Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rivington Street, Shoreditch, December 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Sailing home for Christmas

As I made my way to work on Tuesday 22nd of December I read my horoscope in the Metro, as I usually do. Who was to know that they would be (sort of) bang on about my prediction for that day, if by a 'close one', they did in fact mean myself.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Oh holy god part 2

While perusing the aisles of my local turkish grocery store this very evening I came across THIS HOLY SHOW.

Yes, dear readers, this is EASTER MATERIAL before Christmas is over. In fact, some of us are only getting in the Christmas mood now and this shop is building up to EASTER! Well needless to say I am raging. I have written here before that since I work at Westfield I have basically been listening to Christmas carols since late September and was pretty must outraged that they tried to skip over Halloween earlier this year, but this is a new low. I remember when I was young, we had this cleaner who was called Brigid and she was from the exotic pastures of the United Kingdom. One time over a cup of tea, I was definitely no more than eight, she told me that in England the minute they Halloween was over they would put up the Christmas decorations in the shops. Naturally I was shocked and thought the english were a crazy lot, also I partly didn't believe her. Well if only I could show Brigid this picture now, she'd go wild. I'm sure she'd say I told you so.

On another (equally raging) note, this week's snow is putting my arrival home in jeopardy, this is a view from my sitting room this morning, while all London airports remained closed...

Thursday, December 16, 2010

December 16th

If you have five spare minutes in your life you should watch this, it's the song that is being pushed to make Christmas number one in Ireland instead of the woefully bad boy-next-door-who-actually-voted-for-him, Matt Cardle.

I spent a few days in Boston earlier this week, and fell in love with a bus driver who took me from my hotel to the city centre. As you'll see he was wearing a Santa hat and didn't look a million miles away from the man himself. He offered each person a candy cane on their way onto the bus, you can see his little basket on the right hand corner of the pic. He was the type of character you'd see in Home Alone!

Shortly after I got off of the bus I stopped a man on the street and asked him where Newbury Street was. This is how the conversation went:

Me: Hi there, can you tell me how to get to Newbury Street
Stranger: Newbury Street, great idea, welll....

Now this is all you need to know, GREAT IDEA, I know what he meant, we all know what he meant, but what a funny thing to say! Like, 'great idea, I hadn't thought of that', or 'great idea, I'll come along so', or 'great idea, you'd love that' (we just met). This thought crossed my mind while he was giving me directions and I couldn't help laughing in his face. He was one of these American 'swell guys' and quickly thought I was a bit mental and rushed off.

Finally I conquered airport security (well sort of) by buying wooden knitting needles which I proudly brought on the plane with me. Unfortunately having been borderline obsessed with getting them for the plane I promptly left them down to watch a movie the moment I sat in my seat.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


When I bought my laptop last Christmas it came with this sticker on the touchpad...... I wonder how this got the go ahead!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

In which I go back on my word...

Now I know I said I didn't really have anything to say about the bailout, but I actually do. I was reading about the proposed social welfare cuts in today's Irish Times and the story was supported by the pic below. I guess I think it's a bit difficult to see that that the finance minister is travelling to a meeting to discuss financial cuts for the most vulnerable people, the unemployed, in a chauffeured car. What poor messaging to be giving out, it goes against everything I was taught about image when studying.

I have really been hating Wagner in the X factor and most weeks I don't bother watching him, but I think the pic below is hilarious and I think he's going to be in the competition for a long time to come. According to the Daily Mail* he has been in the top half of the votes every week, and we all know that the Daily Mail is a top class publication.

*read 'bible'

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Oh holy God

This has been an action packed week.

Firstly, Old nibblers left the house for her fave spot in London, Clapham. Sure we were devo. So devo that Sharon texted her the day she left and asked if she wanted to come over for X factor and that she could stay the night, on the day she moved out.

Downfall of Ireland
Can I really not make reference to the Irish bailout this week? I came across this cartoon in the Irish Times which I liked. I don't really have anything else to say about it, though I welcome a general election but not the protesters at the Dail.

