Music for the Mehness!

Daily Prompt: Mix Tape Masterpiece

 You make a new friend. Make them a mix tape (or playlist, for the younger folks) that tells them who you are through song

One of my friends once told me that I have the weirdest taste in music ever, another described it as music to slit your wrists to….I guess that puts me squarely into the melancholy category. It is what it is and I likes what I like, I make no apologies for it. I love dance and pop as much as the next person, but my heart lies in the realm of songs that can make me cry. I’ve been listening to some of these anyways as I have been drowning in mehness this week. so figured I might as well share them.

Picture the scene, a one hour train journey after a long day at work, there are four more days till the weekend, it’s dark outside and the rain streaks down the windows, now if that doesn’t want to make you gurn your lamps out then my top ten melancholy melodies will:

Any Other Name – Thomas Newman

I think I originally heard this on a chill out CD, but I thought it was one of the most beautiful pieces of music I had ever heard. It never fails to make me cry if I am glum!

The Eels – It’s a Motherf*cker

This song contains bad language so if you are going to be offended don’t even watch. It’s a great song though if you are missing someone and you need to let them know.

Annie Lennox – Into the West

I know this is really morose, but I want this song played at my funeral when that time comes. If you listen to the lyrics you will understand why.

Alex Cornish – Brothers In Arms

I love the Dire Straits version as well, but this one just struck a chord with me and became my favourite.

Massive Attack – Teardrop

This song has always been a constant for me. It’s never not been an any kind of audio player I own.

Elbow – Lippy Kids

I have my sister to thank for introducing me to Elbow. I had never heard much of their stuff before until one night she played the album ‘Build a rocket boys’ and I heard this song. From that moment on I was in love.

Fyfe Dangerfield – She’s always a woman

I loved the band the ‘Guillemots’ whose lead singer is Fyfe Dangerfield, but when I heard him sing this, I loved it so much more than the Billy Joel version.

Damien Rice – 9 Crimes

That’s the first time I have seen this video and it’s err different, but I still love the song!

Lana Del Ray – Video Games

Not sure what it is about this song, but it just gets to me.

Passenger – The One You Love

I just love this guys voice and his album ‘Flight of the Crow’ is well worth a listen!

So there you have it, the 10 tracks from my forthcoming compilation album ‘Music for the Mehness’.

Are you being served? Hoodwinked more like!

With or without slug Madam?

Daily Prompt: Are you being served?

What’s the most dreadful (or wonderful) experience you’ve ever had as a customer?

I’ve been wracking my brains, but I can’t actually think of a time when I was disappointed with the service I received in a restaurant. I’m sure things have happened, but obviously there was nothing that was so bad it stuck in my mind.

That obviously makes for a very short post, so I am going to have to deviate a little and refer back to an incident that happened when I was a waitress instead.

In my younger days I used to work in a local cafe. I much preferred being behind the scenes, washing and peeling the spuds in the spudder, before transferring them to the chipper, but usually I had to waitress as well. Looking back I would  say I was probably not the best waitress in the world, but I got good tips for being a chatterbox and trying to provide service with a smile.

One Sunday, when I was still relatively new to the job, a couple came in. I took their order, passed the information to the chef and headed out to the rear kitchen to prepare the salad for the mains.

I’m fussy about salads, I’ll wash the lettuce leaves a couple of times just to make sure they are clean and will not provide any crunch from unexpected passengers like greenfly etc.

The meal was prepared, delivered and eaten by the diners, so I was surprised when I was called back to the table and shown a single leaf of lettuce which was serving as a presentation plinth for none other than a slug.

The customers were not happy and made a huge fuss proclaiming that due to this unfortunate event the meal should in fact be free.  I offered my apologies and told them I had cleaned the leaves myself and was 100% sure there had been nothing on them. I then started to cry because at the time it seemed like the best outlet for my embarrassment and fear of getting the sack.

Hearing the discussion, my boss (who wasn’t all that nice at the best of times) came over, heard the story and said of course the meal would be free, whilst shooting me a look that would kill dead things. Inconsolable I decided to retreat and hide in the back until they had left.

My boss came in and found me, asking how I could have been so stupid and why did I not check the lettuce. I told him time and time again I had and I was positive there had been nothing on the leaves, that I was as shocked as he was. He basically told me in no uncertain terms not to let it happen again and to go and clear the table as the customers had now left.

When I walked back into the dining room, I was able to see the couple getting into their car and the lady gave a little kind of shrug and wave.

