this is why your server is cranky

Now if I could only find the why-did-you-not-damn-well-bring-me-some-water equivalent I would be a less stressed individual. Check outthis is why your server is cranky on to see how some people deal with those little day-to-day stresses.

I tell you what else is stressing me out: I added an Irish Language spellchecker to my Firefox but now it’s telling me I can’t spell in English. Nach mise atá demanding!

But I kid: we have been having some real stress here lately with G’s health. He has been sick for at least a week every month since midsummer. Pneumonia, gastric problems, a chest infection last week and, yesterday’s diagnosis by a doctor in the Children’s Hospital, tonsilitis. S and, as you know from all me moaning last week, I have been feeling a bit under the weather recently too. Hopefully this will be the last of it for a while because everytime G gets sick he stops eating. He will disappear soon. It’s a real worry.

Day Job

If only I could be half as creative as GF (right) during this “downtime” I’d be doing well. I’ve just been invited to this exhibition “…scape” and very appropriately my friend GF has this piece in the exhibtion entitled Day Job. Appropriate because today is my first day as an officially unemployed person. Abs reckons that the fact that I had my letter printed today, even though I wrote it about a week ago, is a good omen. She is very positive

This morning I was in a place that I never thought I would see again: the driver testing centre on Orwell Road. Abs had her test so I had to be her fully licensed accompanying driver. Unfortunately she failed but it was her first time and for someone who’s only been driving since August she’s pretty good. I reckon she’ll get it next time. Nerves are an unpredictable quantity.

About six people took the test at the same time as her and only one of them passed. Those odds aren’t too good. No wonder there is such a long waiting list. It would be interesting to see how many re-tests are on the list at any one time. If 5 out of 6 people failed even one exam on the Leaving Cert the teaching methods, the curriculum and the exam would all be overhauled. There is something not right with this system and certainly you have to question the training if 5 out of 6 people can fail. And then drive away…

Cherry (Well actually apricot) and sultana loaf

I’ve just finished baking 2 of these: one for Garman’s birthday in the creche tomorrow and one for his birthday tea at home. Hope he likes it. If it tastes half as good cooked as it did raw, we’ll be doing well.
This recipe comes from The Austalian Woman’s Weekly Cakes and Slices Cookbook which I love because it has loads of different and some really unusual recipes (Chocolate Zucchini cake anyone? And don’t laugh the chocolate potato cake in this book is one of my favourites. Potato and Chocolate hmmmm)
However I substituted chopped dried apricots for the glacé cherries because can you believe I had no glacé cherries. Believe it – they are a culinary abomination. Think of a fresh cherry, think of a glacé cherry. How can they both be called cherries?

Enough! Here’s the recipe. I chose it because half an hour before our party started last Saturday I exclaimed to Himself “Ohmigod! I’ve no dips.” and sent him off to buy ingredients which I had no time to whip into hummous etc. so I was left with a ton of sour cream.

125g butter
2 teaspoons greated lemon rinf
1 cup castor suger
3 eggs
1/2 cup sliced glacé cherries (see above)
1/2 cup sultanas
1 and 1/2 cups self-raising flour
3/4 cup of plain flour
3/4 cup sour cream
1/4 lemon juice (the juice of a lemon)

Preheat oven to 180 deg C.
Grease a 14cm * 21 cm loaf pan. (they say line base with paper, grease paper. I say life is too short.)
Cream butter, ring and suger in small bowl with electric mixer ntil light and fluffy; bet in eggs one at a time, beat until combined. They say transfer mixture to large bowl. I say start off in a large bowl, save on washing up. Stir in fruit, then half the (sifted – you decide) flours with half the combined sour cream and lemon juice, the stir in remaining flours and lemon mixture. Pour into prepared pan. Bake for about 1 1/4 hours (Mine took 1hr 10 min at 175 in a fan assisted oven.) Stand for 5 mins before turning on to a wire rack to cool.
G and I will be decorating ours anon – photos to follow.