Downfall of me.
After a fun night out on Saturday, I managed to leave some possessions behind in the pub. There is something horrifically shameful and equally enjoyable about returning to the spot where you have spent the previous night. Firstly, it always looks completely different in day time. I remember the first time I saw the inside of Coppers in Dublin during the day time, it startled me how I had absolutely no perception of how it might look other than after midnight and in that case I was making an expedition for a similar purpose to my trip last Sunday. Though I have to say I did enjoy my trip to Dalston, partly because Sunday is the only day of the week where you might not be running around the place and you (I) might have a bit of time to have an amble. But also because it was one of those freezing, dry evenings that I love. After an unsuccessful trip to the pub (they had none of my stuff) I I got to take the east end line from Haggerston to Hoxton and let me tell you, it was a pleasure. I can only fantasise about what it would be like if they moved those wonderfully wide tubes onto the central line. I'd certainly have to stop complaining for a bit. Though I still have reason to complain, because one of the aforementioned possessions held a great many pics that I had intended on sharing with you in this here blog. One such example, is a story from the Evening Standard where a robber was trying to break into a house but he had to be rescued by an ambulance because his bottom was too big to fit in a window. That is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the gold I had. (depending on your attitude to the word gold)

Downfall of uk. Ok joking now!
The big engagement! Well obviously the most exciting news story of the week came in the form of the royal engagement! I have taken a keen interest in all media surrounding the event facilitated by working in a PR company, so I've seen my share of the supplements, though I have to say The Sunday Times really got my attention by featuring an article written by the infamous Andrew Morton. He first came to my attention when I read his biography of Victoria Beckham (yes, I did just admit that) and he has a reputation for being sensational, but he came out with some real jewels in the article. Here are two examples.

"Penny Thornton, Diana's astrologer, contact me when she saw the ring and said "The portents don't look so propitious with that".

"One presumes that he (William) is in love with Kate and not somebody else. Or one hopes".

Hilarious. They have also profiled what the couple will look like in 2035 and featured a really bad short article written by the former press secretary to the Princes who hasn't worked for them since 2003. Seven years ago. Pretty rubbish tabloid style reporting from what is ordinarily a good paper.

On a separate note, I'm hoping to be a proud owner of some memorabilia like below asap.

As if this week wasn't busy enough, there was a raid on the house across the road. Well actually I don't really know what happened, but there was at least 5 police cars and curiously, an ambulance, parked outside a block of apartments for a few hours and then at LEAST one sniffer dog, and I say at least because there may have been many many more, but I only saw the one. And the next day there was a load of plain clothes police men outside the apartment, but again, I have to be very straight and declare that they could very well have just been loiterers.

I also finished my balaclava, but I don't have a pic so it's going to have to wait, but let's just say that it finished beautifully and more than one person has made an IRA reference while I have been wearing it. Though I can't say I didn't egg them on.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Knit one, drop one. Lose one, purl one

My knitting career has really taken off and I'm now even doing commissioned work*. But as you'll see I've just finished my first tea cosy, I had a lot of trouble with the bobble on top, not as easy as you would think. I know the wool bears a striking resemblence to the wool used in my cushion. It's because I've the same wool, a very economical way of using up my stash. I wish I could put these two pics beside each other, but I can't. WHEN will I learn how to use blogspot properly??

*Bit of an exaggeration here, I'm knitting something for my brother, as a present.

Friday, November 5, 2010


I am a little ashamed to look back and my posts and see that I never gave an update on my growing plant collection. That is because all but one of them has died. Some would argue that the final one is dead too but I would not agree. In truth, plants have been and gone since that pic was taken. At the moment I have a bright pink fuschia and some chilli seeds (which are DEFINITELY dead) growing in our kitchen. When I was talking about my lack of success in work one day (with flowers that is) one of my colleagues Roberta decided to buy me a plant that is unkillable. She bought three crosuses (croci?) which have to be kept in a dark area for 12 weeks before being brought out into the light.
Although we have a watering schedule, there seems to be a little ambiguity surrounding the level of water required and what way the bulb should be put in correctly. Some members of the team have entirely immersed their bulbs in water, while others are only putting the tip of the bulb in water. Who is right? I don't know. The bulbs have also been taken into the light at least once a week, though I can't see any other way of watering them. If you have any crocus tips please let me know, for an unfallible plant there seems to be a lot of complications.

Monday, November 1, 2010

These are the people in my neighbourhood

My sister is moving house in London so I have taken to looking in every rental agent's window that I come across. Because of this, I have only lately noticed this gem, which is sitting in the top left hand corner of the shop front 3 doors down from my house. It's so far out of sight that it was difficult to get a good pic of it, but if you can't read it, it reads as follows:

"We are very sorry to hear the Grievance of the Landlords and tenants caused by the previous Occupants of 493 Cambrideg heath road, London E2 9BU.

We Room corner estate agents does not have any connections or association with any of the previous occupants.

We have informed the Metropolitan police about the threats made to our staffs. We will prosecute any abusive behaviour and violence towards our business."

