Monday, January 31, 2011

Listography - GIVEAWAY!!

This week I was approached by the lovely Lisa from http://www.listography.com/ to run a giveaway on their new book. It's called "Future Listography".  The lists are all related to dreams, aspirations and goals.  You can see a preview of the book here:  http://listography.com/static/books/start.html

Of course I had planned to come up with something witty and brilliant to do the book justice, but I've been stuck to the sofa with a sick child all weekend and my brain is not my friend right now. So, having spent about 36 of the past 48 hours watching mind numbing, irritating children's TV I thought I'd share with you the ones that reduce me to a weeping, snivelling heap when they come on the screen. A 'NOOOO, I JUST CAN'T TAKE ANY MORE!!' level of despair at their annoyingness.

I used to be ahead of the game and watch out for the offenders on the Sky+ remote - (Dora up next? Adios Nick Jr), but since the 6 year old started reading this has proved more and more difficult. Damn her!

Courtesy of CITV

So here it is - Kate Takes 5 Most Annoying Kids TV Programmes Listography:

1. Hannah Montana.
Maybe it's the music, maybe it's because she looks like a troll crossed with a hamster, maybe it's the fact that she needs three names (Hanna Montana is in fact Miley Cyrus, who is in fact Destiny Hope Cyrus....Really? Was that not 'showbiz' enough for her? Anyway - she brings me out in a rash. Banned.

2. LazyTown.
Thank God this seems to have disappeared from our screens. This was just downright creepy.

3. Balamory.
Not one likable character in the whole show. Then there's the fact that there's the token black person, the token physically disabled person, the token idiot....(Oh hang on a minute, they're all idiots). I mean, it's the 21st Century - aren't we past all that yet? And don't get me started on that teacher.

4. Big Cook Little Cook.
Aka: Big Cock Little Cock
I would rather listen to a toddlers 8 hour temper tantrum whilst being fed raw eggs than have to sit through 10 minutes of this drivel.

5. The Suite Life of Zac and Cody
See what they did there? 'Suite' as in hotel suite because guess what? They live in a hotel!! Brilliant. The rest of the show is just as good as that. Don't miss it. Oh and Zac and Cody look like they need a kick up the arse and a haircut. Painful.

So that's it. Sorry to lovely Lisa for this vitriol. If anyone else wants to join in the love and be in with the chance of winning the fabulous Listography book then just (i) add your entry to the linky below and (ii) click on my brand new 'Subscribe by email' at the top of the page.

Good Luck!

Friday, January 28, 2011

I'll get you for this Metal Mummy...

Wow I've been presented with this hideous  amazing award by the fab Metal Mummy.


I'm speechless. Truly.

Apparently the “Memetastic Award” has the following rules (pilfered from the creator, Jillsmo, via Michelle via MM…)

1. You must proudly display the absolutely disgusting graphic that I have created for these purposes (put it in your post, you don’t have to put it in your sidebar, I think that would seriously be asking too much). It’s so bad that not only did I use COMIC SANS, but there’s even a ridiculous little jumping, celebrating kitten down there at the bottom. It’s horrifying! But its presence in your award celebration is crucial to the memetastic process we’re creating here. If you need a higher resolution version… I totally have one!!

2. You must list 5 things about yourself, and 4 of them must be bold-faced lies. Just make some shit up, we’ll never know; one of them has to be true, though. Of course, nobody will ever know the difference, so we’re just on the honor system here.

3. You must pass this award on to 5 bloggers that you either like or don’t like or don’t really have much of an opinion about. I don’t care who you pick, and nobody needs to know why.

So here are mine:

1. I once had a boxing match with a kangaroo. And lost.

2. I once ate so much at a dinner party that I vomited in my own lap.

3. I once climbed into bed with my boyfriends parents.

4. I once took the wrong baby home from creche. (And nearly kept her. Well, she was much quieter than mine).

5. I once dressed up as a clown and kicked a potato all the way down the main street in town.

(There may be more than one truth in there - sometimes fact is stranger than fiction...)

