Archive for 2008

A bit of escapism

December 11th, 2008 No comments

Sometimes I really miss the glamorous city life I used to live. My Profoundly Superficial friend always has some some stories and great photos to spark nice daydreams.


No smoke without fire?

December 9th, 2008 No comments

It’s now almost 9 weeks since we gave up smoking. I’ve not mentioned it before because it’s been such a difficult subject to talk about. We’ve done so well so far. It’s a miracle that we haven’t killed each other and amazing that we’ve hardly even argued. We should deserve a huge pat on the back. The problem is, I don’t really feel worthy.

You see, pretty much every night I dream I am buying cigarettes, hiding them and planning to smoke them secretly. Sometimes I’m choosing from rows and rows of beautifully decorated cigarette packets, sparkly, bejewelled and so tempting. Usually I don’t actually smoke in my dreams (although I have once or twice) but I do think about how wonderful it would be to feel that sensation. When I’m awake, I can’t allow myself to think those thoughts.

I wake up feeling so guilty. As a smoker, I never dreamt about smoking, now I can’t stop. Can I really call myself a non-smoker when I spend so much (unconscious) time thinking about it, planning to do it or actually doing it?


The Chicken News

December 1st, 2008 No comments

our hens

It’s a lot quieter in the hen house these days but at least it’s a bit clearer who’s in charge. We did have 6 fully grown male birds- now we have 3. The other 3 have gone to good homes. Dozy, Dee and Roger were very handsome boys and therefore much in demand. We’re left with Beaky, (front left), Mini-Me (back left) and Mungo (middle right). As far as we can tell, the girls seem happy enough with the result.
I’ve been attending a local art group (run by Corr Acla) over the last 9 weeks and the painting above was one of my projects.


Polranny Pirates

November 19th, 2008 No comments

Our friends the Polranny Pirates (a group of artists, writers and academics with headquarters just along the road from us who are not to be confused with the Somali Pirates), have a great blog.

The Pirates run a non-profit organisation that provides cost-price temporary accommodation for writers, artists, musicians, academics and creative people in general.


Lush Life

November 18th, 2008 No comments

How to get through the winter- Part 1. Bathos and Creamy Candy Bar by Lush.

In one form or another, Lush has been an important part of my life. My very first mail order experiences ever, were with Cosmetics to Go. They were the type of company that a friend recommends by buying you a little something and you’re forever grateful for it. Fresh, handmade cosmetics, tested only on humans. Such unusual and imaginative products, the perfect place to buy gifts and a company with great ethics even 20 years ago. I was very upset when they ceased to exist and I was delighted when they rose from the ashes again as Lush – especially when I discovered the retail outlets (how anyone could even walk past one with that smell wafting out is beyond me). Now I’ve moved to the remote west coast of Ireland and I’m back to mail order.

Even so, if I’m lucky enough to find myself in a city with reach of a branch of Lush it’s one of the first places I want to head to. Just to stand in the middle of the shop and take a big sniff is such a pleasure. I’d know that smell anywhere. Blindfold me, lead me there and one whiff of that smell, I would know it was Lush immediately. It’s not like anything else I can think of, certainly not like any perfume hall I’ve ever ever encountered. It’s not the smell of luxury- that’s not what Lush means to me and certainly the products are not luxuriously packaged by any means. We all appreciate beautiful packaging and that luxurious, precious feeling that premium brands give us, but we females are not that predictable. Lush stands for something else that makes up one of the other dimensions of womanhood. I don’t always want to be a glamour-puss. Sometimes I just need to be a girl. To me, Lush means colour, life, energy, joy and love and youth. I feel like the products have been prepared by personal friends and in a way, they have. The customer service is fantastically friendly both in the stores and online.

Anyone who knows me or has looked at my Lifelist knows that my favourite smell is Parma Violet. My best friend Julie and I traveled around Northern Italy at the end of May 1994 and I became addicted (although I’ve always loved those little sweets!). The smell of violets reminds me of the warm sunshine, the food, wine, the fabulously fashionable people and cornfields filled with poppies that seemed to be everywhere in the countryside. This is why the violet scented bubble bar, Bathos is my favourite Lush product. You don’t generally see many violet scented products around in the shops and so I have to make the most of them when I find them. I just break it up under hot running water and am rewarded with lovely violet scented mauvey water with loads and loads of bubbles. Lying in it certainly chases away the winter for me. My skin feels warm and soft afterwards and slightly sunkissed (although obviously that’s only the psychological power of a great beauty product). My skin is delicately violet scented for the rest of the day and the bathroom smells fabulous.

I alternate Bathos with Creamy Candy Bar- another bubble bar- this time candy pink in colour It smells like an explosion in a sweet factory- if any smell will make you feel happy this would be it. To get through the winter I make sure that I always have enough of each product on hand so that I can use them at least once a week until the spring is due. (The popcorn that the products are packed in comes in useful as a treat for our chickens). This is what I did last year and the year before that and this year I know that however dark and stormy the winter gets, Bathos and Creamy Candy Bar will get me through. Just having them sitting in the bathroom is wonderful because just the smell of them is just so joyful. I have in the past been known to move them around the house just to enliven dreary rooms.

Today, I awoke feeling affected by the winter doom and gloom but a Bathos bath with a bucket of tea sorted me out. American Boy by Estelle helps too. After that, I know that spring can’t be too far away. In emergency situations- I find Copacabana by Barry Manilow can’t fail to make me smile- kitsch as it is. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend it on a regular basis though. Who knows what the effects of long term usage could be?

Bath: Bathos by Lush
Drink: A nice big bucket of tea.
Listen to: Copacabana by Barry Manilow or American Boy by Estelle.
Read: Anything by Alexander Mcall Smith is sure to give a warm glow.


The Achill Drug Robot

October 20th, 2008 No comments

drug robot
This is not a great picture because it was taken with our mobile phone. Well done Al! I didn’t have the nerve to ask.
Silly but I’m a little obsessed with this machine. It’s the ‘robot drug dispenser’ from the pharmacy at Achill Sound. It’s a first in Ireland apparently. I love the bright white surroundings, the clean glass and the rows of little bright boxes. It’s just like an art installation.
Years ago, Damien Hirst was part owner in a London restaurant called The Pharmacy and there were artworks there that in a way were very similar. To me, visiting the chemist at the sound has started to feel a little like a visit to a modern art gallery. It’s a great addition to the area in my opinion, a thing of beauty. Although there is a lot of natural beauty around here, it’s nice to see some man-made beauty for a change. There’s not a lot of that. In fact I can’t think of anything. In this area, man’s intervention generally ruins the place.

Categories: Life in Currane Tags: , , ,

Amazing cloud picture

October 7th, 2008 No comments

Photo of a cloud taken by Al.  It’s a dolphin!dolphin cloud

Categories: Life in Currane Tags: , ,

Lifelisting our way through reccession

October 1st, 2008 No comments

In these days of financial doom and gloom it seems to me that Lifelisting will be a perfect way to pass the time. It costs nothing, helps us prioritise and gets us thinking about the positive stuff. Of course, I would say that wouldn’t I?


New Lifelists

September 26th, 2008 No comments

We’ve had a bit of a re-design and added some new functionality to the site. We hope you approve. Any comments you have will be very welcome. We’ve been testing the new features for some time but if you have any problems please let us know.
We’ve added page themes. To choose how your lists are displayed when you and others view them by choosing to edit a list, selecting a page theme for that list and then saving your changes.
Any suggestions for page themes you would like to use?


Lifelists on YouTube

September 8th, 2008 No comments

I’ve put some more little films of life here on our YouTube channel . Parts 21-23.