I have a number of things to say about this:

1. What the hell did the previous tenants do?

2. Who do they think is going to read this sign, as I say, I struggled to read it and I was LOOKING for it

3. Do they honestly think that this sign will act as a deterent for anyone that wants to air their grievance? I sincerely doubt it.

I asked the only person that could possibly know - my finger-on-the-pulse landlord. Even he didn't know who was there before this tenant. I don't like to make empty promises... but I'm going to do my best to find out what went down.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Great Eastern Street, Sunday 24th October

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I’m ordinarily not a big fan of autumn but this year I’ve sort of welcomed it, partly because I’ve had no choice with Westfield introducing their first Christmas tree before September was out. Anyways, I was enjoying an autumnal wander through the London Fields park near my house when I came across this lovely promotion that I thought tied (geddit?) in nicely with the leafy landscape of the park.
As you might be able to see from the pic the text says ‘THIS IS YOURS so take me home and have a listen’ and the little ‘leafs’, in pink and beige, were tied haphazardly along the railing on the outside of the park . On the back of the leaf there is an address for a free album download from ‘THE LONDON FIELDS’. I love this little promo and it's the sort of innovative fun campaign that I'd love to work on. I’ve still to download the album myself, (due to my dodgy internet connection and my reluctance to pay for the internet and to steal it instead from the chinese nextdoor)... but if you want to, you can get it from thisisyours.org. They even signed it off ‘kind regards’ which I thought was the funniest thing of all, very office-y to be throwing around in the park, don’t you think!
On that very same stroll I came across the sign below in one of the shop fronts in Bethnal. What the hell could it mean? All suggestions welcome!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Transport for London

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It took me four and a half hours to travel 13 miles on Monday. There was a tube strike and you know I don't know who's side I'm on, but I do think that London cannot cope without the tube and I can't cope living in London without the tube. I had the unfortunate experience of walking through central London on Monday evening and it was like a war zone. People were throwing themselves at buses in a fashion only matched by the clips I've seen of American women scrambling for cabbage patch dolls in the early 90s.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

My knit in shining armour

I have been out of action for a long time which has been noted by my legions of followers. I have been busy holidaying in Ibiza and upskilling, developing my talent* for knitting. Thanks to my kind colleague Anna I've learned plain, pearl, casting on, casting off - the lot, with only a few dropped stitches along the way. I knit(ed) every single day to and from work on the tube for six weeks to meet my (self-imposed, far too tight) target of 24th September. I set that target because I was visiting my Mum for the weekend and I knew she'd finish it off much better than I could.

During the final two weeks, as my deadline loomed, I took it up a notch and was known to knit while in pubs, on the phone and even managed to stick my needles into Denise's checked-in luggage for our holiday.(she maintained a 'disgusted' face at any mention of the knitting). But, I did manage to turn this:
Into this:
and this:
In the pipeline I have a navy balaclava to match my camel winter coat that I have yet to buy, a tea cosy to go on our very unusual shaped tea pot and a surprise for sharon which I will reveal after I've made it otherwise it wouldn't be a surprise, now would it.

I've managed to find that pic we took in the belt shop, which gives a good view of the vast RANGE of bizarre stock they have as you'll see I'm holding up what I think might be a rather large belt for dogs...
* v loose attitude to the word talent.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tuesday 31st August

We bought this poster to do up our already deadly (v 1991) apartment without realising that it was actually a photo of graffiti about 5 blocks from our house. So naturally we headed directly down there to have a look a few weeks ago.

It's a poster of Banksy graffiti, though when I got there I saw some of it has been graffiti-ed over (is that a term?) as you'll see from the exceptional photography below :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tuesday 24th August

There is an age-old story about the time I and two un-named mates booked a holiday a week too early and so ended up in Madrid rather than Gran Canaria. I still can’t really bring myself to go into detail about it, but I can reveal that we did show up at the airport, bikini clad, (under our clothes obviously, it was March in Ireland) only to be sent back to our house to book a Ryanair flight to Madrid. I won't reveal who was with me on this 'holiday' since we actually lied to a lot of people about it because we were so embarrassed about our stupidity. So, it is understandable that I am approaching my upcoming holiday to IBIZA with TREPIDATION. Everything is booked correctly, and even though I’m borderline terrified ta sceitimini orm!

