You may *think* Halloween marked the end of all the fun, but not if you celebrate Dia de los Muertos! *(By Ashlee Trotter) * Yep, Day of the Dead actual...
05 January, 2014
I'm only telling you this story as my friend Karen nearly peed with laughter when I mentioned it to her the other night. She said you'd all love it so, here goes.
A couple of months back we were all sat down to dinner. I'm not sure how it happened but we've all got our dedicated places at the table. Very Walton Mountain. Anyway, as you look in towards the kitchen you will find no. 3 at the head of the table, no. 1 on his right hand side and no. 2 on his left. I sit beside no. 2 and Himself beside no.. 1. I like it, means I'm not the one hopping up and down getting whatever has been forgotten when the table was laid (Ha, I like that. "Table laid" . . . yeah, no. 3 crashes some knives and forks down where people sit, with such good grace I never ask him to put out glasses).
We're all sat there and everyone is yapping away and I'm wondering how is this my life (in a good way) when no. 3 pipes up. "I know how babies are made" "Oh really?" says I. "yeah" he said, "Me and no. 2 saw the book you bought no. 1 and we read it'"
Now, the book in question, is a cartoony, sketchy kind've book for 12 - 14 year old boys. Though, my gut tells me 14 year old boys are far more advanced than that book lets on, but that is neither here nor there. The book says things like 'testicles' are another name for your balls, scrotum, nuts, ball sack etc. Quite informal stuff. Also tells you that you really should shower more than twice a week and that you will get hairy, interested in girls, spots, tired and discover the joys of er, alone time. Thankfully it doesn't spell out what that alone time entails or no. 3 would have us driven demented.
"Yeah', he says/ "The man puts his penis into the woman's vagina and th. . . . ."
Cue no. 1 going 'ah, jesus' and no. 2 covering his ears and going lalalalalalalalalaalal. Me? I was torn between the two. Himself just laughed and kept eating his dinner.
Then, as no. 3 kept babbling on nd on he asked "but how does the penis go into the vagina????"
I think himself had an out of body experience or something because, before you knew it he had . . . jesus....
Okay, time for some audience participation here. Taking your left hand, join your pointy finger and your thumb together to make a circle . . (you following me?? you blushing yet??) then, using the pointy finger of your right hand . . . yup, slide your pointy finger into the circle and remove.
The kids nearly pissed themselves laughing. I nearly died on the spot. Himself went puce and rejoined our little world.
I don't know which of the five of us was more gobsmacked. They pissed themselves laughing, I begged for a bit of . . . niceness, PLEASE?????
Needless to say, they still do it. Just to wind me up.
I don't think either myself or Himself will ever be asked to give talks on, the other thing, you know yourself.
04 January, 2014
01 January, 2014
We are all being incredibly lazy and laid back in the G5 & Pets household at the moment. Late nights, late morning and eating whatever takes the least amount of effort. Happy days.
Anyway, I got up and came downstairs on Monday, 30th December, with thoughts of ringing my mate and caterwauling Happy Birthday down the phone to her only . . I got sidetracked. There on the floor was a copy of Cake Masters magazine. I don't buy Cake Masters magazine.
This. Could. Only. Mean. One. Thing.
I flicked through it hurriedly. First from the back and then from the front and . . HOLY FUCK!!! There we were! Page 45. Under the title "Best Collaboration 2013", The Cake Queens.
I ran around the kitchen screaming and jumping up and down and screaming some more before haring it upstairs to the kids and Darren SCREAMING "I, sorry, WE WON WE WON WE WON WE WON!!!!"
Showed Darren the page and ran back downstairs trying to ring Geraldine to tell her the great news.
She didn't answer the phone right away so I continued to flick pages.
There on page 47, also under the title best collaboration 2013 was another collab. This one had "Cake Masters Magazine Winner" written over the other heading.
I stopped trying to get through to Ger.
The true winners were Starry Night. Not us. Them. Not me.
Oh Jesus, but morto!!!
I heard Darren coming down the stairs so I hid the magazine.