Now I am going to give my fellow bloggers the greatest gift of all. I am going to break this meme. (*collective sharp intake of breath*). I know I know, but all my blogger friends who would appreciate this have already been tagged (mmm - does that mean I was last on everyone's award list?) - and I wouldn't like to bestow such an incredible gift on someone I didn't know very well.

(You can thank me later. Drinks taken at the bar or send your brown envelopes directly to me.)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ode to Brian Cowen

 
There once was a Leader called Brian,
Who said things were great but was lyin’
"Sure there’s no housing bust
What’s all the fuss?
Just you keep buyin’ and buyin’."

Well the Bankers kept calling on Brian
And rounds of golf they were plyin’
"There’s a small little debt
That we need to offset
But sure after that we’ll be flyin"

So poor Ireland was sold down the drain
By those bastards who all lacked a brain
Or maybe they thought
They wouldn’t get caught
Riding their fat gravy train.

But now Brian’s in serious trouble
He’d huffed and puffed at that bubble
And then went it burst
He got him a thirst
And asked for his whiskey in double

So now the whole country hates Brian
And all of his cronies were vyin’
For the number one spot
To give it a shot
And be leader of a country that’s dyin’

Well Bri had his ‘craic agus ceoil’
And I think that was really his goal
He put up a good fight
But he’s just a gob-shite,
A dickhead, a buffoon, an ass-hole.

( photo credit: jamessweetman.com)


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Listography - Things I Wish I Could Do

Firstly a big thank you to Metal Mummy for babysitting for me last week. Listography loved her time over there and wants to visit again soon.

This week I'm taking 5 'Things I Wish I Could Do'. I'm keeping it reality based myself (so no flying or mind reading for me), but feel free to go with it however you wish.

1. Speak a foreign language fluently.
I once spent 6 months in Mexico and went from being able to say 'Hola' on arrival to easily conversing in Spanish by departure. Although it's true that when I was asking whether someone was going to the local football match that day I was probably saying something along the lines of "And why are the pineapples walking up the mountain?", that didn't deter me. I loved the sense of accomplishment it gave me - though sadly not enough to keep it up once I came home.


2. Play the guitar.
I always fancied myself as a frustrated guitar player and even went so far as taking lessons once. Well, actually it was one lesson and when I couldn't play Stairway to Heaven by the end of it I gave up. Once a quitter always a quitter as some old cow once said. When I later discovered the wonderful Gemma Hayes and learned that she had simply picked up her flatmates electric guitar whilst in college one day and never looked back I felt levels of envy that were probably illegal. It didn't help that she then wrote an album, got nominated for a Mercury Music Award and is completely gorgeous. Bitch.

Image courtesy of IrishMusicCentral.com


3. Run a marathon.
Ha ha ha. Did I just write that? The fact that my laughing has left me breathless and a little sweaty doesn't give me much encouragement. Lets just change that to 'Run for an Hour', I'd be pretty happy with that. (Do you see now why all my teachers wrote "could do better" on my report card?)


4. Write a book.
Predictable but true. It's just an epic accomplishment as far as I'm concerned. Never dis an author I say. Their book may be crap but at least they sat there, wrote it and then somehow managed to get it published. I expect the same cordiality from you if I ever do manage it.

5. Juggle.
No not in the metaphorical job \ children \ husband \ me sense. Just the literal balls in the air thing. A fairly insignificant act you may think but have you ever tried to master it? I once learned fire twirling, but juggling...? Not a chance.

So that's 'Kate Takes 5 Things She Wishes She Could Do'  Now what are yours? Just write your post on your own site than come back and fill in your details in the linky below. See you soon.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Of God and Santa

Sometimes kids ask big questions. Sometimes Mum doesn't always have all the answers.

On the way to school the other morning Santa Claus came up in conversation (Note: my kids have no sense of timing. Santa can be discussed in June, and Summer holidays recalled during snow storms. How their minds work is any ones guess).  Anyway, the 4 year old wanted to know how long old man Santa had been around for.

"Um, well, for a very long time dear. Santa came to Mummy and Daddy when they were small and even came to grandma when she was a little girl".