Before booking the holiday I carried out extensive research on all of the neighbouring hotels and I came across one of the funniest reviews I have read in ages and certainly the funniest holiday review I have ever read.
Highlights for me are:
The fat frog!
The corrie actor

Speaking of reviews, I read a restaurant review this week that really got my goat, AA Gill wrote in last week’s Sunday Times about Bethnal Green, my fave place. Old AA properly slagged off the restaurant and the area. You have to pay to view content on The Times website, but thanks to modern technology and my craftiness, here is a very blurry sample of the review:

He is partly right about the last part. Viajiante (fave restaurant to Marc Jacob's former boyfr according to the same publication!) IS across the road from workshops that buy broken glass and fit security shutters. Which is hardly a surprise given it's location. Come on AA give BG a break.

On a final note, I do have to mention tuning in to the Rose of Tralee this evening and yesterday. Not just because it is an absolutely brilliant national institution founded by my grandad but also because I am now in the advanced stages of a proper crush on Daithi O'Se AND because the winner was THE LONDON ROSE!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

If you only do one thing today...

Listen to the Sunscreen song... what an uplifting piece of music/prose. I know it's very 1991 or whatever, but really, have a listen!

In other news... well I saw this sign near Uptop Park at the weekend and something about the entire area (and the football hooliganism stories that I was being told for the duration of my time there) instilled a trace of doubt in my mind that the sign is definitely a joke.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Trials of a gardener

This week I'm full of complaints and bewilderment about plants. Sharon and I have four in our house (including a coral busy lizzie, my fave) and honestly, even though we give them SO MUCH love and attention they always seem to die.

We have tried over watering them and underwatering them and just watering them, but they always look like they're on their last legs. When my mum was visiting last weekend she gave me a gem of advice.. put the plant on a saucer of water and let the plant take water as it needs it. I've been doing this since yesterday and I can already see some improvement. Today my friend Kate suggested we put some sugar in the water, which I'm going to do tonight. Any other suggestions?

I've put the pic below so I can do a before and after style showcase. I've been thinking it can act as a sort of before and after weight loss pic, like obviously the person is totally depressed when they get the fat pic taken, but they get it taken all the same to show just how skinny they get. In the same way, I'm not too happy about exposing my limp flowers (particularly the unfortunate rosemary) but hopefully I'll be showing off some allotment-style flowers before the week is out..

Take note of the mysteriously BLOOMING orchid in the background!

In other news.. I went INTO the belt shop last week. The front door was mysteriously open as I was walking to my bus stop so we took a peek inside. We were being properly shady and since (as I suspected) there were no other customers in the shop, we attracted attention
a. because we were horsing around
b. because I made Sharon take a pic of me as evidence
c. because we expressed way to much interest in a really bland gold belt.

Sharon managed to persuade me to buy this belt. It cost 3 pounds and was gold. I've already worn it twice and it was just a week ago.

So anyway, on the way out Sharon, asked the shopkeeper what were the opening hours. He said:

"Monday to Friday, nine to five"

and she said:

"Well today is Saturday"

Shopkeeper: "oh yes, some Saturdays too"


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A brush with a Boris bike

Lst week the ‘Boris Bikes’ were introduced to London, similar to the bike scheme that was introduced in Dublin last summer. I’m probably going to sign up for this, but I’m waiting to see how empty/full the docks are around my area and to see exactly where they are located before I do. So basically this is a review by someone who has yet to cycle the bikes but likes the idea of them. Feel free to stop reading now. Over the weekend we hopped onto the bikes, when I say that I mean we hopped on the stationary bikes and I took the pics below. They were taken at the dock outside Shoreditch church in case you’re interested. So far there seems to be plenty of bikes at each of the stations and I have seen a good few people out on them. People riding these bikes have that look that I remember people sporting when the bike scheme was introduced in Dublin, it’s a face of perpetual delight. Incredulous perpetual delight. Jane is giving it a fair stab below and I didn't even request it. The bikes weigh 23kg. I don’t know much about weight of bikes but I reckon that is pretty heavy.

I also came across Frying Pan Street the other day. I have no angle with this, I just thought it was funny. It’s near a market where they sell (potentially) stolen Topshop gear and I have been there so often that the vendor recognised me. Although it was probably because I was wearing the playsuit that I bought from him at the stall about a month ago!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Midweek musings

I’ve had a bit of a chequered history with the Irish police, starting with my friend’s picture being put on my age card when I was 18, up until a pretty funny phone call last weekend from Deputy Murphy.

My weekend bag was stolen on a train from Dublin to Belfast in March. In fairness to the police in Belfast, they at least pretended to start an investigation into it at the time, but since it was stolen somewhere along the track we all knew the chances of it ever turning up were very slim.

I was pretty much devastated because it was a beautiful bag and a present. Also, it had my passport in it, which is crucial when you're moving country and there is an ongoing strike in the passport offices.