I think I blushed for about 2 days. The lovely Janette, one of our 50 cake queens, posted today that we had come in the top three so I felt it was time to come clean.
Just told Darren there too, he can't stop laughing. Dammit, me and my competitive streak, cackle.
Yes. We came in the top three of the world's best cake collaborations 2013 and I am thrilled (still looking a bit pink about the gills though)with us. We are 50 cake makers who made something wonderful and whooohooooo for us.
Congratulations girls and Philip. We rocked it.
p.s. I still think ours was the best xxxx
27 October, 2013
Is your dad. Mine has been dead for 9 years now. He is gone as long as no. 2 has been on the planet, more or less. It's lashing rain at the moment and the house is quiet. It was lashing rain the day he died too, my house wasn't quiet that day. I was on maternity leave and had a three year old and a baby to look after. Had just discovered I was pregnant as well. In fact, I had only just told my dad a few days before.
We had a very complicated relationship. It's only now, as my son turns into a teen, that I can see how baffled he must have been at my changing into this person who talked back and didn't take his word as gospel. There was more to us than that though, he drank and that made him unpleasant. Argumentative and so on.
But he was my dad and I love him. And miss him. I miss the size of him. He was a bear of a man. I miss his smell too, which is funny. I miss how he loved Harry so much and I love the fact that having Harry brought us closer together again.. He held his hand the way he used to hold mine and showed him trees and birds and gave him the chocolate I'd asked him not to. That's what granddads do though, isn't it? Give their grandsons chocolate.
I just miss him. I miss that he loved me and . . loved me. I miss having somewhere else to call home.
I can remember playing games with him when we were kids, ludo, snap, him teaching us all how to play scrabble and beating us because he played to win. I miss the times we used to spend going to the Eye and Ear Hospital when I was little. Mam rarely took me, she had the other two to look after, so me and my da would go. We never caught the bus, despite the hospital being ages away. Ha, now as an adult I can appreciate that it bloody well was far away. He knew all the parks in town and we always came home a different way. Sometimes we ended p in the Lansdowne bar where I got a lemonade and a packet of crisps and played a dog?! All I can remember is an auld fella with a black dog who always, always wanted crisps.
I also used to walk to the Insurance office with my dad. It was in Ballsbridge and I used to love walking up the Doddder with him. Especially in winter when it was dark out. We were never allowed to stay up beyond 8pm and, if I went to pay the life assurance, I got to stay up til 9. Mind you, once in the door I'd be hooshed up the stairs and never got to see what was on the telly.
Yeah. I miss him and I love him.
12 October, 2013
Two of the three kids are in the playroom, playing. They are meant to be tidying. The third of the three kids is upstairs drying himself off after his shower. Seriously, how can it take three towels to dry a small boy? He's 12 and currently has three towels about his person. One on his hair ( seriously??), one around his hips and the other across his shoulders. I just had a shower too and managed to get by with just one towel, not even a big one at that as the big ones seem to be draped around no. 1 son.
Yeah, so Saturday morning. Two are playing, one is drying himself and the eldest male of the house is off on a walk.
How is it, someone please tell me, that I am always the one left sitting in the house on a Saturday morning staring at dishes to be loaded into a dishwasher that first has to be unloaded? Piles of clothes to be washed and yet another four piles waiting to be put away. The dog seems to have gone on a crapping spree in the back garden (Himself only sees the stuff on the paving) and the smell is horrendous. Then there is the pile of Halloween stuff that No. 2 wants put up around the house. Now! Please???
Downstairs loo is a health hazard which, pardon the pun, is pissing me off because I only got down on my hands and knees and cleaned it on Wednesday.
No. 2 made smoothies and it would appear I am cleaning up. No. 1 made eggy bread for everyone and, again, it would appear I am going to clean up.
Ugh. Yup, everyone is doing their thing and it would appear that my thing is cleaning up after the shaggers.
There will be a revolt.
As they are all utterly revolting.
Last weekend I went to Galway on a Geraghty Road Trip to help Breda of the Ribbon Shack and I'll tell you all about that in another post I'm working on but I just had to show you this. I don't often feel gorgeous but god, I felt gorgeous walking into the sea last Saturday.
