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I am not a has-been. I am a will be. Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we are here we might as well dance

Updated: 2014-10-05T04:43:13.187+01:00


Are You still here?


Hi followers,

I hope that you are not missing out on the fun.

I have moved over to where the party never stops.

Come on over and take a pew, have your say, sing a song or dance a jig.

I might have a new home but it is the same old Grannymar.

See you soon.

Moving to a New Home


An acquaintance of mine was chatting away one night and somehow the conversation turned to making plans. She told us that her dad sat the family down every ten years to review the past, list achievements and plan for the next decade. Now I do like to make changes from time to time, but it is more at landmark stages in life than every ten years. At the end of June my life changed forever. My Elly married George and together they set out on the road of a new stage of their lives and destinies. I hope with the eventuality of gradualness they might increase and multiply. No doubt when that happens I will become the most proud yet boring Grannymar in the Universe. You will of course be the first to know all about it! In the meantime I needed to find a new focus for my time and energies. I have the time but alas the energy has a mind of its own. I tried chasing Toy-boys, but they ran far too fast for me. There was no hope of me catching up and all I got for my efforts were a hot flush and breathlessness. So to mark the start of this new era for me I have decided on a face lift. No little tuck here, and little pull there for me, thank you, it is all or nothing! A total new look and image is what I am after something fresh, clean and timeless. So pop on over and take a look: …and while you are there I might even make you a coffee. Now let me know what you think of my new look. I love the line at the bottom 'Grannymar is proudly powered by WordPress '. I certainly need someone to power me up these days!!! If you follow me via RSS, then don’t forget to update your feeds: Posts: Comments: P.S. remember to take note of my new address for future use:[...]



A young farm lad from North Kerry went to study at University in Dublin, but about one month into the first term, he had foolishly squandered away all of the allowance his parents gave him. Then he had an idea. He called his daddy. "Dad," he said, "you won't believe the wonders that modern education is coming up with! Why, they actually have a course here at college that will teach our dog Blackie how to talk!" "That's absolutely amazing," his father says. "Do you think I might get him enrolled on the course?" "Just send him up here to me with €1,000" the boy says. "I'll get him into the course. So, his father sends the dog and the €1,000. About 6 weeks later, the money ran out again. The boy called his father again. "So how's Blackie doing, son," his father asks. "Awesome, Dad, he's talking up a storm," he says, "but you just won't believe this - they've had such good results with this course that they've started a new one to teach the animals how to READ!" "READ," says his father, "No kidding! What do I have to do to get him in that course?" Just send €2,500, I'll get him in the class. His father sends the money. The boy now has a problem. The Christmas holiday was approaching, his father would find out that the dog could neither talk, nor read. So he shoots the dog. When he gets home for the holiday, his father is all excited. "Where's Blackie? I just can't wait to see him talk and read something!" "Dad," the boy says, "I have some bad news. Yesterday morning, just before we left to drive home, Blackie was in the living room reading the Irish Times, like he usually does. Then he turned to me and asked, ‘is your daddy still messing' around with that little redhead who lives in Tralee?' The father says, "I hope you SHOT that F*ck*r before he talks to your Mother!" "I sure did, Dad!" "That's my boy!" I am sure that young lad will go far![...]

If you still need to be convinced…


Yesterday I was on about my difficulties with the English language.Here are some more examples to mull over: 1) The bandage was wound around the wound. 2) The farm was used to produce produce. 3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse. 4) We must polish the Polish furniture. 5) He could lead if he would get the lead out. 6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert. 7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present. 8) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes. 9) I did not object to the object. 10) The insurance was invalid for the invalid. 11) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row. 12) They were too close to the door to close it. 13) The buck does funny things when the does are present. 14) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer. 15) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow. 16) The wind was too strong to wind the sail. 17) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear. 18) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests. 19) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend? 20) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.[...]

What are you UP to?