I was properly distraught for a while, so, when I got a phone call on Sunday from Deputy Murphy, who, by the way, I had never heard of, I was surprised and a bit thrilled - hope is a thing with feathers etc.

The conversation went like this:

DM: Hi Ann-Marie, I'm just giving you a call about the investigation into your bag that was stolen on March 18th on the train to Belfast (just to note, he was reading a script)
Me: Oh great!
DM: Yes, I'm giving you a call to let you know we've no leads on the investigation, we haven't managed to track down the perpetrator of the crime.
Me: Oh, ok, but did you find the bag?
DM: No, we didn't. As I say we've no leads, nothing has come up. I was giving you a call to let you know


Out of courtesy I then took down his direct extension number and promised him that I would call him if I had any other further questions.

What, dear readers, could these questions POSSIBLY be? Also, who is paying this guy to make these redundant calls?

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Victoria Park, 24th July

I took a pic of this lovely bike yesterday while I was out exploring my local neighborhood. As you can see the friendly guy in the pic (I forgot to ask him his name) was fixing his amazing bike in his front garden because he had crashed it earlier that morning. The damage was pretty minimal but he was taking it very seriously, demonstrated by taking the saddle off and all. You would too if you had a bike like that, in fact if I had a bike like that I'd probably just keep it in my living room and look at it rather than risk it's loss by taking it outside.

You'll be glad to hear he wasn't hurt, and said the accident was caused by him not looking where he was going. Sure you can't be doing that in the busy streets of London!

I'm still perfecting my technique when asking people if I can take a pic of them with their bike, usually I act pretty shifty and take the pic quickly and badly to get it over with. So that is something I'm going to have to work on!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hips like a snake

I’ve mentioned my ongoing struggle with sciatica/back pain (once or twice...) but things are looking up because I’ve been going to a (very cute) physio and the exercises he has been giving me are really helping. I went to see him last Tuesday and he asked me how often I had done my daily exercises in the past week. So I told him that I had more or less done them 5 out of 7 days. He was like ‘so, you didn’t do your daily exercises daily’. Which embarrassed me so much I vowed (internally) that I would do whatever he told me to do this week. It was the type of embarrassment that brings me back to an entire childhood of mortifying missed practice for music lessons. (I think now is an appropriate time to mention that when I was in primary school I was so afraid of my piano teacher, but so reluctant to practice, that Fran and I would go to the local church for a quick rosary before my lesson on a weekly basis!)

So, the physio talked me through a few more stretches and re-emphasised to me just how important it is that I do the exercises as often as he tells me. He gives me a lovely yoga pose, the cobra, then he drops the bombshell; for this particular exercise I have to do ten repetitions TEN TIMES daily. Now I had struggled with three times, so I was like ‘here, honestly I think that’s going to be very difficult and fairly unrealistic’. And then he threw in the cruncher; ‘do you actually want to get better’.

So I have spent the last few days in a cloud of the cobra pose. For those of you that are not familiar with it, it’s done on the ground, not exactly office conducive. But since I have to do the stretches throughout the day rather than all at once I’ve had to start doing them at the office. I don’t want to be banging on about an injury around the office, so I’ve never explained my hourly, lengthy trips to the toilet. I’m not seeing him again until next Thursday, and I honestly can’t take his disapproving tone again, so it looks like I’m going to have at least 30 more inexplicably long absences next week!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Neighbourhood watch

I’ve never actually been inside my favourite shop in our neighbourhood, which, as you can see from the pic above, is a belt shop. I’m fascinated by it for several reasons:
  1. You can’t go in unless you ring a doorbell. I know this happens in some very posh shops in North and West London, but it’s not that kind of area! It makes it all the more interesting to me!
  2. One would expect a specialised belt shop to have high quality merchandise, so you’d think brown and black leather belts. But this shop specialises in coloured neon and studded belts.
  3. The shop is not located in a clothing district, but just by itself amongst a plethora of restaurants.
  4. The very best thing is that it is supposed to be an exclusive belt shop, but Sharon said that she saw a belt in there (through the window, she hasn’t rang the bell yet either!) that she one time got on a dress and threw it out so basically the merchandise is not of high quality!
  5. I have never seen someone go in or out of the shop
  6. This BELT shop is so special it has it’s own car park as is demonstrated in the picture below. Now the only shops I know of that have their own car parks are supermarkets and furniture shops. Not a belt shop with no customers.
So I’m deeply suspicious. I’m also very disappointed because if the shutters weren’t down when I went to take the picture, you’d be able to see the multicoloured fiesta that is the window display. I was pissed off at the guy for stepping into my picture, so then I decided to use the one of him in it as revenge. Sure with the readership of this blog it’s as bad as posting it on the Daily Mail.