I had gone for a paddle, the sea was too hard to resist, and, as I turned back to Karen and Anne (the Geraghtys I was road tripping with) I got hit from behind by a wave. Seeing as how I was already wet . . . yup, before you knew it, the bra was off and so was I.
Yeah, I felt gorgeous and, even if I wasn't, the sea was worth it.
11 October, 2013
Himself is in college all day on Friday which means I'm doiing all the school runs, football runs etc. wnich is fine. Or would be if the kids would only stop talking, they talk constantly. Had the following conversation with no. 3 (threw them all out of the car minuutes later - quietest five minutes off the day):
No. 3 - Yeah, I like Firekracken (Skylanders??) ad the best. Yeah, yeah,'cos he takes his mam into battle.
Me - What? Like his ma? He took his mammy into battle?
No 3 - Like, YEAH!!! She is the mother of all evil mam!!!!
Yup, out of the car they all went.
10 October, 2013
This week I have one cake and one cake alone. It's funny how you forget that you hated cakes last week, when you had three and longed for a week with one .. . only, to find yourself bored with the one cake this week. Isn't it?
Due to boredom, I've already made two Halloween witches for practice this week, myself and no. 2 decided to start practicing for Halloween. I had bought the liquid latex, we had tissue, brushes, make up and watched numerous "create zombie slasher type wounds" on youtube so we were good to go.
Whilst putting it all together No. 3 started to get a bit panicky. By the time I was finished he was a gibbering wreck. No. 1 and No. 2 both thought it was 'Ace'. I rang Karen and said, "sent you a photo, have a goo and tell me what you think", cackle, she loved it as much as I did. Whilst I was chatting to her I heard Himself come in the front door. "Here" she says, "go and pretend you've hurt yourself" so I did. I tucked the phone under my ear, grabbed a tea towel, gave the nod to No. 2 and ran into the hallway shouting "Darren, I've hurt my arm, I'm hurt"
Well, if I ever needed proof that he loves me I got it there and then. Both the precious phone and earphones were flung on the floor, as was his bag, bowels and my bag of icing. He kind've did a jig on the spot and kept going "Oh jesus, oh jesus" ..... . . .. so I whispered to Karen "I'll ring you back" showed Himself it was fake and then watched him slowly slide down the wall whilst myself and No. 2 nearly wet ourselves laughing.
We eventually stopped laughing about 15 minutes later which was roughly the time Himself was able to stand up. By the time 30 minutes had passed he had more or less stopped shaking. Today he just gives the odd nervous giggle every now and then.
Yup, Himself was lying against the wall, No. 2 was laughing with me whilst No. 3 was in tears (of terror) and No. 1 just kept playing Fifa.
Roll on Halloween and hey, cross your fingers I never burn myself. He will never, ever believe me again.
09 October, 2013
This is the story of my sister. My sister and me, and our ma and da and brother too. Mostly though, it’s about my sister.
She bought an apartment in Priory Hall back in 2007 or 2008, I can’t remember when I just know she paid €325,000 for it. I advised her to not buy it and to lose her €10k deposit but, because I am her sister she didn’t listen to me. But that’s who we are. We each think we know more than the other.
Where do my brother and parents come into this? Well, we three are unfortunate enough to be orphans. If one can be an orphan at our age. Our mother died in 1997 and our dad in 2004. All they had to leave us was a house in Sandymount. The house was nothing special, it required a lot of work, but it was in Sandymount and therefore it sold in March 2006 for a truly wonderful sum. I used my share to buy my house, Fiona used hers to buy a house here, go travelling and have a lot of fun. As you do when you are 30. My brother, well, he lent my sister money to help her buy the place here, he travelled the world and is now happily married in Brazil.