About two months ago I was buzzed on Skype by a gentleman from Italy. He asked if I had a few minutes to talk to him. It was a dull, boring wet day so I agreed to talk for five minutes or so. He told me his name, where he lived and what he did for a living. Then he asked several questions which I answered without giving away any information. “Now it is my turn” I said, “Why did you pick me?” He said he looked for an English speaker in the UK and my name came up top of the list. I had a go at that one, I tried several countries, and the list showed up each time in alphabetical order. Now on Skype I do not use either my own name or Grannymar, let me just say the one I use would come after the word Skype on the list! (One day all these names will be a problem as I won’t remember who I am supposed to be!) Again I queried this with Romano Italiano. He assured me he was genuine and asked if I would help him with his English! Now my father always warned me about fellows inviting me to see their etchings, but never anything about helping them with their English! Anyway Romano Italiano was over there in Italy and surely no harm could come to me at this distance. He asked if I had a Webcam, which I don’t, and then he asked and wanted to be assured I was over 18 years of age. He had a webcam and used it so that I was able to see him speak. He has a good voice, pleasing face but seems a very serious chap who seldom smiles! So what do I do? I was never a teacher. My spelling and grammar are woeful as you all know, so how do I get round this one? Let's face it - English is a crazy language. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are chocolates or toffees while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat. And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it? If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on. English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. What hope have I when there is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is "UP?" It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP? Why do we speak UP and why are the politicians UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report? We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP t[...]



My father worked in the Rag-trade. That for the uninitiated is Dublin slang for the clothing business. He had agencies for several Irish, English and Continental Fabrics manufacturers. It was a world of great colour. Fabrics of all kinds were to be seen in our house because that is where my dad had his office. I was always aware of the 'New Colours' a year ahead of them being available. Twice yearly when the new ranges were introduced, each sample had to be numbered and recorded in his ‘little black book’. It was way before Pc’s and laptops. My mother and I were always roped in to help with this work. At times it took three or four evenings to complete the task. The samples were packed in suitcases that dad delivered to a customer, a couple of days later he collected the cases and hopefully an order. That night the cases were emptied and the samples were refolded and sorted before passing them on to the next customer. His customers were many and varied, from top Irish Designers to more household names in the Clothing Business. When my father was out my mother or I manned the phone. I became very familiar with the names, voices and characters of designers and manufacturers. I seldom needed to ask them either their name or phone number. Occasionally my father brought me with him on his calls. I had the opportunity to meet many creative people in those years. They were pleased that I remembered them on the phone and made me very welcome. On occasions they might want to show my father how a fabric looked when it was made up into a garment. Since I was a size 8UK/6US, the size used to make up samples, I was asked to try an outfit on and ‘walk up the floor’. I still remember trying on a brightly coloured trouser suit in a ‘Raj’ style. The trousers were lined and had the zip to the front like men’s slacks. I was more used to buying trousers with the zip at the side. I remarked on these things and was told in a lovely gentle way that a zip should never be inserted in a side seam because it would upset the balance and look of a ladies hip line. The lining was so that the fabric would not rub a lady’s tender legs. That was long before jeans became a regular fashion item. From those early days I was particular about how clothes fitted and when I brought home a purchase, my father was the one to look it over and pass comments about it. Regularly I was told to ‘Put it on and walk up the floor’. He often teased me about how much they paid me to take an item off the shelf! Mostly he agreed that the clothes that I picked suited me. I was always comfortable in trousers and have been known to turn out for work wearing them with a shirt and tie. Forty years ago dinner dances were all the go. The men wore ‘Black Tie’ and ladies wore long dresses. I was fond of sewing and made a new dress for each dance. I remember one particular occasion in the months before I met Jack. The Company I worked for was having a large formal bash. I was undecided whether to go or not, when a colleague and I were asked if we would make up a party with some chaps on secondment from Scotland. A blind date, it would be a first for me, so why not. We made arrangements for all our party to gather and meet at a friend’s house. On the evening in question we girls arrived early to have a drink, a giggle, apply the paint and get dressed for the evening. The invitations said ‘Black Tie’ and I arrived so dressed! Well I wore black trousers, with a white silk shirt and a bow tie. Over this I had a tailcoat that had belonged to my father. It fitted me well and suited me, even if I say so myself. I had a small weekend case with my dress in it. The girls were so surprised to see what I was wearing that they forgot about my case. I had them convinced that I was dressed and ready and each time the doorbell rang I went to open the door. M[...]