Grandma is their benchmark for all things old (sorry Grandma).
Their eyes widen in wonder at how many years Santa must have been at this game.

"So has he been around longer than God then?" the 6 year old asked. (Told you they thought she was old. Sorry Grandma).

"Oh no. God's been around for, well forever. Since the very, very beginning of everything".

There was total silence for a few moments whilst the wonder of this information was digested. I imagined them picturing the planets revolving and possibly a dinosaur lumbering past. Then the 4 year old piped up again.

"So how did God make his sandwiches then?"

I have no answer for that. We sit and contemplate it together.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Listography

This weeks Listography is being hosted by Metal Mummy. Go and check it out - it's a good 'un!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Music I want my kids to listen to

So Ghostwritermummy and Alexander Residence have got us all a Twitter about 'Music I Want My Children To Listen To '. After reading their posts and their lists of artists I couldn't wait to jump in.

One of my very first posts was about the music I listen to on the school run. It included Nirvana and the fact that it didn't seem to gain me very many brownie points with the school mums...

Music is hugely important in this house. However, when I was growing up we weren't allowed to even watch Top of the Pops. Dad was pretty strict about it, but whenever he left the house on a Thursday night the four of us would gather around the TV with my elder sister and her tape recorder. We would have to be absolutely silent whilst she stealthily pressed the play and record button in unison as soon as an artist stepped on stage, before expertly cutting of just before Mike Read made some cheesy quip.

Ah the good ol' days...

One of my choices for this post is from this era. Both my older sister and brother were big David Bowie fans. So by default I was a big David Bowie fan. As their records were passed down to me I grew from wanting to like them to truly and completely loving them. How many times I played Diamond Dogs and Hunky Dory I have no idea, but I can recall being very upset years later when I heard my brother had reclaimed all his vinyl only to give it away before becoming a monk. (Weird but true).

So Bowie - you've made it into this Hall of Fame. You should be very proud.


My next choice isn't even a choice - it's just a foregone conclusion. As I mentioned in my Dinner Party Listography two of my three children are named via Bob Marley. The problem with Bob is that he is so ubiquitous around the world that he has almost become tacky, so it is easy to forget his brilliance. However, I defy anyone to watch a documentary about him without loving him, or put on any of his albums without ending up in a happier place at the end of it.

Arise Sir Bob.

kaya.jpg image by juju458julian

Finally I'd like my kids to listen to The White Stripes and The Libertines. Two great guitar bands that I come back to time and time again. When our daughter was 6 months old and we had no babysitter (and no clue) we brought her to a White Stripes gig. The bouncer nearly fell over in shock but bizarrely let us in. I spent most of the gig sitting outside feeding her but even so - she'll get to tell her friends that that was her first gig. Pretty cool in my book, and as long as we haven't damaged her ear drums for life she might keep listening to them.

  

Ghostwritermummy has a linky on this so be sure to pop over and join in.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sister Act

Today is my little sister's birthday. I can't quite tell you how amazing and wonderful the lovely Yeh-Yeh is (named by not yet talking toddler about 5 years ago....what can I say - it stuck), but I'll try.

When I was 10 years old there were, and always had been, 4 kids in our family - 16, 14, 12 and me - firmly fixed in the spoilt brat position in the family. This worked well for me and I had no desire to see any changes to the family format. Then along came Yeh-Yeh.

I've got to say it started off very well. I enjoyed dressing her up and pushing the pram down the main street pretending she was mine. (In my mind the passers-by were thinking 'gosh what a confident, kind young mum that is' not 'Jesus what is the world coming to'). I'm not sure when things began to turn sour but I do vividly recall pouring a teapot of hot tea over her bare legs when she was about 5. I also recall the panic rising in my chest when I realised what I'd done and made her swear she would tell Mum it was an accident. Yep, I was THAT nice.  Yeh Yeh lived in terror for the next 8 years or so until I moved away to university and mellowed out a little. It's a testiment to her nature that we are such good friends now.

