Poor Beaky, he of the golden feathers, has been in a bad way recently. He had a badly damaged leg following a fight with Verne. Al was brave enough to do the decent thing and put him out of his misery and no, we haven’t eaten him. He’s buried next to Marylin.
Look at what they’ve done to Julieanne Moore’s neck this month. (for previous problems, see: What Sweeney’s have done wrong). Trust me, the real thing looks much worse – it’s very hard to write with a biro on a super glossy cover, you can’t help embossing the first 10 pages. There is plenty of space elsewhere as the background is blue sky. Whoever does this seems to hate beautiful women. Why is it always chests and necks?
I plucked up the courage to speak to the manager last week…. “please don’t scribble on the cover of Vogue with a biro”. I could see he thought I was a lunatic. “We’ll take it on board” he said. I think that means…”yeah, whatever” in management speak.
Still, after a shaky couple of weeks when they ran out of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups (see: What Sweeney’s have done right. ), they have more in stock so I’m grateful for that. Also, they’re half hidden away so you have to know where to look for them. (I’m not telling).
We don’t have much choice shop-wise around here. It’s pretty much Sweeney’s Supervalu at Achill Sound (8 miles away) or nothing and so we’ve always had a bit of a love/hate relationship (one sided of course!).
Sweeney’s have been in my good books ever since they decided to start stocking my favourite confectionery. It was extremely lucky for me because this coincided with our decision to quit smoking and I needed something to fill the void.
I’ve been in Ireland for almost 9 years now and miss very few things from old London Town. I’d completely forgotten about Reese’s products, but when I spotted them at the sweetie counter, it was like meeting an old lover again and finding out that age has improved him.
Is it the glossy packaging? I really love the design, but that’s not what makes them so attractive to me. Over the last few years I’ve developed a taste for a kind of alternate sweet/salty mix. I’d got to the point where I couldn’t eat a chocolate bar without a packet of Walkers cheese and onion as a chaser and vice versa (my infatuation with Tayto has long been a thing of the past).
Reese’s have both, chocolateyness and saltiness in the one product and in the perfect balance for me. For a while I convinced myself that Reese’s are healthier for me based on the “why shovel two products down your cake-hole when you can just have one?” principle. Now it’s turned into something else. There are two Reese’s products in Sweeney’s and I love them both and I can never make my mind up which to eat. It seems so much fairer to just have them both and that way madness lies.
Let’s hope the year will be a great one for all of us.
We’ve had to change blog software and it’s taken an age to transfer everything. Unfortunately, we can’t transfer the comments and although I could do it manually, I don’t think I will. It would feel too much like ‘faking it’.
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?
It seems that sadly our little bar is not long for this world. We’re in the quietest part of the year now and the truth is, it’s costs us money to open. We’ve been subsidising the bar from our own pockets and we’ve been doing this for a long time now. We can’t carry on doing that, especially in the light of tonight’s events. Earlier this evening a customer emptied our coal bucket onto the fire in the bar and added lots of turf (it was part of a joke that won’t translate very well). Shortly afterwards, our chimney was on fire. Although chimney fires are not unheard of in this part of the world it really was very upsetting to see huge flames shooting out of the top of our chimney and wondering if the fire would spread to our roof. We called the fire brigade. In this area the fire service is a voluntary one, they arrived quickly and very professionally dealt with the fire. Our local council will now send us a bill for 500 Euro, which is the rate they charge for a call out for a commercial business. We don’t know how we are going to pay this- we did even think about not calling and hoping that the fire didn’t spread but in hindsight we’re glad we did call. We were very lucky that the wind was blowing the flames away from the house and although our chimneystack is now cracked we are pretty sure that for the time being at least, it ‘s not in danger of falling. The same can’t be said for the precarious financial position we find ourselves in regarding the bar though.
The BBC report on Q Magazine’s list of “guilty pleasures” started me wondering about my musical tastes. You see, Q Magazine compiled a list of music that was previously uncool but that is now acceptable to like. Top of the list is ‘Livin’ Thing’ by ELO . I quite like that song and some other ELO tracks. I had no idea that I was so uncool. Should I be ashamed? Does that mean that if I want to say I like an uncool track, I have to qualify my choice by saying that I like it despite the fact I know it’s ‘wrong’? I like lots of music that is probably considered to be uncool. As I’m writing this, I can’t help feeling that just the act of trying to analyse whether my music is cool or uncool is one of the most uncool things I could do. As Richard Reeves says in his comment on the BBC story “If you base your listening choices on what’s cool, you’re not a fan of music, just fashion”. A great friend of mine used to laugh at my love of Hall & Oates and the fact that I’ve always liked ‘Sarah’ by Thin Lizzy. For a while I felt that I had to keep these things to myself but as I’ve got a little older I don’t feel the need to pretend to be something I’m not. In the context of Lifelists, I wondered momentarily if we should be creating a list category for embarrassing songs? Should we be separating the music we’re proud to say we like and music we know we shouldn’t like, but do anyway? I’ve decided against it. If Lifelisters want to separate their “embarrassing” tracks, then they can create a new list under the category of music and call it “guilty pleasures”. I’ve started to create 70′s, 80′s lists for myself under the music category and I’m going to proudly add the tracks I love, embarrassing or not. I’ve done this because there’s some music that doesn’t make it onto my all-time list, maybe I don’t listen to it anymore, but there was a time in my life when it was important to me. There can be many reasons why we like a piece of music; sometimes we like a track because when we hear it, we’re taken back to an experience, people or a time or place in our lives that we like to remember. The same applies to books, films, everything really. I’m inclined to agree with some of the people who commented on the BBC story; cool/uncool seems to be quite an old fashioned concept in 2006 (or maybe I’m too old to care). Look at John Peel, he is admired because he knew what he liked and didn’t care what anyone thought. Isn’t the coolest thing to just trust our own ears (in fact, all of our senses), not be afraid, and list the things that make us who we are. We should be proud to celebrate the things that have brought us joy for whatever reason. This is the essence of the Lifelists concept.