Tús maith leath na hoibre

Mo chéad lá mar dhuine “ar scith” agus seo mar a thosnaigh mé: ag breathnú amach ar radharc álainn Bhinn Eadair ó shléibhte Áth Cliath. Thug mé síob do Lilbro who is recording the soundtrack for Lance Daly’s latest feature “Kisses” in this amazing gaff up past Kiltiernan. I met two other members of the post-production crew. Lovely people who are enjoying the seasonal splendour in an amazing location and getting paid for it – lucky suckers!

Coming back from An tOireachtas in Westport at the weekend(roinnt grianghraf ag Oireachtas 07) I realised that Autumn is past her best and the winter is on her way. Autumn is my favourite season and it was great being driven across the country because as a passenger I was really able to drink in the golds, reds, yellows, oranges and browns. The last dance before the long sleep.

Today is the beginning of a new era for me. The first time I have ever been unemployed since I had half an hour to get from my last Drama Studies exam to my first job in RTÉ. That is not to say that I am going to spending loads of time blogging. Small matter of a large thesis due at the end of January. This change in circumstance couldn’t have happened at a better time.

So obviously I have been doing a lot of thinking about my strengths and my ambitions and while chatting at dinner the other day I had a terrible realisation. When I arrived home at last from An tOireachtas, the boys were all watching “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” which was quickly followed by some very creative Lego work, resulting in three spaceships. At some point Himself pointed out to G that there is no up or down in space which is the reason why many astronauts get spacesick and the bottom fell out of my world. I suddenly realised that all my plans to be the first Gaelgeoir in outer space would come to naught as I wouldn’t even be able to make it on the bus to the spaceship without puking on my colleagues shoes. So now what am I going to do? I suppose I can still work on that “extra in Star Trek” plan… Are they still making Star Trek. Maybe I should aim for Dr. Who or that other one they’re making in Wales which wouldn’t involve too much travelling. Although the ferry OH GOD. It’s never going to happen, is it?

Back to reality. A few people have been asking me where to get StarLittleThing’s new album “It’s Easy to be Alive You Just Are”. Apparently Tower Records off Grafton Street have been restocked or you could try Road Records on Drury St (or is it Fade St. It is.) in Dublin. And for the virtual among you it can be bought at or on ITunes. Now I don’t mean to be rude but would ya ever stop reading and go and buy your copy now!

Oh no just one more thing: like a total sheep I’ve given into peer pressure and joined Facebook. You’re the experts you find me.

Stars? YES! Little? NO! Things? All the bright young

Friday night was Culture Night 2007 in Dublin City. I apologise to the very cultured people who were being shown around the inner sanctum of Lord Powerscourt’s, Richard Wingfield 3rd Viscount (1730-1788), city centre abode. I barged up to their tour guide and asked “Is this the way to the Loft?” There was no way on earth that I was missing another StarLittleThing gig! I have had no luck so far and I know I’m missing their album launch on 5th October in Crawdaddy so I was damned if I was missing their single launch. I needn’t have worried: I was there a fashionable half an hour late and they were an even more fashionable hour and a half late. We were kept amused by all the free beer and based on the nonsensical conversation I had with the young girl serving the free booze she had also kept herself well amused.
It was brilliant. I know I’m completely biased but the energy in the room when they picked up their instruments completely changed, notched up. I, of course, danced. I can’t believe there were people there who didn’t.

The only downside of the evening was when I was introduced to this older man and the first thing he said to me was, “You look like Bette Midler”. All I could think to say to him was, “I’m so @#*&ing insulted!” Normally I wouldn’t be so rude but I really don’t like Bette Midler. I demurred a little bit but I didn’t take it back.
Don’t miss StarLittleThing at Crawdaddy 23.30 on €15 entry includes free copy of the album. A bargain.

Then we headed down to the Port House for a few pinchos and finished up in wagamama for noodles. A delicious evening.
I was feeling a little worse for the wear when I wrote this. I was at a hen on Saturday. Not my best work darling.