Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Gallery - Hair

Sticky Fingers' The Gallery is 1 years old today - Happy Birthday!

The theme is hair.

This one didn't take much thought.



Wild hair. Wild child.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Metal Mummy's Movie Meme - Chick Flicks

So Metal Mummy's theme this week is Chick Flicks - slightly at odds with her mental metaller image, but what the hell.

Truth is I'm not really allowed to watch chick flicks in this house. They're just not cool enough for someone who, I'm constantly reminded, did Film Studies as his degree. (Wow)

Secretly though I think we all like a good fluffy film every so often to escape into. I've got two that I'm finding it hard to choose between - Sense and Sensibility




and Thelma and Louise



The first has a great cast, amazing performances, hidden emotions, unrequited love, and incredible costumes. The second has a young Brad Pitt, a semi-clothed Brad Pitt, and a cowboy Brad Pitt.


 Hmm which to choose...

I haven't watched either one in years so I'm going to have to remedy that so that I can make up my mind. For now though I'll have to hope that MM doesn't mind my doubling of the quota. And if she does -well  tough, I'll send Brad round in his stetson to have a word.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Clean Living

Today was a momentous day in our household. Today was the day that we got a cleaner.

I know, I know. When you've stopped throwing eggs and hissing I'll try to explain myself.

Well, firstly, I've never hidden the fact that I'M NOT A VERY GOOD HOUSEKEEPER (that actually wasn't meant to be in capitols but now that it is I think I'll leave it - it deserves a good shout out). My husband has far higher standards of cleanliness and far better methods than I do. It's just a pity that as 'The Breadwinner' he no longer sees fit to stoop to hoovering floors or washing clothes. Even on the weekend. Even in the holidays. Even when the clothes are his. Aaaanyway - as you can image this has lead to one or two heated debates Chez Kate.

Secondly, I've already told you about my Fancy Aspirations. So really, it was only a matter of time before I fired that other lot. 

Also, there's the small issue of my beloved blog which of course was supposed to be for me to play around with when I was taking the occasional 'five' from, well, the housework. Somehow that five turned from minutes to hours and the house slowly fell apart. I have no idea when or how this happened but I've written a clear warning to you all in my Beginners Guide to Blogging.

Finally, life is just too damn short and cleaning is just too damn boring \ never-ending \ thankless \ depressing a task to keep doing day after day for the rest of my mothering years.

So, in case you've been thinking about it yourself - here's the recap:-
Reason No. 1 : Bad Housekeeper = Many arguments.
Reason No. 2 : Fancy Aspirations - Wouldn't it nice to have time to be a little bit fancier sometimes?
Reason No. 3: Time for, ahem, 'Hobbies' (Could even be linked to reason no. 2 if you're in the mood and someone needs convincing?)
Reason No. 4: No death by boredom.

Now I know it's only week 1 but I have a strong suspicion that now I've experienced some good clean living there can be no going back.

She better turn up next week or I can see tantrums brewing.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Listography - Time Travel

Listography is back home this week having spent last week visiting the lovely Manana Mama with 'What I want to be when I grow up.'

During my week off I was flicking through the 'My Future Listography' book that Lisa from Listography.com had so kindly sent out to myself and the winners of the two Giveaways I ran - Mother Porridge for 'Top 5 Childrens Programmes I Love To Hate' and Mid 30's Life for 'Top 5 Things I'd Like This Valentines'.

Anyway as I was looking through it one list in particular jumped out at me. It's not an easy one, but it's one that I found myself mulling over in bed that night. So, this weeks Listography is 'Places I'd like to Time Travel to (past or future)'.



After much thought, here are my Top 5 Places I'd like to Time Travel to:

1. Galilee 29AD
Whether you're a believer in God or think it's all just a big fairy story it seems almost certain that around this time there was a man called Jesus who had a large following of 'disciples' and caused some interesting events to take place. I'd like to pop by and find out exactly what was going on and how much of this Bible business is true. And even if I don't manage to find out 'The Meaning of Life' at least I might find out how to turn water into wine, which, you know, is probably more useful anyway.