I started to clear the table and imagine my surprise when I found an empty matchbox, which when opened contained the unmistakable residue of a slugs backside. Even more remarkable though, was the ten pound tip left under the salt and pepper tray.


Damn Girl! Good Salad

Daily Prompt: Thank you!

You Rock
Streamer Overload!

Daily Prompt: Thank You

The internet is full of rants. Help tip the balance: today, simply be thankful for something (or someone).

I’m thankful for WordPress. Actually, I am thankful for the bunch of eejits WordPress has allowed me to meet.

Everyone blogs for different reasons and gains something different from their experience. I had no reasons for starting a blog, other than it was something to do.

Initially to most people I appear to be the most confident person in the world, always in the middle of things, messing around, making people laugh. They are shocked when they realise this is not the case. I don’t usually talk about things too much, unless to my family.

The last 14 months has been tough going. Having to take 6 months off due to my ruptured patella tendon affected me mentally as well as physically. Being at home everyday made me realise how bad my mother, who suffers from stroke damage had become. In that space of time I have gone from patient to carer. Some things you come to accept, like the cooking, cleaning, washing and ironing, although the leg injury still plays a part in making life difficult. It’s the mental side of things I find hard to deal with. The mood swings, the fights, the feeling like you are constantly walking on eggshells. Even though you try, it’s hard to sit back and remember that she is not the person she once was. Mentally it’s a drain, and anxiety makes my stomach like a washing machine most of the time.

So like I said, I started the blog because it was something to do. I had no expectations. I had no ideas of where I wanted it to go. I just typed. It gave me something to look forward to when everyone was fed and I had 2 hours to spare before bedtime.

It became so much more. It’s given me a purpose and I truly adore the circle of people who regularly comment and go on my journeys with me.

I’m still amazed when they tell me I am funny, I don’t see it, but being told it makes me smile. I always was far to self critical, apparently! I love to make people laugh.

Blogging is so much more than just writing, it’s also about reading, commenting and interaction.

I’ve been captivated, duped and mesmerized by blogs. I’ve laughed, cried, sighed and rolled my eyes at entries.

All that aside my favourite part has been the interaction. I have been fortunate enough to meet some truly amazing people who unbeknown to them have lifted me and carried me through everyday since I started blogging. They offer advice, criticism, fun and laughter and never ask for anything in return. They let me read their thoughts, hopes, dreams and even sometimes their nightmares.

Through sharing our experiences we make connections that would never normally have happened.

I reached 100 followers today, and to each and every one of you I say a huge thank you. This blog would be nothing without you all!

To my loyal band of commenter’s, even the most recent ones with the cute sheep, cool cats and the ‘I burnt my buttcheeks’ presentation mug, an extra special thank you, you guys are amazing and I would have been lost without you all :) xx

Daily Prompt: I Pledge Allegiance!

Daily Prompt: I Pledge Allegiance 

Are you patriotic? What does being patriotic mean to you?

I’d pledge allegiance to Swizzel’s Matlow (see here), only I am pretty sure that’s not what this is all about.

Seriously though, on the day I make a promise to undertake more of the Daily Prompt’s and not shy away from using the few brain cells I have left, up comes this Daily Prompt! I live in Northern Ireland ffs, this is not going to be easy!

Patriotism is a devotion to one’s country

I couldn’t give a flying fig if you are Catholic, Protestant or any of the other many religions out there. I was brought up to believe that both sides are equal. One human being is the same as any other regardless of class, colour, religion or sexual orientation. It matters very little to me, if you treat me with respect, then that is exactly how I will treat you.

Although I have lived in Northern Ireland all my life, I don’t really understand all the fighting myself, I’m like the majority of the population who wish it would all just stop so we could live in actual peace. The way I see it, if the fighting continues, there will come a day when there is nothing left to fight for.

Something that was said by the the wife of a gentleman who was murdered by terrorists always stuck in my head. When talking of his death she said,  “And what for? A piece of land that my husband is going to get six feet of.” It doesn’t matter who said it, those words could have been uttered by a grieving relative of someone on either side of the divide, it’s the importance of what was said that struck me. A  6ft rectangle is all any of us are going to get, why waste the important days of your life fighting over it and wrecking the beautiful country in which you live.

So everything else aside, Northern Ireland actually is a beautiful place to live. We’re blessed with some of the most gorgeous scenery in the United Kingdom, we pull a pretty mean pint of Guinness and there is always great craic and banter to be had with the locals.

