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Monthly Archives: April 2011

The Grand Old LADY with the Colgate Smile

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I’d like to introduce you to Snuffy, the Grand Old Lady of our house. My poor long suffering husband has a lot to contend with.  He is the only male in a household of  that consists of wife, four daughters, mother-in-law, two cats and a dog. He has no male support,  even the animals are female. This might lead you to believe he lives a very pampered existence but it is quite the opposite. While my mum and the dog vie for position of seniority in the house, I”m afraid Snuffy wins hands down.

Snuffy reaches the grand age of fifteen this summer. Using the rule of thumb that you multiply by seven to get her age in people years, she is the grand old age of 105, leaving my Mum and the dog Piper as mere babes at 84.
My four year old nephew was visiting for St. Patrick’s weekend and enquired what age was Piper.Mum explained that she was 12,  in dog years that was the equivalent of 84, the same age as herself. His reply was that Piper was very old and would die soon ……..and so would she!!


Now to get back to my old lady, she is beginning to feel her age……like the rest of us. Even my daughters, in their twenties are shocked to find themselves  rapidly approaching thirty. Until recently, Snuffy has startled many an overnight guest who left their bedroom windows open at night.
She had perfected the art of jumping up onto the roof, in the window and from there straight into the middle of the bed. She likes her comfort! Thsis is all rather terrrifying if you are the one fast asleep in bed and she lands smack in the middle of your stomach. It is only by the  grace of God and remembering to warn people to keep their windows closed that we didn’t have to summon an ambulance in the middle of the night to whisk our visitors off to hospital suffering from a  massive heart attack.
Snuffy came to us on my youngest daughter’s ninth birthday . She is her cat and you would know it. Snuffy will let her turn her upside down and inside out and still cuddle up to her.  She turns her back to the rest of us.She knows she was chosen. I told my daughter that I was bringing her for a surprise on her birthday. Can you imagine her horror when the car turned into my friend’s house, who just happened to be her teacher.”But Mammy you said it was a nice surprise …..this is my teacher’s house.” she exclaimed in horror.  I was soon forgiven when she was introduced to three kittens and told to take her pick. That was almost 15 years ago now.
These days, we have been very worried about Snuffy because she has had repeated infections and we thought, the dreaded cat flu. She has been feeling very sorry for herself.  Have you ever tried to give a cat liquid antibiotic. We have given it to her in pill form, hiding it in sardines or chicken.. She managed to find the pills and eat all around them so it was back to wrapping her in a towel to keep those nasty claws under control and try and administer the dose. The end result of this is that if she sees me with a towel in my hand she runs, she has developed a taste for real meat and turns up her nose at cat food. She sits in front of the fridge and stares at you, saying “where is my chicken?”
Anyway, to get to the point of my story, she has had repeated infections  She would take her antibiotics, get better and then two days later would be sneezing and coughing again. Back again to the vet,who diagnosed sinusitis, not cat flu as originally thought. Now she really had my sympathy  (I have suffered with sinusitis for years, a real pain in the face) It kept recurring because she has plaque on her teeth. The only way to remove it was to have them cleaned under aneasthetic!
So this week, she was put in the cat box, brought to the vet and job is now done. For 24 hours afterwards, she would not come near us and hid under the table if we came near. However, as she is getting better she has forgotten the trauma… can see the touches of blonde in her hair:-)
She is getting more needy as she gets older, something that, perhaps, happens to people too. When I’m typing, she wants to sit on the keyboard and her favourite place to sit high up on my chest so I can’t see what I’m doing. She wants undivided attention, all the time.
Tony Attwood  said that cats are dogs with Aspergers Syndrome. Well, not this grand old lady.

Legally Blonde

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If you are a blonde who is tired of Blonde jokes, read no further. It could seriously damage your mental health!

When I was younger I was a natural blonde but from the time I started having my hair cut shorter, in my teens, my hair started to darken to mousy brown. Now I feel the need to visit the hairdressers on a regular basis, to return to that blonde of my childhood.
It is not because of the few encroaching grey hairs around my temples, ageing does not worry me.  I need a “logical” answer for the frequent exasperated cry of ” For God’s sake why can’t you remember  where you  you left  your keys again” My reply……..I’m BLONDE, what do you expect!! I have even gone so far as to learn the Turkish equivalent “saftrığım’  because I am asked the same questions, along with a with a few more in the same vein, in Turkish. Not fair to stereotype blondes like this, I know but….


My keys have several keyrings hanging out of them to make the bunch easier to find but still they manage to elude me. Maybe people are trying to have me committed by hiding my keys and making me think I’m going nuts! It is not possible for a person to have their keys in their hand one minute and they’ve completely disappeared the next. It must be a conspiracy.

Luckily for me, people don’t realise how often I have to ring my phone to find it.
My new car  has a fancy radio with bluetooth – well fancy for me anyway – my last car was a teenager and got stroppy .When I turn on the ignition I can see if the phone is connected.  I can rest easy knowing that it is somewhere about my person, or in my bag . (My bag is a whole other story. I have to have a big bag,  putting your hand into it is a bit of a risk. In the natural world, it has it’s own special habitat classification.)

Back to topic! I was always a bit ditsy ……or disorganised. These days it seems to be worse. Last Thursday I was trying to turn off the overhead projector and it wouldn’t switch off.  I thought that maybe the battery in the remote control was going. I looked down at my hand and thanked God I was teaching the little ones. If the older classes had seen me trying to switch off the projector with my  car keys, they would not have let me live it down for a long time.

So, no insult to blondes intended, but I use my blonde hair as an excuse for my lack of attention, poor short term memory,encroaching age, senior moments, failing mental health. How stereotypical is that!