2. Somewhere 2130
Fast forward a couple of thousand years and I'm off to visit my great, great, great grandchildren. Basically I'm just being nosey to make sure I didn't f*ck up my children so much that they couldn't get a girlfriend \ boyfriend \ partner to procreate with.

3. Woodstock 1969
The music, the sunshine, the barefeet and flowers in your hair...perfect hippiedom.
Pic oyustman‑sgrammer‑rwillis‑woodstock

4. 65,000,000AD (or 65 million years ago)
Give or take a few thousand years. I'd like to travel back to a very tall tree for a very short period of time to see the dinosaurs. I'd need a panic button to bring me back if one tried to eat me though. Hmm, perhaps I should have visited an inventor in the future first...

Courtesy of wiredscience.com

5. Home, 1980
When the 7 year old me would persuade Daddy to invest his life savings in a little known company called Microsoft. Obviously it would be my name on the deeds. What? Well I had to have a get rich scheme in there somewhere, and the lottery is just too predictable...


Right - I'm handing over to you lot now. Be warned - it's not an easy one. But it does get under your skin so don't be surprised if you find yourself heading off to San Fransisco 1975 when you're doing the washing up, or dancing the Charlston in the roaring '20s when collecting the kids from school.

Can't wait to read yours, so when you've done your post on your own blog come back here and enter your link into the linky below.

Bon Voyage!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Did someone mention Grand Slam?

I know a few days have passed since it happened, and most of you had a chance to lick your wounds and get over it. But I'm sorry - I've just seen this ad and had to make sure you all got to see it too.

This is the official Nike advertisement that was all ready to be beamed across the world on Saturday night:



Oops.

I believe it's been fixed now though:



Did I mention that my husband is English?

Terribly sorry Darling.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Mumford and Me

A very strange thing happened to me this weekend. I went on, not one, but two grown up nights out. In a row.

I know I said grown up there, and yes I was with grown ups, but in truth the behaviour was anything but.

The first night out was with my sisters and friend. I'd like to say we started out civilly - however I can not tell a lie.


Bulmers on the Dart (you know you can get arrested for that).


We were off to see the gorgeous Mumford & Sons in my favourite venue ever - The Olympia Theatre in Dublin

Pic courtesy of MusicScene.ie

So there were four of us girls out for the night. Did you know there are four band members in Mumfords?

Bagsie the keyboard player

The night out went something like this pub - grug - pub - gig - pub. The Mumfords were, naturally, fabulous. However I believe I was on the whiskey for the majority of the night and do recall swatting some unfortunate young lad on the back of the head at some stage for misbehaving. Very middle-aged mother of 3 behaviour I think you'll agree.

Anyway the taxi rescued us and took us home - but only after 3am had been and gone, along with most of my brain cells.

Suffice to say the next night was more subdued. Seventeen old friends out for dinner with free passes from the kids for a night - what could possibly go wrong?

I'll leave that to your imagination but I'll just say that when I left the party there were shots and Strawberry Space Dust involved.



So, I think that'll probably do me for another 6 years or so. Unless the Mumfords come calling of course.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Listography - What I want to be when I grow up.

This week the wonderful Manana Mama has come up with a fabulous topic for Listography and will be hosting it over at her site (work a look just for her adorable banner pic). She's already grabbed a few good ones (tightrope walker anyone?) so you better jump in quick.

And as I told her already - I have dibs on Rock Star so don't even think about it. I'll be checking in regularly so don't think for a minute that you'll get away with it...

Happy dreaming!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Silent Sunday



For more Silent Sundays visit http://www.mochabeaniemummy.com/

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Just a minute...

