, he just has to cosy up in his new blanket for a few minutes just to take it all in.

It's when you get a "2"cake with Mr Tumble and lots of stars on it because you love stars... and the whole thing has so much sugar you'll fly round the ceiling for a week!

It's when YOU get first blow at the candles, and start the singing of "for he's a jolly good fellow" and get everyone hip hip hooraying because you're such a happy chappy and you love a party.

It's when there's so much going on, you're happy to share your things with younger cousins!

"What a shame you can't buy
tokens of time, save them up
and lengthen the good days
days you wish would last forever."

("Days" by Brian Moses)

Happy birthday little guy and many, many more "good days".

And the total is.... (drum roll please...)

a staggering, breathtaking £3,500.

For coffee. Oh, and tea.

Isn't that a humdinger! I never honestly believed we'd get anywhere close to that - but heck, we did and listen up people: WE HAVE MADE A DIFFERENCE. If you were part of it all, then I hope you feel a wee glow of satisfaction, because you done good!

And I'm also delighted that we have been fruitful too... and seeded the idea. Ali's next where she and the family are growing their own little Call for a Cuppa day in a couple of weeks time. YEAY!

(lol - just looked at Ali's blog.... maybe anyone from across the pond should sit down before checking it out!)

Pics from the "Call for a Cuppa" Day for TEARfund

So the dust settles.....

It took a while to get things back to normal after the mayhem of our "call for a cuppa for Tearfund" day. Can anyone tell me why chatting to people is so exausting?! I wasn't even doing the work for goodness sakes!

At one point the queue for coffee was right to the front door and I don't think I've ever seen so many people in our home in one day - I lost count after about 60 and that was just a couple of hours into the event, so I guess it was maybe double that. We gave up taking photos as it just got too crowded.

Lots of old friends call by, as well as new friends and neighbours - it's a great way to get to know people as well as raise the profile and gather support for a great mission!

Although I'd baked lots,we were so grateful for the gifts of baking others brought - thanks Anne, Eleanor, Robo, Ali, Winnie and Fifi! We needed your contributions!

Hats off also to:

>Leta who singlehandly set up ready for the crowds. Well done mum.
>The Cove Cottage Kitchen team who kept everyone fed and watered throughout the day -Lulu, Lottie, Robo, Fifi and Dillon's chum.
>Charlene for great pancakes, fresh off the griddle and Lewis for keeping her right!
>Carol and Eileen who sold more craft than they ever could have imagined.
>Ali and "Anon"! who managed to jump in from another blog!!!!!!! Now how did they do that?!
>Billy for tidying up as usual! Where does my father get his energy from?
>Gavin for the milk run when we ran out!
>Michael and Heather for the coffee run when we ran out!
>Grace for having the energy to mop the floor after everyone had gone.... ...and >everyone who "called for a cuppa" and helped make it such a brilliant day.

The final total isn't in yet - orders keep coming for crafts and cards since we ran out on Saturday - but as soon as I know, you'll know!

THANK YOU everyone who made it such a great day!

Sat 11th update

Ah, I'm too creamed tonight to relate the craic of the day and upload the pics, but since I know some of you will be logging in to see yourselves - check tomorrow night!

The best news is, you helped us raise over £ 3,000. (Did you hear right?) Yep, OVER THREE THOUSAND POUNDS from coffee and crafts! Wow. Thankyou.

More tomorrow. Zzzzzz

Saturday 11th October

Tearfund time again - the annual "call for a cuppa" day looms and we're getting ready for the crowds to descend.

Thanks to Lottie (front right), Lulu (back right) and Dillon's chum (front left) for posting fliers through ALL the doors in the neighbourhood last night... here they are with their friend Miss McGreggor (back left).

THANK YOU LADIES, hope the malteser buns and fifteens were adequate payment!

So, scores of scones have been baked and hundreds of traybakes made (squares to my transatlantic friends) and we're ready to go.

On Saturday, we'll have a room full of lovely TEARcraft andTEARfund cards to sell and all the friends and neighbours will enjoy a cuppa and a natter and we'll hopefully raise lots of money for a brilliant cause.

If you know where I live... please call (on Sat 11th) between 10.30am and 3pm... it'll be bedlam, but we'd love to see you!

Meme-o to self... no more tagging!

Ali tagged me a while back... so here goes;

Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

Easier I think if there's a theme... let's see... misdemeanors and silly stuff?