‘The Giants Causeway’ – Image by Patrice78500

Probably one of the most famous landmarks is ‘The Giants Causeway‘ which many believe to be all that remains of a bridge made by the Irish Giant Finn McCool when trying to link Ireland to Scotland.

The landscape became so imbued with the spirit of this legend that it gave rise to the name – the Giant’s Causeway.

We also have castles, beautiful beaches, wonderful Abbeys, that although now in ruins are still a magnificent sight and well worth a visit,  stately homes, amazing gardens, the list goes on. Some of these fine days I’m going to take myself on a road trip with my camera and go exploring, there are still so many things I have yet to see. It’s something however, that I would like to experience with someone who has never been here before, because sometimes a fresh perspective can open eyes that have become oblivious to their surroundings.

A few years back I became interested in photography, I saw my surroundings a lot differently whilst looking through the lens of a camera, but I shall let you see for yourself, here are some of my shots of various places in Northern Ireland. Hopefully it will let you see us a bit differently, than what you perhaps hear and see via the media.

Whitepark Bay2
Whitepark Bay
The Cliffs at Dunluce Castle
Sand Dunes at Whitepark Bay
Old Youth Hostel
Old Youth Hostel – Whitepark Bay
Rathlin Island
The Big Fish – A printed ceramic mosaic
Grey Abbey
Day out with Dad
Bonamargy Friary
Bog Cotton
Bog Cotton at Spelga Dam
Scrabo Tower_JulieStewart
Scrabo Tower (my favourite out of all I have taken)

Daily Prompt: A Little Sneaky

Daily Prompt: A Little Sneaky

Are writing prompts a useful exercise, or do you find them to be too limiting and/or hokey?

Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that I will never be known as the brightest pixie in the forest. I would consider myself of average intelligence. My grammar is certainly a little rough around the edges, especially with regards to the words to and too, a fact that drives my Sister up the wall! I am however trying to improve myself, I purchased a book called “Grammar for Grown Ups”, if I ever grow up and get around to reading it, hopefully you will see an improvement.

I like the Daily Prompt section of WordPress, infact it is one of the first posts I look for on my train journey home. sometimes however, I am left a little disappointed.

Most people will look at the prompt and the cogs and gears inside their heads will automatically start to turn, allowing them to produce not only something read worthy, but usually something pretty amazing, a classic example of great spin’s being “Ok, What if?

The scenario with my brain is a much different thing, I read the daily prompt and the response is “what the fu…….r goodness sake do they mean by that?” at which point all the cogs and gears in my head grind to a halt. I’ll leave it for a couple of hours and then return, only to find that the old brain synapses have still not fired and usually at that point I give up.

Here’s the thing, it probably doesn’t matter what I write, and it certainly shouldn’t matter what anyone else thinks of it. It’s a ‘Daily Prompt’ and it is there for the other participants and I to read, digest and portray it as we see fit. I just need to remind myself of this fact when I feel like turning away from one.

So in light of this post, from this day forward I intend to try a few more of the Prompts that I would normally have swept to the side. I am also apologizing in advance for the fact that you may perhaps read one and think, “What the feck is that eejit on about”.  Welcome to the inner workings of my brain, I don’t understand it myself a lot of the time, we are still becoming acquainted.

Funny as Feck!

Daily Prompt: Funny Ha-Ha
Do you consider yourself funny? What role does humor play in your life? Who’s the funniest person you know?

Had I been asked 15 months ago if I thought I was funny, I would probably have answered yes. Right here and now, well I’m not so sure I am anymore, life’s kinda gotten in the way and I miss my funny!

When the whole Alien Leg incident happened, I didn’t quite know what to do with myself. I went from working all the time, to doing nothing in the space of a 20 second fall.

I got depressed. I was stuck indoors 24/7 and usually up the stairs, constantly worrying about what was going to happen to me, what was going to happen with work, was I going to walk again, was I going to die on the operating table, you have no idea, my mind is like an Ariston, it goes on and on and on, and it always errs towards the side of worst case scenario. I didn’t have my friends to interact with.   I lost a little bit of my funny.

As things started to get better leg ways and life returned to some kind of normality regarding my return to work etc, I started to morph into a housewife. That’s not so unusual says you, it is when you’re not fecking married says I!