I was listening to Irish Radio today - an often painful experience where particularly bad quiz shows are par for the course. And when I say bad I mean bad. If you don't believe me I only have to tell you that Ireland once had a TV quiz show called Quicksilver where the prize that the contestants competed for started at - wait for it - 1p. That's right, one pence. After that it went up in increments of 3p or 5p. Heady days. And that was Television. You can just imagine what the radio ones were like.

Truth is they haven't improved much. But listening to the radio today brought back to me one in particular - Larry Gogan's 'Just a minute quiz' where contestants had one minute to answer as many questions as possible, sometimes with hilarious outcomes. Larry had a catch phrase for those who didn't do so well 'Ah sure the questions didn't really suit you'; he probably thought it lessoned the blow of public humiliation. I can't recall what the prize was but suffice to say it was more than likely a mug.

So, for your enjoyment I thought I'd grab a few of the questions and, ahem, answers from the archives for you.

Actual answers given to Larry Gogan on the Just a Minute Quiz.

1) Something a blind man might use?
A Sword

2) A Song with the word Moon in the title?
Blue Suede Moon

3) Name the Capital of France?
F

4) Name a bird with a long Neck?
Naomi Campbell

5) Name an occupation where you might need a torch?
A burglar

6) Where is the Taj Mahal?
Opposite the Dental Hospital

7) What is Hitlers first name ?
Heil

8) A dangerous race ?
The Arabs

9) Something that floats in a bath ?
Water

10) A famous Royal ?
Mail

11) A famous bridge ?
The Bridge Over Troubled Waters

12) Something you do in the bathroom ?
Decorate

13) A method of securing your home ?
Put the kettle on

14) Something associated with pigs ?
The Police

15) Something people might be allergic to ?
Skiing

16) Something you do before you go to bed ?
Sleep

17) Something you put on walls ?
A roof

18) A Jacket Potato topping ?
Jam

19) Something you open other than a door ?
Your bowels

20) Finish the sentence 'As happy as.....'
Contestant: (silence)
Larry: Think of my name.
Contestant: 'A pig in shit'.

And here's my personal favourite:
Larry: (after a caller got none of 18 questions right) - "Ah sure the questions didn't really suit you did they?"
Contestant "Ah go and fuck off Larry you're only an old bollox."

Now surely that should be worth 1p.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Listography Goes Retro

What with it being Lent and everything my mind has turned to sweets. This is a throwback to my childhood when every Lent I would struggle through my 'giving up sweets' decision until Easter came around and I could once again stuff my face with all things sugar.

So this weeks Listography is nice and simple. Top 5 favourite sweets from your childhood. Here's mine:

1. Fizzle Sticks.
These were little pastel coloured sticks that looked and tasted a bit like chalk. As far as I know they have now gone out of production. Funny that. They cost about 3p and I would often spend all of my pocket money on them. There doesn't seem to be any pictures of them around but you can join a Facebook page called 'Whatever-happened-to-Fizzle-Sticks'?

2. Bon-Bons.
A quarter of. White or yellow - but never the pink strawberry ones. They're a classic, just not sure my teeth would hold up to them now. In primary school our head mistress used to let us put our bony fingers into one of those huge tubs as a prize for being good. We could eat as many as we could manage to pick up with one hand. It was always five.
Pic courtesy of HopeandGreenwood.com


3. Regal Crown
These were packets of boiled sweets that came in different flavours. My favourite were the sour cherry ones that you sucked like an old lady until they cut the roof of your mouth.
Pic courtesy of lostwacky.com


4. Satin Cushions
I used to get these every Saturday morning from the shop down the road. In fact most of these sweets came from that shop. Unfortunately it was located right opposite our dentist, who used to tell my mother how many times I'd been in that week. I would destroy my remaining teeth with them lying on the sitting room floor in front of Tiz Woz (I'm showing my age here aren't I?).


5. Fish and Chips
These were white chocolate sweets that you could buy individually for a few pence. As a teenager I used to pop home from school for lunch and return laden down with these on order from most of the class.