Now at sixty I have watched fashion come and go over five decades. The first 10 years do not count as I was a child for most of it and wore the clothes my mother provided and told me to wear. Unlike nowadays we were not given a choice and indeed wore items for several consecutive days. I love to sit with a coffee or a drink and ‘People Watch’. On a fine day it is something I can do for hours. The world is a wonderland of colour shape and diverse styles. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but fashion is certainly in the mind of the wearer! Nowadays we live in a world where ‘Anything goes’ seems to be the mantra. It is not something I am comfortable with. To quote a line from The Mountains of Mourne, a Percy French song – “You could not in truth say if they were bound for a ball or a bath” When this song was written it referred to the ladies in London, nowadays it might refer to either sex of any age, in any place. I suppose I would divide people into the following groups: Those who drag themselves out of bed in the morning and clamber into the creased bundle they dropped on the floor the previous night. Those who dress because they have to, but with no interest of how they look or if colours clash. Those who take pride in how they look. Those who dress to draw attention to themselves. For a moment compare it to two presents on a table. One roughly wrapped in wrinkled newsprint and the other carefully wrapped in gift-wrap finished with a nice bow. If you were given a choice which one would you choose? Men have no problem is showing interest in how ladies look as they walk along the street. They show appreciation in wolf whistles, smiles and long lingering looks. In fact on occasions they have been known to bump into a tree, lamppost or someone walking towards them because they have become so enthralled or distracted by a vision of desire walking past them. Over the years I have watched from the sidelines: The women who slavishly follow fashion whether or not it suits them. They are prepared to spend a fortune on this season’s look, even when it makes them look, bigger, fatter and older or like mutton dressed as lamb.Those ‘larger’ women who think that anything black and unstructured makes them look thinner, when a tailored outfit would cut the pounds in seconds.Those who spend some time in dressing, doing make-up etc., forgetting to give the back view a glance. If you get a split down the back of your hair while sleeping, it will NOT go away until you wash your hair!The women, who have found their own style, are comfortable and stick with it, always looking well, whether they are thirty or eighty.The women who think that showing off all they have is sexy, when in fact it is actually a turn off. Now that I have joined the Third Age it does not mean I have lost interest in how men look. Like women’s fashions men’s have changed beyond all recognition from when I was growing up. In my young days men wore a suit, shirt and tie. I know because I grew up in a household with five men and washed, starched and ironed plenty of shirts. The suits in those days were all dark and the majority of shirts were white. I still think a nicely fitting, well pressed suit looks sexy. But please remember to polish those shoes, the heel as well as the toes. Casual slacks and a sports jacket with an open necked shirt, looks good too. But please, please make sure the trousers are the correct length and not full of concertina folds where they meet your shoes, that just kills the whole effort. Now I have a major gripe! If you are a well fed guy and show signs of a liking for the beer, avoid at all costs the long- shorts or cut-offs, you know the ones, they reach below the knees, worn with a tee-shirt pulled down over th[...]

We think its all over...


How would you like this on your doorstep?


Today is the 12th July, a major holiday in Northern Ireland where Loyalists hold Orange Order marches across the country. They are preceded each year on the 11th night with thousands of tyres being set ablaze during loyalist celebrations of the Battle of the Boyne. It is a tradition that has gone on for years and can prove contentious and in fact dangerous for those who live nearby.


The pictures were taken from today’s Daily Mail.

I’m Emigrating..


While reading Baino’s Banter today I smiled at all the items in her treasure trove. For years I collected small items that reminded me of people rather than places. I would never be considered a ‘Hoarder’. In fact Jack told me that my mother warned him before he married me ‘Not to stand in the one place for too long or I might throw him out!’ I returned from a Wedding in Cape Cod a few years ago on a cold November day. When I unlocked the front door I was met by a stream of paperwork, clothing and belongings stretching right through the house. The back door (Aluminium Double glazed) was lying open and the frame was damaged and hacked to bits. It was not something that could have been done quietly or with speed. The thieves were selective and took only items that were of value including jewellery, several pieces that were antique, and for me priceless & un-replaceable. They all had a story attached to them and brought loved ones close to me when I touched or wore them. I have not replaced them and decided that the jewellery I was wearing would be my signature tune from that day on. After all we can only wear one item at a time. Why leave things around for someone else to steal. It took a couple of months to sort things out with the insurance company, but much longer to get over the fact that someone had been through my clothes and personal items. I still have to stop myself walking from room to room when I come into the house on a dark winter’s day. My enforced holiday in hospital recently has made me reflect and think about my life. I have decided to yet again sort out my belongings and clear out anything that is not needed. The loft area was done years ago and is now only custodian to the Christmas tree and decorations. There might be one box of ‘Elly’s early life’. One school book from each year and several projects she worked on, a school crest etc. So what is this about emigrating? Let me explain. Some years ago a friend called while I was doing a big clear out. “What are you up to” she asked. I told her I was immigrating to Australia and therefore clearing out all the things I no longer needed. She almost believed me. Since then when I need to do a clear out, I tell myself that I am on the move. So now Elly is married and beginning a new stage in her life. It is only right and normal that she should be allowed to do so. As I have said so often, I gave her life and not a life sentence, therefore I move back a few steps from her and allow her to get on with marking out her new role. My life is also beginning a new phase, with the realisation that once again I stand alone. There will be many new challenges ahead for me and I look forward to discovering what they are. Meanwhile would anyone like this tuning fork...[...]