I ever do make it inside the doors of Rajan Leather Belt Company, you, dear readers, will be the first to hear about it.

As an aside, I went outside this evening and took a few pics of the shop and a few cyclists, as I walked away a fairly scary man came out of a take away across the road and asked me what I was taking pictures for. I acted shady, only because I was so scared of him, and told him I liked the sign and I lived in the area. Then I realised I was an idiot for telling him where I lived and I legged it home, looking behind me the whole way in case he was following me. Thankfully he wasn’t.

Monday, July 19, 2010

East side story

Living in east end london, by all appearances, is not conducive to hanging on to your bike. I was a big fan of biking around in Dublin and would love to do the same in London if I hadn't been told repeatedly that I shouldn't buy a bike unless I can accept that it's going to be stolen. So, for the moment, I'm living my biking life vicariously through the life of strangers. In some ways there is no better place to be on the look out for people with amazing bikes, but on the other hand, every bike is a further reminder that I don't have one of my own.

I've been a victim of bike crime in the past and know myself that I don't take it well, that, coupled with the horrific thieving stories I've heard (one of the girls that works with me had her bike was stolen from INSIDE her house) , and the remaining parts of bikes that I see all around the city have prevented me from purchasing. After a recent (and ongoing) visit from my friend Caoimhe, I've decided to put up a few pics of the lovely bikes, and their owners, that I come across on a daily basis.

There's no doubt that the first pic is not good. I'll be the first to admit that. But the owner was as proud as punch of his set of wheels, he told me he was supposed to be working at Lovebox handing out flyers but the security staff had told him to 'fuck off'. And you have to start somewhere. So here we are.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Review of the Week!

This last week has been so much fun that I think I will detail each day as an homage to my favourite blogger Jennifer Alice in Wonderland!

Monday was my 25th birthday and I am a usual candidate for someone who would be depressed on her birthday but not so! I think it is because I have now given up a job that I hated and started one that I’m really enjoying, moved countries and basically think “omg, I love my life” at least twice a day. So I went into work on Monday morning with a song in my heart as me old pal Sharon would say and we had an amazing chocolate cake and I remembered that I am going to be about 15 stone very shortly. That evening a few of us went down to the newly discovered Victoria park and drank some Pimms and hung out. I must mention two things here:

  1. . Sharon and I have become obsessed with making and drinking Pimms. She won’t let me put strawberries in though which kills me.
  2. 2. We also drank some Bulmers, we haven’t lost touch with our knacker roots.

After going back to the house and having sausage sambos and other party foods our current house guest Aido returned back from a long day at Wimbledon. Aido is about 6 foot and performed a height test on our couch so that anyone planning on staying with us in future can rest assured they will fit. He did this test after saying he didn’t want to spend a second night in my bed because I ‘take over the bed’. This is not a surprise given that I have been single my whole life so he stayed down in the sitting room and everyone was happy!

I must mention here that I got an AMAZING birthday present from Shazbags. She got me a flight of the concords tshirt with ‘i’m not crying, it’s just been raining on my face’ on it and I absolutely LOVE IT (in London I have noticed people often say ‘loves it’ which in an ironic twist, I HATE!). I will take a pic of me wearing it because I love it that much, but possibly when I don’t have greasy hair and a massive spot. And anyone with a humorous chip in their body will think it’s hilarious.

I dusted off my old running shoes on Tuesday night and went off for a run in Victoria park. I haven’t run in about 3 months because I have developed excruciating sciatica. On a sciatica related aside: this is awful. I hope you never get it. One of the ways to get rid of it is to excercise, but you can’t exercise because it hurts too much. So it spirals into a vicious circle. I’m not writing any more, but if it EVER happens to you, you have my deepest sympathy. Actually empathy.

Wednesday was Wimbledon on the green in Canary Warf. We met a friend of Sharon’s and watched the longest tennis game in history. We had fun but I expect I might never voluntarily return to the ‘warf again. We caught up with our old friend Caroline on Thursday evening, she was in London for the day (v-young businesswoman!) and went for dinner and on the way home we got pic n mix and honestly, and this is entirely true, if I was never allowed eat a meal again, I’d be happy to just have pic n mix. I had only been saying about a week before that i hadn’t had a decent pic n mix for AGES and I certainly made up for it on Thursday night.

