Sunday 31 August 2008

day out with the visitors

we had a fun day yesterday, well, fun for most of us, it started quite rough i imagine for my husband, who woke up with the mother of all hangovers.... and staying in bed wasn't an option because there was still more tidying and cleaning to be done than i could manage before the visitors arrived! my baby belly had calmed down considerably, which was good news because i don't know how i'd have managed showing them around otherwise!

we picked my parents and their friends up from the station and had coffee and biscuits here, and they had a little look around the garden and house (with the usual comments from the guys about how much less sturdy and 'proper' houses in ireland are built... they were knocking on the plasterboard walls and comparing the window frames and width of the stairs to home. i'm starting to feel like we live in a cardboard house!). Then we headed to Skerries for a 'walk around the head' and a drink. then we went to the Mills to have a look at the Farmers Market and for some coffee and cake/their homemade soda bread, then on to Ardgillan Castle. The ladies loved it, the guys are way unfit and not used to walking... my mum was telling me when they went around dublin the women were mostly walking ahead, leasurely, chatting, and every now and then stopping to see could they still see the guys in the distance, and then letting them catch up! we left them behind as we explored the walled gardens, they are always a big hit with my female realitves, who get excited to see plants they have at home all labeled and categorised, and to see some of them grow to twice the size, and others that they keep indoors grow happily outside.

We had dinner in the stoop, which everybody loved, and we all got to chat and rest some more (outings with 'older' people involve an awful lot of breaks and sitting down and stopping...). eventually we dropped them back to the train station and they all got on the train, it's kind of cute watching your parents on public transport if they drive everywhere at home, we could tell they were excited and nervous, making sure it's the right train twice, then all heading off down the compartment looking for seats together... i'm glad they get to travel like this is in a foreign country, i know it gave me lots of confidence, travelling and realising i could do it. who knows they might take another trip abroad, go to paris or prague for a long weekend, now that they know they can manage!

P and I were completely exhausted by the time we got home! especially P with the remnants of his hangover...

Friday 29 August 2008

lying low

i took the day off today...

my parents and their friends arrived in town yesterday and we met them for coffee and took them for a walk around the city centre, making sure they get their bearings, pointing out nice pubs and restaurants... i was so delighted with the nice weather and wanted to make sure they see the city in the golden light and take home some nice impressions, knowing the next few days might get quite gray (and look out, what a gray day!!) seeing so many people out enjoying themselves on a mid week evening, they were surprised by that, but of course they get way more lovely summer evenings at home than we do here.

i must have overdone it a bit, i walked from stephens green to brown thomas to meet them, then we made our way with a few turns to the busy feet cafe (it's not that easy finding a cafe with space for 8 people on a sunny thursday evening!) after that we weaved our way back towards their hotel, along grafton and dawson and nassau street, the tourist information, the foggy dew, temple bar, the 'italian quarter, finishing at that pub on mary st that's in a former church. there we split, and i could really feel my belly. the husband and i made our way back to o'connell st and i could started to get cramps and pains, we decided to get a taxi back to my office where i had parked the car, but of course my husband had had a pint with my dad and friends so i still had to drive home, i got a bit scared with the pains and had to breathe really deeply, and moving my foot from exelerator to break was really sore...

i went straight to bed when we came home, but didn't sleep properly all night, (the baby had lots of extra energy from sleeping all afternoon/evening while i was walking) every time i got up to go to the bathroom the cramps started again, scary! there was no more pain though, so i'm pretty sure we're OK. anyhow, i'm off today, taking it very easy, but there still is a lot of tidying up to do, before the visitors come up to our house tomorrow! i'm leaving all the strenuous stuff for the husband though, who unfortunately has a work night out tonight, so it'll be left to him in the morning, when he most likely will have a hangover!!

all not ideal... but i'm glad i could take the day off at short notice, and of course i'm not telling my parents, i'm going to say i'm working from home! wise people that they are they were saying all along the way that i should turn around and head back to the car and not overdo it, and i was ignoring it, thinking i was going to be fine and wanting to spend more time with them. i miss them, they are going to spend most of their time sightseeing with their friends while they are here, looking forward to seeing them again tomorrow. i just wish their friends would do stuff on their own for at least one evening so we can spend some time with just my parents, but they all don't speak any english and want to stick together, and the friends are looking towards my parents as the seasoned travellers, because they've been here before!

i also thought my mum looked very tired and red eyed and my dad looked like he lost weight so i'm a little worried about them...