I have been feeling guilty for my labelling of blondes, but unable to think of another excuse for my ditsyness I did not know what to do about it, how to move on! However on Friday I had a eureka! moment, I found the perfect answer.

It speaks for itself………no insult to monkeys intended!!

My First Blog Award- an Award to Share

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I woke up this morning to discover that Cathy Tittle from ~just my thoughts has shared The Versatile Blogger Award she received with me. What an honour! Thank you Cath. It is much appreciated.
I’m not a writer but so many funny things happen to me on my travels that I decided to start writing them down. I certainly don’t consider that what I write is award worthy but I now have a warm fuzzy glow. What a way to begin my day.

On receipt of this award , I have to tell you seven things about myself, not a problem but Oh my God, I have to share this with 7 other bloggers and send them a message to let them know I am sharing this with them.  As I said, I am new to blogging, until recently most of my reading matter came between two covers and some of my favourite blogs are well established, have received multiple prestigious awards and I have two followers……seems cheeky to me. I just have to tell myself they started out somewhere.
Ok seven things about me

  1. I’m a dinosaur, I have been in the same job for the past 33 years. I teach primary school children, as a matter of fact I have taught the children of my pupils. My aim  is to retire before that becomes the grandchildren of  these pupils. I’ve spent my life following the straight and narrow but now the cilgin kiz (crazy girl) is leaking out of my pores…..mid –life crisis , hold on to your hats!!!!!
  2. I have a three-track mind but all on the same subject. Travel. I’m happiest when I have a bag in my hand and pointed in the direction of the nearest airport The bag needs to contain a camera, my netbook and a good novel. Everything else is irrelevant!
  3. I always have a plan or should I say a new scheme on the back burner. Nine times out of ten the plan doesn’t work out. So a good cry is required and then plan B, C, D,………..
  4. I love coming up with new ideas, it’s not safe to leave me in a corner on my own for too long.  I’m terrible on follow through. Once it’s up and running it is time to move on and leave someone else to do the boring work. Hence my hatred of housework, ironing, grocery shopping…..
  5. I have an irreverent sense of humour which has often got me into trouble. Even when I was in my early twenties, my parents were apologising for me and reckoned I was a cuckoo in the nest.hatred of housework, ironing, grocery shopping…..
  6. I was born a drama queen. Turned at the last moment and was born breech. I don’t know how to cut a long story short but have no difficulty making a short story long. Follow my blog and this will soon be apparent.
  7. This being Mother’s Day in Ireland, it only seems fitting to finish by saying the whole world seems to see me as a Mom. I see myself as an overgrown teenager, a free spirit, an adventurer, but everyone else sees me as the listening ear, the sorter outer,  the comforter. To sum up in my family’s words “I’m the Glue” not such a bad thing
The seven bloggers I want to share this with,  and I hope they forgive my temerity are
  1. Billfredo at Arse about Fez my first introduction to a blog. This is an Englishman’s view on life in Turkey and will have you rolling in the aisles
  2. Cenk at Cafe Fernando a wonderful food blog from Istanbul with wonderful recipes, and photos. His purslane salad with  yoghurt, garlic and ginger dressing is yummy.
  3. Jack and Liam at Perking the Pansies a tale of Expat life on the Bodrum peninsula in Turkey
  4. Corinne at Everyday Gyaan. Her positive attitude is inspiring
  5. Darren at Digital Photography School This blog is a wonderful help as I struggle to move away from the auto setting on my camera. The ideas and exercises are inspiring.
  6. The Loerzels at Rock the Kasbah This is also the tale\ of expat life in Morocco
  7. Kalpana at If the World is flat why am I on Edge
I hope you drop by these blogs and enjoy them the way I do.

Photographic Terrorist – Frankfurt Airport

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Frankfurt Airport again. I was on my way home. This time I had just over two hours to wait. I was a little uneasy as my brother’s girlfriend had asked me to buy  400 cigarettes for her brother. I hadn’t checked the limits but I have never been stopped coming through customs.
I realised I had to go through security in Frankfurt but as I was only in transit I hoped there would not be a problem. I took out my laptop, took off my jacket and put them through the scanner along with my bag. I then walked through the body scanner and it started to beep. My hand went to my neck, my necklace!
I had been careful to remove it in Bodrum and Istanbul. But now 9 hours later I was tired. I began to remove it, to put it through and walk through the scanner again. However, I was told very abruptly that it was too late and was removed to a booth beside the scanner and thoroughly wanded. I even had to sit down and have my flat pumps checked.
I looked at the conveyor belt and much to my dismay, my bag had been pulled to one side. Those damn cigarettes! I gathered up my laptop and coat and went over to where they had my bag.

Once I confirmed it was my bag, I was asked to open it. Then I was asked where the camera was. I told them it was in the bottom compartment. I opened it and they immediately focused on the zoom lens. By now, another security woman had approached us from behind. I was beginning to get a little nervous. Next she consulted her screen and I was asked where was the flash. That was in the back compartment. She reached in and took out my sat nav. I handed her the flash. The second security guard then told me to follow her and I was brought off to a side room. The flash and lens were swabbed and tested, for explosives I assume. They were then handed back to me and waved on my way. The strange thing is that I had gone through the same checkpoint the previous week, with the same lens and flash without any difficulty.
The only difference was the 400 cigarettes and they didn’t even look at them!


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Aphrodisias is an ancient city in Turkey located about an hour and a half from Pamukkale. It is bypassed by the hundreds of tour buses that offer a two day tour to Ephesus and Pamukkale. It is a hidden gem . They have found traces of civilization going back 2800-2200B.C.
It is one of my favourite ancient sites in Turkey. I’ll let the photos tell the story.