Now, you’d think I’d had a busy enough week already at this stage, wouldn’t you! Well no, off I went at 5.45 AM on a train to KENT for a conference with work. I don’t know why I put Kent in capitals there, because it’s not as if I’m saying ‘Kent, of all places’ since neither I, nor probably you, know where Kent is. Anyway, this was fine aside from the early start and the fact that after a few talks I had to sit through a live hernia operation. Now I knew this was going to happen, sure I sent out the press release. So I knew it was going to take place, I just never really thought about the fact that I would have to sit through it. I have never watched an episode of ER because I dislike blood that much so it was really not something I wanted to watch. But I did sit through an entire hernia operation, being filmed from within the very hospital I was sitting in. Now, in retrospect I am quite pleased that I did it, because I have a better understanding of the whole process but at the time it was not a very pleasant experience.

So when I finally got home on Friday evening, I went off to see the Dirty Projectors perform with Alarm Will Sound. We were going to see the Dirty Projectors, but they happened to be performing with a contemporary orchestra first, which I was really looking forward to. But we ended up watching the DP running a few songs that I didn’t know with some alternative off-beat syncopation and ill sounding harmonies. I think it was supposed to be appreciative music or some sort of bullshit term that I can’t be bothered thinking about. In fact, I just looked it up and the website claimed:

“its unsettling mix of jokes, high concept and existential urgency”.

I’ll leave it at that. But it did got to remind me of this piece of music I studied for my leaving cert which was absolutely awful and we had to study it for ‘form’ even though there clearly was none. If you watch nothing else today, please watch this. You’ll actually be doing yourself a favour.


Back to the Dirty Projectors. The whole time I was watching the musical equivalent of the Kerry Katona and Peter Andres alleged relationship I couldn’t help thinking about the poor 68 year old man sitting in the hospital recovering from his VERY INVASIVE hernia operation. I was thinking:

  • Is his wife with him. Does he have a wife? I hope so.
  • Is the surgeon going to visit him this evening? (in which case, I feel sorry for the surgeon because he’s still working, if he isn’t then I feel sorry for the man who is being neglected by his surgeon).

You know how sometimes you’re so involved in a situation and then you leave and you completely forget about it, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t keep going. A good example would be the Irish recession, which I now attempt to rarely think of (except when I have nothing to say to someone over here, it can be a good conversation starter) and another example would be the old hernia man. Back to the gig, once Alarm Will Ring left and we just had Dirty Projectors it was super and it reminded me how much I enjoy live music which I haven’t see in a while because I have been counting the pennies.

So then I got up this morning and went to the post office to collect a few parcels that I haven’t been around to collect during the week and I got some really thoughtful presents which really brightened up my day. BUT the most hilarious of all was the envelope of the card I got from my old mate Sinead. I have an old nickname which some people may be offended by, Cunt-Eye, chosen for its sheer hilarity and because it is the most offensive nickname she could think of (I think she did well!). I took a pic of the envelope. Which is pictured above, because I don't know how to make it appear below!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My little blue girl!

I bought a mascara the other day, purely based on it's price (it was 1 pound). When I got home, I discovered that it was actually blue mascara. At first I was a little disappointed, but then I stuck it on over the black mascara I had been wearing and wasn't offended by the results. I'm thinking of wearing it again as it happens. Suddenly it feels like it's 1997 again.

On a separate, and sort of linked note, I did end up buying a black mascara from a 15 year old boy. He advised me about which one would suit my needs, going into such detail as to recommend one to me because it was waterproof. When I laughed, he was like 'what are ya laughin' about, I've been doin' this for free years innit'. I have been working on my accent and think I have perfected this sentence. I can also say 'I'm gonna go to Cargo' in aussie-speak thanks to my lovely room mate and her party-loving sister!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sound of the Underground

Getting around on London tube is simple and sweaty, certainly during these global-warming ridden times. I both love and hate the tube. I love it because of its aforementioned simplicity and the fact that you can go down steps in Bethnal green, multicultural east end London, and come up in the heart of west London in Hammersmith without seeing light. Two points here:

1. 1 1. Could JK Rowling have gotten her inspiration for floo powder from the tube for the Harry Potter books

2. 2. This is my daily journey to work rather than an arbitrary route I choose.