My sister. I babysat for her tonight. Her daughter Dilan has a cold and is bloody miserable. Her husband is currently visiting family in Turkey. She’s here alone. So, tonight I babysat for her. She was on a bit of a buzz going out. She was going to a meeting to find out what the final outcome of Priory Hall was going to be for her and the other residents. As she left she said “enough to pay Eoin back and buy a small house here (I’ve been looking in Balbriggan, Finglas and Meath) and . . . yeah, that’s all. It will be finished.”
She came home an hour or so ago. It has taken an hour or so to help her stop crying. It has taken an hour to get to the bottom of how that meeting went. An hour to work out why my sister was hysterical.
This is the story of the outcome of Priory Hall for both my sister and the other owners of apartments in Priory Hall.
· If you bought an apartment in Priory Hall and have a mortgage, and can afford to continue to make mortgage repayments, you get a brand new 100% mortgage and the old mortgage is killed off. You can buy a house wherever you fancy. This really is good news. However, this doesn’t apply to my sister, she never had to get a mortgage. She inherited money , borrowed some too, she owns her house outright AND lived in it.
· If you have a mortgage but can’t make the payments you are entitled to a state owned house (council housing in other words) for which you pay a nominal rent. You, to some degree, have a say in what area you would like to live. You will never own this property, your children will never inherit it and, I assume, you can’t sell it and move somewhere else during your lifetime. The house effectively dies with you. You also sign away your apartment in Priory Hall to Dublin City Council. Again, this doesn’t apply to my sister, she never had to get a mortgage. She inherited money , borrowed some too, she owns her house outright AND lived in it.
· Owner Investors. If you are one of these then the mortgage you currently have on Priory Hall is frozen for two years and, when completely refurbished, they will be given back your apartment in Priory Hall. Yes, the plan is to fix it. Make the development bigger and better than ever! Their credit rating will be restored to 2011 standing. These poor people were up in arms tonight apparently. They don’t want to be held to ransom over Priory Hall. But, I don’t really give a thought to them. Their investment property went tits up. Investments do that. They never lived in Priory Hall. They rented it out. They still live in the house they lived in before all of this fell apart. Again, this doesn’t apply to my sister, she never had to get a mortgage. She inherited money , borrowed some too, she owns her house outright AND lived in it.
The big one. The one that interests me most.
· Fiona and Paula. The only two people in the entire development that own their properties outright. Fiona owns hers because she inherited money and because our brother lent her some. I don’t know how Paula owns her house but I do know that everything she had, and has, is tied up in it.
These two people have been given two options:
Live in their current accommodation for another 2/3 years whilst Priory Hall is repaired and move back into the refurbished building.
Retain their apartment in Priory Hall but live in Council housing for life. Paying that nominal sum again. This means, they would own Priory Hall property (eventually, if it is ever fixed) but they will never again live in it. They can let it, leave it idle, do what they want with it but they will always own it. For what it’s worth.
So, as far as I can see, my sister is being treated like an investor. She isn’t an investor. She is someone who never needed a mortgage. She was lucky enough to have dead parents and bought an apartment. She is the one being held hostage here. Both her and Paula.
She can’t move on. She is bloody stranded with this albatross around her neck and I could scream. I could scream at her for not listening to me in the first place and I could scream at bloody Enda Kenny with all his ‘Let’s give the people of Priory Hall their lives back”.
My sister hasn’t got her life back. She is stuck, in rented accommodation for another 2 / 3 years before being given back an apartment that is . . . . huh? Words fail me.
My sister is one of two people who is not being allowed to move on. She cannot get a mortgage as she is back in College. She cannot get a mortgage because she has no collateral. Jesus, if she moves into the council housing she will have to pay rent. Why, in the name of God, should she have to pay rent when she bought a property in good faith?
My sister, she drives me mad. I love her as much as I mislike her but right now my heart hurts for her. It’s destroying her. I love her and I cannot bear how lost she is right now. She is devastated. All because someone didn’t d their job properly. Then someone else failed to do their job properly and, before you knew it, my sister was asked to evacuate her home two years ago. Just over two years to be precise.
This is not right. You shouldn’t be penalised for being sensible. She didn’t invest in anything other than herself and her small family.
01 8074379 / 0876919838
01 8074379 / 0876919838