Livestock arrives

Ok, so it's not the kind of livestock I'd thought of over the weekend for the plot.... but they're fluffy, cute and the inside bit is good to eat, so they pretty much fit the bill.

Mum's been knitting flocks of these chicks and I've been bestowing features. (And yes, I know, there are a couple of wonky beaks!) They've a chocolate cream egg inside and at a quid a throw, money's rolling in for the Senior's Stall fund at the church. Mmmmm.


The Good Life....tractors and pig poo

So it's started... and it's a Proverbs 31 thing. You know the bit where the virtuous woman buys a field and plants a vineyard? Ok, there are a few differences. A) I didn't buy it exactly... more to do with barter.....I made a genie costume for a panto in exchange for the loan of a corner of a field, and B) the vineyard bit could be a problem.
Firstly, this is Ireland. (Think rain and cold... and "challenging" sea winds) and secondly, I'm surrounded by tee totallers... one of whom throws a "Skippy" when alcohol is even mentioned. (Anyone remembering the Australian programme from the 70s (?) "Skippy the Bush Kangaroo" will understand. "what's that you say Skip? Tut tut tut tut tut tut tut......") Anyway, I digress.
I made the costume (green with gold sparkly bits) and now I have my corner of the field.

A very exciting big blue tractor.

My friend D arrived with his big blue tractor and a very clever bit of kit he designed himself to ram the whopping big posts into the earth. And it worked. And I got to drive the tractor. And I'm still all excited by it. It had loads of levers and do dahs and it was very, very exciting. I'd like to be a tractor driver when I grow up. Am I digressing again?

By lunchtime we'd all the posts in. (I got to drive the tractor all morning - did I mention that?)
It was eye-wateringly cold and I was wrapped up like a blue onion, which wasn't very flattering. (My coat was blue, not the onions I was wrapped up like. Come to think of it, I've never seen a blue onion. I might plant red ones though.... and brown ones... ) Because it's a bit unflattering, I've no pictures of me. So here's one of my friend D beside the newly finished fence. (He's the one who owns the big blue tractor.) Isn't the fence great?

So bring on the expected (4 legged) occupants of the bigger bit of the field outside my bit. I'm ready. Except there's no gate - yet.
Now all I have to do is get stuff growing. What would you plant? All (serious) suggestions welcomed.
D suggested a couple of pigs to fatten up over the summer on the basis that they'd root about and poo all over the place helping to get it ready for next year... I have left it a bit late to get organised. Hadn't given much thought to livestock, but am worried I might get a bit attached to them, so will think this through. (Once I stop fantasising about leaving broadcasting and driving tractors for a living. )


Mother's day and an Irish picnic

Irish... because we ended up eating it indoors... for a host of reasons, not least because although it was sunny, it was very cold here on the peninsula. A friend and her mum joined us and the four girls headed out for a drive down the inner coastline round Strangford, and it was just glorious. (And yes, part two of the picnic was in the car and we still managed a doze!) Happy mums all round.

Yee Ha!

61 years in the waiting.... but oh boy, they did it.
(Did you hear the screams and whistles and whoops from our house?)

UFO dealt with at last

The latest in a long line of UFOs *un-finished objects" has been ticked off the list. Yeay! This wall hanging (or cushion front if she'd rather!) is a thank-you for a cousin who brought me lots of lovely sewing goodies back from her last trip to the USA. It is SO satisfying to finish something isn't it? I need to keep reminding myself of that!
I've made a rule that I'm not allowed to buy anymore do-dah projects until I get a few more out of the workbasket, completed and into use - a step towards frugality and common sense - the ceiling is about to fall in with the weight of fabric!

Miss-ed out?

They've been busy again. This time, the European silly season focuses on titles for married/single/divorced/grumpy or whatever sort of woman you are. Read all about it here.

  • Miss - someone who never hit the marriage bullseye?
  • Ms - someone in a hurry who didn't grasp that pretty much all good English words have vowels and without a U in particular, it seems there's a bit missing?
  • Mrs - easily confused with Misses - as in someone who looks back occasionally to the days when she could do her own thing in her own time.... ("misses the peace and quiet?)
  • Mr - phonetically describes a husband bereft of his wife for a day, or a bloke what didn't hit the marriage bullseye, or one who's grumpy and into throwing things? (Missed 'er)

For those worried about how to address me - just write my name. Handles are useful - if you're a pan or a jug or a bicycle... I'm a person. Why worry?

this week so far...