I digress, the reason why I hate it; the tube goes against my fundamental desire to know exactly where I am at all times. The tube map does assist this, but I like to see landmarks (not specifically well known landmarks, just buildings that stand out to me) so that I can self-congratulate when I see them repeated times and realise where I am. There is no better feeling than knowing that you are getting familiar with an area that was previously unknown to you (I would put this feeling in the same category as the feeling you get when someone mistakes you for a local, asks you for directions and you KNOW how to get where they want to go). This leads me to taking buses at all opportunities when time is on my side; at the weekend, after work, basically any time when I’m not on my way to work. It’s great to be able to piece together the bits of the city you know, especially when you’re obsessed with that kind of thing. What I like doing is knowing the city SO WELL that I can TAKE THE BUS to lesser known areas to make my journey faster. The problem is that it really doesn’t make the journey faster at all, in fact I have just returned from a journey where I took one and a half hours to travel from Clapham north to Bethnal Green, a distance spanning a total of 6.1 miles. There was no traffic. I thought I was being really smart and fooling the system by taking the bus. I was wrong, but I'd probably do the very same thing again because I love seeing the city!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Diary of a temp

The aforementioned move to london has been going swimmingly. I think this is appropriate phrasing because sometimes, depending on where you are swimming, when you're absolutely kicking like mad, you get nowhere. A woman called Corrine (who I accidently texted saying I hated her organisation, i digress) once said to me 'Sometimes London is going to kick you in the arse' and at times it has. So far, we have lived in 3 homes, two of which had leaks in the kitchen (unfortunately, one of those is now our permanent residence), been at the scene of one shooting and have seen Buckingham Palace a total of zero times.

I have been working as a temp in two different offices and it has been a mixed experience. The first place was lovely, the second was less so. I'm working as an assistant PA, which seems unlikely, but the role exists. If the boss is dismissive of the PA, you can only imagine how he treats the assistant, never mind the TEMPORARY assistant. To use the word dismissive would be gentle.

For the first while I spent all day filing, but now that all of the filing is done there is very little for me to do. So I have resorted to the internet. The funny thing is, I feel really bad for spending time on the internet and suspect that the level of browsing I do is frowned upon, yet I honestly do not know what else I could possibly do. When I think about it, it's sort of the dream job, I am always late in the mornings, always take that extra 5 mins for lunch and am ALWAYS packed and ready to leave by 5pm, but there is something really awful about an environment where nobody has any respect for you. I'm only doing this job for 2-3 weeks, but there is someone who does this and is treated this way all of the time and I don't know how they put up with it. On a more positive note, I'm starting my new job in less than a week!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I am love-ing this movie

I have recently moved to London and have found that an eleven pound charge to see a movie is commonplace. I think this is pretty expensive, at least 150% of the price of a regular cinema in Dublin. I was so annoyed by the inflated price that I even considered trying to get my money back when I realised the film I had signed up for was subtitled (not that this bothered me, it just seemed to be an appropriate way to regain these precious pounds). Anyway, the price is a rant for another day. I saw the movie 'I am Love' last night and was absolutely blown away by it. Worth all eleven pounds, you could say.

In some ways I don't want to blog about this movie, because building things up like this only lead to disappointment. But it really is a must see movie. Tilda Swinton, was absolutely mesmerising, it was one of those films that seemed so real that you feel a little uncomfortable, like you are spying on the characters in some of the scenes. I have just read that Tilda will be playing the part of Eva in 'We need to talk about Kevin', one of my favourite books, alongside John C. Reilly as her husband, how fitting!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

On Erin's Green Valleys

Today is St. Patrick’s day. La Fheile Padraig. My favourite mass day of the year. In mass terms, nothing beats St. Patricks day. A short mass followed by my favourite hymn of the year, Hail Gloria Saint Patrick (closely followed by the lesser known Queen of the May). Not sang as often as you would hope. Through an unfortunate sequence of events I haven’t made it to this mass in recent years. Two years ago I went along to mass on La Fheile Padraig and they weren’t singing the song because it was too near Easter. Poor excuse. Last year I accidently went to mass where they didn’t sing. Stupid mistake. And here I am March 17th missing it for the third year in a row. So this morning while lazily knowing I was missing mass I decided to youtube the song in the hope of getting the same effect. And I came across the video below, more baffling than its content is the fact that 61,000 people have watched it.


Saturday, January 16, 2010

You know you're in trouble when your first meal of the decade is in Harcourt Diner

I know January can be a long month but this January has been particularly depressing. I have attributed this to a very bad start and can specifically pin this bad start one thoughtless action in the early hours of 1st January 2010.

I had my first meal of the new decade in Harcourt Diner.

This is bad news for several reasons:

1. My first (and only) new years resolution was to embark on a strict diet
2. The fast food isn't even good fast food
3. I barely remember it

Within the first four hours of twenty-ten I had broken one resolution, fallen at least twice on the ice and spent a lot of money on jaegerbombs I couldn't afford and (clearly) didn't need.

And, put short, the year has continued this way.