Pins but no needles

While we were on our fabulous holiday in Casteldeffels near Barcelona I was very impressed with the bougainvillea that flourished with abandon everywhere. There were bushes of this magenta beauty growing magnificently all around the pool at our apartment block (yes it was a FABULOUS! holiday 🙂 I was a little green with envy as we had bought a bougainvillea in Johnstown Garden Centre during our spring into our very late Spring. We planted it in a planter in the sunniest spot in our garden (I can currently see it’s reflection in the screen) at the corner of the office. And it promptly withered, wilted and generally looked sickly and sad. This was the second plant we had put in this spot and it had never taken off either so we chalked it up to even more experience and went off on our aforementioned holiday.

While we were away Ireland experience a heatwave, the like of which had not been experienced since 2006. I remember the Big Heat of ’06 as I was also big with child and it was most uncomfortable. We were expecting disaster on our return but thanks to my brother the plants nearest the house were very well watered. I forgot to mention our vegetable patch to him but everything was in great nick. And the bougainvillea was MAJESTIC! It hadn’t been watered for 2 weeks and it was fabulous. So much of gardening is a fluke for us. I do the odd bit of research but become flummoxed easily when I come across a term or practice that I am unfamiliar with. I go with the logic that if the weeds can grow that well most other things with a little care can do it. If Stone Age Man became agrarian surely I can too? (And thus she demonstrates her ignorance of history too – BAM!)

The other day as I attempted to encourage the bougainvillea up the trellis I accidentally snapped a piece off. As I don’t own any bud vases (I know – unbelievable) I decided this was a perfect opportunity to try out this project I had found on Pinterest.  (In a side note check out Pintrosity who inspired this post and many of my Pinterest projects.) I had also been dying to try out the Mod Podge that I had picked up while in New York at Easter. However as I had bought it in a paper shop I accidentally bought Paper ModPodge. From my reading though I got the impression that this ModPodge was formulated to work better with paper to avoid yellowing as it aged but works exactly the same way in all other manners. Nipper 1.0 decided to give it a go too. We found the glue often dried before we managed to wrap the yarn over it. This was particularly frustrating for him and so he didn’t complete his cool looking bottle. You can see my finished jar in situ below.

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My Blog Awards thank you speech

I finally made it to the Blog Awards. After years of trying but never managing to avoid the clash with An Tóstal or my own birthday plans I finally made it. I’m hoping that the fact that I trekked from Dublin to Cork will make me seem less of a blogger wannabe.

I also took a more active role this year even though I had previously offered to help judge the Irish Language category in particular. This year, after a gruelling vetting process (ahem!) I was accepted as a judge of the 2009 Irish Blog Awards. Maybe there should be a gruelling vetting process because it’s a gruelling judging process. I think I’m too nice to be a judge. I was inclined to think, “Ah sure you made the effort.” Okay I was inclined to think that for the first five. Then I turned into a vicious bitch and by blog number 18 I was thinking, “Call that blogging? Yer ma!” and then I went back and recalculated the first five in that mood. And that was just round 1 and I abstained from judging two blogs because I do not speaky the soccer. However the second round was, in a way, easier because I had two categories so I was able to focus more. Overall however I was very impressed with the quality of the blogs and enjoyed discovering new blogs that I don’t already read. One of the criteria for judging the blogs is community which I judged based on the interaction with commenters. As a result I have decided that I am going to email all my family and friends and have at them for not following and commenting on this blog which I create with them in mind. Why else would I include the “subscribe by email” option except for that bunch of luddites? (See my cunning tactic there?)

Off I tripped to Cork on the 7pm train to stay with my good friend the Corkonian Architect in her beautiful home (pictured right). Big thanks to her for putting me up and for coming along for the best Saturday night out I’ve had in a long time. (The MBA zombie and two snot nosed brats aren’t much competition to be fair.) As mentioned in the previous post we went for a walk and then back home to get ready for the Ladies Cocktail Party at the bizarrely yet attractively appointed Cork International Airport Hotel. A big thank you to the hostess with the mostest, Sabrina Dent for the lovely afternoon in the genteel company of some lovely ladies. (What happens at the tea party and all that…). Big ups to the chaps in Curious Wines who I subsequently had very interesting chats with – thanks guys: if I was babbling it was because you gave Sabrina too much wine. It would have been rude not to drink it. However there was plenty to eat as well and I shnarfed a couple of divine muffins from Píosa Cake (I particularly like these creations although they were surprisingly not present on Saturday…) Thanks also to Ciara from for the cool “I refuse to participate in a recesssion” badge!

Then onto the main event which was, put simply, a really fun night. I was even asked to pose by the photographer from the Evening Echo. However I lessened the likelihood of imminent Cork celebrity (even though I had a real Corkonian beside me) by bickering with the photographer about the total demerits of my leaning against the car to have my photo taken. (I mentioned the bizarre interior, didn’t I?) He didn’t understand my issue (what kind of a photographer man has never seen a Pirelli calendar?) but demurred and moved us elsewhere.

The thing I loved the most about the Blog Awards was the diversity of people in attendance: young, old, from all walks of life and areas of interest. This is a reflection of the diversity of the blogs out there and I would imagine over the coming few months, as people are laid off or their hours are cut down, we could see an explosion of blogs. I like to think that the sense of community that these people will gain from this hobby will sustain them and possibly spawn plenty of new ways of living.

We got goodies on the night too including polystyrene speech bubbles from Made In Hollywood and an invitation to enter a competition. Here’s my attempt to win EUR150. I promise I’ll give the child a tenner if I win.

My entry for the Made in Hollywood competition
My entry for the Made in Hollywood competition

And lastly thanks to Damien and all his crew for all the hard work they put in – not least in the intros to each award.

And of course you know who I forgot in my thank you speech? My darling husband, Himself, for doing the single dad thing for the weekend.

My own private photoblog tour

Originally uploaded by anmhor

As part of the annual Irish Blog Awards a photo tour is usually organised. I didn’t make the official tour but went for an invigorating walk in glorious sunshine with the Corkonian Architect. It was truly gorgeous and all the photos were taken with my Nokia E51 because I left my camera in the house.

However this walk involved a very strange synchronicity. The architect never told me where we were going and when we arrived, I exclaimed, “I’ve been here before!” But the strangest thing about it is that while I get very few comments on my blog, I got one once about Nohoval Cove which is where she had brought me! Isn’t that an amazing coinkydink?


Killing some time before I go to meet Himself to go and see The Matrix Reloaded. Slightly worried that he might be a little more excited about this than the sprog 🙂 He’s a late convert and they are always the most zealous.

I remember the day myself and the Travelling Wiblette went to see the Matrix. We went on a Saturday afternoon not knowing much about it really. I have always been a bit of a sci-fi fan being the keeper of 3 brothers so I suspect it was on my initiative. We were so impressed. I remember leaving the cinema. It was bright day outside. We got our bikes and cycled west but it was a really strange cycle that took us along all these really narrow alleyways. I can’t remember where we were going. I think it might have been Hanberry Lane. Maybe it was when the Travelling Wiblette was involved with the Bollix…

So all set for the Joooon Bank Holiday weekend. All plans are go. Only glitch so far is that DG won’t be able to accompany us on the “Wee Daniel’s Cup of Tea Tour 2003”. Well that’s the only glitch if you don’t count the fact that Dinners is making our dinner for Friday night tonight and freezing it thus letting us all know her true colours. The colour nerd is somewhere between brown, orange and grey. Dins your true colors 🙂 Only kidding!!

Right gotta go catch a movie. Smell yis later