Wise old Man….!


Grandad and Granny went away for a few days last month. He told us they went to a small comfortable hotel in the west. Part of that story was true, they did go to the west but it was a camping holiday.

After they got their tent all set up, both Granny & Grandad fell sound asleep. Some hours later, Granny wakes Grandad and says, "St James’s Street tonight, look up to the sky; what do you see?"

Grandad replies, "I see millions of stars."

"What does that tell you?" asked Granny.

Grandad scratches his head and ponders for a minute then says, "Astronomically speaking, it tells me there are millions of galaxies. Time wise, it appears to be approximately a quarter past three in the morning. Theologically, the Lord is all powerful and we are small and insignificant. Meteorologically, it seems we will have a beautiful day tomorrow. What's it tell you, Granny?"

"You are dumber than K8’s dog. Someone has stolen our tent."

Mr ‘O’


Mr ‘O’ owned the local newsagents on the avenue where I grew up. The actual shop was very small; in fact eight customers were about all it would hold at any one time. Mr ‘O’ was super efficient and nobody had to wait very long to be served. In the evenings and at weekends he was joined by Mrs ‘O’. She helped to look after the customers. When they retired about five years ago the other shopkeepers and most of the older, by which I mean long time, residents threw a street party in honour of his long and faithful service. The shop was once half of a double fronted establishment at the end of a block of about 10 shops with a Cinema half way along the row. It had been divided before Mr ‘O’ bought it. The other half became Mr Mc’s grocery business. That’s a story for another time. The window was about waist high with a narrow shelf on the inside. It was closed on the inside to the customers and could only be viewed from the outside. It was not a window to linger over as all the goods and personalities were inside the shop. Window dressings 50 years ago were few and simple. Crepe paper lined the shelf and on it were displayed Bars of Cadbury’s Milk Chocolate that in fact were blocks of wood, covered in the foil and wrappers. Boxes of Chocolates such as Mackintoshes Double Centres, Black Magic, Milk Tray or Fruit Jellies were on show. These boxes were only empty cartons; it was just as well because the shop was on the sunny side of the street. There was a counter 3ft (91cms) high and about 7ft (214cms) long. It ran the length of the shop with a small gap to allow the staff to come out onto theshop-floor or go into the miniscule store at the back. The first 18 inches from the window end was the children’s corner. You could stand here and look over the counter for an hour or longer with your large old penny burning a hole in the palm of your hand deciding what to spend it on. Displayed on shelves along the wall behind the counter were what seemed like a wonderland of dentist’s delights from different toffee bars, gob stoppers lucky bags and various sweets including Fruit Salad, Blackjacks, Lollipops, Dolly Mixture, Bubblegum, Liquorice Allsorts, Midget Gems, Liquorice Sticks, AniseedBalls, Sugared Almonds and Wine Gums. Next to this space stood a weighing scales. Along the front of the remainder of the counter were large jars of colourful sweets like a row of soldiers standing to attention. These raised the counter level and the newspapers of the day were placed on top of them. The old fashioned Cash register was tucked in behind, out of sight. Rows of cigarette packets were along the wall at a level out of sight of the children’s corner. Pipe tobacco, matches, pipe-cleaners, cigarette papers, lighter fuel all had their place. You could buy papers, magazines, comics, notepaper & envelopes, cards for all occasions, stamps, sheets of brown or gift paper and string. Large Picture boxes of Chocolates, usually with beautiful girls or cute animals on the front were placed high up on the walls. They sold well at Valentine’s & Mother’s day. The only trouble with them was that they were all box and very few chocolates. Mr ’O’ also stocked milk in glass bottles, cream and eggs, ice-cream and ice pops – they were like a frozen drink on a stick, bright orange or deep red in colour. Fresh bread was delivered daily and he also stocked lemonade, Coke and Pepsi were not in our vocabulary never mind Mr ‘O’s shop. At the far end of the counter was a mobile oil heater. It was the only heat in the building. The front door was open from morning to night so when the shop was quiet Mr ‘O’ was to be found working away near the heat source. On the shelves above it were an ass[...]

Would You Like a Bite?


Every morning I start my day with a small bowl of Muesli. I have suffered all my life from a ‘Dairy’ intolerance so I pour my orange juice over the cereal. On the side I have a dish with 3 apricots, 5 dates and 2 figs. This means that I have four full portions of fruit before I leave the breakfast table. At elevenses time I am usually to be found doing chores, so for my break I have something easy, quick and simple. Fast food comes into its own here.

