14 September 2007

Public service announcement

I've discovered Wordpress. I feel like I've been drinking alcopops for years and have all of a sudden been introduced to neat vodka. Have drunkenly stumbled over here:


See you there...

Bad choice of title

Not this post, the previous one. It turns out "gastro" was unfortunately accurate as one of my sisters came down with full blown gastroenteritis after the whole sorry affair. The local (who are still remaining nameless!) have been very communicative, phoning every day, but have yet to come up with a final resolution/offer/apology. We should know more this evening.

In the meantime, I'm gearing up for a full, but fish-free, weekend. An old friend from college recently got engaged (it begins!) and herself and the affianced are having a party to celebrate. It's pretty telling of the last five years that I haven't even met the guy yet - I've only seen photos and the suspense is killing me.

Tomorrow afternoon, I'm having my first Irish haircut in years. This is making me quite nervous because I'd only just found a hairdresser I trusted in Amsterdam before I left, and now it's back to square one and I am very picky. And paranoid that I'll end up with a mullet.

And tomorrow evening, I will be yelling at the TV along with half the country as Ireland face Georgia in the rugby world cup. There are eight rugby pitches (eight!) in the whole of Georgia, so we have no excuse this time round. Here's hoping the team can forget they're Irish, with all the self-doubt and self-devaluation that comes with the territory, and manage to kick ass for a full 80 minutes...

12 September 2007

Gastro disaster

I'm sorely tempted to name names in this post, but I won't just yet as it's a story that has yet to reach its ending...

Last night two of the sisters were about town so we decided to have a bite to eat near my apartment. I booked a table for three at Place A for 8pm and we sauntered up at around ten to eight. I was really looking forward to going back as the menu was varied and the food delicious on my last visit about two months ago. Anyway, we walked in and were seated straight away as the place was pretty quiet. We opened our menus and realised straight away that our choices were going to be extremely limited unless we wanted giant hunks of red meat. None of us were that hungry so we opted for the lightest dishes on the menu - the girls chose the chicken dish and I picked a veggie tagine. Our waitress came over to take our order and, when the girls asked for chicken, she told them the kitchen was all out.

Now, I'm not a restaurateur or a chef, but this seemed pretty stupid, for a few reasons. a) Chicken dishes are always popular, b) it was a quiet night and c) it wasn't even 8pm! We were pretty peeved and ended up walking out. (It's not my first time walking out of a restaurant, but that's a story for another day.)

Onward and downward - well, down the hill - to my local. I've drunk there a few times since moving back (which makes it my local for reasons of pure frequency!) and had heard good things about the bar food. We got settled in one of the snugs straight away and ordered - I went for caesar salad and the girls opted for seafood chowder. The food arrived fairly quickly (dinner! finally!) and we dug in. My salad was delicious and the girls were wolfing down their chowder at a rate of knots - Helen declared it just as good as any she's ever had in Dingle. Result, we thought - lovely food, lovely bar, less than a tenner a head.

That was until 1am when both girls (one of whom was staying with me) woke in a delirious nauseous sweat. They were both up for most of the night and are still feeling dodgy. We won't find out what said local has to say for itself until later this evening... at which point I'll decide whether or not to reveal its identity. Either way, I'm pretty wary of ordering anything there again, and Place A has definitely earned a spot on the blacklist. What a disaster of an evening.

11 September 2007

Back back back

Bristol does funny things to people. Well, it did to us at any rate. After two hours of wandering in and out of pretty little shops around Clifton on Friday in scorching sun, we headed to a lovely beer garden overlooking the Avon Gorge and a suspension bridge for lunch. We may have been sunstroked at this stage (and I was certainly sunburned in some funny places... photographic evidence to come) but all of a sudden there were plans to move to the area and have our boyfriends/fiances go into business together and have babies and work four day weeks and meet in this very beer garden every sunny Friday (for it would always be sunny) with our Quinny strollers and have lunch and bask. Domestic fantasies aside though, it's a very lovely city and the locals are very friendly and have singsong almost-Welsh accents.

Most of what we saw of Bath was from this angle and it really did look that good on Saturday (yay more sun!) There's a lot to be said for lolling round in a huge towelling robe for a day, with massages and facials and steam rooms and stealthy naps thrown in for good measure. All the relaxation took its toll on us, though, and we were all in bed by 10:30 after a massive Indian dinner.