Courtesy of thesweetshop.ie

There are so many more that nearly made the list - but I'll leave them to you to rediscover.

All you need to do now is write your own list on your own blog and then come back and leave your details in the linky below.

Happy reminiscing!


Friday, March 11, 2011

One Word Wonder

I've been tagged.

If I am being totally honest (and I am - remember that for later) my heart sank a little when I got the tweet. Usually when I've been tagged I have great plans for joining in. Sometimes I actually manage to read the taggers post. Sometimes I even go so far as to half write my post. But usually that's as far as it gets.

Thankfully this time I actually read the post in full and had nothing left in my bag of excuses. It's by the truly lovely Michelle from Mummy From The Heart  and she had me as soon as I saw 'One Word Meme'. One word? Hey, even I can stretch to that.

Of course this post is more than one word. If I started writing bananas, bananas, bananas over and over again I don't think it would quite capture the readers attention.

Anyway, the real reason I'm going to actually complete this one is because it involves compliments. Lots of them. Directed at me. From you. How brilliant does that sound? (I'll answer that for you - bloody brilliant).

So this is what it's all about - in the words of the lady herself:

This got me thinking about an email I received a few years back, one of those circular things that I normally hate but this one I loved and have never forgotten.  It was about the power of positive affirmations and how knowing what positive things others think of you can boost your own self-esteem.  It talked of an inspirational teacher who got all her children to write one positive word down to describe the other children in the class and then they had to hand them in.  The teacher then collated all the positive words for each child into a special sheet for them and handed it to them to read and keep.  They learnt that their peers saw them in ways they had never imagined and it had an immense effect on them.  The story goes that one of them died and a number of them attended the funeral and it was found that they all still had their lists 20 or so years later as they had been really touched by this loving gesture.  Did this really happen?  Who knows, but I love the sentiment of this story and therefore it does not matter to me if it was real.
Well, what about if us bloggers and virtual friends did something similar?  


And behold - the one word meme was born.



Michelle has already called me talented and funny. That's two words. See how much she thinks of me?
Well now it's your turn. Show me the love by writing your one word about me in the comments. Oh and I have moderation on my comments so if your one word is 'asshole' I just won't publish it.

Kate is ..............



Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Beginners Guide to Blogging.

When I started blogging about six months ago I had no idea what was involved and indeed how big the blogosphere actually was. In fact I only started because someone told me I should. Yes, I am that impressionable.

Anyway, I thought it would be good to share some of the lessons I learnt with you before I forget them all. So here you go - Kate Takes 5's Beginners Guide to Blogging.

What you will need:
A computer, Internet Access, Patience, Time (plenty of).

Instructions:

  • If you have a husband \ wife \ partner give them a big kiss and tell them you'll see them in about 6 months time.
  • Warn the kids that from now on they will be fending for themselves. Only intervene when blood, concussion or the neighbors are involved.
  • Stockpile tins of baked beans, quick cook pasta and frozen pizzas. Those days of family dinners with slow cooked beef casserole are long gone. 
  • Hire a cleaner, or get used to all the rooms of your house looking like this:
  • Tell your friends that you might see them one night in August for a catch up. As long as they are fully signed up members of your blog of course.
  • Get used to disapproving looks from other mothers when your child falls in the street and you scramble for the camera instead of picking her up.
  • Go to the back of the class. You will need to read up on widgets, html, Twitter Parties (bring your own booze), hash tags (no - not that type), links, followers, etiquette, design, and stats, among other things. Or you could just keep that dunces hat firmly on your head.
  • Get ready to become obsessed with your grades. Didn't care in school - you will now. Klout, Wikio, Technorati, Tots100, Postrank, Google Search - the list is endless and the rules are boggling. 
  • Domestics. Too many to mention due to points 1,2,3 and 4.
  • Realise that you now only leave the house when you have run out of 'material' and need to conjure up a post.
  • One day you will decide to link your blog to Facebook, along with all it's Pages, Badges, Widgets, Likes etc. When that day comes hire a babysitter and buy in plenty of alcohol. It's gonna get messy.*
  • And finally - get ready to meet some other weird and wonderful bloggers and maybe even make some friends. You can start with some of mine if you like:
(If you're not included in this list and feel you should have been it's only because I wanted to prove my final point, ie: Get a thick skin.) Honest.