A Banana!


I remember learning at school that bananas were the second most perfect food, milk being the first.

It is a very long time since I was at school, and the milk in those days was not attacked by all the modern additives, chemicals, procedures etc. In fact I remember from my holidays in Sligo the milk-man coming every evening straight from the dairy with the milk in large cans still warm. If I think about it for a few minutes I can actually smell it! For those who can tolerate it, I wonder how healthy milk is nowadays.

Now back to my fast food:

Bananas are available in every Supermarket or fruit and vegetable shop. All you have to do is peel and eat. The skin can be returned to the earth via the compost bin and not clutter up the landfill sites, so there is no waste. We can also do so many other things with Bananas like adding them to Smoothies, make bread, Banoffee Pie and Knickerbocker Glories to name but a few.

This morning I heard something to really make me sit up and think! A lady from Zimbabwe was interviewed on the radio. She was talking of how difficult things are there at the moment.

One Banana today costs four times the price she paid for her four bed-roomed house seven years ago.

I really savoured every bite of my elevenses this morning.

A Thought for Sunday


The local minister decided that a visual demonstration would add emphasis to his Sunday sermon last week.

Four worms were placed into four separate jars.

The first worm was put into a container of alcohol.

The second worm was put into a container of cigarette smoke.

The third worm was put into a container of chocolate sauce.

The fourth worm was put into a container of good clean soil.

At the conclusion of the sermon, the Minister reported the following results:

The first worm in alcohol - Dead.

The second worm in cigarette smoke - Dead.

Third worm in chocolate sauce - Dead.

Fourth worm in good clean soil - Alive.

So the Minister asked the congregation -

What can you learn from this demonstration?

Maxine was setting in the back, quickly raised her hand and said,

"As long as you drink, smoke and eat chocolate, you won't have worms!"

Eight things you don’t know about me


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Oh Dear!


K8 has been busy tagging everyone she knows in the Blogosphere today.

Thankfully she took pity on me and left me alone. I don’t like that sort of thing as I have to work hard to remember my young life… it was so very long ago.

While having a rest this afternoon I was thinking about my Newly Weds.

I gave Elly a bit of a scare last weekend, and instead of pushing up daisies I must keep struggling on. In case she decides to sell my body to science I completed a survey to tell me approximately how much money my darling daughter would get for it.


If you see her running up the road with a pillow will you let me know…

A Message in a Bottle Part 2


Back in April I wrote a piece about ‘A Message in a Bottle’. Today we have a little update! The system works! Yes, on Friday I had reason to test it. A test nobody wants to have. Following all the excitement of the wedding last weekend I spent the time since my return home lying low. I woke at around 5a.m. as usual on Friday, but tried to go back to sleep. I must have slept as I was awoken by the sound of the doorbell. Mark the Postman was all apologies for disturbing me. I signed his book and accepted a parcel. I still felt rather sluggish and fought against going back to bed. While thinking of Jack who often said “Bed! I am not going to bed. People die in bed!” I concentrated on making my breakfast. By 10.15a.m. I knew I was in trouble and took my spray. Not having the desired effect I took it again and instead of improving things got worse. When my sight became blurred I called ‘999’. It is not the first time I have had to avail of their services. What a wonderful service they provide. Once I had given them all the information they needed, I was told me not to hang up and the man talked calmly and quietly to me until help arrived. Within 4 minutes the Cardiac Car was here and I was wired up and put on Oxygen. The Ambulance was hot on the heels of the car and one of the men went straight to the fridge to get my ‘message in a bottle’. It gave him the information needed without me having to use up energy answering questions. He lifted my medication but refused me time to get night-gear or wash-bag. It is at times like this I am glad to have a major hospital ten miles out the road. I was seen to immediately, injections and tests were started but since I was in the early stages of Hypothermia drawing blood was all the more difficult. I was settled into a bed in the Cardiac Ward and was checked every 15 minutes. It took until 5p.m. to bring my temperature back to normal and for the pain to subside. The tests continued through the night and since the pain had not returned I was allowed home late Saturday afternoon. I still face tests but they will be as an out-patient. Note to Bloggers: Do something about A Message in a Bottle! Note to Self: Stop chasing Toyboys![...]

My Speech


I made a promise and so I must keep it.

While concentrating on my many sewing tasks over the past few months, Podcasting was relegated to the back burner. The longer the gap the harder it is to begin again. So where will I start?

At the wedding on Saturday several people suggested that my speech might work well as a Podcast. There are friends and relations who follow my blog, but were unable to attend so for you I will re-do the speech.