We were all quite amazed at how much we managed to squeeze in to the three day trip - largely due to very little alcohol consumption and lots of sleep. All in all, the perfect relaxing weekend. Photos on Flickr this evening, I hope, all this Flickr/Facebook double postage is becoming quite tiresome!

6 September 2007

A work in progress

So, I have the colour scheme I want sorted and I've decided I'd rather stay with this overall layout. Still trying to decide what will go over in yonder sidebar, though. I had meant to tinker with it yesterday evening, but got majorly distracted by all the Apple shenanigans. I am craving one of these so badly the wait for payday is nigh unbearable!

In the meantime, though, I'm headed off to the UK for a few days to meet up with my Amsterdam girlies for Julia's not-hen. Lots of eating, drinking, wandering and pampering in Bristol and Bath awaits...

4 September 2007


Playing with Blogger. Thinking about changing my layout completely. But completely forgot to back up my existing template before I started messing. Boooooooo.

3 September 2007


We threw together a Spanish-y chorizo and chickpea stew for dinner this evening. I would've taken a photo, but it was consumed with some gusto before I had a chance!

Here's the recipe, as (mis)appropriated from the bible. Serves 2-3, or 2 for dinner and one for next-day lunch.

100g chorizo (the link sausage, not the pre-sliced stuff)
2 x 400g cans cherry tomatoes (pomodorini), drained
1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
100g black olives, pitted
about 100g baby potatoes, chopped into quarters, pre-boiled and left to cool
3 or 4 sun dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, crushed

Slice the chorizo into small chunks and fry off for 2-3 mins on a medium heat in about a tablespoon of olive oil in a deepish saucepan or casserole pot.
Next add in the garlic and sun dried tomatoes and fry for about a minute.
While you're doing this heat up about another tablespoon of olive oil in a second pan. Pop in the potatoes and saute.
Add the tomatoes, chickpeas and olives to the first pan and muddle up a bit - you want to break up the tomatoes and let all the flavours combine. Season with salt and black pepper at this point too.
After about five mins turn the heat off on the potatoes and tip them in to the main pan. Turn the heat down and let the pot sit for a few minutes so the potatoes absorb the flavour.
And that's that! Serve with chopped flat leaf parsley on top.

Ten years

Ha! So much for one entry a day. Lazy lazy lazy.

I am feeling old. The sisters and I went out on Saturday night to a bar whose doors I haven't darkened in ten years. Ten Years. As in, I couldn't drink legally the last time I was in there (not that that stopped me...) Back then, it was tiny and cramped and cold in winter and the old booths were rickety and ripped. The last time I drank there I owned ten-hole Doc Martens and a long tie-dyed skirt and drank Ritz and thought I was the bee's knees.

Was I ever in for a shock on Saturday evening.

The place is twice its former size now - it was completely gutted and refitted a couple of years back. The ceilings are still low but now slightly arched and from them hangs a couple of grand's worth of fancy lights and rigging. The booths have been replaced by snazzy dark wood tables and stools in a semi circle around a huge dancefloor/moshpit. Up and coming Irish bands play there week in, week out and the price of admission would have bought me five bottles of Ritz back in the day. The crowd is still young, but they seem much older than I did at their age. Gone are the tatty grunger outfits and in their place are skinny jeans, Chanel handbags and a casual cool I could never have dreamt of pulling off at sixteen.

I stood at the back sipping my gin and bitter and looking on as my feet started to ache from my too-high heels and my ears started to ring from the noisy pop-rockers thrashing about on stage. I left after half an hour to hobble home and drink tea and sleep for nine hours. Somehow, I don't think the distance between twenty-six and thirty-six will seem so vast.

1 September 2007

Er... it's September

It's nearly two months now since I came back to Dublin. So far I've shopped A LOT (four years without Topshop, Oasis and any pretty shoes whatsoever must be compensated for!), spent an inordinate amount of money on tarting up our apartment, met up with old friends, made some new friends (hi Paul!), and shown some Amsterdam friends around my old/new hometown. Between all of this, plus my growing addictions to Heroes, Flight Of The Conchords and Facebook/Facebook Scrabble, there hasn't been much activity round these here blogging parts.

However, in the interests of Getting Back Into The Habit, I am hereby vowing to blog every day for the month of September. Heaven knows what shite I'll be spouting after a week of this, but it's worth a shot...