*I believe I may have finally got the Facebook thing sorted out. Why not help me test it by clicking the link in my side bar :)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Listography - Books and Babies

For this weeks Listography I have the pleasure of bringing you a guest post from the unique and fabulous MummySquared. For those of you who haven't yet discovered this mother and daughter team (or should that be granny and mother team?) then you're in for a treat. Each post is written from both 'mummies' perspectives - first one, then the other - and both are equally wonderful to read.

Anyway 'Granny Bloggins' has written the below post for this weeks Listography which is Top 5 Books for Babies \ Toddlers \ Children, so listen up!
"With the present government threatening so many of our rural libraries with closure and little CKs’ first birthday looming, I got to thinking about how important books have been in my life.
When I was pregnant with my daughter I was told I needed bed rest every afternoon so my two year old son and I would struggle up the stairs with a pile of books from the childrens’ section of the local library and spend several warm and happy hours together restin’ and reading,’ as we called it.  We couldn’t afford to buy lots of books at that time but the local library was great and then once a year, just before Christmas, we would go to our local city where there was a wonderful independent bookshop (if you are too young to know what that means, ask your mother…) called ‘Chapter and Verse’, and we would splurge in a really big way.  I don’t think the children were ever disappointed to get books as presents because it was so obvious that their parents valued them so highly – let’s hope CK will feel the same!
When my daughter was very young she would hold a book up in front of her nose and pretend to be reading like the rest of us and by the time she was three she would choose a book she knew well enough to be able to ‘read’ all the words.  This very soon led on to her asking me about any words she didn’t recognise in other books and, hey presto, by the time she was three and a half she was reading. She just loved everything about her books, the pictures, the stories, and the cuddle-up-together time we always had when reading. So, not surprisingly, reading came completely naturally to her.  We played word games and had fun with words, there was a time when everything in the house was labelled and she would run around pointing at objects and shouting out their names, she thought this was hilarious and after a while would collapse panting in a giggling heap. 
Reading has continued to be important in her life – good job as she is now an English teacher, and we are already enjoying buying books for little CK which there is no way she will understand or read for several years, but those books are there, lurking, beckoning, their bright pictures drawing her in.  She does already seem to like her board books so I am hoping for another little book worm in the family.  After all when the world gets a bit too grim to contemplate where better to escape to than a good book."


Granny Bloggins

So following that lovely post I'm going to give you my (Kate's!) Top 5 Books for Toddlers.


But before I do I want you to cast your mind back a little to when your little darling would make you play peek-a-boo for 40 minutes straight and then still give a shocked 'it's you!' expression when you popped your face out.

Well, when the toddler years hit that same determination quickly shifts into the sphere of books.

The one piece of advice I wish I had been given when I started buying my kids books was this: Not only does your child need to love the book - you do too - because you will probably be reading it to them six times a night for the next six months. 'Again mummy, again'!

1. Puppies by F.Watt and R.Wells

2. Hug by Jez Alborough

3. It's Mine by Rod Campbell

4. Traffic Jamboree by Sue Nicholson and Christyan Fox

5. Dear Zoo by Rod Campbell


These are the books I'll happily read to my kids again and again and again. Don't forget to pop over to MummySquared to read their lists too. Then write your own and come back and post your link below.

*I've even added a widget so that you can easily find them on Amazon - though I've no idea if I've done it so that they will make it worth my while...Any tips taken gratefully!




Sunday, March 6, 2011

Friday, March 4, 2011

Metal Mummy's Movie Meme - Black and White

After the resounding success of the first of Movie Meme last week, Metal Mummy has come up with another great theme for week 2: Black and White.