You will have to imagine the heckling and the rotten tomatoes flying through the air!

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My adventure is over, theirs is only beginning…


Today I am home from Elly & George’s wedding and am feeling a little fragile: So where do I start? Thursday dawned and I woke early, the car was packed and ready to go. I spoke to Elly and she was in very good form (for a bride) and seemed quite relaxed! I had a good breakfast and set off on the road of a wonderful adventure. Where have the 29 years gone, it seems at times as if while I blinked she changed from a tiny baby to the beautiful, capable, organised and independent young lady I now see. Her Dad would have been proud! The journey was uneventful with some heavy rain as I crossed the border from Northern Ireland to the south. I called with Elly and we had some quality time before going to check into the hotel. Elly still had some things to sort out so she left me to get my bearings in the hotel and have an early quiet night. Friday was a rest day for me with my only task being to press the famous outfit. This I did in stages and rested until after lunch. Reception informed me when guests checked in so I was able to meet and greet them. My cousin and her husband from California who I met and stayed with a few years ago were the first to arrive. As we caught up with family news and looked at photos, my cousin from New Zealand and her son whom I last saw in the late 60’s were next to join us. These cousins were aware of each other but never met so it was good to make the introductions. We spent several hours catching up and filling gaps in family history.Elly and the bridesmaids checked in and joined us for dinner. We were nine in total at this stage and the banter and craic was wonderful. A good omen for the day to follow! Saturday dawned with sunshine and no rain. I went to breakfast at 8.30 and was joined by the Bride-to-Be and her attendants before they headed to keep hairdresser appointments. The remainder of the morning passed quickly with guests arriving from all arts and parts. It was becoming a very international affair. We had representatives from north, south, east and west of Ireland, London, Paris and Troyes in France, Romania, California, New Zealand and the high point for Elly was to have an Uncle from Australia who was bringing his 18 year old daughter to Ireland for the wedding and to meet his (our) family for the very first time. Elly announced that she did not want to miss the fun so we all changed into our finery and rejoined the guests for the pre-wedding reception. It is the only wedding I ever attended where the Bride and Groom mingled with the guests before the ceremony. At 3p.m. I had the honour of walking Elly in and handing her over to George. Music was provided by a sister of the Groom, while another sister, a friend of the couple and an aunt of the Bride took care of the three readings. An Uncle of George’s officiated and the couple had written the service and vows themselves. It was very moving, and the place resounded with everyone singing ‘When I’m Sixty-Four by the Beatles as the couple walked, or should I say danced out. At this point I have no pictures but if you check Elly’s blog, not alone will find a picture but can read her vows.[...]

"I Gave My Wedding Dress Away,"


Eileen Reid sang with a group called the Melody Makers in Dublin during the early sixties before joining the Cadets with whom she made the above hit record. She has continued to act, in films as well as on-stage. I last saw her portraying Imelda's mother in Alan Parker's The Commitments. The song "I Gave My Wedding Dress Away" is very much in my head at the moment. You know how it is – you think of a line and you find you are singing it all day long! Well now I will be able to say "I Gave My Wedding Dress Away" and mean it. For the past eighteen months I have worked on (When health allowed) a very special wedding dress. In fact I have always referred to it as ‘Elly’s Wedding Outfit’. That is because it was not really a dress at all. For most of her life my daughter REFUSED point blank to wear a dress! Jeans are her usual choice of apparel. No way would I let her wear jeans walking up an aisle, no matter what building she chose for the wedding. We did go out one day a lifetime ago or so it seems, so Elly could look at and try on dresses, even though she had already asked me to make her special outfit. I wanted her to be sure and not commit until she had tried several different styles. There were one-pieces, two-pieces, meringues all frills and flounces, slinky little numbers and the more traditional with big skirts. She tried while I looked. My face sometimes told more than the mirror even if I was slow to comment. One she liked had a rather full skirt with mountains of underskirts to support it. I reminded her of how she disliked being restricted and she agreed that yes it would slow her down far too much. “Anyway Mum, your arms would not hack all that weight of material” she said. I think I was secretly relieved. Since Elly’s Graduation outfit (which I made over ten years ago) really pleased her she hankered after a similar one for her wedding. I hunted out ideas and we settled on a boned bodice, trousers and a train. Detachable sleeves were also an option. We ditched the sleeves last month and the train unhooks for Dancing. I set to work on the train as it would not be affected by a change in Elly’s weight. Next I did the sleeves and then the trousers. I left the waistband and hems semi-finished for the second fitting. The bodice was the last piece to be tackled as it was boned and the most difficult to alter. All this was going on some 125 miles apart from each other. Each time we met her weight seemed static and her shape & measurements remained the same. I took a chance on it and went ahead with the boned bodice. In February work decided to interfere with the calm steady arrangements. Work trips around the globe were suddenly arranged and Elly took off on her travels. Mammy sat calmly (on the outside) sewing away wondering when we were ever to have a fitting. I kept a stock of safety pins at the ready, after all Liz Hurley got away with it at the Oscars! I travelled to Dublin for the Irish Blog Awards in March armed with Wedding outfit, sewing box, sheets to spread on the floor for the fitting etc. Ha, ha, ha! Serves you right mother! Elly lost a little weight. Where? Up top of course, so the alterations started. I still had time… 23rd June was a couple of months away. Elly arranged to come up on 10th June for the final fitting but the car objected and gave up on her north of Drogheda. The car was sorted and she finally managed to take time away from work on Friday 15th June. We had a good six or seven hour’s together but: Whaa[...]