I live with my folks, my Mum has stroke damage and I only realised how bad it had become when I was at home everyday to see for myself. I’d always done the housework, on a Saturday, before I headed off for a 10 hour night shift. But as soon as I was able to make it down the stairs after my accident I was kind of pushed into the role of cooking, of course I knew it was going to happen, I just didn’t think it would be so soon. At the start the understanding was I would cook Monday to Friday, but not at the weekends, because at some stage I was going to have to return to my part time job, now I cook Monday to Saturday and Sundays are starting to filter in too, along with the washing and ironing. I lost a bit more of my funny.

One of my friends pretty much told me the other day that I am always moody, and do you know what, they are right. These days I am. I’m sure if you ask Udders and the rest of the gang they will tell you that I am not quite the same person I was before, I’m not, and I know it myself. A lot of days I find it hard to cope, especially when Alien Leg is throwing her two cents in.

My funny is still there, I know it is. It makes brief appearances every now and again. Perhaps I am only now passing through the tail wind of the last 15 months and things will return to normal. I sure hope so, because I love to make people laugh and smile.

I know some of my readers on here have said I already do make them laugh and smile, and every time they do a little bit of my funny returns. But they don’t realise that along with my friends they have been an important key in my recovery.

When I do fully reconnect with my funny y’all better beware!

Daily Prompt: Secret of Success

Daily Prompt: Secret of Success 

What would it take for you to consider yourself a “successful blogger”? Is that something you strive for?

When I first started out, I used to think that in order to be a successful blogger I had to become Freshly Pressed. That line of thought caused me anxiety, because I knew I didn’t have the skills and the more I fretted about it, the less I wanted to write. After my first few posts I adopted a rather stupid ‘What’s the point’ kind of attitude.

When you’re new, it’s hard having no followers and no likes, in fact no one reading. Yes we all blog for many different reasons with varied end goals, but there are few who could truthfully say that they do not get a buzz when they attain new followers or post likes! So, whilst we all write for ourselves, there is always that little bit of us that craves the attention of others. We have a desire to entertain, amuse, educate and inform, it’s inbuilt.

As time wore on and I got a little better acquainted with the WordPress scene, I started to follow, read and interact with other blogs. I stopped writing for the sake of it, instead choosing to wait until I had something to say. I started to write for myself.

I can’t express how much I enjoyed the ‘Reader’ and I even started to look on Freshly Pressed in a new light, it was no longer something to be feared, in fact in one post I offered praise, as through it, I was introduced to amazing new posts and some equally amazing blogs.

Five months on I now have followers who comment and converse with me on a daily basis. They tell me whats good and what’s bad and their opinions matter more than anyone else’s, more than being Freshly Pressed.

Through the last 100 posts and my circle of friends here, I realised I didn’t have to be a successful blogger or spend time worrying about my lack of skills, I just had to be myself.



The Full Moon

Moon by See-Ming Lee
Picture by See-ming Lee

Daily Prompt: The Full Moon
When the full moon happens, you turn into a person who’s the opposite of who you normally are. Describe this new you.

It was only when I reached my late teens that I realised the phrase ‘full moon’ had a double meaning. Up until that time I had always associated them with the horror movies I used to tremble through on a Saturday evening.

One night a crowd of us were wandering through the local park, when one of the lads in the group asked if I wanted to see a ‘full moon’. Of course I had seen them many times before, but figured this one must be pretty special if you needed an invitation to view it, and excitedly replied that I would indeed like to see, at which point he dropped his trousers and stuck his bare arse in my  face! Apparently this was my full moon initiation and I passed with flying colours. It still reminded me of a horror movie though as his unclad butt cheeks were not unlike those of a werewolf. Much to the amusement of the rest of the group I shared my thoughts with him and I believe that is the reason why I passed.

I however, would not wish to become a werewolf, nor have I any desire to unleash the junk in my trunk on any unsuspecting members of the human race! That indeed would be the mother of all horror movies!

These would be the amazing traits of my full moon alter ego!

  • No worrying. Imagine that, how I would love just one day where I did not worry.
  • No smoking – I’m trying to quit but it’s so hard and I have the willpower of a gnat!
  • No one to look after but me, myself and I, even just for a little while. Let someone else have the cooking and cleaning and stresses.
  • A brain chockablock full of useless computer information so that when I get the blue screen of death I can fix it and not jump up and down in a bad temper, which is what usually happens.
  • Confidence, and I mean confidence, not arrogance. Enough to allow me to walk into a room full of strangers without feeling like there is a neon sign over my head saying ‘Freak!’
  • The moves like Jagger.
  • The ability to make people laugh.
  • The willpower to stop myself eating like the world is going to run out of food tomorrow :|
  • The ability to be able to use the word ‘No’ and mean it.