1) During a great aunt’s funeral in the crematorium. I was playing the organ and as expected, everyone very upset, (by her death, not my music… I think?!) As the coffin platform descended to the depths (and furnace area) I looked up to see, fixed to the wall just past the organ, a fire extinguisher… for? It tickled my chuckle muscle and I’m afraid to say, I lost it.

2) At a church service for a particular “orange” organisation, I played a “disguised” version of an “unacceptable” national anthem on the organ … and no one noticed. Mischievous, but satisfying.

3) I was very impressed with my new stilettos (ok, I was about 16). Dressed to the nines, I chose to wear them to Youth Fellowship for their first outing. No one told me the plan was to walk up Cave Hill in Belfast after church. One of my heels is still there somewhere.

4) We were in my friend's hospital room and she was recounting an earlier visit from a mutual friend who was a junior doctor. She was a little embarrassed when he proceeded to examine her after what she thought was just a social call. “I’m sure you felt like running a mile when he said...” She’d just had a leg amputated. She laughed, bless her. I was mortified.

5) I helped “pour” a jug of ice cubes down a co-presenter’s back during his last programme. Thank goodness it was radio, though he did sound very odd.

6) Inappropriate emotion? Another colleague confessed to falling into his mother’s grave at her funeral. I’d already heard. So had just about everyone in work. I really did my best to make my tear filled eyes look like sympathy but when the giggles hit… (It was one of many “accidents” including locking himself inside his house and losing the keys – twice, then there was the time he stabbed himself with a letter opener…. )

7) While on holiday in France with a group of friends including one irritatingly passionate vegetarian, I had an irristible urge to stir the veggie pot with a very meaty spoon. The meal was declared “the tastiest ever” by said vegetarian. I’m a nicer person now. I think.

8) At college, I called a fellow student and claimed to be from the student health centre. I told him his urine sample wasn’t adequate for the raft of tests required and requested he supply a larger quantity – maybe a litre or so. Later, we waited in the health centre to snigger when he arrived with his piddle-pot. (He wasn’t ill, just the routine health checks at the start of a university course.)

Now tell us something about you; Charlene, Laura, Bree and... heck, I don't think I know eight bloggers who haven't already done it!

The Wedding Album

Thought for those dedicated followers of fashion, you might like to look here to see what everyone looked like fifty years ago. For those reading locally, the wedding was in McCracken Memorial Presbyterian in Belfast (Mum's maiden name was McCracken) and the reception was in Cranethorpe House which became what we know as the Park Avenue Hotel.

We had mum's wedding dress on a manequin at the 50th anniversary party - with the head-dress propped on my never-used wig stand. It didn't work! Whatever way the polystyrene head was fixed on, it looked as if it was hovering above the body - a bit sureal, like some thing from Dr Who! That said, the dress is still lovely.

Back in action....

...having been "missing" for a while. Isn't it lovely to be missed?! Thanks Bree, Ali, Laura and "Anon" - touched by your thoughts/concern! I'm grand thanks - just gone into a "came-over-all-excited" phase. Might be that I have hair again (sort of) or that I got to the end of the radio therapy "cooking" or even that it's the start of my favouritest season in the year. Maybe just a combination of all three.

I've been busyish too... York, Spain and Portugal putting friction burns on the passport and the plastic... but most importantly, we had a golden wedding anniversary to celebrate in the family. My parents (mug shots here) were married on 13th September 1958 in Belfast.

Family and friends came together in the lovely Clarendon Building, Belfast to mark the occasion and it was wonderful; to the twinkling harp music on a sunny day (yes there was one specially ordered) we chatted, laughed, remembered, ate, sang and told our stories - some of them captured in the "Quilt of Golden Moments" which was presented along with a book recalling the memories with photos. You can see the quilt if you click on the flickr badge to the right of the web page - for those not sure of flickr, once in the "badge", the pics are probably best viewed by clicking on the little screen logo to the right (just under where it says "55 items") then if you're really interested, on the top of the page, click on the "info on" bit to find out about the stories. It's been such a rewarding project to work on and Billy and Leta are just so moved by all the memories and the love stitched into it.

Then as a family, we headed to Portugal for a very special holiday; a golden wedding, a couple of fortieth birthdays and an end of breast cancer treatment. Just what the doc ordered all round!