Wednesday 27 August 2008


sorry, is it just me or is rachel allen pronouncing onions in the most peculiar way? we were just watching her make roast chicken and were nearly on the floor laughing, especially as she said it so often, we didn't count but it went 'then i take the annion and i peel the annion, then i put the annion into the saucepan..." anybody know where she's from?
the other thing that cracks me up is that she often looks like she hates the food she's tasting, while saying 'i lav the flavour, mmh, it's delicious' and it often looks like she hates touching produce, too!
enough bitching, i have to say i love her clothes, make up and jewellery, and the actual food looks yummie!

Saturday 23 August 2008

break ups

two of our friends broke up this weekend. i feel really sad that it didn't work out for them, and also because i'll most likely be losing a friend, she's only moved in with him last year and we started doing lots together, we get on great, now she'll be staying with family in the city centre, and then rent her own place, maybe near here but there's no way she'd stay living in this village, it's just too small. and by next summer she'll most likely move to the south side, for a new job, and i won't get to see her much at all any more! she's quite teary and sad, but at the same time relieved and happy, because she's finally made the step, from what she said and from the impression i got, she's been working very hard to try and be happy in the relationship, to settle with him, to build a future, it just didn't work, she was edgy and things just weren't falling into place. i remember being in a similar situation, and every little extra bit of commitment was making my want to jump out of my skin, and i was doing all i could to ignore it and to be 'grown up' and 'work on the relationship' like my much older boyfriend at the time was telling me to.

i had a feeling there were some issues, and that they might break up, but still i was hoping that i was just imagining all that!

add to that the miserable weather, the mess in the house (lots of little organising projects started but none of them quite finished), a slightly hungover husband... what a miserable day... i just have no energy! i slept like a log but still feel like all i want is to curl up and go back to sleep.

instead i did laundry, some tidying up, filing papers from the last 5 years, and hugging my husband a lot, because i'm upset over the breakup and grateful that we're together. now i'm writing this post while watching 'last choir standing', after a bowl of half and half cornflakes and crunchy nut (this baby is making me like food i usually don't buy at all! and it seems to have a thing for sweetcorn...) and i'm feeling a little better already.

Thursday 21 August 2008

mamma mia

we had a girlie cinema night out, to see mamma mia last night, hilarious! really cheesy, of course, and the plot is slightly confusing, they had to try and somehow fit in as many abba songs as possible. most of the singing is alright but Pierce Brosnan's singing and dancing is so bad, we were dying laughing in our seats! the youths did my head in, but the 3 ladies were brilliant, especially done up in shiny seventies gear! a very cheery film, for sure, unfortunately i'd had non alcoholic beer, i think the film would have been better with a few cocktails. my favourite thing though was the interiour design, light turquoise blue walls, slightly distressed bright red accessories, beautifully embroidered throws and cushions, any type of apron you can imagine, seventies style tablecloths on the clothes lines, mismatched plates and chairs...

at the end of the film i was more or less decided. i was going to paint one wall in our bedroom that colour, and do a similarly bright and mismatched nursery, but the girls pointed out that it all looks right in greek sunshine, but won't be so lovely on an irish, dark, dank, rainy, day. i'm not convinced, i think especially in grey weather bright colours are needed!

Monday 18 August 2008

missing july

how weird... july is missing from my blog archive!?
and i was nearly sure i posted a bump picture a few days ago? that's gone!

ok, found the bump post, for some reason it appeared with a june date? blogger is doing funny things...

WIP - yet another baby beanie

not sure if i prefer this heart shape or the one from the last?

Sunday 17 August 2008

eclair desaster...

this is a picture of yesterday's attempt to make chocolate eclairs... i used duck eggs, which i think might have been the problem. i tried all kinds of temperature time combinations, but the centre just wouldn't cook! it was gloopy, eggy, shiny, wet, nearly custardy. what a waste of a saturday afternoon! the reason i tried making them was that the weather was awful, torrential rainfall! and i thought i'd feel much chirpier if i could have the eclairs i fancied without leaving the house!

you'd think i'd have gotten into the car today and bought some, but no, i'm attempting them again. with medium chicken eggs. the dough looks lighter this time, less oily, wish me luck!!

the recipe i'm using is a german 'windbeutel' recipe,

60g butter
1/4 l water
pinch of salt
150g flour
1 tea spoon of baking powder
4 eggs.

i'm going to do some more experimenting.

using the fan oven i'm starting with 20min 200 degrees, (eclair shapes, not german sized profiteroles or mini profiterols) i'll try all sorts of combinations again, from different other recipes, and hope that at the end of it i'll get at least 2 eclairs for dessert tonight!

Tuesday 12 August 2008

bump picture! (28 weeks)

my bump

my toes

my arm

(after only one stab by the midwife!)