My mum and Yeh Yeh enjoy a closer than most mother \ daughter relationship. Mum isn't a great one for sentiment but on Yeh Yeh's 21st birthday she gave her a card that made her eyes well up with tears. 'Aw Mum - am I really the best little miracle you ever had?' she asked. Mum looked confused, put her glasses on and looked at the card - 'No no no' she said - 'it says mistake. Best little mistake I ever had'. Wouldn't want to get carried away there Mum.

I also remember Mum going around town telling her friends her daughter was a slut. She'd been cleaning Yeh Yehs bedroom and couldn't believe the mess, then got her words confused and used slut instead of filthy. I'm pretty sure that's why she started getting all those late night phone calls...

Yeh Yeh is the most generous, lovely person I know. Despite being 10 years younger than me she is constantly bailing me out financially and giving me things I can't afford to buy myself. She doesn't have kids yet but is the best Aunty any kid could wish for. Almost every week she'll pop in with gifts for my lot or pack them all in her car for a day trip out. And not once have they come back with tea stains on their legs.

Love you Yeh Yeh. Happy Birthday. x

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Listography - Places

Ok here we go - this weeks Listography is 'Top 5 Places You've Visited'.

I loved doing this one as firstly it reminded me that I wasn't always a boring middle aged housewife, and secondly I got to get out all my old photo albums and relive some magical times I had forgotten about. Doing this list has also taught me that it's not just about the place you visit - it's the experience that you have there that really counts.

So here's my Top 5:

 1. Byron Bay, Australia.
Ah Byron - my no. 1 place in the world. This is where I met my future husband, but even so, I don't hold that again it. For those who haven't heard of it Byron is kind of like the hippie capitol of Australia. This is where I travelled to, on my own, when I was 25, met my future husband on my first night there and spent 3 hazy months swimming in the ocean, walking in the rainforest, meeting great friends, revelling in my new found freedom, and generally having the best time of my life.

2. Tijuana, Mexico.
No not the seedy tourist location all the american students head to, the 'real' Tijuana that you don't get to see on a weekend visit. When I was 22 I spent 6 months in TJ (I'm allowed to call it TJ because I spent 6 months there). I was lucky enough to stay with an amazing community doing voluntary work with families who lived in shanty towns that had built up by the American border by people hoping to better their lives by skipping over into the dreamland that is California. Not many made it and the rest remained in their corrugated shacks - often whole families in one room. These people were full of life, smiles and kindness despite all their hardship, and taught me valuable life lessons that I hope have made me a better person.

3. Koh Phangan,Thailand
My desert island paradise. This was the first beach my OH and I stayed at on a 3 month trip around the Islands of Thailand (or as the Irish say Thigh-land) and it was tough to beat. Yes that is me in the hammock and no I don't know why I ever left either.

4. Devon, UK
Just to show you don't have to travel to the other side of the world to find a favourite place. This was taken a few years ago on a family holiday to Peter Rabbit Cottages in Devon. A fabulous place and I learned to surf (well kind of)...



5. Lake  Bohin, Slovenia
For our honeymoon we travelled through Germany to Slovenia and spent a glorious few weeks finding little gems such as the one below. It's a stunning country with views that are so perfect they look like they might be a painted backdrop that the country's Tourist Officials have hung up to fool us. I would go back in a heartbeat (with or withour the husband).
So what are your Top 5 favourite places? Join the Listography by writing your list on your own blog and then adding your name and url to the linky below so others can find you too. Look forward to visiting. x

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

How Johnny Depp Ruined My Night.

On Sunday evening we did something as a family that I used to dream about one day doing. No, not appearing on Family Fortunes (who does that?). It was sitting on the sofa and watching a whole movie together.
Not so long ago when the three kids were just a little younger than they are now I would have been happy if we all managed five minutes without having to get up to change a nappy, get a bottle, reach a toy, stop a fight...So as we all cuddled up quietly together I have to say I was pretty pleased with myself.

After nearly 4 weeks off school \ playschool the kids were bored with tv and their own dvds so my OH had suggested the fab 'Edward Scissorhands'. Johnny Depp for Mum, and PG rating for the kids - what could possibly go wrong?


