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Showing posts from August, 2011

Understanding & Speaking Teenglish.

They say the best way to learn a language is by having full immersion into the culture of the people who speak it, so given that my life rotates around half a dozen teenagers, it hasn’t been too difficult to start picking up the lingo.It’s a mixture between English phrases as I once knew them, only now they have a completely different interpretation to what I once understood, along with some new vocabulary. Of course, how you interpret it is also connected to the vitriol, whine, mutter or whisper with which the language is uttered. So I’ve learnt that "I’m bored" really means "I need your help, I don’t have the confidence to do the things that would inspire me so now I don’t know what to do with myself". Of course, if you answer in English, it will not be understood, so if you have to answer in Teenglish by thinking of what you would like to suggest and then rewording it to make it understood. So let’s take another example such as "I hate you" which in fac…


I saw an ad in the local newspaper there last week for a bootcamp. Now I know that I should be wary of anything that promises to make you thinner, healthier and fitter, is currently in fashion and costs money, because I normally end up just spending the money and not getting thinner, healthier, fitter or one bit happier. But I rang the guy anyways and told him about how I was an ageing unfit fat lady who still dreams of being young and beautiful, so he told me to come along, that it would be great and that I really wouldn't be the laughing stock. In fact, he told me, people of all fitness levels will be there and the strong would be supportive of the weak.
So I decided to go, I geared myself up, told myself that I would turn out to be one of the strong people on the course. I was going to get that kind of energy that mothers get when their child is trapped under a car that enables them to lift the car up with one hand.
Of course I didn't go. But I did go to the supermarket, an…

Planning a Pet, or a Baby?

A Catholic Miracle

I was born into the world of Catholics. My parents weren't religious, but we were bred on guilt and the devil. Jesus was someone who was crucified because of me and after that some Irish Rebels died for my country, or more specificallly - for me personally. So it was a good start really. I learnt that if I ever did anything that felt good or right, it was probably wrong. And Jesus wasn't all that far away, he had managers on earth (a bit like school and work really), and they were the nuns and priests who you had to genuflect to because after all, they had given up all their wealth to go and live in palatial homes where they never got to experience fun things like paying bills or cooking or waiting for drunks to come home.
For a short while I liked the idea of it, but by the age of 7 I reckoned I was probably going to hell anyway because I got a chocolate stain ( it was a curly wurly) on my communion dress and I peed myself a few months later when walking in a May procession…

The Best Advice I've Never Had

They were talking on the radio today about bad advice that people have been given. It was a bit too early for me to concentrate on listening to a grown up, but I do think that someone had been told to rub onions on their breasts in order to make them grow, and somebody else had been told that if they have hair on their legs they should wear the tightest skinny jeans possible and that the chafing of jeans on skin would remove hair. But there's worse when you think about it. I was told to do things like: marry a nice man and don't give up your little jobeen, and make sure you get a mortgage, because there's nothing surer than this: house prices will never come down.
Luckily for me, I'm way too stubborn to take advice, so most of it was lost on me. I was wishing though, that I'd been told a few things that I had to learn on my own. It might have saved me years. First of all, nobody told me that work is the very same as school - the managers are the teachers and the M.…

A Packet of Solpadeine and a Lecture Please

Years ago I was a respectable lady married to a nice German doctor, and it was he who brought to my attention that in Germany you can only buy pain killers in a chemist and not in a petrol station, pub or supermarket and that there was not a chance in hell that you could ever buy a pain killer with codeine in it directly from a pharmacy, which in Ireland, you can - Solpadeine.
Then a friend of mine who is a pharmacist told me that Solpadeine was her best seller. So lucrative were the sales that she did not have enough room to store the stuff in her pharmacy. But that was also back in the time when I was respectable, and in the meantime the Solpadeine police seem to be out on patrol.
Now if you ask me, I think it's pure madness to sell substances with codeine in them over the counter at a pharmacy, and I'm also a bit iffy about buying paracetemol in the supermarket, given that any 13 year old can go in and stock up on a drug that is lethal in relatively small doses. But there a…

He Without Sin and All That Crap...

The news about David Norris reached Barcelona. I sure don't read the news when on hols, in fact, I don't read it much at all, but being a cryptic crossword addict I did need to log into the Irish Times every day to feed my habit, and so it was that the whole thing caught my eye.
My first reaction to his standing down was that welling up of tears that you have to swallow because you're in a public place, and about a minute later I thought to myself 'wow, this must be how gutting it is for Catholics when they hear that their whole organization has let them down.' So I decided not to go easy on David. After all, I'd just read that he tried to get clemency for someone who raped a boy. I was gutted. My role model crumbled. The gay community looked seedy and it reinforced some peoples opinions that being gay is nothing but sex and immoral carry on.
But then I came home, and found out the facts. Here they are: Years ago, a gay guy slept with another gay guy who was a f…

Barcelona Beach: the Rat, the Nudists and the Megaphone

Just to get one thing straight: we (meself and hersel´) are having a (metaphorical) ball in Barcelona. Note: I`m beginning to navigate the Spanish keyboard and have found the bracket symbols, along with things like the ñ,¿, and ç. Don´t know what they´re all meant to mean, but I do know that all those people who have bets on with Paddy Powers that we (see brackets above) would not last a day in Barcelona ( two queen bees and all that) were absolutely wrong. The absence of our 7 children for a whole week and the fact that two divas are sharing one room in a hotel has not yet led to catastrophe. Not even close. So as usual, Paddy wins.
Well we planned out our day today -  we were to go up the viewing tower in the Christopher Columbus monument, followed by a bus tour to the Park Guell. So it panned out the usual way that planned days pan out: we went clothes shopping and ended up on the beach. I´d read somewhere that there was a nudist beach in Barcelona, and that it was beside a gay bea…