Thing is though, what would any of it really change, inside I’d still be the same eejit I always was :)

Daily Prompt: Life Line ft Billy & Seamus

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Daily Prompt: Life Line

You’re on a long flight, and a palm reader sitting next to you insists she reads your palm. You hesitate, but agree. What does she tell you?

Being the weekend and on the lookout for something different to do Billy and Seamus decide to take flight to Dublin for the day.

Not having had the sense to book tickets in advance, the two lads find the Enterprise already packed when they board at Central Station.

Not to be deterred they sit down at a table that is currently occupied by only one person, a middle aged lady.

Billy: “Here Mrs, do you mind if we sit here? “

Lady: “Not at all son, make yourself comfortable, we’ve a long way to go.”

Billy: “Thanks a bunch. “

Seamus: “Aye thanks Mrs, that’s while decent of ye.”

Billy: “So are you off to Dublin for the day an all then?”

Lady: “No son, I’ve a show to do down there.”

Seamus: “A show? Are you a singer? “

Billy: “….ah go on an sing somethin for us will ye?”

Lady: (laughs) “No I’m not a singer. I tell fortunes.”

Billy: “Ah get away with ye, I’ll be thinking ye have crystal balls next, only that’s impossible on account of you being a woman an all.”

Lady: “Indeed. No crystal balls here I’m afraid.”

Billy: “All that shoite freaks me out just a little to be honest. Unless yer gonna give me the lotto numbers I don’t think I wanna know. Imagine if you told me that in the next 30 minutes I was gonna be tatey breed ffs.”

Lady: “Tatey breed?”

Billy: “Aye, tatey breed…..deed.”

Seamus: “He means dead, you know as in kicked the bucket…”

Lady:  “….ahh I see.”

Billy: “If you don’t have crystal balls, so to speak, how do you tell someone’s fortune then?”

Lady: “I use hands.”

Seamus: “Ah feck sake Billy sure we’re fine, nothing to be scared of here, we’re no use to her. Thank feck for that.”

Billy: “You’ve lost me…..”

Seamus: “Well we’re male for starters.”

Billy: “Right?”

Seamus: “An our names are Billy an Seamus.”

Billy: “I’m still not following…..”

Seamus: “Ahh feck Billy, do you no get it. She’s a Pam reader!”

Daily Prompt: Everything Changes ft Billy & Seamus

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Daily Prompt: Everything Changes

Walking down the street, you encounter a folded piece of paper on the sidewalk. You pick it up and read it and immediately, your life has changed. Describe this experience.

“Billy what’s that by the side of the road?”

“Don’t de so feckin lazy an go an look for yerself, can ye not seem I’m busy here.” 

“Aye. Busy doing nothing ya big lump.”

Seamus picks something up off the ground.

“It’s a note.”

“Aww happy days Seamus, please tell me it’s a £20 note, I could do with a pint.”

“No Billy, it’s not that kinda note. It’s a Doctor’s note. They found your missing brain cell.”

“Ha feckin ha.  Seriously though what is it?”

“It’s an invitation to the Europa Hotel for your man that tends the fires down at the forge works.”

“Ye mean wee Sooty, on account of the fact the wee bugger looks like a chimney sweep, always covered from head to toe in the stuff from the arse of the fire.” 

“Aye that’s the one.”

“C’mon we’ll take it down to him, sure we’re not doing anything else anyway.”

Billy and Seamus reach the Forge Works and ask to speak to Sooty. 

“Alright lads. Youse lookin for me?”

“Aye Soot…..”

“Ye can call me Joe.”

“Aye Joe, we found this here invitation addressed to you, it’s for the Europa Hotel.”

“Ye did not. Feck that’s brilliant. I thought I’d lost it and wasn’t going to be able to go. I’ve won a prize and that’s where I’m supposed to collect it. Thanks so much. Here take this £20 and buy yourselves a couple of pints, my way of saying thanks.”

“Ach no we couldn’t………”

“Look I insist, you have no idea how grateful I am.”

“Well thanks very much indeed. Glad to help.  Looks like you shall go to the ball after all Cinder fella.”

NB: Wracked my brain for half a day and couldn’t think of anything else. Yvette don’t you dare shout, I promise not all posts will be BIlly & Seamus related! :)