Johnny Depp

Well, nothing - initially. Even the two year old seemed transfixed with Edward - holding up his two little hands every time he saw the scissors - as if wondering why he had boring fingers when he could have had cool blades.
Unbelievably we managed to watch the whole movie without incident. Even better - it finished just on bedtime - happy days!

However when I turned around to tell the 6 year old, that it was time for bed she looked at me and then started wailing crying - 'But I'm scared Mummy! I don't want to go to bed'. Hmmm. At this point three things ran through my mind. 1. Am I a bad mother for not realising this would happen?, 2. Wow she is really freaking out - I should get a photo of this for the blog, 3. I am definitely a bad mother for thinking that.

As I tried to calm her down the 4 year old, realised that she was getting all the attention so started copying her - only at a louder level.  A couple of minutes later they were all at it.

'Look - there's nothing to be scared of.' I said. 'Edward was a nice guy. In fact he was the same guy as Captain Jack Sparrow!! And you like him don't you?' Ha - that would do it.

I could see the crying easing off and the cogs turning - an amalgamation of Edward Scissorhands and Captain Jack formed in their minds. The wailing grew louder.

Their Dad tried to help by doing an impersonation of him that looked a bit like a crazed robot that was coming to chop off their heads. The girl started screaming.

After about an hour the house was at last quiet as they all finally fell asleep - with the lights on. That Goddamn Johnny Depp has a lot to answer for.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Listography

One week ago I started the first Listography - which is basically a weekly linky of lists. Last weeks list was My Top 5 Good Things About Having Kids and there were some fabulous entries. Thanks to all that contributed - I loved reading through them all.



This weeks Listography* is 'My Top 5 Famous Dinner Party Guests'. You can choose anyone - living or historical so have a think, post your list on your own site and then come back and put your details in the linky below so that others can pop over for a look.

So with no further ado here is Kate Takes 5 Top 5 Famous Dinner Party Guests (in no particular order):

1. Paul Merton. He always makes me laugh. He's so sharp and funny but his mind seems to work on a whole other level to the rest of the world.

2. Johnny Depp. For obvious reasons.

3. Stephen Fry. Who couldn't listen to Mr. Fry for hours on end. I find him facinating on tv so imaging what he'd be like drunk!

4. David Attenborough. Adding a bit of class to an otherwise possibly shambolic party.

5. Bob Marley. So that I could tell him that I named two of my three kids after him and one of his albums. Plus we'd need some music to chill out to after all that chat.

I'd like to point out that yes I do realise that a) there are no great historical figures on the list - they were considered but then rejected in favour of more fun types, and b) there are no girls. That's bad isn't it...?

Ok - your turn.

*This Listography will remain open until the next one is posted - so don't be shy. x

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Some Wooly New Years Resolutions

Just before Christmas Penny at Alexander Residence wrote a brilliant post all about the reality behind some of the tweets she sends. It was honest and funny and I defy any of you not to nod in understanding with at least one of them. You can read it here.

In the same post she also challenges me to a 'bleat' - and no it's not about dressing up as a sheep and having a dual at dawn. Basically a 'bleat' is a post that's too long for twitter but not enough for a full on blog post. Great concept, but the only problem is as soon as I get started on a rant about something it usually ends up as a book rather than a bleat. So I decided to write out my New Years Resolution list for you instead:

1. Stop eating the childrens selection boxes for breakfast.

2. Don't walk past the pile of clean clothes on the stairs that have been there for 3 days and are going to end up thrown all over the house unless I actually bend down and carry them somewhere.

3. Don't argue with my OH before 10am (tough one).

4. Answer the phone when it rings instead of inspecting the number, wondering who it is, debating whether or not to answer and then missing the call.

5. Stop getting the kids into their pjs at 5pm in the hope that it will bring bedtime closer. It won't.

I think that's enough for the moment, I don't want to wear myself out before i even start...Baaaaa.


  What about you? Any resolutions made or broken this year?
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