Easy. The very first film that popped into my head is one that I've loved for years - Whistle Down the Wind.



It's a charming tale of the innocence of childhood and how sometimes the adult world just doesn't make sense. I know it was made into a West End Musical, but please don't hold that against it.

The story is set in t' North of England and stars Hayley Mills as the eldest of three siblings. Whilst trying to save some kittens from being drowned the children discover a man hiding in their barn. 'The Man' (Alan Bates) is on the run from police and when he sees the kids lets out a 'Jesus Christ'. They then believe he is indeed Jesus and try to help him hide from the adults of the village.

Courtest of Filmfanatic.org


It's a beautiful story but what I like best about it is the youngest boy Charles (Alan Barnes) who gets all the best lines such as 'He aint Jesus. He's just a fella', or when hiding a kitten under his coat is asked 'What have you got under your coat', and replies 'Me pully'. I also absolutely love that in some of the barn scenes he can be seen mouthing the lines of the other characters before he says his own. Classic.

Courtest of Filmfanatic.org


That actually reminds me of when I was in a local Christmas play and one of the other girls, lets call her Samantha (cause that was her name), forgot to say her line so an enterprising elf said it for her. Cue raging Samantha storming across the stage shouting 'THAT WAS MY LINE!!'.

Anyway, I digress.

My last bit of trivia about little Alan Barnes is that when he came on to the set the first day of filming he saw three directors chairs with the names of the director and the two lead actors on them. On seeing Alan Bate's chair he declared loudly 'You've spelt me name wrong'. Cue a personalised miniature directors chair being brought in next day.

Watch it with the kids sometime. It's fab.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Listography - Pet Hates

Listography is late this week. Which brings me rather nicely to this weeks theme - Pet Hates. I know you all have them, I do too, and number one on my list is:

1. Lateness
You told me you'd meet me at 8 o'clock. I rushed the kids bedtime, threw on an outfit I wasn't happy with and ended up with mascara in my hair but I was there at 8 o'clock! You sauntered in 20 minutes late looking immaculate and asking if I'd been waiting long. 'YES. SINCE FUCKING 8 O'CLOCK!!'
Disclaimer: I realise Listography is late this week but I don't suppose any of you were actually dressed up waiting at your computer with a rapidly disappearing drink sending pretend texts so you didn't look like Billy No-mates.

2. Rudeness
There are many forms of rudeness but the one that really gets the rage going is drivers who don't thank you for letting them in to a busy lane of traffic, or letting them turn first when you have right of way. These drivers are almost always women driving BMWs.

3. Baby On Board Stickers
At the risk of upsetting 90% of my readers I couldn't help but include this. Why oh why do people feel the need to use these? Do you think if you don't have one someone will see your car and cry 'Ha - no baby in that car. I think I'll ram it just for the hell of it'. I have recently heard of the very worrying phenomenom of Baby On Board stickers being produced for pregnant women to wear on public transport. Speechless.

4. Cold Callers
Phone is bad. Door is worse. I'm in my pjs, I'm tired, I'm grumpy, I'm sitting in my own home - do you really think I want to talk to you about Dogs Trust? Now I feel sorry for the pouches who's lives I'm not saving and guilty that I shouted at someone who's just trying to earn a living doing a job that frankly nobody would want to do. Great. That's another evening ruined then.

5. Cyclists.
(Sorry Liam). Maybe it's the lycra. Maybe it's the arse in my face for 10km on a winding road. Mostly it's the cycling two or three abreast on a small road that means I have to either stay behind you until Thursday or overtake you and risk killing my family. Though if a car was coming in the opposite direction you know which way I'd swerve don't you?

This is possibly the easiest list I've ever written. I could go on and on, but I have a feeling you may fill in the blanks for me....

If you want to join in you know what to do. Write your list on your on blog, come back here and post your details in the linky below and then go and read some of the others so you can get all worked up once again.

Enjoy!

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