...has been interesting. Sunday we made it to the park to feed the ducks, have fun in the play area and do the nature trail thing. I love getting out into the fresh air on a Sunday afternoon.

Monday I travel up to Belfast for a meeting in work to learn that they've "found" the funds to hold onto me for a year. Hmmm. Cheaper than a court case methinks, but there was a reason for their change of mind. I'm grateful for prayerful friends and haven't lost a wink's sleep over the whole month long mess. It's been a time of good learning about trust and faith and what might come next.
Monday evening was "Good Book" club when we started a study on the Apostle's Creed - then a run from Bangor to Glengormley to deliver frozen food to friends whose baby has been unwell since he was born seven weeks ago. The girls at the GBC figured a freezer load of home cooking would lighten the burden a little. Sweeties they are.

Tuesday, we measured the chunk of field I'm planning to turn into a veg garden - a friend's coming soon to put the fence posts in - maybe even this weekend! Wheeeeee! Green gym here I come.

3 things? Boke, phones and JWs.

Last night finished late - sluicing out the ensuite after a very, very sick parent. Having hit the sack at 2am, (following a tiring six hour drive yesterday) it took hidden depths of calm this morning to explain to the other parent how the new hands free phone kit in the car worked. Long explanations and several demo calls in both directions later, I discovered she was still in the driveway... Hmmm.

Reassured that the poor father who tried the late-night regrouting of an ensuite was feeling better, I scampered up the stairs to answer a phone. Really, it's like carrying an umbrella to make sure it doesn't rain. If I keep the phone with me, no one rings, but as sure as heck as I leave it at the far end of the house, the world queues to talk to me.

Minutes to ponder and explore L's query ("would you like to be a music director in our church?") and having just hung up, the door bell went. Convinced it was the mother returning to check which button to push (she knows them all, believe me, but I'm talking phones here...), I practically slid down the banisters. At the door were two nice ladies from the local wing of the Jehovah's Witnesses. Hmmmm squared. Under instruction to come back for a chat someday soon... they ran for cover through the flowerbeds (artisic licence here - one of them tripped over a plantpot) and I scooted back up to get myself ready to go out.

Minutes later, I overshot the runway and missed the turnoff to M's house AGAIN (there are six roundabouts in a row) and had to motor up the dual carriageway, round the next roundabout and head back down. It always happens when you're late doesn't it?

The soundtrack playing was from "Oh Brother where art thou?"... "I'll fly away". Tempting, but I don't have the wings for it.


a weird week

So it's been an odd little week or so. Aside from forgetting my log-in again (it's getting serious), the week was full of;

  • A musical evening with three old friends where we had a lot of laughs and sang a lot (cleverly disguised as taking an evening meeting for women in a church)...
  • a morning spent in a local nursery refreshing my memory about working with that agegroup (brilliant fun)...
  • bookclub where Ali fed us fab chocolate torte (recipe here!), and
  • a few days lying low with a boggin' throat and virusy thing going on.

Then there was "the work situation". Hmm.

It started with a blunt little email inviting me to a meeting then a phone call (from me) to find out what was on the agenda. One meeting later and I'm out of work. Literally. It appears that my post is going at the end of March and as I have leave to take (after 13 months off?!!) I'm actually finished now.

What would your reaction be?

Me? I'm bemused, relieved, cross at the way it was handled (though not remotely surprised - we're only the leading media brand in the international "communications" industry after all, so you wouldn't expect "Blooming Bad Communications" - clue there...) and I'm also excited at the possibilities the future holds. Odd isn't it?

I'm also grateful - a lot of "preparation" things now make sense. Wee things I'll not bore you with, but things that reassure me that this was planned and the way through it will be too. God works in mysterious ways! So like I say, exciting.

(Now, before anyone starts to talk about the Indian map / email "co-incidence" ....... I'm not qualified to teach those subjects to A level!! No, really!)