Changing a Name


In the next week or so you will notice a change on my Blog Roll. I will be ditching Sin-in-Law.

Now calm down, I am not eliminating him altogether just changing his name on the list. After Saturday he will hopefully be still living with my daughter. They have known each other for the past five years and there are no signs of any cracks, so it looks like they are together for the duration. ;)

So how will I introduce him to any of my friends? I could ask for your help with suggestions, but no, I have made up my own mind on this one.

Son-in-Law is so ordinary and used by so many already. I have decided to call George my:


“Why Sun and not Son” I hear you ask.

The reason for my choice is the transformation in Elly when he walks into a room. It is exactly like the sun suddenly appearing from behind a cloud. The room is brighter for his presence and filled with a warm loving glow.

I wish them both, every happiness on their shared journey through married life.

Almost ready for the Big Event


The sewing is completed for the wedding, the boxes, bags and clothes hangers are all sorted and ready to load into the car. So what have I left to do? !. Prepare a short Mother of the Bride speech of welcome and share a few of Elly’s escapades from her young life. She has not yet realised that my dementia is selective…. 2, Decide on my party-piece for the evening. Now I wonder … ‘My Favourite Things’ is a harmless little ditty. ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ Now let me see if I remember the lyrics:- Maalox and nose drops and needles for knitting, Walkers and handrails and new dental fittings, Bundles of magazines tied up in string, These are a few of my favourite things.Cadillac’s and cataracts and hearing aids and glasses, Polident and Fixodent and false teeth in glasses, Pacemakers, golf carts and porches with swings, We remember our favourite things.When the pipes leak,when the bones creak,when the knees go bad,I simply remember my favourite things, And then I don't feel so bad.Hot tea and crumpets and corn pads for bunions, No spicy hot food or food cooked with onions, Bathrobes and heating pads and hot meals they bring, These are a few of my favourite things. Back pains, confused brains, and no fear of sinning', Thin bones and fractures and hair that is thinning', And we won't mention our short shrunken frames, Then we remember our favourite things.When the joints ache,when the hips break,when the eyes grow dim,then I remember the great life I've had, And then I don't feel so bad. These lyrics are courtesy of Julie Andrews she chose them for a performance at Manhattan's Radio City Music Hall I wonder where I might find a singing teacher… The very thing the yellow Pages![...]

The Letter Box Clattered…


You all know how I love the sound of my letterbox clattering and the other day was no different. My singular item that day was a card from Anne, a friend I worked with in Dublin before I was married. We have remained in touch by letter, phone calls and the occasional visit. Anne married a couple of years before me and had a daughter Rebecca by the time I walked down the aisle. She later has a son a little younger than Elly. The card from Anne was to wish me well during this special month of June. She was encouraging me to savour every day and particularly Elly’s Wedding Day. She enclosed a copy of a letter that she had come across on a recent spring-clean and enjoyed re-reading. As I read the letter tears rolled silently down my face! I think I might like to share it: Waveney Hospital Ballymena Tuesday 9th May Dear Anne & Tony, Greetings from the Grannymar Family! Yes Elly arrived on Saturday at 4.25p.m. She is just gorgeous. At 6lbs 12ozs she was much bigger than I had expected. The Consultant had told me the baby would be small and I had expected a wrinkled little prune! Well there wasn’t a wrinkle in sight. The Consultant took me into hospital on the Wednesday as my sugar levels were very high. They ran tests and X-rays all day Thursday to make sure the baby was big enough to bring on. The results were through on Friday and they started the ball rolling at 10.30a.m. Saturday. I must say it was all very easy and couldn’t understand why they kept asking to give me an injection for pain! Poor Jack had the longest day of his life, waiting and wondering. He was up and finished breakfast before 6a.m. and wandered around in circles all day. By 4p.m. when there was still no news he decided to come on over and wait at the hospital, but by the time he arrived, all was over and he was taken straight to see his little daughter. I will never forget the look on his face when he came across to my bedside. The tears just ran down his cheeks with joy! I had a try at breast feeding on Sunday but yesterday I had to stop as my skin is so fair and sensitive. I will try again today but am resigned to the fact that it may not work out. I will at least have tried and what more can I do. Yesterday I had a touch of the ‘Blues’, but am back to myself again today. I was just overtired and slept very little on Saturday and Sunday. Sister has just made rounds and together we decided to quit the breast feeding. I am much too sore and raw and would run into more trouble. It is better to decide now and not wait until I am home and on my own. Mammy has phoned to say she will come to see us. Jack persuaded her to wait until next week when I am home and she would have more time with us. I am really looking forward to her visit. Well now Rebecca, we can take out the little bootees and make good use of them. It seems no time since you were as new as Elly. How time goes by! Anne I must finish and get some more letters written while Elly sleeps and the mood is on me. Love to All Grannymar We all use emails nowadays for speed and ease. I wonder how they will last as records of events in years ahead. Don’t give up the Pen and paper![...]

Be Sure Your Sins Will Find You Out!


At University College Dublin, there were four students taking chemistry and all of them had an "A" so far. These four Guys were so confident, that the weekend before their finals, they decided to visit some friends and have a big party. They had a great time but, after all the hearty partying they slept all day Sunday and didn't make it back to UCD until early Monday morning.

Rather than taking the final exam then, they decided that after the final, they would explain to their professor why they missed it.

They said that they visited friends but on the way back they had a flat tire. As a result, they missed the final. The professor agreed they could make up the final the next day. The guys were excited and relieved. They studied that night for the exam.

The Professor placed them in separate rooms and gave them a test booklet.

They quickly answered the first problem worth 5 points. Cool, they thought!

Each one in separate rooms, thinking this was going to be easy.... then they turned the page. On the second page was written....

For 95 points: Which tire?

Dario I hope it wasn't you!

Talents & Gifts


Being human we seldom realise or recognise our own talents. I often look at the work of photographers and marvel at the amazing images they produce. Gingerpixel is one and Richard M, who I mentioned in a previous post, is another. I point a camera and if I am lucky I manage to produce something that is almost recognisable. Praise was not something my parents served up very often in my young days. It was usually “What are you at now? You know you will never finish it.” I suppose those words made me more determined to complete whatever I was at, usually some sewing, and prove I could do something. I remember hiding away in my bedroom one afternoon to find some peace and quiet to read a book that a friend had given me. My mother called up to me to know what I was up to. “Nothing, just reading” I said. “Well stop wasting time and come down here and do something useful!” she said. I came down as asked and the useful task assigned to me was to peel ½ stone of potatoes for the dinner. Seven pounds of potatoes were consumed on a daily basis in our household, that was when we were small in number, my parents four brothers my sister and myself. When we had visitors, which was a regular occurrence the mound of potatoes grew even bigger. Of course we had plenty of vegetables to be scrubbed, peeled and chopped to go with the potatoes and they just appeared at my side as I was about to finish the spuds. There were days when Mammy might exclaim “I have nothing for dessert, would you ever whip up a sponge cake. Now this was before we had an electric mixer or a food processor. My only aid was a hand mixer and it took an eternity to beat up the eggs until they were stiff and left the mark of the beaters in the mixture. All that work to see the cake arrive on the table where it was cut in eight slices and devoured in ten seconds!! What is it with eggs? I made the sponge cakes, pancakes, and scrambled eggs. They were about the only things I was praised for. Mary my father’s eldest sister is the person who fostered my love of a needle. She taught me to crochet and to read a sewing pattern properly. I had lessons on her old treadle sewing machine and she helped to make my first dress. To this day I still see it in my minds eye. Being the early sixties it was simple sleeveless fully lined and had two fringed patch pockets on the front. Auntie Mary was a teacher and had a love for her craft and passed on her knowledge with love and gentle dedication. I have never forgotten anything that she taught me. Over this past year while working on Elly’s special outfit I thought of Auntie Mary many times. So when I make a quiet toast to Absent Loved Ones on the big day Auntie Mary will be high up on that list.[...]

A Good Thought!


You don’t stop laughing because you grow old:

You grow old because you stop laughing.